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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #329 - 01/02/18 at 16:13:20
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ErictheRed wrote on 01/02/18 at 00:19:08:
Stigma wrote on 01/01/18 at 23:48:50:
But what I really want to know about Lombardy (about his final book Understanding Chess: My System, My Games, My Life, really) is whether there actually is a system there?


Has there ever been?  I don't personally think that Nimzovich had one, or Berliner, or anyone else who claims to have developed one.


Modern authors have evolved, now promoting a "Method" 

Dorfman 2001 amazon.com/dp/2957289024/

Grivas 2017 amazon.com/dp/615579300X/

Shereshevsky 2018 amazon.com/dp/9056917641/

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #328 - 01/02/18 at 01:21:49
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Yes, it was an excellent and interesting review.

And Stigma, I wasn't dismissing your other questions by not quoting them.  I was simply responding only to the part of your post that I quoted.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #327 - 01/02/18 at 01:20:19
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You put a beautiful ending on your review. In a way, Lombardy's book sounds like a negative companion piece to Danny Gormally's autobiographical work, in which the author confesses his debasement and thereby rises above it (following Czeslaw Milosz's very difficult advice to writers: focus on those times when you felt humiliated).

The Nietzsche allusion is all the more surprising for the fact that William Lombardy was a Catholic priest! So Lombardy is consciously casting himself as speaking heresy in the name of egoism. A highly complex and, as Freud would say, overdetermined gesture.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #326 - 01/02/18 at 00:24:52
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ErictheRed wrote on 01/02/18 at 00:19:08:
Has there ever been?  I don't personally think that Nimzovich had one, or Berliner, or anyone else who claims to have developed one.

I agree, that's why I added some less grandiose questions, which you chose not to quote...

Lombardy's title suggests some sort of "system", but yeah, usually that's just a sales trick or a delusion of grandeur.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #325 - 01/02/18 at 00:19:08
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Stigma wrote on 01/01/18 at 23:48:50:
But what I really want to know about Lombardy (about his final book Understanding Chess: My System, My Games, My Life, really) is whether there actually is a system there?


Has there ever been?  I don't personally think that Nimzovich had one, or Berliner, or anyone else who claims to have developed one.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #324 - 01/01/18 at 23:48:50
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proustiskeen wrote on 01/01/18 at 21:03:50:
My January 2018 'review' of Bill Lombardy's books.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/lombardy-in-memoriam/

Sounds like a tragic end indeed.

But what I really want to know about Lombardy (about his final book Understanding Chess: My System, My Games, My Life, really) is whether there actually is a system there? A grand method of training, or at least some innovative training techniques or eye-opening concepts?

I suppose it's likely that any brilliant advances made by Lombardy have been rediscovered by others after so many years.

P.S.: He even looks angry in the cover photo!
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #323 - 01/01/18 at 21:03:50
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My January 2018 'review' of Bill Lombardy's books.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/lombardy-in-memoriam/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #322 - 12/04/17 at 14:50:35
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My December 2017 review of Alburt & Crumiller's _Carlsen vs Karjakin: World Chess Championship, New York 2016._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/analyzing-the-2016-world-chess...
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #321 - 11/04/17 at 02:26:17
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My November review of Alex Fishbein's _The Scotch Gambit: An Energetic and Aggressive System for White._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/the-goldilocks-problem/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #320 - 10/11/17 at 21:13:38
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Yes I agree. About the best that black could do is trade b-pawn for a- and e-pawns. 38...b5 39.Ke2 b4 40.Kf3!? (or 40.Rc2 b3 41.axb3 Rxb3 and the e-pawn cannot be defended for long) 40...Bg7 41.Rbxb4 Rxa2 42.Kxe3.
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Here black's remaining pawns are too weak. But I would not resign yet. I still think this is a marginally better defense than was given in the PGN. It just doesn't hold.

Actually, switching on the computer, it thinks 38...b5 is a clear mistake and suggests 38...Ke5. After thinking for a while it suggests 38...Bc5!? 39.Rxh6+ Ke5. Which says something about 37...Bc5-f8. And says something else about my supposed endgame ability.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #319 - 10/10/17 at 17:36:36
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This position is clearly lost after 38... b5. 39. Ke2. White will use the h4-rook to attack and take the e3-pawn. b.e.: 39... Bg7 40. Rc2 Bf8 41. Rd4
  

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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #318 - 10/10/17 at 17:05:33
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  1. An A player is good! Not that I am afraid of you, but sometimes your ideas will be better than mine. Once I was showing one of my pawn endgames to Pal Benko, and he made a natural move which I refuted by giving away a couple of pawns. He asked, "Are you trying to lose?" My answer was "no, I looked at this at home". He quickly agreed with my assessment, and the point is if you have done the work then your ideas are correct.
  2. When writing about thought processes, you need to use your own games. Or if you are a coach, you might use a student's games. Otherwise, how would you know what the thinking was?
  3. Your analysis looks good. But in the line, 33.Rc2 Bxc3 34.Rd1 Kxe6 35.Kf1 Bb4 36.Rd4 Bc5 37.Rh4 Bf8 38.Rb2
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    I think black can improve with 38...b5. Black doesn't even have to hurry with pushing on to b4. I'm not saying that black is holding, but R+B can put up stiff resistance vs 2R.

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #317 - 10/10/17 at 15:43:47
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 10/09/17 at 20:06:31:
@proustikeen - In your first diagram, 33.Rc2 Bxc3 needs analysis. 34.Rac1 Bd2 35.Rb1 b5 36.Kf1 b4 and black might hold. Or 34.Rb1 Bd4 35.Kg2 Kxe6 36.Kf3 and white is better but is it a win for sure?

I wasn't so sure about 33.Rc2 and was looking at 33.Kf1!?. If 33...Rxc3 white can trade rooks, yes? And if 33...Bxc3 at a minimum white has 34.Rab1 Bd4 35.Rc2 transposing to 33.Rc2. So 33.Kf1 seems no worse than 33.Rc2.

Also 33.Kg2 is not totally ridiculous. Or maybe it is....

It's a good position for your illustration, that's for sure!


Thanks for taking a look at the game. I was a little hesitant to use one of my own games in the review, being a mere A player, but as you say, it does work in context.

I briefly 33...Bxc3 in the game file that was embedded in the review. Basically I thought White was very close to winning, if not fully so, after 34.Rd1. I took a deeper look after your post and after 34...Ke6 35.Kf1 Bb4! it's not an easy win but in a practical game I would think Black just has too many weaknesses to hold out forever. The f- or h-pawn will fall.

Pgn attached if you're interested!
  

game897603812.pgn ( 2 KB | 17 Downloads )
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #316 - 10/10/17 at 12:35:03
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GabrielGale wrote on 10/09/17 at 09:37:37:
@Seeley, for a more detailed response (from QC's Blog) dated September 5th, 2016:
[...]

Thanks for posting this!

An aside: Does anyone know if the differences between the 1st and 2nd edition of Attacking Manual 1 are large enough to justify an "upgrade"? I have AM1 and AM2, though unfortunately the first edition of the former, which apparently has some flaws. Haven't started studying them yet.

