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Attention Chess Shoppers

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Someone just asked me about all of my intelligent, good-looking readers and I could only tell him that I was surprised there was such good internet connectivity in mental institutions and under bridges the world over. But just in case my impression is wrong, and because I'm always up for a good book chat, sound off. You have to click the vote button on each one. (There's a mirror of this poll in the message boards, where you can create your own polls as well.)

Thanks for playing. If we ever make any money around here it will go, as with all donations, to the general Ninja Prize and Mischief Fund (the NiPMiF), which is always looking for a good cause. Prizes for most pieces sacrificed during a tournament, most revealing outfit worn by male or female player, subscriptions to Playboy donated to a K-6 or the world blind championship, that sort of thing.

Of course advertisers really want to know your age, income, education level, and location, but I value my privacy and I assume you do, too. As for conversation, if this isn't enough, what's the last chess book you bought, or your last chess purchase in general? Some fine folks send me books for free, but I think I last shelled out my own hard-earned cash on Benjamin's "American Grandmaster." I'd further endorse my Chess.FM homeboy Joel but I have to admit I haven't read it yet. We're moving this week so it will be a good opportunity to count, maybe even organize and index, my chess books. I'm sure the number will be scary. Time for a sale?


Has it been a while since you last moved? If you think back I'm sure you'll remember a few organizing and indexing plans from then which did not get done either...

Or maybe it's just me, but halfway through packing all such delusions of grandeur are abandoned.

My last chess book would be How Life Imitates Chess but my most recent chess purchase is Anand's 2-DVD set - still making my way through the 2nd DVD and loving it!

The last chess book I bought was Laszlo Szabo's copy of Teplitz Schonau 1922.

Jan Donner's "The King." A collection of his columns. Recollections of Fischer and other old-timers. Bright and witty (like Bareev). A delightful, brilliant curmugeon.

My last is a second hand copy of the Gligoric account of the Fischer-Spassky match. Am intending to buy either part 1, part 3 or part 4 of MGP by GK this week. (In case anybody was wondering, I already have part 2; covers Tal so natch.. :-) )
Previous was also a second hand copy; I think I must have a thing for out of print books...

The book mentioned by Koster looks intriguing.. http://www.chesscafe.com/text/donner.txt I may have a forage on amazon some time

"Of course advertisers really want to know your age, income, education level, and location..."

I am 855 earth years old.
I do not need income.
I do not need education because I already know everything.
I live in my own mind.

I tend to buy a lot of used books. Chess books are expensive, and the savings are welcome.

I do buy the occasional new book though. My most recent purchase was Kasparov's "Revolution in the 70s", and before that part four of his predecessors series.

I own about 100 chess books, have read the entirety of none of them, and have gotten a lot out of only a few (100 Selected Games by Botvinnik and Zurich 1953 being my favourites)

Capablanca by Edward Winter.

I spent many months working over "From London to Elista." Memorized the first game, then memorized each analysis-line until I could play it over twice without looking. Did that for every game.

A week later I'd forgotten everything including the names of the players.

My last purchase was PocketGrandMaster for my Axim PocketPC. Very useful for keeping with the slow motion tnmts (GameKnot) and for quick analysis. The latest version allow to play online in ICC from this tiny, wonderful and practical device.

Inspired by the discussion on here :) I bought a 2008 Polish edition of Bronstein's 1953 tournament book. It's very nicely produced, but it's got some maddening features. Despite Bronstein in his introduction mentioning how he wanted to avoid giving too many variations the editors have decided to intersperse the text with any comments they could find on the games from other sources! So some games have far more comments from e.g. Kasparov than from Bronstein. They're not even comments that correct Bronstein - e.g.

Bronstein - Black still won't allow e3-e4, but Reshevsky (White) is consistently carrying out his plans.

[ITALICS] - "White is already close to forcing e3-e4 and Averbach with an ugly move is trying to at least delay it. He's counting on the fact that after white opens the centre there may be chances for a counterattack" Kasparov [/ITALICS]

It completely destroys the flow of the text. Surely if you buy a book by Bronstein you want to read a book by Bronstein!? Though I suppose you have a few other books thrown in for free...

p.s. there's also a funny, in retrospect, comment by Bronstein on the unpleasant trend of commentators analysing a complex game and then a year later declaring a move a "blunder". Of course nowadays the whole process takes us about 2 seconds :)

My last book purchase was 'Alekhine's defence by Nigel Davies (Everyman Books). I really intend to read this one, unlike the others.God help my opponents (e4 players of course) if I manage to read the book and remember the contents.

