Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book of the Year Update


'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' was indeed shortlisted to ChessPublishing's Book of the Year contest.

Both the two other finalists are from Quality Chess:


Marin's Grandmaster Repertoire: The English Opening. Since the first voting session, Quality Chess has announced that this series will become a trilogy (not two volumes as originally announced).


Schandorff's Playing the Queen's Gambit.


Surprisingly there have been considerably fewer votes in this final voting session than in the preliminary one (only 50 when I write this entry). Maybe those who voted for books that are now eliminated are not voting in this session (one very good reason would be not having read those left). In that case the final result may be very close to the preliminary one.

What is clear, is that with so few votes in total, every vote will count. The voting closes in a couple of days. So if you like 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch', and is a ChessPublishing member, please give it a vote (again)!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stonewall Review by Stephen Gordon

Some time ago 3C's excellent book review section was taken over by IM (soon to be GM) Stephen Gordon. The immediate effect seemed to be a slowing down of the number of reviews but now there are ten new, mostly rather short reviews on offer. Gordon's reviews seem to be useful and he has demonstrated that he dares to warn if a book isn't suited for everyone.

One of the books examined this time is "Win with the Stonewall Dutch" which is briefly but quite favorably reviewed. The conclusion is: "A book I could recommend to anyone looking to mix things up against 1.d4 players!".

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Identical Mates?

When I recently co-authored a booklet on mating combinations, I included what I called a 'Mating Alphabet' with 29 frequently occuring mating themes (the Norwegian alphabet has 29 letters). One of my advisors asked me whether I had considered a more theoretical approach, taking the basic properties of each mate more into consideration. My answer was that, yes I did, and quickly decided that a more pragmatic approach probably would be more useful for our targeted audience. Let me illustrate my reasoning with a set of positions:

Position 1

Position 2

Position 3

I suppose that from a theoretical point of view, they are all three more or less identical. In practical play, however, I will claim that each of them has independent value, as they all occur in quite different kinds of positions.

This, of course, doesn't imply that I find categorizing checkmating patterns an idle pastime without any practical value. On the contrary I find it a very interesting angle for further study and probably quite educating for an advanced student. As a matter of fact this may be a subject to which I will return in the near future.