Aside #2: The multi-author Grandmaster vs Amateur is a seriously underrated book. I have gained insights into what strong players do differently, both at the board and in training, just by browsing it. Several of the chapters are entertaining as well. QC are now offering this book as a free add-on with orders inside the EU, which probably means it hasn't sold that well. Sad!
« Last Edit: 10/10/17 at 15:57:10 by Stigma »  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #315 - 10/09/17 at 20:06:31
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@proustikeen - In your first diagram, 33.Rc2 Bxc3 needs analysis. 34.Rac1 Bd2 35.Rb1 b5 36.Kf1 b4 and black might hold. Or 34.Rb1 Bd4 35.Kg2 Kxe6 36.Kf3 and white is better but is it a win for sure?

I wasn't so sure about 33.Rc2 and was looking at 33.Kf1!?. If 33...Rxc3 white can trade rooks, yes? And if 33...Bxc3 at a minimum white has 34.Rab1 Bd4 35.Rc2 transposing to 33.Rc2. So 33.Kf1 seems no worse than 33.Rc2.

Also 33.Kg2 is not totally ridiculous. Or maybe it is....

It's a good position for your illustration, that's for sure!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #314 - 10/09/17 at 14:18:32
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No worries. I had it cut and pasted into a pdf. Like you, I dream, look at the list, and wish I can do it and dream yet more. I am still dreaming. Grin
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #313 - 10/09/17 at 10:49:53
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Thanks for taking the time to search that out for me, GabrielGale. I wish I had both the time and the level of commitment necessary  to apply myself to the task as Aagaard suggests! Nevertheless, I do buy and read his books from time to time, and this is extremely helpful in putting them all into context.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #312 - 10/09/17 at 09:37:37
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@Seeley, for a more detailed response (from QC's Blog) dated September 5th, 2016:

Quote:
First off, Inside the Chess Mind and Grandmaster vs. Amateur can be read for fun and totally out of sequence. The same goes to some extent for Excelling at Chess, which is mainly meant to inspire.
Excelling at Chess Calculation is the place I would start. Read it carefully. The exercises are not that great; I could skip them.
Then move on to Calculation. The chapters are created with more and more difficult exercises. Once you get stuck; go to the next chapter. The attitude in solving is important. Do it like it is important!
Once you are well into Calculation, you can start working on Positional Play as well. Work on them side by side. It does not matter which one you do most of, but do some of each. Calculation is later replaced by Practical Chess Defence and Positional Play by Strategic Play. Of all of these books, Calculation and Positional Play are the most important to really understand well.
You can read Attacking Manual 1 and 2 when your solving is getting steady. (If you do an hour a day, you will see rapid progress. Everyone who works with these books seriously have made big progress; including in India). Attacking Manual 1 works well together with Attack and Defence. Read AM1 and get A&D; but first go through the other books. You can always read Attacking Manual 1 more than once. Actually, I strongly recommend it.
Excelling at Technical Chess can be read later; it works well Endgame Play, which is also not on your list.
And please read Thinking Inside the Box when it comes out. It will tie all of the books together.
If you go through all of these books in the way I describe, you will have more effective training than most young chess players in the World. It is by no means easy and it requires a lot of effort.
[......][
I also strongly recommend reading my two books written together with Boris Gelfand and published under his name. Also, if you go to our blog, you will find some videos I made together with Boris at the end of July this year. One of them shows how we created the books, the two others are Q&A.

I should add to this that the Quality Chess Puzzle Book easily fits into the Grandmaster Preparation series. The exercises were collected and analysed by me and the book finished by John, so that the tone is his, but the structure and ideas are mine and the direction something John and I have always worked together on.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #311 - 10/08/17 at 22:42:01
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Stigma wrote on 10/08/17 at 22:32:52:
I believe Aagaard has stated that it's best to start with either Calculation or Positional Play if you're going to read all the first five Grandmaster Preparation books. While the final one, Thinking Inside the Box, stands on its own and can be read at any point.

Thanks, Stigma, that's useful to know.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #310 - 10/08/17 at 22:32:52
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I believe Aagaard has stated that it's best to start with either Calculation or Positional Play if you're going to read all the first five Grandmaster Preparation books. While the final one, Thinking Inside the Box, stands on its own and can be read at any point.

When I get around to this series, I'm planning to start with those three in some order (and maybe Calculation first of all since it's the only one I already own).

proustiskeen wrote on 10/08/17 at 20:02:12:
Hopefully coming soon!

Looking forward to it! But take your time. I value your reviews and articles for their quality, that's a lot more important than cranking them out rapidly. Smiley
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #309 - 10/08/17 at 21:30:33
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proustiskeen wrote on 10/08/17 at 03:29:49:
My October review of Jacob Aagaard's _Grandmaster Preparation: Thinking Inside the Box._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/making-better-decisions/

Thanks for that review: I found it as thoughtful and informative as usual. You point out that this is the "sixth and final volume in the Grandmaster Preparation series". Is this a book that can usefully be read on its own, or would you consider it advisable to read the preceding five volumes in the series first? Some years ago, I read some but not all of the titles in Aagaard's "Excelling at..." series and felt that each one stood on its own perfectly well. Is the same true here, in your opinion?
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #308 - 10/08/17 at 20:02:12
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Hopefully coming soon!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #307 - 10/08/17 at 05:50:40
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proustiskeen wrote on 03/30/17 at 23:09:40:
Part II of my first installment of "Chess Tech University" - how to analyze your games using chess technology!

https://new.uschess.org/news/chess-tech-university-philosophy-game-analysis-part...

Was this series ever continued past part 2, and is it available anywhere?

I really enjoyed your perspective on Dvoretsky's training philosophy, especially the similarities between his and Ericsson's thoughts on learning and practice.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #306 - 10/08/17 at 03:29:49
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My October review of Jacob Aagaard's _Grandmaster Preparation: Thinking Inside the Box._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/making-better-decisions/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #305 - 09/04/17 at 21:04:15
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Yeah, I didn't post it until August. Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #304 - 09/04/17 at 20:46:10
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Just a random sidenote: There is no "July 2017" in the Archive sidebar on the right; instead the July 2017 review "Bisguier’s Books (and beyond)" is part of the August 2017 chapter
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #303 - 09/04/17 at 20:17:58
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A review of recent King's Indian books, including those by Kotronias, Bologan, and Pavlovic.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/no-kidding-new-kid-books/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #302 - 08/11/17 at 23:46:11
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proustiskeen wrote on 08/11/17 at 03:34:09:
I think you meant to say "I was wrong."

Assuming that's so, apology accepted.


Yes, I was quite wrong. Thanks for accepting my apology.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #301 - 08/11/17 at 03:34:09
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I think you meant to say "I was wrong."

Assuming that's so, apology accepted.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #300 - 08/10/17 at 23:23:48
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Sorry, my prior post was a little too cynical. I was not that familiar with the blog, so I was just making more of a philosophical statement. It was not called for, so I sincerely apologize.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #299 - 08/09/17 at 15:27:12
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Thanks, Rene. Never will I speak poorly of dualism again. (Although I do know a well-known professor who tries to make Descartes a monist based on one line in the Principles! I think it's half in jest... but only half.)
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #298 - 08/09/17 at 04:26:42
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Geez. This is Hartmann's thread. What ever are you doing? Warning him? Saying there are grounds for doubts, then denying those grounds apply (but why shouldn't they?)

We've known him for years here, and there is not the slightest indication that he is anything but thoughtful and honest. Before writing something so insolent, look at the archives: Hartmann has written plenty of harsh reviews; one thing they never contain, however, is innuendo.
« Last Edit: 08/10/17 at 00:52:32 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #297 - 08/09/17 at 04:15:54
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US Chess doesn't sell books. They have an outsourced book vendor, but the vendor pays a set amount for the contract and US Chess receives nothing beyond the contracted amount.

