Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nigel Davies emails

Over the weekend, GM Nigel Davies emailed us about the post Echo Echo and in particular a comment on it. We removed the comment and then published Nigel's email here, and we also emailed Nigel back offering him the chance to respond more fully via the blog about the matters raised. He kindly sent me the following email back for this purpose (which he also reproduced on his own site here):

Thanks for removing those comments, I was left no choice but to defend myself. I see that a lot of the negative stuff is still up there and I do have something to say about this.

I've probably bought more chess books than your entire club put together, including some by the most damned authors out there. And it's never occurred to me to try and do any kind of nitpicking hatchet job on them.

Why? The way I see it, books are just about the best value out there, you can gain insights into just about anything for the price of a few pints. And even the supposedly 'worst' authors (which ain't me or Glenn Flear btw) usually have something interesting to say.

As an example, I started playing the Kan Sicilian after using a book on this opening that got really slated by the reviewers. It gave me an idea about the lines after which I started playing around with the thing with a board and pieces. It never occurred to me that I should be spoonfed or that this book should be perfect in every way. It saved me heaps of time in getting to grips with the thing and provided a starting point for my own thoughts.

Maybe the question you should be asking is why people are so negative about books. I believe the that the answer may be the key to why they're not better players.



ejh said...

Personally, I don't think that most objections to substandard chess books involve the reader wishing to be "spoonfed". More thoughts on the question should appear in a posting later in the week.

Morgan said...

Nigel: I'm very uneasy with both the tone and the central thrust of your reply. Your insistence that you have 'probably bought more chess books than your entire club put together' is unnecessary, hubristic and quite possibly untrue, and serves only to stake an artificial claim to superiority. Putting an end to the argument before it has even begun, if you will. Why the need to show us the size of your cock before pissing on our grave?

'Maybe the question you should be asking is why people are so negative about books. I believe the that the answer may be the key to why they're not better players.'

Horrible and hurtful. This is simply another way of saying that lower-graded players cannot possibly provide decent exegeses of works by those with titles; if we deem books to be below par, *obviously* that means we don't understand them, and never will. Maybe the key to why people are not better players is that they have lives, loves and jobs to gain and squander on a daily basis. Maybe they don't really want to pursue chess careers. Maybe they're just not cut out for it. Whatever the reason so many of us don't improve beyond a certain standard, it's nothing to do with the fact we don't buy Glenn Flear's latest efforts. In what other field is it acceptable to knock about four or five books a year - each of which might have some vague use - for fifteen quid each?

It rather seems to me that you have an ulterior motive in not producing 'nitpicking hatchet jobs' on fellow authors: incest is the lifeblood of the chess publishing industry. An opening monograph is not going to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, but there's a steady enough base of amateur players who will lap up new releases. For this to be at all profitable, the chess author must produce many, many books, and this is a problem that a great number of semi-retired pros must face. It is as if there exists an unwritten rule that makes rehashing the norm. And without wishing to get too Marxist on you, I suspect the relative success of this method will, too, be its downfall. Internet access is ten-a-penny (usually cheaper per month than, say, your Gambiteer books) and with this comes a widespread pooling of ideas not previously possible. As lacklustre chess literature contains to grow, so too do online chess communities. As such incidents such as this - whereby GMs are called to task over sloppiness - will only continue.

Jonathan B said...

Maybe the question you should be asking is why people are so negative about books

For somebody so keen on postivity I find it strange GM Davies stays so focused on the negative.

His website describes the post concerned as "general whining" (a comment I'm now very pleased to use as a tagline) and his email talks of "negative stuff ... still up there".

He neglects to mention that I'd stated on two separate occasions that I'd found the book helpful. I also made it clear that I didn't regret buying the book and was not encouraging others to avoid it.

GM Davies also misses the rather obvious point that the only reason that I'm so aware of the book's shortcomings - and make no bones about it they are there - is because I've spent a lot of time reading it. This puts his book ahead of many others that aren't even worth opening.

I don't expect chess books to be perfect but I very much feel obvious flaws should be removed prior to publication.

GM Davies' reaction to the post rather suggests that he just doesn't like any criticism at all - which will not surprise those who've read this chess cafe columns from 2005 ...


... or maybe he just doesn't have much respect for his target audience. I'm no marketing expert but to describe your potential customer base as a "rabble" (see GM Davies' website) strikes me as not a very sensible idea.

