Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today I got a batch of books from Everyman Chess. I was more than happily surprised by one.

I had known in the past that now GM Danny Gormally had a temper, and that the GM title seemed to elude him forever as he would fade or crash in the penultimate OR final round of an event. He finally made it, congratulations Danny. Your book is great despite the insipid cover design.

I saw this book title Play Chess like the PROs and as soon as I looked inside I realized I should have ordered more of them. While there are just 36 annotated games, the back of the book contains combinational material as well as solutions to exercises. The CREAM of the book is Gormally's opinions on things and fellow GMs before and during the games! He writes about Grinders and Gamblers (opposites) and what you need to do to win more games. It's only $26.95 (retail) for a little over 200 pages, but would easily be one of the most fun books to spend a weekend with.

Okay, that impressed me, but so did the following:
1. Chess Secrets: Heroes of Classical Chess. (At first I saw the "o" in Heroes as a "p" and wondered if Everyman had gone mad!) by Craig Pritchett. More in the Chess Secrets series and one of the bets-selling series I have had in a while. Ret. $26.95.
2. Chess Secrets: The Giants of Power Play by Neil McDonald. I've had this before but I had to get more. Ret. $24.95. Killers: Topalov, Geller, Bronstein, Alekhine, and Morphy!
3. Alekhine Alert! by Tim Taylor. For some reason, at least it seems so for me, Taylor's books have bombed big-time. Was it his article on Hungarian bawdiness in Chess Life years back, too many of his own games, or too much potatoes and not enough meat? I don't know (do you?). In this book he sticks to opening theory and games other than his own (he about 5 of his from a big selection of others). Almost 400 pages, $27.95 retail. I think Taylor is woefully under-rated as an author despite some of the dumb things he wrote earlier in CL.
4. Practical Endgame Play--mastering the basics by GM E. Grivas. Did I miss the boat on this book? I never got a review copy and twice when I ordered it I never received it. It has a 2008 copyright date on it. I bought a bunch of them so I hope this wasn't fatal! 32o pages, $25.95 retail. Excellent practical material. Will be reviewed in The Chess Reports as will be
5. Practical Endgame Play--beyond the basics by Glenn Flear. 544 pages!! A retail of $40.00. If anyone loved the endgame more than John Nunn or Karsten Mueller it might be Glenn Flear as he proves in this super book. His definition of the endgame is very much like Purdy's (one or two pieces for each side). Same story on this book. It was copyrighted 2007 but I had never seen it before. In the US there is a stigma against expensive books (except for Kasparov's and he got away with that because his last 8 books have been in hardcover). It was just reprinted.

Yes, I enjoy chess, and I play chess, but I have to make a living too. So these titles will be included in the new mini-catalog which will be out today or tomorrow. If you are not on my email list please contact me. I rather enjoyed putting this one together but all the Photoshop work was killing me!

Draw yesterday between Topalov and Anand. Tomorrow Anand has White and I suspect he will make Topalov work for his supper. When Anand jumped out of the chute against Kramnik it did a lot for his play and later confidence (which was needed as Kramnik tried to rally like he did against Leko--clearly that strategy no longer works).

1 comment:

  1. I have a copy of Flear's "Practical Endgame Play beyond the basics", but have not had time to go into it with much depth. However like you I did not even know about Grivas' mastering the basics volume (of the series?!)

    I think you are right that Tim Taylor has gotten a bad rap with his "TMI" incident on Chess Life. As far as his authoring ability I also do agree with it; he is an excellent author. I have his Bird's Opening book; no I don't play it but I see it often enough played against me in correspondence. I usually opt for the From's Gambit against it. His book has over a hundred pages on it. The From's Gambit is a veritable Pandora's box of an opening to begin with but he has many, many good ideas as he tries to defend the Bird. He has a good eye for gambit play and this one is not his only work on the subject. However being a Pandora's box the jury is not completely in on this and I have a few ideas of my own; but he has enlightened me in on where paths have gone before and included many of his own efforts where you would probably not be able to find anywhere else.

    In Pritchett's "Chess Secrets: Heroes of Classical Chess" we discover his secret, or at least who his favorite players were? are? I am a bit confused about the "Classical" part since I will let you in on one of his secrets, one of his heroes is "Anand", and he is alive and still quite active so I do not know what he means by "Classical" unless he talking about the time control, which for better or worse now seems to mean slower than 30/90 semi-speed chess that has infected some tournaments such as yearly "World" championship; really when you think of world championship does "Khalifman" come to mind? Give me a break.

    Finally, in the first book by "Gormally" (wasn't he the cartoon character in "Chicken Run"?) the players "Grinders" and "Gamblers" sound like some the members of your chess club that you write about in the "The Chess Reports".

    All the best, --laz