An unexamined life is not worth living.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ChessBase - One File Format to Rule them All

As of Chessbase 11 and 12, Chessbase offers to put database files into one file with *.cbone extension. That seems very convenient compared to cbv files that cannot be viewed or modified without unpacking, and sure beats dozens of random extension (cbh, cbg, etc) files that were getting created/deleted behind the scenes in the old paradigm. For emailing games around, or backing up databases, cbone seems great. But I don't want to convert my databases unless I know that the new format is reliable. I will  experiment with cbone in the next while and see how this goes.
So far a couple of issues I can think of are:
  • I noticed that read-only cbone files cause errors, even when opened up for viewing
  • It is obvious that any older program such as Chessbase Light would not able to read cbone file format
Has anyone else noticed other problems?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Best Combinations - September 2014 (Monthly Chess Tactics Book 9)

The September edition of the Monthly Tactics series is out with over 100 puzzles for you to solve, available in Amazon and Kobo stores.


Book description:
This publication is a collection of over 100 best combinations played by strong chess players in tournaments that took place in September 2014. To see the solution for the combination - go to the next page in your e-reader. The book is the ninth in the "Monthly Chess Tactics" series, which provides regular updates with instructive tactical positions from the most recent top chess tournaments. The first eight instalments covered January to August of 2014.

The major tournaments of September 2014 were happening in Bilbao, Spain. The European team championship was won by SOCAR club from Azerbaijan in the open event, and Georgian club Nona in the female section. Anand won the Bilbao Masters chess tournament, held at the same time and location, ahead of Aronian. The October edition will cover the first stage of the next World Championship which will begin with the Grand Prix tournament in Baku, with the world's strongest grandmasters participating.

About the series:

“Monthly Chess Tactics” will allow you to

  • Catch up on latest major chess news
  • Follow top grandmasters
  • Improve your game
  • Study combinations any time and anywhere
  • Enjoy a collection of annotated puzzles that you have not seen in any other tactics books
  • Maintain regular practice by solving several puzzles every day

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Playing for Queenside majority in the Endgame

Khairullin – Stander, 2003
image White to move
Solution in  "Endgames By Juniors" EbookVideo, or viewer below:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2 Years, 18 eBooks, Thousand Puzzles, Hundred Annotated Games Later

Two years ago, I started converting my published and studying materials into electronic books that I thought would be great to read anywhere, on any mobile device, on the internet, offline, etc. The eBook format seemed to be a natural fit, and I have been uploading my content on Amazon, with some samples on this blog, on my YouTube channel, and on Kobo. The project turned out “a bit” more ambitious than originally anticipated, but it has been a great learning experience so far.

The table below summarizes roughly the amount of content in each book, and should give you an idea what book you might be interested in. As I continue to tweak the process, I’d also like to hear your thoughts on the format, content, pricing, and really anything related to these books.

Book Title Training Positions * Annotated Games Price Series
Bishop Endgames: Do Opposites Attract? 44 27 2.99 Practical Endgames
Exchange Slav - Strategy and Tactics 27 28 2.99 Opening Preparation
Counterattack with Alexander Morozevich 42
0.99 Practical Tactics
Spanish Opening - Strategy and Tactics 28 11 2.99 Opening Preparation
Play Like a Grandmaster - Tactics from Chess World Cup 2013 54
2.99 Practical Tactics
World Championship Preview - Combinations by Anand and Carlsen 131
2.99 Practical Tactics
Rook and Knight Endgames - Strategy and Tactics 26 19 2.99 Practical Endgames
Attack with Alexander Morozevich - Selected Games and Best Combinations 54 10 2.99 Practical Tactics
Play Like a Grandmaster - Best Tactics of 2013 82
2.99 Practical Tactics
Best Combinations - January 2014 51
0.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations - February 2014 57
0.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations - March 2014 40
0.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations - April 2014 51
0.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations - May 2014 54
0.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations - June 2014 102
2.99 Monthly Tactics
Endgames by Juniors - Instructive Games and Blunders 9 23 2.99 Practical Endgames
Best Combinations – July 2014 101
2.99 Monthly Tactics
Best Combinations – August 2014 103
2.99 Monthly Tactics
1056 118  

* Training positions typically also contain annotations and are computer checked for accuracy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Power of Exchanges in Chess – Transitioning into Bishop endgame

Jiganchine – North, Keres Memorial 2014
imageWhite to move. Find the winning idea.

The title of the post obviously contains the hint, but I would still suggest you consider what is the biggest weaknesses in Black’s position, what piece defends that weakness, and what is the best piece to attack it attack it. Alas in the game, I overlooked it, and gave Black a chance to defend, which he in his turn – also missed.

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