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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Game collections (Read 64023 times)
Markovich
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Re: Game collections
Reply #15 - 08/15/05 at 13:04:46
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Thanks, Smyslov_Fan.  I actually have the Speelman book. 

Bile?  IT IS KORCHNOI!!  Of course there is bile.  Should we think less of Alekhine's game collections because he was an arrogant jerk who fabricated some of his game scores? 


But Alekhine does not trouble us in his annotations, which is the whole point.  If someone wants us to read his annotated games, he should write well, and write truly about chess.   

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Should we think less of Smyslov's games because they are so dull?   


This comment is a complete non sequitur.  Korchnoi was not criticised for his play, but for his unpleasant, uninformative writing.
  

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Prince-Nez
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Re: Game collections
Reply #14 - 08/15/05 at 12:14:51
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It is amazing how my thread got hi-jacked with all this tournament book discussion.  Grin  Grin

That is ok.  I'll mention one myself.  The new one by Jan Timman, Curacao 1962.  I just got it a week or so ago.  I don't know that it will be a true classic because some of the annotations have the whiff of being an afterthought.  Perhaps that isn't fair because I only just got the book.  Still,  I will already state that it is a book well worth getting.  This was a fascinating and important event and if you love chess history (and historical photographs) that is reason enough to get it.
  

We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. &&~ Henry James
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bravehoptoad
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Re: Game collections
Reply #13 - 08/15/05 at 12:03:11
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Actually, for tournament books I'd pick (after Zurich 1953) Botvinnik's Soviet Chess Championship, 1941, AVRO 1938 and First Piatgorsky Cup by Kashdan.  But then, where would Tri matcha anatolya karpova by Botvinnik (I don't know the English title, if there is one) fit in?  It covers three Candidates' matches from 1974.


I love the Second Piatgorsky Cup, or Santa Monica '66, because of the way the games are independently annotated by both grandmasters, and how often they disagree with each other.  Occasionally the battles are strictly over the tactics, in which case you can see why someone lost!  But most often they have different ways of interpreting what actually happened in the game. 

If more tournament books were done in that format, I'd buy all of them, and spend far too much money on chess books.
  
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Prince-Nez
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Re: Game collections
Reply #12 - 08/15/05 at 10:36:03
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Btw Prince-Nez,

Huebner's book was published in English but is almost impossible to find these days.  You might be able to find Jon Speelman's Best Games which also has about ten pages per game worth of notes!

Korchnoi's two volumes My Best Games is an exercise in bile.  He berates his opponents and complains that they don't understand the most basic principles of opening/positional/endgame play.  His game selection isn't even "great".  His 400 Games contains many better games and more objective analysis.


Thanks, Smyslov_Fan.  I actually have the Speelman book. 

Bile?  IT IS KORCHNOI!!  Of course there is bile.   Grin  Should we think less of Alekhine's game collections because he was an arrogant jerk who fabricated some of his game scores?  Should we think less of Smyslov's games because they are so dull?   Grin   I am a fan or Korchnoi's and I stand by my recommendation of those books.

However, I made a mistake.   It is very hard to single one collection out.   There are so many good ones.  Still, I don't know how the two Keres' volumes that Markovich mentioned escaped my mind.  Those are great, great books that I think more players could profit from then the Korchnoi volumes.
  

We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. &&~ Henry James
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woofwoof
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Re: Game collections
Reply #11 - 08/15/05 at 10:16:25
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Well ive got:

1) Life & Games of Mikhail Tal -Tal
2) Mikhail Tal's 50 best games - Clarke
3) Spassky's 100 best Games -Barden
4) My 60 Memorable games - Fischer (faber)
5) My 50 yrs of Chess - Marshall
6) Capablanca's 100 best games -Golombek.

1) & 5) apart from having good games & brief explanations of ideas of certain moves also have plenty of light hearted & amusing anecdotes. But 1  also contain highlighted parts of  certain games, so not all games are complete games.

2) are 50 full games of Tal from his early days to the time he won the Wch from Botvinnik. Full of his typically speculative sacrifices all over.

