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Middlegames IV review
keywords: Middlegame, Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, Caro Kann, English, Old Indian, Slav, King's Indian, French
Robert Pawlak
Monday, October 10, 2005

[variations covered]This CD is fourth in a series on the middlegame. The opening variations that are covered are shown in the screenshot to the right, which is taken from the navigation browser window.

As you can see, if you play e4, or d4, there is quite a bit of useful material to go through, and even c4 players have something to study on the CD. While almost all the variation names were know to me, I was unfamiliar with "the Hanham setup against d4." It is explained as using a piece setup that is sometimes employed by black in the Philidor system, but as a defense against d4. A picture will immediately bring home what I'm talking about:

On the CD, there are:

The format of the CD should be familiar to users of other Convekta tutorials, for an overview, I would suggest you look at this article.

The screenshot below gives an example exercise from the English opening. This particular exercise is assigned a difficulty of 50 points, and the exercises on the CD range from 10 (approx 1900 ELO) to 130 (approx 2600 ELO) points. Most exercises are in the 30-70 point range. In the position shown below, it's quite clear that the rook is threatened, and needs to move. Surely eliminating the knight on c3 via an exchange sac is an obvious choice (since the e4 pawn is then ripe for the taking). So the key move comes as no surprise, since it is a common exchange sac under these circumstances (click here to see the answer to this exercise). Now clearly, seeing the possibility of the exchange sac is not hard. But calculating the play after that point may be a little harder - as well as seeing that eventually black will capture the d-pawn. 

[English example]

This CD is most useful for intermediate to advanced students. Even if you do not play the exact variations that are present on the CD, there is value in doing the exercises, due to the great degree of overlap in various tactical themes. The CD does contain extensive instruction and explanation of strategic themes (via practice mode, see this article for an explanation of the different modes), however most of the exercises are tactical in nature.

For more information, look at this link. Copy protection consists of occasional refueling (must insert CD every once in a while).

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