Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 1959 Candidates 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Capablanca Memorial 2014 Chess Olympiad 2014 London Chess Classic 2014 Petrosian Memorial 2014 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 Sinquefield Cup 2014 Tigran Petrosian Memorial 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 U.S. Open 2014 Women's World Championship 2014 World Championship 2014 World Junior Championships 2014 World Rapid Championship 2015 Capablanca Memorial 2015 Chinese Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2015 European Team Championship 2015 London Chess Classic 2015 Millionaire Open 2015 Poikovsky 2015 Russian Team Championship 2015 Sinquefield Cup 2015 U.S. Championship 2015 Women's World Championship KO 2015 World Blitz Championship 2015 World Cup 2015 World Junior Championship 2015 World Open 2015 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2015 World Team Championships 2016 2016 Candidates 2016 Capablanca Memorial 2016 Champions Showdown 2016 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 European Club Cup 2016 Isle of Man 2016 London Chess Classic 2016 Russian Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 Tal Memorial 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Junior Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Blitz Championship 2016 World Championship 2016 World Junior Championship 2016 World Open 2016 World Rapid Championship 2017 British Championship 2017 British Knockout Championship 2017 Champions Showdown 2017 Chinese Championship 2017 Elite Mind Games 2017 European Team Championship 2017 Geneva Grand Prix 2017 Grand Prix 2017 Isle of Man 2017 London Chess Classic 2017 PRO Chess League 2017 Russian Championship 2017 Sharjah Masters 2017 Sinquefield Cup 2017 Speed Chess Championship 2017 U..S. Championshp 2017 U.S. Junior Championship 2017 Women's World Championship 2017 World Cup 2017 World Junior Championship 2017 World Rapid & Blitz Championships 2017 World Team Championship 2018 Candidates 2018 Chess Olympiad 2018 European Championship 2018 Gashimov Memorial 2018 Gibraltar 2018 Grand Chess Tour 2018 Grenke Chess Classic 2018 Grenke Chess Open 2018 Leuven 2018 Norway Chess 2018 Paris 2018 Poikovsky 2018 Pro Chess League 2018 Tal Memorial 2018 U.S. Championship 2018 Wijk aan Zee 2018 Women's World Championship 2018 World Championship 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 2Mind Games 2016 2Wijk aan Zee 2017 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Aeroflot 2015 Aeroflot 2016 Aeroflot 2017 AGON Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Akshat Chandra Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Beliavsky Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Moiseenko Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Panchenko Alexander Stripunsky Alexander Tolush Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi AlphaZero Alvin Plantinga Amber 2010 Amber 2011 American Chess Magazine Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Anders Ericsson Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Muzychuk Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Anti-Sicilians Antoaneta Stefanova Anton Korobov Anton Kovalyov apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Arthur Bisguier Arthur van de Oudeweetering Artur Yusupov Arturo Pomar Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Awonder Liang Baadur Jobava Bacrot Baku Grand Prix 2014 Baltic Defense Bangkok Chess Club Open Baskaran Adhiban Bazna 2011 Becerra beginner's books Beliavsky Ben Feingold Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Biel 2015 Biel 2017 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao 2015 Bilbao 2016 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne Blaise Pascal blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bob Hope Bobby Fischer Bogo-Indian Bohatirchuk Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Branimiir Maksimovic Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship British Chess Magazine Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello Bu Xiangzhi Budapest Bundesliga California Chess Reporter Camilla Baginskaite Campomanes Candidates 2011 Candidates 2011 Candidates 2012 Candidates 2013 Candidates 2014 Capablanca Carlsen Caro-Kann cartoons Caruana Catalan Cebalo Charlie Rose cheating Cheparinov chess and drugs chess and education chess and marketing chess books chess cartoons chess documentaries chess engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film chess in schools Chess Informant chess lessons chess openings chess politics chess psychology chess ratings chess strategy chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Chithambaram Aravindh Christian faith Christiansen Christmas Colin Crouch Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cristobal Henriquez Villagra Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniel Parmet Daniil Dubov Danny Kopec Danzhou Danzhou 2016 Danzhou 2017 Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David Bronstein David Howell David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Dejan Antic Delchev Denis Khismatullin Ding Liren Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dmitry Jakovenko Dominic Lawson Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Dortmund 2015 Dortmund 2016 Dortmund 2017 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas Eltaj Safarli Emanuel Lasker Emory Tate en passant endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Ernesto Inarkiev Erwin L'Ami Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Bareev Evgeny Najer Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy expertise Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE FIDE Grand Prix FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer Fischer-Spassky 1972 football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Fritz 15 Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gashimov Memorial 2017 Gata Kamsky Gawain Jones Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Genna Sosonko Georg Meier Georgios Makropolous GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Gibraltar 2015 Gibraltar 2016 Gibraltar 2017 Giri Go Grand Chess Tour Grand Chess Tour 2017 Grand Chess Tour Paris 2017 Grand Prix 2014-2015 Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grenke Chess Classic 2015 Grenke Chess Classic 2017 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hannes Langrock Hans Berliner Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Hastings Hawaii International Festival Haworth Hedgehog helpmates Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Ignatius Leong Igor