ChessBase Magazine Vol. 107 contains 1661 recent games, 550 with expert annotations. In addition there are 10,000 correspondence chess games, sections on tactics, strategy, endgames, and extensive theory articles., all by great experts in the field. The multimedia section contains a full TV report by Indian producer Vijay Kumar, as seen by millions in 34 different countries.
Contents of ChessBase Magazine 107
By Frederic Friedel
A standard way to access your ChessBase Magazine CD is to start ChessBase, preferably version 9, and then, with the CD in the drive, click on the drive letter in the "Folders” window on the left. This will display the contents of the CD in the database window, usually as icons, but also with short or detailed filenames – right-click the window and choose "View” and any one of these options.
The main database of this issue of ChessBase Magazine appears as an icon labelled "107 CBM”. When you click on this icon the contents are shown in the quick-view list at the bottom of the main ChessBase window.
Maybe you do not see the quick-view list. This would mean that it has been switched off. You can turn it back on again in the "Window” menu: "Database preview” can be toggled on and off. Ctrl-Alt-L does the trick as well. Note that you can also switch the "Folders” section on the left off and on as well in the "Window” menu.
The quick view is useful when you are using small databases and want to locate a game quickly, without any hassle. But for a large database like 107 CBM you are better off opening a full list window. This is done by double-clicking on the database icon. Doing this for the first time will produce a database text with links to games and keys. On the top there are a number of tabs – Text, Games, Players, Tournaments, etc. Click on "Games” to get to the games list. The next time you open the database the text will not be displayed, you will be taken straight to the games.
If you have read the online help of the program you will know that in ChessBase 9.0 you can rearrange the lists at will, switching columns on or off, and dragging them to new places. Right-click the header line and choose from the commands that appear in the context menu.
If you scroll to the bottom of the games list you will see that there are 1664 entries. Three of these are text reports, so the actual number of games is 1661. 550 of these games have analysis, some very extensive.
Naturally you can browse through the games list, double-clicking any entry to load it on a board window and replay it. But this is a very eclectic way of going about it. More systematic is to use one of the other tabs at the top to get a different overview.
Clicking on "Tournaments” gives you a list of all tournaments on the CD. If you click on "Category” in the list header the tournaments will be sorted according to category. This, incidentally, is the case with all the other headers. Click on "Title” to sort the tournaments alphabetically, "Place” to sort the venues, "Date” for the starting date, etc. Clicking the same header a second time reverses the order.
If you highlight a tournament in the list you will see the games on the right, each of which can be loaded with a double click. At the bottom is a list of the players in the event. Both these lists can be sorted by clicking on individual column headers.
Tournament tables are generated by double-clicking an entry in the tournament list, or by pressing "T” in the games list. Note that you can mark a certain number of games and generate a tournament table just for them. This is interesting when you want to see what the situation was just before a round, e.g. before the final round. Double-clicking a result in the cross table will load the game for replay.
In the above picture you see the final table of the Sofia MTel Masters, which was a double round robin category 20 and was won a full point ahead of his nearest rival by Bulgarian champion Veselin Topalov. Anand came second, Judit Polgar and Ruslan Ponomariov tied for 3-4. Judit is simply amazing. She has come back after more than a year of maternity leave to score well in two consecutive Super-GM tournaments. In Wijk aan Zee she had a 2747 performance, in Sofia it was 2749. Clever mathematicians will deduce that Judit is currently playing at a 2748 level. She has firmly entrenched herself in the top ten players of the world, and is the strongest female player in the history of the game by a long stretch.
If you click on "Players” you can see everyone who has played in tournaments on this CD. Click on the "Elo” column header to sort them according to rating. Note that all the games of any highlighted player are displayed on the right, and the tournaments he or she participated in are given below that. Need we mention that double-clicking a game will load it for replay; and double-clicking a tournament will produce the cross table.
Clicking on "Annotator” will give you a list of all the analysts and commentators in this issue of ChessBase Magazine. Clicking on "#” sorts them by the number of games each has annotated. If you highlight an annotator the games he has annotated will appear on the right –and can, as usual, be loaded with a double-click.
Note that one of the most prolific annotators in this issue of CBM is Suat Atalik, the Bosnian GM who originally hails from Turkey. Suat’s analysis is particularly interesting because unlike many others he is commenting on his own games. Naturally this allows him to provide greater insight into what was going on, the ideas that were exchanged and the variations that the players calculated.
