I recently asked on the Edinburgh Notice board
for other players favorite books and the bit
of the book that they knew done them good.
The section or game where they know they learn't something.
I quickly received 3 replies.
1st is from Gerry...
(I assume Gerard Oswald - I wish people would use their
full and correct names. What are they hiding?)
To start the ball rolling;
(or could we have a chess analogy - to start the pawns rolling).
A long time ago I used borrow The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played
by Irving Chernev from the Edinburgh public library.
I eventually bought a Faber paper covered edition which I see cost me £1.10.
This must have been 1975 or more likely 1976.
My only quibble is that it is in descriptive notation !!!
Favourite games - Alekhine v Yates 1922 & Olafsson v Fischer 1958.
I like this book too.
The picture is from my original 1974/75 copy.
My only 'quibble' is the lack of finachetto games.
I think there are only 4 or 5. Have there never
been instructive King's Indian, Benoni's, Grunfeld's?
But your are right, an excellent book.
A game that made a big impression on me was No.19.
Kupferstichvs v J. Andreasen, Copenhagen, 1953.
The See-Saw Check, Zugzwang and Other Tactical Tricks.
[Click here to replay the game]
M. Kupferstichvs v J. Andreasen
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 Nf5 8.Qd5 Nh6 9.d4 d6 10.Bxh6 Be6 11.Qf3 Bxb3 12.Bxf8 Ba4 13.Bg7 Rg8 14.Bf6 Qd7 15.Na3 Nxd4 16.Qh3 Qxh3 17.Nxh3 Nxc2+ 18.Nxc2 Bxc2 19.Rc1 Be4 20.Ng5 Bxg2 21.Rxc7 Bxh1 22.Nxf7 Bd5 23.Nxd6+ Kf8 24.Bg5 Rh8 25.Bh6+ Kg8 26.Rg7+ Kf8 27.Rc7+ Kg8 28.Nc8 Bf3 29.Rg7+ Kf8 30.Rxb7+ Kg8 31.Rg7+ Kf8 32.Rxa7+ Kg8 33.Rxa8 Bxa8 34.Nd6
Of the two games you selected Alekhine v Yates is well known.
It's the one where Alekhine ties down Yates and brings up
his King to join the attack.
Here Alekhine has just sacced a Knight on f6
and now wins with 38 Ke5.
Your second choice is also a cracker.
F.Olafsson - R. Fischer
White sacs the exchange for a pawn and a weak
target pawn on e6 to build counterplay around.
I bet the 14 year old Bobby leaned something as well.
[Click here to replay the game]
F.Olafsson - R. Fischer
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.d4 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.e3 Nc6 9.Rc1 c4 10.Be2 Be6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Nd2 Be7 13.b3 g5 14.Bg3 Ba3 15.Rc2 Nb4 16.bxc4 Nxc2 17.Qxc2 dxc4 18.Nb5 Bb4 19.Nc7 Bxd2 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Bxc4 Qe8 22.Qxd2 Ne4 23.Qd3 Nxg3 24.hxg3 Rf6 25.Qe4 Rc8 26.Bb3 Qd7 27.Rd1 Re8 28.f4 Qh7 29.Qe5 Qf5 30.g4 Qxe5 31.dxe5 Rf7 32.f5 Rc7 33.Rd6 Rc5 34.Bxe6+ Kf8 35.Bb3 Rcxe5 36.Rxh6 Rxe3 37.Rg6 R8e4 38.Rxg5 Rg3 39.Rg8+ Ke7 40.g5 Re2 41.Bd5 Kd6 42.Bf3 Rxa2 43.f6 Ke6 44.Re8+
And now a recommendation by someone calling themselves...
(My comments appear in curry red)
'Re-thinking the Chess Piece' by Andrew Soltis comes highly recommended by me.
I hadn't realised that the value system (ie 1 for a pawn, 3 for a piece etc) was
actually devised for computers than for teaching human beginners until reading this book.
I'm sure the '1 for the pawn, 3 for a piece' was about decades before
computers. I've just picked up one of my old Chess books at random.
A Breviary of Chess by Tartakower printed by Routledge in 1937.
Pawn = 1
Bishop = 3
Knight = 3
Rook = 5
Queen = 10
Interesting the Queen getting 10. Most books give the Queen a 9.
Learning the trials and errors of teaching a computer how to evaluate
correctly provides incredible insight into the 'real' (and very relative)
value of the pieces.
There is also a fascinating chapter on what it means to the pieces to be on a
8*8 board (Capablanca once played a match on a 12*12 board and computers on a 6*6).
The second half of the book deals with co-operation of the pieces
(eg bishop and rook are far better than knight and rook,
knight and queen better than bishop and queen,
knights lose value after the opponents rooks are traded off etc)
The book is full of useful abstract information like this that can easily
be applied to every stage of every game played.
