The Match of the Century USSR vs. World : 50th Anniversary Edition
by Douglas Griffin and Igor Žveglić.
“The match between the USSR and the Rest of the World was an epoch-defining event that featured many of the greatest names in the history of chess. Five World Champions, and all of the world’s highest-rated players – without exception – took part. Not for nothing was it billed as the “Match of the Century”.
On the 50th anniversary of that great event in the Serbian capital, we invite the reader to take a step back to those years and to re-live the match as it was experienced at the time, in the words of its participants and some of the leading journalists of the day…
This edition is revised, extended, and compiled by Douglas Griffin, chess historian and connoisseur and Igor Žveglić, Chess Informant commissioning editor.”
Chess history and book enthusiasts will doubtless know that the first edition of this book (SSSR – SVET Soviet Union vs. World) was written by Tigran Petrosian and Alexander Matanovic and published in 1970 by Chess Informant :
and commands reasonably high prices on the second hand book market.
Possibly more famous is the version written by Serbian FM, Dimitrije Bjelica (Димитрије Бјелица) together? with Bobby Fischer.
commanding even higher prices. Did Bobby contribute anything to this book? Another discussion for another time and another place perhaps…
The 50th Anniversary Edition is a rare thing in modern chess publishing : it is a hardback and a well-produced one. Chess Informant (along with McFarland Books and some Quality Chess titles) is known for publishing in hard back and, of course, the cover price reflects that. The book has a rather charming silk-style bookmark which is another endearing touch.
Internationally renowned chess historian Douglas Griffin and Igor ŽvegliĆ (both members of the Editorial Board) have taken the original Petrosian and Matanovic text, refreshed it and added new content not available at the time of the 1st editions publication. They have expanded the previously brief player biographies and the original Russian-language annotations have been translated.
Also, we have translations of contemporary articles from the Soviet chess press and subsequent recollections from some of the players and officials involved in the 1970 match.
Initial impressions were somewhat soured by reading the Foreword to the 1st Edition : it contained typographical errors (not in the 1st edition : I checked) such as “developmet”, “chapions”. Hopefully these were not a portent of things to come!*
*It turns out my concerns were unfounded.
I conducted a careful comparison of the 1st and 2nd editions and drew several conclusions in favour of the 2nd edition. The paper and print quality is far superior, there are many more photographs and those photographs all have detailed attributions.
The player biographies are vastly more detailed and improved (and in English!). The annotations of the games appear to be the same except that all of the text is in English rather than just the comments of the World team player. Of course, the player annotations are delightful and deep and free of engine analysis : hurrah!
Here is one of the top board games annotated for ChessBase (rather than Informator) :
It is pleasing that the book was not spoilt by modern engine analysis and the players thoughts are a pleasure to study. There are additional diagrams for the 2nd edition annotations reducing the need for a board to follow the game : a board is a good idea anyway of course!. Each of the games are classified by ECO code (for example [E30]) whereas you might imagine the 1st edition would use a Rabar Index but it did not. Most people will know that Informant abandoned the use of the Rabar Index in 1981 in favour of ECO codes.
Following the annotated games we have a new section – “Reactions to the Match” Any chess enthusiast will find this fascinating and this section is followed by a Postscript which discusses the match in the context of the modern game. Enthralling stuff!
As a bonus feature there is an extensive list of References at the rear. Since Douglas Griffin was the main writer of this 50th Anniversary Edition you would his expect superb attention to detail and historical accuracy and that is what you are given.
In summary, this is a delightful book both from the visual perspective and from its content. You will not be disappointed – even the other books on your shelf will be pleased by this new edition.
If you would like to get an idea of the book before purchasing (and please do!) then try these sample pages. Personally, I’d rather read the words from the book than a screen.
Everything is surely here! The author has bitten off more than he can chew but (but!) this is surely deliberate. He just loves what he does. As a reviewer I probably never have been written to by the actual author. Until now! Ben Graff dropped me a line last March sending me, quite unbidden, a copy of this well produced book. He has written stuff before, see ‘Find Another Place’ (Matador 2018). He is a journalist, Corporate Affairs professional and clearly knows his chess.
From the blurb cover: Tennessee Greenbecker is bravely optimistic as he sets out to claim what he sees as rightfully his – the title of world chess champion. But who is he really? Is he destined to be remembered as a chess champion or fire-starter? Either way, might this finally be his moment?