Kovalenko Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Makoveev Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 Informant 119 Informant 120 Informant 121 Informant 122 Informant 124 Informant 125 Informant 126 Informant 127 Informant 128 Informant 129 Informant 130 Informant 131 Informant 132 Informant 133 Informant 134 Informant 135 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Irving Chernev Ivan Bukavshin Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacek Oskulski Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Gustafsson Jan Timman Jan-Krzysztof Duda Jay Whitehead Jeffery Xiong Jeremy Silman Jim Slater Jimmy Quon Joe Benjamin Joel Benjamin John Burke John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jon Ludwig Hammer Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Joop van Oosterom Jose Diaz Jose Raul Capablanca Ju Wenjun Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga junk openings Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karen Sumbatyan Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Keanu Reeves Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix Kim Commons king and pawn endings King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Komodo 11 Komodo 12 Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Lajos Portisch Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laurent Fressinet Laznicka Le Quang Liem LeBron James Leinier Dominguez Leko Leon 2017 Leonid Kritz lessons Leuven Rapid & Blitz Leuven Rapid & Blitz 2017 Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 Linder Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu Loek van Wely Lombardy London 2009 London 2010 London 2011 London Grand Prix London System Lothar Schmid Luke McShane Macieja Magnus Carlsen Main Line Ruy Malakhov Malcolm Pein Mamedyarov Marc Arnold Marc Lang Marin Mariya Muzychuk Mark Crowther Mark Dvoretsky Mark Taimanov Markus Ragger Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Matthew Sadler Maurice Ashley Max Euwe Maxim Matlakov Maxim Rodshtein Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Antipov Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Golubev Mikhail Osipov Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Mind Games 2016 Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Natalia Pogonina Navara Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nihal Sarin Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian Nino Khurtsidze NNotre Dame football Nodirbek Abdusattarov Nona Gaprindashvili Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Norway Chess 2015 Norway Chess 2016 Norway Chess 2017 Notre Dame basketball Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Notre Dame hockey Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Oleg Pervakov Oleg Skvortsov Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Pal Benko Palma Grand Prix 2017 Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix Paris Rapid & Blitz passed pawns Paul Keres Paul Morphy Paul Rudd Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play Pawn Sacrifice pawn structures Pentala Harikrishna Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Philidor's Defense philosophy Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu Prague Chess Train problems progressive chess prophylaxis Qatar Masters 2015 QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Gambit Declined Queen's Indian Defense Rabat blitz 2015 Radjabov Radoslaw Wojtaszek Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Raymond Smullyan Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Reuben Fine Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Reykjavik Open 2017 Richard Rapport Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein Rubinstein French Rudolf Spielmann rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Saemisch Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Sam Shankland Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Savielly Tartakower Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergey Erenburg Sergey Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Kasparov Sergey Shipov Sevan Muradian Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shamkir 2015 Shamkir 2016 Shamkir 2017 Shankland Sharjah Grand Prix 2017 Shenzhen 2017 Shipov Shirov Short Shreyas Royal Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov So-Navara Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Chess Club St. Louis Invitational St. Louis Rapid and Blitz 2017 stalemate Staunton Stephen Hawking Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Susan Polgar Sutovsky Sveshnikov Sveshnikov Sicilian Svetozar Gligoric Svidler sweeper sealer twist Swiercz tactics Tactics Taimanov Tal Tal Memorial 2009 Tal Memorial 2010 Tal Memorial 2011 Tal Memorial 2012 Tal Memorial 2012 Tarjan Tarrasch Tarrasch Defense Tashkent Tashkent Grand Prix Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 TCEC TCEC Season 10 TCEC Season 11 TCEC Season 12 TCEC Season 8 TCEC Season 9 TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Simpsons The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tibor Karolyi Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls time trouble Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer Ultimate Blitz Challenge underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 US Chess League USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Valentina Gunina Vallejo value of chess van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Vera Menchik Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Vincent Keymer Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Fedoseev Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vladislav Artemiev Vladislav Tkachiev Vlastimil Hort Vlastimil Jansa Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Walter Browne Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Wei Yi Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 1999 Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wijk aan Zee 2015 Wijk aan Zee 2016 Wijk aan Zee 2017 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz William Golding William Lombardy William Vallicella Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Wolfgang Uhlmann Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Championship World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWesley So WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yoshiharu Habu Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Yuri Vovk Yuri Yeliseyev Yuriy Kuzubov Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zhongyi Tan Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurab Azmaiparashvili Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015 Zurich 2016 Zurich 2017
    Friday
    Jun112010

