ChessBase Magazine 111 - $39.95
ChessBase Magazine Vol. 111 has 1308 games, 447 with analysis and variations by top experts in the field. In addition there are over 10,000 games from contemporary correspondence and email chess events. Multimedia introductions to the contents are provided by German grandmaster Carsten Müller and Swedish IM Ari Ziegler. As always ChessBase Magazine offers you special sections on tactics, strategy, endgames, and extensive theory articles, all by great teacher and analysts.

Contents of ChessBase Magazine 111

By Frederic Friedel

If you are using ChessBase 9 to access ChessBase Magazine 111, and if you have started ChessBase before inserting the CBM 111 CD, then a window with the contents is displayed: icons of the databases and files contained in this issue.

Note that if the contents of CBM 111 are not automatically displayed you can get them by clicking on the drive symbol on the left of the window.

You can right-click the window with the icons and use “View – Details” (or press Ctrl-D) to get a different view of the files and folders. This view allows you to sort the list according to title, number of games, the format and the location. Ctrl-I takes you back to the icon view, where you can also sort the files by right-clicking an empty area on the database window and using “Sort symbols”.

ChessBase Magazine 111 comes to you with a special program called the ChessBase Reader. This is what you can also use to read the data, especially if you do not have the program ChessBase 9.0 installed on your system. You can also access the contents using Fritz, or any recent Fritz compatible program.

For Fritz 9 users here’s a brief rundown on how to access ChessBase Magazine from this program:

  1. Start Fritz 9 and in the splash screen that appears click “Play Fritz” to get the regular chess program.
  2. A board window appears. Use “File – Open – Database” (or F12, or Esc) to get a database window with a list of the games you last accessed. Esc or F12 toggle between the board and the database windows.
  3. In the database window click “File – Open – Database” (or press Ctrl-O) and select your CD-ROM drive in the file selector that appears.
  4. Select a file from the files and directories that appear, e.g. double-click “111cbm.cbh” to load the main games file.

With Fritz you can read all the contents of ChessBase Magazine. But ChessBase 9.0 and the Reader will give you additional useful options to better access the data on the CD.

Multimedia Report

In CBM 111 we break away from the tradition of video reports on events that lie some months behind us. In future such reports will be brought to you mainly via the Internet, and just days or even hours after they have been held.

On ChessBase Magazine we plan to bring you, instead, mainly a video introduction to the contents of the CD. This time it is German grandmaster Carsten Müller and Swedish IM Ari Ziegler who run us through the highlights of the games on the CD.

The idea here is that you, as a subscriber who has just received the latest ChessBase Magazine CD, insert the disk and sit back to let some very high-calibre players tell you, in entertaining form, what is on it.

The intros by Carsten Müller and Ari Ziegler are in high-resolution video, with a synchronised chessboard – we call it the Chess Media System – and a total of about an hour and a half in length. So you will want to do it in multiple sessions.

The main database CBM 111

The database icon labelled “111 CBM” is the one that contains the main body of games. To start or open this file you should double-click the icon (or click it and hit Enter, or right-click the icon and click “Open”). This will bring you to a navigation text that allows you to open various other files.

Clicking any of the entries will open the corresponding database in a new window, a practical way to start them. To get to the games of the main database click on the “Games” tab at the top of the navigation window of CBM 111.

The games list shows 1311 entries, of which three are text reports (one is the navigation window we have just seen above). 447 games contain analysis and variations, many by top experts in the field.

To see who has annotated games in CBM 111 click on the “Annotator” Tab at the top of the games window. This will produce a list which can be sorted according to the annotators or the number of games analysed. If you click a name you will get a list of the games which were analysed by this expert to the right. Double-clicking on any of these games will load it for replay.


Click on the “Tournament” tab to get a list of the tournaments on the CBM 111 CD. You can click on any of the categories in the title bar to sort the list alphabetically, according to place, date, type, nationality, category, number of rounds, number of games and whether the tournaments are complete or not.

Note that you can search for a tournament by typing one or two letters of the tournament name into the input box at the bottom left. This is not so relevant here, because the number of tournaments is manageable. But in a very large database it is invaluable. If you do not know the exact name of the tournament you can click on “Filter” at the bottom and type in a part of it. For instance searching for “gib” will get you the Gibraltar Masters. There is an “Activate” checkbox in the Filter window to switch the filter on and off.


