Upcoming Chess Books

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  • #16
    Sorry about the delay. For those interested in Jonathan MacDonald's book 'My Adventures In The Chess World: Jonathan Style', Jonathan can be reached at ruylopez64@gmail.com.


    • #17
      Upcoming Chess Books

      December 14, 2018

      A Carlsen-Caruana pre-Match book has come out and Match books are on their way.

      Here is one which treats Carlsen-Karjakin like Spassky-Fischer:

      The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match That Made Chess Great Again- Brin-Jonathan Butler

      Publisher’s Blurb

      A firsthand account of the dramatic 2016 World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Sergey Karjakin, which mirrored the world's geopolitical unrest and rekindled a global fascination with the sport.

      The first week of November 2016, as a crowd of people swarmed outside of Manhattan’s Trump Tower to rail against the election of Donald Trump, hundreds more descended on the city’s South Street Seaport. But they weren’t there to protest. They were there to watch the World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Sergey Karjakin—what by the time it was over would be front-page news and thought by many the greatest finish in chess history.

      The story lines were riveting. The championship hadn’t been hosted in New York City, the de facto world capital of the sport, in more than two decades. With both Carlsen and Karjakin just 25 years old, the tournament organizers were billing it as a battle of the millennials—the first time the championship had been waged among the generation that grew up playing chess primarily against computers. And perhaps most intriguing were all the geopolitical connections to the match. Originally from Crimea, Karjakin had recently repatriated to Russia under the direct assistance of Putin. Carlsen, meanwhile, had expressed admiration for Donald Trump, and his first move of the tournament he played with a smirk what's called a Trompowsky Attack. Then there was the Russian leader of the World Chess Federation being barred from attending due to US sanctions, and chess fanatic and Trump adviser Peter Thiel being called on to make the honorary first move in sudden death.

      That the tournament required sudden death was a shock. Oddsmakers had given Carlsen, the defending champion, an 80% chance of winning. It would take everything he had to retain his title. In doing so, he would firmly make his case to be considered the greatest player chess has ever seen.

      Author Brin-Jonathan Butler was granted unique access to the two-and-half-week tournament and watched every move. In The Grandmaster, he aims to do for Magnus Carlsen what Norman Mailer did for Muhammed Ali in The Fight, John McPhee did for Arthur Ashe in Levels of the Game, and David Foster Wallace did for Roger Federer in his famous New York Times Magazine profile. Butler captures one of the world’s greatest sportsmen at the height of their powers, and attempts to decipher the secret to that greatness.

      About the Author

      Brin-Jonathan Butler has written for Esquire, Bloomberg, ESPN Magazine, Al Jazeera, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Salon, and Vice. His first book, The Domino Diaries, was shortlisted for the PEN/ESPN Award for literary sports writing and a Boston Globe Best Book of 2015. His work has also been a notable selection in both Best American Sports and Best American Travel Writing multiple times.

      Simon & Schuster
      224 pages
      ISBN 9781982107185
      November 2018


      • #18
        Upcoming Chess Books

        January 9, 2019

        Two recommendations from Anish Giri. The Longest Game has already been listed in this thread:

        From a recent email from New In Chess:

        It's not every day that Anish Giri, #5 in the world rankings, walks into your shop and starts browsing the newly arrived chess books. But Giri is our contributing editor to New In Chessmagazine - and he was in Alkmaar, where New In Chessis located, for a side event connected with the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.

        It is very interesting what Giri decided to take home. Most books, it turned out, had already been ordered (and read) by his second Erwin l'Ami. Two new books made the cut. Giri collected his complimentary copy of The Longest Game by Jan Timman.

        And he surprised us by picking up Oleg Pervakov's Industrial Strength Endgame Studies. 'I like solving puzzles', said Giri. He does like Pervakov, a famous Russian chess composer, as well.

        This book contains 100 of Pervakov's best studies. The selection is quite varied – from elegant short studies with six moves to romantic grotesques with many pieces on board and over 30 moves to the solution. Yet what all of these studies have in common is spectacular play by both sides.

        Bibliographic details

        Oleg Pervakov's Industrial Strength Endgame Studies

        Sergei Tkachenko

        Edition : Paperback
        Publication date : December 18, 2018
        Number of pages : 248
        Publisher : Elk and Ruby
        Weight :500 gram
        ISBN : 9785604071045

        Oleg Pervakov (born in 1960 in the city of Kirov) is widely recognized as Russia’s greatest living chess composer. He has composed nearly 500 studies and he has won the individual chess composition world championship three times: in 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2013-2015.

        In this book, Sergei Tkachenko has selected 100 of Oleg Pervakov’s best studies. The selection is quite varied – from elegant short studies with six moves to romantic grotesques with many pieces on board and over 30 moves to the solution. Yet what all of these studies have in common is spectacular play by both sides. And watch out: they are tough! That said, Oleg’s compositions are never boring.

        You may buy this collection of studies to test your endgame tactical abilities, to improve your endgame understanding, or simply to appreciate chess in all its beauty.

        Sergei Tkachenko (born in 1963, near Odessa, Ukraine) is a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017. He has won the studies section of the Ukrainian Chess Composition Championship six times and has won prizes, many of them for first place, in over 100 international chess composition tournaments. Sergei coaches the Ukrainian chess composition team. He is also the press secretary of the Chess Composition Committee of the Ukrainian Chess Federation. Sergei is an award-winning author who has written 18 chess books (in Russian), including compositions and on historical themes. He is deputy chief editor of a Ukrainian chess composition magazine called Problemist of Ukraine and has a regular studies column on the ChessPro website. Sergei is a member of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists. He is a historian and archivist, as well as being a mechanical engineering graduate


        • #19
          Upcoming Chess Books

          January 9, 2019

          Chess Multibiographies

          There are not many chess books which contain extensive biographies and selected works of more than one player.

          I don’t mean a thumbnail sketch with a couple of illustrative games of each but a goodly quantity of material.

          These are possible candidates:

          Urcan Chess Father of a Nation: A. Albin & G. Marco 2004
          Hirschel Das Schach der Herrn Giachino Greco und Philipp Stamma 1784
          Harding Eminent Victorian Chess Players 2012
          Kofman Izbrannye Etudi S. Kaminera & M. Liburkina 1981
          Collins My Seven Prodigies 1974
          Forbes The Polgar Sisters Training or Genius? 1992

          I have not reviewed the above recently and so cannot say definitely that each is a multibiography.

          I first heard the term “multibiography” in connection with the history of the Jesuits in 1995.I believe that tells history through the lives of certain individuals.

