||Modern Chess Openings:
|Publisher: Convekta Ltd.
|Price: € 26,00
requirements: 128 Mb RAM, Hard Disk 200 Mb of free disk
space, Windows 2000/NT/ME/XP, CD-ROM drive.
IM Jovan Petronic
||Date: 11/12 2005
Modern Chess Openings Slav Defence
The CD comes wrapped up in a colorful box, with the installation
CD and a 39-page instruction booklet. A slightly over burned 719
megabyte CD contains a lot of extra data, with demo versions of many
previous Convekta products and Internet Club support.
Let's take a closer look at the highlights from this CD.
1. Easy installation
The installation process takes only a couple of minutes, and does
not require a restart. The optional online registration makes you
eligible for standard announcements about new versions or upgrades.
Convekta recommends a 1GHz CPU, 256 MB or more RAM, 1 GB of free
disk space, Windows 2000/NT/XP, Super VGA graphics with 16 bit colours
and 1024x768 screen mode. I do not advise installing the program on
weaker machines, although Convekta’s essential requirements are far
below the recommended ones.
Also, a sound card is recommendable, as the program features
include a variety of sound effects. A wide display screen is
helpful, too. Full installation of the program is around 168
megabytes only, CAP data included.
2. Six languages are supported!
The CD box title (as the website’s CD intro) mentions “only” five
available languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.
Russian, although supported, seems to be missing from the box cover,
but not from the beautifully designed CD label.
3. CAP (Computer Analysis Project)
CAP (Computer Analysis Project) data is included as a free and
When inserted into the CD drive, an automatic launch offers
installation of the program and an optional installation of CAP data
(3.000.000 analyzed positions). In the booklet manual, however, the
CAP data is said to have 15.000.000 positions analyzed! The CAP data
project is a revolutionary one, opening new frontiers in computer
position analysis. One should not get too distracted with this
professional innovation, but concentrate more on mastering the Slav
Below is an example from the main screen, with visible CAP data
information, among other details:
Here, you can find enough statistical information to last a
As usual, Convekta products come with an excellent built-in help
file, offering extensive support for a novice user. Below is an
example of help on the “Split Mode” function.
The interface is a database management system named
"Modern Chess Openings".
It is an abridged version of Chess Assistant 7.
As an abridged version, with literally hundreds of options to
explore, many features are unavailable for the user.
In the manual, Convekta recommends to it’s users to obtain the
Chess Assistant program, if wishing to use these.
5. Playing engines Crafty and Dragon are included
Remark: These engines are more than strong enough for the average
user, yet a professional trainer or player may wish to challenge
Convekta’s evaluations with a more powerful one, within the program
6. Theory and Practice database
The Theory and Practice database includes commented games and
those illustrating typical features, methods and principles of play
in the selected opening.
The overview starts with an introductory explanation of the basic
International ECO Code System signs and symbols.
The Theory section is divided into six chapters, starting with
the essential Karlsbad pawn structure and ending with today’s most
popular 4…a6 variation, named here after the famous coach and
theoretician V. Chebanenko. The Karlsbad section, for example,
features 26 textually annotated fragments, giving a simple
introduction to the most important elements, including historical
It is essentially well organized with examples taken from (grand)master
game practice, enjoyable for reading for all. The Practice section
offers a great deal of data, very well annotated and analyzed. Each
section has an introduction, followed by full games from selected
71 example Test database is included.
White to play! This one was very enjoyable to solve. Some tests
contain multiple questions as well, amounting to possibly over 200
tasks for solving. There is also a possibility of adjusting many
different test options, prior to starting the challenge.
7. Sample Games
A sample games database is included as well, featuring 50.000
selected full games.
A lot of games contain brief annotations, merged games and CAP data
information. I did a quick check to find 127 games in the Slav
defense played by Gary Kasparov, 159 games of Anatoly Karpov and
even – 14 of my games, among many others! The last game featured is
only four months old, giving the user a pretty up-to-date
informative package. Convekta emphasizes that more than 500
commented grandmaster games are included!
Below is an illustrative example of one famous Kasparov’s recent
(2003) loss, with useful additional data provided:
Would Kasparov have lost this game, if this CD was available at
the time of the game played, I wonder? The CAP data suggests Black
went wrong pretty early!? Don’t worry about some font
misinterpretations in the screenshot, as the PC I used for
reviewing, had Greek Windows installed.
The standard Convekta database with Master Evaluations is
included as well. It is of invaluable help in determining position
evaluations, when uncertain. An abridged version of the Direct Tree
is included as well.
9. Opening Encyclopedia
An Opening Encyclopedia © Chess Assistant ends the major
highlights. It is divided into thirteen major sections:
All sections include a detailed theoretical overview, seemingly
done very, very well.
As any classical Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, Convekta’s
version offers multiple choices (as seen above) for Black.
As in any good opening such as the Slav, many positions contain
more than one equally good possibilities, and one can choose an
individually appropriate one (positional or tactical). For an
opening this size, this may prove to be a good (and of course – time
A new feature enables the user to modify the material on the CD.
Convekta offers it’s users an exceptional CD, featuring a
basic and advanced overview of one of the most popular openings
(defenses) practiced by Grandmasters and World Champions. It is
not restricted to mastering the defense as Black only, but
offers a perspective from White’s angle as well. All users will
benefit from studying this CD, without any doubt. Be, however,
prepared for months of enjoyable study!? Brief instructional
textual approaches bring the novice Slav Defense user a step
closer to understanding the moves being played.
Encyclopedia does not aim to challenge sometimes oversized book
encyclopedias, instead offers a brief overview of the most
important lines, enough to get a very good start and the opening
equalization aiming towards an advantage. The Slav Defence is
essentially a gigantic opening, with which this CD tackles more
than well enough.
After approximately 4 hours of browsing (typing included), I
evaluate it as highly recommendable study material and recommend
it to FIDE instructors, FIDE Trainers and players FIDE rated
1700 and above and/or above 13 years of age, on the average. As
an opening choice against 1.d4, the Slav Defense is
recommendable for - all!