To access theory databases you must open the folder “Theory” by double-clicking it. You will find seven openings articles in this issue of ChessBase Magazine.

A28: English

The basic position of the variation analysed by GM Zoltan Ribli arises after the moves 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 Qe7 7.a3 d5 8.d4

The position in our first diagram bears some resemblance to a Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2 variation. Here White also has the bishop pair, but in return Black has a lead in development.

From the position in the diagram, 8...Nxd4 can be played, but the move is only of independent value, if, after 9.Nxd4, Black tries the intermediate move 9...Ne4?! (see Vokac,M - Keitlinghaus,L 0-1). White had a big surprise and played 10.Qd3?, whereupon Black reached a winning position after 10...Nc5 11.Qd1 exd4 12.b4 dxe3 13.Bxe3 Ne4 14.Qxd5 Nxf2!. But instead of 10.Qd3? White must play 10.Qc2 exd4 11.cxd5 dxe3 12.Bxe3, after which he has the better chances because of his bishop pair. The main continuation is 8...exd4, which is followed by 9.Nxd4.

The GM’s conclusion: This variation with 4.e3 Bb4 and 5...Bxc3, 6...Qe7, 7...d5 leads to asymmetric play, in which White has the bishop pair and Black rapid development. Usually – when both sides play precisely – the position is level. From the strategic point of view, if White can keep his bishop pair on the board and set up a strong pawn centre with f3-e4, he will have the better chances (Ivanchuk - Karjakin, Wijk aan Zee 2006), whereas for Black it is usually a good idea to exchange light-squared bishops. In my opinion, the variation 9...Ne5!? also represents a very interesting possibility for Black, after which he can complicate the position.

The database provided by Ribli contains 22 games, all annotated by the author.

B10: Caro-Kann

The normal reply to the Caro-Kann after 1.e4 c6 is 2.d4 d5. Then White usually chooses 3.Nc3 or 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 or 3.e5, which all lead to deeply analysed variations. But not every chess player has the time or the inclination to get into such complicated analysis and variations. So a way to avoid this is sought...

In his contribution Jerzy Konikowski suggests an interesting continuation after 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5, namely the move 4.Ne5!?.

At first glance, the variation does not seem particularly ambitious. But the available material very clearly shows that White has very good prospects of taking the initiative into his own hands.

Konikowski writes: “I hope that with these efforts, I will do a little publicity for this original variation and gain for it new fans, which will enable the plan which is presented here to be enriched by new experiences with the line.”

The attached database contains seven surveys and 31 key games.

B33: Sveshnikov Sicilian

The basic position of the variation examined by GM Dorian Rogozenko arises after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Rb8 12.Nc2 Bg5

In the positions after 11.c3 White has two major methods to fight for the advantage: the pawn advances a2-a4 and h2-h4. The first one is designed to open the a-file and secure square c4 for the bishop. The advance of the h-pawn is usually made either to prevent the opponent’s bishop from coming to g5 (when the bishop is still on f6), or to send it from g5 to h6, thus preventing a possible transfer of the bishop to b6 (via d8).

Black’s set-up 11...Rb8 and 12...Bg5 is very ambitious: it tries to fight against both above-mentioned plans from White. With the rook on b8 Black prepares himself for the advance a2-a4, while placing the bishop on g5 before castling short neutralizes the idea of h2-h4.

Rogozenko’s conclusion: If not considering 13.Be2, in the variation examined White's first important decision comes on move 16, when he must choose to recapture on b4 either with the knight or with the pawn. The last years of praxis have taught Black players how to neutralize the opponent's slight advantage after 16.Nxb4.

In Volokitin,A - Van Wely,L 1-0 White succeeded in squeezing a full point practically out of nothing, but from the opening point of view this is irrelevant, since the position was equal at some point.

The recent game Anand,V - Van Wely,L 1-0 might represent a new tendency for the future: White tries to achieve an advantage in another type of positions, arising after 16.cxb4. In my opinion this will be just a temporary phenomenon, since Black has enough defensive resources to hold the balance.

The database contains 48 games, most annotated, 34 by the author himself.