          In any case, there are two recent books which may qualify:

          Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle
          19thCentury Berlin Chess Biographies with 711 Games

          Hans Renette and Fabrizio Zavatarelli

          Format: library binding (8.5 x 11)
          Pages: 384
          Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
          Copyright Date: 2018
          pISBN: 978-1-4766-7379-0
          eISBN: 978-1-4766-3385-5
          Imprint: McFarland

          The Authors-

          Historian Hans Renette is FIDE master in chess (with 2 IM norms). He lives in Bierbeek, Belgium.
          Fabrizio Zavatarelli is a teacher of applied mathematics and the author of several articles concerning chess history. He lives in Milan, Italy.

          Reviews -
          • “Renette and Zavatarelli have not only created wonderful written biographies on the players, but above all created an excellent coverage of a unique insight into Berlin chess life from 1830 until 1890. One of the most interesting written chessbooks of this time”— Chessbook Reviews
          • “Magnificent clothbound gem…Renette and Zavatarelli have done a remarkable amount of digging with all sorts of artifact reproductions. Chock full of gambits, it’s also a handbook of attacking chess amidst all the history. Lots of fun.”— ArcaMax Publishing
          • “The book does a nice job of combining the chess culture of the area and time with players who best represented that era. The games, are lively and engaging—full of fun…an interesting and enjoyable read”— Mind’s Eye Press.

          Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi
          A Chess Multibiography with 207 Games

          Andrew Soltis

          Format: library binding (7 x 10)
          Pages: 277
          Bibliographic Info: photos, 207 games, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
          Copyright Date: 2018
          pISBN: 978-1-4766-7146-8
          eISBN: 978-1-4766-3478-4
          Imprint: McFarland

          The Author

          Grandmaster Andrew Soltis, eight times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.

          About the Book

          This book describes the intense rivalry — and collaboration—of the four players who created the golden era when USSR chess players dominated the world. More than 200 annotated games are included, along with personal details—many for the first time in English.
          Mikhail Tal, the roguish, doomed Latvian who changed the way chess players think about attack and sacrifice; Tigran Petrosian, the brilliant, henpecked Armenian whose wife drove him to become the world’s best player; Boris Spassky, the prodigy who survived near-starvation and later bouts of melancholia to succeed Petrosian—but is best remembered for losing to Bobby Fischer; and “Evil” Viktor Korchnoi, whose mixture of genius and jealousy helped him eventually surpass his three rivals (but fate denied him the title they achieved: world champion).

          Andy Soltis is interviewed by Ben Johnson on The Perpetual Chess Podcast, which is easily found and listened to at:


          Soltis discusses the sources of anecdotes in his book and also talks about chess journalism, chess columns, Irving Chernev, the Student Olympiads and ends with two Bobby Fischer anecdotes.


          By the way, Joshua Anderson, writing about an article in January Chess Life on John Collins says this:

          The (Collins) archive has several Byrne brother games that will likely appear in the Byrne brothers book that the author is writing for McFarland.

          (Joshua Anderson is the current president of the Chess Journalists of America and has run their awards program for the past seven seasons. As a trained historian, Joshua has deeply researched two of his passions – chess and football, authoring several historic articles and book chapters. He is currently working on a book about the Byrne Brothers for McFarland Publishing.)



          • #20
            Upcoming Chess Books

            January 24, 2019

            It is my belief that the two World Champions we know most about are Emanuel Lasker and Bobby Fischer. Almost every game and everything they wrote have been collected and published.

            Last year Volume I of a Lasker trilogy was published in English:

            Emanuel Lasker

            Volume I Struggle and Victories

            World Chess Champion for 27 Years

            Richard Forster/Michael Negele/Raj Tischbierek (eds.)

            1 Michael Negele A Biographical Compass, Part I
            2 Wolfgang Kamm & Tomasz Lissowski Ancestors, Family, and Childhood
            3 Tony Gillam Lasker in Great Britain
            4 John Hilbert Lasker: The American Views
            5 Joachim Rosenthal Lasker and Mathematics
            6 Jurgen Fleck Lasker’s Endgame Studies
            7 Ralf Binnewirtz Lasker’s Chess Problems
            8 Raj Tischbierek The Battle Lasker vs Tarrasch
            9 Mihail Marin Dominator of the Chess World

            Exzelsior Verlag, Berlin 2018
            Hard Cover, 464 pages
            ISBN 978-3-935800-09-9

            Volumes II & III in 2020/2021


            This spring, set to appear, is:

            Emanuel Lasker A Reader

            A Compendium of Writings on Chess, Philosophy, Science, Sociology, Mathematics and Other Subjects by the Great World Chess Champion, Scholar and Polymath Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

            Edited by Taylor Kingston

            Foreword by Andy Soltis

            Additional contributions by

            Dr. Karsten Müller and Dr. Ingo Althöfer

            Game Annotations by Lasker, Steinitz, Capablanca, Tarrasch, Marco, Marshall, Showalter, Janowski, J.F. Barry, Napier, Hoffer, Zinkl, Stockfish 8 and Komodo 11.2.2


            Russell Enterprises, Inc. Milford, CT USA


            Table of Contents

            Editor’s Preface 6
            Foreword by Andy Soltis 8

            Part I: Chess Writings

            The London Chess Fortnightly (1892-1893) 11
            The Steinitz-Lasker 1894 World Championship Match 42
            The Hastings 1895 Tournament Book 57
            Common Sense in Chess (1896) 64
            Lasker’s Chess Magazine (1904-1909) 70
            The Lasker-Tarrasch 1908 World Championship Match 224
            The St. Petersburg 1909 Tournament Book 276
            The Lasker-Capablanca 1921 World Championship Match 278 New York 1927 and the Lasker-Lederer-Capablanca Dispute 294
            Lasker’s Manual of Chess on the Theory of Steinitz (1932) 302
            Lasker on the Endgame by Karsten Müller 318
            Lasker as a Composer of Problems and Studies 322

            Part II: Lasker as Philosopher and Social Critic

            Struggle (1907) 326
            Die Philosophie des Unvollendbar (1919) 335
            The Community of the Future (1940) 358

            Part III: Emanuel Lasker and Mathematics

            Two Triangles and More by Dr. Ingo Althöfer 367

            Part IV: Miscellany

            Lasca, “The Great Military Game”
            Observations of Lasker by Others
            Index of Players
            Index of Openings General Index

            Was there anything left out? This from the Editor’s Preface:

            This book is not a biography, nor a “Lasker’s Greatest Games” collection. Many of his great and important games are included, but also many of lesser stature, and some not involving him directly. The main criterion was that a game be annotated by Lasker, whether he played it or not.

            Inevitably there were things we would have liked to include but could not. It seems no copies still exist of Lasker’s pro-German WWI apologia Die Selbsttäuschungen unserer Feinde (The Self-Deceptions of our Enemies, 1915).

