Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100 Chess Book Reviews: Part 8

This is the final movie. Phew!

Soon I'll finish posting a few loose ends, and then it will be time to close shop. Thanks to Liquid Egg Product's mascot for making another appearance in this video, though the bastard sort of took me hostage so perhaps I shouldn't be thanking him.

I forgot to thank the Knights Errant in general at the end of the vid, and some Knights in particular-- especially Takchess, PMD,Sancho, Nezha, and Celtic Death. But especially Takchess, who should have been near the top of the list (though the list was in no particular order). Sorry about that bud. There's no going back now--I deleted all this stuff from my hard drive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

read the Capa book , he was a genius.

4/15/2008 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

color me a saint, cause i'm not sick of your voice. that whole series was excellent, should be put on a cd and sold. great job man!

4/15/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

I've been working on a review of Chess Endgame Training for my blog...I missed yours. I'll have to check it out.

4/15/2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anon: That's the plan.

CL: Thanks dude.

GP: My little summary-review of that and other endgame books is here Note that was writte BS, Before Silman. In the spirit of liking books with lots of feedback and explanation, I prefer his over all. But they are good books.

4/15/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Loomis said...

Did I catch a glimpse of a linear algebra book in there getting an F from the mascot?

4/15/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: wow, good eye. Yep, it's Lay's book (second edition). (It has the best introductory story about principal components analysis and SVD that I've seen). The mascot is very low-brow. I, of course, give the book a B, like all good books.

4/15/2008 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I havent read it. C"

This review ROCKS!

4/15/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anon: lol. Someone who doesn't know my grading system is likely to be very confused by all this.

Though in my defense, for that book I said I didn't really read it, meaning closely. But enough to find advice that is already online, and a sort of narcissistic advocacy of their chess school without much helpful stuff. E.g., 'analyze your games.' Hmmm....where have I heard that before?

4/15/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? He went over to you? Un-freakin-believable; some eggs have no loyalty.

This really isn't the end. You'll be back. *sniff*

@loomis: He has a preference for non-Euclidean geometries.

4/15/2008 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

LEP: I woke up this morning and he was gone. I will miss you Mascot. I will never forget you.

4/16/2008 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Pearson said...

Best. Ever.

"The World will not see his like again."

4/16/2008 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

I think the mascot was sick or something. It sound like he had a Rolf in his throat ( or a Yasser).

4/16/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

BP: :) He may have been possessed.

I forgot to thank Takchess for recommending that book Russian Chess--it really is the perfect complement to Pandolfini's strategy "omnibus".

4/16/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out. Sorry to see you leave the chess blogosphere man.

4/17/2008 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

Awesome last chapter. I loved the music you chose. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I'm sorry I had caught on to this blogging thing earlier.

Please don't pull a Samurai on us and delete this. I want to go back and read older posts that I may have missed.

Thanks for the shout out. Hopefully our paths will cross sometime.

4/18/2008 01:50:00 AM  
Blogger takchess said...

Nice to see that The Band had a moment on your video. Fun to see how you went from the philidor playing for small advantages in the early days to being a gambiting fiend. I'll miss your blog. Good stuff was always found here. Good luck and hope to see you on the 64 sometimes.

4/18/2008 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Edwin: I'll miss you and the constant web address changes :) But I'll still be around reading blogs, commenting, trying to annoy DK. :)

Polly: Thanks. If I'm ever up in NY I'll try to get the best places to play (casual) games out of ya.

Tak: The Band is one of my favorite groups. I had to squeeze something in from them. Your blog has been great--it seems finishing the Circles has been really liberating for you, and it's great that you aren't burnt out like most Circle Jerks become.

I'll still be reading. I probably have two or perhaps three more posts, just tying up all the loose ends.

4/18/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

Hey, I'm gonna miss you too.

You definitely raised the bar to chess improvement blogging. In comparison to you, I am a mere hack. I have my limits outside the 64 squares which keeps me blundering and adding more fodder to poking fun at myself.

Incidentally, I didn't burn out either after the circles ( going on two years since my finish line).

4/18/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

BP: my theory is that you are a machine. You have all sorts of responsibilities but you still manage to keep at it with chess, even after doing the circles? That's some crazy shit.