3) & 6) have nicely written autobiographies of the player concerned. In 3, there are a few KG games including that 'James Bond' one against Bronstein. Quite a nomber of Saemisch games against the KID which is quite typical of Spassky. I didnt realyl enjoy 6) for the want of more action from Capa.....but have to admit his handling of the various positions & his positional judgement & feel is really sublime.

4) has a lot of very heavy going analysis of variations and sub variations which at my level is most of the time pretty unfathomable. But i like the games & try to pick out the ideas of both positional & tactical themes involved. As you play thro more games you will also see that Fischer isnt a full blooded tactical player like Tal or Marshall always on a lookout for a sac or a swindle. he is more of a very aggressive version of Capablanca! - aggressive positional play building up to neat attacks later (some games dont even have sacs). I like his candid observations and comments of certain key positions or of his opponents. Larry Evans wrote good & sometimes witty introductions to each game.

If I had to choose just one..... Probably Fischer.
  

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Markovich
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Re: Game collections
Reply #10 - 08/15/05 at 07:53:44
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Kere's selected games of chess annotated by himself, currently published in two volumes named, respectively Paul Keres: The Quest for Perfection and Paul Keres: The Road to the Top, constitute by far the best game collection that I have ever read.

I learned a great deal about chess from reading the Great Man's ideas, which address not only technical issues but fighting considerations too.  The analyses are neither too detailed nor too sparse. 

These volumes basically reprint, in alebraic notation, a previous three-volume set brilliantly edited by Harry Golombek, and the absence of Golombek's name from the cover is deeply offensive to the gods.  Instead all the ostensible credit goes to John Nunn, whose main contribution seems to have been to check Kere's analyses with a computer and point out his occasional mistakes.  Nunn does, at least, provide a few extra games and does mention Golombek in his introduction. 

I do suspect that the decision to omit Golombek's deserved credit was not Nunn's, but Batsford's.

I also think that Frank Marshall's My Fifty Years of Chess is a cheerful and entertaining collection. It brims with sharp tactics and crafty swindles.
  

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Re: Game collections
Reply #9 - 08/15/05 at 04:55:49
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I assume *Game Collection* does not necessarily mean same player's games. My favourite is Zurich International. I have just ordered Understanding Chess Move by Move, based on a recommendation from a GM. Any views?

I have it. It is decent, but I find it very inconsistent. On the one hand you get very deep analysis or comments at some points, but on other points he talks like his audience consists of people who just learned chess. It is certainly not a bad book, but I am unsure about its value.

My favourite games collection is Uhlmann's winning with the french. I learned more from it than from any other opening or complete games book.
Two other books I very much liked are not really game collections:
-Flear's mastering the endgame in which he mixes his own endgames with theory. I found that very insightfull, though the endgames are very tough to understand at one read.
-Donner's the king. Collection of his writings, which are very funny when you're dutch. Iirc there are only three analysis of his own games, but they absolutely entertaining. The most brilliant one is his win over Velimirovic in a Benoni in which he gets completely run over by black, but wins in a spectecular endgame.
  

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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Game collections
Reply #8 - 08/15/05 at 03:47:22
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Well Castlerock,

You're the first to have given How to Learn from Your Mistakes a thumbs up!  I own it and did profit from some of the analysis of Larsen's games (Scandinavian and Petrov's openings), but the most interesting losses had almost no notes whatsoever.  I wouldn't rank it as one of the great books.  I did however neglect a whole slew of great books including collections by Nunn, Geller, Kramnik, Gelfand (mentioned elsewhere), Capa, Bronstein, Keres, Kasparov, Botvinnik, Anand....

As I said, the list of great books seems endless!
  
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Re: Game collections
Reply #7 - 08/15/05 at 03:04:18
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Nobody has menstioned that lovely little book, Learn from your mistakes by Karpov. It's a good book.
  

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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Game collections
Reply #6 - 08/15/05 at 01:46:47
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Btw Prince-Nez,

Huebner's book was published in English but is almost impossible to find these days.  You might be able to find Jon Speelman's Best Games which also has about ten pages per game worth of notes!

