Karpov - Move by Move : Quick review
Karpov Move by Move
Author: Sam Collins
As usual with Everyman the book is well edited and the layout is generally good making it quite readable on an iPad or the Kindle ereader. It is readable on a kindle but I find the larger screen makes reading chess books with diagrams a little easier. For me though this book does have sections where the text is much smaller than normal but it does not cause a massive problem.
The book does not have a chronological structure typical of best game books as Collins has a more novel way of structuring the chapters and one that works reasonably well.
Followed by an index of the complete games
Among the themes covered are those that Karpov is justifiably famous for such as Prophylaxis and the structures covered include the Isolated Queen’s pawn. I like Collins annotations and having watched some of his Chessbase DVDs on structures I know that he is capable of explaining these in an informative manner.
The openings section covers a lot of material and openings are stressed throughout the book not just in this chapter and as well as the 46 main games Collins includes numerous Karpov excerpts and complete games in the notes. In fact there is a lot of material to cover and I used a computer database and screen to play through the lines and a set to play through the main game text. As find that this makes it easier to follow and there is no problem finding Karpov’s games in a database.
The openings chapter is followed by a chapter on Karpovs incredible performance in the Linares tournament of 1994, where Karpov came first out of a stellar field including Kasparov.
Collins finishes off the book with a selection of games up to 2014 that shows Karpov is still a force to reckoned with even though he has long been semi-retired.
On the whole I like the selection of games that Collins has chosen which includes well known games against Korchnoi, Kasparov and Spassky as well as lesser known gems. The annotations are excellent but sometimes it can be little hard to follow as you get the impression that Collins intended this as a serious work on Karpov’s career rather that just a club players introduction, he makes a real effort to investigate how Karpov handled certain positions and openings and how he improved his play in the future. So it has taken me a couple of months on and off to get through two thirds of the book but it has been worth it.
I have learned some new facts about Karpov and he is a player who was world champion when I started to play junior chess and I have read many things about him and was fascinated by the way he could control games. Even though I was a bit of a Korchnoi fan at the time and still am.
I would recommend this to players serious about chess, I’m not sure it has improved by chess through it certainly gave me some ideas in Isolated Queen’s pawn positions and shown me that it is not easy to win the French Tarrasch endgame especially when Korchnoi has the black pieces even if you are Karpov.