Saturday, May 29, 2010


Years ago I had a chess colleague named Tom. Tom had an incredible memory. Tom was also a B.S.-er par excellence, finagler, and cheap as can be. But the memory thing was mostly tied to traps. In fact, Irving Chernev's Winning Chess Traps. 300 traps of all kinds. Some of them probably not worth publishing but 300 was the number, sort of like 1001 or 101.

For some reason people can't afford even a $2.95 book, which was what that book sold for at the time. Tom did buy that book, memorized most of the traps in there, especially stuff related to the Bishop's Opening or the Giuoco Piano (Italian Game for young people).

It sounds ridiculous but I saw instances where his opponents walked right into them, first foot forward, then the whole body, the hokey pokey with no taking of body parts out!

You would think, wouldn't you, that if you saw someone sacking their Q you might be suspicious. The problem is, in a few cases, by sacking his Q, Tom was usually already up a piece. When they took the Q he would deliver mate. None of these traps were particularly sneaky, they just worked that way.

I don't remember any of his victims coming to me and asking, "Do you know where he got that idea?" Nah, they just prayed they wouldn't do it again.

In 1998, for Gambit, Steve Giddins wrote 101 Chess Opening Traps. These are said to be "deadly." They must be because this book has been reprinted 3 more times! These are old and new. Lest you think only unknowns lose in this collection, you better have another look. Most games appear to be less than 20 moves. This book retails for $14.95. The G&L CHESS price is $12.75 and the Gold Card price is $11.25. It's hard to beat.

Next up is John Nunn's 101 Chess Miniatures. I mentioned this one in The Chess Reports recently and subscriber Chris Kim told me the book has been added to, title changed, and price raised. But it's only 24 more games. Th 101 book is $19.95 retail even though it is a 1999 book (but these games are timeless). The revised and larger book is $29.95 and titled Grandmaster Secrets: Winning Quickly at Chess. I suggest, don't SPEND your money! I like Nunn's writing skills but I really am tired of everything coming out of Gambit as a "Secret." None of us play like Gandmasters so why is he writing this book for us, or, is it for us? Gambit has been doing a lot of "retread" work too. When I see something like this my first thought is that the author not only wants to update what he did, but to correct problems with what originally happened--caused by the rush to publish.
The G&L CHESS price is $16.95 and the Gold Card price is $14.95.

You can buy BOTH of these from G&H CHESS at the following prices:
$25.75 + $4.25 shipping or $30.00 total.

For the Gold Card the 2-book price would be $24.95 + $4.05 for shipping or $29.00. There is power in owning a Gold Card. I can ship right away.

I hope all of you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Don't forget the visit the graves site of those who have been important to you. It always brings me back to reality.

I won't be writing on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea to visit the grave sites. The ones for my parents are in Hood River Oregon which is also where I was born 68 years ago on 30 May. So I plan to drive up there and the weather is suppose to be nice.
    Going to move soon so today I gave away 4 boxes of CHESS LIFE to a used bookstore. He would not give me anything for them but I thought what the heck. Two scholastic fellows I offered them to did not reply.

    Russell Miller Camas WA soon to be Vancouver WA