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To answer any and all questions you may have about CHESS BOOKS.

The answers will be provided by the people who visit here. We welcome book reviews, book links, and conversation about your favorite books.


<Book Lists and Book Links>

1.<Chess Literature Forum> hosted by <Paris Attack> parisattack chessforum

2. Compiled by <Artar1>: The World vs G Timmerman, 2007 (kibitz #44183)

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The main day to day forum function here will be to offer a space for people to post specific questions about chess books= and to provide a space for the many experts at <> to answer those questions.

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<Has <<<anyone>>> has anyone read "My Best Games of Chess" by Vishy Anand? Is it good? Are there nice stories about his life or early career?>

<Can <<<anyone>>> recommend a book how to deal with Caro-Kann??>

<Can <<<anyone>>> recommend a good book on the Semi Slav??>

<Has <<<anyone>>> here had the chance to read the new edition of fischer's book? i've always wanted to read it, but i hear very scary stories about editorial modifications?>

<Can <<<anyone>>> recommend a book on the KID for an 1800ish player with some knowledge of the ideas in the KID but not a lot of knowledge regarding specific lines??>

All of these questions were posted recently somewhere at <>. The problem is that some were posted at game forums, some at the <Kibitzer's Cafe>, some at <player forums>, and so on. That means that the answers are scattered all over the place. With your help, we can make it easier for everyone to gain easy access to the wealth of information about <CHESS BOOKS> that exists at this site.



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   ChessBookForum has kibitzed 273 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-31-18 jessicafischerqueen chessforum (replies)
ChessBookForum: -> Trick or Treat! I'll have the candy, no chaser.
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ChessBookForum: <parisattack> Good news! <Dan> put us as the second item on the "What's New" list on the front page. I added your name to our forum, and also Boomie's, which was missing. That's because we haven't edited the dang thing since <Howard> shelled out the first ...
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ChessBookForum: Thanks so much from all of us! <What's New On December 10th, 2015, Chessgames turned 14 years old! Help us celebrate by participating in our annual Holiday Present Hunt, which will begin during the round 6 broadcast of the London Chess Classic. 64 prizes will be ...
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ChessBookForum: Brother <wordfunph> our forum is back and has been made permanent by the webmaster!
   Feb-21-11 Travis Bickle chessforum (replies)
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ChessBookForum: Hello <Penguin>. That better not be s picture of a "Penguin Burger". You don't want to get in trouble with Animal Rights Activists!
   Feb-21-11 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
ChessBookForum: Here are a few Chess History suggestions: 1. Al Horowitz <From Morphy to Fischer - a History of the World Chess Championship> This volume includes behind the scenes historical details about how every world championship match was ...
   Feb-21-11 kingscrusher chessforum (replies)
ChessBookForum: Hello <Tryfon> it's me- Jess. I've put on the ChessBookForum hat so as to kill two birds with one stone. Here are a few Chess History suggestions from my library: 1. Al Horowitz <From Morphy to Fischer - a History of the World Chess Championship> ...
   Feb-21-11 crawfb5 chessforum (replies)
ChessBookForum: Hello. Is this where I enter my moves for the <Battle of the Bahrains>?
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 73 OF 73 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-04-17  Paint My Dragon: <Zanzi> You're right, it's not the easiest to find. I recall waiting for about 5 years before I found my first reasonably priced copy. And whilst I've now got two copies, neither is in very pristine condition, it has to be said.

I've got no idea why the state doesn't make copyright-expired books freely available in a digital format - probably just a lot of work and a drain on dwindling resources.

I did once suggest to Hardinge Simpole that <A Century Of British Chess> would be a good title to revive in their popular white cover format, but I heard nothing back. Possibly a little on the large side for them, and also for Ishi Press, who are usually quick to exploit any overlooked classics.

Mar-04-17  parisattack: I've not see too many copies of it over the years. Mine is not in very good shape. H-S would be good but I dunno about the new Ishi - some of them look like the layout guy was dropping acid.