Stay positive Nige.

Nigel Davies said...

If you guys start using your real names, up front, like MEN (instead of nameless shadows) then I might consider answering you.

ejh said...

Hi Nigel. Site policy is that people are not required to give their real names although entirely anonymous contributors are liable to have their comments removed if they're considered aggressive, abusive or otherwise problematic. Use of consistent handles is normally considered acceptable on the internet and is not generally seen as discourteous or cowardly. Your comments are very welcome if you wish to make them and the choice as to whether or not to do so is entirely yours: my real name is, for what it's worth, easily traced from my profile and for that matter from any number of postings on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've finely managed to prevent my eyes from glazing over at the first opportunity and read the post in question. Frankly i think the inference contained within it is rather rubbish. So two grandmasters agree on some basic chess principles! Who'd've thunk it? It's not even as if allegations of copying and pasting hold water since the post clearly highlights original comments on certain moves.

It is inevitable that all but the most hotly theoretical opening chess books (ie. any that are written with the hope that they will be valuable as products for more than a few months) will contain certain "thematic" games that have been annotated before. And providing the original annotations had any value, the author will not have much choice but to repeat their general thrust. It seems to me that including a bibliography is more than sufficient to meet their obligations to the previous writer.

What's more an author can't be expected to have original thoughts on every aspect of an opening they write a book about. Most books will have great value if they contain just a few - enough to convince the reader that it is worth taking the line up and giving them scope for self-discovery.

The only question it seems to me is "does the book hold up on its own merits"? Did you have any objections to the annotations of this game beyond that some of them had been written before? Repeating rubbish original annotations is one thing. That could be regarded as sloppy writing. But the only person let down by a deliberate policy of omitting entirely valid annotations is the reader him/herself!


Nigel Davies said...

I only discuss things with real people who have the decency to use their real identities. This is your loss as you had the opportunity to learn something.

Anonymous said...

If it helps, I reckon the commenters on this thread range from ECF 106 to ECF 221 ;)

+Nigel, of course!


ejh said...

It seems to me that including a bibliography is more than sufficient to meet their obligations to the previous writer.

This, Richard, is quite certainly not the case. Basically, there are issues of attribution involved: if one borrows either analysis or language it is proper to acknowledge it directly, since basically one is quoting or adapting a passage written by a previous author. Producing original comments on other moves does not obviate this responsibility.

This is your loss as you had the opportunity to learn something.

Well, I'm sure we regret the loss of that opportunity but it's your choice, Nigel. You may have another chance later in the week.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Changed my mind. Tricky one. Or perhaps not very tricky... ;)


Anonymous said...

Just another thought. How does the situation stand if the initial (narrative) annotation can be argued to be a point of fact, rather than opinion or argument? Would this make a difference?


Jonathan B said...

nameless shadows

For the record I'm not trying to hide my identity. I use Jonathan B on the internet on a lot of different sites by sheer habit (and also as it has a resonance with my employment as I work in a 12-step rehab).

My name is easily identifiable should you really wish to know - I imagine the easiest way would be simply to search the ECF grading list for Streatham members.

There we have only one member with a surname that begins with B who's first name is Jonathan.

Tom Vananderoye said...

Okay, perhaps Nigel Davies (ND) is taking a very aggresive stance but then again I can't escape that this post is solely for the general public to show their outrage at the profesional slating the amateurs.

I have "the Dynamic Reti" and I think it is a decent book. Something the author of the article has also admitted. I own a few other books of ND including one of my favorites, "the alkehine defence", where he surely went beyond the call of duty. They are all decent books.

For everything else: I am a firm believer in voting with your feet. If chessplayers won't buy crappy books, people will stop producing them.

ejh said...

That last point is, I think, the point. Or at least the main one.

Anonymous said...

I like this blog most of all. I like Nigel Davies and I like freedom of speech, thought, opinions and expression.
May I suggest anyone wanting an argument over chess books settle it like gentlemen by a chess match.
I will be happy to arrange it.
David Bentley.
Alias - Emma Bentleys Dad

Jonathan B said...

If chessplayers won't buy crappy books, people will stop producing them.

Well yes - I made exactly that point in the comments to the original thread and have said similar things elsewhere. Indeed, GM Davies talks about this, albeit in a slightly different way, in chesscafe article I link to above.

