At the German site Freechess.info there now is a review of Aagaard's "Stonewall II" . There really isn't that much new to be learned about the book (the game Astrom –Ulibin, Göteborg 1999 was already included in the English version) but it's interesting to note that it seems to have changed title from "Die Stonewall Verteidigung II" to simply "Stonewall II". See my entry of July 25 for the "original" cover.
One can speculate what the reasons are for the change. Maybe the publishers simply decided that they didn't like the passivity that can be associated with the word "Verteidigung" which means defence. Or maybe it was the strange mix of German and English that didn't appeal. My personal theory is that the word "Verteidigung" doesn't score well on Google's rankings and may make the book harder to find for potential buyers.
As an aside there is a funny remark by the reviewer:
"Vielleicht hätte man noch ein Extrakapitel zu diversen Ablehnungen in das Buch aufnehmen können, ich denke hier in erster Linie an die Zugfolge 1.d4 f5 2.e4. Natürlich wird ein erfahrener Spieler diese mit 1…e6 umgehen, doch etwas unerfahrenere Spieler könnten hier schmerzvolle Erfahrungen machen. Wie ich unlängst erfahren habe, gibt es im Staunton-Gambit mit 1.d4 f5 2.e4 unter einigen Großmeistern eine noch geheime bisher nicht gespielte Variante, die Weiß deutlich im Vorteil sehen soll!"
In English this roughly translates to:
"Maybe an extra chapter about various early deviations could have been added; what I primarily have in mind is the the move-order 1.d4 f5 2.e4. An experienced player will of course bypass this with 1...e6, but players with less experience may collect some painful lessons. As I have long since discovered, some GMs have found a secret and not yet played variation in the Staunton-Gambit 1.d4 f5 2.e4 which gives White a clear advantage."
This is a quite central move-order question in my coming Stonewall book and I will not comment much on it in this blog. However I think I should make my preliminary conclusion clear: If you play the French against 1.e4 there certainly are some reasons to prefer the 1...e6 path to the Stonewall over 1...f5, but the Staunton gambit isn't among them.
The publisher's have (somewhat curiously) announced that there will not be an English version of this revised Stonewall book, and the Swedish version apparently has been canceled. But today I found that an Italian version seems to be on its way.
My knowledge of Italian consists of a few tourist phrases and a little chess jargon, but doesn't "completamente rinnovata e in esclusiva mondiale per Caissa Italia" indicate that this is something more than a pure translation? That theory seems to be supported by the claim of more than 100 annotated games while the German only is said to contain 94.