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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?>

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<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??>

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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: 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> ...
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 77 OF 77 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-06-21  fabelhaft: <moronovich>

You will certainly enjoy it! The book really makes one understand what a huge importance Nielsen has. He sure has been involved in winning many World Championships with Anand and Carlsen, and is a very central person in Abeln's book, which is full of anecdotes.

The one time when Nielsen and Anand disagreed was apparently after Anand had won the third game against Kramnik. Nielsen advised against repeating the same opening, Anand had done it one game too many against Kasparov in 1995, when leading.

Initially everyone agreed that repeating was too dangerous, Kramnik's team would surely have something prepared now, but eventually Anand changed his mind and risked it.

The seconds worked so hard during the nights that they often slept during games, but just before the game Anand suddenly needed to check a line and couldn't reach anyone but finally got hold of Wojtaszek, who quickly had to answer a question on a complicated line without being able to check with the computer. Wojtaszek was very nervous about having given the wrong anser, but it turned out he had been right. Some of these things read a bit like a thriller, well, not for normal people I guess :-)

Oct-06-21  fabelhaft: Nielsen had suggested picking Kasim for Team Anand, and it was a huge success. What the team referred to as "Kasim's Meran Baby" in principle won the match against Kramnik, and he worked tirelessly almost day and night with all the possible lines.

On the morning of the last game he was just shaking from caffeine and tension. As soon as the game started he went to sleep but Nielsen woke him up after the game and match were over.

Everyone celebrated and went home. Kasim had looked forward to seeing wife and kids again but turned in the door after hugging them. He was just totally finished. He went back to his hotel room at the match site and watched 30 episodes of Family Guy, and stayed a few days after everyone else had left, just sitting in his room. "His wife has never understood why he went back to Bonn".

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Thanks again <fabelhaft> !

I can also see how the book has giving you many fritfull and tense hours.

I am really looking forward to it.

Had a long conversation with Heine back in 2009.And it stroke me, that he alreday then called Magnus his friend.And talked about Anand becomming older.

Oct-06-21  parisattack: Books List:

Concur on: Fischer 60, Nunn's Understanding, Simple Chess. Not so sure on Pawn Power tho it is a classic.

Adding: From an instructional point-of-view I've gotten the most out of Botvinnik analyzing his own games. So, any of those starting with 100 Selected.

Oct-06-21  suenteus po 147: <parisattack> Thank you for thoughts and recommendation. I have seen people (like <Resignation Trap> and <keypusher>) post Botvinnik's analysis on his own games previously and have always thought it was very instructive and insightful. I will add his 100 Selected Games to my list for sure.
Oct-26-21  suenteus po 147: Read volume 2 of Lev Alburt's Secrets of the Russian Chess Masters and it was a quality chess manual. I think the title is misleading, unless he explained something in volume 1 that he never revisits in volume 2. It's the kind of book I wish I had read 20 years ago when I was still a club player. The focus on tactics and combinatory practice over opening theory and various styles of play was just what I would have needed back then. Still, as a player looking to become more advanced, I found it to be good reinforcement of lessons learned the hard way as well as providing some insights and techniques I'm still learning and incorporating into my game. A solid intermediate level book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Seems to me it's just difficult to come up with new titles for chess book that will attract attention among all the books being published.
Nov-22-21  parisattack: Book Review: Play the Orangutan 1. b4! by Carsten Hansen

I did a double-take when I first saw the advert for this book. Carsten Hansen writing a book on 1 .b4?!

The Dedication at the beginning of the book explains it – his father was a 1. b4 aficionado.

Hansen refers to it as the Orangutan, from Tartakower. It is more commonly known as Sokolsky’s Opening, sometimes the Polish Opening or simply 1. b4. This is all covered in a very excellent and thorough history and overview of the Orangutan worth the price of admission ($18.95). That chapter also relates the author’s games and experiences with the opening.

The book covers the opening based on Black setups – QG, King’s Indian, Dutch, etc. He gives considerable space to 1. …e5 as this is the most common reply to 1. b4. The 'Exchange Variation' (1 b4, e5; 2 Bb2, Bb4; 3. Be5) also covers Carlson’s ‘The Magnus Method’ with 4. c3. I used to play a similar line with 4. Nc3 and had some success.

I very much like the organization of variations and themes and found it helpful.

Clearly Hansen has done his research! Every variation comes packed with game references and fresh analysis. If there is a flaw in the book it is the formatting. Large blocks of game moves and analysis separated only by a1,a2, b1 type notation, parentheses, no indention. My diagrams were all OK though they are somewhat dark.

Definitely a fresh look at 1.b4!

A basic 1. b4 library along with this book:

Levy – b4 Sokolsky’s Opening. This is a translation of Sokolsky’s original Russian book with some updates. There is an earlier work by Schiffler but it is in German.

Lapshun – Play b4! A bit optimistic but a good book nonetheless.

Konikowsky – 1.b4 Theory and Practice.