The multimedia report this time consists of a single video. It is a summary of the reports produced by Vijay Kumar and broadcast in February 2005 on the DD Sports Channel in India, a 24 hour Free to Air Sports Channel that gives wide exposure sports like chess. The programme was seen by 64% of DD Viewership of over 85 million homes.
The DD Channel is broadcast on the PAS 10 satellite, which has a very vast footprint, allowing the broadcasts to be received in 34 countries of Middle East, CIS and neighbouring countries, and also in European and African Regions.
The Corus Highlights were filmed, edited and directed by Vijay Kumar, who as Producer of Doordarshan Sport brought chess coverage for the first time to Indian National Television in 1985, and since then has produced over 200 programmes on chess events, including the World Chess Championships 2000, 2001, 2004, the women’s world championships of 2000, 2001 and 2004, the World Cup 2002, the Chess Olympiad 2004 and various international events like Corus Wijk Aan Zee, the Chess Classics in Mainz, etc.
Vijay Kumar’s Corus Highlights can be viewed by starting the database CBM107mm. This contains just one database text that links to the film. It is replayed in the ChessBase board window, which you can resize or even undock to get optimum quality.
There is another way to watch the video. The AVI file is located in the directory CBM107mm.avi, which you can locate in your explorer. A double-click on the file 0.wmv will start the video in your default media player.
It is very worthwhile watching the Indian TV round-by-round reports on the Wijk aan Zee tournament. It gives you an excellent overview of the event and the atmosphere in the Dutch seaside resort. Vijay has been a reporter at so many events that people know him well and do not object to his filming in any location, whether it be before and during the games, in the press room where the players are discussing their games, or in specially arranged interviews.
There is also analysis by IM Vishal Sareen (above), who uses ChessBase 9 to show the viewers details of the game.
Vijay Kumar has also done one-on-one interviews with a number of players, including Judit Polgar, playing in her first major event after over a year of absence necessitated by the birth of her son Oliver.
Parimarjan Negi is an extraordinary Indian talent, who turned 12 during the tournament, where he was playing in the second group. It is fascinating to hear this child speak lucidly about chess at a 2500 level.
– To be continued –
A63: Benoni Fianchetto
In this article Albert Kapengut presents the alternative plan in the Fianchetto System of the Modern Benoni [A63]. The basic position of the Fianchetto System arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 ed5 5.cd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 a6 10.a4 Nbd7.
Kapengut writes: "The move order may be different, White has a choice between the Knight’s pirouette Nf3-d2-c4-(a3) and rejecting the loss of time involved in this manoeuvre in order to complete his development in various ways. According to statistics from the Opening report, in about 60% of games White prefers the transfer of the knight.
As usual, the theory of a popular system grows up and higher rated White players should steer clear of the double-edged fighting which occurs after 13…Ne5 in the main system since it levels chess playing abilities, by making sheer knowledge of more importance than understanding. So more often than not, White wants to avoid this manoeuvre. There are a number of plans, but I will limit this article to the key moves Bf4 for White and Qe7 for Black, including different move orders. My previous article with Qc7 for Black was published in CBM 98 and there I promised to prepare this material.
If we are talking about the Modern Benoni in general, this manoeuvre looks logical, and it is possible to compare Qe7 with Re8. Of course, the position of the rook on the semi open e-file looks very natural. On the other hand, on f8 the rook is already participating in the fighting (supporting the advance f7-f5 which has become very popular in the last few decades) and the knight could make use of the free square on e8 for the transfer to c7.
A few games of Robert Fischer were among well-known examples where the queen was developed on e7. I recall how Leonid Stein criticized this idea, while we were taking a walk before another round of the USSR-Yugoslavia match in Yerevan (1971). His main argument was the opposition of the rook on e1. Thirty plus years of practice has proven that it is not as dangerous as had been thought by the famous grandmaster.
This variation starts from 11.Bf4 Qe7. For this system, a flexible move order is common giving both sides an opportunity of choosing a combination of various ideas in order finally to determine their plan depending on the opponent’s intentions. This flexibility, frequently found in modern theory, assists us to understand differences in level. That is why it is complicated to explain material in the traditional printed form. The format of ‘Chess Base’ allows the author to minimize the loss of meaning for the reader.”
The author comes to the following conclusion: "In my opinion, Black sometimes underestimates the necessity of the precise move order, which depends on various apparently insignificant details. I urge any reader who wants to include this variation in his own repertoire to go beyond the numerous game references in my comments and turn to the original game for a comprehensive understanding of the precise move order. I hope that some of my recommendations will pass the test of time. My first article about this plan was published more than 25 years ago, and I hope I will continue to write more articles about this topic.”
