DVDs: is it just me?

I treated myself to a ChessBase Fritz Trainer DVD recently, 943Mb of files crammed into one corner of a 4.7Gb disc.  Nearly all the space is taken up with movies of a balding middle-aged guy stumbling through commentary like:

That's what I call a book title

div style="text-align: center;"span style="font-weight: bold;"THE GAMES/spanbr style="font-weight: bold;" / span style="font-weight: bold;"in the/spanbr style="font-weight: bold;" / span style="font-weight: bold;"St. Petersburg Tournament/spanbr style="font-weight: bold;" / -- 1895-96 --br / withbr / Copious Notes and Critical Remarksbr / bybr / Messrs. JAMES MASON and W.H.K. POLLOCKbr / and illustrated bybr / Numerous Diagrams of Interesting Positionsbr / together withbr / span style="font-style: italic;"Portraits and Biographical Sketches/spanbr / of the Playersbr /

The Seven Deadly Chess Books

Jonathan Rowson is a young Scottish GM who has written two of the best and most important books of recent years: The Seven Deadly Chess Sins and Chess for Zebras.  They are important because they are some of the best discussions about how chess is actually played that I have ever read; often Rowson seems to be writing for the first time about things that have rarely been mentioned, let alone explored in any detail.  The books are also confusing, pretentious and irritating by turns. 

Logical Chernev

I've just come across two splendid swipes at Irving Chernev.

Here is John Nunn, in the introduction to his [span style="font-style: italic;"]Grandmaster Chess, Move by Move[/b]. He quotes a very illuminating annotation by Alekhin, and then goes on to say:

"[em]Lesser annotators are often fond of propounding grand general principles, but these are often totally misleading. A typical example occurs in Logical Chess, Move by Move (Simon and Schuster, 1957) by Irving Chernev (I have converted the descriptive notation to algebraic). His Game 3 ...

Authors and Openings Books

Ah, so easily done: the unobserved transposition.

Angus Dunnington's Winning with Unorthodox Openings [Everyman] gives on page 11 the line 1.b4 e5 2. Bb2 f6 3. b5 d5 4.e3 with the comment:

"Black must decide what his ambitions are in the centre"
...and gives 4...c5 and 4...Be6 as Black's main choices.

Then on page 23 the line 1.b4 d5 2. Bb2 f6 3. e3 e5 is given, where our guide remarks:

Review: Modern Chess Miniatures - Neil MacDonald

Modern Chess Miniatures by Neil MacDonald

ISBN 1 85744-166-4 Cadogan ?[[sterling]]9.99. 150pp inc. openings index

This is a most enjoyable little book. Miniatures are the most tempting of chess fare, tasty without being too rich, and MacDonald's collection includes a splendid variety. I imagine, in this database age, it's quite easy to collect and scan through umpteen miniatures, the added value coming only in the selection and commentary. Here MacDonald shines: he is keen to enthuse about

Book review: Taimanov's Selected Games - Mark Taimanov

[This review first appeared in Westward Ho!]

Book review: Taimanov's Selected Games

by Mark Taimanov (tr. Ken Neat) Cadogan 1995 ([[sterling]]?.??) viii+198pp.

Among the cream of chess literature have always been game collections: those of Alekhin, Fischer and our own John Nunn are among my (and surely others') favourites. There can be few more pleasurable experiences than reading well-annotated GM games. Mark


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