            His philosophical work Das Begreifen der Welt ( The Comprehension of the World, 1913) was available only at prohibitive cost. We could not obtain any of Lasker’s works on bridge or other card games. Of his writings on non-chess board games, we included only Lasca due to space limitations, which also forced some other omissions, e.g., his book on the 1934 Alekhine-Bogolyubow match, and his verse-drama Vom Menschen die Geschichte (The History of Mankind).


            • #21
              I just received a gift, which is nearly a new chess book - published Oct. 2017. Irresponsible Mediums: the chess games of Marcel Duchamp. It takes 100 of Duchamp's games and puts them to poetry. It was the winner of the Leacock Medal and shortlisted for the Giller Prize. It was written by Canadian Aaron Tucker and published by Book Thug. The link to Amazon is here: https://www.amazon.com/Irresponsible.../dp/1771663340.

              Not recommended for its chess content, but interesting trying to make sense of the poetry from the game it was generated. I am thinking Eric Malmsten would enjoy it.


              • #22
                Upcoming Chess Books

                March 28, 2019

                Author: Bareev, Evgeny

                Title: Say No to Chess Principles!

                Expected in April-May 2019. A collection of about 50 Bareev's games with his own annotations. The author focuses more on word comments and explanations than on detailed analysis. The games are selected so that they contain various non-standard ideas - the list of topics can be found in picture 2. Within annotations, the book includes various biographical information, Bareev's opinions or insights about his opponents or tournaments he has participated in. Evgeny Bareev, b. 1966, Russian, respectively since 2015 Canadian GM, belongs to world's top players for decades. He has played several times in Candidates, has reached a rating of 2739. He is also a FIDE Senior trainer. Further information about the book and a sample are available at thinkerspublishing.com

                Place of publication:Ghent
                Publisher: Thinkers Publishing
                Year of publication: 2019
                Edition:1st edition
                Pages: many photos in text, 278p
                Language: English + Figurine notation
                Diagrams: many
                Book size: Large 8vo (23-25 cm)

                Table of Contents

                Chapter 1. Play without castling
                Chapter 2. A Queen behind the enemy lines
                Chapter 3. When a piece in the center is grim
                Chapter 4. A piece down in a worse position
                Chapter 5. At the edge of the board
                Chapter 6. Killer delayed castling
                Chapter 7. Rewards of doubled pawns

                Summary of Evgeny Bareev’s Chess Career
                Games Index


                If you go to:


                you will see these books:

                Vladimir Tukmakov – Coaching the Chess Stars
                Gata Kamsky – Chess Gamer, Vol. 1: The Awakening 1989-1996
                Romain Edouard – My Magic Years with Topalov
                Alexey Kuzmin – Together with the Candidates

                All interesting books that should be added to one’s collection.

                If you look at the photos under Editorial team you will see that the Editor In chief is Romain Edouard and two of the proofreaders are none other than Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton and Chess Consultant us & Canada: Raja Panjwani.

                In his photo Aman is clean-shaven and has a haircut.


                • #23
                  Upcoming Chess Books

                  April 5, 2019

                  Love and Chess

                  Six years ago, I was buying some chess books for my collection and there was one on the list, in Dutch, entitled “Geheime liefde” by Laurie Langenbach.

                  A bit of research gave details of her part in the feminist movement in the Netherlands, her career in dance and song and numerous affairs.

                  This from Wikipedia:

                  Laurie Langenbach (1947 – 1984)

                  “Her debut novel Secret Love (1977) makes clear how obsessive she could be in love. Her years of unrequited 'secret love' this time concerned the chess player Jan Timman . The work caused quite a stir, because it was too personal and not literary enough. The book nevertheless experienced a number of reprints. Her work is described as sensual, sensory and subjective.”

                  I knew I would never read it in Dutch, but it was a “literary companion”, so to speak, of Jan Timman’s books – so I bought it for $20 put it with Jan’s endgame books and it has rested on those shelves ever since.

                  This is a prelude to the recent publication of another book about love and chess:

                  Checkmate! The Love Story of Mikhail Tal and Sally Landau

                  By Sally Landau

                  Publisher: Elk and Ruby Publishing, 2019
                  Pages: Paperback, 223 pages

                  Publisher’s Blurb: Sally Landau, born in 1938, Vitebsk, Soviet Union, was Mikhail Tal’s first wife, a highly talented actress and singer. Sally and Misha were married from 1959 to 1970 in a period that encompassed Tal’s two world championship matches with Botvinnik as well as many of his greatest tournament performances.

                  Sally’s breathtaking story, first published in Russia in 1998 and which has been reprinted multiple times, is a memoir of her time with Tal, with whom she remained friends long after they divorced right up until his death in 1992. Full of detail about Tal and their life together, it is a tale of triumph and tragedy, love, parenthood, sorrow, jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Colored by a historical and social background including the Second World War, the Soviet chess scene, Rigan high society, the shadow economy in the Soviet Union, and Jewish emigration, it contains a fascinating portrait of Misha’s mysterious family and is illustrated with photos from Sally’s private archive. And it all just happens to be true…

                  любовь и шахматы by Sally Landau

                  See also: https://forum.chesstalk.com/forum/ch...birthday-today

                  Post #3


                  • #24
                    Upcoming Chess Books

                    April 18, 2019

                    I received my copy of Evgeny Bareev’s Say No to Chess Principles! today.

                    Leafing through it, I was struck by the vividness of his language.

                    His last tournament was the Moscow Open in 2010. He was playing Boris Grachev, when he became very ill. He made a draw and then got sick in the tournament hall and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital on such a long ride that he actually became better. You must read the whole story.

                    See also the introduction to Gelfand-Bareev 1985 after he was conscripted into the army.

                    You might wonder if the book is just a series of positions. The best thing I can do is to reproduce the Games Index on the last page.

                    The first six are positions and then the rest are Bareev games.

                    Games Index to Bareev's "Say No to Chess Principles!"