Anybody out there know of any game collections/biographies of either Evgeny Vasiukov, Vladimir Simagin or Alexander Tolush? Found games here and there in many books but nothing devoted entirely to these players. Could of sworn that Cadogan had one on Tolush way back but have been unable to track it down. Kasparov writes such an interesting bit on Tolush in Predecessor 3 that I would love to learn more. Bronstein does the same for Simagin in Sorcerer's Apprentice. Also does anyone have any reviews of Hertans Forcing Chess Moves. Heard it's a super book on tactics and it's looking like my next purchase.

I´m not a _paying_ member of any chessplaying site, but I am a nonpaying member of the excellent and free FICS (http://www.freechess.org/)

I can always find someone at my level (or stronger) to play and really don´t think it matters much that there are more GM´s at ICC and others.

I´m usually buying chess books to keep them at display in my bookshelf, not to study them (although, every time, I tell myself that THIS one...)

Best read is Jonathan Rowson´s The Seven Deadly Chess sins, but the books that actually taught me something was Bent Larsens skakskole (small pamphlets in Danish) and the Norwegian edition of Theo Schuster´s "Schach"

I have 600 chess books. Finding the time to study them is the problem. (I tried placing a few books under my pillow at night, but all I got was a stiff neck.) My best recent acquisition (a gift from a friend)was 50 ESSENTIAL CHESS LESSONS by Steve Giddens. I actually read this one and I would recommend it to any player in Class A or below. (My USCF rating moves between 1500 and 1600.)

Since people are asking questions... Does anybody know of a book called the "Tal Enigma" (perhaps by Smyslov?) which Kasparov mentions in MGP Part 2? Perhaps its never been translated from the Russian?

after reading so many glowing comments about Hertan's book, I went off and bought it. But I'm disappointed. For all his writing about using computer eyes, he doesn't actually tell you how to do that. However, I can highly recommend Martin Weteschnik's Understanding Chess Tactics. He analyses how the various tactical elements work (pins, forks, skewers, etc). After reading the first chapter on pins, I played a league game, and won a lovely game with 3 concurrent pins!

On my most recent book buying splurge, I bought Jakob Aagaard's Attacking Manual 1. It's an interesting book, and he marks many positions as worth playing out against an opponent.

I have maybe 50 chess books. I have read about 15 of them cover-to-cover and only a few more than once. I know I'm supposed to come up with the most profound ones as being the most helpful, but the most bang for the buck (for me) comes from:

How to Reassess Your Chess
Blokh's Chess Combinations (can't remember the exact title)
Albert's Just the Facts

These books have taken me from 1100-1900 in about 6 years. My most recent purchase was Watson's famous strategy book. Meh.

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice", 2nd edition, Bronstein & Fürstenberg.
Bought the 1st edition when it came out, but am happy to have this edition (considerably) expanded in my library.

It was long ago that Mig said he wanted to post an obituary of Bronstein here. I am a bit sorry it never happened, as I am sure he admires the great man as much as I do.

I received the three volume set of Botvinnik's Best Games, from Moravian Chess, from my wife for my birthday. (Yes, she had some help in picking something out.) Amazing analysis, shoddy production values. Nonetheless, I hope to receive the two volume set of Smyslov's Best Games and Hubener's 25 Annotated Games for Christmas!

I have been buying chess books at only a very moderate pace, but have done so since about 1975.

I never thought I would say this, but while I still have an interest in the content of many chess book, I now think the format, relative to a computer-based format, is increasingly intolerable. Other than a chronicle like Benjamin's, which Mig mentioned, the content of most any chess book would be able to be absorbed more quickly and accurately in a computer format (cd, web, annotated PGNs, etc). I now slightly dread going through deeply annotated games with a book and a chess set.

In this regard, I've been informed that Gambit Publications Ltd has a policy of not permitting anyone to place on the web NON-annotated PGN files of games contained in their books (e.g., the exemplar games in an openeing books). In other words, this publisher is claiming intellectual property rights over the raw games scores of others players merely because some author included the games in a Gambit-published book. This questionable and customer-unfriendly assertion of rights is reportedly enforced by threat of legal action. Potential consumers of Gambit Publications Ltd should be aware of this remarkable stance and resulting inconvenience.