In other words, no conflict. Not that you were accusing me of such, of course.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #296 - 08/09/17 at 04:07:20
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More book reviews are welcome, but there is somewhat of a problem when books are reviewed in a publication run by an entity that hopes to sell more of these very same books.

The possibility of such a conflict of interest detracts from the quality and perhaps even the integrity of the reviews.
A general statement, not necessarily applicable to this blog. I would hope.

  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #295 - 08/09/17 at 03:32:47
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Playing a bit of catchup, here are the last two reviews from the July and August issues of Chess Life. I cover Bisguier's books in July and recent training books (Edouard, Kalinin, and Moskalenko) in August.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/bisguiers-books-and-beyond/

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/trend-hopping/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #294 - 06/01/17 at 15:58:58
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My June 2017 review of Bonin & Keener's _Active Pieces._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/doing-jay-justice/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #293 - 05/07/17 at 04:08:25
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My May 2017 review of a number of books (and databases) that cover 1.e4 e5 from the Black side.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/05/06/playing-1-e4-e5-with-black/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #292 - 04/04/17 at 19:38:16
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proustiskeen wrote on 04/04/17 at 16:58:31:
My April 2017 review of the English translation of Paul Keres' World Chess Championship 1948 from Chess Life. A small web-only bonus appears at the end of the review.


https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/keres-magnum-opus/


Good review.  I'm a big fan of tournament books.  Back in the day, the games to know were the ones played in the big tournaments and matches.  Today, the stem game could be some obscure correspondence game.  When I see that, I can't help but feel that chess has lost some of its charm. Sad
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #291 - 04/04/17 at 16:58:31
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My April 2017 review of the English translation of Paul Keres' World Chess Championship 1948 from Chess Life. A small web-only bonus appears at the end of the review.


https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/keres-magnum-opus/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #290 - 03/31/17 at 04:58:16
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I always have a picture of Samuel L. Jackson next to my computer for inspiration.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #289 - 03/31/17 at 03:12:25
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Just love "MF says."  Shades of Snakes on a Plane.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #288 - 03/30/17 at 23:09:40
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Part II of my first installment of "Chess Tech University" - how to analyze your games using chess technology!

https://new.uschess.org/news/chess-tech-university-philosophy-game-analysis-part...
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #287 - 03/30/17 at 21:40:27
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To be fair, I did give the variant spelling!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #286 - 03/30/17 at 21:07:20
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I'll forgive you for "sitzfleisch", since your name indicates francophonic tendencies. But really, as a philosopher, you deserve eternal punishment from (non-ChessPub) Descartes' demon for sinning against Ancient Greek.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #285 - 03/30/17 at 20:36:38
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Darn it. They were right in my draft!

*edit* they weren't. Smiley Updated soon.

*edit #2* fixed!

Thanks for the heads up!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #284 - 03/30/17 at 19:20:13
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The content was good, but I wanted to mention a couple of typos with foreign language terms:

1. sitzfleisch (not sitzfleish)

2. seauton (not sauton)
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #283 - 03/30/17 at 15:11:34
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I have a four part series on improving your chess with chess technology coming out these next few months on uschess.org and (just in time for the US Championship!) the first installment is up.

Part I is at the following link, and Part II will be up later today. Enjoy!

https://new.uschess.org/news/chess-tech-university-philosophy-game-analysis-part...
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #282 - 03/01/17 at 22:47:14
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A review of Gustafsson's recent video series on the Nimzo.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/gustis-nimzo/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #281 - 02/02/17 at 05:13:30
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I think this is accurate. The book feels a little scattered to me - the chapter on Petrosian, for instance, feels very random. You do get some admonitions on not relying on the engine, knowing classics, etc, but I never felt like Gelfand really explained how his intuition grew and took shape. And it's not for lack of trying.

Again, this is not to say that the book isn't very good, because it is. I just think the subject matter makes it a tough row to hoe.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #280 - 02/01/17 at 22:41:52
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proustiskeen wrote on 02/01/17 at 17:04:57:
My February review of Gelfand's Dynamic Decision Making in Chess.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/gelfands-lofty-standard/

Interesting review, thanks for this. I hadn't planned on buying this one, but now I may do so (eventually).

Do I read you correctly that there's a discrepancy between what Gelfand intended to explain and what actually comes across in the book?

Quote:
[...] but to me it is more interesting to talk about how we find the moves in the first place. This is the key to playing better chess. – Gelfand


Quote:
[...] there is nothing to my eye that explains how Gelfand senses dynamism in a position. He just does, and more than that is hard to explain. – Hartmann


To my thinking the trick to getting the absolute most out of a book like this must be to somehow reverse engineer Gelfand's intuition: To determine what games and patterns (or more realistically, what kinds of patterns) he must have stored in his subconscious in order to think the way he does, and also how he has otherwise trained his decision making to make full use of these patterns in practice, under time constraints.

In the first book he was specific about some of this, i.e. learning a lot from the games of Rubinstein, Smyslov and other greats. But it sounds like he's less specific here, so anyone who wants to take a (long!) shot at emulating his thinking has more blanks to fill in this time?
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #279 - 02/01/17 at 17:04:57
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My February review of Gelfand's Dynamic Decision Making in Chess.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/gelfands-lofty-standard/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #278 - 01/14/17 at 17:06:24
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Oh, and I had nothing to do with the formatting. The program links are to the US Chess equipment vendor because the article is on the US Chess website.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #277 - 01/14/17 at 17:04:45
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I get it, Bond, you don't agree. And that's fine. But I'd suggest you read a bit more closely, as (a) I acknowledge the financial barriers that exist and (b) work to discuss free and open-source software for Mac and Linux throughout. In fact, I specify which programs are free / open-source and also identify data sources that are free.

I think that a modern player who wants to seriously improve does herself a disservice if she ignores the modern technology available to her. This doesn't seem controversial to me. Absent a coach - which, again, is a finanical burden - the computer can be a great assistive tool.

As to other ways to improve discussed here, well, let me say that you'll have to wait for my book. Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #276 - 01/14/17 at 14:10:41
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Haven't read the article but my suggestion for players seeking to improve would be to see how moves fit together. As plans. And how different plans at different stages win games.
1. Read Irving Chernev's books. Great stuff.
2. Read through and play through GM game collections (E.g Fischer, Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov was my random playlist when younger). Play through hundreds of classic games with notes.

Throw in regular tactics work as a must and hey presto. Strategy and tactics. Win more!

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #275 - 01/14/17 at 10:31:55
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In my chess club are several older men with ratings between 1900-2000. None had computers when they learned chess. So it's possible to be a relative good player without computers.

My self has used all the technical stuff available, and my rating has never been over 1500. Due to the computers or not. I don't know.

But if you don't have access to a coach, what's the alternative to using computers? Do chess engines do more harm then good if you want to improve?
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #274 - 01/14/17 at 08:40:31
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The opening question of your article is
"What is the single best thing you can do to improve your chess in this new year?"

and your answer is in bold
"Answer: Make use of chess technology in your improvement plan."

First of all, I think that no-one should ever put something like that in bold. How and why someone improves in chess, and others don't, and how the latter can become the former, is a very hard problem that many brilliant people has been agonizing over their entire adulthood. I'm wary of people who speak with certainity about this. Especially if they aren't improving dramatically themselves (but actually also if they are - the De La Massa guy comes to mind).