The attached database contains 50 games, all extensively analysed, mainly by Kapengut himself.
A69: Modern Benoni (Three Pawns Attack)
The theme of Jerzy Konikowski’s contribution is the variation after the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Ng4 12.Bg5 Qa5
Konikowski writes: "Until now, the text move has been seen relatively rarely in praxis and has thus not been sufficiently well investigated. In my opinion, White has the better prospects if he plays accurately.” He gives the line 13.0-0 Nxe5 14.d6 Be6 15.Nd5 Nbd7 16.Bd2. As his subsequent analysis shows, White has the advantage.
The attached database has six surveys and 25 games annotated by the author.
B22: Alapin Sicilian
GM Dorian Rogozenko examines the line that begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 d5 7.exd6 Qxd6 8.Na3
This variation represents a relatively new attempt to fight for the advantage in the 2.c3 Nf6 Sicilian. Although the move Nb1-a3 is rather typical for many variations of Alapin (the knight’s "natural” square c3 is occupied by the pawn right from the start), as we’ll see in the line we are investigating, White’s idea is more than just to develop a piece. In fact with the early Nb1-a3 White would like to limit Black’s options and eventually transpose into some theoretical line or other which is favourable to the first player. Before mentioning the concrete considerations behind 8.Na3, I would like to say that the variation being looked at appeared in practice in the 1990s. It was popularised by such Alapin experts as Sveshnikov, Pavasovic and Sermek. Lately, other strong GMs have started to play it as well. Nowadays its main advocate is Tiviakov.
In the Alapin Sicilian, in order to fight for the advantage White cannot do without castling short and without the advance d2-d4. These two moves are a necessary part of White’s opening play. Then how come that developing the knight to a3 before castling short and before d2-d4 can be good? To answer this question we need to have a brief look at other theoretical lines, where before Nb1-a3 White plays first either 0-0, or d2-d4. Rogozenko gives the starting positions of those lines with a diagram and a general conclusion about theory’s evaluation (most of them have been very well studied and there exists a clear assessment, but some have very little practical material). Each of those theoretical lines mentioned is provided with a link to the game list, that shows a few theoretical variations.
The conclusion of the article is that the move 8.Na3 represents a good option for White. It helps him to avoid practically all theoretical lines that are known to offer Black easy equality by simplifying the position. As a consequence, Black is forced to enter slightly inferior middlegame positions, where he is behind in development. Nevertheless as is shown in the survey, in most variations Black should be able to complete his development and achieve complete equality later on.
The attached database contains 29 instructive games, most annotated by the author.
C10: French Defence
This opening survey by GM Alexander Finkel of Israel starts with the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6.
This solid variation, which was extremely popular 3-4 years ago, used to be the main weapon of Bulgarian super-grandmaster Veselin Topalov against the Rubinstein Variation. However as time went by, Black was feeling more and more comfortable meeting 8.Bxf6. The latest games played in this line have indicated that Black has succeeded in finding a way to solve his opening problems after 8.Bxf6, so the main purpose of this survey is to check out whether White should give up his attempts to revive this variation and switch to other moves after 7...h6, or whether he should just re-adjust to new developments and continue his search for an opening advantage.
In the attached database the author explores any possible plan in order to find a good reason for White to go on playing this interesting line. However at the end of the day, he says, he remains more sceptical about White’s chances in this variation than he used to be at the beginning of his work on the project! It seems that the 8.Bxf6 variation is insufficient to play for a win if Black is familiar enough with opening theory, so there is no point in learning it if you have the intention of going all out against the Rubinstein!
The attached database consists of 80 games played in this line. On the white side we find such strong players as Topalov (who has contributed a lot to the development of this line, using it on a permanent basis for quite a while), Leko, Sutovsky, Smyslov, Lutz, Hracek, Van den Doel and many others who have used this variation occasionally. On the black side there are quite a few experts in the French Defence: Ivanchuk, Bareev, Gurevich, Van Wely, Akopian etc. The database consists of 28 annotated games (20 of them especially for this database) and a very deep opening key designed specially for the database to make the learning process more efficient.
GM Zoltan Ribli investigates the position that arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.Qc2 c6 8.Nbd2 b6 9.e4 Bb7 10.e5 Ne8 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Re1.
