The first step is always the best: the introduction by Karsten Müller
Karsten Müller’s fans will get their money’s worth right at the start. In his inimitable style, the grandmaster and mathematics PhD from Hamburg sweeps us through the highlights in his introductory video of this edition of the magazine. If you don’t have much time, this would be an excellent place to invest some of it to hear the professional Bundesliga player from the Hamburg club explain which articles should on no account be missed.
From the point of view of the tournament player: Dorian Rogozenko
In his introductory videos (both about 30 minutes), Romanian grandmaster Dorian Rogozenko surveys the most recent tournaments and the most important events in them from the point of view of a tournament player.
Supplementary report from Wijk aan Zee: Anand
For record winner Viswanathan Anand his appearance in Wijk was the first time he had taken part in a top tournament since his victory in the WCh in Mexico. However, right at the start the new World Champion surprisingly lost a game to Teimour Radjabov, but slowly fought his way back into the tournament to come in third. On his way there he convincingly defeated Topalov in round 8 and pressed hard against Kramnik on the latter’s favourite territory, the Petroff Defence – even if this game ended in a draw. Anand has annotated these two games for the readers of (and listeners to!) ChessBase Magazine. Perhaps you have already seen comments somewhere, but this is the only place in which you can hear the comments of the World Champion!
Italy is a land with a great tradition and outstanding personalities in music, art and sport. Chess is the only area where things have not yet gone quite so well. But thanks to Fabiano Caruana things are soon going to change. 15 years old at the moment, he has already been attracting interest for the last few years with his successes. His Elo rating is now around 2600 and will – according to the opinion of experts – rise to over 2700, a first for an Italian player. In Wijk he won the C-Tournament out of hand and he has annotated for us his games against Peng Zhaoqin and John van der Wiel.
And the world champion has something to tell you about this tournament too! With four victories tempered by only a single defeat, Anand controlled the Morelia and Linares tournament from the top of the table and won first prize. The top grandmaster annotates two of his victories in this issue of CBM and provides some additional spoken explanations. In his game with Black against Carlsen he first of all fought off the young Norwegian’s attack on the world summit. The subject of their discussion was the Anti-Moscow Variation which is in great contention these days.
Anand also managed a victory over Shirov with Black. Tired of the never ending series of English Attacks, some grandmasters – including Shirov – are again trying to achieve success with 6.Ag5. Perhaps the Latvian with the Spanish passport also had something up his sleeve in the Pawn Grab Variation. But Anand chose another route, improved on a game between Karjakin and Shirov and soon did some irreversible damage to White’s position with the typical exchange sacrifice on c3.
In the Morelia/Linares tournament the victor Anand only lost onegame: against Aronian. The Armenian once more proved correct the opinion that he is capable of beating any player on the planet. He managed this undertaking against Anand with the black pieces. In his first commentary for ChessBase Magazine, the previous winner of the World Cup annotates for our readers one of his games and he does so with great thoroughness. Anybody who plays the Marshall Attack should on no account miss these explanations.
It is now some years since Teimour Radjabov joined the circle of those players who get invited to super-tournaments. Who can forget how the youngster once defeated Kasparov in Linares? This time, in the circle of these super grandmasters (to which he now belongs), the ambitious young man could “only” manage a result of 50%. But he did so in an original way. After having breathed fresh life into the King’s Indian, the Jänisch Gambit in the Ruy Lopez is the latest opening for Radjabov to resuscitate. (In English language literature it is often called the Schliemann Gambit because they don’t have an “ä” on their keyboard.) However Radjabov has annotated for this issue two of his victories as White. Against Alexei Shirov the young Azerbaijani managed to box in a rook in the middle of the board. And the game against Magnus Carlsen, our otherwise so enterprising tactician, demonstrated his excellent endgame technique.
The Aeroflot Open was once the open tournament with the best field of all, but this year fell back a bit as far as the participation of really top players was concerned. However, with its unbelievable depth in strong pros, this tournament is an excellent arena for any ambitious player. Lots of Chinese players have learned tournament skills here. This time there were two young Germans at the start also: Falko Bindrich and Georg Meier. Fate ensured that Bindrich just had to meet two of his compatriots: Meier and Jussupow. The youngest German grandmaster has annotated these two games.
Ian Neponiachtchi, the winner of the said Aeroflot Open is a player with a name which is complicated for western tongues, but one we should be taking note of. The 17 year old with the steeply rising Elo curve is considered to be a great Russian talent. Perhaps he will be able to replace the present dominant generation of top young Russian players (Kramnik, Morozevich, Svidler)? Igor Stohl has annotated his game against Alexey Dreev which was an important one for his tournament victory. His win also brought “Nepo” a ticket to the Super-GM-Tournament in Dortmund.
Former U12-World Champion Boris Avrukh, born in1978 in Karaganda in Kazakhstan, is now one of the best players in Israel and has already represented Israel five times in chess olympiads. He has been a regular annotator ChessBase Magazine for a number of years. In this issue, he explains the games he played for Remagen in the Bundesliga against Gabriel Sargissian (Berlin-Kreuzberg) and Lubomir Ftacnik (Hamburg).
A strong colleague of Avrukh in the Israeli national team is Evgeny Postny, who is contracted to play for Katernberg in the Bundesliga. Postny too has annotated some of his games from the top German league. For example in his game against David Berczes he makes an interesting contribution to the subject of the transposition from the Slav Queen’s Gambit to the Catalan Opening. His game against Fedorchuk. is theroetically linked to that. Starting from a Catalan, Postny finally made a successful transposition to the Bogo-Indian.
