||Pages: 76-84 pages/issue
€ 6,90 issue, € 24,50/4 issues (Outside Germany).
|Reviewed by: Erik
||Date: 2/9 2002
Chief Editor: Stefan Bücker
Kaissiber is a German chess magazine that is published 4 times a year by the legendary chess author and analysist Stefan
Bücker. With several books on obscure and often self-invented opening systems, he has over the years earned a reputation of being the guru of offbeat openings. With this extraordinary magazine he has taken a big step toward using his skills at making analysis and material on subjects that are relevant for the average chess player.
The magazine is in German, and a certain knowledge of the language is a necessity. I know just some very basic German
[but it somehow tends to get fluent after a few whiskies ;-) ]. So I needed a dictionary and some effort, at least to read the articles on chess history. The analysis and comments are of course much
easier to read. So don't be scarred, the effort of reading is well rewarded by the content.
Contents of a "normal" Kaisseber-Magazine
Bücker has provided us with a wide selection of the 18 issues of Kaissiber produced so far. From this, I will try to give an overview of the contents of "an average magazine":
Bent Larsen analyses and answers all kinds of questions from readers and editor under the title "Ohne Krawatte" - "without
a tie". Larsen is one of the greatest chess -players, -writers and -analysists ever, and although his comments tend to be more suggestive and less conclusive than years ago, it is still a great pleasure to read. Very entertaining.
At least one article on a historical chess figure, like f. ex. Nimzowitsch, Alapin, Bernstein, Fajarowicz, Diemer just to Name a few. Often in connection with some analysis of their opening ideas.
Larger articles on opening theory. For example an excellent 18-page coverage of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Bc4 by GM Gutman who is often contributing. Or an outstanding piece of analysis on the Muzio-variation in the
King's Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0-0 tending to conclude that black does best not to accept it.
However, as long as nobody has been able to find anything promising set-up for white after 4...Bg7! the importance of the discoveries is minor for the practical player.
Nevertheless, it is a fantastic piece of analysis. The Fajarowicz Gambit 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 has also had a lot of analysis in Kaissiber and has "almost" been rehabilitated. The classical refutation in Smyslov-Steiner, Groningen 1946 may not be as clear as generally thought. The Dutch Opening has also been dealt with on more occasions, like the Latvian Gambit.
Shorter pieces of analysis, most often coming from letters by readers referring to possible mistakes on the analysis of earlier issues, or the reader maybe likes to draw attention to an opening or game they have played or analysed. These contributions are
usually analyses and commented to by Bücker himself, showing his comprehensive knowledge and analytical ability. Here you can really find great ideas, especially when the reader is a strong player like
GM Karsten Müller who found an improvement on an analysis from Wolfgang Labahn from Hamburg who was exposed to a new idea in
Glek's four-knight variation:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 d5 5.exd5 Nd4!?
I have not been able to find a single game in any database with this reversed Belgrade
Probably not good here, but alternatives are not impressive either: 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.0-0 Bd6 (7...Bb4!? Labahn) 8.d3 0-0 9.Re1 Re8 with about equal play according to
6...Bd6 7.Nc4 Bg4
7...Qe7+ 8.Ne3 Bg4 9.Be2 Nxe2 10.Nxe2 Bf3 11.0-0 h5 12.c4 0-0-0 13.d4 Ng4
8.Be2 Nxe2 9.Nxe2 0-0 10.0-0 Bf3! 11.d4 Re8 12.Re1 Qd7 13.Nxd6 cxd6 14.c4 Nh5
14...Qh3 15.Nf4 Bxd1 16.Rxe8+ Rxe8 17.Nxh3 Re1+ 18.Kg2 Be2! is probably no more than equal 19.f3 Bxc4
15.Qd3 Qg4 And Black is in no way worse.
Computers and chess
An article on computers and chess by expert Chrilly Donninger. Very good if you are interested in that kind of thing. Too little chess for my taste, though.
Reviews of chess books
Reviews of chess books. Often very thorough and high level with a clear focus on the theoretical impact of the opening books.
And among other pieces, a page with good combinatory exercises.
In all an issue is on 76-84 pages.
A good Magazine?
A good indicator (at least for me) that Kaissiber is a very good magazine, is the time it has taken me to make this review. Whenever I look into one of the issues checking something I has going to mention, my eyes catches a diagram and soon I find myself analysing one of the ideas mentioned in the text.
Kaissiber is in a way timeless. It is not bound by the newest top games and theoretical fashions as other chess magazines. You may find Kaissiber number 6 or 8 just as interesting as the newest number 18.
The scientific-objective, truth-searching attitude that lies behind Kaissiber of course makes analysis from earlier issues relevant, but the extensive use of footnotes makes it easy to find references to other or older sources.
A nice feature is the very high level of photos of historical chess players and tournaments. It is not just the standard pictures seen anywhere of
e.g. Lasker or Rubinstein. New and often much better ones are used. A lot of nice and original drawings with chess as the theme are present in every issue adding a lot to the already very pleasant layout. Printed on high quality paper in black and white Kaissiber is a pleasure for both "hand and
Kaissiber is a highly recommendable chess magazine of which I have never seen an equivalent. Dealing with chess history and less fashionable opening analysis, it is the perfect supplement to the more top-level tournament and news-oriented magazines like f.x. "New in Chess Magazine" and "Schach". Just try - you will not regret it!