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TOP TEN Chess Books for your desert island vacation


  • 19 months ago · Quote · #1

    NimzoRoy

    If you could only take ten chess books to a desert island which ones would you take, and why? And when I say books I mean books not DVDs, chess software or digital chess books! Me, I'm thinking about books with "the most bang for the buck" so short classics like "Common Sense In Chess" by Dr Lasker and "Blockade" by Nimzovtich are automatic rejects, they're just too short to keep me entertained for a potentially long time. I'm also automatically rejecting opening books, since I don't think Robinson Crusoe or his man Friday play chess and even if they do I can beat them with what little I already know.

    Anyways, here's my list, admittedly short on contemporary classics since I bought the vast majority of my 150 or so chess books decades ago, literally; so I'm not too familiar with "recent" classics of the last 2 or 3 decades. GM game collections are in alphabetical order by the GMs names, not by any particular preference or ranking.

    The Best of the Best (1000 Best Games from Chess Informant 1996-2007)

    One Endgame Book: decision pending. Likely candidates: Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, Basic Chess Endings* by GM Fine or Fundamental Chess Endings by GM Muller - your recommendation for one of these or any other (all-around, "general purpose") endgame book are highly encouraged! I'm NOT interested in "specific" endgame books such as K+P or R+P endings, etc.

    Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations by Chess Informant, 2013 - featuring 3000 problems 

    http://www.newinchess.com/Encyclopedia of_Chess_Combinations_Fourth_Edition-p-7233.html

    Alekhine's Best Games of Chess 1908-1937**

    Botvinniks Best Games of Chess 1931-1946*

    Botvinniks Best Games of Chess 1947-1970*

    Capablanca's 100 Best Games by IM Golombeck**

    My 60 Memorable Games of Chess by Bobby Fischer**

    The Complete Games of Paul Keres (vol 1-3) by GM Keres*

    Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces: 100 Select Games by IM Kmoch**

    Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by Mikhail Tal

    ** I've read it cover-to-cover

    * I've read bits and pieces of the book

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #2

    fburton

    NimzoRoy wrote:

    Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames by GMs Krogius, Parma and Taimanov (recommendations for something similar instead are highly encouraged)

     

    What would you say makes this book unique / so good?

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #3

    NimzoRoy

    fburton wrote:
    Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames by GMs Krogius, Parma and Taimanov (recommendations for something similar instead are highly encouraged) 

    What would you say makes this book unique / so good?

    Actually I've never owned or read it, but the idea of one middlegame book sounds good to me, and I've read good reviews of this one. It has +1800 positions which is also a plus since I'm presuming I'll have lots of time to read it as a South Seas castaway. Also the authors have "brand name recognition" I'm naive enuff to assume that they wouldn't put out some crappy book just to make a quick buck.

    What would you recommend in its place?  I'm open to other suggestions as long as they have something to do with middlegames, for instance a middlegame book by Euwe, Fine or Romanovsky.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #4

    fburton

    Hmmm... good question.

     

    Going by the table of contents, Soviet Middlegame Technique by Peter Romanovsky looks like it might be good, but I haven't read it.

    http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/products/2/188/soviet_middlegame_technique_by_peter_romanovsky/

    For collections of positions, I am working my way through Neishtadt's Improve Your Chess Tactics: 700 Practical Lessons & Exercises - in the e+chess app, but it's also available in book form. Obviously tactics, not strategy. For the latter, I have Grooten's Chess Strategy for Club Players, also in e+chess format and with end-of-chapter exercises. Both are pretty good imo.

