From Cover to Cover – ChessBase Magazine 120

11/13/2007 – It was an eagerly anticipated edition of the electronic magazine that appears every two months. CBM 120 contained the full annotations of all the games from the recently concluded World Chess Championship in Mexico, as provided by GM Mihail Marin. But also delightfully thoughful video comments by Alexei Shirov, and by Rustam Kasimdzhanov and other world stars. Review by Edwin Lam.

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From Cover to Cover –
ChessBase Magazine 120

Review by Edwin Lam Choong Wai

In this From Cover to Cover column, we will take a look at the latest ChessBase Magazine DVD. This has been an eagerly anticipated edition, as it contained the full annotations of all the games from the recently concluded World Chess Championship in Mexico by GM Mihail Marin. To those of you who had followed his excellent commentary coverage of all the Mexico world championship games on ChessBase.com, I do advise you to get hold of this CBM #120.

GM Marin’s initial commentaries on the ChessBase website during the duration of the Mexico tournament were made in a typical “real time” manner. But, here in CBM #120, GM Marin had more time to microscopically investigates each and every game in the tournament, and uncover novelties (for example, Leko’s tenth move Bg4 in his game against Morozevich from Round 7 as well as Anand’s 16th move, g6, in his Round 4 game also against Morozevich), subtleties and missed wins in the games from Mexico. GM Marin also analyses all the possible continuations and historically reviews all past moves in each critical game from the 2007 world championship.
 

Anand wins, while Shirov annotates…

Of course, the highlight of the Mexican world championship coverage in CBM #120 is Anand’s steady march towards the world title. And, rightfully so, GM Shirov chose to annotate one of Anand’s wins for CBM #120 – the exciting round two battle against Levon Aronian. Shirov’s commentaries were delivered using the ChessBase video format, and this is the first time I saw this attacking genius at work, analyzing a game. In the 27 minute video Shirov spoke very well (especially considering that English is not his mother tongue), and although he looked rather camera-shy – refusing to focus straight towards the camera – he was excellent throughout in his commentary and analysis of the game. I particularly liked his spontaneous spark of ideas as he walk the viewer through the moves. In fact, you can see throughout the video moments where he furrows his brow, thinking deeply in a certain position, and then coming up with his “But, I wait a minute…” expression.

It showed that he worked on the ideas over the board without any pre-prepared script. And, this is good for the viewer, as I noticed that Shirov did find some interesting possibilities for White in this variation (for example, White could have played 19.fxg4, instead of 19.Kh1 in the actual game, followed by 19…hxg4 20.Bd6 Qxh4 21.Rf4), which would have made Anand’s task harder than in the actual game. Also, one more point to note, is the suggestion of 21.fxg4 made by Shirov as an alternative to Aronian’s 21.Nd5 move. Shirov’s suggestion of transferring the white rook from d1 to h6 (via d6) seems dangerous for the black king considering the position of White’s queen on c2. Go and get the DVD to check out Shirov’s full analysis! Besides this game, Shirov presented another three videos in CBM #120, from his battles against Korchnoi, Ponomariov and Akopian in the Carlsbard tournament. Again, Shirov is excellent in his explanation of the openings and the analyses of the critical positions.


You can compare GM Mihail Marin's "real time" commentary with Shirov's studio analysis

Other highlights

The other highlights from this CBM #120 DVD includes ChessBase TV coverage of the World Championship with Kasimdzhanov and Gustafsson, game annotations by Magnus Carlsen, Van Wely, Radjabov and Onischuk from the 40th Biel Chess Festival, as well as Evgeny Alekseev and Inarkiev’ annotations from their victories in the Russia-China match.

But, that is not all. There are also Daniel King’s "Move by Move", Oliver Reeh’s Tactics, Karsten Muller’s Endgames and Rainer Knaak’s Opening Trap. Last, but not least, there are a dozen opening surveys contained in this CBM #120. From the English Defence to the Czech Benoni, Stonewall, Sicilian, Ruy Lopez and the King’s Indian, there is something here in the CBM #120 for everyone’s opening taste.

Verdict

With the spread of content from the world championships as well as instructional annotations and videos on the openings and endgames, this CBM #120 is suitable for chess lovers, enthusiasts, players and coaches, alike. It is even suitable for anyone who simply wants to collect a piece of the history – referring to none other than Anand’s triumph at the World Chess Championship.

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