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 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko 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 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 Reti (3)

    Friday
    Apr062012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Viewer Games for Early 2012

    It has been a long while since my last viewer games show, and the result is that this one is a doozy! No fewer than eight games are covered, and while it's a long video I do try to keep things moving along, and viewers will be compensated by getting a rich variety of topics.

    The focus is more on openings (including the old Lasker-Pelikan, the Modern Benoni, the Veresov and the Norwegian Variation of the Ruy), but endgames appear as well, most notably one Caro-Kann that culminates in a very important and thematic pawn ending. There are some spectacular middlegames as well, so I hope all viewers will find several topics of interest.

    The show is here and it's free, as always (one-time free registration is required), and will be available on-demand for at least the next month or so.

    Friday
    Mar162012

    A Review of Delchev's The Modern Reti: An Anti-Slav Repertoire

    Alexander Delchev, The Modern Reti: An Anti-Slav Repertoire (Chess Stars, 2012). 212 pp. Reviewed by Dennis Monokroussos.

    Chess Stars have put out reliable opening books for years, and Alexander Delchev's The Reliable Reti: An Anti-Slav Repertoire is no exception. Delchev examines 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 in this 212 page book, and contrary to the title it's not just an anti-Slav repertoire (taking "Slav" to include Semi-Slav setups) but one that also handles Queen's Gambit Accepted, Queen's Gambit Declined and Reverse  Benoni setups as well. (Oddly, while most publishers offer misleading titles and jacket prose to help push book sales, this title undersells the book.)

    As usual with Chess Stars (CS) opening books (not counting the Khalifman series), the chapters (or "parts", in CS parlance) are each divided into three sections. (I'd say "parts", but the word is already occupied.) First there's a "Main Ideas" section (in earlier CS volumes this was usually labeled "Quick Repertoire"); it's essentially an overview of key strategic ideas and the fundamental variations. If you're new to the opening, you might just go chapter by chapter through all the Main Ideas sections, leaving the other sections for later.

    Next comes the complete repertoire in the "Step by Step" section; here's where the details and hard work comes in. Or at least that's generally the case. In a few instances, Delchev pushes some of the specific details into the third section, "Complete Games". These tend to have two functions: one we've already mentioned, which is to fill out some final theoretical details; and the other is to present model games that illustrate what the sides are up to - especially the white side, for this book.

    It's a very useful and reader-friendly format. But what about the content, and why play the Reti at all? Let's start with the second question. Delchev discusses this in the foreword, offering arguments that will be familiar to and resonate with most club players (and not just club players): one's opponents will be less prepared while you'll have an easier time preparing, particularly as it's not a memorization-heavy opening. Having a good understanding will go a long way here, and the book (and the experience one accrues once he's playing the Reti) will help.

    On the other hand, the book doesn't cover all possible responses to 1.Nf3. If Black plays 1…c5, or goes for a King's Indian or Gruenfeld-style  setup or a Dutch, for instance, you'll need to look elsewhere for opening advice. That's not a flaw in the book, of course, which isn't advertised as a complete repertoire. Rather, I'm pointing this out so that club players don't infer from the relative ease of preparation in this book that an entire 1.Nf3 repertoire will be relatively light work.

    Let's turn to what is covered in this book, and that's enough to keep the reader occupied for a while.

    Chapter 1 addresses the QGA-like 2…dxc4. White plays 3.e3, and after regaining the pawn will, depending on Black's choices, will either opt for a setup with d3 and e4 or go into a favorable line of a normal QGA with an eventual d4.

    Chapter 2 examines the Reversed Benoni with 2…d4. Interestingly, Delchev admits that he tried for a long time to find a clear path to an advantage, but couldn't. He even asked some of his fellow Chess Stars authors for advice, but they too thought that Black should be okay. Nevertheless, Delchev has put in a lot of original analysis, and offers several reasonable tries for White. The most fascinating of his lines starts with 3.b4  f6 4.e3 e5 5.c5 a5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Bc4, which he analyzes very deeply. Black can survive, but only after crossing multiple minefields.

    Chapter 3 looks at Slav setups for Black that don't entail a Semi-Slav (Meran) structure. That includes Chebanenko-style setups with …a6, along with attempts to get the bishop outside the pawn chain on f5 or g4.

    The next three chapters focus on Meran-like setups for Black. Indeed, if White plays an early d4 the game will transpose to the Meran, but here the d-pawn stays home, to the benefit of White's dark-squared bishop once it reaches b2. All three chapters begin with 2…c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3, and the next two chapters continue 5…Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bb2 0-0. Here Delchev (as elsewhere) offers White two plans: going for the throat with 8.Rg1 and a quick g4 (chapter 5) and the more restrained 8.Be2 (chapter 6).

    Finally, chapters 7 and 8 address the Queen's Gambit response 2…e6. This time Delchev recommends 3.g3, with the main line in chapter 8 starting  3…Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3 (rather than 6.d4, transposing to a Catalan).

    While verbal explanations are the order of the day in the "Main Ideas" sections of each chapter (or "part", in Chess Stars-ese), Delchev doesn't restrict himself to anything remotely like bare Informant-style analysis elsewhere. Here are a couple of nice excerpts from the Step-By-Step section of chapter 8.

    The position in question comes after 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3 c5 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.e3 d4 9.exd4 cxd4 10.Re1(!), which leads to a reversed Modern Benoni. Delchev says this:

    It is pointless to count the tempos here. Bb2 may be considered a step in the wrong direction, but the hit on d4 prevents the thematic Benoni redeployment Nf6-d7-c5. It is more important that Black cannot achieve …e6-e5, which is the cornerstone of any active play for him.