If you like your novels nice and straightforward: standard stories, boy meets girl, old befriends young, the anti-hero learns a painful lesson and emerges a better, reformed, person. All well and trusted formats. I am sure you can think of other, hopefully better, examples.
Well, this is nothing like that! Arson mixes with match chess. Real players – Fischer and Kasparov for example – mix in with the fictitious. Donald Trump even appears, Brian Eley gets mentioned and who is Dubrovnik who ‘has elected not to press charges’? I’ve got you hooked haven’t I? And the narrator – that’s Greenbecker, of course (do keep up) – plays the London System.
See CHESS 04/20, pp 36-37 for extract, chapter and verse.
Having read 75% of this story I gave up, confused, though I did skip to the end.
I hope you’ll like this ambitious thriller more than I did.
James Pratt, Basingstoke, Hampshire, October 12th, 2020
Keith Arkell is an English grandmaster active on the national and international scene for more than forty years and very much still going strong.
Arkell’s Endings is his second book and this is the first book (as opposed to DVD) from Ginger GM
Arkell’s Odyssey was published in 2012 by Keverel Chess Books; hugely popular and in high demand on abebooks, Amazon, eBay and other reselling platforms.
From the rear cover of Endings we have the following publishers blurb :
“With chess booming online and time controls becoming ever faster, mastery of the endgame has never been so important. A few positions can be memorised; most rely on feel. How would you go about converting an extra pawn in a rook endgame and would you have any idea how to even try to win bishop and knight against knight and pawn? In Arkell’s Endings, acclaimed endgame expert Keith Arkell guides you through some of his finest games – and grinds. Making good use of clear explanation, not a wealth of variations, he should convince even the most ardent of opening theoreticians and attacking experts that endgames can be enjoyable, as well as beautiful on occasion.
Not only will readers enhance their intuition in the final stages of the game, they will never again write off an endgame as dull or a draw. Along the way, the reader will also learn plenty about the Minority Attack and Arkell’s Scale of Pawns, which may mean you will no longer look favourably on trading an e-pawn for a d-pawn. As becomes clear in Simon Williams’ Afterword, there is so much more to Keith Arkell’s chess prowess than just his endgame mastery. Throughout, his creativity and sheer resourcefulness shine through, with the Ginger GM demonstrating that one should never allow Arkell to advance his g-pawn as Black, or even to attack.
Grandmaster Keith Arkell has been one of Britain’s most prolific players since turning professional in 1980. His rivalry on the weekend circuit with fellow GM Mark Hebden is the stuff of legend, but he has also thrived on the bigger stage. He has finished first as many as 25 times at the Paignton International Congress and in 2008 tied for first in the British Championship at Liverpool’s iconic St George’s Hall. 2014 was another highly successful year, as Arkell became the European Over-50 Champion, following that up with the silver medal at the World Senior Championships.”
Keith has developed a reputation for working hard at the board and not being afraid to grind out a position maybe with a small edge or even no edge at all and just keep on plugging away (Carlsen style). His long time choice of the Smyslov Variation of the Caro-Kann as Black is deal for this approach.
White to play and loose !
To demonstrate that this is a book of note there is a foreword by acknowledged endgame analyst and World Championship Candidate, GM Jonathan Speelman whose expertise on endings and the theory of corresponding squares is respected world-wide. Interestingly enough, JS also selects the Smyslov Caro-Kann as a weapon of choice.
Arkell’s Endings contains 33 games spanning the period from 1983 to the present day against a vast range of player strength and experience.
Keith introduces his games with a preamble / Introduction that sets out his rather unique playing philosophy. Keith describes his “Hierarchy of Pawns” which makes complete sense and yet is rarely (if at all) spelt out in training and coaching literature. Keith sets out his enthusiasm for the Carlsbad (pawn) structure which I learnt much about from Kevin Wicker in his golden nugget of a book, “How to play the Queen’s Gambit Exchange Variation“. This Introduction itself is more instructional than you might at first imagine.
Keith provides each game in full and rarely makes any comment on the opening except when its choice leads to particular kind of endgame structure. The middlegame comments indicate plans and ideas to reach a superior ending and the endgame comments are quite specific.
