Finding the Master Within

Mar 21, 2011, 5:25 AM |

There is no doubt that reviewing master games is one of the best methods to improve your chess. The question for me has always been which master’s games do I study first? There are schools of thought that answer this by stating that you should review master games starting in chronological order, since this maps to the way a beginner learns chess. Using this method you would begin with Steinitz, and work your way up to modern day masters like Kasparov and Kramnik. While this is a logical approach, the problem I find with it is that it might take a long time before you reach the games of some of the more modern day masters, and these might be the players with whom you have the most affinity in your playing style.

What I am planning to do, is to review one or two games from a list of masters in chronological order so that I might find the master whose games I would like to delve deeper into. I will be looking for games where the play is clearest and the outcome is artistic.

Master list:

1. Paul Morphy 
2. Wilhelm Steinitz
3. Tarrasch
4. Emanuel Lasker
5. Rubinstein
6. Capablanca
7. Alekhine
8. Botvinnik
9. Tal
10. Petrosian
11. Fischer
12. Karpov
13. Kasparov

I will chose games based on the following criteria:

1. Won games

2. Preferrably annotated

3. In chronological order

4. Plays my openings