The high cost of old chess books

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  • The high cost of old chess books

    The high cost of old chess books

    January 6, 2019

    A couple of weeks ago during a tournament broadcast, one of the commentators (Peter Leko or Evgeny Miroshnichenko) was talking about endgames and said that some time ago Alexander Baburin had written about the basic pawn structures you must learn to win endgames.

    Today I looked at my collection catalogue and found that I did not have a copy of:

    Winning Pawn Structures
    Alexander Baburin
    Batsford 2003

    Pawns are the soul of chess--and one of the aspects of the game that chess computers just don't handle well. This modern guide to pawn structures, written by an experienced grandmaster, analyzes a variety of typical formations, and explains the approaches, patterns, and techniques used by professionals in all phases of the game. The know-how gained from the sample matches presented will give any player a practical advantage on the board.

    ___________

    I went to amazon.ca expecting to pay $25 to $30 and was astounded to see that it was selling for CDN$ 1091.27

    Abebooks.com, always good for a chess book or two had these prices:

    $293.45 US + shipping
    $475.50 US + shipping
    $695.26 US + shipping
    $686.00 US + shipping
    $802.01 US + shipping
    $957.01 US + shipping
    $1031.49 US + shipping

    So, if you have a copy, hold on to it like grim death. It is worth a fortune.

    I found .pdf copies on the Internet, but really there is no greater feeling than holding a thousand-dollar chess book in your hand. Of course, I wouldn’t tell your significant other about it – they may not understand.

  • #2
    There's a lot of talk about this in the Facebook group "Chess Book Collectors".

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
      The high cost of old chess books

      A couple of weeks ago during a tournament broadcast, one of the commentators (Peter Leko or Evgeny Miroshnichenko) was talking about endgames and said that some time ago Alexander Baburin had written about the basic pawn structures you must learn to win endgames.

      ...

      Pawns are the soul of chess--and one of the aspects of the game that chess computers just don't handle well. This modern guide to pawn structures, written by an experienced grandmaster, analyzes a variety of typical formations, and explains the approaches, patterns, and techniques used by professionals in all phases of the game. The know-how gained from the sample matches presented will give any player a practical advantage on the board.
      At best these comments and description are misleading. The book deals exclusively with the IQP and related structures in both the endgame and middlegame. It is an excellent book, but Baburin experienced difficulty with his publisher(s) and recommended that the public not buy his work - scroll down on http://www.scrkuppenheim.de/coffee/chess-00/c26.htm

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      • #4
        Hey, I actually have this book, it's pretty good. It's one of the books I've actually read cover to cover when i was travelling in England...If anyone wants it, I'll charge a lot less than $1000!
        Feel free to make an offer!

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        • #5
          The high cost of old chess books

          January 6, 2019

          Another book whose price has gone sky-high is:

          Iossif Dorfman
          The Method in Chess
          Sari Game Mind 2001

          USD 1014 + shipping


          Comments on-line:
          • This is one of the best chess books ever written. This is not the "same old, same old" stuff regurgitated in most of the recent chess tomes. Contrary to Silman's trashing of the book, this book is a game changer. Dorfman was the trainer for both Kasparov and Bacrot. He formulated the book using the insights gained from being a chess instructor and answering questions from his students. The book's examples insightfully describe how to Statically evaluate a position and, if your results are negative, what to do about it. He has also updated his theory in a second book, The Critical Moment. It's a shame that both of these books aren't currently available and affordable.
          • I kind of like Dorfman's book. He talks about how to identify critical moments, so that you can slow down, and weigh your decisions more carefully. It doesn't explain everything, but I think the question he is asking about how to know when to spend more time on a position is an important one
          • I’m not familiar with this work but I understand it generated a great deal of controversy. Some will say it is utter trash while others sing its praises. One thing is for certain it is not a cheap book when purchased used. Anyone familiar with this work and what are your opinions regarding its contents? What is the Method consisting of?
          • If the book wasn’t enough the author has a rather interesting past. As Kasparov’s second during the KK matches he was accused of leaking information. There was also wild information that he was the individual providing information to Fischer that would verify Fischer’s claim that the KK matches were rigged….interesting stuff. What ever became of Dorfman? Were any of the above-mentioned rumors confirmed?

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          • #6
            I think a lot of the times that amazon shows such wild pricing it is just nonsense to pump up interest in the book. Perhaps it is just marketing fluff (likely that is a redundancy). I've noticed that almost inevitably used books allegedly available on Amazon are quite a lot more than new - especially when there are no new ones available. Grain of salt... a big grain of salt.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post
              I think a lot of the times that amazon shows such wild pricing it is just nonsense to pump up interest in the book.
              Long time ago I've read that it was a tactic (though not a chess one LOL) that someone would click accidentally "buy now", "one click buy", or whatever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
                The high cost of old chess books


                I found .pdf copies on the Internet, but really there is no greater feeling than holding a thousand-dollar chess book in your hand. Of course, I wouldn’t tell your significant other about it – they may not understand.
                I found a pdf version.
                Last edited by Andrei Botez; Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  The high cost of old chess books

                  January 7, 2019

                  Unfortunately, I paid a hefty price for the Dorfman book from a renowned collector a few years ago.

                  At that time, Paul Keres: The Road to the Top (Batsford – 1996) had a price that was rapidly rising. Since then, somehow, more copies have come on to the used book market from other publishers, and it is affordable again.
                  Last edited by Wayne Komer; Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 10:25 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Hmmm... I sold a copy of the Dorfman book for something like 25 dollars a few years ago after buying it for $15 used.

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                    • #11
                      I got Dorfman's the Method for free and i wouldnt part with it for normal money. His method works but he doesnt spell out the calculation of variations so its hard work. Im too lazy but what little I did showed me significant progress.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
                        I got Dorfman's the Method for free and i wouldnt part with it for normal money. His method works but he doesnt spell out the calculation of variations so its hard work. Im too lazy but what little I did showed me significant progress.
                        I still have a copy of Dorfman's "The Method". I bought the second copy intending to give away as a prize. While it was laying there a long-time chess friend came to the tournament and convinced me to sell it to him reluctantly though he did try to get it on the cheap. I didn't budge from my $20 or $25 price as I figured that I would eventually find a good home for it. My reasoning for selling it was that most of the kids that might have won it probably wouldn't have benefited as they were all beginners. The tournament was actually a YCC qualifier for CYCC.

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