on 07/24/10 at 18:54:59:
I must say i'm not terribly impressed with this DVD. 85% of the presentation is on the position after these moves:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7.a4 Rb8.
This is the move that differentiates what Shirov refers to as the Tkachiev systerm. This seems odd given he makes many references to this as "my lopez". Unfortunately, there is very little disussion of black or white deviations. In a roundabout way, it becomes clear that his intention is rarely to play Bb7. Presumably if white doesn't play an early a4, he would aim for a quick Bg4, giving him more direct attacking chances against white's center than the solid Bb7 lines.
The video was insightfull at first, as he shared many thoughts about GM prep, especially the impact of modern computers. However, he rambled a lot and seemingly did little preparation for the lecture. Frankly, i feel he glossed over black's best moves (although he would vaguely mention them) and spent too much time on the difficult positions black ended up in.
I don't need an opening video to "sell" me the variation with brilliant wins from the black side, but this video lacked any sort of enthusaism or "hope" from a presenter who has made this his primary defense for over a decade! I got the impression he was trying to avoid giving away too many secrets. I often sat twiddling my thumbs while our hero mumbled "uhh", "ermm", and "i forget" as he tried to solve tactical problems in non-critical positions without the use of a computer.
This is basically no more than an interesting games collection - too incomplete to form the basis of a repertoire, and too narrow in focus for a state of the art theory survey. Sadly, none of these games impressed me with black's supposed "counterplay". There is very little strategical explanation which indicates any logical motivation behind his choice of lines. Most of the video is spent demonstrating that black can usually draw after dropping his b5 pawn, and that the Nxe5 fork trick doesnt necessarilly win for white. I'm left wondering why bother playing the Rb8 system at all.
FYI, the Chesslecture.com 3 part lecture series on this exact same opening is certainly a more suitable introduction for the 1600-2000 crowd. Humorously, the most usefull thing i gained from Shirov's video was a hint that he could possibly play 7... Bb7 in the futre.
Thanks. It is the kind of helpful posts that dare to mention that an incredibly strong player like Shirov can produce such 'lemons'. I had the same impression with his 6.Bg5 Najdorf (Absolutely useless) and the Caro Kann 3.e5 which was somewhat better.
In fact most honest seems Kasparov in his Najdorf's DVD: Get Fritz and produce a novelty. I did, and it was useful vs Renier Vazquez (GM 2570) and Soltanici (IM 2400).
Even some good authors like Bologan (I love his French DVD) can get worse DVD's depending on what they are covering: The Philidor one was kind of boring, as was the Rossolimo one. The Sicilian ones... too vast a subject. Certain lines he recommends (like one by Lanka vs Scheveningen with 6.g4 a6) are completely out of date...
Shirov must be the most unprepared author I have seen... What is the point of analyzing a position while presenting???
One author that seems a pretty safe bet is Kasimdhanov (The Path to tactical strength fabulous) even though I prefer Bologan's 1 DVD to his 3 covering the French...