ChessBase Magazine 108
ChessBase Magazine Vol. 108 has 1923 recent games, about 500 with expert annotations, plus 1797 correspondence chess games. There are special sections on tactics, strategy, endgames, and extensive theory articles, all by great experts in the field. The multimedia section contains a full TV report on the Super-Tournament in Dortmund.
Contents of ChessBase Magazine 108
By Frederic Friedel
ChessBase Magazine 108 comes to you on a CD ROM, which contains a special program called the ChessBase Reader. This is what you should use to read the data, especially if you do not have the program ChessBase 9.0 installed on your system. You can also access the contents using Fritz, or any recent Fritz compatible program.
For Fritz 9 users: since the program is now available and a lot of people have installed it, here’s a brief rundown on how to access ChessBase Magazine from this program:
Start Fritz 9 and in the splash screen that appears click "Play Fritz” to get the regular chess program.
A board window appears. Use "File – Open – Database” (or F12, or Esc) to get a database window with a list of the games you last accessed. Esc or F12 toggle between the board and the database windows.
In the database window click "File – Open – Database” (or press Ctrl-O) and select your CD-ROM drive in the file selector that appears.
Select a file from the files and directories that appear, e.g. double-click "108cbm. cbh” to load the main games file.
With Fritz you can read all the contents of ChessBase Magazine. But ChessBase 9.0 and the Reader will give you additional useful options to better access the data on the CD.
This issue’s multimedia report is dedicated entirely to the Dortmund Super-GM tournament. It contains reports, pictures and games. There are also ten video files, which can be played in ChessBase, the Reader or in Fritz. This is necessary when the files include recording of moves executed on the chessboard by the players. If you play the videos directly from the CD in a media player you will not have the chessboard and the moves.
Some of the video files are plain interviews. In these cases it is possible to play them directly, especially if you have problems with the video codecs in ChessBase or Fritz. Simply list the contents of the CD in your Windows explorer and open the directory 108mm.avi. There you will find ten files, any of which can be started with a double click.
The main database CBM 108
To see the games of the main database use "Open – Database” in the "File” menu. If you are using ChessBase 9 you will see icons of the files on your database window.
You can double-click any of the databases or directory icons to "open” it, i.e. to see the contents.
If you start the main database you first get a text report that allows you to navigate through the contents. Clicking on any item will open it in a list window. You can also click on the "Games” tab at the top of the window. That will produce a list of all the games in the current database, i.e. in the main CBM 108 database.
If you scroll to the bottom of the list you will see that there are 1926 entries, but three of these are text reports, which leaves us with 1923 games. About 500 have commentary and analysis.
If you click on the "Tournaments” tab at the top of the games list, then you get a list of the tournaments on the CD. Now click on the "Cat” column header, and you will find that the strongest have been sorted to the top.
Click to enlarge
There are two sub-windows (or "panes”) which show you the games and the players in the currently highlighted tournament.
- Double-clicking a tournament will produce a cross table of that event.
- Double-clicking a result in that cross table will load the game
- Double-clicking a game in the sub-window on the right will load it for replay
- Double-clicking a player in the sub-window below the games will bring up his personal data, if you have a full installation of ChessBase 9.0 with the players encyclopaedia on your hard disk.
As you can see in the picture the strongest event, by far, was the Dortmund Super-GM, which was won by the lowest seed, Arkadij Naiditsch. There is an interview with young Arkadij, conducted immediately after his victory was certain, in the multimedia database. There you will also find a very illuminating interview with top seed Vladimir Kramnik, who finished a disappointing 6-7th in a tournament he has won so often before.
Clicking on the "Players” tab produces a list of all players whose games are in the CBM 108 database. Click on the "Elo” column header to get the strongest players on the top.
When you click on a player’s name you can see the games he or she has played in the current database, and the tournaments in which they occurred.
Once again double-clicking a player’s name will produce his info card, double-clicking a game will load it for replay and double-clicking a tournament will generate the cross table.