                    No White Black Event ECO

                    1 Alexander Alekhine - Akiba Rubinstein The Hague 1924 D30
                    2 Aaron Nimzowitsch- Jose Raul Capablanca St Petersburg 1914 C62
                    3 Yuri Averbakh - Boris Spassky Leningrad 1956 E74
                    4 Tigran Petrosian- Robert James Fischer Bled 1959 E40
                    5 Ilia Abramovich Kan - Mikhail Botvinnik Moscow 1953 D71
                    6 Viswanathan Anand- Peter Svidler Linares 1999 D97
                    1 Evgeny Bareev - Stefan Djuric Bled 1991 E73
                    2 Vassily Ivanchuk- Evgeny Bareev Elista 1998 B19
                    3 Evgeny Bareev - Mikhail Gurevich Minsk 1987 E12
                    4 Ian Nepomniachtchi - Evgeny Bareev St. Petersburg 2009 B12
                    5 Evgeny Bareev - Branko Damljanovic Belgrade 1993 E73
                    6 Evgeny Bareev - Wolfgang Uhlmann Dortmund 1990 E73
                    7 Vereslav Eingorn- Evgeny Bareev Leningrad 1990 A81
                    8 Evgeny Bareev - Konstantin Sakaev Moscow 2001 E38
                    9 Evgeny Bareev - Veselin Topalov Monte Carlo 2003 D11
                    10 Lars Hansen - Evgeny Bareev Gausdal 1986 D12
                    11 Evgeny Bareev - Mikhail Gurevich Cap d'Agde 2003 D12
                    12 Evgeny Bareev - Dejan Mozetic Belgrade 1993 E71
                    13 Predrag Nikolic - Evgeny Bareev Lyon 1994 D48
                    14 Alexander Grischuk - Evgeny Bareev Wijk aan Zee 2003 B12
                    15 Evgeny Bareev - Sergey Dolmatov Kiev 1986 E21
                    16 Evgeny Bareev - Peter Leko Dortmund 2002 E32
                    17 Evgeny Bareev - Ruslan Sherbakov Nabereznye Chelny 1988 E08
                    18 Jan Timman - Evgeny Bareev Wijk aan Zee 2002 A29
                    19 Evgeny Bareev - Gennadi Kuzmin Leningrad 1990 E73
                    20 Lothar Vogt - Evgeny Bareev Budapest 1988 C06
                    21 Evgeny Bareev - Yuri Razuvaev Tilburg 1993 E38
                    22 Evgeny Bareev - Christopher Lutz Turin 2006 E12
                    23 Lev Psakhis - Evgeny Bareev Kharkov 1985 A57
                    24 Evgeny Bareev - Boris Grachev Moscow 2010 D12
                    25 Mikhail Gurevich- Evgeny Bareev Elista 1998 D38
                    26 Evgeny Bareev - Jeroen Piket Montecatini Terme 2000 A25
                    27 Boris Gelfand - Evgeny Bareev Sochi 1984 C08
                    28 Evgeny Bareev - Peter Svidler Elista 1997 E90
                    29 Evgeny Bareev - Alexei Shirov Dortmund 1992 E73
                    30 Evgeny Bareev - Alexei Shirov Wijk aan Zee 2004 E05
                    31 Boris Gelfand - Evgeny Bareev Sochi 1982 C08
                    32 Evgeny Bareev - Alexey Dreev Wijk aan Zee 2002 D12
                    33 Evgeny Bareev - Valery Salov Linares 1992 E11
                    34 Evgeny Bareev - Artur Yusupov Paris 1992 D94
                    35 Evgeny Bareev - Elizbar Ubilava Kharkov 1985 D37
                    36 Evgeny Bareev - Alexandr Poluljahov St. Petersburg 1998 E94
                    37 Boris Gelfand - Evgeny Bareev Klaipeda 1985 C06
                    38 Evgeny Bareev - Michael Adams Biel 1991 A41
                    39 Evgeny Bareev - Joseph Gallagher Germany 1999 E71
                    40 Evgeny Bareev - Joel Lautier Paris 1991 E39
                    41 Jeroen Piket - Evgeny Bareev Dortmund 1992 D06
                    42 Evgeny Bareev - Dmitry Bocharov Kazan 2005 E11
                    43 Evgeny Bareev - Valerij Popov Tomsk 2001 A84
                    44 Evgeny Bareev - Alexander Shabalov Sochi 1982 A65
                    45 Alexander Morozevich - Evgeny Bareev Dortmund 2002 B14
                    46 Veselin Topalov - Evgeny Bareev Linares 1994 C11
                    47 Evgeny Bareev - Loek van Wely Wijk aan Zee 2002 D97
                    48 Alexander Khalifman - Evgeny Bareev Wijk aan Zee 1995 A29
                    49 Lembit Oil - Evgeny Bareev Klaipeda 1985 A57
                    50 Evgeny Bareev - Igor Novikov Kharkov 1985 E12
                    51 Alexey Dreev- Evgeny Bareev Moscow 1982 B13
                    52 Alexander Beliavsky - Evgeny Bareev Moscow 1990 A87
                    53 Evgeny Bareev - Yaroslav Zinchenko Ohrid 2009 D87
                    54 Loek van Wely - Evgeny Bareev Monaco 2002 D19
                    55 Veselin Topalov - Evgeny Bareev Wijk aan Zee 2004 C19


                    • #25
                      Upcoming Chess Books

                      June 19, 2019

                      This time, two books which have already appeared. One a long time ago but has been reissued and the other, published without any fanfare a couple of years ago. Neither is in English.

                      The first is:

                      Goldene Schachzeiten: Erinnerungen

                      By Milan Vidmar

                      Joachim Beyer Verlag

                      First published in 1961

                      This edition 2015

                      Paperback, 280 pages

                      Milan Vidmar (1885 – 1962) was, like Mikhail Botvinnik, an electrical engineer. He was among the top dozen chess players in the world from 1910 to 1930. This title of this book is translated as “The Golden Times of Chess”.

                      The chapters:

                      1 Nottingham 1936
                      2 A huge struggle for the World Championship
                      3 The chess siren
                      4 Memories of Dr. Tarrasch
                      5 The professional chess master problem
                      6 The clock nodding to the great masters
                      7 Trapping in the big game
                      8 The end of the World Champion dream
                      9 Is the state of today’s chess ill?

                      35 games and game fragments are given such as Tchigorin-Vidmar (1906), Vidmar-Tarrasch (1906), Nimzowitsch-Vidmar (1927), Spielmann-Vidmar (1914), Rubinstein-Vidmar (1918) and Reshevsky-Vidmar (1936).

                      Hans Kmoch wrote a touching obituary of Vidmar in Chess Review, December 1962. A few extracts:

                      The bell has tolled for another prominent old-timer, actually the last survivor of those famous masters who were of Austro-Hungarian origin and had started their careers before the monarchy had fallen apart.

                      Chessmaster Vidmar had two things in common with Morphy: one was his birthday of June 22; the other his playing chess only for pleasure. For the rest, the two men were entirely different.

                      Vidmar was born in 1885, a year after Morphy had died. He was born in Laibach, then capital of the Austrian province of Krain. Today, Laibach is the capital of the Yugoslav state of Slovenia.

