Chess Books

EOGuel

I recently counted all the chess books I own collectively. The final count was 39 books. Only two(!) are opening books, six are tactics books, fourteen are strategy/positional books, six are endgame books, nine are game collections, and two I counted "miscellaneous" (hopefully that adds up to 39 lol!).

As is an issue for many chess players, I've only read through a small number of books cover to cover.

I guess my wonder is what is your experience with chess books, and how do you properly use them? I know that masters have hundreds of books, which is unfathomable to me.

Obviously, the books would be good material for me if I wanted to improve. Also, I could probably use some positions for lesson material for my private students.

Feel free to talk chess books here. I'm thinking about starting a small "book club" just so I can discuss which books I have and how to properly use them.

Have a good evening (or afternoon, or morning)! happy.png

Illingworth

I have somewhere between 2000-3000 chess books/magazines - it is very hard to keep count! Of these, I read maybe 500 of them cover to cover (possibly more, but definitely not more than 700). I started on most, but not all, of them. 

I don't really read chess books anymore, but they played a massive role in my development as a player, coach and writer! I still try to read a book a day, though these days it's more like half a book a day. I guess I'll make up for it by reading 4 books on my flight to the US tomorrow wink.png 

ghost_of_pushwood

At the moment I have 46 actual books and around 300 more on my HD.  But I've probably got rid of a couple hundred more over the years (what with moving and so forth).

ghost_of_pushwood

One recent acquisition was a bit of synchronicity.  I came across this--a decidedly real chess book (and in German, no less!)--in one of those free library kiosks around my neighborhood.

Image result for marienbad 1925 book

1e41-0

A good rule -- for me, at least -- is to read all the chess books you ordered before buying more. Otherwise, the money is just wasted.

ghost_of_pushwood

Yeah, it's the same for me with magazines.  I buy one that looked great on the stands, take it home...and it just sits there.

MiddlegamerUmesh
EOGuel wrote:

I recently counted all the chess books I own collectively. The final count was 39 books. Only two(!) are opening books, six are tactics books, fourteen are strategy/positional books, six are endgame books, nine are game collections, and two I counted "miscellaneous" (hopefully that adds up to 39 lol!).

 

As is an issue for many chess players, I've only read through a small number of books cover to cover.

 

I guess my wonder is what is your experience with chess books, and how do you properly use them? I know that masters have hundreds of books, which is unfathomable to me.

 

Obviously, the books would be good material for me if I wanted to improve. Also, I could probably use some positions for lesson material for my private students.

 

Feel free to talk chess books here. I'm thinking about starting a small "book club" just so I can discuss which books I have and how to properly use them.

 

Have a good evening (or afternoon, or morning)!

 

I haven't read a single one cover to cover lol.  Since I've started systematic training, it looks like I'm going to finish at least 2 books - one on tactics and one on strategy.

 

It would be a nice idea to start a book club, by the way

MiddlegamerUmesh

Also, I think it would be better to read game collections where games are organized by theme (like rook lifts, bishop pair, etc.) instead of annotated collections of a few random games.

For example, a book by alekhine might have a textbook example on how to play with a bishop pair, while another by botvinnik might have a similar example. It would be more rewarding if you read through both games at a time, than reading them separately after an year's gap or so. That is the reason I like modern books on strategy better, because these club together examples on a specific topic, even from the classics.

kindaspongey
EOGuel wrote:

... chess books, ... how do you properly use them? ...

Depends on the book. For opening books, one can see this sort of advice:

"... If the book contains illustrative games, it is worth playing these over first ..." - GM John Nunn (2006)

"The way I suggest you study this book is to play through the main games once, relatively quickly, and then start playing the variation in actual games. Playing an opening in real games is of vital importance - without this kind of live practice it is impossible to get a 'feel' for the kind of game it leads to. There is time enough later for involvement with the details, after playing your games it is good to look up the line." - GM Nigel Davies (2005)

GoodKnight0BadBishop

My books are in the "closet", probably going to be there forever. 

GoodKnight0BadBishop
ghost_of_pushwood wrote:

Yeah, it's the same for me with magazines.  I buy one that looked great on the stands, take it home...and it just sits there.

I have about over 20 books that I've NEVER  read until now. What a waste of $100+

GoodKnight0BadBishop
EOGuel wrote:

I recently counted all the chess books I own collectively. The final count was 39 books. Only two(!) are opening books, six are tactics books, fourteen are strategy/positional books, six are endgame books, nine are game collections, and two I counted "miscellaneous" (hopefully that adds up to 39 lol!).

...

...

...

Give me some time to calculate how many books I have... it is definitely a big pile. 

hikarunaku
Illingworth wrote:

I have somewhere between 2000-3000 chess books/magazines - it is very hard to keep count! Of these, I read maybe 500 of them cover to cover (possibly more, but definitely not more than 700). I started on most, but not all, of them. 

I don't really read chess books anymore, but they played a massive role in my development as a player, coach and writer! I still try to read a book a day, though these days it's more like half a book a day. I guess I'll make up for it by reading 4 books on my flight to the US tomorrow  

That is why you are a grandmaster.

kindaspongey

In 2014, GM David Smerdon wrote"I recently took a train from Amsterdam to the quaint little Belgium town of Bruges. Looking for a book to keep me occupied for the four hour ride, I remembered ... Richard Pert’s Playing the Trompowsky ... And indeed, I was able to read the whole book, cover to cover, during the ride; ... It’s only 260 pages ... I decided to reread the book on the four hour return journey to Amsterdam." That is about 1.1 pages per minute.

http://www.chess.com/article/view/review-playing-the-trompowsky

GoodKnight0BadBishop

Okay I have about 67 chess books...

30 of which I've never read.

ghost_of_pushwood
hikarunaku wrote:
 

That is why you are a grandmaster.

Or perhaps it's the other way around. happy.png