Secondly, I'm not convinced it is the correct answer. I could think of many arguably equally good answers, IE
Answer: Get a training partner at around your level. Play training games from whatever position you find interesting
Answer: Play more and longer games. (Preferably as many as the junior players are playing)
Answer: Work your way through one of the Jussupow-books (that is the answer one could get on the qualitychess website Wink)
Answer: Start playing correspondence chess.
Answer: Gather all the games you have lost, and try to figure out what your weaknesses are.
Answer: Start using a coach and go over all your losses with him
etc.

In the next lines you say that you are "amazed" that there are people who doesn't use chess engines (and other software) in their attempts to improve. Perhaps it is a language thing, but to me it has the connotation that you think those people are absolutely bonkers. And I don't think that they are. Perhaps they just don't enjoy working with computers? The training process should be enjoyable.
There have been many generations of chessplayers where the talented kids have skyrocketed without having access to computers. Even though I myself train with computers, I don't thinkt It is unreasonable for others to think that they could become strong players without.

Next you go on with specific recommendations, and lets consider a class-player who does train a little bit with his computer, but he has a Mac. He uses Scid to work on his own games, and on the games from the fine chesspublishing site Wink. He does not have a large database of games. If he need that, he uses one of the many online databases. (I believe there is one on chess24. Otherwise he could be using the one on chess.com). His chess-engine is an old one, that was strong 5 years ago.

What is the advice he will walk away with, after reading the article?
1. Get a windows pc with 8gb ram and ssd drive. (500$)
2. Get Chessbase 14 and Mega Database 2017 (300$ as a bundle if one follows the direct link to a store in your article)
3. Get a newer engine. (Free? I'm a bit unsure if you recommend using Komodo as well as Stockfish. There are logos and store-links to all the commercial ones in your article. If you do, then add 90$)

So somewhere between 800 and 890$, but for what rating-gains? I think very little, if any at all.

Now ReneDescartes says that this surely isn't what you are saying, but it seems to me that it is. I think this article looks like a shopping list.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #273 - 01/14/17 at 03:57:12
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My rating is at the highest it has ever been, thank you very much. It is modest, but still, I'm proud.

How much of it do I attribute to the computer? Some. It's a tool that allows me to be more productive in less time and more organized to boot. That's valuable.

Solving has also helped, as has increased access to good literature via the reviews. But in the end, working harder and smarter is probably the most proxmiate cause, with the smarter part at least in part due to the tech.

Bondefanger wrote on 01/13/17 at 16:17:09:
proustiskeen wrote on 01/13/17 at 04:14:45:
Here's a two-parter I wrote for US Chess Online about chess tech. Enjoy!

https://new.uschess.org/news/five-chess-tech-tips-for-the-new-year-part-1/


Everyone wants to be a little bit better at chess, and everyone wants to hear that they can improve by spending a little money, instead of doing hard work. A lot of snake-oil salesmen know this, and are preying on us.

Their diagnosis of the reasons behing our shortcommings vary according to what they have to sell.

Read a chesspublishers newsletter and you get the impression that what is holding you back is a lack of knowledge, and you should buy these 3 new books to improve.

Read the ICC newsletter and you will know, that all you need to do is to buy videoseries and one-year memberships.

Read the articles on chessbase.com, and you will know, that it is your antiqued chessengine, your out-of-date megabase (without the last years of important games), and your lack of chessdatabase with cloud functionality that is the cause of your stagnating rating.

It looks like you have been listening to the last camp.

Assuming you have improved at all the last few years, how much of your improvement will you ascribe to your tech-rig?

Me, personally, very little.

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #272 - 01/14/17 at 03:54:22
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Rene - that last bit might be the best compliment I've received for my chess writing. Thank you.

ReneDescartes wrote on 01/13/17 at 19:01:18:
Bondefanger wrote on 01/13/17 at 16:17:09:
proustiskeen wrote on 01/13/17 at 04:14:45:
Here's a two-parter I wrote for US Chess Online about chess tech. Enjoy!

https://new.uschess.org/news/five-chess-tech-tips-for-the-new-year-part-1/

It looks like you have been listening to the last camp.


That seems a little harsh. If you have human trainer and human training partners, then I would conjecture that computers will not do much for you as a class player. But if you don't...then I fail to see a good substitute for, for example, playing out checkmate with knight and bishop against an engine. Working hard without a computer is obviously better than not working hard and using a computer--but working hard with a computer can do some useful things that used to be impossible or much more onerous without one.

For example, I did a bunch of work using a database and engine on a not-particularly-offbeat line I play in the French. I worked hard on it, developed some original theory, and got a good understanding of what is thematic in the middlegame structures that arise, even though there is no book on it. Now I win quite a few games in that line, not so much from my opening analysis as from understanding the themes.

Now: would it have been better just to study endgames or tactics from books instead? Who knows? I do that too. But Hartmann is surely not saying that computers are a magic key! Read his review of, for example, Gelfand's Positional Decision-Makingand you'll see that quite the contrary is true. Underneath the informal tone, he thinks subtly, like a philosopher--which he is.

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #271 - 01/13/17 at 19:01:18
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Bondefanger wrote on 01/13/17 at 16:17:09:
proustiskeen wrote on 01/13/17 at 04:14:45:
Here's a two-parter I wrote for US Chess Online about chess tech. Enjoy!

https://new.uschess.org/news/five-chess-tech-tips-for-the-new-year-part-1/

It looks like you have been listening to the last camp.


That seems a little harsh. If you have human trainer and human training partners, then I would conjecture that computers will not do much for you as a class player. But if you don't...then I fail to see a good substitute for, for example, playing out checkmate with knight and bishop against an engine. Working hard without a computer is obviously better than not working hard and using a computer--but working hard with a computer can do some useful things that used to be impossible or much more onerous without one.

For example, I did a bunch of work using a database and engine on a not-particularly-offbeat line I play in the French. I worked hard on it, developed some original theory, and got a good understanding of what is thematic in the middlegame structures that arise, even though there is no book on it. Now I win quite a few games in that line, not so much from my opening analysis as from understanding the themes.

Now: would it have been better just to study endgames or tactics from books instead? Who knows? I do that too. But Hartmann is surely not saying that computers are a magic key! Read his review of, for example, Gelfand's Positional Decision-Makingand you'll see that quite the contrary is true. Underneath the informal tone, he thinks subtly, like a philosopher--which he is.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #270 - 01/13/17 at 16:17:09
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proustiskeen wrote on 01/13/17 at 04:14:45:
Here's a two-parter I wrote for US Chess Online about chess tech. Enjoy!

https://new.uschess.org/news/five-chess-tech-tips-for-the-new-year-part-1/


Everyone wants to be a little bit better at chess, and everyone wants to hear that they can improve by spending a little money, instead of doing hard work. A lot of snake-oil salesmen know this, and are preying on us.

Their diagnosis of the reasons behing our shortcommings vary according to what they have to sell.

Read a chesspublishers newsletter and you get the impression that what is holding you back is a lack of knowledge, and you should buy these 3 new books to improve.

Read the ICC newsletter and you will know, that all you need to do is to buy videoseries and one-year memberships.

Read the articles on chessbase.com, and you will know, that it is your antiqued chessengine, your out-of-date megabase (without the last years of important games), and your lack of chessdatabase with cloud functionality that is the cause of your stagnating rating.