                      The Austro-Hungarian monarchy mas produced many a great player; think only of Steinitz. There was a lot of chess activity in Budapest, Prague and other places, but Vienna naturally had the most of it. In Vidmar’s time young talents like Perlis Reti, Spielmann, Tartakover and he himself met daily either at the famous Wiener Schachklub or at the Café Central, just two blocks away. Schlechter, Marco and Heinrich Wolf were also around and often such distinguished veterans as Albin, Professor Berger from Graz, the father of all literature on endgames, and Max Weiss, an employee of Rothschild’s banking firm, better known as co-winner of the New York 1989 tournament. Maroczy from Budapest and Duras from Prague sometimes showed up, and frequently so did celebrities from abroad.

                      Remarkable was his success in the San Sebastian Tournament of 1911. Vidmar doubted that he would have the time to participate, but at the very last moment he put 200 Crowns in his pocket and went. Europe required no passports in those days, except for Russia, The tournament was won by Capablanca, but Vidmar tied for second and third with Rubinstein, thereby obtaining the reputation of grandmaster, which then was a new distinction, not official, But this was as high as Vidmar ever came in a great tournament.

                      As time went on, Vidmar found it increasingly more difficult to maintain a place in the upper ranks. At Karlsbad 1929, he scored 12-9, tying for the fifth, sixth and seventh prizes with Becker and Euwe. At Bled (near Laibach) 1931, which was another great tournament, Vidmar scored 13.5-12.4, sharing the fourth to seventh prizes with Flohr, Kashdan and Stoltz. Finally, at Groningen 1946, then aged 61, Vidmar had to realize that a great tournament was definitely too much of a strain for him.

                      Vidmar had a strong personal liking for Nimzovich, in later years for Najdorf. With these two he used to be on terms better than correct; he took great pleasure in playing skittles with them, skittles with words as well as skittles with chessmen. In general, he liked people the more the better they were in the art of mutual, good-natured heckling.

                      For this game in the New York Tournament of 1927, Vidmar received a brilliancy prize:

                      New York 1927
                      Round 14, March 12
                      Vidmar, Milan – Nimzovich, Aron
                      A46 Catalan

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Nbd7 5.O-O Bd6 6.b3 c6 7.Nbd2 O-O 8.Bb2 Qe7 9.c4 b5 10.Ne5 Bxe5 11.dxe5 Ng4 12.e4 Ngxe5 13.exd5 exd5 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Bxd5 Rb8 16.Re1 Qd6 17.Nf3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Kh8 19.Rac1 Rb6 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Qxf7 Qg6 22.Qxd7 1-0

                      Position after 20.Rxc8!


                      (to be continued with MVL book)


                      • #26
                        Upcoming Chess Books

                        June 19, 2019

                        Maxime Vachier-Lagrave: Joueur d’échecs

                        Edition Fayard


                        Paperback, 252 pages

                        The publisher’s blurb:

                        He is an ordinary young man. He is not an eccentric or a self-centered prodigy. In reality, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is not quite like the others. This humble and laid-back boy is the French chess champion, and one of the world's top five. For the first time, this wonder of the chessboard gives the readers a behind-the-scene look at this sport. Because the chess game is a real high-level sport, it requires physical and intellectual training.

                        Maxime, however, does not intend to sacrifice everything to it. For him, there is a horizon beyond the sixty-four squares. Neither Professor Tournesol nor diva nor Spartan warrior, he refuses to lead the ascetic life of some champions. He drinks mojitos, he loves Haribo sweets, he loves video games, he plays poker with his friends, he bets on football teams ... Within measure, of course, but without ever forbidding himself anything.

                        This book is both the self-portrait of a great master and a description, from the inside, of the world of chess in the twenty-first century. A universe that always fascinates and fascinates. It tells the relationship between opponents, the "taste of blood", backstage and daily life at tournaments and technical developments or the role played by computers.

                        It is also the personal vision of a young genius of the world where he who spends more than two thirds of his life abroad and is the ambassador of France ...

                        There are 39 chapters – some of which are: Le goût du sang, Alcools, La vie en tournoi, Food addict, Magnus le Grand, Profession entraîneur, Mon coach, Bad boys, Le jeu de la chance et du hazard, Bêtes noires, Gros ego and Scandale.

                        There are no games and no photos.

                        From the Introduction:

                        “I am twenty-seven years old. To publish my memoires at this age is a little early. But this book is not a collection of memories even if I detail my personnel and professional career. I am only half way through that career if you consider that it began when I was six years old.

                        In chess, one’s working life lasts longer than in other sports. It would be premature to start working on a balance sheet now. This is not a book of reflections, even if I give some analyses about the game and my performances.”

                        Readers’ comments

                        - Bland book by a player with a spicy style

                        - Big fan of MVL, I am disappointed by this book. It is clear that he would not write a book aimed at chess players, but in the end we get a succession of banality on the chess world, without any real info on this world so interesting. No name, no examples, no stories in history.

                        - Clearly, you will not buy this book for its literary quality. It is rather a suite of entertaining anecdotes about the world of chess.

                        - This isn't great literature; the book is co-written and the style is a little childish in some places. No great revelations either, MVL is rather conciliatory. Despite these flaws the book is fun to read

                        - MVL describes the high level chess world and his professional career in it.. Outside chess he leads a disorderly life, but fortunately he knows the limits cannot be exceeded for they would slow down his chances of becoming world champion. I'm a fan and I hope that one day he will succeed to that title.


                        In short, probably not a book to everyone’s taste but the only one out there on MVL.


                        • #27
                          Upcoming Chess Books

                          August 9, 2019

                          The Nemesis – Geller’s Greatest Games

                          In my estimation, Geller is up there with Tal and Fischer as players who have enjoyable games. Now, an English edition of the 2017 book about him has been published.


                          The book contains 135 games played by Yefim Geller, all deeply annotated by himself. Yefim Geller, 1925-1998, between 1950-1980 one of world best players, was 6 times in Candidates tournaments, 2 times USSR champion etc. He played more than 200 games against world champions, with an active score of 39 wins, 35 losses and 132 draws. Geller was expert namely on the Sicilian and Ruy Lopez by both colors and on the King's Indian as Black. Career record, index of players and openings, the list of games (pictures 2-5). The book was also published in Russian in 2017, with title Shakhmatnoe tvorchestvo.

                          Place of publication: Glasgow

                          Publisher: Quality Chess

                          Year of publication: 2019

                          Edition: 1st edition in English

                          Pages: 480p.

