Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 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 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 World Championship 2014 World Rapid Championship 22014 U.S. Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Stripunsky Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi Amber 2010 Amber 2011 Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Antoaneta Stefanova apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Artur Yusupov Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Baadur Jobava Bacrot Bangkok Chess Club Open Bazna 2011 Becerra Beliavsky Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bobby Fischer Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello 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 education chess and marketing chess cartoons chess history chess in fiction Chess Informant chess lessons chess psychology chess ratings chess variants Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Christiansen Christmas Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniil Dubov Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Delchev Ding Liren Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Club Cup 2012 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE Grand Prix FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gata Kamsky Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Giri Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Haworth Hedgehog Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 Informant 119 Informant 120 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Timman Jay Whitehead Jeremy Silman Jimmy Quon John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 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 Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Max Euwe Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Navara Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix passed pawns Paul Keres Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play pawn structures Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 problems progressive chess QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Indian Defense Radjabov Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergey Karjakin Sergey Shipov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV 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 Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Vallejo van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014

    Entries in Mikhalchishin (2)

    Tuesday
    Jul192011

    A Review of Mikhalchishin's Strategy University Volume 1: The Central Approach

    Adrian Mikhalchishin, Strategy University Vol. 1 – The Central Approach. Reviewed by Dennis Monokroussos.

     

    Adrian Mikhalchishin has been a GM for a long time, but for a long time now seems to have focused on his work as a trainer. Given that focus, he has collected and arranged a large quantity of material for didactic purposes, and from what I've seen of his ChessBase DVDs that material tends to be very good.

     

    On this occasion, the material centers on (pun intended) the center; in particular, on different ways of handling it. Mikhalchishin examines different types of pawn centers, different plans for fighting for the center, ways of transforming one central structure to another, combating certain central configurations, and so on. I like this idea a lot, and think it's an excellent resource for amateurs. Many club players only learn about the typical French pawn chain, some standard isolani setups and maybe some open Sicilians. Those are important structures, no doubt about it, but there are so many more to consider. Even players with extremely limited repertoires will experience far more kinds of centers than those listed.

     

    So what is the amateur to do? He'll get some help from opening books - at least sometimes. More often than not, they won't take the time to address a given central configuration in its own right, but will assume that the amateur either understands what's going on there or will pick it up inductively from the analysis in the book. Maybe that's right, sometimes, but not always, and a further problem is that unless the problem is explicitly addressed, the reader may not even notice it as an issue.

     

    This, then, is the strength and value of Mikhalchishin's presentation. Over the course of almost four hours, in 21 clips covering 51 games, the reader sees a wide variety of central structures and plans he can use and apply to his own openings and games, rather than hoping to get lucky generalizing in the opposite direction.

     

    What's covered? Here are some examples:

     

    • The d5 hole in the Sicilian (or ...d4 for Black in the English) - generally its exploitation by a piece, but also the transformed structure when Black takes a piece on d5 and White plays exd5 in reply.
    • The d4-d5 advance to create a passed pawn (and its blockade, from Black's point of view).
    • The Botvinnik pawn roller in the Carlsbad structure.
    • The structure with White pawns on d4 and e4 vs. Black pawns on c6 and e6, with White's c-pawn exchanged for Black's d-pawn.
    • The Closed Ruy structure where White closes the center with d4-d5.
    • The Closed Ruy structure where White keeps an open center with d4xc5, favored by Fischer and (I think) attributed originally to Rauzer.
    • The method of sacrificing a piece for two center (or one center and one near-center) pawns to obtain a massive central presence.
    • The ...c5-c4 advance, primarily in QG pawn structures where cxd5 exd5 has occurred (both pro and con). (Part of one of the clips covering this can be seen here.)

    There's plenty more besides that, but that's enough to give a taste of what you'll find. This will broaden the amateur's knowledge base both conceptually (by thinking about the topic of the center with new tools) and by filling in many particulars. Recommended, especially to players between around 1600 and 2000.

