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5/29/2008 – The latest issue of ChessBase Magazine focusses on the newest trends in opening theory, from more than one angle, so to say: several top-class games are analysed by stars like Anand, Radjabov and Aronian. Moreover, opening experts examine lines such as the Modern Alekhine with 5...c6, the reloaded Jaenisch Gambit, or new ideas in the Sicilian Dragon. Buy it now or read more.

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ChessBase Magazine 123

Review by Sean Marsh

ChessBase have introduced yet another new feature; Opening Reports in the Fritz Trainer format. These work in exactly the same way as the dedicated Fritz Trainer DVDs, with an expert presenting video lectures and the viewer having access to a number of Windows, such as one for the board, one for the video, another for the list of moves etc.

This time, Andrew Martin and Oliver Reeh make presentations covering important lines of the Alekhine Defence and the Sicilian Dragon respectively.

Click here for replay the Sicilian Dragon video.

Other aspects of the game are covered in the Fritz Trainer format, including a bonus piece for those who have enjoyed ‘Chess for Scoundrels’ by Nigel Davies and a further selection featuring Daniel King, Karsten Muller (eight (!) video presentations in addition to the usual amount of material), Oliver Reeh and Robert Knaak. Samples are included from some more of ChessBase’s recent output.

In addition to the new-style reports, there are 11 more in the more traditional format. The openings covered this time are:


Played the Janisch Gambit with success against Anand, Topalov, and Carlsen: Teimour Radjabov
  • A Modern Way to Avoid the Grunfeld Defence by Igor Stohl
  • Positional Play in the Classical Benoni by Mihail Marin
  • The Main Line of the 4-Pawns Attack by Tibor Karolyi
  • The Modern Treatment of the Alekhine by Dorian Rogozenko
  • Satisfied with a Slight Edge by Tibor Karolyi (regarding a quiet White system against the Modern Defence)
  • The Philidor Defence - Passive, but Solid by Lubomir Ftacnik
  • The Janisch Gambit with 4 Nc3 - Part 1 by Evgeny Postny
  • Deviations From the Rio de Janeiro Defence by Mihail Marin
  • A Simple System Against the Slav by Efstratios Griva
  • Grunfeld: The Central System with 7 Nf3, 8 Be3 The Fianchetto Variation with an Early …c5 by Dorian Rogozenko

Of particular interest are the surveys on the Alekhine Defence and Janisch Gambit. Both were played at the highest level recently and Black seems to be having more than his fair share of the fun.


Poisition after
1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 dxe5 5 Nxe5 c6 

The humble c-pawn move has been quietly developing into a very reliable weapon for Black. Combining Rogozenko’s survey with Martin’s Fritz Trainer presentation will give the reader an easy to learn addition to their opening repertoire in a very short period of time.

1315 recent games are included in this issue and about 120 of them annotated. The most important are undoubtedly those from the Moreila/Linares Supertournament. Some of these expert clashes are annotated by the elite players themselves (Anand provides two impressive audio commentaries) and the majority of the rest have notes by a plethora of well known ChessBase authors.

Aronian provides the annotations for his dramatic Marshall Attack against Anand…


…in which the concluding blow was 30...Re3! 0-1 (34).

 The top GM tournaments are bloodthirsty affairs these days and no chess fan will want to be without a these fighting games in their databases.

The influence of Bobby Fischer is still keenly felt in all things chess and Daniel King provides a superb lecture all about the great champion’s game with Weinstein (US Championship 1963). Here’s a couple of examples from Reeh’s excellent section on tactics.


Sjugoriv - Tjurin
White to play and mate in two


 Yudin - Orlinkov
How can Black gain a decisive advantage?

This is a top quality chess product with an absolutely astonishing amount of material. Players of all strengths - from club player to Grandmaster - will find plenty of entertainment and instruction here.

Click here for the full original review.


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