It looks like you have been listening to the last camp.

Assuming you have improved at all the last few years, how much of your improvement will you ascribe to your tech-rig?

Me, personally, very little.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #269 - 01/13/17 at 04:17:03
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...and when did I get to be a God Member? Oh the power!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #268 - 01/13/17 at 04:15:10
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I will, in a week or so, put the same thing up on my blog with a few more links included.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #267 - 01/13/17 at 04:14:45
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #266 - 01/05/17 at 09:54:04
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proustiskeen wrote on 01/05/17 at 05:04:18:
Thanks! (And thanks for the shout out on the English Chess Forums!)


no worries Smiley
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #265 - 01/05/17 at 05:04:18
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Thanks! (And thanks for the shout out on the English Chess Forums!)
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #264 - 01/04/17 at 09:34:58
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proustiskeen wrote on 02/03/13 at 05:05:02:
I've started a blog devoted to chess book reviews.


...which I've only just noticed.


very good reviews Smiley
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #263 - 01/02/17 at 03:09:36
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A review of new(ish) books by Edouard and Yusupov. Happy New Year!

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/resolved-stick-with-it/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #262 - 11/28/16 at 03:33:05
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proustiskeen wrote on 02/03/13 at 05:05:02:
(Note: not selling anything, so I hope this doesn't count as cross-promotion!)

I've started a blog devoted to chess book reviews.  The first two reviews - Hawkins' Amateur to IM, and Lars Bo Hansen's What Would a GM Do - are up.  I welcome comments and adulation! Smiley



Very nicely written reviews. I look forward to seeing more.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #261 - 11/26/16 at 00:38:05
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #260 - 11/02/16 at 02:35:33
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #259 - 10/03/16 at 03:18:51
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A review of eight recent Everyman biographies / games collections.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/everyman-roundup/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #258 - 09/04/16 at 15:22:26
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Thanks for the kinds words, Bibs. I do hope you're living in the States, as the NA is programmed in such a way (the way the flag fall is handled, etc) that it's best used for US Chess events. It's not FIDE certified like the 2010 or the 3000. Assuming you're in the States, however, it's really a great deal!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #257 - 09/04/16 at 07:19:31
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Many, many thanks for this review -  perfect timing here.
Been looking to buy one for ages, and just got back active again in tournaments, so need one. Followed your recommendation and bought the inexpensive NA one on Amazon.

Thanks!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #256 - 09/03/16 at 04:12:32
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This month you get a bonus!

Here's my review essay devoted to new chess clocks from the September 2016 issue of Chess Life. My thanks to them, as always, for letting me republish it on my blog.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/time-for-a-new-clock/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #255 - 09/03/16 at 03:32:51
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The September 2016 issue of Chess Life marked its 70th anniversary; as such, columnists were asked to write something related to the magazine's history. Here is my September column, devoted to the memory of Fred Reinfeld.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/the-readers-road-to-chess/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #254 - 08/07/16 at 15:51:16
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I'll be glad to have a look when it's available in English. Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #253 - 08/07/16 at 14:57:28
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Maybe you should check the new book of Thomas Luther. Probably I'm biased through being disabled now (in another way than the author). The psychological part is the best summary I ever read from a non-psychologist about scientific research. It's a really honest book and was for me the best chess reading from this years books. Have a look. It could be worth reviewing, what haven't been done so far if I didn't miss something.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #252 - 08/06/16 at 23:02:21
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A review of new books by Gormally and Zhdanov.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/year-books/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #251 - 07/01/16 at 18:43:09
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Also: the index is now fully up to date.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/index/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #250 - 07/01/16 at 17:41:48
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #249 - 06/22/16 at 07:26:13
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People interested in the book "Chess for Life" will probably also be interested in my article
http://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2016/06/peakrating.html
It is not exactly a review but it does bring some insight views on the book.
I also planned to write a second part of the peakrating in which I will present some more figures about when exactly we can expect to reach our peak.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #248 - 06/22/16 at 05:37:12
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Thanks; your review has motivated me to check out the book (in this case, from my local library system).
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #247 - 06/21/16 at 22:47:48
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A review of Sadler and Regan's _Chess for Life._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/rage-rage/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #246 - 06/02/16 at 03:15:25
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Now that the tosh has been removed, here is my tosh. Smiley

A review of Müller and Konoval's _Understanding Rook Endgames._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/understanding-rook-endings/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #245 - 05/31/16 at 23:03:09
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Bibs wrote on 05/31/16 at 13:22:22:
SPAM
Delete this tosh.


My Mod tools appear to be back, so i have removed the offending post.

Smiley
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #244 - 05/31/16 at 20:40:02
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dunne wrote on 05/14/16 at 12:58:53:
What is it about chess players and books?  I hatched a plan to review all my chess books years ago, but progress has been glacial, and I dare say it will be a work in progress for a long, long time.


I would be happy just to catalog mine.  Has anyone had success with any of the apps designed for this purpose?


  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #243 - 05/31/16 at 13:22:22
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SPAM
Delete this tosh.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #242 - 05/14/16 at 12:58:53
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What is it about chess players and books?  I hatched a plan to review all my chess books years ago, but progress has been glacial, and I dare say it will be a work in progress for a long, long time.
« Last Edit: 05/14/16 at 15:04:00 by dunne »  
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Reply #241 - 05/11/16 at 05:46:46
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great site idea, i'll be sure to check it out!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #240 - 05/03/16 at 22:46:34
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A review of Sergey Kasparov's _The Exchange Sacrifice: A Practical Guide._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/sacing-the-exchange/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #239 - 04/05/16 at 22:55:02
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A review of new biographies from McFarland, focusing on titles devoted to Blackburne and Capablanca.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/biographies-from-mcfarland/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #238 - 03/05/16 at 03:29:03
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A review of the two volumes of Jones' _Grandmaster Repertoire: The Dragon._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/enter-the-dragon/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #237 - 02/03/16 at 02:26:48
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A review of Panchenko's Mastering Chess Middlegames.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/mastering-chess-middlegames/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #236 - 01/04/16 at 17:08:32
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #235 - 12/02/15 at 00:05:53
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A review of three recent books (Schandorff, Sielecki, Svidler) that offer repertoires against 1.d4.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/dealing-with-1-d4/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #234 - 12/01/15 at 19:07:16
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proustiskeen wrote on 11/07/15 at 20:12:45:
A review of major databses, including Big/MegaBase 2016, CorrBase 2015, TWIC and the Paramount Chess Database.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/diving-into-databases/


I miss any reference to engine games. It is still very much underestimated how important engine games are today for theory: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/07/computers-achieve-autonomy.html

Personally I always found the databases of Chessbase too expensive especially if you know that 99% of the work has been done by volunteers. So I always tried to find ways to get the games free of charge see my article: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2014/12/using-databases.html
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #233 - 11/08/15 at 21:46:55
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Ok. Tks for answering.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #232 - 11/08/15 at 00:53:40
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Chess Assistant is a stagnant product with no real changes / advances in the past five years. I don't use it, so I can't review it.

I should have considered Opening Master. I will contact them and see if they will provide access.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #231 - 11/07/15 at 22:59:13
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I miss a comparison with Chess Assistant and Opening Master. CA should match MegaBase and OM should match BigBase and CorrBase.