The next big section of ChessBase Magazine consists of theoretical articles. To access these with the ChessBase Reader you must once again use "Open – Database” in the "File” menu. In the file selector you will see a number of subdirectories, one of which is called "Theory”. Double-click this one and you will see its contents: eight articles which we will discuss briefly below. Double-clicking on any one of them will open it, revealing its contents.
In ChessBase 9 you double-click the "Theory” directory icon to get to the databases. Double-clicking any of these will load it in a database window. Once again the text report, which is always present, will automatically be displayed. It contains links to games, lists or keys, which can be loaded by clicking on the links. There is also a "Games” tab on the top which takes you to the database that is attached to the article.
A63: Benoni Fianchetto
Albert Kapengut calls part two of his series "The alternative plan in the Fianchetto System of the Modern Benoni [A63]” and deals with the position that arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 a6 10.a4 Nbd7 (the move order may be different):
Now White has the choice between the knight’s pirouette Nf3-d2-c4-(a3) or, if he wants to avoid the loss of time caused by this maneuver, to complete his development in various ways.
There are a number of plans, but the author limits this article to the key moves Bf4 for White and Qe7 for Black, including different moves orders. His previous article with Qc7 for Black was published in CBM 98 and there the author promised to prepare this material.
So the variation starts from the position after 11.Bf4 Qe7. In CBM 107 the author paid attention to the different plans of White. In the second part he has now analyzed games which include the waiting move h3, which prevents the useful maneuver Nf6-g4-e5. The article contains 78 annotated games, in 17 of which the author added something to the existing comments, and 61 games he commented himself. The reader can also use a detailed key created by the author.
Kapengut’s conclusion at the end of his study: "In my opinion, Black sometimes underestimates the necessity of the precise move order, which depends on various apparently insignificant details. The author urges the reader who wants to include this variation to 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. The author hopes that some of his 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.”
B33: Sicilian Sveshnikov
Dorian Rogozenko analyses the variation that arises after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Rb8 13.h4 Be7
Lately in the main lines of 9.Nd5 White has found many new interesting ideas, and that forced Black to seek for other safer possibilities. The examined variation represents such an option. It gained some popularity about 5-6 years ago, when players like Khalifman, Lautier and McShane successfully used it. In 2005 other connoisseurs of the Sveshnikov Sicilian started to play 13...Be7 (e.g. Leko, Volokitin, Filippov, Moiseenko) and nowadays it became one of the main weapons against the line 9.Nd5.
Black’s idea behind 13...Be7 is to arrange his pieces in the following way: ...Be6, ...Qd7, ...Bd8 and ...Ne7. This is a clear plan to fight for the square d5, and White can do little to prevent that. In case of the usual development (such as for instance g3, Bg2 and 0-0, or Be2, a4, h5 and 0-0) Black will complete his plan and achieve equality. Only recently, mainly thanks to the efforts of young star Sergey Karjakin, White did manage to find new possibilities.
The main plans for White are:
playing on the queenside by means of a2-a4, or a2-a3 followed by Ncb4. This is a safe plan, but it has little chances to bring any sensible opening advantage, since it often leads to the exchange of all queenside pawns;
playing on the kingside by advancing the g-pawn. Then at some moment White can play Nf5, or g5 and Qh5, with ideas to sac the knight on f6. This is an ambitious, but double-edged plan that can easily backfire, since meanwhile Black will seize an initiative on the queenside and eventually in the center;
increasing control in the center by arranging the pieces in the following way: Nce3, Bd3-c2-b3, Qf3 and Rd1. This approach often secures White a stable, though only slight advantage.
Rogozenko’s conclusion: "In the present variation White’s position is very solid and Black is mainly fighting for equality, with relatively few chances to win. His goal is to neutralize White’s control over the square d5 and (or) transfer the bishop on the diagonal a7-g1. Usually with precise play Black is able to achieve that task at least partially. Therefore many Black players are content to choose the examined variation – with patient defence Black can hold the position without big difficulties.