C10 French Defence

The line which GM Alexander Finkel has chosen for the survey has for the last couple of years been, is beyond any doubt, one of the most popular ways to meet the Rubinstein Variation. The main reason for the dramatic rise in its popularity is closely related to the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to pose Black serious problems in the variations which were considered rather promising ones until recently.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6 Nxf6 7.c3 c5.

The main idea behind 7.c3 is to put pressure on Blacks position by bringing the knight to e5, bishop to e3 and the queen to a4. If Black decides to capture on d4, White’s bishop is perfectly placed on d4. The main drawback of this line is that it leads to forced play with numerous exchanges of the pieces, so in most of the cases White’s initiative fades away as his most active pieces are being traded.

I would not say this line is more promising for White than any other, but there are two factors which obviously contribute to its popularity: 1) it leads to very interesting piece play on a very early stage of the game; 2) there is not much theory at the moment, so there is a lot of room for creativity and some new ideas!

At the end of his investigation Finkel comes to the following conclusion: “I think Black can be quite optimistic as I did not manage to find a single line in which White has a clear way to advantage. In my opinion White should look for the advantage in the line 8.Be3 Qc7 9.Ne5 a6 10.Qa4+ Nd7 11.0-0-0 cxd4 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Qxd4. Another reasonable possibility for Black after 8.Be3 is 8...cxd4 9.Bxd4 Bd6!?, which seems to lead to an unclear position. The main line after 8.Ne5 appears to be rather harmless for Black as after 8...a6 9.Qa4 Bd7 10.Bxd7 Qxd7 11.Qxd7 Kxd7 12.dxc5 Bxc5 Black does not seem to experience any problems.”

The content of the database: on the CD you will find 98 games in this line. Most of the games have been played during the last couple of years. On the white side you will find such strong players as Topalov, Anand, Adams, Polgar, Grischuk, Bologan and many others who have used this variation occasionally.

As usual, on the black side you will find quite a few experts in the French Defence: Bareev, Akopian, Milov, Vaganian, Lobron, Nogueiras. There are 27 annotated games, 15 of them exclusively for this database; and a very deep opening key designed especially for the database, to make the learning process more efficient.

C40: Elephant Gambit (Part 7)

The following position was the starting point for Peter Leisebein’s investigations in previous ChessBase magazines: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 Bd6

Firstly, Black cautiously protects his e-pawn and puts one of his “elephants” (bishops) on a good square! The Maroczy Variation has shown itself to be quite playable in recent years. But Black has an even sharper possibility, by which he burns all his bridges. Hand to hand fighting is what ensues: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e4!? (Advance Variation).

If White now moves his knight away, Black's strategy is in full swing, so there is the compulsory queen move: 4.Qe2! Nf6

Naturally the far advanced black pawn is doomed, White can even successfully challenge it on his next move. He can do so in two different ways, which lead to the two most important variations: 5.Nc3 and 5.d3! In this article Leisebein looks at the former, the next time he will turn his attention to the line which is much more dangerous for Black (namely 5.d3!).

5.Nc3, the natural developing move for White, is quite playable. White would like to get rid of the annoying pawn by attacking it with a piece. But this runs into a few tactical possibilities which are open to Black! White’s difficulty is that he often has problems getting his queen or his king off the e-file! The game Breitenstein,E - Leisebein,P 0-1 is a most instructive example.

But things do not have to be as bad as that. In general Black’s initiative is offset by the two pawns. If White returns material, he can level the game. Leisebein writes: “In the last three years I have played 25 games in this line and never lost.” His Openings Report shows that White has little success with this method. Things would be just great for Black, if White did not have a much sharper line up his sleeve (next report)!

The report contains 88 games, 26 with annotations by the author.

E35: Nimzo-Indian

GM Michael Roiz looks at the Classical System: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.dxc5

Roiz: “Nowadays 5...exd5 has been regaining some of its popularity! In fact, many strong GMs like Topalov, Short, Aronian, Van Wely and others often use it against 4.Qc2. The resulting positions may be very sharp, so I can recommend this system for players with an aggressive style.”

In the above position Black has two main options: 8...Nc6 and 8...g5 9.Bg3 Ne4 (9...Nc6 transposes to the first line. “The 8...Nc6 variation is playable, but after 11.Nf3 Qa5 12.Nd2 players of the black pieces should check 12...Nxc5!? properly (because other continuations are probably not acceptable). In the main line 8...g5 9.Bg3 Ne4 10.e3 Qa5 11.Nge2 Bf5 12.Be5 0-0 13.Nd4 white has serious problems with getting any advantage after 13...Nxc3.”