I can't escape that this post is solely for the general public to show their outrage at the profesional slating the amateurs

We offered GM Davies a chance to make a contribution to the blog following his email too. Naturally we couldn't know what he was going to write but we guaranteed to publish it anyway.

That was the reason for this blog article. I don't feel it's surprising that people (of which I am one of course) have chosen to respond.

Jonathan B said...

I'll happily play anyone practially anywhere anytime, however,

May I suggest anyone wanting an argument over chess books settle it like gentlemen by a chess match

is a non sequiter I think.

ejh said...

May I suggest anyone wanting an argument over chess books settle it like gentlemen by a

Well, I for one was hoping for "duel".

Anonymous said...

Well, it's one thing for a GM to have his book criticised by a chess player of Master strength or better, and quite another for it is be criticised by a patzer. And I suspect that, despite the libellous comments now having been removed, the latter is why GM Davies still has the hump.

Perhaps his mood is justified; maybe he's being over-sensitive. One thing for sure is, with anyone and everyone (including myself) having their say on the Internet, these spats are going to increase.

Ali Ocken

Comment Moderator said...

Hi everyone ~

We had a mix up with the moderation and I accidentally deleted a post by Nigel. He wrote:

"I'm sorry but I think you're missing the point. It's not about whether your name is theoretically traceable, it's a question of using it.

"So hello, my name is Nigel Davies. What's your name?"

Apologies to all and Nigel especially.

ejh said...

The answer is, as far as I'm concerned:

We work within the policy of the site, the law of the land and the conventions of the internet. None of these requires that real names be given. Not as a matter of law, nor as a matter of courtesy, nor as a matter of convention.

Some people may dislike this: that's their privilege. But if they insist only on debating with people who provide their real names on demand, they're likely to find the internet a difficult place.

Anonymous said...

( I'll happily play anyone practially anywhere anytime, however,)
sic exsisto is.
As my guest jonathan b, come and play GM Mickey Adams 19th July, Dover Boys Grammer School.
David Bentley.

Nigel Davies said...

Your site policy (as with so many similar sites) is probably what's led to this problem. None of the three main hatcheteers have had the balls to actually put their names to their postings. Judgement without accountability.

On another topic entirely, wasn't it good news about Boris Johnson?

ejh said...

As far as I can see there is no problem: nor is there any lack of accountability. I have no intention of repeating myself any further on the subject: meanwhile Nigel's comments remain welcome if he wishes to make them. If however he finds the environment uncongenial then that is to be regretted but will not in itself change that environment.

ejh said...

Dover Boys Grammer School


Anonymous said...

ejh. quiet right. no excuse. can't spell.

Jonathan B said...

As my guest jonathan b, come and play GM Mickey Adams 19th July, Dover Boys Grammer School.
David Bentley.

That's very tempting David. My only concern is whether the venue would be accessible by public transport. I'll look into this.

Nigel Davies said...

"why GM Davies still has the hump."

Why I have the hump is because of the general ongoing viciousness of the three hatcheteers; it's clear they're using everything they can think of to besmirch me.

And note that there may be another agenda here at Red Star Streatham ... er I mean the Streatham & Brixton blog. Having said recently in an interview that I'd invite Margaret Thatcher and Tammy Bruce to dinner if I could, and as someone who openly believes in free markets, I have to wonder why "ejh" (who goes under the alias of "Lenin" on one of his own blogs)
chose my book to nitpick. Could it be that there's some ulterior motif? Certain Tammy would think so, citing similar cases in her book 'The New Thought Police'.
Thanks, btw, for using your name, and all the others who have done so. I'm pleased to meet you.

Tom Chivers said...

Nigel ~ just to clear a few things up, neither the blog nor the club are political, and ejh does not go by the name lenin elsewhere on the internet.

Nigel Davies said...

"ejh does not go by the name lenin elsewhere on the internet"

Yeah right, politically neutral. Under his profile his blogs include 'Lenin's Tomb'. You can find it here.

http://snipurl.com/28sox [www_blogger_com]


Tom Chivers said...

Nigel ~ I'm sure ejh will correct me if I'm wrong, but Leninology is a site run by Richard Seymour who posts under the alias Lenin, and ejh is an occasional poster there who posts as ejh there, and not as you wrote as Lenin, who is somebody else.