There is ‘Marek’s b4 Database’ available online for a donation to his website. It also offers a very complete bibliography for 1. b4.

I played the Sokolsky for several years online and had decent results with it and enjoyed the offbeat positions which often occurred. Two thoughts:

1) Very easy for White to get underdeveloped on the kingside, 2) a3 is sometimes better than the aggressive b5 when the b4 pawn is attacked, something of a St. George in reverse. Hansen does look at this idea more than in other 1. b4 books I have in my library.

4.5 Stars, not 5.0 for the somewhat difficult-to-follow formatting.

Feb-27-22  parisattack: A Desert Island Chess Book

I received my copy of the latest edition (3rd, 2021 -1st 1998, 2nd 2004) of the Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games. This tome has 125 annotated games! It has kept me good company whilst I recover from a nasty fall.

I mean, how fat can a book get and how small can the print get. 😊 Annotated by a ‘team of British experts with over 1000 diagrams’ says the Amazon pitch. Of course, they mean GMs – the book is not annotated by 2000 ELO Brits.

Question: If you were stranded on the proverbial desert Island, what five chess books would you want to have with you? And…why?

This book would certainly be on my list. Subject to revision my other four: Tarrasch’s 300 Chess Games, Botvinnik’s Half Century of Chess, Polgar’s Chess Endgames and A Gnat May Drink by Hinton.

Feb-27-22  Z free or die: <<parisattack> I mean, how ... small can the print get.>

Aug-08-22  Shangri La: Can someone help me? Chessgames operator is not helping. They left me on Kibitz Restrictions. Maybe I can leave this message now but most of the time I am shut off. If this message works, I am shut off again for Kibitz Restrictions. This is my one chance for today. Please tell the operator to stop Kibitz Restrictions and treat us the same.
Premium Chessgames Member

<Shangri La> Sure I can help.

Here is a youtube video about how to assess your problem on kibitz restrictions:

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Nov-11-22  stone free or die: Just a quick post wishing <ParisAttack> well, where ever he is, and what ever he's doing.

I saw someone with a similar avatar which got me thinking of him - he's been off <CG> since June.

One of the good ones... always appreciated his book reviews.

Nov-30-22  parisattack: Thank you, <stone free or die>. I still check in here once in awhile, but the site has sort of lost its charm for me. Happy Holidays and good reading!
Nov-30-22  stone free or die: Good to hear from you <parisattack>.

And the same to you. All the best.

* * * * *

PS- My desert island book choice?

If I had to pick just one title, it might have to be Polgar's <Chess: 5334 Problems>:

My rationale?

Since I'd be alone, without internet or computer, it seems that book might hold the largest hours of chess entertainment.


Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Tell us, what's Polgar's book like?
Dec-01-22  Rdb: Hey , <fredthebear> , I have a question for you , if you please.

If I follow you around on this site and post some 'nonsensical ' comments to annoy you , would you mind (those 'nonsensical ' comments would not violate posting guidelines )?


Dec-01-22  stone free or die: <Tell us, what's Polgar's book like?>

It's like a brick - but one with 5334 tacticals inside.

Dec-01-22  stone free or die: I'm also assuming that the desert island only has accommodations for one - which makes any study book less relevant. That's why I went for a tactics book.

I have to admit, tactics is my favorite part of the game (even as much as I like history).

Dec-02-22  parisattack: There are a couple other Polgar (Lazlo) books - Middlegames and Endgames but they are pricey and the 5334 is often under $10.00. You can also use it to stand on so you can reach the coconuts.

For a single tome it would be difficult to select between it and the Mammoth 125 Games...

Dec-02-22  stone free or die: <You can also use it to stand on so you can reach the coconuts.>

Ha ha - good one!

<For a single tome it would be difficult to select between it and the Mammoth 125 Games...>

True that.

Dec-03-22  stone free or die: Since we were talking about bricks, I thought I'd post this song:

(Before clicking - can you guess the song? I think two songs come immediately to mind. I like this one better.)

Jan-03-23  parisattack: O’Kelly Sicilian – Two New Books

Around 1970, I began playing the Peilikan/Sveshnikov (see NOTE). Impressed with the game Robatsch-Larsen, Halle 1961, I began to look at other possible …e5 Sicilians. The O’Kelly, 2. …a6, caught my eye, and I played it with reasonable success given my limited skill at the game.

There is sort of an ‘open secret’ about the reply 3. d4 by White to the O’Kelly. Some label it a mistake. It isn’t! It simply gives Black an easy Pelikan/Sveshnikov since White’s strongest retort Nb5 is no longer possible. As you can see from any database 3. d4 is still very popular. Some play it not knowing better; some play it perfectly happy with the kinds of positions which arise. To take advantage Black often must play an early …d5 which does open up the position…

Obviously, 2. …a6 is a hypermodernist move. “We want Information” said No. 2 to the Prisoner – and so does Black before he commits central pawns.