     

    I do have some mild criticisms of this disk, of which I'll note five. These are not intended as reasons to keep potential viewers away, but as suggestions for improving later presentations.

     

    First, while in many cases the games in a given clip reinforced each other and obviously fit together, this wasn't always the case. It would be more helpful, I think, to avoid overly dissimilar examples.

     

    Second, better labeling would be nice. The headers for the clips are almost completely uninformative.

     

    Third, he often zips through portions of the games rather too speedily. In many cases he does this in sections of the games that don't matter very much, but not always! Sometimes it's the portions that are entirely relevant that get breezed through. Naturally, the viewer can stop the recording and slow things down, but I think it would be better if in most of those cases it was Mikhalchishin himself who put on the brakes.

     

    Fourth, he should spend a minute or two (off-camera) reviewing the material before delivering the clip. It's amusing but not really an indication of good prep when he finds himself bending his explanations to what actually happens in the game, when he's forced to construct an ex post facto justification of what happens.

     

    Fifth, a not-very-serious point. If Mikhalchishin or anyone from ChessBase is reading this, they should let Mikhalchishin know that when he uses the word "either" (and he does fairly often), he really means "too" or "also" instead. (An approximate example: "White's bishop is bad, but Black's bishop is bad either." Bad too, Grandmaster!)

     

    Just to reiterate, these are areas where the presentation can improve, but overall I like the concept and the material, and think the upper-to-middle class player can benefit from it. (More about the product and ordering information can be found here.)

    Saturday
    Dec122009

    Mini-Reviews of Recent Mikhalchishin DVDs

    These are more notices than reviews, letting you know about some of the recent video products ChessBase has released and some quick thoughts about them. Bear in mind that I get these as review copies and work for them, so while I can assert that I'm going to give you my honest impressions about the material, you should at least know that I have a potential conflict of interest. Without further ado...

    GM Adrian Mikhalchishin has released a couple of disks in the last couple of months on strategic themes. One is called "Power of Planning" (POP), and the other is "Power of Exchange" (POE). (Alas, "Power of Definite Article" is missing.) Both are about three hours long (the first runs 3:19, the second 3:00), and both are worthwhile for club players. POP divides into two parts. In part 1, he discusses pawn majorities, and in part 2 he discusses weaknesses.

    I think the discussion in part 1 is useful if a bit one-sided. In particular, in the well-known structure where one side has a 3-2 queenside majority with an extra c-pawn against the opponent's 4-3 kingside majority with the extra e-pawn, it's the former who always comes out on top in this video. It is certainly important to be familiar with typical ways of exploiting that majority, but it's good to know that the central/kingside majority can win the day too.

    That said, I liked part 1, and think part 2 may be even better. There he presents and demonstrates the key to planning, which he describes as a several step process. For him, plans are all based on weaknesses, and he divvies up the planning procedure roughly as follows: identify a (potential) weakness, create and fix it, tie the opponent down to it, create a second weakness and win by stretching the opponent's defense too thin. It's true that one's opponent sometimes fails to cooperate with this schema or - even worse - apply it to us - but even it's a useful schema.

    Next, there's POE, which also comprises two parts. Part 1 runs through a slew of Rubinstein games, demonstrating his very impressive technique in forcing and exploiting favorable exchanges. In part two, Mikhalchishin discusses bishops and knights, generally focusing on situations where one side has a favorable knight vs. bishop imbalance. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyhow) such a work is far from comprehensive, but what is there will benefit many club players.

    Should you buy them? That I can't say. These aren't must-buys, so you'll have to decide if you think it's a worthwhile use of your own money. I do think they offer useful concepts for club players, and the examples are well-chosen too. If I had to pick one, it would be POP, and there's an important reason for this. In many works on positional play, a concept will be noted and examples provided, but you don't get much guidance on how to use it in the different situations you'll get in your own games. It's all autopsy and no preventive care. The strength of POP is that if offers advice you can use almost immediately, so to speak in Ebertese my thumb is closer to "way up" than it is for POE.