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People in Greenland can differentiate between 36 kinds of snow; the Swedish International Master Ari Ziegler will teach you to differentiate between 20 kinds of exchange sacrifice. His systematic approach to exchange sacrifices will rapidly enhance your understanding of one of the most exciting and difficult aspects of chess. Your widened horizon will help you to be able to follow the games of top GMs better and also to see more options in your own positions, which in turn will improve your chess results.
1...d6 can be used as a universal defence against every White opening, offering Black the kind of dynamic play that is absent from more traditional defences. If White eschews the chance to occupy the center with e2-e4 and d2-d4 it is often Black who gains space early on, and this can be used as the basis for a powerful attack on the kingside. On this DVD Davies presents everything you need to know to convert the Pirc Defence into a universal system of counterattack, offering winning chances against every White opening under the sun. Video running time: 5 hours.
by Nigel Davies
Developing the initiative
Dynamic play is what makes your chess effective and most importantly fun! Timur Gareyev shows severeal examples which aspects are important to remember when seizing for the initiative!
The English Opening with 1.c4 is one of the most subtle yet combative means of starting a chess game which has found favour with many of the great players in history. White takes space on the Queenside whilst keeping his options open about where he should place his pieces. This gives White the kind of flexibility that is missing from regular 1.d4 openings and puts the onus on planning and ideas rather than a knowledge of variations. On this DVD Davies tells you everything you need to know to start playing the English in tournament games, showing how White should react to Black’s different set-ups using 40 illustrative games. The main focus is on lines with 2.g3, making it easier for White to get aboard this Rolls Royce of chess openings. Video running time: 8 hours.
(1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5) is an excellent choice for Black, especially for players at club level. Offering Black the kind of free piece play that is missing from other defences, it was a great favourite of World Champions Boris Spassky and Garry Kasparov, not to mention its originator Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch. Amongst the many advantages of the Tarrasch is the fact that it can be used against the English and Reti Openings. On this DVD Davies introduces the viewer to the various plans and ideas, showing how Black should react to the various plans and variations White can adopt. Armed with this material the viewer will be able to play the Tarrasch with confidence. Video running time: 3 hours 50 min.
The centre is the most important part of the battlefi eld. In chess we study various different kinds of centre, some special forms of which were already discussed on the DVD ‘Winning Structures’. But in chess literature we have a huge lack of educational material on the role of the centre and on the power of pawns and pieces in the centre. And the most important part which is missing - how to change the pawn structure in the centre. This is really the knowledge which marks out the champions, and on this DVD with the help of classical games played by Botvinnik, Fischer, Rubinstein, Steinitz, Tal amongst others the author explains all these important problems. Video running time: 3 hrs 50 min.
Planning is the most difficult part of the game of chess. It is everywhere - we use it from the opening to the ending. A plan is based on evaluation and that evaluation is based on the different static and dynamic elements of the position. But what the chess books don’t describe is the direction of the plan. The aim of every plan is the exploitation of weakness! So, spot the weakness, fix it and then just attack it. There are different kinds of plans - typical plans, based on the structures and analogical plans, based on similar constellations of the pieces on the board. The subject is really big, but the author wanted to show examples of how to construct plans in positions with pawn majorities on the flanks and to teach you how to exploit this element properly. Video running time: 3 hrs 19 min.
Many times when a top player blunders, it is routinely described by the esoteric term „chess blindness.“ In the series What Grandmasters Don‘t See, chess trainer and world-class commentator Maurice Ashley strips away the myth, and for the first time explains why the root of these mistakes is more often based on the psychology of human learning.
In Volume 1 of the series, Ashley coins a new term Protected Squares, and shows how many errors occur on squares that seem invulnerable because they are clearly guarded by pawns. In example after example and in his trademark style, Ashley will teach you how to avoid this kind of mistake and how to look for moves that will shock and amaze your opponents. In the first 19 videos on the DVD Ashley demonstrates both well-known and little known games in which a move on to a protected square plays an important part. In the second half of the DVD you are tested on what you have learned about protected squares with a series of exercises of increasing difficulty. This material is also drawn both from classics and from recent games. Video running time: 4 hours 18 minutes
The second volume of the Open Sicilian is dedicated to two very important areas: the most interesting opening of all time the Najdorf Variation, and also to the most romantic line in the Sicilian - the Dragon Variation. It’s actually enough to point out that both openings were played successfully by Garry Kasparov with Black. The author’s task was to give White some clear lines which will survive all kind of possible improvements from the black side and still be able to give White hope for an advantage. In both cases Bologan recommends a setup with f3, Be3, Qd2, the so-called English Attack. The similarity of ideas makes the job of memorising lines somewhat easier, and at the same time the traditional line by line approach allows the avoidance of any unpleasant surprises. Many mysteries under the surface of the Sicilian can be found by hard work and experience and the author really hopes that this DVD will help you in that! Video running time: 5 hours 40 minutes.
In the third volume of the Open Sicilian we will deal with Black’s second move 2....e6 which he usually adopts when striving for a complex game full of subtleties in order to outplay White, especially when his opponent is lower rated. But the reverse of the medal is that Black assumes quite high risks, and with strict reactions White can pose him serious problems. Of course the DVD is mainly dedicated to all kinds of Paulsen lines with 4… a6 and 4… Nc6, where against most of the main variations I advise the same setup we use against Najdorf and Dragon with Be3, f3 and Qd2, usually followed by long castle. Despite the many games being played every day, Black is still far from safe equality here. Apart from some side lines like 5…Bb4, quite important is to learn how to play the classical Keres Attack. After 6.g4, my recommendation, only the variation with 6…e5 still poses White unpleasant questions - to which of course I have tried to come up with some answers... With the final word on the Sicilian trilogy, I would encourage the viewer to play the Open Sicilian and to have the DVDs as partners, consultants and if lucky a friend in both critical and good situations. Video running time: 5 hours.
You think you have seen enough checkmating combinations? I find it staggering how many checkmates are missed (by both sides) in games by the top players, let alone by us mortals. Recognising the early outlines of mating patterns is a vital skill, not just for an attacker, but for a defender too: surviving wave after wave of threats can be discouraging for your opponent. Very often we see these checkmates when they are put before our eyes: on a puzzle page in a chess magazine, for example. But then we must ask ourselves, why do these kind of mating combinations occur time and again in games – at all levels? In an actual game, when we are distracted by other factors – positional, strategic, tactical and psychological, not to mention our old friend time pressure – it is all too easy to miss these mating combinations. No one stands behind us whispering ‘Stop! It is mate in 3’ (unless you are cheating and someone has flicked on Fritz.) Moreover, these critical moments often occur late in the game – generally near the time control. Therefore it is vital that we are able to recognise these patterns – quickly! There is no excuse: now is the time to revise and rehearse those mating patterns.