Archive for Reviews

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Monday, October 26, 2009 19:32
As soon as I finished the first paragraph of the introduction to Jesus de la Villa's new book Dismantling the Sicilian, published by New in Chess - one of the most amazing first paragraphs I've ever read in a chess book - I thought: this book is either total crap, or it is absolutely brilliant. Let's see what's so amazing about this introduction...
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009 23:08
The more you understand of chess, the harder it is to understand how difficult it really is. At least, this is my personal experience when explaining beginners the absolute basics of chess. Suddenly, a capture is not obvious anymore; a developing move is not made automatically, and mate in one is not spotted immediately. So, in my view, we have to...
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Sunday, September 06, 2009 2:53
As a fairly decent club player, I have always been impressed with club members, whether higher or lower rated than me, who were able to quickly evaluate basic endgames as 'elementary' draws or wins. I must admit I have always had difficulties remembering and truly understanding even the most basic endgames. That's why I was happy to read two...
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009 16:47
It's easy to become spoiled. In my review of Kasparov's book on his first two matches against Karpov (1984-1985), I expressed the hope that his next books would be as great as the first. But now that Kasparov has written about his 1986-1987 matches, I find myself so used to the level of his books that it seems quite tedious to praise his new book...
Thursday, August 06, 2009 20:34
Opening books and even more opening books: does it ever stop? Not likely, looking at the pile of opening books that have come out recently. In this review, I will look at a small selection of the sample from four different major publishers. But first I'd like to pose a question I have wondered about for as long as I can remember. Suppose you...
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Thursday, July 23, 2009 23:15
The quarterly Matten provides a mixture of interviews, stories and anecdotes with a literary flavour, interweaved with drawings, cartoons and photos. Recently the 6th issue came out, and as a rare exception we bring a review in the Dutch language. Sinds de opheffing van Schaaknieuws en de Engelstalige successen van Nederlandse schaakschrijvers...
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Monday, July 13, 2009 19:46
Prejudice is the root of all evil. It took me over five years before I finally picked up Mark Haddon's prize-winning novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, just because I thought the title was terribly pretentious. Once I had read one paragraph, I couldn't stop until I had finished it a few hours later. Chess books, too, are...
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Sunday, July 05, 2009 18:30
In my previous review, I praised Bobby Fischer's compact use of language. This time, I want to show that good chess writing doesn't have to be compact - the book I'm reviewing today is everything but compact, but it's also very good. IM Herman Grooten, a well-known Dutch chess trainer and author of chess books, has finally collected his training...
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 21:50
Peter told me last week he had been to a concert called The Beatles vs. The Stones. Tastes differ, but still ... as a Beatles fan I can't help feeling tempted to start a discussion with Stones fans sometimes, just for fun. Do they really think Sticky Fingers is better than Sgt. Pepper? I guess making comparisons like these is only human. In this...
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Sunday, June 14, 2009 22:11
Ivan Sokolov's Winning Chess Middlegames - an Essential Guide to Pawn Structures has already received so much positive feedback from reviewers that it seems difficult to say something different about the book. I had very high expectations of this recent New in Chess top selling book, but after such extraordinary praise, I must admit I was slightly...

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