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Chess Informant 108 and 109


Story about Chess Informant part III

In the articles Story about Chess Informant part I and part II, I wrote about Chess Informant publishing house. In this article, I would like to write a few words about the newest issues of its publication Chess Informant 108 and 109.

Many chess players can’t wait to see each new issue of Chess Informant. One reason for this is that in each issue the readers can find the most important games played during the period of 4 months. And it is well-known that Chess Informant provides high quality annotated games. In the most important games, we can often see new ideas which make chess interesting and beautiful. And in Chess Informant, these ideas are discovered to readers by famous chess experts in their very precise and detailed comments.


Chess Informant 108

As each issue, this one has a large number of different information. Basic principles of Informant are the following: simplicity, clearness and the quality of material.

Simplicity means that the material is deployed in such a way that everyone can settle down in it easily. Next important principle, clearness means that everyone can understand it easily (regardless on their native languages) due to the special notation (I wrote about this in the previous articles). And, all this would not be important without the main principle: carefully selected material according to the following criteria: top quality.

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Structure of Informant

Each issue of Chess Informant has a standard structure (it changes from time to time thus improving the quality of Informant). The essence of each issue is the following: very carefully selected games annotated by chess experts.

Informant 108 has 301 annotated games and 413 accompanying games that are played in the period from January to April 30th 2010. Of course, a large number of good games have been played in this period, so, the Editorial board of Chess Informant had a tough task to select the most important ones. About the criteria I wrote in the article The secret of Chess Informant part I and here I will just mention the most important ones:

         - the main criteria is the quality of games, then follows       

         - theoretic value of games (which is especially important for practical players because here they can get easily the games that are most important for their opening repertoires) and, of course, then follows

         - the significance of the games for the tournaments (though such games usually have a good quality at the same time).


The names of contributors say much about the quality of this issue. Over 60 eminent chess players contributed to this issue, so, as usually, it’s hard to decide what contributors to mention here. Let’s mention just a few of them: WCC, Anand who annotated 4 his important games: 2 games from the match with Topalov (Sofia, 2010) in which he defended world title and 2 games with great chess players Shirov and Kramnik from the tournament (Wijk aan Zee, 2020). Comments of WCCs are always interesting. So, there is no doubt that the readers will enjoy Anand’s comments. Best rated women chess player ever, Judith Polgar annotated two her games played in her well-known sharp style. Russian player who has been on the top level for many years, Dreev annotated one his game for this issue. Let’s mention just a few more contributors: Dominguez Perez, Le Quang Liem, Motylev, Bruzon Batista, Macieja, Dreev, Ivan Sokolov, Tiviakov, A. Beliavsky, Sjugirov, Predojevic, Krasenkow, M. Gurevich, Ar. Jussupow, L. Christiansen, Jan Timman, Ch. Lutz, J. Benjamin, Ribli, Speelman, Mikhalchishin. Very impressive names! 

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As usually, Informant is published both as a book and CD (on the CD there is Chess informant reader program).  

Nowadays modern players have great engines and good PCs. Yet, comments of great chess masters are necessary because they still know much more about chess and understand chess much deeper than engines. And disadvantages of computers’ analysis are well-known (say, giving advantage to material, not good enough evaluations in endings…).

Let’s see a few brilliant games from this issue.  

As usually, at the beginning of this issue of Informant presented is the best game of the previous issue. According to jury, the best game of Informant 107 was the following game:

In the period from January to April 30th 2010, played was a large number of important tournaments as Bursa, Wijk aan Zee, Moscow, Linares, Rijeka, Nice (rapid), Baku (rapid), etc. However, certainly the most important event was the WCC match Anand-Topalov, played in Sofia and the most interesting game is the one that was decisive for the match. So, it deserves to be watched here:


Duels of great masters always attract great attention. This is the case with the game Anand-Kramnik in which both players played a lot of great moves. Here is the game with Anand’s comments:


According to many chess experts, Magnus Carlsen will be a WCC in the future. Chess Informant pays a special attention to his development and publishes his most important games. Let’s see one of his games: 

  It is well-known that each annotator has his own style of annotating. In this issue, I especially liked Motylev’s comments of his games because he tried to find the truth (as much as it is possible) in every game that he annotated. Let’s see one of his annotated games: 

Combinations, endgames and studies

As in each issue of Informant, in Informant 108 there are the chapters with most interesting combinations and endings. These chapters are particularly interesting for chess coaches (they can select the examples for their students) as well as for players who can train by solving the examples.

