Kindred’s Special: New In Chess Magazine

WHAT A DELIGHT!! The one chess periodical I watch the mail for and it amazes me at the quality writing, games, analysis, and great pictures and tournament reports that fill it’s pages. After I received the 3rd issue 2008 I misplaced it. Then in my old head I pondered whether I dreamed having received it as a house search proved negative. Fear that somehow it had gotten mixed in with the trash and tossed gave me downer vibes. My wife insisted we did receive it and she remembered setting it on my desk in the den. Ah, a search proved again negative. Still where oh where did the little bugger go? Finally I looked behind the desk and to my surprise found it cuddled up against the wall still in the plastic mail jacket.

Nic’s Cafe and Your Move start you out with a zest for life called free expression. It is rewarding to read and both segments are meant to initiate a brain stimulation to prepare you for what is next.

The joy was rewarded especially when I began browsing through the many pages. Since then I have had the opportunity to examine the games, end game column by Jan Timman, an excellent feature by Genna Sosonko whose interviews are rewarding, this month titled: If it’s necessary–Abram Khasin’s Zest for Life, covered in the pages 68-77.

The article details the life in his own words of Abram Khasin. In December 1942 he was injured near Stalingrad and both legs had to be amputated. He was 19 years old. Later, after the war and attending university, he taught English in Moscow, and played chess with great talent in various Moscow Championships and in 1968 finished 5th in the strong event that had both Petrosian and Bronstein in the lst two places. He further played in five finals of Soviet Championships, achieved the International Master title in 1964. His coaching was well respected and was blessed with a joy for correspondence chess where he exhibited his skills free of the physical difficulties of playing over-the-board. He now lives in Germany with his family.

Here is another reminder of the talents, the chessplayers who, though sit just under the umbrella of stars, super GMs and recognized subjects that make up the chessworld, NEW IN CHESS brings to life and rich historical backdrop of Jewish life, the times, the triumphs and turmoils of individuals who have enriched their communities by their presence through the years who knew and know each and are privileged to cross swords on the 64 squares and experience such personal relationships.

It brings home personally a bridge between us by reading his final paragraph. Here I inject my own experience: Recently there have been times when I’ve lain for hours without sleep, thinking. About what? About everything, about life and chess. How many times have I analyzed in my head on the pillow a critical point of many game positions in battle, pondering if I could have done differently and played more exact perhaps finishing higher and with a boost in my life’s rating achievement. With more success I may have been encouraged to battle in national tournaments. Time waits for no man, woman or child. It is a lesson to learn about success in life. The clock ticks and there is urgent need to heed its hands that continue to sweep round and round.

There is a short but nice article about women chess and Hou Yifan of China who some think may be another Judit Polgar. She presents a win against the American, Irina Krush.

                          Hou Yifan    White   vs   Irina Krush   Black

                                     Sicilian Defense  [Sveshnikov Variation]

Emmanuel Lasker was instrumental in developing and making a somewhat obscure idea that was coined the Lasker-Pelikan variation. It was Evgeny Sveshnikov however that turned the whole concept into a viable and dangerous weapon in the hands of aggressive players willing to take risks and championed imbalances. Many who adopt this system willingly play either side. As I have said in my earlier columns, the Sicilian is a defense which must be studied and much home preparation is necessary as well as finding lines that suit your own style and tastes. My numerous wins against my club friends deploying the Sicilian attests to the proof of this and even in the hands of experienced masters, IMs and GMs, this defense is like walking a tight rope. It would be interesting to see if black can find a way to get in h7-h5 to void the Q from that outpost.

1.e4  c5 2.Nf3  Nc6  3.d4  cxd4  4. Nxd4  Nf6  5.Nc3  e5 6.Ndb5  d6  7.Bg5  a6  8.Na3  b5  9.Bxf6  gxf6  10.Nd5  f5  11.Bd3  Be6  12.c4  fxe4.

Here a game Gagunashvili-Sobay 2002 went 12..Qa5+ 13.Kf1 fxe4 14.Bxe4 Bg7  15.cxb5   (Nf4!?) axb5 16.Rc1  Ra6  17.Qd3  Bxd5  18.Qxd5  Ne7 with black eventually winning the game.

13.Bxe4  Rc8?  (There is still time for …Qa5+). 14.0-0  Bg7  15.f4  Nd4.

And here …0-0 would be castling into danger due to f5>f6 idea.

16.Qh5  b4 17.Nxb4  Qb6 18.Nd5!

Talk about guts! The double-check has no fangs.

18…Qxb2 One cannot blame black here but our longtime weight is given to development. Black needed to rid herself of the pesky outpost N on d5 with Bxd5 and if Bxd5, then 0-0. Now white sallies forth into black’s guts with f5 and f6 that seems a thematic stroke just waiting to bust open the K-side.

19.f5! Bxd5  20.Bxd5  0-0  21.f6  Bxf6  22.Be4  Rfd8  23.Qxh7+ Kf8  24.Qh6+ Black resigned.

Another great feature is the host of games and personal annotations and thoughts by players themselves like Carlsen, Kramnik, Anand, just to name a few.

Flip the pages and you will across the excellence of Hans Ree and his memories and personal menu on almost any chess subject that is on his mind when he picks up his pen. This latest is traveling in the circles round the chessboard with the likes of Canadian Grandmaster, Duncan Suttles.

Analysing the End Game with Jan Timman is a must for students who want to win won games, draw drawn games and just maybe save lost games from defeat.

The sideline life a chess reviewer and the never to think about such crisis situations one finds at home is fully discussed in Death by Chess Books, a favorite magazine feature of Rowson’s Reviews along with reviews of three books: SELECTED GAMES 1985-2004. Victor Bologan; MY ONE HUNDRED BEST GAMES by Alexey Dreev; AMERICAN GRANDMASTER: FOUR DECADES OF CHESS ADVENTURES By Joel Benjamin. In addition to these, Rowson examines and gives good coverage commentary on works by Steve Giddins that include 50 Essential Chess Lessons; 50 Ways to Win at Chess; 101 Attacking Ideas in Chess and 101 Chess Endgame Tips. Another one is Modern Chess PLlanning by Efstratios Grivas (Gambit) is an excellent training source he highly recommends. True Lies in Chess (Quality Chess) by Lluis Comas Fabrego which he says is a true labor of love. Chess Praxis by Nimzowitsch (Quality Chess) is another new translation of the doctor’s major work with a few others tossed in.

And then we have Winner’s Circle, a feature by former world champion and Grandmaster, Garry Kasparov who combines a look at life with chess and an interrelational aspect of commentary mixed with analysis of some of the great positions arising from both the past decade as well as current.

Finally we find Just Checking, a talk with (this month) Jeremy Silman.

There are color photos of players scattered throughout as in every issue.  

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