Okay, I feel that I need to reply to this subject about Josh W@itzkin calling out Mark Dvoretsky, in ‘The Art of Learning’. I actually googled it and found the pages online.
Apparently, Josh didn’t take to Mark D’s recommendation to learn prophylaxis through Karpov. He liked the notion that he could learn it indirectly through Kasparov instead.
I’ve found this to be an interesting subject recently. Geller, in his book ‘Application of Chess Theory’ does an outstanding job of describing prophylaxis in his games. It means that in a more or less quiet position, you need to cut down on your opponents replies in order to strengthen your own. Conversely, sometimes I’ve found that when “getting your attack in first”, and the more pressing attack, that your opponents threats, being concerned about them, starts to go out the window because you are “getting there first”.
Well, a lot of chess is positional play, it’s not always brilliant attacks. I would think that Karpov’s games are a better way to get that strength than to wait around for the “quiet game” from a Rudolph Spielmann or such. Good luck waiting for that one. How many times did Kasparov agree to a quick draw with Kramnik, as White, because some “b@lls-out” attack was foiled, and only quiet Karpovian-like play remained?
Josh’s point seemed to be that he wanted to build up his strength more, attacking play. I do remember seeing some of Josh’s games in Chess Life back when he was still playing. Not all of his games were crazy attacks, but it seemed that quite a few of them were. My take was that “he is either winning, or he is violating every rule of positional chess”. Naturally, he was far stronger than me, tactically, so he was creating those sorts of positions where either side could make a wrong/false move.
In other news, I did finally organize my chess library. There is a big section on Best Games, monographs on one shelf. Upper shelf is encyclopedias, tactics, and endgames. All of the treatise type of books, I put those into a closet shelf in my chess den. It’s a done deal for now, but those treatise type books that remain are three by Dvoretsky, one by Mednis, and one by Khemelnitsky. I may look at some opening lines on a board, from an encylopedia, but that is about it for now.