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Art.-No.: LOSCITFDVITVG
Out of Production

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation in the Vienna G

161 pages, paperback, Chess Enterprises, 1. edition 2000.

€10.95
Incl. 7% Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

This product is not available any more, neither at the manufacturer/publisher nor at Schach Niggemann, and it is not possible for us to order this article otherwise.

The Frankenstein-Dracula variation (1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4!?) is a monstrous thicket of complications which still have not been fully explored. The opening leads to fascinating positions which will bring enjoyment both in tournament and correspondence play. Although some theorists have treated the variation as dead and buried, experiments have managed to bring the monster variation back to life for Black, and it can now be considered fully playable

National Master Eric Schiller presents an overview of contemporary theory, historical background, over 200 complete games and atmospheric excerpts from the original Frankenstein and Dracula stories in a mongraph which aims to be both entertaining and instructive.

The Frankenstein-Dracula variation (1.e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4!?) is a monstrous thicket of complications which still have not been fully explored. The opening leads to fascinating positions which will bring enjoyment both in tournament and correspondence play. Although some theorists have treated the variation as dead and buried, experiments have managed to bring the monster variation back to life for Black, and it can now be considered fully playable

National Master Eric Schiller presents an overview of contemporary theory, historical background, over 200 complete games and atmospheric excerpts from the original Frankenstein and Dracula stories in a mongraph which aims to be both entertaining and instructive.

This monograph has serveral goals

1) to present an historical overview of the development of the variation and to bring existing literature up to date.

It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being; all the events of that period appear confused and indistinct.

2) to further investigate a variety of unclear positions, and clean up some past mistakes in the literature

It was almost impossible to believe that the things which we had seen with our own eyes and heard with our own ears were living truths.

3) to make the study of the variation entertaining. Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!

4) to bring to light a number of fascinating games which have been buried, often incomplete, in obscure literature.

The only thing I found was a great heap of gold in one corner, gold of all kinds, Roman, and British, and Austrian,and Hungarian,and Greek and Turkish money, covered with a film of dust, as though it had lain long in the ground. The first goal relies on the assistance of some fine literature by Tim Harding, Konstantinopolsky & Lepeshkin and Colin Leach, together with the Deja Vu Chess Library, and later its successor, the Caxton Chess Encyclopedia, which helped to locate over 200 complete games in the variation.

The second goal was the most fun to work on, sitting in the California sun with a nice set and board and working on new ideas. I did use computers to check some of the lines, but found them interestingly weak in this task, because the horizon on many of these lines is just too far down the road. For example, in the key line that, in my view, resurrects the line for Black, the variation beginning on move 16 must be worked out to move 30 before the winning line for Black is confirmed. That is still too deep a solution for most microcomputers. I will confess that the machines did find more efficient kills in a number of situations.

For the third goal, I turn to the text of the original stories: Dracula, by Bram Stoker, and Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. I have sprinkled excerpts from these works throughout the text, using typographical conventions to highlight them.

Excerpts from Dracula are in this typeface. Excerpts from Frankenstein look like this. I hope that these bits of prose, as well as my own contributions, make your study of the Monster Variation interesting. If you do find yourself nodding off, however...

Be warned! Should sleep now or ever overcome you, or be like to do, then haste to your own chamber or to these rooms, for your rest will then be safe. But if you be not careful in this respect, then," He finished his speech in a gruesome way, for he motioned with his hands as if he were washing them. I quite understood. My only doubt was as to whether any dream could be more terrible than the unnatural, horrible net of gloom and mystery which seemed closing around me. A bit of historical background is in order.

Now to the historical, for as Madam Mina write not in her stenography, I must, in my cumbrous old fashion, that so each day of us may not go unrecorded.

The variation with 3... Nxe4 is very old. It was played by such luminaries as Tarrasch and Marco in the 19th century, and by 1907 was the subject of theoretical scrutiny, in, appropriatelty enough, the Wiener Schachzeitung. Further contributions were to come from across the Atlantic, as Weaver Adams and Santasiere discovered new ideas and both played and analyzed the opening.

The variation was considered a rising star in the 1902 edition of Cook's Compendium, where Mieses-Burn, Paris 1900 was the lead game.

In 1909, Dus Chotmirsky, commenting on the game Vyakhirev-Verlinsky, wrote that "This attack is a dubious accomplishment. Black soon goes over to a counterattack, from which White cannot defend."