You can salve yourself with Reinfeld's more contemporaneous tome - British Chess Masters for five bucks or so...

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Of course Harding's

<Eminent Victorian Chess Players: Ten Biographies (2012)>

is quite, quite good.

Not exactly the same, but a good bit of overlap. (amazon) (Harding's site w/ reviews) (MacFarland)

(I guess this one was never published in hardcover.)

* * * * *

PS- I think I was mistaken about <A Century of British Chess> being in public domain. Given that Sergeant died in 1952 it goes out of copyright only in 2022 in Britain.

On the other hand, it may be in PD in the US:

<1923 through 1963 --
Published with notice but copyright was not renewed -- None. -- In the public domain due to copyright expiration>

assuming the copyright was not renewed.

Mar-04-17  Paint My Dragon: <z> I've often wondered how strictly the copyright on chess books is adhered to. There are many titles originally published a lot later than <A Century Of British Chess> that have already made it into the H-S catalogue - Golombek's books on the Botvinnik-Smyslov WC matches and Bent Larsen's Best Games Of Chess are just three examples. I suppose the recipient of the deceased author's estate may have sold them the copyright, but I've always suspected they didn't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I just got my copy of "Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate , Chess Warrior" in the mail! It is really a gorgeous book! A great tribute to Tate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: chess book shop

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: If people say they just Love the smell of books, I always want to pull them aside and ask, To be clear, do you know <how reading works>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: I have a general question:
Is there a really, really good book that will cover the Chigorin Defense in the Ruy Lopez in a comprehensive manner?


Apr-02-18  N0B0DY: <kamalakanta: Is there a really, really good book that will cover the Chigorin Defense in the Ruy Lopez in a comprehensive manner?>

No, at least by <N0B0DY>'s standards.

But <N0B0DY> heard that accomplishes true wonders ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <kamalakanta: Is there a really, really good book that will cover the Chigorin Defense in the Ruy Lopez in a comprehensive manner?>

Glenn Flear's 'Ruy Lopez main Line' is pretty good. I think it's a very good book on the closed defense of the Ruy Lopez. In discussing the closed Ruy, Flear actually starts with the Chigorin since it's one of the main lines of the closed defense, and he from there works back to less common, including some rather offbeat, variations.

Here it is on amazon:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Thanks! Anotjer friend also recommended Flear's book! Will get it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Another
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I think that the quality of chess books was much better in former times. And they were also more serious. These authors felt a greater responsibility than our present-day authors. I still like the books of Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker and Tarrasch. I followed their examples. Not only to give variations, but to explain some ideas."

- Anatoly Karpov

Aug-15-18  parisattack: I haven’t purchased many chess books in the past year or so, but here are very brief reviews on five opening books I thought interesting and entertaining:

The Elshad System - Igor Nemtsev

A system for black based on the moves ...d6, ...c6, ...Nd7, ...h6, ...g5. Yeah, you need to be a pioneer to play this one – you’re bound to get a few arrows in your back. But for playing down and rapid it could be useful. Nemtsev has a nice writing style and the games are quite entertaining and do open up some ideas.

No Passion for Chess Fashion – Raetsky & Chetvirik

Covers offbeat ideas in several openings: King’s Gambit, Petrov, Ruy Lopez, Scandinavian, Alekhine, French, St George, Sicilian, Albin Counter Gambit, Chigorin and English. If you have seen the old SOS series, this is somewhat similar. The sections on the St. George and the Albin are quite long – about 50pp each. I think both of those, perhaps especially the Albin are quite playable. It is well organized and very readable.

The Czech Benoni in Action – Hoffman and Keener

Lots of ideas and motifs of the Czech Benoni. I certainly wouldn’t play it without studying this book. Actually, I wouldn’t play it, period. I’ve never been able to make any of the Benonis work for me.

The Modernized Reti – Adrien Demuth

For me, this is a 5-star tome! It is 429 pp and packed with ideas (new and old), motifs, and move orders in the Reti. He attempts to breathe some new life for white in the Advance Variation where black plays …d4. I recommend this book!

