Tim's Tournament Book Blog: An Overview.

Tim's Tournament Book Blog: An Overview.


Ever since I began playing chess seriously around 1986 I have always been fascinated by the players and history of the game. 

My first real chess book, American Chess Masters from Morphy to Fischer by Andrew Soltis and Arthur Bisguier, became the proverbial tip of the iceberg leading to the wider world of the history of tournament and match play.  And then my teenage mind was completely blown when I received Gligoric’s book on the Fischer-Spassky match as a prize in my second chess tournament.

Since then I have collected nearly one hundred tournament and match books.  I enjoy learning about the history of the tournaments, reading anecdotes, and looking over the games of great players.  I have found these kind of books helpful in learning about how people think when analyzing moves, both with specific variations as well as general considerations of the position at hand.  Another benefit is studying all the games of a particular opening to get a feel for the strategy, tactics, and types of positions that can arise and how to handle them.  And one gets the chance to see the development of the opening over time by looking at tournaments at different points in history.

So I have decided share my thoughts on each of the tournament and match books I own starting with Hastings, 1895.  I will make a individual post for each book sharing my thoughts on each in the following areas:

Story of the tournament/match:  Background of event and description of each round as well as any side stories.

Annotations: both variation and/or word analysis. variations how long/complicated; word how descriptive on concepts and/or thinking of player(s)

Player biography:how detailed, any games, pics

Coverage of games:all games or only some.  All annotated or only select few but all games included.

Production Value: quality of the book, diagrams, cross table, index, etc..

After sharing my thoughts on each category, I will give a final evaluation to help others decide if they want the book or not based on quality as well as level of interest. The final evaluation of each book will be based on the following scale:

Essential: Every serious chess player should own a copy of this book.

Recommended: Most players should own a copy of this book.

Aficionado: Players who are very interested in tournaments and the history of chess a lot would enjoy this book.

Die Hards: Only those who are interested in completing collections or really want to look over the games of the given tournament should take the time to track this down.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and hearing your comments on each entry and hopefully I will be abel to assist others in deciding which books are right for them based on the goal of improving their chess.