In order to have chances for success White must first of all keep his better control in the center, which almost always secures an edge. Besides, for the first player it is advisable to avoid the exchange of all queenside pawns. The game Karjakin,S-Moiseenko,A 1-0 showed clearly that with a more active bishop White has good prospects even with reduced material. The recent results in practice also demonstrated that a small edge in such types of positions (with limited counterplay for Black) is often worth for White no less than a potentially bigger advantage in sharp, but double-edged positions.”
The attached database contains 41 games, 26 carefully annotated by the author.
B90: Sicilian Najdorf (English Attack)
Jerzy Konikowski’s article begins with the position after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Be7 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0
This is a sharp position. Black now has several moves at his disposal, leading to positions with mutual chances. In Polish chess circles, currently the continuation 10...a5!? is very popular. Black plans a5-a4 to chase away the knight from b3 and then to weaken the dark squares in the white king’s camp with a4-a3. The best reaction is 11.Bb5!? – White develops his bishop and doesn’t permit a5-a4. 11...Nbd7
This is the favourite move of the young Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek. The idea is to quickly play the rook from a8 to c8, and then to sacrifice it on c3 on the first occasion. This plan gives Black good counterchances. However, Konikovsky thinks that after 12.Kb1 or 12.Qf2 Rc8 13.Kb1 White still has the better perspectives, which he wants to prove with his analyses.
The attached database contains five surveys and eight annotated sample games.
C10: French Defence, Modern Side Lines
This opening survey by Alexander Finkel begins with the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nbd7 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Nf3 h6.
In the last edition of ChessBase Magazine the author covers the 8.Bxf6 line and comes to the conclusion that this move does not promise White any opening advantage. Apparently Finkel was not the only one who had the feeling that White should look for other ways to get an upper hand out of the opening. During the last couple of years White gradually switched to other moves (which were considered as side-lines until recently) attempting to pose Black some problems.
In this survey we take a look at 8.Bf4, 8.Bd2 and 8.Be3 as white alternatives on the 8th move. Naturally, the main emphasise is made on 8.Be3, as the other two options are hardly dangerous for Black. However the author could not ignore 8.Bf4 and 8.Bd2, since this survey would not be exhaustive and comprehensive enough had he not referred to all possible alternatives to 8.Bh4 (the classical main line) and 8.Bxf6.
The latest games played in this line had indicated that neither players using this variation with white nor the players meeting it on the black side of Rubinstein are certain what is the best way to treat this variation, so many different move orders and setups had been tried in a relatively low number of games played in this line, which makes the task more difficult, but at the same time more interesting!
"I hope this survey will shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of diverting from the beaten theoretical track,” writes Finkel, "and help you to obtain a better comprehension of the arising positions. In any case, I am certain 8.Be3 is a quite promising way to test Black’s defensive skills in the Rubinstein!”
The content of the database: 88 games played in this line. On the white side you will find strong players like Polgar, Svidler, Bologan, Almasi, Aronian, Nisipeanu, Lutz and many others who used this variation occasionally. On the black side you will find quite a few experts of the French defence: Ivanchuk, Bareev, Gurevich, Van Wely, Akopian, Radjabov etc. 30 games are annotated, 15 especially for this database. There is also a very deep opening key designed for the database to make a learning process easier and more efficient.
At the end of his investigations Finkel comes to the following general conclusion: "It is obvious that the only way to pose Black opening problems is 8.Be3. Black has a variety of options to meet this move, but none of them promises equality. In my opinion 8...Bd6 should be preferred over 8...Nd5 since the later runs into 9.Qd2, which seems to be rather unpleasant. Strangely enough Black has yet to try a line which is in my opinion one of the safest ways to meet 8.Be3. I am talking about 8...Bd6 9.Bd3 Bd7 10.Qe2 Bc6 11.0-0-0 B:f3 12.Qxf3 c6 followed by 13...0-0-0. In any case 8.Be3 is a better try than 8.Bxf6, so I am convinced we will see many exciting games in this line in the nearest future.”
