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Hitting the Books

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Even in today's software-centric chess world, players are obsessed with books. Publishers must have some reason for cranking out tome after mediocre tome, right? To do my part to separate the wheat from the chaff, this week I'm creating a chess product category here. I'll post about a book or program that caught my attention for being particularly good or horrible and we'll let the court of public opinion sit in judgment. Please also suggest items you have a strong opinion about or that you'd like to hear about.

I do work for ChessBase, London Chess Centre, and ChessCafe.com, so I think my conflicts of interest cancel out.

[Warning to any unscrupulous publisher who would try to buy my opinion with cash and free stuff: Dollars only please.]



A while back you used to have a chess books ListMania list on Amazon. It included:

1.The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess
by Patrick Wolff, Christopher Chabris
Mig’s comments:
Well-written primer that is fun and thorough. Better than Dummies book.

2.Logical Chess: Move By Move: Every Move Explained New Algebraic Edition
by Irving Chernev (Author) (Paperback - July 1999)
Mig’s comments:
An all-time great for beginner-hobbyist players.

3.One Thousand and One Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations
by Fred Reinfeld (Paperback - June 1969)
Mig’s comments:
Chess is 99% tactics and this book -- all diagrams no text -- is pure tactics. Forget instructional babble, this book will improve your chess fast.

4.The Oxford Companion to Chess
by David Hooper, et al
Mig’s comments:
The definitive chess reference book, period. Nothing comes close to its accuracy and completeness.

5.Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953
by David Bronstein, et al (Paperback - June 1979)
Mig’s comments:
A wonderfully written and very educational tournament book for serious hobbiests and club players. His "Sorcerer's Apprentice" game collection is also great.

6.Fire on Board: Shirov's Best Games
by Alexei Shirov, Mark Taimanov (Paperback - June 1996)
Mig’s comments:
Probably the best game collection to come out in years. Advanced stuff, but top quality from a top star.

7.How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess-Mastery Course
by Jeremy Silman (Paperback - April 1997)
Mig’s comments:
A modern classic for hobbyists who really want to improve their chess. Common-sense instruction from a great teacher.

8.Kings, Commoners and Knaves Further Chess Explorations
by Edward Winter (Paperback)
Mig’s comments:
This and Winter's other books are musts for those who enjoy chess history and research. Hundreds of anecdotes and games from the past.

9.Modern Chess Openings: MCO-14 (McKay Chess Library)
by Nick De Firmian, et al
Mig’s comments:
If you're a serious player and want a single-volume opening encyclopedia, make it this one.

10.Secrets of Grandmaster Chess (New American Batsford Chess Library)
by John Nunn (Paperback)
Mig’s comments:
Nunn is one of the best modern writers for advanced players and this is a great game collection.

11.The Road to Chess Improvement
by Alex Yermolinsky (Paperback)
Mig’s comments:
The Yermonator writes! A wonderfully honest and helpful book for serious hobbyists and club players.

12.Chess Fundamentals
by Jose Capablanca (Paperback - December 1994)
Mig’s comments:
This book from the great Cuban champion is timeless! Gives you what you need to move beyond "beat your friends" to club player.

13.My 60 Memorable Games
by Bobby Fischer
Mig’s comments:
What can you say? A wonderful book, even if the new publisher butchered parts of it. Bobby's annotations were as lucid as his play.

14.Garry Kasparaov's Chess Puzzle Book
by Garry Kasparov, Ken Neat (Translator) (Paperback - April 1995)
Mig’s comments:
A fun and helpful book by my boss and world number one, Garry Kasparov. The new "Kasparov Against the World" isn't on Amazon yet (you can get it at KasparovChess.com) and is fantastic.

15.Winning Chess Endings (Winning Chess)
by Yasser Seirawan
Mig’s comments:
A very good endgame instructional book. For more depth and reference, get Batsford Chess Endings.

Do you still stand by this list? Any additions, deletions, changes?

If you are going to include Reinfeld's "One Thousand and One Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations" (and I agree that it is a must for beginners), then you have to add his companion volume "1001 Brilliant ways to checkmate".

I believe that beginners should study this first as it is a very clearly defined goal: Checkmate. This is especially true of the first chapter, "Queen Sacrifices", where you know you want not only checkmate, but you will be scarificing the queen too.

