Tuesday, September 7, 2010


For the past week I have been working on an Index for Purdy's Search for Chess Perfection. I have Learned a lot!

If you just read rag-tag throughout the book you will learn some things, but if you approach it from page 1 to the end, you will learn more.

When one is tired it's time to stop doing. When I wake up in the a.m. my FOCUS is strongest. I can understand things when I am rested 3-4 times better than when it is late and I have to read the content over two or three times to get it. It also, in general, makes more sense.

It will be a good index, in terms of entries, but because I am not an English major, there will be no prizes awarded for superb indexing though they will be above average (by quite a bit). Cross-indexing is the hardest because it requires a certain amount of mental gymnastics, over and over. I can only cover 40-50 pages per day... thank God for computers.

But HERE is where the Index is really important: you see two things, Purdy's incessant search for the best positions, illustrations, examples, and content... and you see the names of certain "players" over and over on every subject. These players usually are: Steinitz, Capablanca, and Lasker. There are others such as Fine, Botvinnik, and so on, but those three are BIG.

If I had to pick out ONE thing of supreme importance by Purdy it is the subject of development. Second on the list might be a tie: combinations and positional play. You can't know these things by guessing, but if you peruse the Index, it's almost as good as reading the book because there are lots of tweaks, tuning, and extended discussions. The added page numbers will also "prove" their importance.

As much as I like to sell chess books, and I do, I could easily recommend My Search for Chess Perfection over almost anything else out there when it comes to brilliant examples and work by a man who not only believes what he writes, but is willing to come back to it and straighten out anything that may have been "messed up" in the stew. He differentiates articles in magazines from those in books. Brilliant.

I knew this book was good, was positive it was good, but this time around I am convinced it is off the charts! It is not a small book, it will be over 400 pages. It will contain an extra chapter which I somehow left out from an earlier edition, and it cleans up a few tiny things here and there.

His two sections on HOW to eliminate or reduce Blunders is worth the price of the book, but it requires very close study. In fact, one of these days, I may do those chapters as a small booklet with more diagrams and extra explanations and examples based on other parts of Purdy's works. It is that good but it is also that compact.

This new edition probably won't be here until early october. It will be $39.95. It will weigh more than 2 pounds. It is electric.


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