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Roman's Lab DVDs - Chess Reviews


Roman's Lab is a range of chess DVDs that have been released within the last few years and I believe the series hasn't finished yet. The DVDs are presented by famous American Grandmaster Roman "Dzindzi" Dzindzichashvili. Best known for his videos and books nowadays, he was once within the world top 10. Throughout his career, he has landed defeats on big names such as 6th World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, Bronstein, Larsen, Timman, Shabalov and Nakamura. He has worked with 12th World Champion Karpov, 13th World Champion Kasparov, Kamsky, Korchnoi and Perelshteyn. Roman has come equal first in the US Championship twice. According to Wikipedia, his peak rating was 2703 in October 1978. These days, he is much older (65 at the time of writing), but he is still well known for his very strong online play.

At the time of writing, Roman has produced over 90 Roman's Lab DVDs. Note that my review here applies to volumes 62 and earlier.

Roman's DVDs are interesting to watch. Generally the material is reasonably good, although it can be inconsistent, ranging from poor/inaccurate to excellent analysis. I have purchased a number of Roman's DVDs. Even though I didn't like some of them, I kept coming back for more, which perhaps hints that the series is worthwhile.

Try to be lenient when watching these DVDs: Roman's English isn't great and in two of the DVDs I bought, he coughed frequently (these are volumes 26 and 27 on Nimzowitsch's My System), but generally he gets his point across adequately. There are also some board/display errors in earlier versions of his DVDs (as far as I know, these stop by volume 26). As a sidenote, I find it funny that people who didn't learn English as their first language often get 'white' confused with 'black' and vice versa.

With regards to his opening DVDs, most of them cost around $20 a DVD. This isn't great value for money. I recommend going to ChessPublishing instead, which gives you a year of chess opening updates by titled players for $x on each specific opening. The reason I target opening DVDs is that they can become outdated, whereas Roman's advice in other areas of chess are timeless. You can also consider joining the Internet Chess Club/ChessFM, where grandmasters such as Ronen Har-Zvi and Boris Alterman often produce video series on chess openings.

I recommend being selective about the titles that you choose to buy. The DVDs on generic topics should be reasonably good, such as "Volume 7: Think and Play Like a GM" and "Volume 55: A Tribute to Bobby Fischer". Some of the opening repertoire DVDs are worthwhile (as opposed to ones on single openings, which I would recommend against buying), as they provide great guidance on how to piece together an repertoire.


To purchase products, I recommend Wholesale Chess. They provide the highest quality chess products at the lowest prices (especially for US and Canadian players). They even offer to match prices with other chess websites! Even though I live overseas, this is where I choose to purchase chess goods.

For chess opening training and repertoire maintenance, I highly recommend the software I use, Chess Openings Wizard. This software was approved by Grandmaster Peter Svidler (FIDE rating 2744 as of January 2010) many years ago.

I hope I have provided a good overview of the Roman's Lab range of chess DVDs. They generally turn out to be worthwhile watching.


Posted by Webmaster on Monday, February 8, 2010.


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