Simon Williams: Most amazing moves

11/19/2014 – Chess is often beautiful when you encounter unexpected, surprising, stunning, amazing moves, moves that seem hard to believe. The English Grandmaster Simon Williams has always enjoyed the beauty of the amazing in chess and on his new ChessBase DVD he now presents the "Most amazing moves" he came across in his career. Entertaining and instructive.

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A gallery of chess masterpieces

Review by Priyadarshan Banjan

"Perhaps you have heard about this game, which so excited the spectators that they 'showered me with gold pieces!' I have often been asked whether this really happened. The answer is - yes, that is what happened, literally!"

- Frank Marshall in his book My Fifty Years of Chess (New York, 1942)

Most amazing moves is amongst the latest additions to the new set of interactive Fritztrainer DVDs from ChessBase. This DVD hosted by the creative English Grandmaster Simon Williams is aimed at players of varied skill levels. Chess, according to Williams, is a subjective sport. As chess players, your basic goal is to win the game you play. However, you cannot deny the fact that deep inside, you often have the craving to create a work of art, your masterpiece which you can cherish for your lifetime.

(Excerpt from the book Marshall's Chess Swindles) Source: chesshistory.com

You appreciate the beauty of a painting or music because there is something about it that enchants you. If you ask GM Simon Williams, it's these amazing chess moves, or rather the quest to find beautiful ideas, that makes him play chess. I'm sure it's not different for you as a chess player. Who would not love to be in the position Frank Marshall was as he described above!

"It's really a DVD about thinking outside the box. In a way, it is different from what a lot of DVDs are...
These are the most amazing moves in chess; here you have to think a bit wildly." - Simon Williams (Introduction)

Packed with a range of ideas, from those which are common and occur in your tournament games regularly to moves that are simply out of this world, Most Amazing Moves is virtually a chess gallery displaying to you some of the finest works of art, in the form of breathtaking ideas and moves. The DVD is basically structured in a puzzle format, where GM Williams in his relaxed manner explains the build-up to the critical position and then asks you to work your way through the intricacies of the position and find an amazing move, an amazing idea that transforms into a move that is normally too absurd to even think of! In other words, what Simon does here is that he forces you to really think outside the box, in a way you normally don't, and makes you exceed your own limits.

You might wonder what is different about this DVD than let's say a book on tactics or solving positions on the Internet. Well, a collection of tactics stresses on the result, focusing on the objectively correct move and the motif on which it is based. In contrast, this DVD persuades you to find the amazing idea and the move while at the same time pointing out how you should go about thinking in such positions. This ability to be on your toes and remain creative is what after all will let you compose such tactics.  The 'how' factor combined with its interactive feature will make your learning process extremely pleasant in a real-time basis. Indeed your experience will be that of receiving personalised coaching from a grandmaster!

Believe it or not, in the above position, it is Black to play.

The main DVD in total consists of 37 video segments, all of which are presented in the interactive format. Broadly speaking, the DVD can be divided as follows:

  • positional amazing moves,
  • tactical amazing moves,

In the course of this DVD, GM Williams will treat you with positions which are pictures of beauty; some of which might leave you in utter disbelief! The selection of games for the presentation is a combination of old classics and modern masterpieces. In the first part of the DVD, he focuses mostly on positional sacrifices or amazing moves. As GM Williams continually stresses during the video segments, some of these moves are simply beyond the cold calculations of even the best chess engines.

The second part of this DVD is more concrete in nature. Here, you are asked to calculate moves and find tactical resources which often are the only way to survive in the given positions. Special attention is paid to the concept of queen sacrifices. What can be more aesthetically pleasing than her majesty the queen herself acting as a kamikaze!

Position after 14. Qxe6, Ivanchuk-Karjakin, Amber 2008. 1-0 in 49 moves. (!!)
What do you think is the above position, if not a work of art?!

Simon Williams believes firmly that the best way for you to learn a concept is through its repetition. His point is that these ideas which you learn by looking at the amazing moves played by others often prove to be a serious asset in your own games. To get his point across he has used his own games as examples, where he uses the idea he himself learnt from the model games. The excitement and pleasure with which he presents these games just shows how deeply he loves chess.

 

You might use an engine to get through your analysis in the comfort of your home. However, in the heat of the competition, it is always your imagination and creativity which helps you find your moves. A diligent study of this DVD will make you confident enough to find ‘that amazing move' even in your own games! This is the strong point about this DVD. It will make you work on the chess board seriously and at the same time provide you with pleasure and joy, the kind only Caissa can award to its devotees.

The DVD comes packed with an Extra database which is exercise material in itself. This database is a collection of 50 games which are presented in an interactive format too. You are supposed to find a tactic, amazing in itself, within a time limit of five minutes. It is like a training drill of tactics for you to solve and benefit from.

A question will be posed to you asking for your imaginative solution.
With the timer running on the background, exercising
your creativity will be fun!

The primary aim of this DVD was to make you enjoy chess and acquaint you with a plethora of ideas which you may have not known before. This DVD, largely thanks to GM Williams witty and lovable style of studying and enjoying chess, achieves its aim, with some quality material presented for you. During your studies, Williams makes sure that you are not too bogged down in the complications of the study material by occasionally sharing some amusing anecdotes. This adds a certain flavour to the games he is presenting, especially his own ones.

It is understandable that one DVD is too little a space to cover the mind-boggling amount of beautiful moves played in the history of chess. This DVD does a fine job of introducing you to some of the most beautiful monuments of the game and at the same time make it practically feasible for a serious student to learn from. This as you may agree is a very tough balancing act to achieve. But the DVD manages to do that, I believe. It attempts to highlight games and concepts which are classics in their own right, yet are not over-analysed in chess literature. It then follows up these classics with modern examples from GM William's own practice. However, it was amusing to note that despite being titled Most amazing noves, there were no games by the Latvian genius Mikhail Tal present in the main DVD! But that does not in any manner affect the quality of this DVD, which remains thoroughly enjoyable the way it is.

Most Amazing Moves is a DVD which can be thoroughly enjoyed by players of skill level 1500 elo rating and above with ease and pleasure. It is a rare combination of quality analysis of the chess masterpieces and yet at the same time appreciates the beauty and charm of our amazing game! You will agree that this will be a sparkling addition to your collection of chess gems!

I rate this DVD 5/6 stars. It is heartily recommended because it is a rare work synchronising work and pleasure, which is after all what chess means to us!

Simon Williams:
Most Amazing Moves

• Video running time: 5 hours 30 minutes
• With interactive training including video feedback
• Exclusive training database with 50 selected games
• Including CB 12 Reader

€29.90
€25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
$29.65 (without VAT)

ISBN-978-3-86681-447-9

This DVD can be purchased as a hard copy or it can be downloaded directly from the Internet, that way sparing you the few days needed for it to arrive by post.

Order this Fritztrainer in the ChessBase Shop

Sample Video: Simon Williams: Most Amazing Moves

 


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