The club and the blog are politically neutral, and this is not a place for political discussion; it's a chess blog. This does not that mean that members of the club or writers for the blog are not politically involved elsewhere, though.

ejh said...

I think you may be starying a little far off-topic here, Nigel, as well as, perhaps, inventing motives for people because you don't like the ones they have.

I'm a writer, Nigel, on a small scale, anyway. I've written a couple of books and I've been written articles for a variety of magazines for a period, on and off, of nearly twenty years: recently these have often been reviews of chess books (indeed, I am some distance late for a deadline for several reviews - apologies to my editor, should he be reading). I also possess a reasonably large library, both chess books and others. I am additionally a qualified librarian and a bookseller: I therefore have an interest in books of various kinds.

I believe that the standard of chess books is insufficiently high - by quite some way - and that this is unlikely to be remedied unless the public is more demanding than it is now. If this occurs, then hopefully those authors who wish to raise their game will be rewarded for doing so. Those authors who produce less impressive work, and who resent being told that this is so, will probably not.

I would hope that wrters will aim for a higher standard of accuracy than is evident from Nigel's last-but-one posting, in which, apart from some degree of political paranoia, he claims I have an alias that I plainly do not, and he claims that I selected his book to criticise, when I was not, in fact, the author of the original piece.

Nigel Davies said...

This doesn't rule out the possibility that 'ejh' and friends are running their own little crusade.

ejh said...

...and we'd have got away with it if it weren't for you meddling GMs...

Nigel Davies said...

To stary ... I mean stray even further off topic, here are Irving Janis's symptoms of "groupthink":

1. The illusion of invulnerability.
2. Belief in the inherent morality of the group.
3. Collective rationalization.
4. Outgroup stereotypes.
5. Self-censorship.
6. The illuision of unanimity.
7. Direct pressure on dissenters.
8. Self-appointed mindguards.

Yes, one of the nitpicking bastards spelt 'straying' wrong in a post just above.

ejh said...

Talking of "direct pressure of dissenters", Nigel, I think we may need to ask you to keep a little closer on-topic. If you would be so kind.

Nigel Davies said...

Just as I thought I was getting to the truth.

Poor David Bentley, spelling 'Dover Grammar School' wrong. You soon put him in his place (number 7).

ejh said...

Actually I was also thinking of the missing apostrophe. But he doesn't seem to have been too oppressed by the experience.

Nigel Davies said...


As we are 'talking' (despite my better judgement), perhaps you might divulge your grade and those of your co-hatcheteers?

One thing I will say is that opening books might not be particularly suitable for any of you, and you might be better off with something more basic. Certainly there seems to be a serious misunderstanding about how they should be used.

Despite being a many time author of these books I don't particularly like the genre, but they do serve a clear purpose for players of a certain level and above. If you read my Chess Cafe articles you'll see that I actually downplay the importance of the opening, especially for weaker players.

Openings books are basically learning aids rather than any kind of 'literature', and the decision to buy one of them is made on whether or not a player judges them to be useful enough to offset the price. This is, of course, a personal decision and the market will decide what 'deserves' to exist.

This, then, is the first problem with your hatcheteering. For whatever reason you seem to want to compare openings books to the collected works of Tolstoy. In fact they're more a kind of lightweight study aid produced at a particular price for a highly specialised audience.

Tom Chivers said...

Coincidentally, I'm currently reading "War and Peace" in the new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Anyway, if I've understood everything posted so far correctly, I don't believe that Nigel you consider me a 'hatcheteer'? Nonetheless fwiw I am 163 ECF although this is slightly misleading - I've had a good season and next year will be 185 or thereabouts.

ejh said...

Well, it's some years since I read Anna Karenina, but in fact I've said nothing, here or in any other place, to suggest that I think an opening guide should be of that weight (in any sense). I do however think that some books of this kind are - as is the case in any field - very much better than others, and it is therefore both worth saying so and exploring the reasons why.

Very clearly the market will ultimately decide, but it is my view that well-informed markets work better and have higher standards than poorly-informed ones, and therefore a more rigorous and demanding approach from reviewers can only be to the market's benefit. At the end of the day, if book-buyers think my standards (or indeed, the standards of the person who actually wrote the original piece) are too high then they will make decisions based on that outlook.