I dont' know if I burned out as much as equilibrated. That is, while doing the Circles I was much more interested in chess than I really want to be. Now I'm at a comfortable low-maintenance few-blitz-games-a-week level.

When I started, I planned on 15 minutes a day on chess [!?]. After a year, it had become an hour. Then a year later, two hours. Then I finished the Circles and went back to normal.

But I do miss being a maniac.

4/18/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned Steinitz in your videos, did you know he was commited to a mental institution?
Did you know also , that Fischer was seen at bus stops and other public places preaching anti jewish beliefs.I read a book by FRED WAITZKIN, JOSH'S dad. He reminded me of an evening in 1975 ,
when I was a 6 yr old kid.
I was in a small chinese takeout place in Queens NY. There was a man on the other side of the room ,sitting in a chair. I asked someone who that is? He said thats BOBBY FISCHER THE CHESS CHAMPION.
I looked at him surprised , and he frowned at me.

4/19/2008 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Many of the greatest players have had mental breakdowns. Morphy and Fisher anyway. I didn't know about Steinitz.

4/19/2008 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Ok, you start to sound serious now about leaving the blogosphere. Even I can sense it.

We had a good time together and your comments have inspired me a lot. Thanks for that.

Yet I will give you a last advice. It took me 3 years to know which point I want to make. Now I know. My latest posts describe it. The coming years I intend to proof my point. So keep an eye on my blog. I probably will post less, because most thinking is already done, and I just have to apply it to practice. But if I can proof my case I'm sure you will find it interesting. Since the appliance isn't limited to chess improvement only but comprises all areas of expertise.

Good luck!

4/19/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: I always check out your blog, and won't stop chiming in from the peanut gallery even though I'll be stopping blogging after a couple of clean up posts.

4/19/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Hiddenleaf said...

It's too bad I only started my road to chess improvement now, at the very moment one of it's most inspiring bloggers is quitting.

I think I'm at about where you were a few years ago, although I don't seem to be able to get my CTS score below 1100. Then again, I don't really play games yet.

That's why I value your reviews of and advice on books and that's why I made you that handy list.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to your post on the good stuff you kept and how and in what order you think it should be studied. Here's your list.

4/20/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Hiddenleaf said...