I worship "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy" by Watson. I don't kid myself that I can actually understand or learn anything from it but it is fantastic writing and always interesting. Next to Zurich 53 it is the best book ever.

What are your general thoughts on "The Middlegame in Chess" by Rueben Fine?

Good find, Tracy! Wow, hadn't thought of that list in a long while. I'd definitely stand by it, although note that this was only for general interest books in print and available at Amazon at the time. I wouldn't take any of the books off the list unless I could only give that many.

For a single-volume endgame reference I'd probably replace the Batsford with Muller and Lamprecht's "Fundamental Chess Endings". I don't think the Oxford Companion or Fischer's book are easily available anymore, tragic in both cases.

I'd definitely add the Kasparov "Predecessors" books, the Watson strategy books, and a few others I'm sure we'll get into here.

What do people think of the Dvoretsky books? I am enjoying the "D's Endgame Manual" right now (and need a few more months with it), but I see there seems to be another series, "school of chess excellence" with volumes on strategy, tactics, &c.

great idea mig. i've been hemming and hawing about picking up some instructional cd's, but never knew which ones were worth the shekels. i know steve lopez from chessbase reviews cd's, but i'd love to read your recommendations.

I'd like to recommend "Essential Chess Endings" by James Howell. For players up to about 2000 Elo it's the only endgame book they'll ever need.

Dvortesky's books are very high quality material, but too advanced for what I had in mind for my old Amazon list. The problem now is that there are various series. It used to be that everyone know what you meant by "the Dvoretsky books." But there are some reissues and some new ones. Here's is Silman on Dvoretsky:


Looking forward to seeing your opinions, Mig. There are many things that irk me about chess books these days. Here is a partial list:

(1) The delay British publishers take in getting their books to US retailers (I started a thread about this in the "Books" message board.)

(2) Some horrible translations

(3) Poor grammar. For example, BOBBY FISCHER: WANDERING KING, has tons of punctuation errors. (I'm just pointing this book out because it's the latest one I looked at, at B&N.) I don't know if this is poor editing, poor translating, or what, but this type of lazy publishing contributes to the mediocrity of chess books these days. One reviewer (I don't remember whom), pointed out that "GARRY KASPAROV: ON MY GREAT PREDECESSORS" is incorrect grammar because the 'MY' should really be a 'HIS'. "MY" refers to somebody other than GK.

(4) Relating to (1). Having to purchase many chess books "blind", without seeing them first, relying on the judgement of reviewers.

(5) Lack of good, interesting, instructive content.

Saying all this though, there are enough quality books being published that I still find myself purchasing way more than I should :) . I think that the really quality authors go out of their way to make sure that their finished product provides value to their readers. There have been many great chess books published recently.

Howard, just being pedantic here.

Surely the 'My' in "On My Great Predecessors" does refer to Garry, as he has written the Title, and indeed the book. :)

Any opinions on "The Seven Deadly Chess Sins" by Jonathan Rowson? I think I read somewhere that an American woman player was reading it and enjoying it - was it Jennifer Shahade? Tho none of the allusion and reference was beyond me I found the whole book to be so murky that it was like someone grabbing your hand in the bright sunlight and dragging you down a dark corridor - weirdly unpleasant!

My goodness, what about tournament books? Zurich 1953 and Sousse 1967 are both wonderful.

Actually, I used to have this great book called "500 Master Games" too, but I don't think that's around anymore.

Poor spelling in chess books (or any book) irks me. My thoughts are--perhaps unfairly--that due to word processors there is no excuse for misspelled words. If the author(s) are making these types of sloppy mistakes in spelling where everyone can see them, what kind of sloppy mistakes are they making in their analyses or in their ideas that are harder to see? Bad spelling comes across as very unprofessional and careless.

Strange thing (or maybe not so strange considering education standards now) is that some of these people writing these books have English as their first language, live in North America and have the books published in North America.

I quit reading one of these books even though it gets good reviews for the material. Why should I read it when I can find similar information in other books from authors and editors who seem to take more pride in their work?