                          Binding: Hardcover

                          Language: English + Figurine notation



                          1 In search of adventure, Geller – Efim Kogan, Odessa 1946 21
                          2 Is a queen sacrifice always worth it? Samuel Kotlerman – Geller, Odessa 1949 25
                          3 A bishop transformed, Tigran Petrosian – Geller, Moscow 1949 29
                          4 Miniature monograph, Geller – Josif Vatnikov, Kiev 1950 31
                          5 Equilibrium disturbed, Mikhail Botvinnik – Geller, Moscow 1951 35
                          6 Blockading the flank, Mikhail Botvinnik – Geller, Budapest 1952 40
                          7 A step towards the truth, Geller – Wolfgang Unzicker, Stockholm 1952 44
                          8 The cost of a wasted move, Harry Golombek – Geller, Stockholm 1952 47
                          9 Insufficient compensation? Geller – Herman Pilnik, Stockholm 1952 49
                          10 Black needs a plan... Geller – Robert Wade, Stockholm 1952 51
                          11 White wants a draw, Luis Sanchez – Geller, Stockholm 1952 53
                          12 Sufferings for nothing, Geller – Gideon Stahlberg, Stockholm 1952 55
                          13 A strong queen, Geller – Gedeon Barcza, Stockholm 1952 58
                          14 The horrors of time trouble, Geller – Laszlo Szabo, Stockholm 1952 60
                          15 Seizing the moment, Geller – Paul Keres, Moscow 1952 62
                          16 Strength in movement, Geller – Miguel Najdorf, Zurich 1953 66
                          17 Second and last... Max Euwe – Geller, Zurich 1953 70
                          18 Whose weakness is weaker? Mikhail Botvinnik – Geller, Moscow 1955 74
                          19 All decided by tactics, Vasily Smyslov – Geller, Moscow (7) 1955 78
                          20 Three in one, Geller – Oscar Panno, Gothenburg 1955 81
                          21 Check equals mate, Geller – Andrija Fuderer, Gothenburg 1955 84
                          22 A needless provocation, Geller – Gideon Stahlberg, Gothenburg 1955 88
                          23 Blockade or breakthrough? Geller – Tigran Petrosian, Amsterdam 1956 90
                          24 A Spanish experiment, Geller – Miroslav Filip, Amsterdam 1956 94
                          25 A proverb loses its force, Boris Spassky – Geller, Amsterdam 1956 96
                          26 Re-enacting the past, Geller – Ratmir Kholmov, Vilnius 1957 101
                          27 Playing ad hominem, Mikhail Tal – Geller, Riga 1958 106
                          28 Premature activity, Geller – Paul Keres, Tbilisi 1959 110
                          29 Seizing the initiative, Wolfgang Uhlmann – Geller, Dresden 1959 113
                          30 The Achilles’ heel of the black king, Geller – Lev Polugaevsky, Moscow 1961 116
                          31 A surprise... to whom? Tigran Petrosian – Geller, Moscow 1961 120
                          32 Is an extra tempo harmful? Vasily Smyslov – Geller, Moscow 1961 125
                          33 Blockade breached, Geller – Robert Fischer, Curacao 1962 129
                          34 Passion isn’t always an ally... Robert Fischer – Geller, Curacao 1962 134
                          35 The second cycle... Mikhail Tal – Geller, Curacao 1962 139
                          36 A successful improvisation, Viktor Korchnoi – Geller, Curacao 1962 142
                          37 Decided by feelings, Geller – Miroslav Filip, Curacao 1962 146
                          38 A leader’s heavy burden, Robert Fischer – Geller, Curacao 1962 150
                          39 Playing a pawn down is easier, Geller – Yuri Nikolaevsky, Ukraine 1962 153
                          40 In thrall to long years of acquaintance, Geller – Tigran Petrosian, Moscow 1963 156
                          41 Whoever conquers the square e4... Viktor Korchnoi – Geller, Moscow 1963 159
                          42 A harmless surprise, Boris Spassky – Geller, Moscow 1964 164
                          43 Combinations occur in the endgame too! Geller – Vasily Smyslov, Moscow 1964 169
                          44 The queen is stronger, Geller – Borislav Ivkov, Beverwijk 1965 173
                          45 At the meeting-point of two openings, Levente Lengyel – Geller, Beverwijk 1965 177
                          46 Wind in the sails, Geller – Vasily Smyslov, Moscow (1) 1965 180
                          47 Third way barred, Geller – Vasily Smyslov, Moscow (3) 1965 184
                          48 Invulnerable queen, Geller – Vasily Smyslov, Moscow (5) 1965 188
                          49 Tactics versus strategy, Bruno Parma – Geller, Havana 1965 192
                          50 Something to delight... the ICCF, Geller – Robert Fischer, Havana 1965 195
                          51 Hunting the king, Geller – Bent Larsen, Copenhagen (2) 1966 200
                          52 A not-so-quiet endgame, Geller – Aleksandar Matanovic, Sukhumi 1966 203
                          53 The centre in motion, Geller – Aleksander Nikitin, Kislovodsk 1966 206
                          54 It’s a mistake to make the last mistake, Mikhail Tal – Geller, Kislovodsk 1966 208
                          55 Loss leads to profit, Leonid Stein – Geller, Kislovodsk 1966 211
                          56 Refutation refuted, Leonid Stein – Geller, Moscow 1966 214
                          57 Queens as gifts, Yuri Nikolaevsky – Geller, Tbilisi 1966/67 217
                          58 A ledge above the precipice, Robert Fischer – Geller, Monte Carlo 1967 222
                          59 A bird in the hand? Or two in the bush? Florin Gheorghiu – Geller, Moscow 1967 228
                          60 Rook in a trap, Geller – Boris Spassky, Moscow 1967 231
                          61 A life lasting one evening, Geller – Lajos Portisch, Moscow 1967 235
                          62 Under the analytic microscope, Robert Fischer – Geller, Skopje 1967 237
                          63 The bluebird of the advantage, Boris Spassky – Geller, Sukhumi (4) 1968 244
                          64 Ancient theory, Geller – Leonid Shamkovich, Riga 1968 251
                          65 Running to the endgame, Geller – Vlastimil Hort, Skopje 1968 254
                          66 All à la Munchausen, Jan Adamski – Geller, Lugano 1968 257
                          67 Help yourself to the pawn, please! Geller – Zurab Mikadze, Gori 1968 260
                          68 One move good, two moves worse... Viktor Kupreichik – Geller, Moscow 1969 263
                          69 With respect and gratitude, Mikhail Botvinnik – Geller, Belgrade 1969 266
                          70 Weakness at the strong point, Samuel Zhukhovitsky – Geller, Moscow 1970 269
                          71 The king pays the price, Geller – Andrzej Filipowicz, Budapest 1970 273
                          72 Hobbled steed, Geller – Henrique Mecking, Palma de Mallorca 1970 275
                          73 Zugzwang due to negligence, W. Uhlmann – Geller, Palma de Mallorca 1970 278
                          74 Adjournment as revenge, Robert Hübner – Geller, Palma de Mallorca 1970 282
                          75 An opening and an endgame too... Geller – V. Smyslov, Palma de Mallorca 1970 287
                          76 The queen lies in ambush, Geller – Samuel Reshevsky, Palma de Mallorca 1970 292
                          77 A pin worth more than a rook, Geller – Dragoljub Velimirovic, Havana 1971 296
                          78 Your opponent too must think, Geller – Viktor Korchnoi, Moscow (8) 1971 302
                          79 An unfathomed design, Geller – Albert Kapengut, Leningrad 1971 308
                          80 All-powerful pawn, Geller – Borislav Ivkov, Hilversum 1973 310
                          81 Mines always explode, Jan Timman – Geller, Hilversum 1973 313
                          82 A reserve path to the goal, Geller – David Bronstein, Petropolis 1973 316
                          83 Victory through simplification, Geller – Paul Keres, Petropolis 1973 321
                          84 Lapsed vigilance, Peter Biyiasas – Geller, Petropolis 1973 324
                          85 A familiar “copy”, Henrique Mecking – Geller, Petropolis 1973 328
                          86 Trying to play f2-f4! Geller – Werner Hug, Petropolis 1973 332
                          87 f2-f4 after all! Geller – Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Petropolis 1973 335
                          88 The bishop on c6 is cramped... Geller – Lev Polugaevsky, Portoroz 1973 339
                          89 “Torture” lasting a quarter of a century, Geller – Paul Keres, Moscow 1973 342
                          90 Is fashion always an individual thing? Vasily Smyslov – Geller, Moscow 1973 346
                          91 The idea remains “offstage”, Geller – Boris Spassky, Moscow 1974 349
                          92 The fiendish power of the dragon, Vasily Smyslov – Geller, Moscow 1974 353
                          93 Improvisation on a familiar theme, Geller – Boris Spassky, Moscow 1975 356
                          94 March of the white king, Geller – Mikhail Tal, Moscow 1975 360
                          95 Knights attacking the king, Geller – Anatoly Karpov, Moscow 1976 364
                          96 Exceptions to rules, Geller – Mikhail Tal, Moscow 1976 368
                          97 A novel plan, Geller – Nino Kirov, Moscow 1977 372
                          98 Not all draws are alike, Mikhail Tal – Geller, Leningrad 1977 375
                          99 Experience versus youth, Geller – Garry Kasparov, Tbilisi 1978 377
                          100 A full-blooded fight, Mikhail Tal – Geller, Tbilisi 1978 379
                          101 A misplaced king, Geller – Konstantin Lerner, Minsk 1979 383
                          102 Attacking the Sicilian, Geller – Yuri Anikaev, Minsk 1979 385
                          103 Soviet Champion! Alexander Beliavsky – Geller, Minsk 1979 387
                          104 A Sveshnikov surprise, Shimon Kagan – Geller, Skara 1980 390
                          105 The centre cannot hold... Nino Kirov – Geller, Skara 1980 392
                          106 An American adventure, Geller – Oscar Panno, Lone Pine 1980 394
                          107 One slip is enough, Geller – Bozidar Ivanovic, Lone Pine 1980 397
                          108 A theoretical battle, Geller – Roman Hernandez, Las Palmas 1980 399
                          109 Marshall’s formidable weapon, Lev Psakhis – Geller, Sochi 1982 401
                          110 A routine move? Geller – Semen Dvoirys, Sochi 1982 405
                          111 Fighting the Closed Sicilian, Oleg Romanishin – Geller, Sochi 1983 407
                          112 Pin and win, Geller – Josef Pribyl, Sochi 1984 410
                          113 Fighting my own idea, Geller – Peter Lukacs, Sochi 1984 412
                          114 Memory trouble, Geller – Uwe Boensch, Sochi 1984 414
                          115 The power of the bishops, Geller – Arshak Petrosian, Riga 1985 417
                          116 Following my son... Rob Witt – Geller, Baden-Baden 1985 419
                          117 A decisive game, Geller – Miguel Quinteros, Baden-Baden 1985 420
                          118 Play the position, not the woman, Geller – Susan Polgar, Baden-Baden 1985 422
                          119 No retreats... Geller – Andronico Yap, Moscow 1986 424
                          120 Endgame tricks, Geller – Mikhail Tal, Sochi 1986 426
                          121 Attacking the French, Geller – Anatoly Vaisser, New Delhi 1987 429
                          122 A vicious sacrifice, Geller – Alexey Dreev, New York 1990 431

