Chess Informant 115

Various Grandmasters

Chess Informant 115
Chess Informant 115
Sahovsky Informator (2012)
320 Pages (paperback)
Reviewed by John Donaldson
Not so long ago Chess Informant’s days appeared to be numbered. The publishing house, based in Belgrade, produced the first volume of its flagship publication Sahovski Informator (Chess Informant) in 1966. Produced twice a year, it was considered the chess bible by none other than Bobby Fischer who pored over each issue carefully studying all the games – but that was 36 years ago!

Despite switching to a four times a year format some time ago, the publication still appeared to be a dinosaur in danger of going extinct. Indeed, as recently as a year ago, it appeared to be ready to collapse with its tiraz (copies published) but a fraction of the golden times when all World Champions considered it a sacred duty to send in their best games for publication.

Fortunately things have changed and a great product has been made even better. The latest edition, volume 115, is packed with topical material relevant for Grandmasters and ambitious amateurs alike. The present volume of 339 pages has much to offer. The sections on combinations and endings and crosstables from major events are there as usual. So is the featured great player – this time Nikita Vitiugov – who has his best games, theoretical novelties, combinations and endings highlighted. The longtime practice of featuring the Best Game and Best Combination from the previous Informant, judged by a panel of experts, has been continued. The heart of the Informant series, games annotated by top players with a special language less system of symbols, is still very much present and relevant.

All this makes Chess Informant useful but the recent additions will only make it more so. First up is Garry’s Choice, where the great Kasparov dissects the top games of modern chess. His choice for Informant 115 is likely a game that has escaped most chess players’ attention up to know. Played between Anna Muzychuk and Emil Sutovsky in Amsterdam earlier this year, it is a remarkable example of how a game ending in a draw can be just as exciting as a decisive result. Both players go toe-to-toe from the get-go and there are plenty of fisticuffs which include Black offering his queen (with White have the possibility to capture it with discovered check to boot!).

Kasparov’s article is in English (not Informant style annotations) as are series of annotated games and theoretical articles by 2600 and 2700 Grandmasters that runs over 100 pages. This is really first rate material that is not to be missed. One can single out Romanian GM Mihai Marin’s 11-page contribution as one of the highlights of this volume. Rounding out Chess Informant 115 is a first-rate tribute to Svetozar Gligoric by Josip Asik. There is enough material here to keep one busy for several months.

Highly Recommended