Last time I could compare CA with CB was 2010. CA was cleary the better buy then except you were fixed to the commented games or the CB-GUI. How is this today? What is the quality of OM?
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #230 - 11/07/15 at 20:12:45
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A review of major databses, including Big/MegaBase 2016, CorrBase 2015, TWIC and the Paramount Chess Database.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/diving-into-databases/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #229 - 11/04/15 at 03:29:25
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A review of Tukmakov's _Risk & Bluff in Chess._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/the-spice-of-chess-life/

Coming very soon: a review of four major databases.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #228 - 10/02/15 at 19:48:28
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A review of new books from Hertan and Müller aimed at children.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/for-the-kids/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #227 - 09/22/15 at 19:38:37
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I think it subsequently appeared in Arthur van de Oudeweetering's pattern-recognition book.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #226 - 09/22/15 at 18:32:12
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brabo wrote on 11/19/14 at 12:46:27:
In the latest review, Proustikeen also mentions the book "Move first think later".

Today Wei Yi played the most beautiful move of this book in his match with Ding Liren.

He used exactly one second to play the astonishing 12.Qg3 so more than likely he already saw it once before. Willy Hendriks wrote on page 31 that many strong players had difficulties solving it.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #225 - 09/20/15 at 10:04:43
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proustiskeen wrote on 07/29/15 at 04:24:36:


I recently acquired Recognizing Your Opponent's Resources. It is a real beauty.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #224 - 09/20/15 at 03:44:07
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A brief review of the first two volumes by Karolyi on Tal.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/book-note-karolyi-on-tal/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #223 - 09/02/15 at 02:21:00
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A review of Gelfand's _Positional Decision Making in Chess_, originally published in the September issue of Chess Life Magazine.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/learning-from-gelfand/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #222 - 08/05/15 at 03:29:40
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A review of _The Chess Tactics Detection Workbook_ by Schlepütz and Emms.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/teaching-tactical-awareness/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #221 - 07/29/15 at 17:13:28
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It's a very good book, Tony. I think you'll enjoy it... if bashing your head against the tough positions is enjoyable, that is. Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #220 - 07/29/15 at 04:47:59
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Really looking forward to receiving my copy of the prophylaxis book!  Grin

Nice review again John!   Wink
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #219 - 07/29/15 at 04:24:36
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #218 - 07/06/15 at 13:04:38
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proustiskeen wrote on 07/05/15 at 22:06:57:
A review of John Roycroft's _Stinking Bishops._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/you-little-stinkers/


A very weird project. Besides 159 and 184 moves are not DTMs as mate is still several moves further but ok I understand the author was only interested in explaining the win and not the complete route to mate.

I read on http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=7066 that at least 10 people were attending the launch of the book. I really think this is more stuff for a personal blog than a book but as the author is 85+ I can understand his preference.

On http://www.amazon.com/The-House-of-Staunton-Inc/dp/B00UI8CQM4 I read that 2 puzzling practical endgames are presented. Well I think you have more luck to win the lottery than ever meeting something similar on the board in practice.

Oh I often publish similar things on my blog so definitely some people enjoy investigating the incredible depths of some positions. See e.g. http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/05/bishops-of-same-colour.html
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #217 - 07/05/15 at 22:06:57
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A review of John Roycroft's _Stinking Bishops._

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/you-little-stinkers/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #216 - 06/11/15 at 07:07:39
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Congratulations! It was a good read, too!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #215 - 06/09/15 at 22:09:58
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Chessbase picked up my Komodo 9 / Stockfish review.

http://en.chessbase.com/post/john-hartmann-and-then-there-were-two
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #214 - 06/06/15 at 16:02:07
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Houdart seems to have disappeared and there's no indication that development continues. Kind of like Rybka.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #213 - 06/06/15 at 15:52:32
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Houdini's dead? I hadn't heard that. What's the story?
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #212 - 06/06/15 at 03:39:10
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #211 - 06/06/15 at 00:49:19
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Congratulations on making it out of the secret world of the undead, otherwise known as the first few months of parenthood.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #210 - 06/05/15 at 17:38:51
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My daughter is just about five months old. Only now is she giving me a break in the evenings so that I can do some reviewing work! Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #209 - 06/05/15 at 16:07:58
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proustiskeen wrote on 06/05/15 at 03:40:02:
A review of Maizelis' The Soviet Chess Primer, originally printed in the June 2015 issue of Chess Life.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/the-soviet-chess-primer/

...and coming this weekend, a review of Komodo 9!


Thank god for that! With several sites i usually read no longer providing new book reviews i was starting to get withdrawal symptoms....  Smiley
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #208 - 06/05/15 at 03:40:02
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A review of Maizelis' The Soviet Chess Primer, originally printed in the June 2015 issue of Chess Life.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/the-soviet-chess-primer/

...and coming this weekend, a review of Komodo 9!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #207 - 05/06/15 at 04:17:27
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I disagree. Great review!
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #206 - 05/05/15 at 12:55:26
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@proustiskeen

Usually I like your reviews, because of that original touch. As you describe how you have read/studied the book you are reviewing.

Your last "Six Sicilians" review is spot on regarding us amatuers bying the latest opening book. Just as this review we amateurs have a superficial read and some superficial conclusions. Then we convince ourselves we have put in some work and have raised our strenght with 100 elo. Loose our next OTB game due to missing a fork, and there we are back on earth.

Instead of the hollow "Bombastic Sveshnikov" or "Rotella's reputation" points, I rather read about Kotronias honing your assesment skills or Kozul instilling some spirit.

I really like your refreshing reviews, but this one felt as "just doing your job".
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #205 - 05/04/15 at 18:48:23
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A review of six recent books on the Sicilian, originally published in the May 2015 issue of Chess Life.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/six-sicilians/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #204 - 04/09/15 at 01:02:30
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A review of Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/guided-by-structures/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #203 - 04/01/15 at 16:23:50
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #202 - 04/01/15 at 16:22:37
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #201 - 04/01/15 at 16:20:59
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A review of... ChessPublishing.com! This review also appears in the April 2015 issue of Chess Life.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/putting-a-second-in-your-corne...
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #200 - 03/24/15 at 21:55:55
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I sometime use the features, but shouldn't really have to use them every time I close the app. As I said, if it weren't for the titles available, I would not use the app, but YMMV of course.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #199 - 03/24/15 at 18:39:12
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One way is to use bookmarks if you read e.g. the same chapter for a longer time. On the whole I agree with you though but I think "notes" and "bookmarks" are very good utilities in FC.
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #198 - 03/24/15 at 18:34:35
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I meant a search function as in book titles. But sorry, yes, there is one for text, which might indeed be useful when lost as in the scenario above. I didn't think of that.

Another annoying thing on the same theme is that if you flip between landscape and portrait mode, you might also get lost in the text. At least a possibility to navigate between games in a chapter would be good, but also to go back (not just forward) between variations is missing.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #197 - 03/24/15 at 18:01:57
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Agree, this is really annoying. Also in Sokolov's book the TOC has links but the link might be for 2 separate games. I cannot see a way to navigate back and forth between those 2 games inside the book.

Has anyone found a way to go back to the mainline from the variations?

There is a Search function - top right-hand button.

