Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Future of Kung Fu Chess

I never intended this blog to be just a collection of reviews and references to other sites. But for another two weeks I don't expect to have much time available. Therefore I today refer my readers to the excellent Streetham & Brixton blog which has some news on Kung Fu chess, which is one of the relatively few chess variants I enjoy. Apparently Tempest is the place to go for Kung Fu Chess enthusiasts.

It may not be an easy game to implement, but in my opinion Kung Fu chess deserves a place on at least one of the major servers (like ICC, Playchess or FICS). Or - on second thought - maybe that is turning the argument on its head? Maybe I should wish Tempest good luck in their attempts to become a major chess server?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Flear Reviews Win with the Stonewall Dutch

I am not sure who is the most influential online chess book reviewer. John Watson and Jeremy Silman are two hot candidates with Carsten Hansen as a possible contender. However, for paper based reviews I am quite convinced that Glenn Flear who writes the review section of New in Chess' Yearbooks must top the list. Therefore I was very happy to see him recommend 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' in Yearbook 92. He opens his review, which takes up almost an entire page, charmingly modest:
"Although I have been covering the Stonewall Dutch for for several years, I don't claim to really understand it that well. This book could be exactly what I need to bring my erudiation up to shape!"

Flear then goes on quoting and referring to Agdestein's foreword concluding this part of his review as follows:
"The theory is sufficient detailed for anyone wanting to know what has happened before but, unlike many lines which can be worked out at home, the Stonewall is 'an opening for those who like to fight there and then'. An ideal choice for players with limited memory capacity but great fighting spirit!"

There follows some more kind words about the book's disposition and content before he sums up:
"Highly revealing and a definite for anyone who doesn't really comprehend the Stonewall Dutch, which means (be honest now!) just about everyone."

All I can do in return is recommending Yearbook 92. In my opinion the review section is worth the price of the book alone. And as added bonuses there are 33 theoretical surveys, Sosonko's Corner and the Forum. Definitely a must buy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nothing but Praise from Watson

I was very pleased to see Watson's recent reviews at The Week in Chess. Not only does he give 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' unconditional praise, but he adds weight to his evaluation by stating that 'The Dutch has been a part of my recent writing (Mastering the Chess Openings again), and I got a chance to look at this book closely.'

As a special bonus Watson on the subject of the Ruy Lopez returns to my previous book with Leif Johannessen, 'The Ruy Lopez: a Guide for Black'. I take the liberty to lift the relevant text from his lengthy review:

In an earlier column I reviewed Sverre Johnsen's & Leif Johannessen's The Ruy Lopez: A Guide For Black, which promotes the Zaitsev Variation: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8. That book is a complete repertoire after the move 3...a6, that is, it includes solutions to the Exchange Variation and White's alternatives from moves 4-10. I consider it the best 'Ruy Lopez for Black' book in general, because in addition to great theoretical detail and a good choice of variations (see below), it has a huge amount of material on ideas and themes, strategy in the Ruy, and how to prepare and practice openings.

I have nothing to add!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Norwegian Stonewall Reviews

There is a new Norwegian review of 'Win with Stonewall Dutch' at Nettavisen's chess pages.
There also was a review in the new issue (4/2009) of 'Norsk Sjakkblad'.
Unfortunately I am extremely pressed for time these days so I will not attempt to quote, translate or comment on these for some days.