    I guess there's Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations (4th Edition, 3001 combinations). Is that just an update on your one? I don't know much about it.

    http://www.chessinformant.rs/encyclopedia-of-chess-combinations-4th-ed/

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #5

    TetsuoShima

    if im on a desert island i would probably take the mammoth books and 9 informator issues. Its not the best, but if i stay long there i have something to do.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #6

    Kingpatzer

    If I"m on vacation on a desert ISLAND, then it doesn't matter what books I have -- they don't survive well at 30m under the water :)

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #7

    orangeishblue

    500 Master Games

    700 Problems

    Kasparov's Best Games 1 & 2

    Fire on Bord Shirov

    Informant

    Any FIDE Album of Chess problems

    Endgame Strategy 1 & 2

    Most Instructive Games

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #8

    steve_bute

    "How to Alchemize Your Chess Set into a Blow-up Companion", by Paul Reubens.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #9

    NimzoRoy

    orangeishblue wrote:

    A) 500 Master Games

    B) 700 Problems

    Kasparov's Best Games 1 & 2

    Fire on Bord Shirov

    Informant

    Any FIDE Album of Chess problems

    C) Endgame Strategy 1 & 2

    D) Most Instructive Games

    Could you list the authors of A-D? I dunno which books you're referring to and I'm probably not the only one outta the loop on them

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #10

    TheBigDecline

    "This book is useless to you on a desert island" by GM I. Ronnick.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #11

    kiloNewton

    i usually dont think of chess in vacation-tour. however, here is a similar page: http://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/top-10-chess-books-to-own

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #12

    NimzoRoy

    I guess there's Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations (4th Edition, 3001 combinations). Is that just an update on your one? I don't know much about it.  fburton

    http://www.chessinformant.rs/encyclopedia-of-chess-combinations-4th-ed/

    YES the link you provided shows it is the 4th edition of my original choice so I updated my list with it. THANKS!

    BTW how do you like the Neishtadt book? I read Catastrophe in the Opening (1980) by him and liked it

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #13

    candyass4ever

    My first choice is "100 Selected Games" by Botvinnik.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #14

    NimzoRoy

    candyass4ever wrote:

    My first choice is "100 Selected Games" by Botvinnik.

    Did anyone ever point out your strong resemblance to Paladin?

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #15

    zborg

    Have Gun Will Travel?

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #16

    orangeishblue

    NimzoRoy wrote:
    orangeishblue wrote:

    A) 500 Master Games

    B) 700 Problems

    Kasparov's Best Games 1 & 2

    Fire on Bord Shirov

    Informant

    Any FIDE Album of Chess problems

    C) Endgame Strategy 1 & 2

    D) Most Instructive Games

    Could you list the authors of A-D? I dunno which books you're referring to and I'm probably not the only one outta the loop on them


    A. Tartakower and Dumont

    B.  Mrs. W. J. Baird

    C. Shereshevsky

    D. Chernev

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #17

    InfiniteFlash

    I want people on my island not books. Chess players to play against, they are the best books. Books are timeless, but once you finish them, and re-read them over and over....you will get bored. You will go insane eventually and start talking to the air.

  • 18 months ago · Quote · #18

    varelse1

    How to Build a Raft out of a Chess Set.

  • 18 months ago · Quote · #19

    mldavis617

    Since @NimzoRoy is a strong player, the list might vary from my own.  I would think, since there would be no internet connection that encyclopedic works might be of more use that once-read instructional manuals.  It also depends on how long you plan on being there.  Smile  So my suggestion for his list would be different from my own, but how about this:

    MCO 15 - it would take years to work through all the lines and variations and remain a continual source of reference

    Basic Chess Endings by Reuben Fine - another encyclopedia work that will never wear out

    The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess by Chernev

    My Great Predecessors by Kasparov - a 5-volume modern history of contemporary chess

    Chess: 5,334 Problems, Combianations and Games by Polgar - large enough to keep you busy for a while

    That's only 9, so add, perhaps one of the great tournament collections such as the 1895 Hastings tournament by Cheshire or the great book by Bronstein on the 1953 Zurich Tournament.

  • 18 months ago · Quote · #20

    Kingpatzer

    MCO 15 was outdated before it was published . . .


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