C40: Elephant Gambit
In part five of his Queen’s Pawn Counter Gambit series Peter Leisebein looks at the variation that starts with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 Bd6 4.Bb5+!?
The author writes: "This bishop check is possibly more unpleasant than previously thought. White develops his bishop with tempo, trying to castle quickly. Black faces an uncomfortable choice:
1. to sacrifice a pawn with 4...c6
2. to part with one of his "elephants” with 4...Bd7
3. to block his bishop with 4...Nbd7.
1. 4...c6. The most frequent option. Black sacrifices a pawn to quickly develop and possibly start an attack on the king. After all, there threatens the pawn advance e4!? The position is somewhat similar to the gambit variation of the Two Knights Defence, which is introduced by the knight sortie 5.Ng5!?. Like there, Black again gets a desolate pawn position on the queenside and a pawn minus. In my experience, this weighs more!
2. 4...Bd7. Some players do not like the above mentioned disadvantages of Black’s position, that’s why the Hungarian correspondence IM G. Halasz resorted to the countermove 4...Bd7?!. On pages 31 and 32 the book authors quote game samples and criticize this reply! I can only agree, since this way Black can hardly justify his gambit play.
3. 4...Nbd7. Maybe this is why the answer 4...Nbd7!? might be the "golden mean” for Black!? After all, Black doesn’t destroy his pawn position and retains the possibility of gaining back the pawn on d5. Also, no important attacking piece is exchanged. White, in return, won’t give up his bishop pair with Bxd7. For the time being, the white bishop is quite useless on b5. So the whole thing appears quite logical!?
In ChessBase Magazine 109 I will turn to less frequent moves after 3...Bd6, i.e. all continuations except 4.d4! and 4.Bb5+!?”
The attached database contains 42 games, 13 annotated by the author.
C83: Open Ruy Lopez
Evgeny Postny deals with the variation that arises after the following moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Be3 Be7 10.c3 Nc5 11.Bc2 Nd7
Black makes the fourth move with his knight, which may seem illogical, but has the concrete idea to attack White’s overextended pawn e5. Until very recently, this move was not very popular, compared to the more common continuation 11...Bg4. Strong players and experts of the Open Variation, like Kortschnoj, Jussupow, Kaidanov, have used 11...Nd7 only sporadically. However, the recent game Kotronias-Motylev gave the whole variation a new impulse. It turns out that Black has hidden dynamic resources that may change the initial evaluation of the whole line.
There are 51 selected games in the attached database, nearly 40% of them are annotated. The database includes all fresh practical material, up to September 2005. There is a deep opening key specially developed for this variation.
The author’s conclusion is that at the moment the variation is undergoing a certain renaissance thanks to Motylev’s discovery 17...Bc5. It appears that Black’s dynamic chances should not be underestimated and may well compensate for Black’s seeming problems: inferior structure, unsafe king position, etc. It’s too early yet to make a final verdict on the merits of the variation, but the ball seems to be on White’s court now and the burden of proof is on White. The position is obviously extremely complicated and double-edged; there is a lot of room for independent research and further investigation.
D39: Vienna Variation
Zoltan Ribli examines the variation that arises with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.e5 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qa5 9.exf6
Black must avoid the continuation 9...Qxg5?? which loses to 10.Qa4+ Nc6 11.Nxc6 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Bd7 13.Qb4 (13.Qa5 also wins). This variation has been known since the game Piket,J-Karolyi,T, 1-0, but interestingly enough, other people have still gone down the same path.
After 9...Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qxg5 the continuation is 11.fxg7 (11.Qa4+ Nd7 12.fxg7 Qxg7 13.Qb4 a5 14.Qd6 Qe5+ leads to a level game).
Now Black has two continuations, 11...Rg8 and 11...Qxg7. The rook move 11...Rg8 is not played often, its great disadvantage being that Black can no longer castle short. More natural and better is the continuation 11...Qxg7, after which White has two main continuations: 12.Qf3 and 12.Qd2.
