Some short book reviews

Jul 8, 2008, 11:33 AM |

I've finished a few books recently and I'd like to share my opinion of them.


"Petrosian vs the Elite" by Ray Keene and Julian Simpole

This is a collection of 71 annotated games played by Tigran Petrosian during all phases of his career. There is a biographical section at the beginning and an overview of his tournament and match achievements. The annotations are a nice mix of verbal explanation and analysis, by which I mean you get some useful comments and some long useless lines meant mainly for posterity. The instructive value of the games are very high, and personally I find the analysis of Petrosian's style to be extremely interesting and well thought out. This book is easy to find and I would recommend it to anyone over 1500 OTB.


"Chess Explained: The French" by Viacheslav Eingorn and Valentin Bogdanov

 This is a collection of annotated games played in the french defence sorted by variation. The annotations given are instructive and understandable for anyone 1500-1600+. The big problem I have with this book is that the games they choose to present aren't relevant at all to modern theory. The main game is played in some rarely played sideline! Most of the games deviate from the mainline between moves 4-8, in fact the only mention of the mainlines comes in the form of notes like: "Qb6?! (Bd7 is the most flexible and commonly played variation)" 


It would be ok if the book were longer, but each variation only gets 2 or three games and thats it. The fact that they don't cover the lines you're most likely to see makes this book almost completely useless. Not recommended.