And now when reading GM's annotations I understand far better what they're on about,
eg in Shirov's Fire on Board II he states in his opinion two bishops and a pawn
are ALWAYS far better than a rook and a knight,
how can this be 3 + 3 + 1 = 7 versus 3 + 5 = 8
The values are guidelines, rules of thumb.
But I agree with you. It's a bold statement to say that two Bishops
and a pawn are 'ALWAYS' better than a Knight and Rook.
So anyone who wants to break free from thinking like a basic computer
(as we are all taught) and learn how to evaluate what remains on the board
in every stage of the game better should consider reading this title,
as the return on the invested time is worthwhile IMHO.
The Orange Curry Hamster
Cheers. I still have not figured out who you are.
I assume you are a protestant Indian with large cheek jowls.
I've never read'Re-thinking the Chess Piece' but if
you feel it has done you some good then I shall not argue.
My only comment is...
"thinking like a basic computer (as we are all taught)"
I and other players of my ilk sacrifice and adopt bad positions
because we recognise some positions are (for a human) difficult to play.
A computer cannot possibly know what is difficult for a human to calculate.
It does not set traps. It does not cheapo, it does not play an unsound
sacrifice knowing/hoping the player will stumble in the complications.
I'm not alone in thinking playing computers does your Chess harm.
They are OK for a quick skittles when nobody is about.
But if you play them all time and no humans then you will never
recognise human errors. A computer will NEVER leave a piece hanging
to a 2 move combination. Humans do it all the time. All the time.
However it sounds like good recommendation. I'll look out for it.
And now the last entry (too date) from the notice board.
Always like to talk books! Being an ex-bookseller and all.
Well, as you are always saying, players need to learn to attack.
They also need to know how to press those attacks home successfully.
So my list is firmly in that line.
Read the classics - the romantic period and the great early attacking players.
Then once you've been inspired by the likes of Anderssen, Morphy, Chigorin et al,
Vukovic - Art of Attack in Chess
Vukovic - The Chess Sacrifice
Those will give you the basic tools
Frank Marshall's Best Games
Alekhine's Best Games
Those will show you how to use development and tempo, and open space and sheer aggression
Keres Best Games
Will show you a more rounded attacking style
Tal's Best Games
Anything else about or by Tal you can lay hands on will blow you away
and inspire you to imagine the possibilities that are there if you can
throw away your inhibitions and convert pieces into time by sacrifices
Shirov - Fire on Board
Will show you how far fantasy style attacking has come in the
modern era where most GMs can defend really well
You may end up as bad a positional player as I am
but you'll have some real fun along the way!!
I agree, Vukovic - The Art of Attack in Chess is a classic.
I understand there is a recent algebraic version tidied up by
John Nunn. This version is seemingly very good.
John has added more diagrams and given the finish of the games,
instead of the original "..and White wins."
The Art of Attack in Chess was another of my first real Chess books.
I learn't all my attacking tactics from Du Mont's 200 Miniatures.
200 examples of how to punish opening errors. There can only be one
way - tactically. These ideas you can carry forth into the middle game.
100 Soviet Miniatures by P. H. Clarke was another book that I know helped
shape my attacking ideas.
Also Estrin's Two Knight's Defence. The main lines show every tactical
trick going. A joy to play through. The Two Knights is the most tactical of
all openings. The King's Gambit is stodge compared to some Two Knights mainlines.
Alekhine's 1908-1923 is a must have in any players collection.
Marshall's best games is also excellent but suprise surprise;
you will find the word 'positional' used more often than 'tactical.'
Keres I read late in my career and he gave me nothing.
I'd seen it all before with Alekhine, Morphy, Marshall
Spielmann,and Tartakower (his 500 master games is a superb book).
I have never picked up anything from a pure Tal game.
Maybe a sharp opening idea but nothing more.
I doubt if any player really has learned anything from Tal.
When he played bad, he played bad. I can do that.
When he played good he was phenomenal, a genius,
a one off. A Chess mind capable of going to places
we normal players can never imagine.
I can see the ideas and reason behind the Alekhine and Marshall
attacks. Some of Tal's games are totally beyond my compression.
Breath taking, beautiful and impossible to emulate.
Study Alekhine, Morphy, Marshall, Speilmann and all the other
attacking players. You will play like them. You will copy
their attacking ideas and their combinations. You will find yourself
putting your pieces on aggressive squares without a second thought.
Study Tal for 20 years. You will never become a Tal. Not in a 100 years.
The best book I've on seen Tal is by P. H. Clarke.
Clarke is the British Reinfeld & Chernev.
These guys could write. They were OK Chess players but
they could write. Their ability to hit the nail on the head
with a few well chosen words is an art form unto itself.
Clarke comes the closest, in my opinion, to explaining Tal.
He's even better than Tal at getting to the root of Tal.
Let's have more people sending in their best book.