quarta-feira, 4 de março de 2009

USCFSales.com Weekly Newsletter, March 4 - 10, 2009

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Issue #112
March 4 - 10

Welcome to the USCFSales.com weekly newsletter. You can keep up-to-date with new product releases, read reviews of selected products, and follow the latest news from the U.S. Chess Federation. Plus, try your hand at solving our weekly puzzle. Enjoy!

Here & There
at ChessCafe.com

The Reminder
This month Gary Lane explains what to do when your opponent avoids the Morra Gambit and transposes to the c3 Sicilian, and he looks at a delightful trap in the Scotch Opening. Also, be sure to read the review of his new book The Greatest Ever Chess Tricks and Traps.

What do you call a repertoire for Black against the Anti-King’s Indian? Carsten Hansen thinks it would be an anti-anti-King’s Indian. This month he looks at a number of books devoted to such “anti-systems,” something he considers akin to unsportsmanlike conduct in chess!

Topalov it is
Susan Polgar recaps the recently concluded Topalov-Kamsky match in Sofia, Bulgaria and annotates the game she considered to be the turning point of the match. She also reports the results from the 2009 Susan Polgar National Open Chess Championship for Girls and Boys.

Book Notes

For the average player the Dutch Defense can be a nasty shock. On the DVD, ABC of the Leningrad Dutch, IM Andrew Martin makes a compelling case for playing the Leningrad in competitive games and demonstrates that this is the ideal opening for players willing to embrace risk and who like to win.

On the new DVD, Roman’s Lab: Volume 65, GM Dzindzichashvili will take you through several sharp openings demonstrating what happens when you violate the sound and established principles of chess. He will help you understand the difference between sound sharp playable openings and those to avoid.

In the updated and revised second edition of Let’s Play Chess,
you will find the rules, the logic, some of the culture and history,
and the basic principles of good chess play.

Reviews in Brief

Play 1.b3!
by Ilya Odessky

Subtitled “The Nimzo-Larsen Attack: a Friend for Life,” this book has an auspicious beginning, where the author gives an overview of his first book (devoted to 1...e6 and 2...b6) and criticizes it for its perceived failings.

He writes, “...the mistake made by almost all first-time authors is that they think their reader is more stupid than themselves, and consequently, they subconsciously strive to explain every detail and spoon-feed the reader. There is no need to do this. The reader is as much a participant in the book as is the author.”

He jokingly refers to this volume as an “anti-monograph,” because of the way the material is presented. For instance, chapters 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11-15 all pertain to 1...e5, whereas chapters 6, 10, 16-18, 21 and 22 cover 1...d5, while other lines are included in the remaining chapters. Odessky claims that this was done “purely to protect the reader.”

He jumps “about like a sparrow from branch to branch” because that is how chess books are normally read. No one reads through a book systematically from cover to cover; instead, they open the book at random and read a certain section and then return at a later date and do the same. Thus, he wants “the reader to be able to open [the book] to any page, and not have to remember where he stopped reading it last time.”

Not only is Odessky refreshingly honest in his approach and evaluations, he is also entertaining and candid. For example, chapter two begins with the sentence, “This variation is based on a misunderstanding. It is also the product of stupidity.” The book ends, after 244 pages, with the exhortation, “Dear readers! Play 1.b3. Probably it is not so good. But it’s so much fun...“



How to Play against 1 e4
by Neil McDonald

The title of this book does not convey that it is a repertoire book for Black based on the French Defense. It is formatted much the same as the Starting Out series, so one can surmise that since Starting Out: The French was already written by Byron Jacobs, we ended up with this title, which nevertheless is well worth your time and money.

McDonald has been employing it for nearly three decades and is thus well-suited to explain its intricacies. He covers all the main variations and also includes a chapter on the Fort Knox Defense: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 (or 3.Nd2) 3...dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7 5.Nf3 Bc6. He notes that the fixed nature of the pawn center allows Black to spend a couple of moves to activate his light-squared bishop, and that this line offers “a safe, non-theoretical, but rather unambitious opening that you can use for a lifetime.” He also calls it “one of the greatest labour-saving devices ever invented,” as there is “essentially only one pawn structure that we need to study.”

One interesting point that McDonald makes is how often Black chooses to leave his king in the center. He writes, “It strikes me that Black can get on pretty well in the French without castling.” He also notes that the French “is handled in a very dynamic way these days. Black doesn’t have to fear the white centre - he has to be afraid of what happens when it vanishes. ... There is a special art in making sure that the white centre vanishes on Black’s terms.”


New Catalog Additions

3/4: Roman’s Lab: Vol. 67,
The Progressive Way of Handling the Maroczy Bind
3/3: Roman’s Lab: Vol. 66,
The New and Improved Accelerated Dragon
3/2: Roman’s Lab: Vol. 65,
Sound and Unsound Ways to Play Sharp Openings
3/1: March Competition Special
3/1: March Scholastic Special
22/28: Roman’s Lab: Vol. 70,
Refuting Lines in the French, Caro-Kann and Alekhine
2/27: Roman’s Lab: Vol. 69, Dzindzi Anti-English
2/15: New In Chess, 2009/1
2/13: True Combat Chess
2/11: A Positional Opening Repertoire for the Club Player
2/3: Gary’s Adventures in Chess Country

Weekly Puzzle


Quote of the Week

Black to Move/Solution Below


... Objectivity is something for analysts, commentators and, nowadays, computers.

Ilya Odessky,
Play 1.b3!

Monthly Specials March 2009

For the March Competition Special, we are pleased to offer Leko’s One Hundred Wins for the incredible USCF member price of $9.95! - a savings of $20.00!

This book features 100 wins by Peter Leko, from 1992-2003. A brief biography, crosstables, and photographs complement these games by the young Hungarian grandmaster.

For the March Scholastic Special, we are pleased to offer The Olympian Premium Chess Set for the incredible USCF member price of $17.95! - a savings of $12.00!

This tournament sets features a 3-7/8-inch king with a 1-3/4” base. Available in Black & Natural, this set weighs a hefty 48 ounces has a broad-based design for added stability and comes with four queens!

These Specials of the Month are good from March 1 - March 31, 2009. Orders may be placed online, by mail or by phone. These Specials of the Month may be withdrawn at any time and are good only while supplies last.

New at Chess Life Online

GM Melikset Khachiyan of Los Angeles, the winner of the second strongest section of the Aeroflot Open, annotates his favorite game of the event. Also, this month’s “Check is in the Mail” features annotations by Walter Brower,  who finished tied for first in the 2006 Absolute Championship.

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Puzzle Answer: 12...Qh4 13.Nf3 Ng5 0–1 Litvinov-Veresov, Minsk, 1958 (Source: Play 1.b3!)

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