Korchnoi's two volumes My Best Games is an exercise in bile.  He berates his opponents and complains that they don't understand the most basic principles of opening/positional/endgame play.  His game selection isn't even "great".  His 400 Games contains many better games and more objective analysis.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Game collections
Reply #5 - 08/15/05 at 01:38:53
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Actually, for tournament books I'd pick (after Zurich 1953) Botvinnik's Soviet Chess Championship, 1941, AVRO 1938 and First Piatgorsky Cup by Kashdan.  But then, where would Tri matcha anatolya karpova by Botvinnik (I don't know the English title, if there is one) fit in?  It covers three Candidates' matches from 1974.

Oh well... As far as game collections go, Tal's Life and Games is a favorite, and both volumes of Fire on Board by Shirov are excellent. 


My sentimental favorites are:   My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1937 by Alekhine, Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces, Taimanov's Selected Games, My Sixty Memorable Games, V Pockakh Garmonii (In Pursuit of Harmony) by Smyslov (of course), and The Games of Tigran Petrosian (two volumes) by Shekhtman.

Do I have to pick just one???

There are other game collections that deserve to be mentioned because of their fantastic analysis.  These include Power Chess by Keres, The Art of Chess Analysis by Timman, and yes MNb, The Art of Sacrifice as well as the indispensible Mammoth Book of The World's Greatest Chess Games.

Phew.  I've only scratched the surface of great books.  I can ruthlessly say who is a better chess player, but to choose one great book over another is too hard!
  
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bravehoptoad
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Re: Game collections
Reply #4 - 08/15/05 at 00:36:24
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Sure, we could start a separate thread for tournament books, though I'm afraid Zurich and Santa Monica '66 would garner 90% of the votes.

I'll give my favorite collections, then ones that I think are overrated, then what I'm going through now, then what I want to see, but haven't yet. 

Favorite collections:  I like the Larsen collection.  I was just playing through one of his Bird games earlier today against Spassky, where he plays 1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 g6 4. b5!? 

Tal's best games are great.  It's so anecdotally written that it's fun just to read through without hardly a reference to the actual chess, though that, being Tal, is of course exciting stuff.

I've always had a soft spot for Keres' collection, maybe just because it was my first one.  I like Nimzovich's "collection" at the back of _My System_, though I'm afraid my chess was worse after playing those games, because his style is contagious and dogmatic.  Uhlman's _Winning with the French_ is probably the one I've played through the most, though of course all the games are Frenches. 

Overrated:  I imagine a lot of people are going to say Fisher's 60 games, but that one was always too dry for me.  Most of the actual English seems like it's in one word sentences, "Not", "but", "intending", etc.

Current collection:  the one I'm playing through now is a combined volume of Alekhines best games, I and II.  I like his games because they seem so simple compared to modern games, so that it's easy to see how he executes his plans.  However, he's something of a snotty annotator.  He loves to make Capablanca look bad; he loves to give short, cryptic "explanations" that can sometimes be tough to figure out but certainly demonstrate how smart he is; he loves to give a move an exclamation mark and then twenty moves later say "The point!" to prove he saw that far ahead.  Still, I'm getting a lot out of it.

Next collection:  I'd love to get Botvinnik's collected games, but yow, those books are expensive.  What's with Botvinnik?  Why, of all world champions, are his games worth so much more moolah than anyone else's?  I particular want them for his French and Dutch Stonewall games, so rats.
  
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Prince-Nez
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Re: Game collections
Reply #3 - 08/14/05 at 23:52:01
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I assume *Game Collection* does not necessarily mean same player's games. My favourite is Zurich International. I have just ordered Understanding Chess Move by Move, based on a recommendation from a GM. Any views?



No, I meant a single player's collection like Alekhine's Best Games or Tal's or whomever you like.

Still, I agree on Zurich.   It is a classic.
  

We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. &&~ Henry James
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Re: Game collections
Reply #2 - 08/14/05 at 23:44:02
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I assume *Game Collection* does not necessarily mean same player's games. My favourite is Zurich International. I have just ordered Understanding Chess Move by Move, based on a recommendation from a GM. Any views?
  

CastleRock
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Re: Game collections
Reply #1 - 08/14/05 at 21:23:39
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My favourite: The art of sacrifice.
Necessary: Velimirovic, especially a collection of games with piece sacrifices in the Sicilian.
  

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