    Rybka 4: Son of Fischer?

    In a recent issue of Chess Today, a gentleman named Albert Silver submitted a game between two engines he was testing, Rybka 4 and the strong but anonymous "Engine X". While it went unremarked upon by Mr. Silver and the Chess Today staff, the ending bears an incredible resemblance to the super-famous fourth game of the Fischer-Taimanov match back in 1971. See for yourself, here. Once Engine X gets saddled with a second pawn triangle after move 46, the resemblance is uncanny - compare for instance the position after move 55 with that after move 61 in the Fischer game.

    (They are so alike - mirror images except for one not-too-important pawn - that I initially wondered if Silver was playing some sort of practical joke. But who would do a thing like that? [Don't answer that.])

    Friday
    Jun112010

    The Daily Update: Poikovsky, Round 8 and Havana, Round 1

    The Karpov tournament in Poikovsky is getting into the homestretch, and the players are finally picking up the pace. Round 8 had three winners - all with Black. Riazantsev led and had White against Karjakin, but lost, putting the latter in clear second with 5/8. He would have been tied for first, but Jakovenko won with Black against Motylev (and in just 25 moves); he has 5.5 points. The third winner was Sokolov, who climbed out of the cellar with a win against Rublevsky. Rublevsky has now taken his place there with three rounds to go.

    Meanwhile, at the Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Ivanchuk was the day's sole winner. Like the Poikovskites, he too won with Black, beating Short in a lively contest with lots of material imbalances. (Replayable here, but without notes.) Dominguez - Bruzon was a long and very hard-fought battle between Cuba's two best players, while Nepomniachtchi - Alekseev was less interesting.

    Thursday
    Jun102010

    Small ECO 2: A Slightly Longer Review

    I've mentioned before that the Informant and their other publications - most notably the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO) - used to rule the world in the way that ChessBase (and to a lesser extent, Chess Assistant) does today. If you wanted Heavy Duty, high-quality information, you more or less had to go there. The Informants were a good buy (and have their place even today), while the 5-volume ECO series was nearly indispensable for serious players.

    For those unfamiliar with the ECOs, they are monstrously big compilations of opening theory, given in tabular format with tons of footnotes. Like the Informants, they are given without textual commentary; it's all symbols. For those of you familiar with Modern Chess Openings (MCO) and Nunn's Chess Openings (NCO), the ECOs are those volumes on steroids (but with symbols only).

    Today, however, while it's nice to buy the latest editions of each ECO volume, they're pretty expensive, fall out of date faster than used to, and it's not much fun lugging them around if you're not in a local tournament. In principle, this makes the one-volume Small ECO a very attractive alternative - it's cheaper and more portable, but still does the job of giving tournament players a reasonably deep survey of the whole realm of opening theory. Even better (seemingly), it's available on disc. (That's the version I have, and thus what I will review.)

    Unfortunately, that's only in principle. In fact, Small ECO 2 (i.e. the second edition) is too superficial, may have selection "issues" (I'll explain below), and is terribly out of date. All in all, I recommend that players over 2000 and below 1500 NOT get it; for those in between, you might find it useful for all its flaws. Time to elaborate.