The Hippo System

I try to purchase everything on the Robatsch family. This book goes beyond the earlier Hippo tomes, The Hippopotamus Rises by Martin and the section in Tiger’s Modern. The layout and organization is a little odd but it is a self-published book. It does have some really good material, quite a few games I have not seen before. If the Hippo appeals, don’t forget Winning with the Krazy Kat and Old Hippo co-authored by our very own Bill Wall.

Aug-15-18  Paint My Dragon: <parisattack> It would be hard to find a more stimulating bunch of books ... in fact, you've given me a few ideas I need to follow up!

Those <SOS-type books> are always a bit mind-bending. You'd certainly want to study the theory quite seriously, including all possible offshoots, before summoning the courage to roll them out. One outlandish move I saw recently was to recapture in the Exchange French with the Queen. I might start with that, as it will at least shock those guys who want to bore you to death. But heaven knows if the tiny bit of theory I have is any good.

I'm intrigued by the <Elshad System>. I've noticed some of the top guys playing this kind of stuff in their rapid and blitz. I already play the Black Lion, for which there would be transposition possibilities, undoubtedly.

That <Reti book> sounds very promising. One for the wish list, so thanks for the recommendation.

One other thing, I just noticed that Langrock recently brought out a second ed. of his <Rubinstein French> book. Seemingly, it is expanded, and includes an update of his lines against the Advance Var., which of course is the most common way that White swerves the Rubinstein. Well, I didn't buy the first ed., so this is a 'must purchase' for me. It's an effective way to stymie stronger players, or so I used to find when playing it in the 1990s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <parisattack> Thank you for these interesting reviews. The Reti-book seems to be a must-have. I have just one question: who is the author of 'The Hippo System'?
Aug-15-18  parisattack: Hi <Paint My Dragon>. I haven't seen the 2nd eddy of Langrock's tome on the Rubinstein. I am sure I have more books on the French than any other opening..around 110. I very much like Moskalenko's French books.

I've always liked hypermodern and unusual openings. Under 2200 I think if you have studied an opening and understand it well they are safe to play. Plus they are fun!

If you like the Elshad you'll definitely want the Krazy Kat if you don't now have it.

Thanks for checking in; I'd like to see this forum be more active.

<Count Wedgemore> Oops, good spot! Eric Briffoz and it is the 3rd eddy:

Aug-16-18  Paint My Dragon: <parisattack> Agreed. Unusual openings are great entertainment value, and rarely disadvantage you in short time limit chess. The Krazy Kat though? Hmmm ... I'm not sure I'd enjoy the game much if Black decides to capture immediately on h3. Well, maybe I'd understand it more if I saw the book ...

Yes, those Moskalenko books are a treat for French players.

Aug-16-18  parisattack: <I'm not sure I'd enjoy the game much if Black decides to capture immediately on h3.>

Well..there has to be a reason the top players don't essay them. :) Still, Carlsen played the North Sea against Adams. He lost, but certainly not because of the opening.

I have the printer-ready manuscripts for Jim Bickford's final Syzygy volumes - North Sea and Milner-Barry. I should update them both and offer as Kindles sometime. (Rights reverted to me after his passing in 2007.)

Aug-16-18  parisattack: RETI

The Modern Reti: An Anti-Slav Repertoire – Alexander Delchev

I would be remiss not to mention this book; it gets excellent reviews. It is a little more ‘workmanlike’ than the Modernized Reti but doesn’t (for me) read as well nor does it explain ideas as well. Delchev also takes a stab at rehabilitating the Reversed-Benoni for white.

Apparently a Move-by-Move volume on the Reti is due out later this year, also. Ugh.

I need to update my Reti Opening list…


The Wiki on the Hippo has quite a few references including this on the WaybackMachine site:

Diagrams are missing, pretty standard for the Wayback.

I still have never seen a copy of J.C. Thompson’s little book(let) on the Hippo. A copy was listed on ABE a few months ago but I couldn’t quite stomach the price - $180.00 (!) Apparently someone could; it is no longer listed.