White has an advantage in space in the centre and prospects of a kingside initiative. On the other hand, Black’s position is quite solid, since he has no weaknesses and can easily seize the c-file. White can play h2-h4, Nf1-Nh2 and possibly exchange the dark squared bishops. Black can improve the position of his bishop with Ba6 and he can also play Nb8-Nc6 and Nc7.
Black has at his disposal several moves, three of which are examined in more detail: 12...Qc7, 12...Rc8 and 12...Ba6. The moves 12...b5 and 12...Qc8 have also been played, but in the first case Black loses the chance of Ba6 (activating the bishop), and in the second, the queen is less favourably placed on c8.
The Hungarian GM and theoretician comes to the following conclusion: "In my opinion, the main advantage of the whole variation with 8.Nbd2 9.e4 and 10.e5 lies in the fact that White adopts a different way of playing from what is usual in normal Catalan positions. Thus, he is active principally on the kingside and in this case Black has to show a little originality in the closed defensive position. In my personal opinion, the variations with Ba6 offer Black the best prospects – if he can activate his white squared bishop, then he gets a level game.”
The endgame section is by GM Karsten Müller, who has written a very influential book on the last phase of the game. Karsten has extracted 33 instructive endgames from the main database of CBM 107, all with sometimes very extensive analytical comments.
GM Peter Wells has entitled the first part of his new series "The Pros and Cons of a Pawn Break - ...d5 in the Open Sicilian”. There are seven instructively annotated games to illustrate the subject.
The tactics section by Valery Atlas contains what he calls Variations on a Back Rank Theme, where the weakness of the back rank was the leitmotif of the winning combination. There are 25 positions for you to solve, six of them can be found on the back cover of this magazine.
This issue contains a total of 7471 games and twelve database texts. It also includes an interview with correspondence chess GM Simon Webb, winner of the first Email Chess World Championship. Webb was recently killed in an argument with his son. The interview, which was conducted some years ago, is to be found elsewhere in this magazine.
Recently the first CFC Rapid Chess Tournament was held, with a prize sum of 18,000 Euros. While traditional correspondence chess tournaments allocate 40 days for 10 moves, the "rapid” variant uses the time control of 20 days for all the moves plus 1 extra day per move. It is a knock-out tournament, similar to the tennis competitions.
The winner of the First CFC Rapid tournament was Eric Taistra (above) from Germany, who took home 7,500 Euros for his first place, probably the highest prize cashed in a telechess tournament.
Eric was unknown at the time, and he scored 18 points (over 24 games, the tournament was scheduled in two stages), ahead of former World Champions as Mikhail Umansky and Tunc Hamarat, and many top GMs, for instance Farit Balabaiev, Roberto Alvarez, Dieter Gutsche, Oleg Savchak and Juan S. Morgado, who conducted the following interview with the winner.
JSM: Let us do a brief introduction...
Taistra: I’m 26 years old, a student of Information Technology at the Technical University of Chemnitz. Now I’m doing my thesis (tantamount to the grade of Master).
JSM: When did you start to play chess?
Eric Taistra: I’ve played chess since I was five years old, and then won my first junior tournaments. I had very good results in some junior tournament from East Germany. Unfortunately the good chess clubs, truly good clubs, were far away, and so my progress in "over the board” chess was stagnant. I now have an Elo rating of 2135, and I play in the third League of Aue (Saxony, Germany).
JSM: What about your beginnings in telechess?
Eric Taistra: My career in telechess began in 1996, when I took part in the German Juniors Championship (BdF). I was third in 2002 and second in 2003, where I got the title of "Junior Telechess Master” of the BdF. At the end of 2003 I saw an announcement by Chessfriend.com in a magazine, and thus I decided to take part in the First CFC Rapid Championship. But I never dreamed that I would be the winner!
JSM: What´s your opinion about Fischer and Kasparov?
Eric Taistra: I guess both are the unquestioned all-time best chess players, but at the same time they are the most individualistic personalities. They are (and have been) important for the current popularity of chess, which is reflected in more people playing the game.
JSM: Finally, how do you see the future of telechess?
Eric Taistra: Of course the future of telechess is based on web-server tournaments, like the ones played on Chessfriend.com. I believe they did (and are doing) a great job. I hope that in the future some others will help to continue his work.
The ICCF Telechess section has seven informative introductory texts and a total of 2075 games, some with commentary. It also has an interview with Alessandra Riegler, the new ICCF Lady’s World Champion.