    Let me start with the last criticism first: while the disc has a 2007 copyright, the database entries are all given as 2003, which seems to mean that the information is good through all of 2002 with a tiny bit of 2003 included as well. Maybe eight-year-old opening manuals sufficed in the days of Philidor, but they don't today. Perhaps if I racked my mind I could come up with some even moderately important variation that hasn't progressed since then, but nothing leaps to mind. Even in relative backwaters like the Schliemann, the Albin, the Chigorin, the Budapest and the Grand Prix Attack there have been huge developments. When we turn to major lines like the Slav, Semi-Slav, Najdorf and Dragon we see that 2002 theory is practically antiquarian. For club players not on the cutting edge, this is less important. Those of you in the 1500-2000 demographic may find it a handy (or "handy", if it's on your computer) reference work; good enough to give you some idea of what's going on, even if the specifics are rather dated.

    Next, the selection "issues". I decided to check its coverage of the Moller Gambit in the Giuoco Piano, as that's more or less a dead line. After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 h6 (the old move 13...0-0 isn't mentioned; it leads to a draw after 14.Nxh7, as was proved in the early 20th century) 14.Qe2 hxg5 15.Re1 Be6, the burden of proof has been on White to prove he's not seriously worse. Generally play continues 16.dxe6 f6 17.Re3 c6 18.Rh3 Rxh3 19.gxh3 g6 (with the idea of ...Kf8-g7; if Black achieves this he's just about winning), but SECO2 doesn't mention this. Instead, it continues 16.Re3 g4 17.h3 c6 18.dxe6 f5 19.hxg4 d5 20.Bd3 Qd6 21.Qf3 Qh2+ 22.Kf1 f4 23.Re5 0-0-0 unclear, as played in the game A. Perez - J. Olivera, Cuba 1998.

    Source? Informant 73/363. It's a reasonable line, but not only is 16.Re3 rare, 16...g4 is even rarer. The usual move (by far) is 16...c6(!), which forces 17.dxe6, and then 17...f6 returns us to the aforementioned main line with 16.dxe6, and it's a line where White is struggling. So why isn't this mentioned? I don't know, but I have noticed in the past that ECOs tend to quote games that were in earlier Informants. That's all well and good if those specific games are the most important ones for the given variation, but if they're not, then there's no reason why we should give a rip for the Informant citation.

    Finally, of course, it's superficial - but not always. The editors have to make their decisions, especially in a one-volume abridgement, but I think SECO2 sometimes carries it too far. For instance, in the Perenyi line of the 6.Bg5 Najdorf (6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 Nc5 14.f6 gxf6 15.gxf6 Bf8 16.Rg1), only 16...Bd7 is covered, and after 17.Rg7 Bxg7 18.fxg7 Rg8 19.e5 0-0-0 20.exd6 only 20...Qb7 is given, not the probably better 20...Qb6. But more importantly, 16...h5 is omitted, and that was an important move even back then.

    There's no coverage of the Poisoned Pawn with 10.e5 (6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5). The move was considered refuted back then, prior to Radjabov's rehabilitation of the move back in 2006, but even so finding the (alleged) refutation is impossible over the board - it was the product of years of work by the world's strongest grandmasters. As for the 10.f5 line, thought before Radjabov to be the significant variation, SECO2's coverage refers to one game from 1997 and the rest from 1990 and earlier.

    The 6.Be3 e5 line fares better - that one has game scores in the 2000s, including three from 2002. And if you're a Petroff fan, you've hit the mother lode. There are 34 entries for that opening, and I even noticed a game reference or two from 2003! The coverage of the 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian also looked up to date in the trendy 4...0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 lines, so but lest you think their coverage of all the hot openings was up to date (by 2003 standards), the Botvinnik Semi-Slav material covered mostly games from the mid-to-late '90s.

    In sum, hot lines generally got pretty good coverage (but not always); second-tier systems like the Schliemann Ruy and the Budapest get light but representative overviews. In general, the lower you go down the popularity (and perhaps reputability) scales, the less coverage you get - and it's probably weaker coverage too, at least if it's only/primarily Informant-based.

    In conclusion, I think that unless you have a time machine, stronger players probably won't want it because the material is out of date on important openings, while the coverage of less trendy lines is often too light to be helpful (for a strong player). For weaker players it won't be helpful because it doesn't give any guidance. Players under 1500 would be better served by something like van der Sterren's Fundamental Chess Openings or Hansen's Back to Basics: Openings. But A- and B- players, and maybe some C-players, could benefit from this as a reference work, as a help in learning a new opening or variation (even if circa 2003).