We are grateful to IM Richard Palliser (in charge of the book’s production) for permission to reproduce game 14 as an excerpt :
Settling down with this book is a real pleasure. It very much feels that Keith is in the room with you explaining his thought processes and giving you confidence in your decision making. Keith’s writing style is much like Keith in person : friendly and affable and not attempting to score any points.
The Afterword itself is of interest since Simon presents three tremendous games of Keith that are not endgame grinds but great tactical slugfests modestly including Williams – Arkell from Torquay, 1998.
The book concludes with a welcome Index of Opponents.
If you are wondering just how many of these games conclude with Keith’s signature Rook + Bishop versus Rook then you will have to buy the book to find out : I hope you will !
This book has been reviewed elsewhere including this one by Ben Graff
Romain Édouard (born 28 November 1990) is a French grandmaster and is Editor-in-Chief of Thinkers Publishing. Édouard has played for the French national team at the Olympiads of 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018, won several major tournaments including equal first place in the 2015 World Open and Montreal Open 2015.
We previously reviewedChess Calculation Training : Volume 3 : Legendary Games by the same author and were impressed (although the content was aimed at more experienced and higher rated players.)
As with every recent Thinkers Publishing publication high quality paper is used and the printing is clear. We were hoping that the excellent glossy paper of previous titles would be used but never mind.
The book can easily be laid flat next to the board and does not require weights to prevent it from “self-closing” (a particular bugbear of ours !). Each diagram is clear and the instructional text is typeset in two column format, which, we find, enables the reader to maintain their place easily. Figurine algebraic notation is used throughout and the diagrams are placed adjacent to the relevant text and each diagram has a “to move” indicator.
There is no index. However, for a tactics books this is less crucial. However, some readers might wish to list tactics from particular players…
We have reviewed several tactics books in the last few months and this one from GM Romain Edouard competes in the busy improving juniors and club players market.
There is another market sometimes not considered as important which is the adult player who does not play OTB (who does right now?) or even online but does enjoy solving chess problems : this book will satisfy these readers.
Noteworthy is the absence of patronising cartoons which can put off the more serious juniors and adults. For very young players these are fine but for probably 10 year olds plus these (IMHO) are not welcome.
The main content is divided into eight chapters :
Check & Mate
Check, Check & Mate
A Few Checks & Mate
Trap Your Opponents King
Hit the Defender
A Nasty Double Threat
An Unexpected Blow
A Few More Problems
Having scanned the index I was immediately drawn to Chapter 5 to look for unusual methods for the attacker!
However, Chapter 1 is (usually) the best place to start and consists of 48 carefully selected (i.e. a unique solution) mates in two, the first move always being a check.
Here is a nice example :
Nezhmetdinov, R – Kotkov, Y
The solutions are grouped together at the end of each chapter avoiding the annoyance of stumbling into the solution when it appears on the same page.
You won’t need it but the solution to #8 is given as :
25. Re8+! Qxe8
25…Bxe8 26.Qg8# 26.Qxf6#
(for the history fans amongst us the above game was played at the 17th RSFSR Championship, Krasnodar, 1957.)
Chapter 2 contains 52 mates in three with all three attacker moves being check.
Chapter 3 ramps up the challenge with 40 examples of increasing number of checks to a maximum of 7. Here is a rather satisfying example from the 1987 New York Open. The attacker’s chess career was tragically cut short at the age of 22. He played this mating attack when eleven years old :
Waitzkin, J – Frumkin, E
Mate in 7
The solution (should you need it) is at the foot of this review.
You might be thinking “if all the moves are check then the task is made easier”. Of course but this is a training book and the logical approach of Edouard provides for increasing the confidence of the student incrementally.
Chapter 4 (Trap Your Opponent’s King) serves up 32 positions in which the first move is quite often not a check but winning, nonetheless. Finding winning “quiet moves” is a skill level that is quite often beyond the less experienced or lower rated player and deserves serious study.
I particularly liked this example :
Ulibin,M – Mesman,E
Chapter 5 (Hit the Defender) contains 40 of perhaps the most pleasing (to me at least) combinations. Each features some kind of deflection or distraction such as this rather jolly example from 1964 :
Wiler – Hell
A hard example !
I was curious as to the source of this game and determined (with the valuable assistance of Leonard Barden) that the game was :
Following on from this Chapter 6 contains 16 examples of “A Nasty Double Threat” in which the attacker makes a move that threatens a simultaneous forced mate and the win of material.
