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IN SEPTEMBER 1994, Mark Crowther, a librarian at Bradford University, implemented a truly splendid new idea: a weekly online magazine incorporating both the latest news and games in suitable database formats. He called it The Week in Chess.

Originally housed on Crow-ther's own home page, TWIC, as it has come to be affectionately known, has long since become Crowther's full-time employment and migrated to Malcolm Pein's London Chess Centre (http://www. chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html - note the barbarous American spelling) where a new issue appears for downloading late every Monday evening, with the 241st due out today.

Now all this information has been gathered together on a CD, incorporating the first 216 TWICs and, a nice bonus, 87 topical articles by the excellent Argentine pundit Michael Greengard ("Mig"). The whole is unified by a specially written "TwicSurfer" platform which allows you to browse the text (or rather html), or search it for specific items, and also to load the actual games in any particular issue.

As with any new software - and this is version 1.0 - there are some teething problems. and I soon sent off a long "wish list" to the programmer Mark Levitt. I shan't bore you with the pernickety details but am delighted to say that Levitt confirms that he intends to write a "patch" in a couple of months which will be downloadable free online.

However, the general im-pression of the magazine is extremely favourable, with the inset calendar that automatically dates each issue a particularly nice touch.

If you want a blow-by-blow record of all significant events in the chess world from TWIC's inception right up to the end of 1998, then the TwicCD is very much for you.

Somewhat to my disgust the shortest decisive game of the very first TWIC (17 September 1994) turned out to be my own loss to Vladimir Tukmakov in Tilburg in just 24 moves. Here instead is a demolition of my favourite opening - the Caro Kann - in a game one move longer. At the end, of course, if 25...Qxc4 26.Qh5 mate.

White: Alexei Shirov

Black: Christopher Lutz

Credit Suisse Masters, Horgen 1994

Caro Kann Defence

The TwicCD is available from Chess and Bridge Ltd, 369 Euston Road, London NW1 3AR (tel: 0171-388 2404; fax: 0171-388 2407) or the website as above, price pounds 19 95. You need a PC with Windows 95, 98 or NT plus (if you want to install it on hard disk) slightly more than 40MB of Hard Disk space.

1 e4 c6

2 d4 d5

3 e5 Bf5

4 h4 Qb6

5 Nc3 h5

6 Be2 e6

7 Nf3 Ne7

8 Rb1 Bg4

9 Ng5 Bxe2

10 Nxe2 c5

11 dxc5 Qxc5

12 0-0 Nf5

13 Be3 Qc6

14 c4 Be7

15 Rc1 0-0

16 Ng3 Nxg3

17 fxg3 Bxg5

18 Bxg5 Qc5+

19 Kh2 dxc4

20 Bf6 gxf6

21 Rxf6 Qxe5

22 Rh6 Kg7

23 Rxh5 Qe4

24 Rg5+ Kh8

25 Rxc4

Black resigns