Max Euwe's book: Course of Chess Lectures

KFCchicken

Is Max Euwe's book called "Course of chess Lectures" still in print today, or has it just been renamed with a different title?

Crazychessplaya

Good question, but was the book ever translated into English? A quick search on the web shows a Russian version published in the 1930s....

KFCchicken

Has it?

EscherehcsE
KFCchicken wrote:

Has it?

Oh wow, I was hoping you were the expert on this book. Surprised

 

I never heard of the book before your thread, so I'm guessing it hasn't made it to an English version. Like Crazychessplaya said, a 1930's Russian version comes up on searches. I saw a bootleg version in DOC format, but it requires installing a particular set of fonts. Too much hassle to install fonts, not to mention I don't know about the legality of it, and I don't read Russian, either.

yesthatwasasac

In the forward to his book Strategy & Tactics in Chess he says the book was inspired by those lectures, and as a follow up to his Fundamenten van het Schaakspel (Fundamentals of Chess) which is apparently more about basic strategy than the Strategy & Tactics book is. (I don't think the Fundamentals book made it to English yet.)

 

I'm reading the Strategy & Tactics book now, and I like it a lot.  I'm in chapter 2, and he has talked a bit about how they are related.  He shows a game of his against Botvinnik where he shows a mistake Botvinnik made where he says the future grand-daddy of Soviet chess played a move dealing with the tactics around a particular square, but not the strategic concerns.  


I don't know if it is out date.  Like, in that game he played the Open Spanish against Botvinnik and he says it's wrong for black to play his bishop to c5 in the opening but rather e2 (well, he says B-QB4 is wrong and B-K2 is better) because Black will want to play the c pawn out to c5. It seems like a reasonable strategy to a wood pusher like me.  

 

It seems like he talks about tactics in the context of how they can be expected to come about.  It's not a "find the tactical blow, it's a desperado: GO!" book.  He talks about the desperado as superfluous piece in an Alekhine game, and how once it goes desperado it then encourages another piece to go desperado which made me chuckle-- but it's written in Euwe's straight-forward logical manner.

 

I like it a lot so far.  It is in descriptive notation, which I grew up on and is BETTER (yeah, I said it.) in some ways, like you're always trying to attack the 7th rank, not the 7th or 2nd depending on what side of the board you're on, and NxN or PxP is usually clear enough to understand without the coordinates, and when it's not you just have to learn the old file names: QR, QN, Q, K, KB, KN, KR.  It's a small price to play to get the information.

RonaldJosephCote

  That would make a nice DVD set heh?

wayne_thomas

Russian Wikipedia says that Курс шахматных лекций is a translation of Practische schaaklessen.

Munninghoff in his biography of Euwe (2001) writes that "Practical Chess Lessons" was one of Euwe's best books, and was a revision of an earlier course of the same name by H. J. den Hertog.  He has it being published in 1927.  Gennadi Sosonko wrote on chesscafe that he used a Russian translation of Practische schaaklessen called "A Course of Lectures on Chess" as a text when he taught in Leningrad, and that it was one of the best chess books ever.  Jan Timman also mentions liking "Practical Chess Lessons" in his Art of the Endgame (2011) book.  Konstantin Sakaev recommends Euwe's "Strategy and Tactics - a course of chess lectures" in The Complete Manual of Positional Chess: The Russian Chess School 2.0 - Opening and Middlegame (2016). 

There is no book called "Practical Chess Lessons" in the Max Euwe Centrum library nor in the Cleveland Public Library, so when people talk about such a book, they must mean Practische schaaklessen.  Sosonko and Sakaev must be referring to Курс шахматных лекций.

There is a six volume series with a similar title listed on the Max Euwe Centrum:

Praktische schaaklessen 1 : van huisschaker tot clubschaker. 1980
Praktische schaaklessen 2 : algemene wenken voor opening, middenspel en eindspel.
1984
Praktische schaaklessen 3 : openingsrepertoire.
1980
Praktische schaaklessen 4 : theoretische en praktische eindspelen.
1980
Praktische schaaklessen 5 : oordeel en plan : de strategie van het schaakspel.
1984
Praktische schaaklessen 6 : hogeschool van het eindspel.
1986

Airyaydayway

You can absolutely buy stuff like ''A guide to chess endings'' and ''chess master versus chess amateur'' ''the middle game'' and ''judgment and planning.''

It's hard for me to see what is what. I have a couple of the old Dutch ones wayne mentioned, except not the endgame ones. Those were released in tiny cigar brown volumes of which I have a couple. If you don't get it:

Praktische schaaklessen 1 : van huisschaker tot clubschaker. 1980

Practical lessons, from house player to club player.


Praktische schaaklessen 2 : algemene wenken voor opening, middenspel en eindspel. 
1984

Universal motifs/movements for opening, middle game and endgame


Praktische schaaklessen 3 : openingsrepertoire. 
1980

Opening repertoire..


Praktische schaaklessen 4 : theoretische en praktische eindspelen. 
1980

Theoretical and practical endgames


Praktische schaaklessen 5 : oordeel en plan : de strategie van het schaakspel. 
1984

Judgment and plan, the strategy of the chess game


Praktische schaaklessen 6 : hogeschool van het eindspel. 
1986

High school, or should I say university of the endgame.

wayne_thomas

There are at least three copies of H.J. den Hertog and Max Euwe's 1927 Practische schaaklessen in the Cleveland Public Library.  It was split into 4 deel (parts) with Euwe writing the 3rd part and rewriting the 2nd.  It seems to have been first translated into Russian in 1930.

Cleveland also has 5 volumes of Euwe's 1980-6 series Praktische schaaklessen.

Sakaev is probably referring to a book Стратегия и тактика Курс шахматных лекций published by Russia Chess House in 2002.  It includes the text of both Euwe's 1935 Strategie en taktiek in het schaakspel (Strategy and Tactics in Chess 1937) and H.J. den Hertog and Max Euwe's 1927 Practische schaaklessen.  The latter part includes games by Anderssen, Morphy, Euwe and Alekhine from 1852-1927.

Munninghoff says the book is particularly notable for explaining the ideas behind openings in words rather than variations.

PhishMaster

I am a very late to this conversation, but I can state that I just looked at the original 1936 text in Russian, and I looked at all of Euwe’s books translated into English, and none of them match. That said, this book seems much more suited to those below 2000, but there are other texts out there that have covered the same material (Pachman's trilogy "Complete Chess Strategy" comes to mind, and any number of books that goes over the games of the old masters). Even ChessBase Mega has most of these old master games heavily annotated, although you may need to use Google Translate since a lot of them are annotated in German.

These old games are good for learning since the opposition was typically not on par with the famous opponent, and thus, they did not put up a staunch defense. You get to see a logical plan carried out from beginning to its completion with only minimal hindrance. This shows you what you are striving for.

The book starts by going through the games of Greco, Anderssen, and Morphy. Those are lectures 1-3, and there are 11 total lectures. He then goes on to give three chapters to Steinitz: An overview of his games, then chapters on his games covering attack, defense, pawn storms, isolani, among others.

It then has chapters on attacking on the k-side and q-side, and three on endgames.

It certainly would not be a bad addition if it were translated, but there are plenty of good books that already contain this material.

timothydong
I have to say it was pretty bad