Gerry


fling wrote on 03/24/15 at 17:40:46:
I have mentioned it before. The main issue is the poor navigation IMO. Maybe the most annoying thing is that whenever you close the app and start it again, you might or might not end up where you last were. But even if you do, many times hitting the move forward button does not make the text scoll. This means you have to go through the text in the chapter again to get to the right spot. If the chapter is long, this waste an enormous amount of time. The navigation is poor both with regards to different variations and for the book titles. There is no search function, either in the store or in the app itself. And there are other annoying things. The only reason I use the app is because there are many titles I can't as ebooks elsewhere.

  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #196 - 03/24/15 at 17:40:46
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I have mentioned it before. The main issue is the poor navigation IMO. Maybe the most annoying thing is that whenever you close the app and start it again, you might or might not end up where you last were. But even if you do, many times hitting the move forward button does not make the text scoll. This means you have to go through the text in the chapter again to get to the right spot. If the chapter is long, this waste an enormous amount of time. The navigation is poor both with regards to different variations and for the book titles. There is no search function, either in the store or in the app itself. And there are other annoying things. The only reason I use the app is because there are many titles I can't as ebooks elsewhere.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #195 - 03/24/15 at 04:44:10
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.
fling wrote on 03/23/15 at 07:33:52:
Well, I am currently reading The Inner Game of Chess as an ebook in Forward Chess... Though it is unfortunate the app still has so many shortcomings, the book is a good read.

I see the Soltis book on ForwardChess .com website now.
I looked for Batsford as possibly one of the publishers that the F.C. website lists; but no Batsford so I concluded no Soltis.

It is hard to find particular books on the F.C. website.

Months ago I exchanged emails with them, wherein I urged them to implement some kind of SearchAll books functionality: they have not done so.

Even a low tech .html webpage of every book title + author in plain text would be nicely searchable with Ctrl+F while browsing the page.
The current All Books webpage on F.C. is populated only with images of book covers, which Ctrl+F cannot find.


----------------


What "shortcomings" in the F.C. app in particular were you alluding to?


Thanks.
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #194 - 03/23/15 at 07:33:52
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Well, I am currently reading The Inner Game of Chess as an ebook in Forward Chess... Though it is unfortunate the app still has so many shortcomings, the book is a good read.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #193 - 03/23/15 at 05:53:03
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proustiskeen wrote on 03/01/15 at 17:18:02:
A review of three newly revised / reprinted books, two by Soltis and one by Chernev.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/chernev-soltis/


Worth noting that the Soltis books are still available only in static formats, namely on printed paper and as Kindle ebooks.

Unfortunately the Soltis books are still not available in any of the dynamic chess ebook formats (ForwardChess .com, Everyman, Gambit etc). This is unfortunate in this technological era, because dynamic chess ebooks, viewed on a cheap Android pad computer, are soooo much easier to use than any paperback version that for me there is "no going back" to static.

Not all chess books would benefit from the dynamic chess ebook format, partly because the ChessBase authoring environment lacks the most basic textual formatting capabilities (for understandable reasons). One example is Michael de la Maza's Rapid Chess Improvement, which has very few notated moves, but lots of formatting like graphs and tables of data.

It might be good for chess book reviews to mention whether the review chess book has content that would benefit nicely from the dynamic chess ebook format, and the also mention whether the book is indeed available in a dynamic chess ebook format.
Commenting solely on the content used to be fine and sufficient, but increasingly it is insufficient; IMHO.

Thanks.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #192 - 03/01/15 at 17:18:02
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A review of three newly revised / reprinted books, two by Soltis and one by Chernev.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/chernev-soltis/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #191 - 02/04/15 at 04:09:39
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A review of Carlsen: Move by Move and Anand: Move by Move. Originally published in the February 2015 issue of Chess Life.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/rematch-by-proxy/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #190 - 01/14/15 at 21:05:30
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Congrats to a really amazing happening in ones life! Larger than chess Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #189 - 01/14/15 at 20:54:48
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I am intensely dubious of Silman's claim that "more chess books have been written than books about all other sports and games combined".

I think that the books on these lists skew early, which is not surprising since a lot of these guys were doing most of their improving many decades ago. But I don't mind seeing the classics extolled.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #188 - 01/14/15 at 20:36:28
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #187 - 01/01/15 at 20:30:03
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A review of Dvoretsky's For Friends and Colleagues, Volume 1.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/unwrapping-the-enigma/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #186 - 12/28/14 at 09:41:37
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.
Stigma wrote on 12/28/14 at 00:27:38:
I wonder how quick they'll be to get the 4th Ed. on Forward Chess though,
... they really should start giving upgrade discounts to obsessive chess book buyers like me! Wink

Yes, upgrade discounts would be sensible. We'll know in a few years whether chess book publishers see it that way.


Charles Hertan's book Forcing Chess Moves is on its third edition, and errata correction is one of the main differences between editions 1 & 3 (I think).

---- ---- ----


The static Kindle version of Ray Cheng's 600 Chess Exercises was originally so awful in its formatting that reviewers on Amazon .com were almost violent in their negative reviews.

A couple of long years later the Amazon entry included a statement that the Kindle version formatting had been fixed (improved so that it is usable in a practical sense).
In this case the previous buyers deserve the right to download the fixed version; but I do not know whether they can do so.

Personally I left my paper copy of Cheng's puzzle book in a hotel or on an airplane. So the Kindle edition would have spared me the loss of the book.
.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #185 - 12/28/14 at 02:25:52
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I would expect it to be on Forward Chess sooner rather than later, but that's just a guess.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #184 - 12/28/14 at 00:27:38
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So it happened yet again: A new edition of an important book appeared before I got around to really studying the previous one!

I guess my punishment this time will be to study all of the 3rd edition before I'm "allowed" to buy the new one.

I wonder how quick they'll be to get the 4th Ed. on Forward Chess though, that could be hard to resist... they really should start giving upgrade discounts to obsessive chess book byers like me! Wink
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #183 - 12/27/14 at 04:14:54
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A (brief) review of Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, 4th edition:

http://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/dem4th/
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #182 - 12/16/14 at 22:47:27
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #181 - 12/02/14 at 17:40:17
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #180 - 11/24/14 at 15:22:49
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I was doubting to create a new thread but then I thought that it is easier afterwards to find all links to reviews on one place. I just had huge trouble to find an old post back as the search function doesn't always help. Anyway moderators can move my post to a new thread if this is preferred.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #179 - 11/24/14 at 15:06:51
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Well, Brabo, it's really only about one blog - mine - and I update the thread whenever a new review goes up. So I thank you for the translated Kasparov review, but in the future, you might want to place them elsewhere.  Wink
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #178 - 11/24/14 at 13:43:48
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As this thread is about reviewing chess books on blogs, I just published one about the newest of Kasparov.
http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2014/11/kasparov-on-kasparov-part-3.html
I did not do the review myself, I only did the translation (as he lacks the time and I found it sufficiently interesting to share with a wider audience). The reviewer is an experienced writer himself, certainly writes much better than I and is always well-founded with his comments.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #177 - 11/24/14 at 05:36:02
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..and now it's back. So odd.

Sorry to bother everyone. Keep up the debate. Smiley
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #176 - 11/24/14 at 05:34:54
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This thread is not showing up in my normal view of the forum. I was only able to post this by going into my list of posts and commenting at the bottom. Is it just me?
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #175 - 11/24/14 at 03:03:21
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ReneDescartes wrote on 11/24/14 at 02:33:56:
They lied.