In 1935, Alekhine was willing to play the main line as White in his World Championship match against Euwe. He held that after 8. . . Qf6 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa5 b6 or 8... Qg5 "White would have to suffer - for a while, at least. It is, however, psychologically easy to understand that with two points ahead Euwe did not want to take such chances" (My Best Games of Chess, 1924-37)

In 1974, the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings, with the Vienna section edited by Larsen, claimed an advantage for White with Nielsen's games against Altshuler and Llorens, both correspondence games from the mid-60s, as the supporting evidence.

One of the most thorough examinations of the opening appeared in 1976, in Tim Harding's Vienna Game, where the Frankenstein-Dracula Variation got its name, though the idea was presented in his 1972 book on the Bishop's Opening: "In this chapter a game between Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster would not seem out of place. The nervous reader should avoid this line with either colour and turn immediately to Chapter 7". In his 1976 introduction, he states: "It is still impossible to say for sure who the variation favours, but it's certainly a lot of fun!" but in the conclusion he maintains that "Black should not obtain sufficient compensation".

Jack Peters, writing in Understanding the Open Games (except Ruy Lopez) in 1980, discussed the 5... Nc6 line briefly, seeming to favor White, but allowed that 5... Be7 provided equality.

The 2nd edition of ECO (1981) preferred White, finding Judelevic-Poselnikov, or rather Lepeshkin's improvement on that game, to be convincing. Larsen, the editor of that section, considered 5... Be7 the main line in any event, and concluded that there Black did obtain compensation for sacrificed material, with Gufeld-Tarve as the main reference. In the 1998 edition, White was given the nod on the basis of the same old analysis.

In Batsford Chess Openings (1982), Kasparov and Keene evaluated the opening as unclear, citing Judelevic-Poselnikov.

Cafferty and Hooper wrote in 1986 (A Complete Defence to 1.e4) that 3... Nxe4 was "the simplest move"(!), but opted for 5... Be7. On 5... Nc6, they stated that "Practical play has shown the sacrifice to be strong in over-the-board play, but in view of the doubts expressed by a few theoreticians the line may be less suitable for correspondence play since new ideas are being found regularly." They provided Burke-Clark as their typical example.

The second edition of Batsford Chess openings (1989) has an evaluation of unclear, this time on the basis of Wibe— Bryson. MCO XIII (1990) cites the same game as the main line, with the opinion that Black has sufficient compensation for the material.

One of the most recent assessments is that of Raymond Keene, in The Complete Book of Gambits. He wrote "An unfathomable position. Black has good compensation, e.g., 10. . . b6 11.d3 Bb7 12.h4 f5 13.Qf3 Ba6, Wibe-Bryson, 1985, when 14.Bd5! is now best. For obvious reasons, most of the theory in this line has been developed in postal tournaments!"

It was so near the time of starting that I had no time to ask anyone else, for it was all very mysterious and not by any means comforting.

I have entered my dungeon laboratory and, having researched the problem, performed a number of experiments, some of which I hope will prove successful, but all of which I unleash upon the world in this monograph. Nevertheless, one must be cautious about analysis, both new and existing.

In the library I found, to my great delight, a vast number of English books, whole shelves full of them, and bound volumes of magazines and newspapers. ... I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don't know how I should be able to get on without it.

A variety of sources were helpful in the preparation of this book. The primary source was the 1986 book Vienna Game by Alexander Konstantinopolsky and Vladimir Lepeshkin, which I translated for the English edition published by B.T.Batsford. Tim Harding's 1972 Bishop's Opening and 1976 Vienna Game were important references. The 1995 book The Complete Vienna by Mikahil Tseitlin and Igor Glazkov provided a few bits and pieces of analysis that I could not find elsewhere, though its coverage is far from "complete". I also consulted Colin Leach's Vienna Game and Gambit Part 2, but it should be noted that the thorough research found in that work is marred by the failure to attribute any of the analysis to the appropriate authors. When possible, I returned to the original sources to identify comments which I have used here.

I began to fear as I wrote in this book that I was getting too diffuse. But now I am glad that I went into detail from the first, for there is something so strange about this place and all in it that I cannot but feel uneasy. I wish I were safe out of it, or that I had never come. It may be that this strange night existence is telling on me, but would that that were all! If there were any one to talk to I could bear it, but there is no one.

Taken from the Introduction

Details
Language English
Author Schiller, Eric
Publisher Chess Enterprises
Edition 1.
Medium Book
Weight 200 g
Width 13.5 cm
Height 21.5 cm
Pages 161
ISBN-10 0945470754
Year of Publication 2000
Binding paperback
Contents

03 Introduction

12 Overwiew of the Theory

29 Comlete Games

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation in the Vienna G

EUR

10.95