Sergei Tiviakov: No fear of 1.d4 (Vol. 2)

3/21/2012 – "A competitive player always needs a back-up opening for when things just aren't going right or you know your opponent is booked-up on your pet line," writes Setven Dowd in Chess Cafe. "The Nimzo-Indian is my back-up opening. That is why I particularly wanted to review this DVD and I was not disappointed." This new Fritz Trainer includes a database of 360,000 Nimzo-Indian games.

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Sergei Tiviakov: No fear of 1.d4 (Vol. 2)

Review by Steven B. Dowd

No Fear of 1. d4! Vol. 2, Nimzo-Indian (DVD), Sergei Tiviakov, ChessBase, Playing Time: 5 hours, 36 minutes. $34.95 (ChessCafe Price: $28.95)

A competitive player always needs a back-up opening for when things just aren't going right or you know your opponent is "booked-up" on your pet line. The Nimzo-Indian is my back-up opening. It is a defense that stresses active play while remaining positionally sound. This was one reason I particularly wanted to review this DVD and I was not disappointed. Tiviakov is a lifelong player of the Nimzo-Indian, and is an enthusiastic presenter. Included on the DVD is a database of 360,000 Nimzo-Indian games, a database of all Nizmo-Indian games played by the author, and a database of selected, annotated Nimzo-Indian games.

Tiviakov is also a very honest presenter and notes your repertoire won't be complete unless you also buy Volume One of this series, covering the Catalan and Queen's Indian. The one great weakness of the trainer is that almost all the real analysis starts in the middlegame. So, those who have no experience in the opening may be disappointed.

There also seems to be too much focus on specific moves rather than the ideas behind the opening. Recent trainers have all explored ideas in greater depth than this one, and I believe that to be a very good thing. This makes the DVD less useful for lower-rated players. who need to learn the ideas first, and for players who, like me, were never good at memorizing opening sequences (and age hasn't helped). When Tiviakov does hit on an idea, it is brief and quickly over with comments such as, "White cannot organize an advance of the pawn majority." Just a few seconds on the "why" would have been of great assistance. A big help in understanding why a line was equal or better for one side is to explore the lines with Fritz.

Where ideas are given more attention is in the late opening and early middlegame structures. For example, the real analysis and discussion occurs at move fourteen in the following game:

[Event "Voronezh"] [Site "?"] [Date "1986.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Obukhov"] [Black "Tiviakov"] [Result "0-1"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1b1r1k1/ppq2ppp/2n2n2/2p5/3PP3/P2B1N2/2Q2PPP/R1B2RK1 b - - 0 14"] [PlyCount "21"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [SourceDate "2012.03.22"] {Black played} 14... Bg4 $1 {The game continued} 15. Qxc5 (15. e5 Bxf3 16. exf6 Nxd4 17. Bxh7+ Kh8 18. fxg7+ Kxg7 19. Bb2 Rad8 20. gxf3 Rh8 21. Kh1 Rxh7 22. Rg1+ Kh8 23. Rg3 Qe5 24. Rag1 Rh4 $6 25. Qc1 $1 {with the idea of Qf1-g2.} (25. f4 Qe7 26. f3 {as a means of line-clearance to get the white queen to g2 looks even better to me.}) 25... Kh7 (25... Qh5 {may hold.}) 26. Qb1+ Kh8 27. Qf1 { and White is winning, as in the famous loss by Garry Kasparov against Sokolov at Wijk aan Zee, 1999.}) 15... Bxf3 $1 16. gxf3 Qd7 17. d5 Ne5 18. Be2 Qh3 19. Qe3 Nxd5 20. exd5 Ng6 21. Qg5 Rxe2 22. Qg4 Qxg4+ 23. fxg4 Re4 24. Rd1 Rxg4+ { and Black won the endgame, his advantage is clear.} 0-1

This DVD is a good investment if you are serious about the Nimzo-Indian and can follow the theoretical lines in this depth. A lower-rated player should consult a book that covers the basic ideas of the opening before proceeding. At about 1600, you can probably digest everything the presenter gives you with multiple viewings. Recommended, with the above reservations.

