We asked maverick British grandmaster Jim Plaskett for his thoughts on our new web site; you`ll see from his comments below that he loved it!
What follows are just some of the highlights of ChessPublishing.com according to GM Plaskett.
"Modern, upbeat, funny, informative..."
"My first impressions were of a line-up of highly qualified grandmasters presenting a large amount of modern material. Upbeat, funny, informative, and even interactive as several GM`s invite feedback from you the consumer! It`s difficult to see how this won`t be a big success!
It`s not immediately obvious just how big this site is, but after several hours of surfing I felt I was only just getting going. There is masses of content here, virtually all of it original. I really didn`t have time for now to take a close look at all twelve sites, so if I talk about some sites more than others, that`s just because I got sidetracked. Click here to read my comments on some of the other sites
As an author of a book on the Taimanov Sicilian I thought I`d start with John Fedorowicz`s Open Sicilian site (in fact he takes on all the Open Sicilians except the Dragon and Accelerated Dragon which are unsurprisingly fielded by Chris Ward).
Top 50 Sicilians of 1999
This is a great way to see what`s going on, and what you should steer clear of in the future. The top 50 Sicilians of last year make for fascinating viewing. They are virtually all wondrous, making most of the existing books on these Sicilians seem redundant. They are awash with novelties and fantastic ideas.
Sorry for dwelling on this site, but here`s what caught my eye:
11 Bb5 in FED23 is quite simply a monster novelty. One of the most important of recent years.
The Mermaid Beach Club in Bermuda will surely forever be associated with fantasia. Not only was it my base camp during my recent month long hunt for the giant octopus, but FED16 shows off a wonderful idea in a well known line of the Richter-Rauzer.
The same venue produced another game FED21 that was out of the ordinary. Perhaps I was the first person ever to offer this pawn sacrifice since it cropped up back in 1976 against Peter Large. But my follow-up of 10 Qd3 is not nearly as strong as 10 Bd4! Indeed, I`d be surprised if any Master takes that b-Pawn in the future!
FED45 (I was pleased to see!) vindicated my assessment of a line of the Taimanov in my monograph as OK for Black.
I was intrigued by Dolmatov`s novelty in FED47, but I still feel Black is alright in this line too.
FED22 is yet further evidence of the marvellous creativity of Peter Leko`s second Andras Adorjan, and looks to me like a significant strengthening of Black`s resources in the Four Knights.
In my opinion Malcolm Pein played the best chess of the first 2 round in the new Redbus tournament. I have to say the move 10 Bh5!? as played against Daniel King in FED44, even allowing for such obscure quasi-precedents as Kasparov-Polugaevsky, USSR 1979, would hardly have entered my head!
In the 6...Qb6 line of the Paulsen FED43, Black gets hit hard, but how can 12 0-0-0 be a novelty? Why was it never played before?
In fact, looking at the barrage of novelties on this site, most of them are genuinely brilliant. Kasparov`s novelty in FED9 remains one of the most interesting ideas of the year.
The astonishing extent of modern opening theory was illustrated in the same tournament in FED30 with Garry springing his novelty on Anand at move 16 this time!
Check out FED31 for a terrifyingly simple crush.
The sharpness of the 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 line in the Najdorf makes it inevitable that this variation gets major coverage in the survey. The winner in the mayhem stakes could be FED5.
One move I really like is Lalic`s 8...h5, the latest word on this being FED6.
I could go on much longer since this site is full of instructive and noteworthy ideas. There`s plenty of explanation, background information and analysis to put the coverage in context- in short if you play the Najdorf or another Main Line Sicilian then this site is definitely recommended. The coverage is first class!