                          (to be continued)


                          • #28
                            Upcoming Chess Books

                            August 9, 2019

                            The Nemesis – Geller’s Greatest Games (continued)

                            Prizewinning Games 433

                            123 Energy encouraged, Alexander Kotov – Geller, Moscow 1949 434
                            124 Five swift strides, Geller – Alexey Sokolsky, Moscow 1950 437
                            125 On the altar of the attack, Erno Gereben – Geller, Sicilian Defence 440
                            126 Clarity is not always needed, Herman Pilnik – Geller, Gothenburg 1955 443
                            127 The price of one move, Geller – Boris Spassky, Riga 1958 446
                            128 One move further, Geller – Vasily Smyslov, Moscow 1961 450
                            129 Dynamics versus statics, Geller – Milko Bobotsov, Moscow 1968 453
                            130 A rook in the enemy’s rear, Geller – Vladimir Antoshin, Moscow 1970 456
                            131 Duel with a sequel, Geller – Svetozar Gligoric, Belgrade (1) 1970 459

                            Resumption on the Morrow... 464

                            132 Hopelessly lost? Samuel Reshevsky – Geller, Zurich 1953 465
                            133 Stepping around the trap, Geller – Vladimir Simagin, Moscow 1961 467
                            134 A sleepless night, William Lombardy – Geller, Siegen 1970 469
                            135 Superfluous rooks, Geller – Heinz Liebert, Kapfenberg 1970 471

                            Closing Words 472 Index of Opponents (Geller playing White) 473 Index of Opponents (Geller playing Black) 475 Openings Index 477 Geller’s Record against World Champions 477 Geller’s Main Tournament and Match Results 478


                            I assume that the chapter entitled “Resumption on the Morrow” has games that were adjourned, analyzed all night and resumed the next day!