If you are going to write a book, please have the courtesy to respect your [literate? :-)] readers and show that you take pride in your work by including good spelling along with your good ideas. Otherwise, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

A short categorized list of some of my favorite chess books:

Secrets of Grandmaster Play, by Nunn and Griffiths (I prefer this earlier edition to "Secrets of Grandmaster Chess" by Nunn; same games, but the annotations in the version with Griffiths are more geared toward instruction and less clotted with variations)

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal (witty and wonderful faux "interview" interspersed with spectacular sacrificial games)

Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, vols. 3 & 4 (the first couple of volumes were disappointing -- too much warmed-over fact and fable from Plisetsky -- but with Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer and their contemporaries, Garry has really hit his stride. By the way, the grammatical problem with the title is that it *lacks* a colon. "Garry Kasparov: On My Great Predecessors" would parse just fine, as would "Garry Kasparov on his Great Predecessors" --- though the latter would be awkward, considering he's the author. I'd've dropped the word "on" entirely: Garry Kasparov, My Great Predecessors. Also, I love the hint of self-praise in the title: of course they're "great." They're MY predecessors!)

John Watson, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy and Chess Strategy in Action (these are not NOT repeat *NOT* instructional books; they are detailed and perceptive accounts of how the game has changed at the top level in modern times, i.e. since around 1935)

Vlastimil Jansa, Dynamics of Chess Strategy (an unsung gem; somewhat pretentiously written [i.e. lots of quotes from Seneca and Cicero!] but overall an idiosyncratic and demanding series of lessons in various typical opening set-ups [Grunfeld, Scheveningen, Ruy, etc.] modeled on Jansa's tutelage of top Czech junior David Navara. Check it out!)

Igor Stohl, Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces (great games of the 1990s, terrifically annotated)

I could go on, but I'll spare you any more... but I can't resist making one comment re: Rowson's Deadly Sins book. I thought some parts were wonderfully insightful (e.g. the notion of "playing for a result" as a barrier to success) while other parts were excruciatingly obscure or self-indulgent or apologetic ("This idea may go nowhere, but let's spend several pages on it anyway...") Still, it's thought-provoking and well worth a look, and besides, Jon's a nice fellow.

Jonas --

I think you are referring to "500 Master Games of Chess" by Tartakower and DuMont. It is still available (I recently saw a bunch of new copies at the local chess shop).


With all due respect, I'm not so sure adding a colon to "GARRY KASPAROV ON MY GREAT PREDECESORS" makes it correct punctuation. Putting the colon in would read like this: "GARRY KASPAROV: MY GREAT PREDECESORS". Words to the right of a colon are meant to specify or clarify what is to the left of the colon. By putting the colon in here we are saying that Kasparov IS a great predecessor. This is wrong. Kasparov is not a predecessor. Other problems with this: Kasparov is singular and predecessors is plural, and second, the book is about the people who came before him, not about him.

In my opinion, a better title would have just been, "MY GREAT PREDECESSORS" (by Garry Kasparov) or "GARRY KASPAROV ON HIS GREAT PREDECESSORS". (In the second case, Garry would be referring to himself in the title in the third person. This is a bit weird, but OK.)

John Watson seems to agree with you, however (but I think he is wrong, too). Here is an excerpt from his review of volume 1:

"I must say that the title itself is a bad omen. A more correct rendition would surely be Garry Kasparov on His Great Predecessors, or perhaps Garry Kasparov: My Great Predecessors. Not a good start, but obviously the contents of the book are the important thing." -- John Watson

I'm in the minority opinion here.


My personal favorite (right now) is:

"Understanding Chess Move by Move" by John Nunn

Even a perpetual club player, like me, can follow it without board & pieces (or computer) enough to get a lot out of it.


P.S. Howard, when are you coming back to the MCC?


Howard, Flaneur and Watson are correct: the colon does make all the difference in the world.

Howard, I take your point, but I think a colon would be widely understood as separating the author from the title. Can we agree on a comma? :)

Burt Hochburg, among others, complained about the grammatical train wreck that is the title "Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors." The problem isn't easily solved with punctuation. Perhaps you can really go overboard and make it "Garry Kasparov's My Great Predecessors." That would parallel the way films include the director's name. E.g.: "M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village." The problem is having the author's name in the title instead of just calling it "My Great Predecessors" and letting people add the author, which is what most people do anyway.

If you wanted to separate without anticipation (Howard's problem with the colon) it wouldn't be a colon but a dash, or em-dash. (Alt+150 for you people from primitive nations like the US that produce keyboards without them.) So it would be "Garry Kasparov – My Great Predecessors." Now stop all this before I have to buy Fowler's and "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" for everyone.

