Friday, January 30, 2015

My Most Favorite Chess Books

My Most Favorite Chess Books

I created this fun list of "My Most Favorite Chess Books" after IM Jeremy Silman's inspirational post in days ago. I am thinking that this list will also act as personal reminder. Please noted that most of them are considered "modern" chess books, I rarely have a change to get into "vintage" chess books written by author from pre'1980s.

Chess Player Story and Games Collections

Basically reading is my favorite hobby. Reading a chess player story is two hobbies in a same time.  My favorite:

- Chess Duels - My Games with the World Champion - Yasser Seirawan (2010)
Most of Yasser's anecdotes are well known, this book compiled all of them as the side story of Yasser's biography. Highlights: Victor Korchnoi side stories

- Fire on Board - Alexey Shirov (1997)
The nature Shirov's games are convert perfectly into this enjoyable book. His annotations are surprisingly easy to follow, well most of the game are obvious when you get the tactical hints.

- My 60 Memorable Games - Bobby Fischer (1995 version)
Of course a classic literature that also enjoyable to amateur like me.

- Half a Century of Chess - Mikhail Botvinnik
Another classic games collections with Botvinnik annotation, this is serious one.

- Sokolov's Best Games - Ivan Sokolov / John Nunn (1997)
At the time I was extremely 1.d4 fans and found that Ivan also mostly play this. His collections against top GM of the '80s-'90s are a reflections of non-Kasparovian master in the scenes. Contained lots of theory and analysis.

- It's Only Me - Tony Miles / Geoff Lawton 
One of my favorite chess biography because of the comical figures of Tony Miles. So far the only serious tribute to England first grandmaster.

- Kasparov's Greatest Chess Games series - Igor Stohl (2006)
Collections of Kasparov games from 3rd eye view.

- Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess series - Garry Kasparov
Garry annotated his own games, and with lots of background chess story (and politics) also.

- The Art of Chess Analysis - Jan Timman

- On the Attack!! The Art of Attack According to Modern Master - Jan Timman
 Another good collections of games and annotations of the '70s and modern era by Jan Timman.

- Logical Chess Move by Move - Irving Chernaev
Nonetheless to say, everybody's must have chess book.

- Lessons with A Grandmaster - Enhance Your Chess Strategy and Psycology - Boris Gulko
Games collections of GM Boris Gulko and presented in an interview format annotations.

- Tactics in the Sicilian - Gennady Nesis & Prof Igor Blekhtsin
Good collections of Sicilian games.

- The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century, Ranked - Andrew Soltis
Well, you got the 100 chess games annotated.

- Black is OK
- Black is still OK
- Black is OK forever - Andras Adorjan
Although this is basically a games collections books with black as the main hero, but the writing part is superb.

- Diary of a Chess Queen - Alexander Kosteniuk
There is a prequel How I Became a Grandmaster in 14 but that is too elementary. In Diary of Chess Queen we get a story of mature Kosteniuk and how she really in the throne of chess queen. Love the Russian-English style.

Chess Stories

- The Day Kasparov Quit and other chess interview - Geuzendam, Dirk jan ten
A collections of interview from New in Chess, which also compiled as a chess history from '90s to the day Kasparov Quit.

- The King : Chess Pieces - J.H. Donner
This is like a classic literature that has chess as its background, collections of strange essay by J.H.Donner.

- Russian Silhouette - Genna Sasonko
Collections of Genna Sasonko encounter to well known chess grandmaster of the 20th century. From Mikhail Tal to Paul Keres.

- Smart Chip from Saint Petersburg and Other Tales - Genna Sasonko
More tales from Genna about lesser known chess personalities of the past.

Chess Openings Book

- Practical Chess Openings - Reuben Fine
Well, it's explained fundamental things about chess opening.

- The Sicilian Labyrinth  Vol 1 , Vol 2- Lev Polugaevsky
Lev's passion in Sicilian defence is so high and he write this lovely book. We only know about Polugaevsky variation, but he is indeed works a lot on the whole system. I also enjoy the "third" sequel, Sicilian Love, a collection of sicilian games and Buenos Aires thematic tournament report.

- Queen's Gambit Declined - Matthew Sadler (2000)
I rarely can finished chess opening books but this one I remember well. It's added many fundamental knowledge to the opening and chess.