Difficult to chose but #5 appealed in a satisfying way :
Jansen,I = Asenova,V
The penultimate chapter promises 32 tales of the unexpected with “An Unexpected Blow” : nothing to do with The Italian Job.
Essentially, this group of positions feature some kind of sacrifice that explodes the defender’s position. Some great examples and this one is from Wijk aan Zee, 1991 that GM Ben Finegold would surely enjoy !
Khalifman, A – Seirawan, Y
Finally, Chapter 8 (A Few More Problems) contains 16 positions that could not be categorised in the previous 7 chapters.
I’ve selected the final one for your entertainment :
Abasov, N – Kantor, G
Find the killer move for White!
I hope you enjoyed those!
So, in summary we have 48+52+40+32+40+16+32+16=276 positions including both classics and contemporary with a whole range of themes suitable for improving and advanced juniors and club players. The presentation is excellent and the solutions clear. I found one typographical error (hxg4 instead of fxg4) and one position incorrectly attributed.
As a coach I am looking to unleashing these on my students. I’ve recommended this book to their parents without hesitation and am looking forward to Level 2 and beyond.
Chess parents take note !
John Upham, Cove, Hampshire, 8th October, 2020
Book Details :
Hardcover : 152 pages
Publisher:Thinkers Publishing; 1 edition (19 May 2020)
Michael Thomas Hennigan was born on October 8th, 1970 in Hammersmith, London. His mother’s name was Donnelly.
Michael attended the City of London School.
Michael became World Under-18 Youth Champion in 1988 in Aguadilla (Puerto Rico).
He became a FIDE Master in 1990 and an International Master title in 1991 and in the same year was British Under-21 Champion at Eastbourne and was British Champion in 1993 in Dundee beating Dharshan Kumaran in the play-off.
In 1995 he was 1st= in the Arnold Cup in Gausdal with Igor Rausis
His peak FIDE rating (according to Felice and Megabase 2020) was 2465 in July 1994 at the age of 24.
He played for North West Eagles in the Four Nations Chess League.
Michael married WIM Rita Zimmersmann and settled in London. Rita subsequently became Rita Atkins.
Michael stopped playing in 2010 but has recently in 2020 started playing online chess on the chess.com platform.
From British Chess (Pergamon Press, 1983) by Botterill, Levy, Rice and Richardson : (article by George Botterill)
“Penrose is one of the outstanding figures of British chess. Yet many who meet him may not realize this just because he is one of the quietest and most modest of men. Throughout the late 1950s and the whole of the 1960s he stood head and shoulders above any of his contemporaries.
His extraordinary dominance is revealed by the fact that he won the British championship no less than ten times (1958-63 and 1966-69, inclusive), a record that nobody is likely to equal in the future.
At his best his play was lucid, positionally correct, energetic and tactically acute. None the less, there is a ‘Penrose problem’: was he a ‘Good Thing’for British chess? The trouble was that whilst this highly talented player eff0ectively crushed any opposition at
home, he showed little initiative in flying the flag abroad. There is a wide-spread and justifiable conviction that only lack of ambition in the sphere of international chess can explain why he did not secure the GM title during his active over-the-board playing career.
It would be unjust, however, to blame Penrose for any of this. The truth is simply that he was not a professional chessplayer, and indeed he flourished in
a period in which chess playing was not a viable profession in Britain. But even if the material awards available had been greater Penrose would almost certainly have chosen to remain an amateur. For he was cast in that special intellectual and ethical tradition of great British amateurs like H. E. Atkins, Sir George Thomas and Hugh Alexander before him.
His family background indicates early academic inclinations in a cultural atmosphere in which chess was merely a game something at which one excelled through sheer ability, but not to be ranked alongside truly serious work. It is noteworthy that Penrose, unique in this respect amongst British chess
masters, has never written at any length about the game. He has had other matters to concentrate on when away from the board, being a lecturer in psychology. (His father, Professor L. S. Penrose, was a distinguished geneticist.)
Being of slight physique and the mildest and most amiable of characters, it is probably also true that Penrose lacked the toughness and ‘killer instinct’ required to reach the very top. Nervous tension finally struck him down in a dramatic way when he collapsed during play in the Siegen Olympiad of 1970. We
can take that date as the end of the Penrose era.
