Archive for Reviews

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Monday, May 25, 2009 22:14
Igor Stohl's Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces is written in the tradition of classic chess books such as Tarrasch's Dreihundert Schachpartien and Nimzowitsch's Die Praxis Meines Systems: serious game analysis put in a broader context of chess developments over time. The new enlarged edition, published by Gambit, contains over 100 pages of...
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009 0:03
I wouldn't have expected a book on a few World Championship matches of more than 50 years ago to reach the no. 1 spot in the New in Chess bestseller's list, but that's what happened last month. Then I discovered it contains a lot more than that. Botvinnik-Smyslov, Three World Chess Championship Matches, is a compilation of Mikhail Botvinnik's...
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009 14:33
It doesn't happen often that a chess author makes me laugh, but Ilya Odessky is one of them. But that's not all. Many reviews of his new book Play 1.b3!, published by New in Chess, are also extremely funny. The point is, most reviewers assume Odessky wrote an opening book, which only reveals they haven't even read the book. This book is not about...
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Sunday, April 26, 2009 17:04
It usually takes a while before beginning chess players realize there are also great chess openings for Black. For me, this moment came when I discovered the Gr?ºnfeld Defence. Here, finally, was a chess opening in which it was possible to create some of the rich dynamics usually reserved for playing with White. I remember xeroxing whole books on...
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Saturday, February 28, 2009 20:54
Every chess player grows up learning combinations that work. As a kid, you learn to 'spot the combo' quickly and you're told that you will profit from this knowledge ever after. There's hundreds of books that are written according to this method. But in real life, sadly, combinations often do not work at all. Where are the books written about...
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Saturday, February 14, 2009 23:00
Sometimes the best books get the worst treatment. It took more than 25 years before an edition of Mikhail Bulgakov's great novel The Master and Margarita was first published. But this is nothing compared to the 52(!) years it took before Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky was translated into English. It is now published in a...
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Sunday, February 08, 2009 1:00
John Watson is one of the best chess authors around. Currently, he's writing a series of high-quality opening books, focussing (as always) on understanding and framing the opening in its proper context. I will take a look at the latest volume in his 'Mastering the Chess Openings' series, published by Gambit Books, which is about the English...
Friday, January 09, 2009 16:45
Contrary to what many people will tell you, the "chess match of the 20th century" was not Fischer-Spassky, Reykjavik 1972. It was Karpov-Kasparov, Moscow 1984. No wait, make that Karpov-Kasparov, Moscow 1984 and 1985. Of course, Fischer's brilliancy and eccentricity, as well as the political situation between America and the Soviet Union made the...
Monday, December 22, 2008 18:25
It's clear that the New in Chess publishers are experimenting. In the past, they have mostly published high-quality opening books for the serious chess student, written by famous grandmasters such as Morozevich and Bologan. With The Black Lion, written by Dutch amateur club players Jerry van Rekom and Leo Jansen, they're obviously sticking out...
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Monday, December 08, 2008 17:04
There are many excellent chess books on the market. For the serious chess student, it's not always easy to choose between them. Sometimes, it's worth picking up a book by an author you don't know yet. You may be pleasantly surprised. I didn't know that Danish GM Lars Bo Hansen was also an author of chess books. So when I received his most recent...

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