At the end of the article Ribli concludes: "The variation with 8.Nxd4 has once again become a popular line against the Vienna Variation, and it is quite dangerous for Black. There are a lot of concrete variations in which Black must find some only moves to reach equality. After 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qxg5 11.fxg7 the variation 11...Rg8 is, in my opinion, not so good; so Black must continue with 11...Qxg7. In that case, 12.Qd2 appears stronger to me than 12.Qf3 and the critical line for the whole variation is 12...0-0 13.Bxc4 Rd8, when, with very precise play, Black has chances of equality.”
The attached database contains 19 key games, twelve annotated by the author.
Johannes Fischer has written an article entitled "The Unfulfilled Promise: Chess Olympiad Leipzig 1960”. It describes the efforts of officials of the German Democratic Republic to make the Leipzig Olympiad particularly attractive for the participating players. At this event the 17-year-old Bobby Fischer celebrated his Olympic debut on board one of the US team.
"The Pros and Cons of a Pawn Break ...d5 in the Open Sicilian”. That is the theme for part two of the strategy lesson by GM Peter Wells. There are 14 games in the attached database, all annotated by the author.
GM Valery Atlas presents a "Summer Tactical Potpourri” in the form of games that were mostly decided by nice mate combinations. "Courageous attacks on the enemy king and terrific sacrifices forcing impressive mate finals were the key elements in a vast majority of the selected games,” writes the author.
Dr Karsten Müller (born in 1970) is a grandmaster who placed third in the 1996 and second in the 1997 German championships. He is not just a very strong practical player but also an authority on endgames. Together with Frank Lamprecht he authored the books Fundamental Chess Endings and Secrets of Pawn Endings. In this CBM endgame selection he has selected 38 instructive endgames all taken from the main database of CBM 108. They include the following examples, which the author found particularly fascinating. Here they are for you to ponder.
1. Pawn endgames
Lerner,K – Najer,E, ½-½
Black to play and draw. Is this really a matter of opposition?
Andersson,U - Lopez Martinez,J, 1-0
How could black have managed to save himself here?
2. Knight in the endgame
Romanishin,O - Naiditsch,A, 0-1
The knight is a piece very well shaped for tactical blows. How could White still save himself?
Carlsen,M - Kharlov,A, 1-0
Black isn’t lost. What resources does he have?
Nyback,T - Romanov,E, 1-0
Black’s defence is hanging by a thread. How could he have reached a drawn queen endgame?
Mista,A - Erenburg,S, 0-1
How could white restrain black’s knight?
3. Bishop in the endgame
Nataf,I - Sargissian,G, ½-½
White to play and draw.
Erenburg,S - Cheparinov,I, ½-½
How did White force a draw?
Ibrahimov,R - Dziuba,M, 1-0
White to play and win.
Topalov,V - Leko,P, 1-0
Topalov shows us how long this attack can last.
4. Rook endgames
Graf,A - Kovacevic,B, 1-0
How could black still have saved himself?
Van Wely,L - Guadalpi,D, 1-0
How did white destroy Black’s drawing hopes?
Kuzubov,Y - Graf,A, 1-0
White imposed instructively. How did he start?
All solutions are to be found in Carsten Müller’s endgame database on CBM 108.
This contains the games from the Computer Chess World Championship that took part in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was won not by one of the usual suspects, Shredder or Junior, but by a very talented newcomer, Anthony Cozzie with his parallel program Zappa.
The correspondence chess section brings you 1797 interesting games, some with annotations. There are also six articles, whose purpose it is to provide readers with a comprehensive coverage of the game of correspondence chess, whether using Post, Email, Webserver or other kinds of transmission, as organised by the International Correspondence Chess Federation and its Member Federations, which represent the correspondence chess playing countries and the correspondence chess players of the World. The articles are produced for the ICCF by officials and enthusiasts from a network of member federations, representing over 30,000 active correspondence chess players.
World Correspondence Chess Champions