Let’s see one example from each  chapter:

  Endings of bishops of opposite colors are always particularly interesting since it is considered (wrongly!) that they mainly lead to draw: 

As an improvement of the quality of Informant, a few last issues have chapters about studies. Let’s see an interesting study from Informant 108:


Yochanan Afek selected examples and made the index according to themes. I’m sure that funs of studies will find a lot of interesting material here.



In this chapter, the readers can find the results of the most important tournaments played in the period from January to April 30th. For the most important tournaments, given are crosstables and for less important tournaments, given are only final tournament standings.

Modern chess theory

A few last issues of Informant have the chapter about modern chess theory which presents a significant improvement of publication quality. The experts of Chess Informant analyze some most frequently played variations in Encyclopedia form. In this issue, analyzed are the following variations: The English Opening 1.c4 c5 – Hedgehog line A30 (IM Cvetkovic), always modern variation “The poisoned pawn” B97 (IM T. Paunovic), sharp and always modern variation of The French Defence “The Winaver variation” – C19 (IM Bjelajac), Classic The Slav – “The Meran variation” D47 (IM Bjelajac), and always modern variation The Kings Indian Defence – the variation with g3 line with Nc6 E63 (IM Velickovic).

In this chapter, the readers can read about the newest theory of their favorite variations, so it presents some kind of update of Encyclopedia of chess openings (about this publication of Informant publishing house I will write in the next article).

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The best of Chess Informant – Teimour Radjabov

This is my favorite chapter because I like to study creativity of great masters of today. One of such masters is Radjabov. Here, you can find his best games (11), of course, with comments, his most important theoretic novelties in opening (7), most beautiful combinations from his games (12), educative endings (9), and at the end the statistics of his results. We can say that this is a small book in the book!


Chess Informant Information

In this chapter, the readers can read the sad news of the death of IM Krnic Zdenko and Bent Larsen.

Zdenko Krnic

This issue of Informant reports on the tragic death of Im Krnic Zdenko. “As the victim of a hit-and-run accident caused by a reckless motorcycle driver, Chess Informant Director and Editor-in-chief Zdenko Krnic sustained serious injuries and head trauma on July 16th, when he was coming home from work. He died at the Emergency Center hospital in Belgrade on July 23rd, without regaining consciousness. Mr. Krnic was 62 and a Belgrade resident”.

Zdenko analyzed games for Informant. He deserves that we here look at his last annotated game:


Larsen Bent

It is very hard to write about Larsen with few words. Here, I will just mention that he was a winner of large number of tournaments and had a special style of playing. So, his games are a real delicacy for chess funs. He won against all WCCs from Botvinnik to Karpov. In the period from 1966 to 1973 he was certainly one of the best players on the world.

In this issue, published are three of his games and all they are very interesting. He annotated 416 of his games for Informant (!). Let’s look at one of his games (that was published in one of the previous issues of Informant). It is a really excellent victory against the world champion of that time Karpov:


After the death of chess players, their games remain to talk about them. Larsen had a large number of ingenious realizations. To funs of good books, I recommend his book “50 Selected Games” (1968). Larsen annotated his games excellently and this book belongs to the top of the best books of this genre.

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Chess Informant 109

Very soon after Informant 108, published was Informant 109. This last issue covers the period from May to August 2010. As usually, a large number of eminent players contributed to this issue (over 90 contributors, over 50 GMs among them!) which says much about the value and quality of this issue.

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Structure of the publication

At the beginning of each issue of Informant, presented is the best game of the previous issue. Those who watched carefully the WCC match Anand-Topalov remember that Topalov won the first game. Just this game was declared as the best game of Informant 108. Topalov’s very nice attack deserves that we here look at it:  


The match Anand-Topalov was a very important event and, according to the opinion of jury, the best theoretic novelty was just from this match. Let’s look at this game (annotated by Anand): 


WCC Anand analyzed this game very objectively and he even mentioned the author of the move 10.Na3 – GM Wojtaszek which annotators usually do not do. Here, we can see how fair and objective current WCC is. Serbian GM Tadic gave theoretical Survey of the variation that was played in this game, so, the readers can get familiar with actual theory of this variation. 