My assessment of this product: Good (four out of six stars)


Video sample: No fear of 1.d4! Vol. 2 - Nimzo-Indian

Sergei Tiviakov, roving reporter

Sergei Tiviakov, born in 1973 in Krasnodar (Soviet Union), was a member of the Smyslov school and gained the titles of World Youth Champion at the U16 and U18 levels. In the PCA World Championships he reached the Candidates' Matches in 1994; in the same year he represented Russia in the Chess Olympiads. Although he has considered himself a professional chess player since 1989, Tiviakov also finished a degree in agricultural economics. Since 1997 Tiviakov has been living in Groningen and has become a naturalised citizen of the Netherlands. With his new home country he won the title in the European Teams Championships in both 2001 and 2005, and was victorious in the championship of the Netherlands in 2006 and 2007. Tiviakov celebrated his biggest success in 2008, when he won the Individual European Championship.

The author of our latest DVD has a professional hobby: to play in tournaments in distant, geographically and culturally interesting places. He not only descends on exotic locations, usually winning the tournament – he also finds time to take a large number of pictures and send us reports with descriptions of what he has seen. Here is a selection of recent articles:

Tiviakov wins First Panama Chess Open
09.11.2011 – Do not ask us how he does it – we have no idea! But Dutch GM Sergei Tiviakov somehow manages to (1) travel to the most exotic places in the world, (2) win the tournaments staged there, and (3) send us a huge batch of photos he has taken during his stay. Here are his pictorial impressions of a rare Middle American event, and the solution to our Panama Canal quiz question.
Tiviakov wins 5th Leiden Chess Tournament
18.07.2011 – One round before the end it looked as though Predrag Nikolic would wrap it up. But the Bosnian GM had to face his closest rival, GM Sergey Tiviakov of Holland, who won the crucial game and the tournament. Sergey not only did that, but periodically supplied us with pictures from Leiden and, this time, Scheveningen, where a famous opening was invented. Final report.
Tiviakov wins and reports on the Eforie Nord Festival
02.07.2011 – This event was marred by a warning issued by the Romanian Chess Federation that the tournament had not been sanctioned and organisers were not to be trusted. The final winner, GM Sergey Tiviakov said that he was well treated and received good conditions. The Black Sea venue was spectacular and Sergey went on not just to win the tournament but also send us this beautiful pictorial report.
Chess and general impressions from Luanda
22.05.2011 – The CUCA International Chess in Angola's capital of Luanda is a generously staged event in an exotic part of the world. We have problems coming by the games, but two of the participants, Romanian-born WGM Alina l'Ami and GM Sergey Tiviakov, originally Russia – both now live in Holland – took time off to explore the town and its culture. From them we have received this giant pictorial report.
CUCA International in Angola
18.05.2011 – In a sign of the enormous reconstruction efforts being made in Angola, the CUCA international Chess event is being held in the capital Luanda. The Open brought star chess globetrotters, Nigel Short and Sergey Tiviakov, not to mention the generous prize fund, and the Women's event has also been given its due. With his tireless camera, here is a large pictorial by Sergey Tiviakov.
Tiviakov wins 19th Fajr Open – and goes caving!
10.03.2011 – In another display of Iran's vibrant chess community, after the recent world records set in giant simuls, the 19th Fajr Open was held, bringing together 25 GMs, 15 IMs and 10 FMs. This event allows Iranian players a rare opportunity to seek title norms in their home country. It was won by Sergey Tiviakov. No games are available, but Sergei sent us underground photographic impressions.
19th Fajr Open under way
28.02.2011 – This exotic open tournament is staged regularly in the north-western part of Iran, very close to eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, southern Armenia and Azerbaijan. Amongst the participants are 25 GMs, 15 IMs and 10 FMs. Nine GMs are rated 2600+. After three rounds there are 24 players with perfect scores. One of them, GM Sergey Tiviakov, sent us this pictorial report from Fajr.
Wijk 04: Ivanchuk beats van Wely, Shirov wins yet again