^^^^ He's right you know.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #174 - 11/24/14 at 02:33:56
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They lied.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #173 - 11/22/14 at 08:25:37
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Very strange, you mention that you were able to detect 48.784 identical number of doubles in the database of Openingmaster with the new Chessbase 13. However on the site of Openingmaster I read: "The exciting new Opening Master chess database features a unique chess games collection with more than 8,7 millions of top human chess games, making it the largest human chess database without duplicates. "

Without duplicates but you just found 48.784 so how can this be explained?

Personally I don't care too much if there are some duplicates as long it is not doubling the size of my database.

Anyway thanks for the review !
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #172 - 11/22/14 at 02:06:21
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #171 - 11/22/14 at 00:05:00
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When I have to learn something movements are a necessary part. In case of chess it's moving the pieces. In case of learning any field I started in school writing everything down. When I was young I knew where on a page the content was, even if I couldn't verbalize it.

Verbalization is another function, important for learning and understanding. I can't remember any more if it was Bandler or Grinder who told that he believed people telling in hypnotherapeutic learning groups that they would see something - like a flower sinking down - were pure liars. When several members in the group did this he thought to observe a phenomenon of mass hysteria. Later he learned that he was in a minority and that he had misinterpreted the situation.

Maybe I'll work out more on this topic when I retire in some months and start a blog if the time is left for this. For the moment this:

1. Visualization is not imagination in the sense chess books talk about imagination.
2. If you don't move pieces around at least at the beginning, you'll never learn chess.
3. You need ideas about the content however you call this.
4. Verbalization is important, but only a part. Pan narrans et movens?

Lazarus, one of the fathers of behavior therapy, said all people are of the same value (=equal) but no two of them are alike (=equal). So everyone has to find it's own way in learning. Even if there are a lot of equal steps they don't have the same meaning for us.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #170 - 11/21/14 at 19:58:46
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Stigma wrote on 11/21/14 at 18:23:18:
But I wasn't talking about thinking, rather about the learning/encoding of chess, and there I maintain that seeing a pattern visually is the best known way to encode those patterns and hopefully transform them into some long-term, chess-specific memory. How does that work for you with your Anki cards dfan; is it enough to see positions and the right moves visually, or do you have to also explain/comment verbally to have any learning effect?

Yes, I agree with you there. The whole point of my Mnemosyne cards was to notice patterns at the raw level of actual positions instead of having to convert everything into verbal principles. However I have found that for a significant number of cards, generally the more positional ones, it has been useful to add some explanatory text to the answer to give me something more meaty to associate with the position. This keeps the problem and solution fairly concrete while giving me a more general tag to associate with it.

Quote:
dfan wrote on 11/21/14 at 13:45:26:
I do calculate, I just keep track of the position in a more abstract manner than I understand most people do.

Possibly many, maybe even most players think in roughly the same, more abstract way you do; they just call it "seeing" or "imagining" because that's the closest thing to it and they haven't thought much about the difference.

Absolutely. I've read some surveys of what strong players "see" when they calculate, and it seems to vary a lot. That said, from the research I've done, I'd guess that I'm at most 10th percentile on the visualization spectrum in general, so I think most chess players do use their "mind's eye" more than I do.
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #169 - 11/21/14 at 19:05:10
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I wouldn't be able to play chess at all if the thinking had to be explicitly visual Smiley Can play blindfold though.

Huge amounts of calculation are subconcious of course, so incredibly hard to know precisely what you're doing.....
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #168 - 11/21/14 at 18:23:18
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Yes, actual chess thinking isn't necessarily visual. I think it's been shown (with brain scanning) that the visual cortex is hardly active at all when experienced players are thinking. So not being able to visually imagine doesn't have to be a handicap.

But I wasn't talking about thinking, rather about the learning/encoding of chess, and there I maintain that seeing a pattern visually is the best known way to encode those patterns and hopefully transform them into some long-term, chess-specific memory. How does that work for you with your Anki cards dfan; is it enough to see positions and the right moves visually, or do you have to also explain/comment verbally to have any learning effect?

P.S. I wonder if any of the blind people who play chess were born blind, and if so how they went about learning the game. I would conjecture that verbally isn't even the second-best way to present chess patterns for encoding, and instead tactile should be used as much as possible, as in the special chess sets blind players are allowed to feel during play.

dfan wrote on 11/21/14 at 13:45:26:
I do calculate, I just keep track of the position in a more abstract manner than I understand most people do.

Possibly many, maybe even most players think in roughly the same, more abstract way you do; they just call it "seeing" or "imagining" because that's the closest thing to it and they haven't thought much about the difference.
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #167 - 11/21/14 at 13:45:26
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hicetnunc wrote on 11/21/14 at 08:51:28:
But if you can't imagine visually, how can you play chess ? How do you calculate variations ?

(Honest question : I'm not versed at all in these fields)

I pretty much just keep track of where everything is in my mind, rather than "seeing" a position with pieces. It is certainly made much easier by the fact that there is a position on the board in front of me that I can refer to, and just think about the differences between it and the position I'm thinking of. I do calculate, I just keep track of the position in a more abstract manner than I understand most people do.

Despite being 2000 USCF, I can't play blindfold at all, which I understand most people even a bit below my level can. I can do much better if you put a blank chessboard in front of me, though, and I can imagine where pieces are on it.

I used to blame my lack of further progress on my lack of visualization, but then I realized that if that were the case then my correspondence play would be much better than my OTB play, which it isn't. So I don't think that it's really holding me back significantly (yet).
  
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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #166 - 11/21/14 at 11:57:42
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Jupp53 wrote on 11/20/14 at 22:54:07:
A drop of water in your visual wine: 20% till 25% cannot imagine visually. So there must be something else.

Hendriks is educated in this field. I saw this when reading a little in his book.

[Maybe it's the same problem I have with understaning why Rowson's Seven deadly sins are mostly more appreciated than his Chess for zebras. The letter shows clearly a deeper understanding of the thinking process.]


I want to alter this statement a bit as to my experience.
In the beginning there is nearly no visualisation and how should it. And then step by step it begins very slowly to spread over the board. Most of us are able to control a certain sector of the board visualy but have problems to stretch beyond this.
When I do tactics training with my pupils they tell me that they are able to imagine the ongoing changes in the hot spot area. The infight with the King on g8 in the northeastern sector of the board is on the screen for them. But the farer you leave that hot spot the foggier the view gets. A decisive blow with say Qh2-a2 is hard to see for them all the more if it is a silent move. That's coincides with what Korchnoi (to my knowledge) once said about such long moves.
What's too interesting: When I advice them to close their eyes just to get an image clear enough of the future position they are irritated. They like it more to stare at the board even if there the very piece positions may disturb the calculation.
That behavior of Carlsen hanging in his chair staring into thin air or seemingly nearly falling asleep comes to them as a strange perhaps neurotic behavior of a genius mind...   
  

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Re: Chess Book Review blog
Reply #165 - 11/21/14 at 11:33:39
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Very interesting topic.
In their marvellous, scienceloaded but all the way humorous trilogy "Science of Disc World" Terry Pratchett, Ian Steward and Jack Cohen suggest to better call homo sapiens as pan narrans, the talking or more concrete, story telling ape.
I found that very stricking. It's the so unbelievably highly differentiated ability to talk that makes us human or narratic. As Pratchett et al. underline we allways tend to make a story of it, whatever it is. And may it be chess.
We tend to structure it verbaly as we are social and try to communicate, try to give every position a story understandable for others. How much we need a talkable structure may be