Since, then though he has not by any means entirely given up, his involvement in the nerve-wracking competitions of over-the-board play has been greatly reduced. instead he has turned to correspondence chess, which is perhaps the ideal medium for his clear strategy and deep and subtle analysis. So Penrose’s career it not over. He has moved to another, less stressful province of the kingdom of chess.
For the first game, however, we shall turn the clock right back to 1950 and the see the Penrose in the role of youthful giant killer.
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (BT Batsford, 1977) by Harry Golombek :
“British international master and ten times British Champion, Penrose was born in Colchester and came from a chess-playing family.
His father and mother (Margaret) both played chess and his father, Professor Lionel Sharples Penrose, in addition to being a geneticist of world-wide fame, was a strong chess-player and a good endgame composer. Jonathan’s older brother Oliver, was also a fine player.
Roger Penrose won the Nobel prize for physics in 2020.
Shirley Hodgson (née Penrose) is a high flying geneticist.
Jonathan learnt chess at the age of four, won the British Boys championship at thirteen and by the time he was fifteen was playing in the British Championship in Felixstowe in 1949.
A little reluctant to participate in international tournaments abroad, he did best in the British Championship which he won a record number of times, once more than HE Atkins. He won the title consecutively from 1958 to 1963 and again from 1966 to 1969.
He also played with great effect in nine Olympiads. Playing on a high board for practically all the time, he showed himself the equal of the best grandmasters and indeed, at the Leipzig Olympiad he distinguished himself by beating Mikhail Tal, thereby becoming the first British player to defeat a reigning World Champion since Blackburne beat Lasker in 1899.
A deep strategist who could also hold his own tactically, he suffered from the defect of insufficient physical stamina and it was this that was to bring about a decline in his play and in his results. He collapsed during a game at the Ilford Chess Congress, and a year later, at the Siegen Olympiad of 1970, he had a more serious collapse that necessitated his withdrawal from the event after the preliminary groups had been played. The doctors found nothing vitally wrong with him that his physique could not sustain.
He continued to play but his results suffered from a lack of self-confidence and at the Nice Olympiad of 1974 he had a wretched result on board 3, winning only 1 game and losing 6 out of 15.
Possibly too his profession (a lecturer in psychology) was also absorbing him more and more and too part less and less in international and national chess.
Yet, he had already done enough to show that he was the equal of the greatest British players in his command and understanding of the game and he ranks alongside Staunton, Blackburne, Atkins and CHO’D Alexander as a chess figure of world class.”
“The leading English player during the 1960s, International Master (1961), International Correspondence Chess Master (1980), lecturer in psychology. Early in his chess career Penrose decided to remain an amateur and as a consequence played in few international tournaments. He won the British Championship from 1958 to 1963 and from 1966 to 1969, ten times in all (a record); and he played in nine Olympiads from 1952 to 1974, notably scoring + 10=5 on first board at Lugano 1968, a result bettered only by the world champion Petrosyan.
In the early 1970s Penrose further restricted his chess because the stress of competitive play adversely affected his health.”
The second edition (1996) adds this :
“He turned to correspondence play, was the highest rated postal player in the world 1987-9, and led the British team to victory in the 9th Correspondence Olympiad.”
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale, 1970 & 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :
“International Master (1961) and British Champion in 1958 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
Jonathan Penrose was born in Colchester on 7th October 1933, the son of Professor LS Penrose, the well-known geneticist, who was also a strong player and composer of endgame studies.
The whole Penrose family plays chess and Jonathan learned the game when he was 4. At the age of 12 he joined Hampstead Chess Club and the following year played for Essex for the first time, won his first big tournament, the British Boys’ Championship, and represented England against Ireland in a boy’s match, which was the forerunner of the Glorney Cup competition, which came into being the following year.
By the time he was 17 Penrose was recognised as one of the big hopes of British Chess. Playing in the Hastings Premier Tournament for the first time in `1950 – 1951, he beat the French Champion Nicholas Rossolimo and at Southsea in 1950 he beat two International Grandmasters, Effim Bogoljubov and Savielly Tartakower.