- The Easiest Sicilian - Atanas Kolev
As Sicilian enthusiast I really like this book compilation of the defence. Covered from 'easiest' Rossolimo variation up to rare line such as the Novosibirsk variation.

- Winning Chess Openings - Yasser Seirawan
Actual quite elementary chess openings, but it has many valuable beginner advise by Yasser.

Tactics / Strategy

- Amateur's Mind - Jeremi Silman
Serious book for amateur who trying to frog leap into new level of chess.

- Surprise in Chess - Atmazia Avni
Surprisingly fun to read chess book with fresh ideas.

- Chinese School of Chess - Liu Wenzhi
The story behind why the Chineses became good in chess. The grand concept that built  Hou Yifan, Wei Yi, Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi.

- The Art of Logical Thinking - Neil McDonald
Instructive chess book which explained why chess is an art of logic.

- Rethinking The Chess Pieces - Andrew Soltis
Another flash back on how we can play chess with different mind set.

- Forcing Chess Moves The Key to Better Calculation - Charles Hertan
Good topic, it will forever influence how you going to use force line and how to avoid it also.

- Chess for Tiger - Simon Webb
One of earliest chess book that written with lots of humor, which in the later days adopted by many chess writer. Mostly coffee house tactics.

- The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess - Andrew Soltis
You'll surprise how wise they are.

- Mammoth  Book of Chess - Graham Burgess

will keep updated this list as I read more books, or when I remember what good I've read.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Magnus Carlsen Wins 2015 Tata Steel Chess

In the coming of 2015 Tata Steel Chess final round 13, the pre-games analysis shown that there will be enough players that could win the cup, only if Magnus Carlsen lost the final games. The chances are quite slim because the pairing indicated that Carlsen are to play lowest rated opponent Ivan Saric with white piece. But after the opening rolled quite a bit, there is indeed a hope and thus produced one of most dramatic final round moment. The story as follows:

(lihat bahasa Indonesia di bawah)

the calm before the storm, Tata Steel Chess 2015 round 13
only Levon Aronian vs Ding Liren game looks something not right.
Wijk aan Zee 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fabiano Caruana Ditakluk Magnus Carlsen - Tata Steel Chess 2015 Round 6

Pergelaran catur kelas dunia pertama di awal tahun 2015 adalah turnamen Tata Steel Chess yang berlangsung di Belanda (Netherland). Kejuaraan bergengsi yang sudah eksis dari puluhan tahun lalu ini digelar di desa Wijk Aan Zee di kota Rotterdam. Tradisi turnamen ini sangat panjang dengan hampir semua pecatur kuat sepanjang sejarah pernah bermain di turnamen ini. Beberapa tahun lalu turnamen Wijk aan Zee pernah berlangsung hingga tiga grup, namun belakangan turnamen ini dipangkas menjadi hanya dua grup, Master dan Challenger. Turnamen yang disponsori Tata Steel tahun ini dihadiri pecatur-pecatur top di generasi kita. Juara dunia Magnus Carlsen hadir, disertai peringkat dua dunia Fabiano Caruana. Juga banyak pecatur populer dan yang sedang naik daun, seperti grandmaster Wesley So, yang belakangan ini akhirnya pindah ke federasi Amerika Serikat, walaupun tetap memegang paspor Philippine.

Hingga ronde ke-6, pertempuran di Wijk aan Zee ini menghasilkan hasil-hasil menarik terlihat dari urutan sementara hingga ronde-6 di mana justru pecatur gaek nan eksentrik Vasily Ivanchuk yang bertengger di urutan pertama sementara. Kepada pembaca mari saya laporkan komentar tiap pemain sesuai urutan peringkatnya hingga ronde 6 ini. Dan ada pula komentar ringan partai catur yang ditunggu-tunggu, yaitu antara Magnus Carlsen melawan Fabiano Caruana, yang dimenangkan oleh Magnus Carlsen.

Urutan Kedudukan sementara Tata Steel Chess 2015, round 6:

Ivancuk vs Ivan Saric

1. Vasily Ivanchuk points 4.5 - Ivanchuk lagi bagus mainnya, dia mengalahkan Baadur Jobava, Loek van Wely dan Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Pecatur gaek dari Ukrainia ini masih sangat populer di mata penggemar catur. Walaupun permainannya sangat tidak konsisten, tapi jika lagi 'on' dia akan sangat kuat. Banyak penggemar berharap Ivanchuk bisa terus 'on' di turnamen Tata Steel Chess 2015 ini.

