Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Is Chessbase Pushing Too Many DVDs?

Update: It appears I stoked up a storm over my recent comments about Nigel Davies. On reflection, I've removed the blog article as it might be miscontrued as a target on his work when it was clearly not intended to be so but that it just raised queries as to how an average chess patzer like myself can learn from it.



  1. There are a few tricks that are common and useful though.

    Putting a second queen next to your board in the endgame signals confidence and is intended to make your opponent nervous since you seems to see something in the position that he doesn't.

    When your opponent thinks deep you can offer him a cup of coffee to disturb his focus.

    Playing through when behind if you see that it annoys your opponent.

    Older men use to have week bladders plus they tend to lose focus in the fourth hour. Give them lots of drinks and keep everything on the board.

  2. good catch, and here is more perspective exogenus to chess:

    the particulars of whether chessbase might be issuing too many chess videos, just as we can ask if gambit books is issuing too many books? again, as you suggest, some quite good. but how many are needed??

    supply and demand are keys to economics, and the supply is getting great, diluting quality, in all probability.

    suspect zones? Mr Davies is a respectable chess writer and player. but he hooked up with a guy named Victor Niederhoffer, who was the trader to the legendary market wizard, Hungarian George Soros. Niederhoofer is the real deal, believe me. but he lost all his money in an overleveraged bet, long silver.

    he started a nice website called Daily Speculations that is interesting, but to me is clue the two of them need money. in an of itself, not blameworthy, but a trader who discusses chess and hustling in his books, and a chess player who posts at investment blogs, as a collaborator??

    combined with your tid bit here, i venture to say mr. Davies needs money badly. dont we all!

    in no way do i wish to ridicule Davies, only point out the 'real name of the game', as you hint.

  3. Temposchlucker:


    One thing I have learnt from my chess club. Old men do play mean chess! hahahah. ;)

    DK: I have every respect for Nigel Davies. He's a wonderful GM and I'm sure a wonderful trainer in real life.

    Yes, the life of a IM/GM is very hard and tough and you need to constantly be in the news and find new avenues to make money.

    Thanks very much for the information on Nigel Davies. I definitely did not know that.

    As a token example, I have Ari Ziegler's French Chessbase DVD. And despite it's his only DVD, it is one of the most amazing opening repertoire DVDs I've ever seen. Quality above quantity all else. If someone wants to learn the French Defense, I would have no qualms recommending it.

    As an added example, GMs/IMs like John Watson, David Vigorito, Dorian Rogozenko, John Nunn, Mihail Marin, Karsten Muller have made their names synonymous with quality.

    And despite them regularly putting out chess publications/books/DVDs, you can clearly see the amount of hard effort that went into their products and the quality shines right through like the North Star on a cloudless night.

    In the end, it boils down to: is it better to have a few solid products that are best sellers or is it better to churn out lightweight products and essentially database dumps (some of the earlier opening Chessbase repertoire CD authors are guilty of this)?

  4. I routinely make provocative moves to make my opponent uneasy.

    These are moves that 'look' unsound, but seem to maintain the balance and are not easily refutable.

    A lot of Tal moves come to mind.

    Moves that change the style of the game.

    Repeating moves to decipher whether your opponent is playing for a draw or a win.

    Random pawn moves that look loose and reckless but aim simply to grab space.

    Moves that aren't even considered, once they appear on the board, are not always easy to handle.

    In this post I actually call my 19th move provocative. It is unsound, but it changes my opponent's attitude and this is an important factor.

    In serious games there is always psychology at work. I have developed a feel for these sort of tricks and use them quite often. It is often hard for people to cope with significant changes in the position, especially if the evaluation has not changed.

    You're tense, you spend a lot of time on a plan and then all of a sudden something happens. The game is changing, this must be it, the decisive moment...

    But if it's not the decisive moment then frustration ensues and when the decisive moment comes it may be missed.

    If Davies says he has some advice on these traps, I would be interested in watching it. This is still not going to compel me to buy it and I agree that ChessBase is making too many DVDs.

  5. Now if they were to add a striptease portion to the DVD's...well, this is not my cup of tea, but maybe more women would become interested in chess.

  6. drunknknite: Thanks for your input, it certainly gave me food for thought about it. On the whole, I'm not certain as to the target audience of this DVD and I still don't know.

    LEP: i dun think many people would want to buy a striptease ChessbaseDVD, definitely not for 30 Euros! LOL. as for enticing more women to chess, maybe FIDE should start giving GM titles to pretty pin-up boys. won't help the ratings but at least it'll improve the image!

  7. thanks temposchlucker. i am sorry, i did not recieve a copy of this comment, while getting others.

    has anyone notice google getting worse in dependability, as far as blogger goes? of course, mindfull that it is most convenient AND free, so a matter of less excellent rather than simply 'worse'.

    yes, i noticed Stefan Jovanovich who is a deft and astute commentatory in ICC at DailySpeculations, too, so here is a sophisticated place where high level trading/markets/economics comments mixes with real ches players.

    Niederhoffer wrote a fantastic book called The Education of a Speculator and is, i think, the only investment book i have read in years (kasparov, believe you doesnt read chess books to learn to play :) ). i did and do all my analytic~statistical modeling, and put my finger to the wind quantitatively and physically in markets, not annectdotally.

    Soros, for those who dont know it, is one of the greatest investors of the last thirty years. more than Warren Buffet, even if he slipped in semi-retirement and active in funding initiative instead.

    he was so resolute, when he shorted the pound in the late 80's or early 90's, that he said when the time came, it was like taking a final exam at school that you knew all the answers to (sim: GM-Ram 'knowing endings by hand') THAT you had studied two years for to perfection.

    what happened? he made on billion dollars in one day when it cracked. they blamed him for a run on the pound.

    fast forward, what others forget, he a year or two latter lost $600 million on the yen. oh well.

    i am most appreciative of this clear as a shinning star example by you. very dear, very lovely.

    you are a shinning star for me...

    ... except, when you
    are, on rare occassion
    ... mean spirited!

    warmest, dk
    soon i buy you that beer?

  8. LEP: LMAO! Are you talking about buff looking chess masters doing a striptease for the ladies? Hmmm. buff looking chess masters is an oxymoron.

  9. tanc,

    "psychological warfare on the board has very little meaning if the player is losing to a 3 move tactical shot".

    It's funny how the three move blunders tend to occur when one is in a position that doesn't suit one's style. Or when there has been a change in rhythm, or when something unexpected has happened. Or when various psychological pressures have been brought to bear (which may have been anticipated if one had watched a talk by a very tough competitor like, say, Nigel Davies).

    " at the higher levels, nobody really cares if your move was provocative or insulting"

    Have you ever heard of the game Karpov-Miles, European Team Championship 1980?

  10. hello galaxian,

    I am fully aware of the game Karpov-Miles but you have to consider the fact that Miles has never been a stickler for theory.

    However, such games tend to be the exception rather than the norm. It's good for the occasional surprise value but I have doubts over its long term usage.

    Anyway, I wish Davies the best of luck in his future endeavours.