Penrose played for the British Chess Federation in a number of Chess Olympiads since 1952. In 1960, at Leipzig, came one of the best performances of his career, when he beat the reigning World Champion, Mikhail Tal. He became the first British player to beat a reigning World Champion since JH Blackburne beat Emmanuel Lasker in 1899, and the first player to defeat Tal since he won the World Championship earlier that year. Penrose’s score in this Olympiad was only half-a-point short of the score required to qualify for the International Grandmaster title.
His ninth victory in the British Championships in 1968 equalled the record held by HE Atkins, who has held the title more times than any other player.
Penrose is a lecturer in psychology at Enfield College of Technology and has never been in a position to devote a great deal of time to the game. He is married to a former contender in the British Girls Championship and British Ladies’s Championship, Margaret Wood, daughter of Frank Wood, Hon. Secretary of the Oxfordshire Chess Association.
Again from British Chess : “In updating this report we find striking evidence of Penrose’s prowess as a correspondence player. Playing on board 4 for Britain in the 8th Correspondence Chess Olympiad he was astonishingly severe on the opposition, letting slip just one draw in twelve games! Here is one of the eleven wins that must change the assessment of a sharp Sicilian Variation.”
Penrose was awarded the O.B.E. for his services to chess in 1971.”
“Mihail Marin (born 21 April 1965) is a Romanian chess player and writer. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE. Marin’s first major success in international chess was in qualifying for the Interzonal in 1987. He has won three Romanian Championships and has played in the Chess Olympiads ten times, winning a bronze individual medal in 1988. For several years he was editor of the magazine Chess Extrapress.”
From the book’s rear cover :
“I may be old-fashioned, but I keep using for my inspiration the treasure of the past. It does not make sense to speculate whether, for instance, Carlsen is stronger than Fischer or Korchnoi, as matches between players separated in time by so many decades are impossible. But this book aims to prove that some of the basic aspects of our game did not change over the generations. The same kind of brilliant ideas and mistakes are played again and again in specific situations.
I actually launch an invitation to examine the games of the classics, featuring ideas thought over only by human brains, and by no means less deep than those used today. We all use computer assistance when preparing or writing, but at the chess board we are all alone with our opponent, so educating our mind to work along the classical values is essential.It is virtually impossible to write a “complete” chess course, as the general themes and examples to each of them are practically inexhaustible. But I hope that after studying the book the reader will feel enriched, technically and aesthetically.
I remember my enthusiasm when receiving my first original copy of the Chess informant in 1987 (number 43) after having annotated some of my games from the Warsaw zonal tournament, ending in my first qualification to the Interzonal. Almost a third of a century has passed since then, but I am looking forward to hold this new book in my hands with no less excitement.”
You probably know how it is when your favourite singer releases a Greatest Hits compilation. As a big fan you have them all already, but there are always a couple of new songs, so, not wanting to miss out, you have to pay for the full album.
It’s been many years since I last read an Informant, but for some time now GM Mihail Marin, one of the best annotators around, has been publishing articles under the title Old Wine in New Bottles, in which he takes a recent game and compares it with games from the past which resemble it in some way. This might be, for example, a similar opening, a similar tactical idea, the same pawn formation, a comparable ending. Sometimes the comparison is very precise, but, on other occasions, rather tenuous.
What we have here is a collection of his articles, with some new ones added to tempt regular readers who will have seen most of the material before, along with some introductory comments.
There are 25 articles, or rather chapters, in total, grouped according to the general theme: Basic Principles, Tactics, Strategy, The Attack, Middlegame Plans of Specific Openings, and, finally, The Individual and Joined Abilities of the Pieces (some, but not all of which, feature endings).
You might assume from this, and you’d be correct, that the translation into English isn’t always idiomatic. There’s also an unacceptably large number of typos.
The publishers have also made some rather strange production decisions. They’ve chosen a non-standard diagram font with a defective symbol for a black rook on a white square, which makes a rather ugly impression. They’ve also chosen to use a sans-serif font throughout.
This is a handsome hardback, complete with a useful bookmark, which will look good on your bookshelf: it’s a pity that, internally, it doesn’t make such a good impression.
The text is punctuated by a lot of chess art, reproduced in black and white, from the Hereford Chess Club in 1814 up to the present day. All very attractive, if not especially relevant, but I can’t find any copyright information anywhere.
None of this may bother you, as long as the content is good, and, with reservations, it is.