2. Radoslaw Wojtaszek 4, - tiba-tiba saja pecatur asal Polandia ini mendarat di posisi 2 sementara. Pecatur berating 'hanya' 2744 ini membuat sensasi dengan mengalahkan Magnus Carlsen dan Fabiano Caruana, sekalian remis dengan Levon Aronian. Dengan hasil ini Radoslaw tinggal bermain solid menghadapi pecatur-pecatur lainnya dan hasil bagus sudah menunggu. Radoslaw hadir di turnamen Tata ini dengan tiket hasil kemenangannya di turnamen ACP, jadi dia memang kuda hitam yang siap menerkam lawan.

3. Magnus Carlsen 4 - agak lambat di babak sebelumnya, Carlsen menderita kekalahan melawan Radoslaw namun mulai bangkit dengan mengalahkan Aronian dan Caruana berturut-turut. Ini adalah turnamen pertama Carlsen sejak mempertahankan gelar melawan Anand, jadi tuntutan cukup berat untuk dia.

4. Wesley So 4 - pecatur yang sangat ngetop di internet ini sekarang bernaung di bawah bendera Amerika Serikat. Semenjak perpindahan lokasi Wesley ke Amerika untuk studi dan belajar catur, dia berhasil menaikkan level permainannya ke pecatur top ten dunia. Dengan dua hasil menangnya melawan Aronian dan Jobava, Wesley So sekarang adalah pecatur peringkat pertama di Amerika Serikat, menggeser kedudukan Hikaru Nakamura di live rating. Sangat menarik untuk disimak bagaimana sepak terjang pecatur yang sangat ramah dan rendah hati ini.

5. Maxime Vachier Lagrave 3.5 - juga merupakan pecatur muda yang dipantau kehadirannya oleh pengamat catur. Pemuda asal Prancis ini mulai menampakkan taringnya walau sempat ditundukkan Ivanchuk.

6. Ding Liren 3.5 - China punya banyak generasi muda catur yang tampaknya nggak habis-habis diproduksi. Ding Liren bermain cukup bagus, menang 3x walaupun juga kalah dua kali. Ding Liren hadir di Tata Chess bersama rekan Hou Yifan dan Wei Yi. Dia adalah pecatur kuat yang segera menggeser Wang Yue, Wang Hao, yang sebenarnya hanya terpaut beberapa tahun saja. Sungguh siklus kekuatan catur China berputar begitu cepat.

7. Anish Giri 3.5 - Anish Giri, pecatur berdarah Sri Langka, Russia dan ber-KTP Belanda ini juga anak muda selevel Carlsen yang turut dalam persaingan generasi ini. Walaupun tidak serta merta pernah merasakan urutan top ten dunia, Anish Giri cukup diperhitungkan. Dia punya sedikit persaingan sengit dengan Carlsen di mana Carlsen pernah (gosipnya...) mengatakan Anish sukanya main remis dan penakut. Pertemuan Giri melawan Carlsen di Tata Chess berlangsung remis pula.

8. Fabiano Caruana 3 - Hadir sebagai peringkat dua dunia, Fabiano sangat terseok-seok di turnamen ini. Pecatur yang tahun lalu membuat sensasi dengan tujuh kemenangan berturut-turut di Amerika ini harus menderita kekalahan melawan Radoslaw dan Carlsen. Mari kita simak seberapa kuat Caruana sehingga dia mampu berada di posisi dua dunia.

9. Teimor Radjabov 3 - Dekade lalu Teimor adalah salah satu pecatur kuat dari Azerbaijan. Namun momentum dia tampaknya mulai mengendor. Ini adalah turnamen-turnamen kuat yang musti dengan kuat diperjuangkan Teimor kalau masih mau terus bersaing di generasi ini. Dia dikenal sebagai spesialis di pembelaan King Indian Defence.

10. Ivan Saric 2.5 - Dia hadir sebagai 'kuda hitam' di turnamen ini. Pecatur Kroasia ini musti berjuang agar bisa membuktikan bahwa dia cukup layak dihadirkan di sini. Ivan hanya menang satu kali melawan Jobava.

11. Hou Yifan 2 -  Juara catur wanita ini berharap bisa mengikuti jejak Judit Polgar yang sanggup bersaingan dengan kaum lelaki. Hou Yifan menderita dua kekalahan namun segera bangkit menahan remis lawan-lawan berikutnya termasuk Wesley So dan Anish Giri. Jika mampu memetik satu kemenangan saja, Hou bisa berbangga hati.

