How do you do your opening training? Do you try in vain to commit to memory sequences of moves as far as move 15 or even 20? Do you work your way through thick tomes in order to laboriously collect the most important information? Or do you simply keep on playing the same opening, just because by chance you learned a little about it years ago and because it is in any case too complicated and time-consuming to learn something new? Or do you simply not bother with opening theory, but continue to be annoyed about being at a disadvantage before you really get into the game proper? Fortunately there is no need for opening training to be like that, because for all those who are looking for a compact and entertaining survey of the openings, there are now the new ChessBase Opening Tutorials.
Volume two deals with the wide-ranging and important area of the Semi-Open Games. Our masters and trainers present to you 24 exciting, entertaining and instructive videos
- Caro-Kann (3 videos)
- French (5 videos)
- Scandinavian (1 video)
- Sicilian (12 videos)
- Alekhine Defence (1 videos)
- Pirc (1 video)
- Nimzowitsch and Owen Defences (1 video)
The major area of the Sicilian is subdivided into
- Najdorf (3 videos)
- Sveshnikov (2 videos)
- Scheveningen System (1 video)
- Paulsen and Taimanov (1 video)
- Dragon (1 video)
- Richter-Rauser Attack (1 videos)
- Rossolimo (1 video)
- Alapin (1 video)
- Closed Sicilian (1 video)
Most of the videos last between 13 and 16 minutes, meaning that in something like six hours you can get a survey of this immensely important area of opening theory. This time five authors went before the camera for the videos in English, of whom you already know Lawrence Trent (6 videos), Valeri Lilov (6 videos) and Lars Schandorff (3 videos) from the first volume. You will be glad to welcome Daniel King (6 videos) and Sam Collins (3 videos) as new authors. In the English / German accompanying booklet, the 22 pages in each language offer short descriptions of the openings. This is intended on the one hand to help you orientate yourself and on the other to make possible an entertaining introduction to the world of the Semi-Open Games. Last but not least, there is also a database which contains 100 outstanding games from the openings areas which are being presented.
Running time: 6 hours
System requirements: PC Windows XP (SP3), Vista or Windows 7, Windows Media Player, DVD-drive.
For the "average" club player, these DVD's provide an excellent overview for any club player who is a career oriented person who does not have the time to study opening variations. If you know the basics, these first two volumes provide excellent reviews of the major themes, ideas, and variations - this is excellent, though brief, review material - essential for the person who hopes to improve but who simply cannot afford to spend time on attempting to acquire an in-depth knowledge of subtle theoretical variations.
There is enough material in these volumes so that if you understand opening theory, you can refresh ideas and attempt to steer clear of variations that are very complicated, allowing you to obtain a "comfortable" position. After reviewing these relatively short DVDs, you should have enough knowledge to find your way when playing openings that are not your favorites or "cup of tea." In addition, these DVDs refer you to relevant games, data bases, and other Chessbase DVDs to enhance and develop your knowledge. These materials offer substantial information - I own many of these discs - each and every one is a well done "book" on a CD disc.
In short, these first two volumes provide an excellent review of the major openings - I have every intention of purchasing the next 3 DVD installments and I expect a similar reaction. The presenters are superb - clear in their thinking and presentation, very logical in presenting ideas, telling you how to avoid unfavorable positions - granted, not presenting a full examination of every opening theory, but giving you enough information to survive by making good decisions in over-the-board play. I must compliment Cherssbase for this excellent series which addresses the needs of the chessplayer I have described.
This endorsement should not be taken as a "shortcut" to avoid study through books and the purchase of other Chessbase material which are essentially books and exercises on DVD. These materials are also essential. However, the point here is that the Chessbase team has discovered a methodology of presenting material to help players significantly improve their game - from opening, to middlegame, to tactics, to endgame - I might add, I have nothing but accolades to add to the Mueller Endgame series. Absolutely superb.
I only wish I could retire to have the time to study and apply this information to improve to the fullest. Time for a professional person who dabbles in chess is a major issue - but, I fully believe that the material offered through Chessbase, combined with study and both computer and across-the-board chess-play, can easily lead to very satisfying levels of improvement for any chessplayer.