||Author: New In
13,95 / £ 13,95
||ISBN (YB 60):
90-5691-086-8 / 90-5691-088-4
|Reviewed by: Erik
||Date: 13/11 2001
In this review I will look at the two latest volumes of NIC Yearbooks. One as a CD and one in the common paperback edition. I will devote most attention to the new volume 60, and less to the CD of volume 59 mainly looking at its pro and cons as a CD.
Contents Yearbook 60
- NIC Forum: 6 smaller notes of opening theory, often correcting on or refining older YB-articles
- Sosonko's Corner: a small anecdote interesting related to chess openings
- NIC-review: 6 short reviews of the latest on the chessbook market.
And finally the main part - 37 opening surveys:
- Sicilian: 5.f3 Variation by Vilela
- Sicilian: Najdorf Variation 6.Bc4 by Nikitin, Morozevich
- Sicilian: Dragon Variation 9.Bc4 by Golubev
- Sicilian: Keres Attack 6.g4 by Van der Weide
- Sicilian: Accelerated Dragon 7...Nh6 by Marin
- Sicilian: Four Knights Variation 6.Nc6 by Almasi
- Sicilian: Closed Sicilian 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Bc4 by Tiviakov
- Sicilian: Closed Sicilian 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Ba4 by Tiviakov
- Sicilian: Grand Prix Attack 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 by Anand, Langeweg
- French: Advance Variation 5...Nh6 by Afek
- French: Steinitz Variation 4.e5 by Van der Weide
- French: Classical Variation 4.Bg5 by Nikitin, Sutovsky
- French: Winawer Variation 7.Qg4 0-0 by Shulman
- French: Tarrasch Variation 7.Ngf3 by Dokhoian, Van de Mortel
- Caro-Kann: Pseudo Panov Attack 2.c4 by L.B. Hansen
- Caro-Kann: Advance Variation 4.Nc3 by Sutovsky, Dokhoian, Bosch
- Caro-Kann: Advance Variation 4.c3, 5.Be3 by Stohl
- Caro-Kann: Classical Variation 4...Bf5 by Solozhenkin
- Ruy Lopez: Anti-Marshall Variation 8.a4 by Grischuk, Van der Tak
- Ruy Lopez: Zaitsev Variation 9...Bb7 by Lukacs, Hazai
- Scotch Opening: Four Knights Variation 10...c6 11.Qf3 by Van der Tak
- Queen’s Gambit Declined: Blackburne Variation 5.Bf4 by Karolyi
- Queen’s Gambit Declined: Sokolov’s Choice 4...Nbd7, 6...dc4 by Bosch
- Queen’s Gambit: Declined but Accepted 4...dc4 5.e3 by Kramnik, Van der Sterren
- Slav: The Slow Slav 4.e3 Bf5 by Dautov
- Slav: Chameleon Variation 5.cd5 cd5 6.Bg5 by Dautov
- Slav: Anti-Moscow Gambit 5...h6 6.Bh4 by Dreev
- Slav: Botvinnik Variation 16.Na4 Qa6 by Pavlovic
- Slav: Meran Variation 13.0-0 by Tkachiev
- Queen’s Gambit Accepted: The Early 3...c5 by Karolyi
- Nimzo-Indian: Rubinstein Variation 4...b6 5.Ne2 Ba6 by Lautier, Langeweg
- Nimzo-Indian: Classical Variation 4.Qc2 0-0 by Kramnik, Sokolov, Kuijf
- Queen’s Indian: The Deceptively Slow 4.e3 by Van de Mortel
- King’s Indian: Romanian Variation 6.h3, 8.Bg5 by Radjabov, Pliester
- Benoni: The Modern Main Line 8.h3, 9.Bd3 by Wedberg, Pliester
- Old Indian: Schmid Benoni 6.Bc4 by Dautov
- Queen’s Pawn Opening: A Hodgson Rarity 2.Nf3 c6 3.Bg5 h6 by Nikitin
In Yearbook 60 one of the best articles is Golubev's on the Yugoslav Attack in the Dragon, an opening in which he is a true expert.
(1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3
Ne5) 12. Kb1! is here underlined as Whites best bid for an advantage against the Dragon.
Another article what appeals highly to me is Lars Bo Hansen's on 2.c4 in the Caro-Kann. It is the Yearbook concept at its best. An interesting idea is presented with a few, but well chosen model games. Easy to study and soon feel ready to start playing it.
The same goes for Nikitin's article on the 6.Bc4 Najdorf. High-class!
An 1.d4-player might focus on Dreev's very thorough article on the Anti-Moscow Gambit in the Slav Defence
(1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5
8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4)
Or Tibor Karolyi's fine analysis of 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 in the Queens Gambit Accepted.
Of the 37 opening surveys in yearbook 60 I will say I find around 10 of them interesting for my own repertoire which is not very broad. So I guess most players from ELO 2000 and up will find at least that amount of ideas of interest in each volume.
I see one general problem with the supplementary games in the surveys. They are often played on highly diverting levels, and with no indication of the playing
strength (ELO-rating) it is hard to find out which are really important games. On the CD ratings is shown, so why not in the book?
Yearbook 59 on CD
The CD contains
- NIC Forum, Sosonko's corner and NIC-reviews like in volume 60
- 38 Surveys
- 19 covering 1.e4 openings
- 19 covering 1.d4 and other openings
The main extra feature on the CD is that the surveys is supplemented with all surveys on the same lines from earlier
yearbooks. That means several dozens of extra older surveys on this CD.
A large database with all the games of the surveys.
The CD is well made and one soon intuitively learn to use its features. In the surveys one can read the introduction, click on the main
games and play through them with comments on the screen. All games can be printed, if one prefers to use a real chessboard for analysis. When analysing on the screen though, one can get help from all major analytical engines like Fritz, Crafty and so
on if they are installed on the computer.
Book or CD?
It is really a hard question to decide which is the best product, the CD or the book. The lack of space on my bookshelf speaks seriously in favour of the CD. The extra surveys from older yearbook is of
course a substantial plus.
But it is in my experience easier to get a quick overview of the surveys by using the book version. And there is just something about sitting in a comfortable chair with a book.
The Yearbook Concept
It is my belief that a NIC Yearbook is of only limited interest for players below a rating of 2000. It is rather detailed knowledge one gets in the surveys. It simply takes a certain level of playing
strength from oneself and ones opponent(!) to get full use of the ideas, including the chance to get to play them.
To evaluate New in Chess Yearbooks properly it has to be compared to Chess Infomant. NIC-Yearbook is published 4 times a year and the Informant 3 times. The Yearbook being somewhat cheaper per volume, the price will amount to more or less the same for the annual subscriber.
There is no doubt that one gets more raw ideas in Chess Informant, but then one has to do the job oneself to make the games fit into ones repertoire by finding supplementary games. With a NIC Yearbook one gets less ideas, but the job of learning them so that one can put the ideas into use (and points!), is made much easier than in Chess Informant.
What one prefers is a matter of taste. Personally I find the Yearbook concept more useful than Chess Informant. But please note that I am known to be
A fine product for the 2000-2600 ELO player. Well made surveys on new ideas in opening theory presented in an way that makes them easily comprehensible. As a reviewer I try to put the critical glasses on, but must say that I find it hard to point at any major faults in the yearbook concept. Both the CD and book format works fine. It is hard to recommend the one instead of the other. They are both great!