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Sunday, November 14, 2010

100 Recommended Chess Books

The FIDE Trainers Commission lists 100 chess books that they rate as the best available in English, German Spanish and Russian. You can see the list HERE.

I looked over the list to see how many I’ve read and came up with the following:

Alekhine Alexander New York 1924
Bronstein David Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953
Bronstein & Tom Furstenberg David The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Fischer Robert My 60 Memorable Games
Kasparov Garry My Great Predecessors (volumes I-V)
Kmoch Hans Pawn Power in Chess
Kortchnoi Viktor My Best Games (vol 1 and 2)
Kotov Alexander Think Like a Grandmaster
Nimzowitsch Aron My System
Nunn John Secrets of Practical Chess
Shirov Alexei Fire on Board
Tahl Mikhail The Life and Games of Mikhail Tahl
Timman Jan Curacao 1962
Vukovic Vladimir Art of Attack in Chess
Watson John Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy
Webb Simon Chess for Tigers
Yermolinsky Alex The Road to Chess Improvement

When thinking about which ones actually helped, I can’t pick out one or two books and say that after reading them I had an epiphany and took a major leap in understanding. Nor can I say none of them helped. It was more like a slow buildup of knowledge and understanding where a little was gleaned from each book. This makes me think I have no natural talent or ability to play chess; what little I know was learned the hard, slow way. Same as most players, I guess. We like the game but will never be very good at it, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

5 comments:

  1. That's cool !
    Well, I'm reading The Life and Games of Mikhail Tahl, and it's a delightful one, Tahl's writing ability goes beyond his chess talent, with funny, enlightening and a nice style which makes it one of the best chess books ever written, IMHO.
    I have it as a pdf file, but now I'm waiting soon for its arrival. A cup of cappucino, my old chessboard and Tahl's games... so many simple things which makes me happy, eh !
    Oh, I have to agree with you, man ! I couldn't find a more perfectly fitted saying, and I ask you permission to quote here :
    "...I have no natural talent or ability to play chess; what little I know was learned the hard, slow way. Same as most players, I guess. We like the game but will never be very good at it, but that doesn’t stop us from trying."
    That's all !!!
    Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Fide link seems down right now. A couple of books that I enjoyed as well were "Karl Marx Plays Chess" by Soltis. Just interesting chess stories, and Bishop verus Knight by Mayer. Mednis books on the King at different stages I also found unique

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have my permission to quote anything you want; even take credit for saying it yourself if you want to…just be prepared for the consequences. I’ve been called a wide variety of uncomplimentary things for some of the stuff I’ve posted on forums in the last few years!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, we have to be responsible for what we say, that's truly irrevocable.

    I was thinking a lot in the last years about the concerns regarding web anonimity and the right of reply.

    We've had recently the presidential elections in Brazil, and one of the most facing problems was just these so called hard themes ( right of reply ).

    Your advice is clear, and I think the same way : we have the responsibility to be ready to take the consequences of our every acts.

    This is democracy !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Chess is like many things in life. When we have a preconceived idea about something convincing us we are wrong is very difficult; sometimes impossible!

    I always compare people who use anonymity as an excuse to be rude and obnoxious to the kind of people who write on the walls in public toilets!

    ReplyDelete