                            • #29
                              Upcoming Chess Books

                              August 16, 2019

                              Coaching Kasparov

                              Elk and Ruby Publishing have a couple of dozen books now that are by Russian and Ukrainian authors. They are good value for the money and address topics which are very difficult to get information on in the West. For example:

                              Alekhine’s Odessa Secrets, Checkmate! The Love Story of Mikhail Tal and Sally Landau, The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, The Chelyabinsk Meteorite: Selected Games of Igor Kurnosov, Team Tal: An Inside Story, Smyslov on the Couch and Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi.

                              Published yesterday:

                              Coaching Kasparov, Year by Year and Move by Move, Volume I: The Whizz-Kid (1973-1981)

                              Author: Alexander Nikitin

                              Paperback: 199 pages
                              Publisher: Elk and Ruby Publishing
                              ISBN-10: 5604176958
                              ISBN-13: 978-5604176955

                              Publisher's Blurb

                              In Coaching Kasparov, Year by Year and Move by Move Garry Kasparov’s long-term coach, second and mentor Alexander Nikitin tells the story of how he trained Kasparov from a brilliant but raw junior into becoming and then remaining the world champion. Volume I, the present work, covers the period 1973-1981, until Kasparov reached the age of 18.

                              The author goes to great lengths to describe his educational approach during the early period to raise Kasparov’s theoretical knowledge and practical performance, covering both play and psychological training.

                              In Nikitin’s blow-by-blow tournament accounts he describes how he handled various unexpected situations to get the best out of Kasparov with detailed recipes. His numerous insights will be of great interest to today’s chess coaches who wish to take a comprehensive approach to improving their pupils’ performances.

                              The present volume contains 46 games fully annotated by Nikitin, including all 14 games of a blitz match played between the 15-year old Kasparov and ex-world champion Mikhail Tal on 26 December 1978 in Tbilisi that have never before been published and which are provided specially for the 2019 edition of this book.

                              Most of the other games are well known, but Nikitin explains many of Kasparov’s decisions in those games from the point of view of the future world champion’s coach, providing the context of his young pupil's thought process and mistakes and tracing his progress. He also uses these games to illustrate and expand upon his coaching advice. This makes his commentary quite unique and instructive, of formidable practical use to budding players, coaches and parents.


                              • #30
                                Upcoming Chess Books

                                August 22, 2019

                                The Psychology of Chess

                                There is a large number of books which deal with the psychology of chess. This list gives some of them:

                                Boris Gelfand – Dynamic Decision Making in Chess
                                Joel Benjamin – How a Grandmaster Finds His Moves
                                Dennis Holding – The Psychology of Chess Skill
                                Amatzia Avni – Practical Chess Psychology
                                William Hartston – The Psychology of Chess
                                Valeri Beim – The Enigma of Chess Intuition
                                Pal Benko – Winning with Chess Psychology
                                Viacheslav Eingorn – Decision-making at the Chessboard
                                Paata Gaprindashvili – Imagination in Chess
                                Jacob Aagaard – Inside the Chess Mind
                                Igor Popov – Strong Chess Psychology
                                William Stewart – Chess Psychology: The will to win
                                Adriaan de Groot – Thought and Choice in Chess
                                Igor Smirnov – Champion Psychology
                                Boris Gulko – Lessons with a Grandmaster
                                Nikolai Krogius – Psychology in Chess
                                Angus Dunnington – Chess Psychology
                                Alexander Beliavsky – Secrets of Chess Intuition
                                Reuben Fine – The Psychology of the Chess Player
                                Savielly Tartakower – The Psychology of Great Chess Players

                                A new book on this subject has just been published:

                                The Psychology of Chess

                                Author: Fernand Gobet
                                Publisher: Routledge (2018)
                                Paperback, 140 pages

                                Author - Fernand Gobet is Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK. He is a chess International Master, and played numerous times for the Swiss national team.

                                Description - Do you need to be a genius to be good at chess? What does it take to become a Grandmaster? Can computer programmes beat human intuition in gameplay?

                                The Psychology of Chess is an insightful overview of the roles of intelligence, expertise, and human intuition in playing this complex and ancient game. The book explores the idea of ‘practice makes perfect’, alongside accounts of why men perform better than women in international rankings, and why chess has become synonymous with extreme intelligence as well as madness.
                                When artificial intelligence researchers are increasingly studying chess to develop machine learning, The Psychology of Chess shows us how much it has already taught us about the human mind.

                                Table of Contents


                                1 Opening
                                2 The eye of the master
                                3 Chunks!
                                4 The best move
                                5 Practice makes (almost) perfect
                                6 Men vs. women
                                7 Style and intuition
                                8 Errare humanum est
                                9 Psychological warfare and training techniques
                                10 Playing the opponent
                                11 Theoretical novelties
                                12 Increasing the psychological pressure
                                13 Outright cheating
                                14 How to progress – From beginner to candidate master
                                15 How to progress – From candidate master to GM
                                16 Suggested readings
                                17 The magic bullet?
                                18 Costs of playing chess
                                19 Endgame

                                Review by David Robertson in the ECForum:


                                It's short (114pp); intelligent; accessible to the general reader; covers the bases; and is appropriately measured in its treatment of evidence. There's a short but useful reading list-cum-bibliography at the end. Shortcomings? It's not meant to be an academic monograph, but all the same, this reader would have welcomed some footnote references to further reading. Also, brevity is not always a virtue: several times Gobet wins my attention, but the narrative tails off where an expansion would have been helpful. OK, I'm looking for a different kind of book, maybe Gobet's own on expertise

                                Verdict? Recommended. The early chapters will be familiar to those of us old enough and sufficiently well-read to recall De Groot's work from the 1970s & 1980s. Equally, experienced players will have read, or know of, the classical works in the field by Euwe, Fine, Krogius, and Kotov. Hence, the later chapters held more interest for me where Gobet addresses ongoing contemporary debates, though not entirely adequately (in this type of book). He turns an academic's cold eye on the evidence for chess as a 'magic bullet'. Claims for the beneficial impact of chess on dementia, or on school performance, are exposed as hyperbole and groundless self-serving by chess enthusiasts. Where evidence exists (usually, it doesn't), it is often weak/incomplete, or anecdotal, or fails to meet rudimentary scientific standards. On gender differences, what's known is cited, but it's not much - jury remains out for now. The material on decision-making, expertise and errors caught the attention of this reader, but disappointed too. So much is not yet understood. And what we think we know is poorly understood.

                                This latter stuff is where I might now go for further reading. Chess in itself isn't that important. But if it can be treated as a proxy for generalised cognitive information-processing, decision-making and perception, then it becomes a useful test-bed for wider exploration. Whether psychologists like Gobet will make conclusive progress in this field, I have my doubts. I suspect we will learn far more from developments in neuroscience. Alas, we may need to wait decades yet.
                                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 22nd August, 2019, 01:42 PM.