Colon, dash, comma, it doesn't matter. If the author is Garry Kasparov and the title is simply "My Great Predecessors," then that would be that. It would be up to booksellers, reviewers, and the like to figure out how and whether to link author and title punctuationally. (Is "punctuationally" a word. Nah, but who cares?)

I initially suspected that the word "on" (which is sort of grayed-out on the cover anyhow) was inserted to obliquely recognize Plisetsky's co-authorship. It's sort of in the same ballpark as "with" or "as told to," like "Vanna White, My Life As A Letter Turner, as told to Ron Susskind"...

Unfortunately, Mig's suggestion of "Garry Kasparov's My Great Predecessors" would create lots of semantic confusion, since the consecutive words "Kasparov's" and "my" are both possessives. To avoid the consecutive possessives problem, the reader would be tempted to parse the ending of "Kasparov's" as the contraction for "is," as in Mig's upcoming masterpiece, "Garry Kasparov's My Sugar Daddy."

Here is an attempt at my own current top-10 list of chess books. The criteria I used to rank these books are not entirely clear, but I have tried to choose only books that I consider well-written, unusually instructive and/or informative, and likely to stand the test of time. My list is as follows, in no particular order:

(1) "The Seven Deadly Chess Sins" by Jonathan Rowson: I've read the other comments in this thread, and I simply disagree with them. Okay, so Rowson does not always hit the nail on the head, and it is not always simple to follow what he is saying. Rowson is dealing with original ideas on difficult and little-explored topics, so you will not always agree with him and you have to put in some mental effort to get the most out of his discussions. But there are more original and interesting ideas about chess thinking in this book that all the other books on the psychology of the chess combined. IMO, a fantastic book. (For some favorable reviews of this book by John Watson and Jeremy Silman, go to http://www.jeremysilman.com/book_reviews_jw/jw_seven_deadly_chess_sins.html , or
http://www.jeremysilman.com/book_reviews_js/js_seven_deadly_chess_sins.html .)

(2) "The Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953" by David Bronstein: The best tournament book every written, and one of the most interesting chess books ever written. Full of wonderful anecdotes and annotations from a top-flight player, centering around games from a top-flight tournament. A book which never fails to remind me of what I like about chess.

(3) "The Tactics of End-Games" by Jeno Ban: The English translation of this book, published by Dover in 1997, has the worst-looking chess diagrams of any chess book I have ever seen, and uses descriptive rather than algebraic notation. Notwithstanding these problems, I think it is still the best introduction to endgame tactics and endgame studies that I have read.

(4) "Botvinnik's Best Games, vols. 1-3" by Mikhail Botvinnik: IMO, the best collection of a single player's games ever written. (I realize many people would disagree with me on this one, and on my seletion #8 as well. It's very subjective, or course, but "My 60 Memorable Games" by Bobby Fischer would only be 5th or 6th on my list of best single-player game collections.) Botvinnik's objective and thorough annotations of his own games are still the gold standard. Also, Botvinnik was the most successful chess teacher of all time and his annotations are particularly instructive. A master class in chess.

(5) "Endgame Strategy" by Mikhail Shereshevsky: Not a book about fundamental endgames, but a book about how to approach play in more complicated endgames where planning and strategic thinking play a critical role. Many of the concepts from this book (which was largely based on Dvoretsky's training methods), such as "do not hurry," "schematic thinking" and the "principle of two weaknesses" have since become common currency. But this book is still, IMO, the most accessible way to learn their practical application.

(6)"Soviet Chess 1917-1991" by Andrew Soltis: A wonderful history of chess in the former USSR. Soltis' delightful sketches of the development of chess in the Soviet Union are accompanied by many fine games, lightly annotated, and this is a book which should be read with chess board and pieces by your side. The story of chess in the greatest chess nation, and clearly a labor of love by Soltis.

(7) "Secrets of Pawn Endings" by Karsten Muller & Frank Lamprecht, and "Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual" by Mark Dvoretsky: Okay, I know, these are two different books here. I wanted to include my "best fundamental endgame" book, but I was unable to choose between these two. "Secrets of Pawn Endings" is the best single book about endings (only pawn endings, of course) that I have read. It's written in a rather dry style, but it is beautifully organized, annotated and presented. Dvoretsky's "Endgame Manual" is the best general book for learning fundamental endings that I have read. (IMO, "Endgame Manual" is better than "Fundamental Chess Endings" as a practical learning tool, although the latter is also excellent). So I am just going to call it a tie and include them both.