To give you some idea, let’s take a fairly random chapter. Chapter 4 in the section on Attack deals with sacrificial attacks beginning with the move e5xf6, taking as its starting point this game from the 2017 Sinquefield Cup, where you will observe Vishy’s 22nd move. Marin doesn’t give us the first 21 moves, which presumably appeared elsewhere.
This game brought to mind a brilliant Tal victory from the 1962 Olympiad, where the sacrificial attack started on move 19.
Tal admitted that his 19th move was inspired by a Famous Game which observant readers will have seen before.
It’s, of course, a very well known game, but observant readers will recall encountering it with different annotations in an earlier chapter on positional queen sacrifices to obtain a passed pawn. Here, the annotations are in part based on Lilienthal’s autobiography, which are, along with Hecht’s comments on his loss to Tal, readily found on MegaBase. (It’s always fun to try to identify an author’s sources!)
There are three more games in this chapter, including another Tal brilliancy, but the repetition of the Lilienthal game confirms the impression that it’s really a collection of articles rather than a particularly coherent book.
Not all the annotations are by Marin himself: in many cases they are largely taken from earlier Informants, with occasional authorial interjections. You might not mind this, but I guess you might also feel you’ve been cheated.
Nevertheless, the concept of comparing contemporary games with those from the past is a great idea. If the idea attracts you, or if you’re an admirer of Marin’s books and haven’t seen most of the articles before, you’ll find a lot to interest, inform and stimulate. As the book covers all aspects of the game, there are lessons to be learnt here about both tactics and strategy, about openings and endings.
Although I have significant reservations about various aspects of the book, there is still much of value here, and anything Marin writes is always worth reading. Recommended, especially for serious students of the game of, say, 1800+ strength.
Preparing for David would have been fairly straightforward as he played almost the same opening with white and black playing 1.g3 (and less frequently, 1.d4) and the Modern Defence although his did flick the Modern Benoni into the mix every now and then.
As well as moving to Oxford for University he was =1st at the 1988 (fifth) NatWest Young Masters with 6/9 (along with Adams and Kudrin) securing a GM norm :
In 1990 David became the first Grandmaster to play in the annual Varsity match. This was the 108th such encounter and David played on board one against Jeremy P Sharp of Downing College, Cambridge. David first played in the 107th match in 1989 on board two below James Howell. David played one more time in 1991 scoring 2/3 from his three appearences.
According to FIDE David is registered with Andorra which appropriately (for DN) has Catalan as its national language. David has yet to win the Andorran Championship. He first played in the Andorran Open in 2011 and came close to winning in 2013 with 7/9. Since 2017 David has not played in a FIDE rated event.
One of David’s most important claims to fame was being the Best Man at the wedding of Julian and Lizette Hodgson.
As a writer David wrote a chess column for The Daily Telegraph and has written the following books :
From Wikipedia :
“David Robert Norwood (born 3 October 1968) is an English businessman who runs an investment fund that finances spin-off companies from Oxford University science departments. He is also a chess grandmaster, chess writer, former captain of the English chess team and now represents Andorra at chess.”
“The son of an electrician, Norwood graduated with a history degree from Keble College, Oxford University in 1988 before joining city investment bank Banker’s Trust in 1991.”
“Norwood cofounded Oxford Sciences Innovation, a £600m investment company dedicated to funding deep science from Oxford University, and was its CEO from 2015 to 2019. Formerly he was founder of IP Group plc, a fund that invested in spinoffs from Oxford University’s Chemistry department, in exchange for 50% of the revenues from the licensing of the department’s intellectual property.
In 2017, Norwood donated £1.9M to Keble College’s future hub for innovation at Oxford University.”
From The Times of London, November 20th, 2008 by Ian King, Business Editor :
“Entrepreneur David Norwood swaps City for sun, sea and writing
One of the City’s best-known entrepreneurs resigned all his directorships yesterday – to move to a desert island (in the Bahamas) where he plans to become a writer.
David Norwood, a former chief executive of the stockbrokers Evolution and Beeson Gregory, resigned from the boards of a number of companies, including Oxford Advanced Surfaces, ORA Capital, Oxeco and Plus-listed Green Chemicals. He has also given up his role as special projects director at IP Group, the intellectual property commercialisation company, which he started eight years ago and floated on AIM in 2003. Shares of all five companies fell after the news was released.”
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