For what it is worth I think my current Elo grade is about 2163, though as I review all sorts of chess books (and did not review The Dynamic Reti) then the relevance of this largely escapes me.

Nigel Davies said...

Tom, you're not a hatcheteer. And unless your real name is in fact Theobold Chivornosep it seems you've used your real name throughout. I like and respect that.

EJH & others - you're clearly high enough rated to get something from these books and there's no problem with having informed market participants. But there's an issue of fairness here, especially when one doesn't provide one's real name.

Given that my Reti book has been generally well received would it really stick in your collective throats to say some things that are good about it? The best I saw was a grudging admission that maybe it wasn't the worst of its kind and that this wasn't necessarily a recommendation not to buy it. This was hidden amidst the accusations of plaigarism etc.

It looked to me like you were being nasty for the sake of it or perhaps for your own pseudonymic glory. Building your blog on the starved corpses of the poor authors etc etc etc.

ejh said...

Oh, do me a favour. How many sales do you think you've lost as a result of some sceptical pieces about a book published several years ago?

Given that my Reti book has been generally well received would it really stick in your collective throats to say some things that are good about it?

Well, firstly, it's no job of a reviewer to say nice or nasty things about a book just because somebody else has. It's their job to say what they see. Secondly, in fact some positive things were said about the book. Thirdly, there's not really any collective throats involved. One of our team wrote these pieces: the others did not.

What possibly did happen is that the book was subjected to a degree of scrutiny that most chess books would, in fact, escape: reviews are generally quite superficial, as are the readings which precede them. But these books aren't necessarily used superficially: so perhaps we should pay them rather more attention, and rather more critical attention, than we have tended to do up to now.

You're probably not used to that: well, OK. Possibly you experience it as a process of nitpicking: that's your privilege. I've written books and I know that nobody likes an unfavourable review. And there's always something unfair in an unfavourable review.

But I think that the main outcome of such a process, although there may be small unfairnesses involved is that these books will improve in quality because they will be required to undergo more rigorous examination. It may well be that what has been accepted until today will no longer be accepted from tomorrow.

What will then happen is that people who write chess books will have to decide whether they want to write with greater rigour, or whether they want to do something else. And possibly, at the same time, readers will learn that if they really want to learn, then any book is only a starting point. But I reckon a better book would be a better starting point.

Nigel Davies said...


Well no doubt you've realised that there are flaws in every book on every subject once you dig deep enough. Or maybe you don't? This has certainly been my experience, and for me it has been particularly noticeable with chess books. This, btw, may be a function of my expertise rather than the quality of chess books in particular.

No doubt the two books you've written are perfect, which must make you the first author in history to be without sin. But this is something we'll never know because you won't provide your name. If you did I'd send a gratis copy to the most pedantic nitpicking bastard I could find and post the results. But it seems that the world must wait for this pleasure.

BTW, there are plenty of errors and indeed horrible English throughout this site. But not everyone sees it as being their duty/perverse pleasure from pointing these out.

ejh said...

No, we're very glad when people point out errors: it enables us to put them right. Unfortunately, being an amateur blog, we can't afford copy-editors. The puzzling thing is that some professional publishing houses don't appear to be able to afford them either.

The books I wrote are anything but flawless: no book is, not even Crime and Punishment or À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu. However, the number and degree of flaws is rather greater in some books than in others. There are rather too many in most chess books for my liking: and yet, there are a few that manage to keep them to a minimum. Which means that more of the others ought to be able to do the same.

As for my real name, it is easily traceable: it just requires a little work and research, of the sort that the readers of chess books are enjoined to do by their authors.

ejh said...

I was, in fact, going to do a post on this later in the week, but I think I've said most of what I wished to say in this thread, so I'll write something else instead.

But one thing I wanted to say that I've not said yet is this: that no really good book, of any type in any field, was ever written by anybody who wasn't trying to write one. The answer to "will this do?" is always "no it won't".

Of course one recognises that there are many different sorts of book, which serve different purposes and suit different audiences: yet nevertheless, unless there is a genuine and conscious pursuit of excellence, then what we will have instead is mediocrity and corner-cutting of various kinds. A grudging, let alone a hypersensitive attitude to criticism, will take the writer in the opposition direction to that pursuit of excellence.