    A note on the software: I don't enjoy using the Informant people's software, though this might be because I'm so used to ChessBase that I don't feel like learning a new system. In this case it doesn't matter, because the disc provides SECO2 not just in their proprietary format but in ChessBase, Chess Assistant and PGN formats as well.

    Thursday
    Jun102010

    Small ECO 2: A Short Review

    Don't buy it. (But see the next post [meaning the one above this one].)

    Wednesday
    Jun092010

    13 Words That Made My Day

    From GM Glenn Flear's "Book Reviews" at the back of the brand New in Chess Yearbook 95, p. 245:

    Here the authors quote a detailed analysis (which I couldn't crack) of Monokroussos...

    Excellent!

    Wednesday
    Jun092010

    The Daily Update: Poikovsky, Havana

    Two tournaments broadly celebrating world champions are ongoing, or are about to be. The Karpov tournament in Poikovsky has been going on for about a week now, while the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba starts play tomorrow.

    In Poikovsky, the players had a day off yesterday, and the rest day clearly helped. Where almost all the previous rounds saw two wins and five draws, today's round saw two wins and five draws...but only one draw finished in fewer than 40 moves. It's progress. The winners were Naiditsch (over Sutovsky) and Jobava (over Motylev). Jakovenko and Riazantsev lead with 4.5/7, half a point ahead of Karjakin (and Bologan, if he defeats Onischuk in their unplayed game from round 6).

    The Capablanca Memorial starts tomorrow and runs through the 21st or 22nd (I'm not sure if the last day is a playing day or reserved for the closing ceremonies alone). Here are the participants:

    Vassily Ivanchuk (2748)

    Leinier Dominguez (2713)

    Evgeny Alekseev (2700)

    Nigel Short (2686)

    Ian Nepomniachtchi (2656)

    Lazaro Bruzon Batista (2641)

    Wednesday
    Jun092010

    A Fun Puzzle From Ken Regan - With Hints

    This is the fascinating position first presented yesterday, with Black to move. (There are hints below, so if you don't want to see them, go to the original post or don't look below the diagram!)

    Here are IM Ken Regan's hints:

    1. Can Black get away with the pawn snatch 1...Qxb2---?  White has a terrifying reply, but can Black survive it?
    2. What happens if White plays h3 or Nd4 after the terrifying move?  Or h3 right away?
    3. Is 1...Qxb2
    Black's best move in this position?  Is this a case where risky Pawn-grabbing is the only safe policy?

    I'll leave the comments open to anyone whose remarks aren't engine-based. Happy analysing!

    Wednesday
    Jun092010

    The World's Worst Opening

    In My 60 Memorable Games, Bobby Fischer famously made fun of the Dragon. Using the plan of castling queenside, trading the dark-squared bishops, playing h4-h5xg6 and "sac, sac, mate" even "weak players" could beat GMs with White in that opening.

    The Latvian is a lot like that, except that White doesn't even need a good plan. After giving a lesson on ICC (interested readers, write me using the contact box on the right sidebar!) I decided to watch a game or two before logging off. I don't remember much about the first game, and when the second game featured an untitled player taking on a GM I was about to log off until I saw the priceless opening moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5?? Now I had to stay.

    White was winning by move 6 - yes, winning - and it took him many, many, many mistakes before the GM was so much as a bit better but not yet winning. Further, the position was unclear, and one of White's many fringe benefits in this opening, the dubious position of Black's king, came to the forefront. The GM's attack was breaking through, but if his opponent found one very nice move, he'd win. It took him about a minute to play it (and I was mentally shouting for him to do so), but he finally did and mated his grandmaster opponent.

    Have a look, it's fun.

    Wednesday
    Jun092010

    Jaideep Interviews Anand, Part 1

    Right here.

    It's an old interview (conducted in December of last year), but Indian journalist (and regular commenter on this blog) Jaideep Unudurti has done a fine job in this extended interview. Recommended reading!

    Tuesday
    Jun082010

    A Fun Puzzle from Ken Regan

    Here's a fun position from IM Ken Regan, complete with oversized diagram:

    It's Black to move.* What's going on here? I'll parcel out some hints later, but first I'll present it as is, without any prompts or background information. Do your best, and for your own sake (both intellectually and aesthetically), please don't use your engines.

    *Originally I mistyped "White" to move.