O’Kelly Sicilian Books:

The only pure O’Kelly tome has been The O’Kelly Sicilian by Lutes ……. This is an MCO column style book and a must have if you are serious about this defense because of the many older game references. As Fischer once recommended about MCO: “Play over every line…then play them over again!”

There are references to a book by Richard Verber on the O’Kelly, but I have never seen a copy. I asked some other collectors who should know, and they’ve never seen it, either. If my pal Ed Labate hasn’t seen it, well…

Up to the present, otherwise, players had to get their O’Kelly kicks from general sources on the Sicilian perhaps most notably Dangerous Weapons: Sicilian.

NOTE: The variation had several names at the time (including ‘Lasker’s) but mostly was called the Pelikan after the Argentine player, Jiri Pelikan. This is before Sveshnikov gave it new life with an early …b5! Curiously, Larsen had played that move against Olafsson, Zurich 1959, but chose …Rc8 later in the above referenced game against Robatsch.

Jan-03-23  parisattack: But comes now two books on the O’Kelly Sicilian:

Play the O’Kelly Sicilian by Andrew Martin (Everyman 2022, 276pp) and The Modernized O’Kelly Sicilian by Jan Boekelman (Thinker’s Press 2022, 342pp).

Going in to these two tomes my conclusions on the O’Kelly would be summarized:

White’s primary replies are: 3. c4, 3. c3 (often cited as best) and 3. d4. The Wing 3. b4 is a real possibility. c3 is supposed to be the strongest, that at best Black gets an Advanced French with …a6 committed too early or a strange Scandinavian. c4 often leads to a Hedgehog formation unless Black tries to dragondorf it with …g6 or (my preference) an early …e5 any way!

The format of the Martin tome in line with other “Play the …” series, is game-based. There’s a couple dozen of them now more proof P.T. Barnum was right. “Collect ‘em all boys and girls!” The book includes 110 annotated games. This format makes for easy reading but lacks the thoroughness of the Variation-based format.

The chapter layout is logical: Introduction, O’Kelly Timeline, Routine 3. d4, Development 3. Nc3, Sensible 3. c3, Seizing Space 3. c4 and Loose Ends.

IM Martin begins his Introduction with a 3. c4 game where Black essays …e5. So, that’s good. But he says the common belief is that any of 3. c3, 3.c4 or 3, d4 gives White a small advantage. I’m not seeing that, as above. I am convinced 3. c3 is the critical line.

The chapter, Timeline of the O’Kelly (68 pp) is the star of the show. A truly excellent historical look at this variation and its development.

The four main body chapters on 3. c3, 3. c4, 3. Nc3 and 3. d4 are mostly adequate. His analysis of 3. c3 doesn’t alter my opinion of the move, as above. TNSTAAFL.

The chapter Loose ends covers, 3. b3, 3. g3, transpositions from 2. c3. The final two games look at 3. b4.

CHESS BOOK TIP! When you read a line like, “Remember you’re not playing a computer, you’re playing a flesh-and-blood human being.” It means the variation in question sucks.

Play the O’Kelly Sicilian is a workman-like tome and, as noted, the Timeline is almost worth the price of admission. I’ll give Andy a 4-Star on this effort.

I am not familiar with the work of Jan Boekelman, ‘a dedicated chess enthusiast and analyst’ but apparently, he has written other books for Thinker’s Press. I am familiar – and a fan – of Thinker’s Press!

According to the FIDE website, Jan’s Standard Rating is 2131…not too shabby. I’ve never believed you had to be 2400+ ELO to offer the world a decent chess book.

The Modernized O’Kelly Sicilian is variation-based, unlike Martin’s ‘game-based’ format. It is thorough, there is some heavy slogging, but it is laid out about as well as a variation/sub-variation/sub-sub variation book can be – until I spring my wonderful ‘ParisAttack Format’ on the unsuspecting chess world…someday.

Boekelman’s TOC shows some creativity in arrangement of the material: Slow Set-Up by White, Routine Open Sicilian 3. d4, Maroczy Bind 3. c4, Delayed Alapin 3. c3, Sicilian Kan I, II and Anti-Sicilians. I prefer Martin’s but kudos to Boekelman for going his own way.

Just having spent minimal time with the book, I want to say his work on the critical 3. c3 is stronger than Martin’s and offers Black a couple of possible improvements to thread-the-needle to full equality.

There is also a Foreword, Preface and Theoretical Overview…all in five pages; nothing to compare to Martin’s Timeline. Modernized O’Kelly does offer both a Print and Digitized bibliography for those who must dig deeper.

The ‘mix’ in annotations between analysis and verbiage is excellent and well-balanced. The author does offer some historical derivatives and interesting tidbits therein. All-in-all, very readable.

I also give Boekelman a 4-Star for his work.

Truly both books would be strongly recommended to anyone thinking of playing the O’Kelly! They seem to complement each other quite well. Of course, don’t forget Lutes for the Complete O’Kelly Sicilian Library.

I dedicate this Book Review to my late-great chess friend, Nikolai Brunni. Godspeed, <Focus>.

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