"Pure gold" - Davide Nastasio reviews ChessBase Magazine #205

by Davide Nastasio
2/6/2023 – The ChessBase Magazine appears six times a year and shows the latest trends in top level chess and opening theory. However, the issues do not get old: the first issue of 2023 is CBM #211, but Davide Nastasio recently had great fun looking at CBM #205. In an impromptu review he writes: every issue of the ChessBase Magazine "is pure gold for those genuinely interested in growing as chess players".

ChessBase Magazine 205 ChessBase Magazine 205

"Special" on Robert Huebner with analyses and videos on strategy and endgame. Firouzja, Oparin, Predke, Sevian, Vitiugov and others comment on their games from the Grand Swiss 2021. Opening videos by Kasimdzhanov, Ragger and Marin. 11 Opening articles


Chessbase Magazine 205!

It’s exciting for me to see how my favorite training tool can be downloaded in less than 3 minutes!! 3 GB of intense chess training on my HD and ready to go on a Saturday morning I don’t have to go to work, and I can finally enjoy every drop of chess wisdom given to me by professionals like Robert Ris with his move by move analysis of a game,

which is quite helpful. It’s like entering into the mind of a top chess player. Yes, the move by move invites you to guess what the next move played will be, and this guessing back and forth, with the right feedback by Ris will help an amateur or club player to understand the difference in thinking, evaluating and calculating lines compared to a pro.

Then of course I love to follow the "Tune your tactics" column which in my opinion is more focused than the usual tactic trainers based on engines which find a difference in scores about a position and present the position. Here we have Oliver Reeh who presents different themes from a good variety of games.

One advantage of the ChessBase Magazine over paper magazines is the amount of positions given, in this issue there are multiple positions coming from 37 games, and the orientation of the diagram is from the side which should play, when in books for the laziness of authors and publishers, they all give White's perspective.

Imagine in the following position, Black missed a simple tactic, and he’s rated 2400+ hence the need to practice more tactics!

In the position below Oliver Reeh asks us: if White plays Qxh6, what happens after Rxg2?

It seems there are recurring squares in chess where a massacre happens! LOL

And then, of course, at a certain level games are won or drawn thanks to endgame skills, so the ChessBase author I always run to listen to is GM Karsten Mueller, with his deep endgame wisdom. This issue is about rook endgames, and I believe they are a MUST for every player aspiring to the Master title. GM Mueller gives 44 endgames, taken from games, which I believe are a good amount of material for the chess player aspiring to learn them.

Dr. Robert Huebner played some very interesting endgames. Here is one example, which I found extremely interesting, and which could be given to a chess student for training.

Black just played 54…Kc8, which is a mistake, Black could have drawn with 54…Kd8, but give this position to a friend and ask to analyze it and prove the draw, it will not be easy. White now plays a winning move, guess move 55 by White, and prove with analysis how he can win.

Personally I feel grateful to these chess trainers who poured so much of themselves and their chess knowledge into this and other issues of ChessBase Magazine (I’m definitely behind with my chess reading, ChessBase just issued ChessBase Magazine 211! But everyone of their magazines is pure gold for those genuinely interested in growing as chess players).

Issue 205 of ChessBase Magazine ends with 2288 Top Master level games which can satisfy everyone’s need for knowing the latest trends in opening’s theory, while at the same time giving us a chance to follow and replay the latest games of the players we love (there are more than 40 annotated games from top players like Firouzja). I love the training format of this magazine and I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings of a Saturday morning with my fellow chess players who are also preparing for tournaments, or just trying to improve in chess!

I’d like to end this impromptu article with a game I commented lightly, because in it we can see the magic of top level chess!



This review first appeared on Davide Nastasio's blog Chess News and Views. Reprinted with kind permission.

More about ChessBase Magazine...

Davide is a novel chess aficionado who has made chess his spiritual tool of improvement and self-discovery. One of his favorite quotes is from the great Paul Keres: "Nobody is born a master. The way to mastery leads to the desired goal only after long years of learning, of struggle, of rejoicing, and of disappointment..."