ChessBase Magazine (CBM 211) offers a window to the world of professional chess. 618 games (20 annotated) from Schah Bundesliga, Meltwater Tour Tounament and the U.S. Championship. 12 opening surveys, 8 demo. lectures and several exercises for training. Annotators include Loek Van Wely, Pavel Eljanov and Luke McShane, Erwin L’Ami, Nikita Vitiugov, Nils Grandelius and Gawain Jones among others.
The icing on the cake is a feature on Misha Tal with 21 annotated games
Review by Nagesh Havanur
Three musketeers in Bundesliga
Among all chess tournaments in the world Schach Bundesliga is unique and it defies neat & easy description. It’s a big event, with 16 teams vying for honours and the competition lasts months. At the time of writing Season 2022-2023 is in progress and OSG Baden-Baden & SC Viernheim are leading the table:
OSG Baden-Baden has dominated Schach Bundesliga for decades. But now who knows? Only time can tell. In this issue Pavel Eljanov, Loek Van Wely and Luke McShane annotate their games (one each).
The following game sums up the extraordinary tension of chess that is played.
A fighing draw!
When I looked up the database in this issue I also found games by veterans, Shirov and Ivanchuk. Worth a look.
Magnus proves himself
This issue also includes games from the Meltwater Tour Tournament. Carlsen may not be defending his title in a world championship match. But he still wants to demonstrate that he is the best player in the world. In this tournament he swept the opposition and came ahead of Wesley So and others. However, in his individual encounters his rivals were not without chances. Take a look here:
Wesley So- Magnus Carlsen, Meltwater Chess Tournament, 2022
This issue also includes all games from the main section of the U.S. Championship. Fabiano Caruana won the event with a score of 8.5/13 edging out Ray Robson half a point behind him. This time experienced players, Wesley So, Dominguez, Aronian, Shankland finished a little below in the tournament table. However, there were few decisive encounters on top boards and I didn’t find the play very exciting in this tame contest.
Robert Ris takes a different view, though. He offers a “Move by Move” commentary on the encounter, Ray Robson-Wesley So from this Championship.
Here is the game:
Ray Robson-Wesley So, U.S. Championship 2022
The U.S.Women’s Championship was won by Jennifer Yu who won a fiercely fought tie-break match from Irina Krush. Perhaps those games deserved to be included here.
A Tal Special
This issue also carries a special feature on Misha Tal with 21 annotated games, commentary on his play in middlegame and endgame. The opponents include such illustrious names as Botvinnik, Fischer, Spassky and Karpov, not to mention Beliavsky, Larsen, Hübner and Speelman, our own ChessBase columnist. This single feature merits more detailed consideration. Perhaps next time.
Opening videos and surveys
There are 3 opening videos in this issue:
The first offers an introduction to the Scotch Gambit by Daniel King.
The second presents Ruslan Ponomariov’s analysis of a line in the Rossolimo System against the Sicilian reached by a slightly different move order (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5).
The third is a lecture on the Saemisch Benoni by Mihail Marin
Take your pick.
What is more, there are as many as 12 opening surveys ranging from the Sicilian to the Slav.
Riot in the Rossolimo
First, I would single out the analysis by Imre Hera on a rare variation in the Sicilian Rossolimo (B30). In his book, Coffeehouese Reperore 1.e4 (Quality Chess.2021) Gawain Jones states that this novelty is attributed to Nikita Vitiugov who played it way back in 2017.
Now there are some hair-rasing lines here and I am only offering a field map.
For starters, let us see the line, 7.Nd5!? d6.
Analysis of 7.Nd5!? d6 in the Rossolimo
What if Black plays the wild and violent 7…g5!? Here we go!
Young-Chronopoulos, corr.ICCF 2022
Fighting back in the Grünfeld
Second, I would draw attention to an important analysis by Petra Papp in the Grünfeld Defence (D97).
Russian System, Grünfeld Defence Challenged
What if White plays the dangerous 12.d6!? in this variation? Petra Papp offers a terrific correspondence game with brilliant annotations:
Ronneland-Roques, corr.ICCF email 2015
Besides opening surveys, this issue has standard features on tactics, strategy and the endgame. I would single out Jan Markos’ demo lecture on the topic, “How to deal with opening surprises”. Practical advice for the tournament player.
The main database of the issue has 618 recent games of which 20 are deeply annotated.There is much else in this DVD that deserves to be explored. Apart from the GMs I have already mentioned, the commentators include Nikita Vitiugov, Nils Grandelius and Gawain Jones
among others. It may be noted that there are more annotated games in the sections on opening theory and training.
Well, practice makes perfect.
- More information on Schach Bundesliga ma be garnered from their official site: https://www.schachbundesliga.de/
- As is known, Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the online Aimchess Rapid tournament after beating GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a blitz tiebreak.
The database on Aimchess Rapid Tournament in this issue is rather incomplete. The tournament report on the news page shown below can help the reader in finding the rest of the games from the tournament: