Understanding how to use pawns and how to handle different pawn structures are important topics for young or improving players to consider. On this new ChessBase DVD. IM and FIDE Senior Trainer Andrew Martin investigates the notion that ‘pawns are the soul of chess’ and tries to explain exactly what this means. The effective use of pawns in the opening leads to the correct development of the pieces and a good game springs naturally from there. The pawn structure must be considered throughout the game and this is something that Martin also touches upon. The viewer will be treated to a tour of excellent games, both old and new, many from the period 2012-2014, which highlight key ideas about the correct use of pawns and from which one cannot fail to improve one’s technique. Thus this DVD is ideal for players below 1800 or indeed ambitious players of any level.
26.670 games played between August and October 2014
If you want to know an opening, you should understand its typical positional ideas and plans. It is also good to remember variations. But this is not enough. You should also know the typical tactical motifs or your opening. This trio of strategy, variations, and tactics forms a conscious and subconscious image in the mind and helps you to find the right moves. The Grünfeld Defense is an active opening, which often leads to sharp, double-edged play, and tense tactical fights. Therefore the tactical part of the Grünfeld-image is extremely important and should be steadily developed. The most effective, timeproven way to develop tactical abilities, imagination, and the ability to calculate variations, is practice. Poets say, “No day without a line”, aspiring chessplayers should say “No day without tactical exercise”. The 70 exercises on this DVD are taken from grandmaster games and show tactical ideas that are typical for the Grünfeld. The positions are arranged according to difficulty, starting with easy positions, in which the solution is almost “lying on the surface”, and ending with positions, in which even top GMs had problems to find the right move at the board (but try yourself and enjoy the beauty of hidden “chess jewels”). You will not be disappointed!
Especially suitable for strong club players!
It is easy to understand why the English opening is very popular at all levels, from club player up to Grandmaster level. The variations are less forcing and superior chess skill is required to outwit your opponents in the middlegame. In the English, white plays 1.c4 and fianchettos the white kings bishop to g2. Like all good chess openings, this fights for control of the centre and posts the ‘English Bishop’ on the long diagonal g2-a8. Many people view the opening as rather dull, but this is a misnomer-in fact, there are many sharp pawn sacrifices and attacking lines which have been found in recent times which give the opening some bite. As such, the English Opening is an opening that can suit a wide range of playing styles. Success in the English is based upon understanding the plans and ideas available within this interesting opening. The games in this DVD will provide with exactly that-the armoury to play the English Opening as white with confidence! Includes all of blacks main responses to the English Opening 1.c4:
1) 1.c4 e5
2) 1.c4 c5 Symmetrical English
3) 1.c4 setups against Slav, Kings Indian, Grunfeld
4) 1.c4 b6 and other minor lines
„My first DVD focused on various strategic middlegame themes and concepts, but in this second installment, the focus is on tactics – for after all, strategy and tactics go hand in hand, and playing strategically often leads to a resounding combinative finish. But for that to happen, you have to be able to build up positions through which tactics can flow – and this is exactly what I have illustrated on the DVD with a number of examples. The aim of this course is to help you understand how you to make tactical opportunities arise as well as to sharpen your tactical vision - these selected lectures will help to foster your overall tactical understanding. You can never spend too little time solving combinations and studies to improve your calculating abilities!“
Lubomir Ftacnik complements his popular Scheveningen DVD with fresh material for training tactical themes. The world’s most popular opening, the Sicilian defense (played in more than 50% of all games!) rises and falls with attack, fantasy and combinations. The ability to spot a tactical opportunity, calculate variations and choose the best line decides the game in sharp Sicilian positions and, even on its own, is a skill worth having. The new interactive features in ChessBase make it possible to view every position through the eyes of grandmaster with subtle hints that help you to find the best idea. You still get praise for choosing the second best solution, of course, but you also get another chance to appreciate the full depth and beauty of 79 rich, colorful and carefully selected tactical examples from the games of top players. Every opening bears its own strategic hallmarks, typical endgames and quite naturally, its own stock of tactical motives. Scheveningen structures subtly unite and help to explain problems in many of the varied forms of the Sicilian – ranging from the Paulsen variation, all the way through to sharp forms of the Najdorf. The same goes for its natural tactical richness, attacking combinations and possibilities for counterplay. All players meeting the Sicilian with White or playing it with Black will be entertained, surprised and their knowledge enriched by spending moments with this selection of the best tactical positions. The dust of Sicilian tactical magic will be sure to rub off on you, making you a more versatile and dangerous opponent.
Chess Olympiad Tromsø: China wins gold and does so very convincingly. Participating players have annotated their games: Yu Yangyi, Kramnik, Laznicka, Negi, Sasikiran and many more.
