A Review of : Victor Bologan: Selected Games 1985-2004
The first time I heard of Victor Bologan's: Selected Games 1985-2004 was when I was having a chat with GM Julio Becerra about a sideline versus the french ( 1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3.cd ed 4.c4!?). Becerra told me that he played something similar and was saying that he had picked it up from Bologan's best games book. At the time I was surprised because I couldnt appreciate why he would be looking at a book on Bologan's best games. I went as far as to ask him and he said that Bologan was a great player in Cuban jargon.
I had the opportunity to go over the book last week and initially I wanted to save the games into a database but I was eager to finish reading the book and went ahead and made use of the search and filter feature in chessbase to get to the games discussed in the book quickly.
Here is a chapter break down from the book:
Chapter One: The Journey from Kishinev to Moscow
Chapter Two: Becoming a Grandmaster!
Chapter Three: Swing
Chapter Four: Whosoever Seeks, Shall Find!
Chapter Five: A Professional
Personally, I found the book to be quite interesting because you can tell that Bologan wrote the book from a personal perspective, it doesn't seem like this was an idea directed towards earning money in the long run. Its a book that he owed to himself and went ahead and published it. I mean, it can be natural for any player of his strength to have a best games book. Dreev has one :) With that said, the book can be geared towards a large group of people because with the best games, a big part of the book is Bologans story. His upbringing, his coaches, and his indecision of living in Moldova or Moscow.
Moreover, what makes the book apealable to players 1700-2200 is how he ends each game. He gives a summary that is based more on words, a rather heavily dense linguistic recap, or summary of the finer points of the game. Each summary is titled "Lessons" and in essence, that is what he is trying to provide to the readers, that also happen to be students of the game. What he feels are the most important lessons from that given game.
I found my self following his story game after game, hearing out his situation as he was still in college, living in Moscow and in the process becoming a Grandmaster.
The Chess is incredible here are some of the games I enjoyed the most.
From the lessons, I personally enjoyed: " Often in a position of dynamic equality, the side attempting to tilt the balance in his favor will employ a rook pawn advance (23...h5!). My friend Andrei Schekachev notes that Gata Kamsky used this method in his earliest games."
Its the type of thing that when you see it, you say "oh wow, that makes a lot of sense!"
Victor Bologan: Selected Games 1985-2004