|Title: Attacking Chess Vol.1+2
||Author: Jacob Aagaard
|Publisher: ChessBase Gmbh
|Price: € 24.99 for each
Pentium 233, 64 MB RAM, CD-drive, sound card, mouse, Windows XP, Me, 98, Windows Media Player 9/10
|Reviewed by: Arne
||Date: 09/01 2005
Attacking Chess Vol.1+2
On these two new CD-ROMs the well-known Danish IM and chess writer Jacob Aagaard gives 23 lessons in attacking chess. The total playing time of the two CD-ROMs is around 6 hours.
The technical side
To run the CD-ROMs you need the following: PC 233, 64 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, sound card, mouse, Windows XP, Me, 98, Windows Media Player 9 (or 10). The course is a supplementary program for Fritz 8 and can only run if the chess program Fritz 8, Shredder 8, Junior 8, Hiarcs9 or Tiger15 is installed. None of these programs are supplied with the
CD-ROMs. Please note that the course cannot run on Deep Junior 8, which annoyed me quite a bit at first.
It is quite easy to run the courses. Each lesson is split into two, three or four media files. You open one file; wait ill it is finished and the open the next. While the courses are running, you see the chessboard on one side of the screen and on the side (or below) you see Jacob explaining what is happening on the board.
Dogme times two
The production adheres to most of the Dogme 95 rules as formulated by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and others (see
www.dogme95.dk/menu/menuset.htm). Expect here the camera is not handheld but immobile and no
"takebacks" are permitted. When Aagaard says
"f5" instead of "c5", "white" instead of
"black" and so on, the camera just keeps rolling.
We see Aagaard taking a sip from his water bottle, scratching his head, losing his way in his manuscript, forgetting when Dolmatov played in the
candidates' tournament etc. etc. I can’t understand why there is no editing. It would be very cheap to make retakes when something goes wrong in a lesson. It gives me the impression that the CD-ROMs were made in great haste.
The lessons cover the following subjects:
- Include all the pieces in the attack (2 lessons, 4 files)
- Development and pace in the Attack (2 lessons, 4 files)
- Colour schemes (2 lessons, 2 files)
- The indifference of the value of the pieces in the attack (2 lessons, 2 files)
- Evolution – Revolution (2 lessons, 2 files)
- Drawing the King out into the open (1 lesson, 1 file)
- Destruction of the King’s position (4 lessons, 4 files)
- Opening lines to the King (2 lessons, 2 files)
- Attack the weakest point in your opponent’s position
Each file lasts ca. 15 minutes. In each lesson Aagaard shows some game examples that illustrate the theme of the lesson. The examples are often little-known games, which I think is quite nice. There is little fun in seeing the Evergreen game and the Immortal Game by Anderssen once more.
The subjects are well chosen, but towards the end of Volume 2, Aagaard runs out of steam. The examples are less exciting, and the subjects
"Destruction of the King’s position" and "Opening lines to the
King" are essentially the same.
Aagaard is quite good at making the points he wants to make. It is easy to hear that his first language is not English, but most people will understand what he means.
Probably the target audience is ordinary club players. Most players at this level will benefit from these lessons. In particular, Aagaard stresses that even when you sacrificed, there is no reason to lose your head. Maybe there is time to build up the attack slowly by bringing some reinforcements to the attack. I am a notoriously bad attacking player and certainly benefited from some of the lessons.
As pointed out by Steffen Pedersen on www.dsu.dk (see his review in Danish on
http://nyheder.dsu.dk/enkelt_nyhed.php?id=124) the analysis of the examples is sometimes sloppy.
Steffen points out a grave error in Aagaard's analysis of the game van Wely-Acs and I would like to add that the analysis of the game Azmaiparashvili-Rashkovsky seems flawed as well.
Let's have a look:
Here Azmaiparashvili played 18.Nd5 exd5 19.Rg3
Aagaard claims that 19…d4 is the only move, but it seems to me that he misses a very natural and strong defensive move, that would have repelled White’s attack:
19…Bf6! Black calmly defends the weakest point in his position and simultaneously prepares …Ne7. White has four tempting continuations, but none of them seem to work:
- 20.Rxd5 Qc7 21.Bxh6 Ne7 22.Bxg7 Bxg7 23.Rdg5 Qb6+ 24.Kh1 Nf5 25.Rh3 Qh6 White has to trade queens but then his prospects
in the endgame look bleak.
- 20.Bxd5 Be6 21.Qxh6 (21.Qf3 Be5 22.Bxc6 Rad8-+) Be5 22.Be4 Rfd8 23.Qh7+ Kf8 and the attack will peter out.
- 20.Qxh6 Qc7! (with the idea Qxg3!) 21.Bf4 Qe7 22.Bxd5 Nd4!! with the deadly threat Ne2+
- 20.Bxh6 Ne7 21.Bxd5 Be6 Black can simply trade off White’s best attacking pieces.
I admit that Black’s king position looks shaky, but it seems that he can defend. If any of the readers find some way for White to save the game after 19…Bf6, please let me know.
By the way, this game was played (or was it?) in the ghost tournament Strumica 1995. Azmaiparashvili was later accused of having fixed the results to win rating points and some grandmasters even questioned whether the
tournament had been played at all.
The technical side of this product seems pretty amateurish. Within these limitations Jacob Aagaard does a decent job and I benefited from some of lessons. In particular I liked the game
Kasparov-Andersson that I hadn’t seen before.
On the other hand I’m sure he could have done better. Not all of the examples are interesting and sometimes the analysis seems to be wrong. On Volume 2 the quality decreases, so you are interested in this product I advise you to buy Volume 1. If you like it, you can always buy Volume 2 later.