Although I was never fortunate enough to take part of the chess club… anywhere… I have always loved the game intensely. Some of my fondest growing up memories are of me and my dad playing chess for long hours at a time. However, I’ve never really progressed much through the years, and haven’t taken the time to try to improve. Well, having gotten my clock cleaned a few times on FICS, I’ve decided it’s time to read a bit.
- So I started out with the deprecatingly-titled Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess. Definitely a good book and I recommend it as a good first read. Towards the end, the author recommended some good “next” books to read. I was painfully aware that I was completely ignorant about opening sequences, so I pre-ordered…
- Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition. This was highly touted–both by the author of my first book and by those who have reviewed it on Amazon. I’ll say this… It’s very complete and completely overwhelming. I don’t yet have a nice chess set, and don’t really have a way to look at the board layout in the midst of all of the notations, so it’s just not manageable for me… yet. I definitely feel that it’s a solid book to have and will keep looking at it as I get more used to reading algebraic notation and being able to hold a mental picture of the board layout while reading.
- The next book I’m reading through is the REALLY cool Tal-Botvinnik, 1960. I actually bought it on a whim as I was buying MCO, since I wanted to spend enough for free shipping… =;) But MAN, it is SO cool! It’s very well-done technically and Tal does a very nice job of explaining each move of the matches in detail, which is helping me learn all the more. But what’s really cool is the inside look into Tal’s mind! Tal’s writing style is easy and flows well and I’m really enjoying the behind-the-scenes look at how he prepared for the epic battle and what was going on in his head throughout the process. Awesome!
- And lastly, probably in frustration with my inability to really dive into MCO and grasp it just yet, I found Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess – Everyman Chess) at the local Barnes and Noble. I was looking for something that had a lot more description (you know… in words!) of the opening sequences. Now, to be fair, the level of depth that Yasser is able to achieve in this book can’t possibly rival MCO. But I am already enjoying the easy style that Yasser writes in, and I’m looking forward to get some good understanding of some of the more important opening series by both white and black.