19.01.2010 – Vassily Ivanchuk needed 26 moves to finish off Loek van Wely. Magnus Carlsen had Nigel Short on the ropes, but let the British GM escape with a draw. Kramnik was in trouble against Tiviakov but survived. Alexei Shirov scored his fourth win in succession, to lead with a 4.0/4 score and a 3483 performance. You'd think that was a record, but he will have to win the next five games to do that. Curious?
Tiviakov takes Univé Hoogoveen with a single win
24.10.2009 – Certainly an unusual four-player double round robin. In this "Crown Group" all games but one were draw, so that the winner of that game, Dutch GM Sergei Tiviakov, came in first, and the loser, Judit Polgar, last. Vassily Ivanchuk and Anish Giri scored 50%. In the Univé Open English GM Steward Haslinger was first by a full point. Final report.
Drozdovskij, wins Bhubaneswar Open
18.06.2009 – The First SCS International Open GM tournamnent hosted more than 80 title holders, was held in the state of Orissa, India. Five players tied for first, with Ukrainian GM Yuri Drozdovskij taking first on tiebreak points. We bring you games and results, plus a spectacular travelogue on this very popular tourist spots in India by GM Sergey Tiviakov. Enjoy the temples and animals.
ChessBase photo reporter Tiviakov wins Politiken Cup
28.07.2008 – He spends an inordinate amount of time taking pictures, selecting and sorting them, giving them proper file names, so that the editors can make proper reports. Somewhere in the middle of it all Dutch GM Sergey Tiviakov finds time to actually participate, play his games – and even to win. He took the Politiken Cup 2008 in Helsingør, Denmark on tiebreak points. Illustrated (of course) report.
IV Torneo Internacional Abierto de Ajedrez “Alajuela 2008”
14.07.2008 – We ask you: is it polite to belch sulfurous steam, smoke and ash behind a strong grandmaster? Well that is what Volcan Poaz, just a few meters higher than Sergey Tiviakov's Elo rating, did in Costa Rica, where the the Alajuela chess event was held. We don't have all the games, but we did get some spectacular images, including GM Tiviakov's impressions of tropical Central America.
Dominguez Perez wins the 43rd Capablanca Memorial
22.05.2008 – It was the 43rd edition of a great and prestigeous event, and was won by Cuba's top GM Lenier Dominguez Perez, who took clear first with 6.0/9 points. Unfortunately no games are yet available from Havana, Cuba, where the event took place. But: we have received splendid pictures and impressions from one of the players. Enjoy part one of Sergey Tiviakov's pictorial report from Cuba.
The fascinating Maroczy System
16.11.2007 – Sergei Tiviakov is not only one of the leading Dutch grandmasters but also a fighter for creative chess – for instance in the Sicilian Maroczy system, which is the topic of one of his new training DVDs. As John Donaldson put it in his review, "no one in the world understands the Black side of the Maroczy as well as Tiviakov". Buy 'The Marcozy System' now or read more.
IV Calvia Chess Festival in Magaluf
15.10.2007 – This annual event started on October 6th (with an amateur open). It is taking place in Majorca, which is part of the Balearic Islands archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Which means the climate is balmy and the landscape lush. The big International Open begins today, with lots of grandmasters. One of them, Sergey Tiviakov of Holland, has submitted a pictorial report.
Chinese dragon wins Canadian Open
16.07.2007 – Chinese super-GM Bu Ziangzhi is a man of few words, but many powerful moves. He demonstrated his class last week at the 2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. In a field crowded with more than twenty GMs, including Nigel Short, Vadim Milov, Sergey Tiviakov and Kamil Miton, Bu finished clear first. Big illustrated report.
Tomsk wins the Russian Team Championships
13.05.2007 – The team from Tomsk-400 won the Russian Team Championship with a perfect 9/9 score. The victorious team included Morozevich, Jakovenko, Karjakin, Kasimdzhanov and Bologan. Second was Ural Ekaterinburg, which fielded Radjabov, Grischuk, Shirov and Akopian. Big photo report by Sergey Tiviakov, who for some reason mainly concentrated on the women's section.
Russian Team Championships in Sochi
03.05.2007 – Two high-class fields of men's and two of women's teams are competing, with ten GMs rated over 2700. With Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Gelfand, Grischuk, Radjabov, Karpov and Korchnoi. Our photo correspondent GM Sergei Tiviakov has sent us a first batch of pictures, mysteriously only from the women's section. You will see some well-known and some new faces. Enjoy.

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