Alessandra was born on May 24th, 1961 in Modena, Italy , where she is currently living. She teaches chemistry at a high school and is happily married to Giancarlo Albricci since June 2003. "I conquered my husband’s heart by beating him on chess online,” she says. The new World Champion started to play chess quite late, when she was almost 29 years old, but like a meteor she has had a fantastic chess career in both CC and OTB, taking part for example to the FIDE Olympiad in Erevan, Armenia, in 1996; participating to the European FIDE zonal in Chambéry, France; in Pula, Croatia; in the team European tournament in Athens, Greece; in the European individual tournament, and many more. Coached by ICCF GM Maurizio Tirabassi and FM Gianfranco Falchetta (who is considered as pupil of the Italian legend Porecca, who finished 5th in the ICCF World Championship Final IX won by Tõnu Oim) Alessandra Riegler won four Italian Championships, in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. She started correspondence chess in 1992 and finished in second place in her first attempt (19th Italian ladies CCh). At the same time she took part to a theme tournament (King’s Gambit, Metz Attack), winning her section and finishing the final as runner-up behind Metz himself. One year later she started the semifinal of the ICCF Ladies World Championship VI, winning her section with 12/14 points, opening the road to the Final which she won brilliantly in June 2005 with an impressive score and no losses. The charming Italian agreed to answer some questions for ChessBase Magazine.
First of all congratulations on this great achievement for you personally and for ASIGC (Associazione Schacchistica Italiana Giocatori per Corrispondenzia) which is one of the leading CC federations over the World, what is your first impression after becoming World Champion?
Riegler: My first impression is astonishment and then great happiness for what I have achieved in eleven years through care, concentration and hard work. I certainly didn’t think I would become World Champion when I started the semifinal.
When did you feel you could be able to catch the title during this competition?
Riegler: Not long ago because up to a few months ago two other players, Zelcic (CRO) and de Locio (BRA), could still reach me or even overstep me. On September 2003, when I drew with Zelcic, I knew that I could be in the first three places, because my position with Kristol (ISR) was winning. On March 2004, Kristol resigned our game and I reached seven points with two games still to go. I hoped I could get 1.5 points out of them, but it was very hard to draw with de Locio and not so easy to win against Jurczynska (POL). At last in February 2005 Jurczynska resigned and the next month de Locio accepted my draw offer. In June 2005 the draw between Zelcic and Horackova (CZE) gave me the title: 8.5 points for me and only 8.0 for Zelcic.
How much time did you spend for analysis and who were your strongest opponents?
Riegler: The time spent depends on many factors, first of all the amount of spare time you can have. I think that most of correspondence chess players have an occupation and their own private life (work, family), so they have to manage their free time between family, friends and other hobbies or interests. Fortunately, as a teacher I have some free time in the afternoon, which allows me to analyze my games almost every day. The opponents who gave me most trouble were Zelcic and de Locio. I had already played with de Locio in the semifinal and also in that tournament our game was a tough one. I had to struggle with teeth and nails to draw our games, but in the end I managed.
What is the secret to be a World Champion?
Riegler: There is no secret or magic formula. It only takes a lot of studying and application. I was lucky to have a good husband who makes sure that each move goes to the right opponent.
What do you wish to say to ICCF officials in order to improve the ICCF World Championship cycle and to have more ladies participating in ICCF competitions.
Riegler: In my opinion the main problem about the absolute World Championship cycle is the duration. It takes too much time – 11 years in two rounds – but with the new forms of correspondence chess (server and emails) this problem will soon disappear. I think that spreading the games will have the benefit to attract more ladies in ICCF competitions, the first thing to do is to give us visibility. This can be achieved by putting in evidence our tournaments and results and also by reporting online on ICCF’s website, the games of the Ladies Championships. An invisible model can’t be followed. Please don’t think that I’m looking for glory. That’s not part of my personality. If I underline the fact that women’s results and successes should receive more attention, it is only because I think that the most important contribution I could ever give to chess is to bring to it more women. I would be happy if a girl reading about me in a newspaper or in a chess magazine thought: "Wow, if she made it, why not me??” and she starts playing correspondence chess. That’s my goal and desire as a chess lover and as a woman.
This small database contains eleven games extensively annotated in Spanish. In order to see the text comments you may have to switch on more languages.
If you cannot see Spanish text commentary when you load the games click on "Tools – Options – Language” and then select "Spanish” as one of the languages to display. You can also click "All”, in which case no language will be filtered out and the Spanish commentary will also be shown.