Just as chess fans all over the world were excited by the goings-on at the recent Chess Olympics, so were the staff at Chess Informant excited at the prospect of preparing for readers a Midnight Sun edition, primarily devoted to reporting on this same gigantic sporting event. Our authors, exclusively Olympiad participants, sent us bright games, brilliant ideas and breathtaking insights from this wonderful eleven round competition.
Where Great Minds Meet is a collection of 25 deeply annotated games – encounters that attracted the attention of our ‘Magnificent Seven’: GM Sarunas Sulskis, 1st board of Lithuania, GM Rafael Leitao, 1st board of Brazil, GM Julio Sadorra, 1st board of Philippines, GM Bassem Amin, 1st board of Egypt, GM Aleksandar Colovic, 2nd board of Macedonia, GM Nikola Sedlak, gold medallist on the 4th board of Serbia and GM Emanuel Berg, 5th board of Sweden.
7/7 - A star is Born
American GM Sam Shankland was most definitely one of the Tromso Chess Olympiad’s sporting heroes! His opening sprint of 7 wins out of 7 games, was really something extra special and in fact caused a big sensation in the playing hall. Sam duly won the gold medal for best individual performance on Board 5 but even more than that, with a final tally of 9/10 he claimed the highest percentage result of the entire Olympiad. Then, before going back home to San Francisco, the modest 22 year old grandmaster was a guest of Chess Informant in Belgrade where he also played in rapid and blitz tournaments held under our auspices. Now, in the pages of this Informant, you can read his own inside story of how he made 7/7 – and then 9/10!
Wesley's US team diary
Another exclusive column in Informant 121 is the Olympiad Diary by GM Wesley So, the team coach for the United States, Though Wesley is ranked 12th in the world, because of the rules and regulations for changing his federation from the Philippines to the USA, where he now lives, he was not yet eligible for inclusion as a player in the American team. However, instead he accepted our invitation to lead Informant readers, round by round, behind the curtain, past the disappointments and defeats and on to the aspirations and achievements of the American players.
The Olympiad section of Informant 121 is also illustrated by a number of instructive endings – selected and annotated by leading world expert in the realm of endgame play, German GM Karsten Mueller.
Let’s say that our Olympiad stories are just a warm up for readers of Informant 121. After all, we are talking about 345 pages, filled with all sorts of topical and instructional features, accompanied by commentaries on recent chess games played all over the world. High-end articles with deep analysis are counter-balanced by others, also written by grandmasters, which provide move-by-move explanatory comments.
Leader Column by Morozevich
It’s high time to mention our leader column! GM Alexander Morozevich is a top class player with an original style, and highly regarded by his colleagues as one of the world’s leading trend-setters for opening innovations. His writing style is unique, his imagination fantastic – are you prepared take up the challenge and learn all about the Blockade the Caro-Kann line 4.h4 h5 5.Bd3, that was successfully tried and tested by Ivan Saric in the 2014 Poikovsky super-tournament?
Demystifying Magnus's Play
In 2014, World Champion Magnus Carlsen completed a hat-trick of world titles by winning both the Rapid and Blitz tournaments in Dubai, adding them to the FIDE World Championship match he won last year against Vishy Anand. Our regular columnist, young GM Alexander Ipatov (Olympiad board 2 of the Turkish team), was among the participants in Dubai but also watched closely and tried to demystify Carlsen’s apparent ease of play.
Ladies play fast en furious Chess too!
Ladies play fast and furious chess too, don’t they? Women’s world titles in rapid and blitz were claimed by Katerina Lagno and Anna Muzychuk at the World Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk this year. Our new columnist, GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (Olympiad Board 1 of Scotland’s ladies team), has annotated key games from Siberia.
The principle of two Weaknesses
The Endgame Strategy column represents another installment of GM Karsten Mueller’s series of highly instructive seminars on the endgame. This time The Principle of Two Weaknesses is the theme, with lessons learned and practical tips formulated from analyses of games played in the Stavanger 2014 super-tournament. Karsten also does not forget the masters of yesteryear, and makes a number of relevant comparisons with classic endgame play from the glorious past.
CI labs B51 and E69
The CI Labs theoretical opening surveys have been created by two successful Olympiad players – GM Edurdas Rozentalis (Board 2 of Lithuania) and GM Robert Markus (Board 3 of Serbia).
Sicilian c3 part III
Part 3 of the Building your Repertoire series, by Greek GM Vasilios Kotronias, well known chess theoretician and author, and the trainer who helped Topalov, Shirov and Short to reach their peak performances, is dedicated to the Alapin Sicilian with 2.c3. Only in Chess Informant are you getting a book within a book!
Traditional ‘Games’ section
In the traditional ‘Games’ section with its non-verbal annotations, you will find about 200 games from ECO A to ECO E, analyzed by numerous contributors or our in-house grandmaster team.
CD with CBH and PGN, free tests
The CD version is a very useful add-on to the book – if you are using Chessbase software then you will already know all about the fully functional CBH-book. There are PGN files inside as well for use on PGN reader tablet/iPad apps. However, our sincere recommendation is not to rely on the CD alone, but the book+CD option. This is quite simply the best possible way to derive maximum benefit from the rich content of Chess Informant. There is a learning curve in all the articles our grandmasters produce – so don’t miss out on the freely downloadable training tests that will take you through the instructional aspects of Informator. These resources will also provide valuable help for trainers or parents. Combinations, endings, studies and tournament reports complete the action-packed pages, offering readers stacks of practical chess material and months of reading pleasure – as John Donaldson, captain of US Olympiad team, recently pointed out.