New Chess books for March & April 2023 | Mechanics' Institute

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New Chess books for March & April 2023

Nathan Rose Chess opening names : the fascinating & entertaining history behind the first few moves 794.1 R79

Impress new people you meet at cocktail parties! Well, maybe not. But definitely worth reading if you're a chess player and a "student of the game." Rose writes whimsical and amusing short histories of the best known openings. The Catalan opening resulted from a contest. The Scandinavian defense did not come from Scandinavia. And who was Ruy Lopez anyway?  Rose takes more than a "just the facts" approach. For example, he tells a rather unusual story in his introduction about a wife's growing suspicions after overhearing her husband speaking in a strange, coded language. Then, in one of his chapters, he makes a more-or-less cogent comparison between the Sicilian defense and the Godfather movies. (Is it really that cogent? You decide). 

Vladimir Barsky Korchnoi and his chess grandchildren 794.15 K84ba

This is a collection of 25 of Viktor Korchnoi's best games, annotated by him and others, interspersed with numerous interviews with top players -- his chess "grandchildren" -- sharing personal anecdotes and talking about his influence.

Mihail Marin Learn from Bent Larsen 794.15 L33m

Selected and annotated games of the famous Danish Grandmaster. He earned a reputation for creativity and turning around "drawish" games. 

Junior Tay Ivanchuk, move by move 794.15 I932t

Another in the "Move by move" series examines selected games of the Grandmaster in minute detail.

Steve Giddins Nimzowitsch, move by move 794.15 N71g

Although sometimes derided by 21st century players, Aaron Nimzowitsch broke new ground in his day and most consider him the founder of the "hypermodern" school of chess. Hypermodern chess developed after World War I by challenging some of the assumptions of the 19th century masters, demonstrating new ways to control the center of the board. 

Savielly Tartakower The hypermodern game of chess 794.12 T19

The first English translation of the second edition of this seminal work in chess theory (revised to algebraic notation). As a result of the popularity of the first edition published in 1924, the second edition soon followed with corrections and additional material. This second edition stands as Tartakower's major contribution to chess theory of the early 20th century, and, according to the forward by Has Ree, "It is also a light-hearted book; a treasure of aphorisms, photos and brief biographical sketches of the great players, and contemplations about the world outside chess."

Tigran Petrosian. Python strategy 794.15 P49q

During one of his Tuesday Night Marathon lectures our Grandmaster in Residence, Nick de Firmian, told the story of his post-game discussion with World Champion Gary Kasparov. While reviewing the game and looking at a particularly bad position Kasparov had managed to get himself into, he said to Nick, "Well, I was glad that at least I wasn't playing this position against Petrosian." Nick continued, somewhat plaintively, "But I won the game!" Kasparov would still rather not play that position against Petrosian -- get into a bad position against Petrosian and there was no getting out. Although the title of his classic book translates directly from the Russian as "The Strategy of Soundness," this new English translation takes its title from the more evocative quote from Grandmaster and World Champion Max Euwe: "Petrosian is not a tiger that pounces on its prey, but rather a python that smothers its victim." 

Karsten Mueller Chess endgames 1 : basic knowledge for beginners 794.124 M95fr v.1

One of the FritzTrainer series, a 5 hour instructional DVD to teach beginners how to use the pawn in endgames. 

Judit Polgar and Andras Toth Master your chess with Judit Polgar : inspirational lessons from the all-time best female chess player 794.1 P769

The youngest of the 3 Polgar sisters, her father gave all of them chess lessons in early childhood as part of a years long experiment in child development and education. Judit Polgar was the first child to beat Bobby Fischer's record as the youngest person to become a Grandmaster then she had a 26 year-long career in competitive chess. Together with prize-winning coach, International Master Andras Toth, she has created a course based on the training she received growing up. 

Lubomir Kavalek Life at play : a chess memoir 794.1092 K21

The life of a Czech Grandmaster won two national championships before fleeing Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion that ended the "Prague Spring" of 1968. This posthumously published memoir includes over 50 games as well as his account of his experiences during the cold war.

Posted on May. 2, 2023 by Steven Dunlap