Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Review: "The Slav: Move by Move"

Chess books on openings have been around for a while but they all look more or less the same. Very little thought have been invested in improving the layout or the usefulness of the opening books. There are a few gems out there but they tend to be opening books of a more general nature.

The development of endgame books took a gigantic leap some years ago when Silman's excellent "Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master" was released. Silman's daring approach to present the material by "need-to-know basis" by rating class was indeed a success. Finally a book on "The putting of Chess", as Purdy phrased it, that would guide the improving chess player to better results.

So, Will the Move by Move Series by Everymanchess have the same impact on Opening studies as Silman's book had on studies of endgames? Not quite, but I think the series has potential to stay head and neck well above the rest of the books in the genre. The perfect opening book in my world would be a blend of Everymann's "Move-by-move approach" and the structure often used by Chess Stars Publishing which is a little along the lines of Silman's "by rating approach". The Chess Stars Publishing books start off with a few pages on each topic called "Quick Repertoire" which is more or less to get started (and for many improving players all you need!) and the add two more layers of knowledge called "Step by Step" and "Complete Games".

How about this specific book: "The Slav: Move by Move" by Cyrus Lakdawala? In short, a good book! I like the Questions and stuff to make you read actively. I like somewhat chatty and easy going prose in the book. It might be a good thing to read a few sample pages before you decide to buy the book. The slightly unorthodox tone in the book is most likely not for everyman.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Chess Date?

I need to play more slow games on a regular basis. Games against Human flesh and not silicon! So, I encourage everybody will a similar correlation between Chess Passion and Chess Skills to contact yours truly to arrange a match series.

My current estimate of the correlation mentioned above is in the neighborhood of -0.83. I do pretty OK solving tactics problems really slow at Chesstempo but I have never managed to break to 1300-ceiling at ICC.

Again, if you feel like arrange a match series of weekly/biweekly slow chess games against a certified patzer,then make some noise and drop me a note.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grob Challenge

A few years ago we had a nice bet among chess friends with health improvement ambitions. The idea was to set individual goals and those of us who did not reach the goal would have to play the Grob (1. g4) and nothing but the Grob for a full year.

A nice article with connections to Henri Grob and the Grob Opening can be found here.

My clothes have started to shrink again and I would very much like to  take part in another Grob challenge. Please note that your own goal can be anything you like. It should be suitable to reach before December 31.