12. Loek van Wely 2 - Bersama Anish Giri, Loek adalah pecatur andalan tuan rumah Belanda. Loek van Wely adalah pecatur kuat generasi '90 an. Spesialis di Pembelaan Sisilia dan juga banyak pembukaan lainnya. Loek van Wely cukup menderita di Tata Chess 2015 dan harus berjuang keras mempertahankan sisa-sisa kejayaannya.

13. Levon Aronian 2 - Andalan Armenia ini secara mengejutkan harus bercokol di posisi rendah dengan dua kekalahan dan hasil remis lainnya. Levon adalah salah satu pecatur yang diharapkan bisa meladeni Magnus Carlsen, sehingga hasil buruk ini diyakini bisa segera dinetralisir Levon segera.

14. Baadur Jobava  0.5 - Dia adalah pecatur dari Georgia yang sering bermain bagus di turnamen catur beberapa tahun ini. Di Tata Steel ini nampaknya Jobava ada di kondisi lagi jelek mainnya.

Tata Chess 2015 juga menghadirkan grup Challenger di mana urutan sementara nya sekarang adalah:

1. Navara, David 4.5
2. Wei Yi. 4.5
3. Shankland, Sam. 4.0
4. l' Ami, Erwin. 4.0
5. Van Kampen, Robin. 4.0
6. Potkin, Vladimir. 3.0
7. Klein, David. 3.0
8. Timman, Jan. 2.5
9. Saleh, Salem. 2.5
10. Sevian, Samuel. 2.5
11. Michiels, Bart. 2.5
12. Haast, Anne. 2.0
13. Dale, Ari. 1.5
14. Gunina, Valentina. 1.5 

Berikut komentar ringan partai catur Fabiano Caruana vs Magnus Carlsen 0-1
Sicilian Rossolimo ECO B31 , Tata Steel Chess 2015 Round 6

turnamen Tata Steel Chess 2015 bisa disimak LIVE di website
sekitar pukul 19:00 Western Indonesia

Komentator GM Yasser Seirawan bersama Fabiano Caruana

Live Cam - Loek van Wely vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ni Hua Wins Australian Open and Zhao Xue Wins New Zealand Open 2015

Just to conclude my photo's blog of 2015 Australian Open, HERE and HERE, GM Ni Hua completely smashed the event with a staggering 10.5/11 result. Ni Hua only drew with GM Rustam Kushnutdinov in round 8. Ni Hua secured the trophy with two rounds spare. In the second is GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev followed by IM Max Illingworth. Complete final result for 2015 Australia Open, held in Sidney:

Final Result 2015 Australian Open
1 GM Ni Hua CHN 2689 10.5
2 GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas KAZ 2573 8.0
3 IM Illingworth Max AUS 2476 8.0
4 GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2476 7.5
5 IM Morris James AUS 2378 7.5
6 IM Cheng Bobby AUS 2436 7.5
7 IM Ly Moulthun AUS 2460 7.5
8 GM Zhao Zong-Yuan AUS 2564 7.5
9 GM Papin Vasily RUS 2513 7.5
10 GM Smerdon David AUS 2519 7.5

The other Oceania region chess tournament happening simultaneously is New Zealand Open 2015. Filled with more GMs than Aussie Open, the event also won by Chinese grandmaster. GM Zhao Xue won the event with 8/9 points. Only two draws versus GM David Howell and IM Irene Kharisma Sukandar. On the note of Indonesian players, Kharisma finished quite well on upper standing. She only lost to two GMs and a draw, but able to grab full points against her inferior opponents. Final result and official web HERE.