There are some really good and instructive openings books: I think they're written under the same conditions as the ones (a far greater number) that just aren't good enough. They're read by the same audience and reviewed by the same people. But they're written by people who won't accept second best from themselves. Not because of anything that some blog thinks, or some magazine: but because of what they think about themselves.

Anonymous said...

Look, not only can I not spell, I am only five foot four,bald, a lousey chess player and I cannot write a compound complex sentence.

I do however have a choice of several cars and would be very willing to convey johnathan b to Dover. Email me at thoughtport@yahoo.co.uk and I will sort a lift for you.

A report back to the blog from Dover on the day would be most welcome.

David Bentley.

Nigel Davies said...


I'm aware of your political leanings, but have you also considered the role that the market plays in book production? Books with a smaller audience are NECESSARILY going to carry more errors because of the same problems you mention with the site, ie they can't AFFORD to spend the time and money on being perfect.

Of course you are very forgiving when this concerns YOU, not at all so with openings books. The standards you appear to insist on would mean these books would not appear if they were somehow enforced. But there is a demand for them, warts and all.

Of course it makes me wonder why you seem able to ignore the double standard. I guess it must be your political leanings, this site is 'not for profit', huh whereas with stuff people pay for the greedy capitalists get richer?

At least this scotches the claim of political neutrality.

ejh said...

Try not to rave, Nigel.

Now, as it happens, I expect that people probably do have higher expectations of things they pay for than things they don't: but I don't think errors on this site are OK, nor have I said that I did. You're inventing arguments and motives all over the shop: you're not, I'm afraid, giving a very good account of yourself.

You say:

Books with a smaller audience are NECESSARILY going to carry more errors

Well, not necessarily. They run a greater risk, and yet it's curious how some publishing houses and some authors do much better than others. Could this be because they have higher standards and that they expect better of themselves?

Dean said...

This is great, probably the most amusing set of comments in a chess blog all year. In my couple of years playing chess I've noticed that in general the better the player, the bigger the ego. So am not surprised how over the top it has become, you're all commies out to get me, lol.

Jonathan B said...

Given that my Reti book has been generally well received would it really stick in your collective throats to say some things that are good about it? The best I saw was a grudging admission that maybe it wasn't the worst of its kind ....

I don't recall saying it wasn't the worst of it's kind - but I'm happy to confirm that it isn't.

No "grudging admission" from me either. I've made the point I'm about to make a couple of times before but I'll say it again as it seems to have been missed so far ...

My copy of the dynamic reti is very beaten up and dog eared. I saw a new copy for sale on the 4NCL book stall a month or two back and I couldn't believe how prestine it looked.

My copy looks a mess because it gets a lot of use. Compare this to the books I took to the BCM shop recently that look virtually new even though I've had them for years. They looked like this because they'd barely been opened.

None of this means I regret anything I've written about your book. None of this means I've changed my belief in that it could have been better.

In short, I'm writing about your book because there's much of it that's worth writing about.

As for this conspiracy stuff - truthfully you're really barking up the wrong tree. We disagree with each other a lot. I don't even agree with me much of the time.

This blog works, I think, because we allow ourselves to let each other get on with what we want to. No common voice - a plurality of views.

I must admit, though, I do like your Red Star Streatham label. We're not too far from Tooting either. Perhaps we should reform the Popular Front.

One more thing:-

Your site policy (as with so many similar sites) is probably what's led to this problem.

Perhaps not - given the person who wrote the original comment did so under their full name.

Anyway, once again, there is much I've said that's positive about your book (on here and elsewhere) and I'll continue to do so. That doesn't mean I'll stop pointing out the flaws (as I see them at least).

ejh said...

I also have a copy of the book: one of five I own on the Reti. For my money it ranks third of the five. (Better than Schiller - though what is not? - and Smith & Hall, not as good as Osnos or Dunnington.)

Nigel Davies said...

Gentleman, you're going to have to excuse me now. We've probably reached the point of diminishing returns with this discussion and I should really devote my energies to my next book ;). Thankyou and goodnight.

Anonymous said...

Your Untamed Chigorin video was very good. Consider remaking it into a Chessbase DVD. Breutigam has a database on it already, and you could use some of the games to help bolster the adventurous and attacking ideas. I'm always anonymous on internet, so I don't expect an answer. Cheers!