Eric Schiller X-Factor

  • #1

    There's a lot of talk about Chess books on here.  There's a lot of talk about authors of Chess books, with J. Silman being the subject of a years-old debate.

    Why, however, does nobody recommend, or even mention Eric Schiller.  Schiller has a Ph.D. in linguistics and is the author of countless popular chess books. 

    So why are we acting like he's a cipher?  Any explanation you can provide this chess newbie would be appreciated.

  • #2
    johnmusacha wrote:

    There's a lot of talk about Chess books on here.  There's a lot of talk about authors of Chess books, with J. Silman being the subject of a years-old debate.

    Why, however, does nobody recommend, or even mention Eric Schiller.  Schiller has a Ph.D. in linguistics and is the author of countless popular chess books. 

    So why are we acting like he's a cipher?  Any explanation you can provide this chess newbie would be appreciated.

    FM Eric Schiller's claim to fame is his collaboration with IM John Watson.  It is a book about the Smith Morra Gambit Accepted and the Russian 5...e6 system of defense against it.  I know he has other publications but only having an FM title hinders  the sale of his books.  Also, he is rather eccentric, but a very strong player.  

  • #3

    I've yet to see a book by Schiller that wasn't a database dump. I have databases aplenty. He may be well educated, but from every book of his I've ever seen, he's perhaps the laziest author since Keene.

  • #4

    There have been excellent authors that are not even FM. Dan Heisman being the most famous. While chess strategy for kids (tactics and another one that i forget) are done by Coakley who isnt titled. John Bain of Chess tactics for kid workbook fame is not even a class B player I think. So teaching and high ratings do not correlate. Schiller seems to be a fairly lazy book writer , who goes for fast easy stuff that is quickly put together (I believe he told silman he put a book together in 2 weeks once. 
    that said his stuff with watson is fun and good clearly watson has a strong influence on him. They have 2 books that i know of together one on the queens gambit i havent seen and big book of busts that I really like. 

    I also hav seen reviews that his book against d4 centering around the tarrasch is decent he has played it for a long time and put some heart and sweat into it. the rest is not worth much 

  • #5

    The reviews he got at amazon.com should be factored in to the "popular" books he wrote,

  • #6
    TonyH wrote:

    Schiller seems to be a fairly lazy book writer , who goes for fast easy stuff that is quickly put together (I believe he told silman he put a book together in 2 weeks once. 
    that said his stuff with watson is fun and good clearly watson has a strong influence on him. They have 2 books that i know of together one on the queens gambit i havent seen and big book of busts that I really like.

    Wrong! Not two weeks...Two days! (Read the first paragraph of this review.)

    http://www.jeremysilman.com/book_reviews_js/js_big_book_busts.html

    BTW, The Big Book of Busts is the only Schiller book I own. Smile

  • #7

    Schiller has written so many books (I own more than one dozen), at least one of them has to be good, or at least readable. Unfortunately I'm still searching in vain for it.

  • #8
    pfren wrote:

    Schiller has written so many books (I own more than one dozen), at least one of them has to be good, or at least readable. Unfortunately I'm still searching in vain for it.

    But you've still bought a dozen, I think he's the winner in that scenario.

  • #9
    pfren wrote:

    Schiller has written so many books (I own more than one dozen), at least one of them has to be good, or at least readable. Unfortunately I'm still searching in vain for it.

    @ Pfren

    I personally like the big book of busts which Silman (who dislikes Schiller as a writer) says is good. Although at your level i think most of the busts are something you know. its great for those of us in the class level who face a lot of crazy garbage and dont have the experience to figure out the ideas. I use it as examples of how to punish people who dont follow principles and to respect the danger of any move by your opponent. 

    Silman also had to grudgingly say that his book against d4 suggesting the tarrasch was reasonably good since it was something that schiller played his whole life and he did make FM playing it and Silman said he had some ideas but again.... this was many years ago (pre-computer checking) and there are better books now on the tarrasch and he is an FM and well your an IM :)

  • #10

    It's not a matter of playing strength.

    The co-author of the Quality Chess Tarrasch book, Nikos Dirlis, has no title and is rated currently at 1854 FIDE. His work on the Tarrasch book is of extremely high quality, he has literally spent countless hours checking his variations.

  • #11

    A good comparison is David Rudel. This is a club-level player that I can beat in my sleep, yet writes a better chess openings book than Schiller ever did. That's even considering the fact that I'm very critical of Rudel's analysis, but at least he doesn't bore you to death.

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