Probably something in these on the Hippos:

Bill Wall was a contributor to them, also. I downloaded all issues some time back with the idea of printing and binding them...but like other chess projects just haven’t gotten to it.

Sep-03-18  parisattack: Dutch Defense Books

Bellin -Winning with the Dutch
Martin -Trends in the Dutch 1988
McDonald - Starting Out: Dutch Defense
McDonald -Dutch Defense
Minev & Donaldson Dutch Defense: New and Forgotten Ideas Moravian Press - Dutch Defence 81#1
Moskalenko - The Diamond Dutch
Palliser & Williams - Dangerous Weapons: The Dutch

Pedersen- Dutch for the Attacking Player [primarily Leningrad] Rendle - Play the Dutch
Schwarz -Hollandisch (Band #12)
T Christiansen & Silman - The Dutch Defense
Taimanov - Damengambit bis Hollandisch [Early ‘bis’ 1970]

Taimanov - Hollandisch bis Bird Eroffnung [Late ‘bis’ 1983]

Wienigk – System Theorie aus aller Welt, Band 1: Hollandisch A80-A99

Bellin -The Classical Dutch
The Dutch Defence - Pinski
Williams -Play the Classical Dutch
Williams -The Killer Dutch

Aagaard -Dutch Stonewall
Johnsen & Bern - Win with the Dutch Stonewall

Lalic - Trends in the Classical and Stonewall Dutch 2

McNab - Trends in the Classical and Stonewall Dutch 1

Moskalenko - Revolutionize Your Chess
Rudel - Dismantle the Dutch Defense
Sawyer -Dutch Stonewall Playbook
Schiller -Modern Dutch Stonewall (1990, 2012)

Beim -Understanding the Leningrad Dutch
Chess Digest/Hall -Leningrad Dutch
Chess Digest/Spiro -Leningrad Dutch
DeVault -The Leningrad Dutch Kindermann
Echecs International – Dutch Defence Leningrad System

Elvest - The Leningrad Dutch
Gurevich - Dutch Defence, Leningrad
Harding - The Leningrad Dutch
Lucciani -Dutch Defence Leningrad Variation
Malaniuk & Marusenko - The Leningrad Dutch
McDonald - Dutch Leningrad
McDonald - Play the Dutch (Leningrad)
Moravian A81 #1
Moravian -Dutch A86-87 #1
Moravian -Dutch A89
Olomouc - Complete Encyclopedia of Chess Openings: Dutch A88, A89

Soltis - Winning with the Dutch Leningrad 7…Qe8

Tisdall - Trends in the Leningrad Dutch

DeVault & Hickman – Play the Dutch against 1. c4 and 1. Nf3

Gillam – Staunton Gambit
Lonsdale -Dutch Defence: Balogh 1 d4 f5; 2 e4, d6

Martin - Contemporary Ani-Dutch
Schiller/Colias – How to Play Black Against the Staunton Gambit Watson (Alan) -The Anti-Dutch Spike: g4!

Dutch Defense Videos

Chess Central - The Stonewall Dutch
Chess Lecture -Studies in the Dutch Defense #106

Davies - The Stonewall Dutch
Foxy #32 - Leningrad Dutch
Foxy #48 - The Stonewall Dutch
Foxy #9 - Beating the Anti-Dutch Systems
Foxy #93 -The Modern Stonewall Dutch
Fritz Training – Leningrad System
Lilov -The Dutch Stonewall
Martin - ABC of the Anti-Dutch
Martin - ABC of the Leningrad Dutch
Williams - Killer Dutch

Please add to my list!
If you have a more comprehensive list of the various database dumps, enlighten me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <parisattack: Dutch Defense Books

T Christiansen & Silman - The Dutch Defense>

That should be: L Christiansen & Sliman

Oct-10-18  parisattack: An Opening Repertoire for White and Black

The Modern French – Antic & Maksimovic
The Modern Bogo 1. d4 e6 – Antic & Maksimovic
e3 Poison - Smith

I’ve been fascinated by chess openings from the time I first learned the game during Christmas break, 1966. I recall being thoroughly enchanted as I worked through Modern Chess Openings, 10th edition by Larry Evans.

