I review Daniel King's Chessbase DVD "Power Play 1:Mating Patterns"

Jun 12, 2009, 4:52 PM |

To help me get ready for the 2009 Canadian Open Championship I've decided to go through Daniel King's "Powerplay" DVDs by chessbase. These DVDs are supposed to be quite basic, but a solid review of the fundamentals before a tournament can never be a bad thing. Anyway, it took me 2 days to go through King's first DVD on "Mating Patterns". The DVD is broken up into 2 sections, the first of which is a series of lectures where he explains and gives examples of certain mating themes. The classics like greek gift sacrifice on h7 and windmill attack are all covered. The second section is series of test questions in which he shows you a game and asks you to find the move. You pause the DVD and have a look around, then start the video again and he goes further into the game. There are 11 of these questions videos each with about 3 positions in which he asks you to find the move. I think I got about 90% of them right, but some of them were pretty tricky and all of them had me sitting there calculating for awhile. 

I very much like this format with testing questions. Jeremy Silman uses it in all his books and it really lets you know whether you've learned anything or not. Even though I've read Vukovic's Art of Attack and done plenty of mate problems I still feel sharper after going through this DVD. Daniel King is an excellent presenter and his commentary never had me nodding off...which is a problem with some of these chessbase presenters.

An excellent DVD and I recommend it to anyone who has trouble finding that final finishing sequence or just wants to brush up on their mating motifs.