‘Grade’ ‘Author’; ‘Title’‘. Subtitle’ AND/OR ‘, (Series)’, ‘Publiser’, ‘Year/Month’, ‘Vid #’
A+ Silman, Jeremy; Silman's Complete Endgame Course. From Beginner to Master, Siles Press, 2007/01, 5
A+ Wolff, Patrick; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess, Alpha, 2005/05, 7
A - A+ Cheng, Ray; Practical Chess Exercises. 600 Lessons from Tactics to Strategy, Wheatmark, 2007/05, 4
A Basman, Michael (Mike); Chess Openings, (Crowood Chess Library), Crowood Press, 1987/04, 3
A Chandler, Murray; How to Beat Your Dad at Chess, Gambit Publications, 1998/08, 7
A Chess Tactics for Beginners, Convetka, 3*
B Anderson, Ian; Chess Visualization Course, 3?
B Buckley, Mark; Practical Chess Analysis, Thinkers' Press, 1987/06, 7
B Burgess, Graham; Winning with the Smith-Morra Gambit, (Batsford Chess Library), Henry Holt & Co, 1994/12, 4
B Chernev, Irving; Logical Chess. Move by Move. Every Move Explained, Batsford, 2003/06 algebraic, 6
B Collins, Sam; Understanding the Chess Openings, Gambit, 2005/07, 4
B Davies, Nigel; Gambiteer I. A Hard Hitting Opening Repetoire for White, Everyman Chess, 2007/05, 6
B Emms, John; Attacking with 1e4, Everyman Chess, 2001/08, 7
B Euwe & Meiden; Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur, 5
B Euwe, Max & Meiden; Walter, Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur, Dover Publications, 1994/03, 6
B Fischer, Bobby; Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, Bantam, 1992/07, 7
B Golombek, Harry; Capablanca's Best Games, Intl Chess Enterpr, 1997/02 8
B Grivas, Efstratios; Chess College 2 Pawn Plays, Chess College, Gambit Publications, 2006/06, 7
B Heisman, Dan; Elements of Positional Evaluation. How Chess Pieces get their Power, Chess Enterprises, 1999/06 rev. ed., 6
B Heisman, Dan; Back to Basics Tactics, (ChessCafe Back to Basics Chess), Russell Enterprises, 2007/09, 3
B Kasparov, Garry; on My Great Predecessors part I, Everyman Chess, 2003/08, 7
B Kotov, Alexander; Think Like a Grandmaster, Batsford, 2003/06 algebraic, 6
B Littlewood, Paul; Chess Tactics, (Batsford Chess Book), Batsford, 2003/03, 6
B Maza, Michael de la; Rapid Chess Improvement, Everyman Chess, 2002/06, 6
B McDonald, Neil; Chess the Art of Logical Thinking. From the First Move to the Last, Batsford, 2004/09, 6
B McDonald, Neil; The Art of Planning in Chess. Move by Move, Batsford, 2006/08, 7
B McDonald, Neil; Queens Gambit Declined, (Starting Out), Everyman Chess, 2006/12, 2
B Müller & Lamprecht; Fundamental Chess Endings, Gambit Publications, 2001/10, 7
B Müller, Karsten; Fritz Trainer Endgames, 1*
B Pandolfini, Bruce; Beginning Chess. 300 Elementary Problems for Players New to the Game, (Fireside Chess Library), Fireside, 1993/08, 3
B Pandolfini, Bruce; Russian Chess, (Fireside Chess Library), Fireside 1987/03, 8
B Pandolfini, Bruce; Weapons of Chess. An Omnibus of Chess Strategies; (Fireside Chess Library), Fireside, 1989/11, 6
B Renaud & Kahn; The Art of Checkmate, Dover Publications, 1962/06, 7
B Rosario, Frisco del; A First Book of Morphy, Trafford Publishing, 2004/10, 3
B Sawyer, Tim; Alapin French, Thinkers’ Press, 1995/06, 3
B Snyder, Robert M.; Unbeatable Chess Lessons for juniors; (McKay Chess Library for Kids), Random House, 2003/11, 2
B Stean, Michael; Simple Chess. New Algabraic Edition, Dover Publications, 2003/1, 6
B Tisdall, Jonathan; Improve your chess now, Everyman Chess, 1997/12, 7
B Ward, Chris; It's your move. Tough Puzzles, Everyman Chess, 2004/01, 6
B Weeramantry & Eusebi; Best Lessons of a Chess Coach, (McKay Chess Library), Random House, 1994/02, 7
B Chessmaster 10th edition, Ubisoft, 2*
B Chess Tactics for Intermediate Players, Convetka, 4*
B Fritz 09, 1*
B The Total Marshall, 2*
B Unbeatable Secret Weapons for Black; Roman's Lab volume 17: Sic Def, Scan Def, 4*

* = not a book

4/20/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Hidden Leaf: I really am grateful for the commment and the list. Thanks a lot for both. I'll post the list soon in a separate post. Good luck with chess. Let me know if you start a blog, I'll link it on my sidebar.

4/20/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more web adress changes, promise ;)

4/22/2008 01:27:00 AM  
Blogger drunknknite said...

Although I enjoyed the Seirawan series when I was young and not very good, I can understand you calling them crap. But to then pick up a Schiller book, a fucking Schiller book!!?, and recommend it, is unacceptable. Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit after watching that...

5/08/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...


LOL. I didn't actually recommend it did I? It has a great discussion of the Fried Liver Attack from white's perspective, and for a kids book it really isn't that bad. The opening chapter (no pun intended) on opening principles is very well written.

The chapters on queen pawn openings (as black) are crappy, though.

I don't know how you can like Kaufman's book. Zzzzzz. :) I am obviously at a different stage than you are, as every opening for me is now a pretty much unsound gambit line.

5/08/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Seirewan, I should be clear, is crap when compared with the other great stuff out there. I think of all his books in that series, the one on the openings is the best, but it is one I would never recommend to someone starting out (Basman is God!).

Why buy Seirewan's tactics book when you can get Littlewood's beautiful little book?

5/08/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

sweet leaf: great service, in creating this list. warmly, dk

6/26/2008 02:05:00 PM  

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