Category: Chess books

A review of Finding Chess Jewels by Michael Krasenkow

Krasenkow’s introduction gives some thoughts and tips on how to analyse a position and calculate variations, both when solving puzzles and in an actual game, and this is followed by about 250 tactical exercises arranged in three sections. Most positions have the neutral instruction ‘White to Play’ or ‘Black to Play’ but very occasionally there is a more specific question for you to answer.

A review of Winning Chess by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld

A welcome reissue, in algebraic notation, of a book that will be familiar to many. For myself, I remember receiving it as a present one Christmas and steadily working through the positions over the holidays.
It is a primer on chess tactics, successive chapters covering topics such as the pin, the knight fork, the skewer, discovered attack, double check and so on; and it is a worhwhile introduction still.

A review of Fighting Chess with Hikaru Nakamura A Chess Career in the Footsteps of Bobby Fischer by Karsten Müller and Raymund Stolze

Nakamura’s prowess in the endgame, his opening repertoire and in particular his penchant for the King’s Indian Defence, the risk taking and fighting spirit that’s so characteristic of his style, and of course his enthusiasm for bullet and blitz: these are some of the topics under discussion. A wide-ranging interview takes up the bulk of chapter 6.

Aron Nimzowitsch, 1928-1935 Annotated Games & Essays Edited by Rudolf Reinhardt

The book contains pretty much all the games Nimzowitsch played in the principal tournaments of the period (Bad Kissingen 1928, Carlsbad 1929, San Remo 1930, Bled 1931, Zurich 1934), some games from minor tournaments and from Nimzowitsch’s matches with Stahlberg and Stoltz, some training games and games played in simultaneous displays. Most games are annotated by Nimzowitsch.

Chess Strategy: Move by Move by Adam Hunt

The book is pretty comprehensive, covering topics ranging from the centre and king safety to prophylaxis and overprotection; from the relatively straightforward to the more advanced and (in the case of overprotection, perhaps) the problematic. As well, Adam Hunt discusses the skills involved in strategic play: evaluating a position, being resilient in defence and forming a plan. A final chapter looks at psychology and practical play.

A review of My Chess by Hans Ree

One sentence struck me.  He writes of Euwe that, despite his solid establishment status, he preferred to mingle with bohemians rather than ‘respectable plodders’.  It struck me because that’s a strand or a subtext running through many of the essays: in the Netherlands, uniquely perhaps, chess is an arena where the bourgeois and bohemian worlds meet.

A review of The United States Chess Championship, 1845-2011 Third Edition by Andy Soltis

Soltis provides a crisp and lively narrative which ripples outward from the book’s strict subject matter on occasion to consider, for example, the career and fate of Paul Morphy. There is a generous selection of games, full tournament crosstables and some interesting statistics (e.g. Fine has one of the highest winning percentages in the championship with 78%, despite never having won it; for comparison: Fischer has the highest with 83.3%).