So Mig, according to your poll, the majority of us do not subscribe to a chess magazine, are not paying members of an online playing site, and a plurality of us rarely buys chess books. Now what?

I think a lot of chess books nowadays have horrific production values -- badly edited, ugly typesetting, crappy page quality, the lot. Computers have made things easier, it seems, both in generating analysis and in attaining something that an amateur might considered well-composed. But it all seems to have lowered the bar. Books are seemingly thrown together in a couple of days. And they're no less expensive than they used to be.

My absolute favorite book for format and chess font is far and away Averbakh's Chess Tactics for Advanced Players. It had fantastic easy-to-read double columns and a crisp chess font that I wished everyone used. The content is pretty great to boot!

Mig, if you happen to have some books with Ljubo's games or picture - and you wish to get rid of them...you know where to send them. ;)

Appreciate the advice. Ready for another tactics book and I too had read all the glowing reviews. Been bleeding rating points since last summer when I crossed 1700 USCF and would like to go the other way on the ladder. Checked out Understanding Chess Tactics and liked what I read. To throw a recommendation your way, Soltis' The Inner Game of Chess is a good book on calculation if you don't already own it.

Calvin Amari wrote:
I've been informed that Gambit Publications Ltd has a policy of not permitting anyone to place on the web NON-annotated PGN files of games contained in their books (e.g., the exemplar games in an openeing books).

In other words, this publisher is claiming intellectual property rights over the raw games scores of others players merely because some author included the games in a Gambit-published book.


It took time and intellectual effort for the chess author to sift through a thousand games to find the hundred that have the strongest opening ideas (in the Sicilian Defense or whichever).

Then someone like you or me wants to make publicly available on the Web a .PGN of those same hundred games. Why those same hundred, just a coincidence? No - we would be leeching the intellectual property contained in the book.

So the .PGN would represent more than just the "raw game scores".

IF Gambit had some magic way of preventing theft-by-copy, Gambit might well make available a companion .PGN to download from GambitBooks.com.

- - - - -

Gambit should put the CHAPTER NUMBER next to the chapter name that it prints at the top of every odd-numbered page.

Here at the Institution (known with affection by the staff as the "Twinkie Factory) we not only have great wifi but an amazing chess library. An original hardcover 60 Memorable Games as well as the recent algebraic edition, Tal's Life and Games, Donaldson's book on Rubenstein and all of Silman's books to mention a few. Migster recently added an autographed copy of Kasparov/Karpov which is quite instructive and entertaining. When I am made to stand in the corner I retire to the library and go over game collections solitaire style or else annotate my many losses as Dvorestsky/Yusupov recomment. Current favorites are Studies and Games by Timman, and also Yermo's Road. I actually enjoy studying endgames and enjoy Capa's Best Endings. You don't have to be crazy to play chess but it helps.

I have about 100 or more chess books , i can recommend Andrew Soltis' " Soviet Chess ".

Fact: Under US law, Gambit has zero intellectual property rights to raw games scores of third parties notwithstanding your assertion of some vaunted selection process. Asserting of bogus rights by threat of strike litigation scare tactics is bullying and speaks volumes about Gambit's regard for customers.

Perhaps you are making a quasi-moral point rather than a legal one. If hypothetically, Gambit published a book on endings with two queens v. queen, bishop and rook and managed to find and locate all real games with that rare combination, I could almost see the moral point against posting that same set of games. But absent copying the book's annotations, the legal point remains absolutely the same - Gambit has zero property rights over the raw game scores, individually or collectively. If, as is more often the case, some author used 30 annotated games as the basis of a basic exposition of a common opening, I can hardly see the moral point let alone the legal one implicated by making those raw games scores available.

Assume the same hypothetical - 30 exemplar games on, for example, the KID and, as it so happens, Kasparov had black in 5 such games. Kasparov cannot prevent Gambit from using those games int their book and Kasparov cannot prevent anyone from posting PGNs of those game scores. How does Gambit magically get more rights than Kasparov?

Recent book purchases:

Sverre Johnsenn - Win with Stonewall Dutch
Schandorff - Playing the Queen's Gambit
Grooten - Chess Strategy for Club Player
MacDonald - How to Play Against 1 .. e4


Fritz 11
Chessbase 10


I am an on-again, off-again subscriber to chesspublishing.com
chessninja newsletter

I am also active on Internet Chess Club.