(8) "Paul Keres: The Road to the Top" and "Paul Keres: The Quest for Perfection" by Paul Keres and John Nunn: Many years ago, not long after I first started playing tournament chess, I bought a single volume of Keres' Best Games, annotated by Keres himself. (I no longer have this book, but it was a thick paperback using descriptive notation, I believe published by ARCO, which contained all of the three original volumes of games that Keres had published.) Years after Keres' death, John Nunn edited/corrected/slightly expanded Keres' original work and converted the descriptive notation to algebraic, then reissued Keres' games collection in two volumes. The two volumes, collectively, constitute a marvelous collection of deeply annotated games by one of the strongest players of the 1930s-1950s. In my opinion, second only to "Botvinnik's Best Games" as a single player's games collection.

(9) "Imagination In Chess" by Paata Gaprindashvili: There have been many excellent puzzle books published over the last few years, including "The Chess Exam and Training Guide" by Igor Khmelnitksy (really a broadly diagnostic chess exam rather than simply a puzzle book), "Excelling at Combinational Play" by Joseph Aagaard, and "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book." Objectively, maybe Khmelnitsky's book is the most orignal and useful of all of the recent books. But my personal favorite is this book by Paata Gaprindashvili, which contains 756 puzzles grouped in rather unusual ways (e.g., the titles of the different puzzle sections include "Progressive Thinking," "Reciprocal Thinking-Logic," "Imagination," etc.). The short introductions to the chapters/sections are thought-provoking, the selection of puzzles is excellent, and the solutions are instructively annotated with some light text as well as moves. (I should note that the puzzles tend to be quite difficult, and this book seems primarily intended for players over 2200 ELO.)

(10) "Endgame Challenge" by John Nunn: Whatever it is about chess tactics that is magical, the purest and most concentrated form of this magic is to be found in endgame studies. John Nunn, a lifelong fan of studies and winner of the solving World Championship, presents his selection of the 250 greatest endgame studies of all time. This book consists of a short introduction, 250 diagrams with the initial study positions (each captioned with "White to play and win," "White to play and draw," etc.), and approximately 200 pages of analysis of the solutions to the studies. In other words, this book contains little else besides the studies and their solutions. But most of the studies are reasonably life-like (i.e., they could have happened in a real game) and therefore instructive, the analysis of the solutions provided by Nunn is thorough and clearly presented, and the solutions to the studies contain many stunningly beautiful concepts and moves.

So that's my list. It's a little too long, and it seems to be somewhat biased toward recent publications. One thing that strikes me, looking back at my list, is how many great books I had to leave out to keep it down to a reasonable number. And I included no opening books , no middlegame treatises, and no books strictly for entertainment purposes.

Just a quick plug for a piece of truly fine, yet sadly unsung, database software: Chess Assistant 8.0.

I know that ChessBase and Fritz have become the unbiquitous, "Kleenex"-like generic names, and I have nothing ill or negative to say about these obviously top-notch products.

When it came time to buy, I compared the two leading chess database contenders and, factoring in power, ease-of-use and, most certainly, price, I picked Chess Assistant and have been absolutely delighted!

And, no I do not work for nor am I being compensated by Convekta, the publishers of Chess Assistant.

Thanks Geof. I agree about (2), (5) and (7) (yes, both). As for "The Seven Deadly Chess Sins" all I know is that the same author's "Understanding the Grünfeld" is excellent, although far from perfect.

I thought about this all the way home from work this afternoon, and yea, I'll concede to Flaneur and "d" that one could put the colon in there to fix things -- but I also have to agree with Mig that the title could have been a lot easier to swallow if Kasparov's name wasn't in it. How many authors put their name in the title?

I'll stop before they sic the pandas on me :)

Matt, the three-word answer to your question is: "probably next month".


There are so many good books it is hard to chose them. My chess "library" is small at just over 60 books but I consider most of them to be quite good. I will, however, pick two books that changed the way I play chess and thus I have a sentimental attachment to them.

The first is the classic My System by A. Nimzowitsch. Prior to reading that, my portable Radio Shack 1650 Fast Response Chess computer could beat me on Level 4 sometimes, Level 5 almost all the time (out of 8 playing levels). I read through My System, played all the games, made notes and then whomped my chess computer almost every time at its highest level. Imbued with success, I tackled Chessmaster 2100 (that dates me) and could beat it consistently on its highest level, all thanks to reading this book.

