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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Chess Book Review blog (Read 144811 times)
proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #26 - 07/31/13 at 22:22:09
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #25 - 07/31/13 at 16:46:32
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I'm diverging a bit from the stated aim of the blog, as I'm doing a series on my games at the ongoing US Open.  The first installation - 'Preparing...' - is up.  I talk about the books I read and the websites I used to prepare.  Games will be posted the day after I play them, good bad or ugly.  Enjoy.

A review of Aagaard's GM Prep: Positional Play will be up shortly after the tournament ends.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/preparing-for-the-us-open/
  
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #24 - 05/17/13 at 05:28:35
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A review of the new algebraic version of Alekhine's Best Games:

http://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/one-of-the-classics-but-better/
  
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #23 - 04/26/13 at 06:35:37
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #22 - 04/15/13 at 18:24:54
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Next up will be a review of Lakdawala's book on Capablanca, for those interested.
  
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #21 - 04/15/13 at 18:24:07
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New review of the Inside Chess DVD up:

http://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/inside-chess-on-dvd/

Thanks, as always, for reading.
  
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barnaby
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #20 - 03/15/13 at 16:29:28
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/15/13 at 03:02:51:
barnaby wrote on 03/15/13 at 02:01:32:
what is the 'product' of a book review supposed to be?

Wink


In my opinion: a clear presentation of both the contents of the book and the quality of those contents. 


a review is an opinion so in that vein a critique of repertoire choices seems legitimate and 'productive' imo

i dont claim that makes me right and you wrong, only that different people are looking for different things in a review AND i don't suppose you see the irony of your critique of the other critique along these lines (what the author has decided to include?)

Smiley

  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #19 - 03/15/13 at 03:02:51
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barnaby wrote on 03/15/13 at 02:01:32:
what is the 'product' of a book review supposed to be?

Wink


In my opinion: a clear presentation of both the contents of the book and the quality of those contents. 
  
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barnaby
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #18 - 03/15/13 at 02:01:32
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what is the 'product' of a book review supposed to be?

Wink
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #17 - 03/13/13 at 23:34:17
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JonathanB wrote on 03/13/13 at 22:57:01:
I liked this aspect of the post.  The reviewer put forward an argument as to why he felt ... cxd4 would be a better choice.  His reasons were well explained and were interesting to read.

This is not to say that I agreed with him in his reasoning (I kind of do and kind of don't).  The important thing is that in reading what he had to say I gained enough of an idea of what was in the book to give me an idea as to whether or not I might like to buy it.



You're right of course to say that had the authors gone the other way then some other reviewer might criticise them for it, but I think that's missing the point.

Aside the points I raise here, are you really saying that the contents of a book are not a relevant subject to raise in a review?


The word I used was unproductive, not irrelevant.  When he stuck to criticizing the lengths of analysis (and possibly computer-type moves required to maintain equality in some lines), I thought the discussion was very helpful and relevant.  But as far as I can tell, he criticized them for not recommend 9...cxd4 because Tarrasch players should play as many IQP positions as possible (who says?) and because he disagrees with the authors' theoretical assessment based, in part, on a game played after the book was published.  That's not fair, is it? 

I also don't think that a GM needs to reveal in depth analysis explaining why a particular move was not chosen; perhaps they know of new ideas against Keilhack's 13...Ne5, for instance, and want to use it for themselves with the White pieces.  They offered 9...c4 because they felt that it was a better move; to exhaustively compare it to 9...cxd4 would be outside the scope of the book, wouldn't it?

I think that discussing which lines are recommended and the pros and cons of each line is absolutely relevant.  Criticizing an author's repertoire choice when that choice is entirely sound and a matter of preference (and in this case, comes with a plethora of new ideas) seems unproductive to me. 

On the whole the review was excellent.  I'd merely like reviewers to reflect a little before criticizing an author on this basis; that's all.  Hell, might as well criticize them for offering a book on the Tarrasch and not the Grunfeld while we're at it.
  
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JonathanB
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #16 - 03/13/13 at 23:02:34
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GeneM wrote on 02/09/13 at 20:20:38:
Troilus wrote on 02/08/13 at 10:14:28:
There aren't enough serious chess book reviewers on the web. Let's spread the word.

So true. And difficult to understand why.


Having done a few reviews myself I find it very easy to understand why.  They're a pain in the arse to write and take an awful lot of time and effort to do properly.

Aside from that as you say a good approach to reviewing is compare and contrast with similar products but not everybody has access to the competition to be able to do that.

upshot: we're mostly left with those guys who are happy to write "this is great, you should buy it" about everything.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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JonathanB
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #15 - 03/13/13 at 22:57:01
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/13/13 at 18:49:47:
Very good reviews, and I hope that you do more of them!


Agreed.


ErictheRed wrote on 03/13/13 at 18:49:47:
I think it's unproductive to criticize authors on their choice of repertoire (unless they recommend truly dubious lines).  These authors seemed to believe that the old 9...cxd4 is inferior to 9...c4, so they recommended the latter move.  That might be a disappointment to a long-time 9...cxd4 devotee, but it's not really a valid criticism of the book's contents, is it?


Disagreed.

I liked this aspect of the post.  The reviewer put forward an argument as to why he felt ... cxd4 would be a better choice.  His reasons were well explained and were interesting to read.

This is not to say that I agreed with him in his reasoning (I kind of do and kind of don't).  The important thing is that in reading what he had to say I gained enough of an idea of what was in the book to give me an idea as to whether or not I might like to buy it.



You're right of course to say that had the authors gone the other way then some other reviewer might criticise them for it, but I think that's missing the point.

Aside the points I raise here, are you really saying that the contents of a book are not a relevant subject to raise in a review?
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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ErictheRed
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #14 - 03/13/13 at 18:49:47
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Very good reviews, and I hope that you do more of them! 

Just a small critique of the your review of GM Repertoire 10: I think it's unproductive to criticize authors on their choice of repertoire (unless they recommend truly dubious lines).  These authors seemed to believe that the old 9...cxd4 is inferior to 9...c4, so they recommended the latter move.  That might be a disappointment to a long-time 9...cxd4 devotee, but it's not really a valid criticism of the book's contents, is it?  It isn't intended to be a comprehensive work.  If they had recommended 9...cxd4 instead, some other reviewer would chastise them for not giving 9...c4!  Silly.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #13 - 03/12/13 at 17:00:48
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Quote:
A new review: Grandmaster Repertoire 10 by Aagaard and Ntirlis.


If I've followed the review correctly, the new book is an advocacy both of the Tarrasch 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 and more particularly of a plan involving ... c4 instead of ... cxd4 in the Rubinstein variation. It's useful to know something of the Tarrasch because it gives Black some extra options when facing both the English and the Reti. As the review suggests, if you start the game with the pure move order, a likely response is e3 by White. This might be because the pure move order is relatively rare in practice and also because the Hennig-Shara 4 cxd5 cxd4 5 Qxd4 Nc6 can be unpleasant to meet if not well prepared.
  
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proustiskeen
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #12 - 03/12/13 at 16:22:17
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A new review: Grandmaster Repertoire 10 by Aagaard and Ntirlis.

http://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/gm10/
  
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