    That's a helpful comment for amateurs, as is the following. After 10…Ne8 11.Ne5(!) Nxe5 12.Rxe5 f6 13.Re1 e5 he suggests 14.Ba3(!) and writes the following:

    I recommend this exchange in most branches of the reversed Modern Benoni. In my opinion, it is principally wrong to play with bad pieces in one's camp. Tarrasch's formula was: one bad piece equals a bad game.

    While 14.Ba3 is his main suggestion, he notes an interesting tactical line starting with 14.f4 instead: 14.f4 exf4 15.Qf3 fxg3 16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.hxg3 Qxd5 18.Bxd5 Bd6 19.Bxd4 Nc7 20.Bf3 Bxg3 21.Bf2 Bxf2+ 22.Kxf2. I like his comment here as well:

    This crazy endgame occurred in Kosten-Luther, Austria 2009. The only thing I can say is that it is totally unclear to me. Only a very deep computer analysis can shed some light on it, but I prefer to play chess and not to spend my time on memorising long variation [sic], where even a considerably weaker opponent might beat me thanks to better computer assistance.

    So, dear readers, if avoiding lots of memorization sounds good, then you've found a friend in Alexander Delchev. His earlier Chess Stars book The Safest Sicilian and The Safest Gruenfeld were both very good, and I think this one is as well. Recommended to those interested in this repertoire, 1800 and up!

    Friday
    Feb262010

    Modern Ideas in Chess: A New Edition

    Richard Reti, Modern Ideas in Chess (New 21st Century Edition), Russell Enterprises 2009. 132 pages. $19.95.

    "Modern", in the colloquial sense, connotes something that's new or relating to the present. From that perspective, Richard Reti's 1923 book Modern Ideas in Chess comes across ironically. Nothing like "cutting edge" ideas that are 90 years old! Much of what he says is very familiar to us today, but it's familiar in part because of his effectiveness as a propagandist.

    The book tells an evolutionary tale of thinking in chess. After a brief mention of Adolf Anderssen (the apotheosis of combination-based chess) as the starting point, Reti discusses the big leap in positional understanding represented by Paul Morphy. Then it's on to Wilhelm Steinitz and the Steinitz School (including e.g. Tarrasch), chess technicians like Akiba Rubinstein and Jose Capablanca, and then on to Hyper-Moderns like Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Breyer and Tartakower.

    The hypermoderns, a group to which Reti himself belonged, were the enemies of routine chess, but tried to take each position on its own merits and not according to some collection of "rules". This is a commonplace now, when chess writers often say that chess is a very "concrete" game, and the widespread use of computers has only strengthened this conviction.

    Reti believes this sort of approach applies to life, too: "Just as in life no universal rules of conduct can obtain [DM: Should we infer from this that one ought to make it a universal rule of conduct not to live by universal rules of conduct?], and just as the man who invariably acts in accordance with the most approved principles will not perforce become great, so it is with chess principles" (p. 90). But despite this apparent skepticism about excessive generalization, Reti happily makes much of a distinction between a European way of playing chess and "Americanism". (Reti was a European, so guess which way he finds superior?)

    Americanism, as Reti uses the term, indicates a sort of energetic pragmatism. We're simple thinkers, but we're full of energy and good at achieving what's possible. Capablanca is an example of this (as is to be expected, as he's from the Americas and went to college in the U.S.) - though Reti reassures his reader that "the Americanism of Capablanca's play shows itself in a milder, more attractive garb, probably (as was the case with Morphy) by reason of his Latin ancestry" (p. 131). (Kind of reminds me of Archie Bunker saying that while so-and-so was a black or a Jew, at least he was one of the good ones.) The European, of course, is an artist - God bless him - a DEEP THINKER whose occasional downfall comes when he starts to plod and misses what's right in front of him. A pity, really.

    It's clear that Reti's strong preference is for the artist, elevating this bifurcation beyond chess into the broader world. Here's the last paragraph in the book:

    At the last London Congress, (August 1922) with the time limit so unfavorable to the European type, they succumbed before Capablanca. Yet they go on investigating and building further. Who will come out of this struggle victorious? Nobody can prophesy the answer. But one thing is certain. If Americanism is victorious in chess, it will also be so in life. For in the idea of chess and the development of the chess mind we have a picture of the intellectual struggle of mankind. (p. 131)

    IF there's something to this European/American distinction, one might conclude, based on Reti's example, that the European mind is beset with a navel-gazing pretentiousness that expresses itself in condescending, self-important prose. But better still is to reject this nonsense altogether, or at least to minimize it. There are and have been deep, plodding chess players and pretentious, condescending intellectuals from the Americas, and there are and have been plenty of superficial but pragmatic and energetic Europeans. Reti's distinction prefigures Soviet-era nonsense about the qualities of "Soviet man" and the "Soviet school of chess". Somehow Botvinnik, Tal and Petrosian were supposed to be part of the same "school"? Please.

    Fortunately, there is more to the book than pontification about the clash of intellectual civilizations, and even that makes the book an interesting historical document. (Of course, it's not as if any contemporary author would continue in this genre of paralleling chess styles with broader intellectual trends, right? Well... [see about 3/4 of the way down.]) Reti also offers insightful comments about chess and chess players (even if, as noted above, many of them have become commonplaces), and the book presents about 35 (very attractive but generally lightly annotated) games, some of which are little-known.

    Those of you with a good knowledge of the history of chess or whose interest in chess doesn't go beyond the latest opening volume or instructional work have little practical need to buy this book. If you have an interest in chess history and don't know a lot about the history of chess ideas, then this may be the book for you. Think about it this way: how many chess books can you think of that generate mainstream discussion almost 90 years after publication? No one cares about the scriptorrhea produced by the chess world's authors of opening books five years after publication, but books that expand our understanding of the game endure - especially when written by one of the greatest players of his time.