Tromsø Special: Daniel Kings analyses the „Game of the Day“ for each round, Rustam Kasimdzhanov shows two of his games in video format. Several hours of ChessBase TV videos, which were recorded in situ with outstanding players and trainers.
Sinquefield Cup Saint Louis: 7 out of 7 by Fabiano Caruana, to finish on 8.5 out of 10 – that is an Elo performance of 3107. A historic tournament!
Hans Suri Memorial Biel: Masime Vachier-Lagrave continued his good form and won with 6 out of 10. The tournament winner has annotated his game against Motylev, Plus ten daily summaries by Daniel King in video format.
11 topical opening articles:
Stohl: English Flohr-Mikenas Variation
Rotstein: Old Indian 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.Nf3 c6
Antic: Benoni Fianchetto Variation 11.Bf4
Havasi: Modern Defence 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3
Krasenkow: Closed Sicilian
Postny: Sicilian Paulsen 6.Nxc6
Szabo: Sicilian English Attack
Müller: King’s Gambit à la Quaade – Part 1
Breder: Ruy Lopez Four Knights 4...Nd4
Kuzmin: Queen’s Pawn Game 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bf4
Marin: Nimzo-Indian 4.e3
Ftacnik: Anti-Grünfeld Defence - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3
Marin: Bird Opening - 1.b3 Nf6 2.Bb2 e6 3.e3 b6 4.f4 Bb7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Bd3 c5 7.0-0
Shirov: Reti Opening - 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 Nd7
• 35.205 games (from June to August 2014)
• Tournaments: FIDE Women Grand-Prix (Lake Lopota, Georgia) won by Yifan Hou, Swedish Championship, Rosmalen Calder Cup, and much more.
• Video training:
Alexei Shirov shows a game against Andrei Volokitin in the Kalashnikov variation of the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5). After a strategic beginning the game became very dynamic. According to Shirov the move 6.c4 in this line is often underestimated!
Valeri Lilov was very impressed by the game Jobava-Mamedyarov, Beijing 2012. The first moves – 1.b3 Nf6 2.Bb2 g6 3.Bxf6 exf6 – were unusual, and the further course of the game was unusual as well. Particularly noteworthy: the final attack on the king!
Robert Ris shows a classic: Chigorin-Zukertort, played in London 1883, a tournament, which Zukertort won with a great margin and ahead of Steinitz.
Komodo is a chess program that is different from the rest. Its search makes greater use of extensions than any other top engine, which allows Komodo to often see deeper than the others, even if it is displaying a slightly lower search depth. The evaluation differs from its main rivals because it represents a blend of both automated tuning and the judgment of a grandmaster and computer expert (Larry Kaufman). Fully automated evaluations are subject to rather large sample error, and applying some chess judgment is beneficial, both in results and in the reasonableness of reported evaluations.
Komodo is primarily known for superb positional play. Of course it is also one of the the top few engines in tactical strength, but the programmers have not been willing to sacrifice positional play just to score better on tactical problem sets. All good engines are far stronger tactically than any human player, but when positional judgment is involved, top grandmasters are still superior. Therefore it makes sense to emphasize positional play rather than tactical skill; it is better to improve one's weakest point rather than just to further improve the strongest feature.
Komodo is especially useful for opening analysis, because its grandmaster programmer has always made sure that the program's evaluations agree in general with accepted theory. Komodo also excels in the evaluation of positions with material imbalance, which it handles more correctly than other top engines. The endgame of Komodo has been improved by the use of Syzygy tablebases, which provide only the most essential information to save time and memory.
Another unique feature of Komodo is its superior performance when using eight or more cores. There is little doubt that Komodo 8 will be the top rated commercial chess engine on most rating lists.
The Veresov ( 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bg5) is little-played and understood when we compare it to other queen’s pawn openings, like the Trompowsky, Torre Attack and London system. As such it can be a very dangerous weapon in the right hands. Very few club or amateur players will be properly prepared to play against it. The Veresov is an attacking opening, based on quick minor-piece development followed by effective pawn levers to open the game. Many strong grandmasters have used the Veresov as a surprise weapon, including Spassky, Tal, Bronstein, Alburt and Gufeld. Modern exponents include Miladinovic and Jonny Hector, with whom the Veresov is a special favourite. On this all-new ChessBase DVD Andrew Martin introduces the opening and discusses how the main themes work. After that comes a selection of repertoire choices. Finally, there is a quiz, where you may test yourself about what you have learned. This DVD is an ideal introduction to this opening for players below 2000 or busy players who would like to play aggressive chess, but do not have time to learn the main lines. The Veresov is worth studying and playing!