There are 91 selected games in this database; 25 of them have been annotated by the author specially for this article. Some are very important for the theory of the variation. The database includes almost the latest games – up to December 2005. There is also a solid opening key, specially developed for this opening.Statistics for this database: Out of 91 games White won 36 games = 40%, there were 37 draws = 40%, and Black won 18 games = 20%.

E92 Gligoric Variation 9.Bc1

The main position of the database, provided by GM Avrukh Boris, arises after the following moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bc1!?

Recently 9.Bc1 has become a fashionable continuation. For this article the author has chosen the most critical continuation 9...exd4 10.Nxd4 f5. “In my opinion,” he writes, “this idea is critical for the assessment of the whole 9.Bc1-line. Black simply wants to use his extra tempo (White still needs to castle) in order to create good counterplay. This idea was first introduced in the Van der Sterren-Kamsky 1994 game and later on it was played permanently by such good experts in the King's Indian as Radjabov and Bologan. On the other side, White has its own supporters in Ivanchuk, Volkov, Kruppa and Popov.”

The GM’s conclusion: “It seems that at the moment Black is doing quite well in this variation, however I believe White has enough resources not to give up, especially after 11.h3. I predict that we will see more games in the near future. We shall await them with interest.”

This database contains all the fresh material up to the 10th of March 2006. There are 43 games, 18 of them were annotated by the author especially for this issue. There is also a deep opening key developed especially for this database.


In this section GM Karsten Müller provides 39 very instructional endgame positions and puzzles, all derived from the games of CBM 111.


“The Exchange Sacrifice Revisited” is the title of GM Peter Wells’ new mini-series which looks at the increasing importance of this theme in contemporary chess and its role in the ever more dynamic and concrete nature of the game, particularly at the top level.


“Unleash the power of the major pieces!” says GM Valery Atlas in the title of his collection of tactical positions from CBM 111. You will find 25 examples to solve in the attached database.


The subject of Johannes Fischer’s essay is the unofficial Chess Olympiad that was staged in Munich in 1936.

ICCF Telechess

The current issue brings you some very interesting material, with well annotated games. The articles are: Introduction to Telechess column; Annotated Games by GM Juan Sebastián Morgado; Annotated Games by GM Roberto Alvarez; Where to play EmailChess for Free; IECC News till March 13, 2006; SEMI News; DESC – Deutscher E-Mail-Schachclub till March 13, 2006; IECG News till February 9th, 2006; IECG Rating List - March 5th, 2006. The attached database contains over 10,000 games. Here are two examples:

Marcotulli, Giancarlo (2412) - Bongiovanni, Claudio (1800) [C65]: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0–0 d6 6.h3 h6 7.c3 Bd7 8.a4 a5 9.d4 Bb6 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Qf3 0–0 13.Rd1 Qe7

14.Bxd7 Nxd7 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Qg4+ Qg5 17.Qxg5+ hxg5 18.Rxd7 Rad8 19.Rd2 f6 20.Kf1 Bc5 21.Ke2 b6 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Nd2 c6 24.Nc4 Kf8 25.Rb1 Rb8 26.g3 1–0.

Marino, Marco (1737) - Lopriore, Nunzio (1200) [B28]: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.d3 e5 6.0–0 Be7 7.c4 d6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.h3 Bd7 10.Nh2 Qc8 11.g4 h6 12.g5 hxg5 13.Bxg5 Bxh3 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Qh5 Bd7 17.Rfe1 Nd4

18.Re3! A tricky move which Black fails to evaluate correctly. 18...Nc2? 19.Rg3 Nxa1 20.Qh6? Missing Black’s reply. 20...Bg4!–+ 21.Qc1 Bh5 22.Bh3 Qc6 23.Qh6 Bg6 24.Rxg6 fxg6 25.Be6+ Rf7 26.Qxg6 Qe8 27.Ng4 Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Bh4 29.Nde3 Be7 30.Nf5 Bf8 31.Qg6 Rxf5 32.Nf6+ Rxf6 0–1.