Category: Chess books

A review of Batsford’s Modern Chess Openings, Fifteenth Edition

While it would now be an exaggeration to call MCO by its erstwhile moniker ‘The Chess Player’s Bible’, it remains the best one-volume work on the openings. Its ambition, to adequately map the whole terrain of modern opening theory, is a worthy one, and in a sense it comes down to a classic trade-off: what one loses in depth, one gains in comprehensiveness.

A review of The New York State Chess Association Congresses – Buffalo 1894 and 1901 by John S. Hilbert

John S. Hilbert’s erudite and informative book will be of interest to admirers of Pillsbury’s brash yet subtle chess, as well as to those curious to learn about the chess scene in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. Throughout, it sparkles with insights and facts about the chess personalities and institutions of those far-off, distant days. Can one conclude that this was a quieter, a more leisurely and civilized age?

A review of Zuke ‘Em: The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionised

Zuke ‘Em: The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionised is a book with many virtues: it is lucid and rigorous and interactive and authoritative and engaging. Its lucidity is most apparent in the way the author organises his material; most chapters begin with a ‘Familiarization’ section – a gentle introduction to its main themes – after which the teddy bears are taken away and we get down to brass tacks

A review of My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

Of My 60 Memorable Games one can say that it will live and be read as long as chess is played. As a product of the human mind, it should be placed alongside Euclid’s Elements and the sonnets of Shakespeare. It is an engaging, analytical, above all veridical work of genius.

A review of Botvinnik’s Secret Games by Jan Timman

Botvinnik’s Secret Games is a welcome addition to chess literature. Our present understanding of modern chess strategy would be unthinkable without the games and writings of Mikhail Botvinnik, and anyone who wants to fully appreciate his contribution to chess will want to study the games in this book.

A review of Samuel Reshevsky by Stephen W. Gordon

Samuel Reshevsky: A Compendium of 1768 Games With Diagrams, Crosstables, Some Annotations, and Indexes by Stephen W. Gordon is a commendable record and tribute to a chess prodigy who fulfilled virtually all his promise, who devoted his whole life to the game of chess, never losing his love for it, and who continued to play until almost his very last breath.

A review of The Chigorin Defence by Valery Bronznik

To pronounce a judgement: The Chigorin Defence offers a comprehensive, solidly researched survey of this most aggressive and dynamic defence to the Queen’s Gambit. The organisation and presentation of the material is excellent, and there is much detailed original analysis.

A review of My One Hundred Best Games by Alexey Dreev

To come to a reckoning: My One Hundred Best Games is a splendid collection and a good summation of Alexey Dreev’s chess achievements to date. The games are unfailingly interesting, often aesthetically pleasing and as a showcase of modern chess they can hardly be bettered.