There are now other books, and probably better books, on the market that can teach you positional chess, but I thoroughly enjoyed My System and have read it several times now. As an aside, I also quite enjoyed John Watson's Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy: Advances Since Nimzowitsch since he also refers back to My System a few times and it was good to hear a different perspective on it.

The other book which I quite enjoyed was/is The Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic (I have the descriptive notation copy). This is where I first learned about the classic bishop sacrifice, and in my enthusiasm I began "saccing" bishops on f7/f2 and h7/h2 as often as I could. Most of the time I got away with it and won the games (due more to my opponents' mistakes than any brilliancies on my part). This book made chess dashing and exciting for me, as well as permanently altering the way I play (i.e. when selecting and analyzing candidate moves, I include mad sacrificial attacks to see if they go anywhere).

This may be why I also quite like Attacking Chess by Jacob Aagaard in the Fritztrainer Middlegame series. These two volumes are probably not for everyone but his off-the-cuff comments and mannerisms (yawns, burps, stretches, scratches, gets lost in his notes) don't bother me (it feels like I have a chess trainer right there in person). These are also the only Fritztrainer CDs I have so I can't compare them to others. However, I find the games inspirational, and in one of my games against Fritz (1-hour time limit for 40 moves) I beat Fritz with an attack that was "ridiculed" right up until the final few moves when Fritz finally showed me some respect and gave me a positive score.

Anyway, sorry for the long post...I happen to be passionate about books of all types, not just chess books (that means Mig doesn't have to buy me a copy of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves-->I loved Howard's oblique reference to it in his post, made me laugh) :-)

Masters of the Chessboard, baby. Read it. Love it. Live it.

Apropos of the great books discussion: what do you think of Hikaru Nakamura's statement in a recent interview that he has hardly ever read a chess book--he just studies with his computer. Also Jennifer Shahade's statement that she knows only a few masters who can quote 5 Alekhine games.

One of the inspiring things about Kasparov's My Great Predecessors is his tremendous empathic involvement with chess history. Also Fischer's mining old books to resurrect funky Steinitz moves (Nh3 in the Two Knights) and make them shine. (When Fischer beat Spassky on the black side of a transposed Scotch in their World Championship match, Fischer said he modeled his play after Anderssen and those old guys, "the way they played their bishops, to d6 and e6.")

Does the young generation of top-flight players read chess books? Is chess history dead?

I watched the video of Kasparov's presentation at The London Chess Centre of his Vol. 4. I remember he mentioned specifically that even with the advent of huge databases and powerful computers, there's still a lot to learn from the old games and the old masters. He demonstrated an example of a modern world-class GM losing a game that he could have won had he known of a Bent Larsen game from a few decades ago.

Knowledge of chess history and the ability to play chess may be two separate things, but, I do believe, they complement on another.

Well, first let me say that I was not attacking Rowson, he is a fine author. I just don't think the book works tho I do appreciate the attempt.

I also use "Chess Assistant" and "Total Chess Training" and love them both. Of particular note to me is the way Convekta is so helpful with support - they really stand behind their products and I will purchase more.

As for books, my all time instructional favorite is "The Art of Chess Combination" by Znosko-Borovsky. Many books like this have been written since, but I would bet that this was one of the first to concentrate on the importance of patterns. It was an absolute revelation to me that is responsible for at least 98% of whatever meager skill I have and I first read it over twenty years ago and still periodically go thru it.

Hi Mig

Surely there must be some masterful book by Eric Schiller which is worthy of highest praise!!!


I am actually glad Mig is friends with Kasparov and can give us his inside view. Of course I wish Mig were friends with Anand, etc. To Flaneur and everyone else who has made cracks about this---the truth is you all wish Kasparov were YOUR sugar daddies. Until you befriend some world great don't knock for Mig sticking up for his friend

I think the lists above left many great books out; for example, "Alekhine´s best games of chess", in two volumes, annotated by himself; Reti´s "Modern Ideas in Chess" is a very instructive book, too. Euwe´s books on chess strategy are a must. I would include a puzzle book by Golombek, very nice to read on a bus trip. I also have Botvinik vol.3 and that pocket book by Keres(published by ARCO) as cited above...I would like to see a list of the worst books ever written on chess. Pardon my english from Brazil.

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