Archive for Reviews

Friday, December 03, 2010 21:20
How can you tell an interesting chess book from an uninteresting one? There are many ways, but I'd say the easiest way is to open the book at a random page and look for signs of enthusiasm and passion in the author's words. Four new publications by New in Chess share this aspect in more ways than one. New in Chess has an excellent track record...
Monday, November 08, 2010 23:47
The great Dutch writer Harry Mulisch, who died last week at the age of 83, was known among chess players not only for his novels and essays, but also for his deep friendship with grandmaster J.H. Donner, which he described in great detail in his novel The Discovery of Heaven. Donner, too, was a gifted writer, who like no other chess player could...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 17:14
In the past few weeks, I've received truckloads of great new chess books, but I haven't been able to give them the attention they deserve because I was absolutely thrilled by Yasser Seirawan's new book Chess Duels. I don't like to exaggerate, but this may well be the most fascinating chess book I've ever read. Superficially, Chess Duels: My Games...
Sunday, October 17, 2010 17:49
Ah, they were good back then, weren't they? Reading Kasparov on Modern Chess: Kasparov vs. Karpov 1988-2009 during the final days of the FIDE Presidential campaign made me want to say to the two K's: cheer up guys, who cares about politics when you've got such a track record in chess? The fourth volume of the monumental Everyman Chess series...
Monday, September 27, 2010 17:32
Chess politics is back - in just three days, after a long and memorable election race, we'll finally know if Anatoly Karpov will be the next FIDE President. In truth, politics has always played an important role in the chess world, especially in Russia and the former Soviet Union. The KGB Plays Chess by Boris Gulko, Viktor Korchnoi and others,...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 17:04
Would GM Lubomir Ftacnik like to play an opposite-bishop ending with a pawn down against me straight from the opening? I was left with this question after enjoying his latest work on the Sicilian Defence, published in the Grandmaster Repertoire series. It's no surprise Ftacnik, who is a life-time expert on the Sicilian Najdorf, was selected for...
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 5:46
I don't like games (except chess) and I hate puzzles. I'm one of those people who doesn't like to solve something others have solved before, let alone trying this in the presence of someone who already knows the answer. I'm always afraid I won't be able to find the solution and will have to conclude I'm a horrible chess player (or a quiz...
Thursday, August 19, 2010 18:03
Almost as soon as I opened Nunn's Chess Endings Volume 1, I realized the book was probably an 'instant classic', ignoring J.M. Coetzee's definition of a classic as 'that which survives'. My intuition proved to be correct in that I think this really is a fantastic book. The only problem is: who plays endgames anymore these days? Not me, to be...
Monday, July 19, 2010 22:00
Sometimes the big new titles from the big publishers get all the attention. It's true these are often great buys, but there's also the risk of overlooking little gems by smaller publishers. Or, as the great Italian philosopher Calimero used to say, "Life's so unfair when you're small". Even though it's only 130 pages and looks decidedly modest in...
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Monday, July 12, 2010 21:46
After so much (Dutch) football subjectivity over the past weeks (yeah yeah, Spain won deservedly), it's a delight to read something objective again: Lars Schandorff has written an extremely solid and honest book on the Caro-Kann in the Grandmaster Repertoire series from Quality Chess. I've never really liked the Caro-Kann. As White, I find it an...

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