I know that Emory Tate has made some outspoken claims to intellectual rights of his own games, since he helped create them. Interesting point, but not a real solid one. I think I have more intellectual rights to my calculus homework.

I fear you may be in Mig's "Help me" category!

After 20+ yrs of OTB I am just starting to purchase opening books with some regularity. Can't get by without some theory any more.

Not to go all off-topic, but anybody see the smackdown Morozevich laid on Sandipan today? Vastly fun all the way through. (Engine junkies can point out all the flaws, I don't care.)

I'd kill my own granny for my next fritz.

My last book buying "binge" (guess how I voted on the first question!) was at Powell's in Portland, OR - a very nice selection of harder to find newer stuff, and some used treasures. Walked out with 10 books, including a used "Chess Fundamentals" 2nd edition hardcover for $10.

This particular topic is near and dear to me. I am hopelessly addicted to chess books and chess software (and just about everything else, sets, clocks, etc.).

My most recent purchase was CB10; the most recent book I purchased was "Kasparov: How His Predecessors Misled Him About Chess". I typically purchase between 50 & 100 chess books a year, about 5-10 DVDs, and two programs (Rybka/Fritz/Shredder, etc.). I have well over 1,000 chess books in my library and have probably 50+ DVD's. Can't even count how many programs I've purchased over the years, or how many chess-playing computers. I think I have around 50 sets and seven clocks (guess I need to buy more of these...). I only subscribe to three chess periodicals (guess I need to up this as well).

You know, after tallying all this, I'm beginning to think that I really need to seek professional counseling... Nah!

There's still hope. Flog the lot, except foe ONE chess set, in a car boot sale. Rename your cat. Use a free online engine and database. Better yet, cut off your internet. And put those chess magazines you keep in the toilet in the bin. You'll add hours to your day.
Sanity will then slowly return.

I must be like the bizarro version of you (in the superman/Seinfeld sense):
There is only one chess book in my house (Fischer greatest games , a gift from a friend)
I learnt to play chess with an illegal copy of chessmaster 9 , downloaded every chess program available and also every training dvd that i´ve heard of (saw them all , my only source of chess knowledge) , the only books i read were also downloaded in pdf format.
I had a chess set made of glass, which i gave it to a friend´s son ...
Oh i forgot , i never payed one cent for playing online , i just keep making new users every time the trial runs out , always trying very hard to come up with really nasty names.
I´m not proud of everything (maybe about the names i invented) , but leaving in the 3rd world has its ups and downs...

The last chess book I bought was Avrukh's Grandmaster Repertoire (1): 1.d4.

Was feeling low last week, so some retail therapy included "Play the Sicilian Kan" by Hellsten and "Chess Strategy for Club Players" by Grooten. Haven't really cracked the former, but the latter seems readable and interesting. It does have the obligatory typos that all New In Chess books seem to have though. That infuriates me. English proofreaders are not hard to find, or pay. I offer myself to all chess book publishers! Don't make stupid typo/translation errors in a book I'm paying 25-30 bucks for!


Last book purchase was "How Chess Games are Won and Lost" by Lars Bo Hansen.

Can't remember if that was before or after my system crashed and I purchased Chessbase 2007 Light Premium.

Hilarious! Serves them right.

There used to be a black books series in Russian.Each slim volume carried the biography of a chess player with about 50 annotated games.I have seen books on Tolush, Simagin and Nezhmetdinov in this series. They are very good. Try a general search function with words like Russian chess books. If you live in the US, you would find booksellers selling the stuff in your own backyard.In that event you don't have to worry about handling charges.
The Tolush book has a kind of preface by his wife.There she mentions how she and her husband looked after Spassky like their own son. They were hurt when Boris changed trainers and went over to Bondarevsky.
For book reviews on recent titles, try chesscafe.com

LOL, two years ago, I pruned my chess-book collection by 600. So now I have only the 800 good books left. :)

"LOL, two years ago, I pruned my chess-book collection by 600. So now I have only the 800 good books left. :)"

I pruned down to 9 and my game improved, because I focused on fewer subjects. I can always use the internet for more information. :)

I have always been a lover of chess books but more interested on those filled with anecdotes and historical accounts like that of Benjamin's "American Grandmaster". It would be nice also if a book is published compiling the articles in Shelby Lyman's column.

I visited this page first time to get info on people search and found it Very Good Job of acknowledgment and a marvelous source of info.........Thanks Admin! http://www.reverse-phone-look-up.net

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 11, 2009 2:01 AM.

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