There was a new entry in this year’s German tournament calendar: the 1st Pfalz Open in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, which saw an excellent field of participants. The winner was Tomasz Markowski. Evgeny Postny shared second place half a point behind with five other players in a field of some 200. For this issue of ChessBase Magazine he has annotated his games against Leonid Milov and Sergei Tiviakov. In the game against the latter, after only four moves there was a totally unknown position on the board.
Openings 1: Videos
Oliver Reeh presents in his video contributiona variation which you can employ against the Dragon without the need for great theoretical knowledge but which contains some attacking ideas. After 7.Ae2, 8.Dd2 and 9.0-0-0 then 9...d5 is no good for Black and so he must continue 9...Cxd4, 9...Ad7 or 9...Cg4. In all variations there are certain snares for Black to avoid, whereas White can actually quite unconcernedly play for an attack. However, the main advantage is that players of the black pieces will hardly have bothered about this line in their preparation and thus will soon be forced to stand on their own two feet.
Andrew Martin has for years been known as an author who keeps on finding new ideas in openings and who can present them in telling fashion. For our new opening column he has taken on the Alekhine Defence, which has been coming back to life with the variation: 1.e4 Cf6 2.e5 Cd5 3. d4 d6. 4.Cf3 dxe5 5.Cxe5 and then 5...c6. Andrew presents theTopalov - Carlsen game und presents in a second Video all the other lines of the topic. So this is also an addition to his Fritztrainer DVD on the Alekhine Defence. German-speaking friends of the Alekhine are also referred to the DVD by GM Thomas Luther.
Openings 2: Theory
The Alekhine Defence is also mentioned in the theory articles. Magnus Carlsen’s victory over Topalov in Morelia/Linares has given new impetus and brought new popularity to this defence. The Norwegian reminds us of Robert Fischer not only in his choice of this opening but also in the manner in which he won the game. From time to time Carlsen’s moves contain the same sheer power with which Fischer also calmly destroyed his opponents. In our theory section, Dorian Rogozenko also turns to the subject of the Topalov - Carlsen game and provides it with further comments and supplementary annotated games. The Hungarian openings expert Tibor Karolyi extends this subject with a survey of the Four Pawns Variation.
While Magnus Carlsen was rendering such excellent service to the Alekhine Defence, Teimour Radjabov was hard at work in the Ruy Lopez, the Jänisch Gambit (3...f5). So, why not? Everybody knows how to play against the Petroff, but how does the Jänisch Gambit go then? In Morelia/Linares, 4.d3 was up for debate. White avoided the main line after 4.Cc3. In fact, apparently Black does not have too many problems here after 4...dxe4 5.Cxe4 Cf6 nor after 6.Cxf6 nor even after 6.De2. Evgeny Postny describes the state of theory in his article.
The ever-diligent Mihail Marin has two opening articles in this issue of CBM. On one hand, he looks into the state of things in the old main line of the Benoni Defence (White plays Cf3 and Ae2, Black Cbd7). Like the Alekhine Defence, this too was employed successfully in his day by Fischer as a surprise weapon against Spassky. In his second article, Mihail Marin adds to his article in CBM121 on the Rio de Janeiro Variation of the Ruy Lopez, a line which is related to the Berlin Variation.
Many d4-players find the Slav Defence a problem. You either get the super solid genuine Slav Queen’s Gambit, which is hard to bypass, or Black chooses the sharper Semi Slav and White sometimes ends up with unpleasant problems. One possibility to dictate the course of events yourself is offered to White by a transposition to the Catalan opening. One way is 4.Cbd2 to be followed possibly by 5.g3. Efstratios Grivas has sent us a survey of this shadowy terrain between the Slav and the Catalan.
In another two articles Dorian Rogozenko and Igor Stohl show other ways in which White can leave the great motorways of opening theory to find shady lanes for his own games. Rogozenko presents a Fianchetto System against the King’s Indian, Stohl looks into a Anti-Grünfeld System of the English Opening, in which the queen’s excursion to a4 has a part to play.
Middlegame: Tactics, Fischer
In his tactics videoOliver Reeh presents the combination fromthe tactics columnwhich our presenter of TV-ChessBase most liked. He invites all the spectators to join him in solving it. Even if you cannot find the time to solve the tactical exercises in the database, you should on no account miss this highlight of chess entertainment.
In his column Daniel King provides (from a certain point onwards) every move of one side with a training question. There is feedback for all plausible answers and points are awarded. This means that you can have a training situation almost like an actual game while sitting alone at your computer. The game selected for this issue is Fischer - Reshevsky, Santa Monica 1966. In addition, this time King has recorded Fischer - Weinstein, 1963, in Fritztrainer-Format (both in German and English language).
And last but certainly not least: Endgames
Lots of people can play good chess, but it is the understanding of the endgame that makes the master. So runs an old proverb in chess. Since Karsten Müller took up this subject, endgames have completely lost the lingering odour of complications, hard work and boredom. His video lectures do not require any laborious setting up of positions such as is the case when playing them over from books and thanks to his enthusiastic lecturing style everything becomes easy to remember. You will not easily forget these endgame videos.
Peter Wells: Strategy
In his strategy column Peter Wells presents the second part of his article on the theme of “Some thoughts about the complexity of personal style”.
Rainer Knaak: Opening trap
This column is designed to complement the product “1000 Opening traps”. New or as yet undiscovered traps are presented in it. This time it is the turn of the Sicilian Wing Gambit.
The two Argentinian correspondence chess GMs Alvarez and Morgado have put together a database containing seven texts with news and over 6000 new games, 29 of which they have annotated themselves.
In our introductions to new products we also include Fritztrainer clips from the DVDs, for example from Alexei Shirov’s DVD “My best games with Black”.
This new column contains for the first time videos in Fritztrainer format about specific openings articles. Andrew Martin’s contribution takes a look at a modern variation of the Alekhine Defence. Oliver Reeh introduces a system against the Dragon.