I already mentioned that a large number of players contributed to this issue of Informant. Let’s mention only a few of them: Sutovsky, E. Miroshnichenko, Georg Meier, A. Beliavsky, I. Ivanisevic, Predojevic, Sjugirov, Tiviakov, Bo. Vuckovic, Krasenkow, Rob. Markus, M. Gurevich, R. Leitao, T. Gelashvili, Al. Kovacevic, Radulski, D. Mastrovasilis, Gleizerov, D. Solak, S. Halkias, Ribli, Ar. Jussupow, Jan Timman, L. Christiansen, Ch. Lutz, Mih. Stojanovic, Mil. Perunovic, J. Benjamin, Du. Popovic, B. Damljanovic, Speelman, Mikhalchishin, W. Browne 

This issue has 371 annotated games. Please, notice that this issue has more games than the previous one which shows that the Editorial board makes efforts to improve the quality of each issue. This issue has 540 accompanying game fragments (so, also the number of such games is increased in this issue comparing to the previous one).

We can claim that there is a large number of quality games since in this period played was a large number of quality tournaments (Astrakhan, USA (ch), Poikovsky, La Habana, Medias, Dortmund, Biel, Pamplona, China - Russia (m), Paks,  Amsterdam…).

I was particularly happy that a talented German GM Meier Georg (I expect him to get great results in the future) analyzed two his games for this issue. Let’s look at one of the games:


GM Emil Sutovsky analyzed only one of his games, but since it is very beautiful it really deserves we to look at it here:


In this game, Sutovsky showed his great attacking skill. In fact, this game is a great example of play on the whole board.

And, at the end of this review, let’s look at one game played by Carlsen:


Great players play all openings. Carlsen played the old The Kings gambit thus entering the group of The Kings gambit’s funs: Keres, Bronstein Spassky, Fischer…


Combinations, endgames and studies

In this issue, in the chapter about combinations, we can enjoy 18 combinations. Let’s look at one of them:


It is interesting that this game was played as a blitz game. This is a proof that beautiful combinations are often possible even in blitz games.

In the chapter about endings we can enjoy 9 examples. Let’s look at one of them.

Usually, it is considered that in pawn endings with more pawns having an extra pawn is enough for win. Of course, this is a superficial opinion. In this example, though White was a pawn down he managed to make draw due to his active king.

For the chapter about studies, Yochanan Afek  selected 9 very interesting examples and a detailed index. Let’s look at a study that is important for practical play since it is a rook ending where we can always expect surprises.



In this chapter, we can see the results of the most important tournaments from the period from May to August 2010. Let’s mention just a few of them: Lublin, Astrakhan, China (ch), Poikovsky, La Habana, Nederland (ch), Medias, Dortmund, Biel, Pamplona, France (ch), etc.

Modern chess theory

In this issue of Informant, the following experts analyzed the following variations: IM Velickovic analyzed the variation The Caro-Kan: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6!? (B12). The main line of The Classic Variation of The Caro-Kann (B19) nowadays very popular with Black’s castling on the short side was alanyzed by same expert, The Fianchetto variation of The Gruenfeld defence (D76) was analyzed by IM G. Arsovic, whereas one of the variations that are very often played nowadays The Catalan Defence (E04) was analyzed by a great expert for this variation GM Tadic. So, this chapter presents an important source for learning these variations.

The best of Chess Informant – Levon Aronian

In this issue, presented is one of the greatest masters nowadays, Levon Aronian. He is a player who can win everyone. Here, we can find his best games (17), of course, with comments; his most important theoretic novelties in opening (17); the most beautiful combinations from his games (11); educative endings (9); and at the end, statistics of his results. It is a real delicacy for Aronian’s funs!

Chess Informant Information

In this chapter, unfortunately, there is often information about eminent players’ and chess workers’ death.

In this issue, the first news is the news of the death of Florencio Campomanes (1927-2010) who was president of FIDE 5 times (1984-1995).

The second news is the news of the death of eminent player and great personality, IM Dr Nedeljkovic Srecko.  Dr Nedeljkovic was well-known both as an IM (he deserved credit for many successes of Yugoslavia’s national team) and as a top cardiologist worldwide.

Both texts are written by GM Matanovic.

At the end of this article

Here, I leave readers to judge the value of Informant. I would like to say that I don’t want to advertise magazines but I’m only a fun of good books and magazines.  Yet, I receive messages with the following question:  how can I get Informant. That’s why I will give the address here:  . Now readers worldwide can order Informant’s publications on this address (this was not possible recently).

In the next article, I will write about the publication of Chess Informant House, Encyclopedia of chess openings.

To be continued


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