2015 New Zealand Open
1 GM Zhao, Xue 8
2 GM Bischoff, Klaus 7
3 GM Howell, David W L 7
4 GM Rasmussen, Allan Stig 7
5 CM Teh, Eu Wen Aron 7
6 IM Sukandar, Irine Kharisma 6.5
7 Zelesco, Karl 6.5
8 Drummond, Matthew 6.5
9 IM Van Riemsdijk, Herman C. 6.5
10 IM DIVE, Russell J WE 6

Partai Catur GM Zhao Xue vs IM Irine Kharisma Sukandar 1/2-1/2
New Zealand Open 2015 / Selandia Baru Terbuka

Now, let's focus to the giant chess tournament in TATA STEEL CHESS 2015, tonight highlight, GM Magnus Carlsen vs GM Wesley So!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ni Hua Perfect Six at Australian Open 2015 - New Zealand Open Also Started

Just a couple days from 2015 we already seen a perfect six in chess. GM Ni Hua is fire on board with this perfect result, after six rounds at 2015 Australian Open Chess Championship. Playing against one GM and roughly IMs in the rest, Ni Hua managed to collect an Elo Performance of 3150 after these six victories. His strongest opponent was GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev from Kazakhstan in round 5. The standing after round 6 in 2015 Australian Open is:

1. GM Ni Hua CHN 2689 6.0
2. GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2476 5.0
3. IM Morris James AUS 2378 5.0
4. GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas KAZ 2573 4.5
5. IM Illingworth Max AUS 2476 4.5
full results
Official Website  and LIVE GAMES with GM Ian Rogers commentaries

At almost the same time, New Zealand Open 2015 is also started. The events held in Davenport, Auckland, and also noted for its long history. Indeed this is the 122nd New Zealand Open and Blitz Championship. The official website is HERE.  Four GMs are participating, rating wise lead by GM David Howell. Indonesian chess lover should be noted that IM Irene K. Sukandar is participating. The event is well reported in Chessbase.

Standing after round 6 :

1. IM DIVE, Russell J  4.5
2. GM Bischoff, Klaus  4.5
3. GM Zhao, Xue4.5
4 GM Howell, David W 4.5
5. Sukandar, Irine Kharisma  4.0
full results

I wonder if both federation (Aussie and NZ) can coordinated each other and make the tournament's schedule in such a way that they are not happening at the same time. Perhaps both Australian Open and New Zealand Open can make a twin Oceania tourney. Perhaps with this arrangement, the region can attracted more "European" chess players. With two events, the journey to the southern part of the world will worth considering.

Photos from 2015 Australian Open:

GM Ian Roger in commentary area

GM Ni Hua vs WGM Julia Ryjanova, on his way to 6/6 later

Young talent Anton Smirnov vs FM Gregory Canfell, round 3

round 3, IM Bjelobrk Igor vs IM Illingworth Max 

round 3, IM Jones Richard S. vs GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas 

all photos generously provided by my friend on site "R.S".

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Australia Open Chess Championship Round 1

As one of the place that saw the new year earlier than everyone elsewhere, Australia also continue the tradition to start year of chess with their own tournament. This year 2015 Australian Open Chess Championship is held in Castle Hill RSL, Sidney NSW. The event begin January 2nd 2015 and to lasted about 10 days. Events included are Open tournament, Blitz, and minors tournament. More information can be read in their official website here. It will be $ 15,350 prizes for Open section. The total fund available is about $ 20,000 for whole events.

Open section will be the battlefield of at least 10 grandmaster and many more titled players. GM Ni Hua (2677) is their first seeded, followed by GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev (2576). Australian GMs such as GM Zhao Zong-Yuan (2569) and GM David Smerdon (2508) to followed next. Other notables competitors are IM Anton Smirnov, one of Aussie outstanding U20 and others. Events will be broadcasted live in HERE.

After Round 1, quick results are as follow:

1. Braguine, V. (0) 1925 0-1 GM Kazhgaleyev (0) 2576
2. GM Ni, Hua (0) 2677 1-0 Wan, Kinto (0) 1948
3. GM Zhao, Z. (0) 2569 1-0 Saleh, Akef (0) 1923
4. Davis, Tony J (0) 1907 0-1 GM Smerdon, D. (0) 2508
5. GM Papin, Vasily (0) 2505 1-0 Tsai, Charles (0) 1922
6. Lovejoy, D. (0) 1917 0-1 IM Illingworth (0) 2468

see chess-result page.

First round photo impressions

GM Ni Hua as top seed in 2015 Australian Open Chess Championship

GM Ni Hua defeated his opponent, Wan Kinto in 14 moves Caro-Kann

GM Zhao Zong-Yuan in 2015 Australian Open Chess Championship
GM David Smerdon in background

GM Zhao Zong-Yuan

GM Rustam Khusnutdinov 

GM Khusnutdinov, he is one of tutor that actively involved in Indonesian chess scenes

all photos generously provided by my friend on site R.S.
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