Fifty-two years later I am still looking for a repertoire – even though I haven’t played tournament chess since 1973. I have somewhat circle back to where I began. As T.S. Elliot pens in Little Giddings, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

There have been quite a few repertoire books, mostly for Black but also several for White, beginning with the British Invasion of the 1970s. Many seek to find a single first-move for Black against any White first move.

There are possible repertoires with 1. …c6, 1. …d6, 1. …Nc6 and 1. …e6. Previously in this forum I have listed books for the latter three moves. Some, such as Larsen’s Zoom, seek similar structures against 1. e4 and 1. e4.

Reviewed here are three books offering a repertoire for both Black and White based on 1. …e6 and 1. d4 and 2. e3. The only other White/Black repertoire books I can think of at the moment are the Sniper (g3, c4, Qa4 & g6, c5, Qa5), White and Black Lion and the Hippo. I do see now a book promoting 1. Nc3 and 1. …Nc6.

1. …e6 for Black is certainly the most flexible of the single first move variety repertoires. e4, e6 2. d4 offers Black a French, an English/Owens, Hippo and with 2. …c5 possibilities for a Sicilian or a Franco-Benoni. d4, e6 2. c4 offers Black a Nimzo/Bogo/Queens/Catalan, a Dutch, an English or a Benoni.

The Modern French – Antic& Maksimovic

My latest count shows 133 books on the French. This tome is certainly one of my favorites. Others – Watson’s Play the French, Uhlmann’s Winning with the French, McDonald/Harley Mastering the French and Moskalenko’s books - Wonderful Winawer and [Even More] Flexible French.

This is an excellent repertoire tome. Two things make it stand out: 1) The recommendation of the MacCutcheon variation instead of a Winawer or Classical. Of course, often you will get a Steinitz from white and the book covers that variation in great detail, 2) The layout makes it relatively easy to follow variations, sub-variations and sub-sub variations. I say ‘relatively’ as there may be an even better way to accomplish that task…

I’ve tried opting out of the French with 2. …c5 to get a Franco-Benoni but most of the time I wind up with a Kan Sicilian or something similar.

The Modern Bogo 1. d4 e6 – Antic & Maksimovic

This is the companion volume to The Modern French, completing a full repertoire with 1. …e6. It is a bit of a strange book insofar as the non-Nimzo-Indian sidelines can get somewhat quirky. The basic idea is to opt out of 2. …Nf3 after 2. c4 with 2….Bb4. Sometimes, as the authors note, it is best to just revert to the Nimzo-Indian. Still, the flexibility of 2. …Bb4 does offer some interesting ideas, not the least of which is punting to a Dutch or at least having …f5 in reserve.

e3 Poison - Smith

When I purchased this book I thought it would be mostly about 1. e3; but not. It is really about ‘quiet’ variations of a QP game with the QB inside the pawn structure. It also discusses 1. Nf3, d5; 2. e3 and 1. c3, e5 2. e3. The authors do offer some interesting new ideas and the book is very readable, easy-to-follow.

The only 1. e3 line covered is the Exchange French and there are quite a few good tips on how to play it as white. It definitely does come with a ‘drop of poison.’ The author also notes some definite ‘do’s and ‘don’ts for White in that line.

Interesting the subtitle of the book is “A 21st Century Opening Repertoire.” Tartakower played many of these lines (non-c4 QP) almost a hundred years ago!

Premium Chessgames Member
  hemy: Alan McGowan recently published book "Kurt Richter. A Chess Biography with 499 Games":

Books of/about Paul Keres from my electronic books collection can be downloaded from my Dropbox:

Books of/about Aron Nimzowitsch from my electronic books collection can be downloaded from my Dropbox::

Dec-09-18  Jean Defuse: ...

Free memorial e-book about an outstanding character in chess:

Johan Wilhelm van Hulst - <Een leven lang schaak als sublieme bijzaak>


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