Saturday, August 02, 2014

50 Moves Magazine: A Brief Review

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the launched of a new Australia-based online chess magazine called "50 Moves". To perfectly time with the start of the Tromso Olympiad, issue number 1 was released on the first day of August. Frankly, if you have not yet subscribed, especially if you're an Aussie chess fan, you are missing out. The first issue is jam-packed with excellent content.

Here's what is in the inaugural edition:

  • An interview with Justin Tan
  • GM Ian Rogers' report on Dubai
  • Opening survey on the Ragozin by IM Max Illingworth
  • Olympiad preview that includes interviews with GM Smerdon, Manuel Weeks and Giang Nguyen (women's board number 2)
  • A studies section by IM Ikeda
  • Various tournament reports from around Australia many more!

The magazine is over eighty pages of professionally laid out and well-written articles. But the real highlight as well as the biggest value-add are the plentiful game annotations. IM Illingworth's four-and-half pages on the Ragozin alone is quite instructive and well worth the price of subscription.

In fact, I could not believe at how cheap the yearly subscription is. Just $40! Of course you only get 6 issues in a year, but if the quality keeps up, that is money well spent.

If I have any criticism at all, just a wee bit, it is actually on IM Illingworth's opening survey. I just don't like the flipped diagrams (black on bottom and white on top) regardless that the article may be from black's point of view.  Leave it back to normal, I say!

All in all, this is a project that is well worth supporting. What with mostly young guys running the show, we can already see some fresh ideas. Indeed, one of the editors has already hinted at an app for the iOS and Android. I am looking forward to that.

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