Four Game Collections Left

So I read “Viktor Korchnoi’s Best Games”, all 60 games. When I was done, I read Geller’s “The Application of Chess Theory”, all 100 games I went over. To be honest, I think those collections had too many games. hehe. Like they picked a number and had to include that many.

Now I have four books left, the ones to savor:
The Test of Time, Gary Kasparov
Smyslov’s 125 Selected Games
Paul Keres Best Games Vol II, Open and Semi-Open Games
David Bronstein, Chess Improviser

I can hardly decide on which one to start with.


5 thoughts on “Four Game Collections Left

  1. I agree, 60-100 games is too many.
    I would probably start from Keres, simply because it’s what I play and because of his style.

  2. Keres is an interesting choice, definitely a book I’ve always wanted to get to an the player I’ve studied the least.

    The “Geller book”, it was mostly a collection of miniatures, IMHO, and stressed more what could have happened before move 15 rather than go into sufficient explanation of opponent possiblities, or just some more general commentary, after that point. It is actually a nice book for general commentary, but also kind of sparse.

    It is a really good book middle-game book, but I like how Kasparov show’s more analysis later in the game, where it counts, and Kasparov really gets into it for the reader, even for a Class player.

    I could sort of care less about the openings, I’m looking to know how to handle critical positions which are after theory, or weird theory, ends. My goal is to improve my chess, not my mental data storehouse download. I’d rather read a book called “The Application of Middlegame or Endgame theory”.

    The Keres books is annotated by Varnusz, looks like good annotations, verbal as well as variations, 240 games. That was my goal when I bought it, enough games there to model my 1.e4 openings after. I’ll definitely give it a careful study when I get to it.

    One thing people probably don’t know about Geller is that he was more of a sac three pieces for mate sort of style than even Kasparov or Tal is, IMHO. I got to see the flip side of that in the Zurich ’53 book, where he needlessly lost more games than anyone else with his speculative pawn sacs which didn’t work. In ‘irrational positions’, as Geller noted, Fischer had a weakness. Yes, Fischer preferred a clear style usually but Geller was one of the best player ever in irrational positions, reminding me of Spielmann. Tal was more of a pure complications guy, IMHO, and could try to simply outcalculate his opponents in complications, that was his strength, didn’t always have to be for mate. It’s worth remembering that on Fischer’s road to the World Championship, he didn’t have to face Geller or Tal, who had winning records against him.

    Kasparov, I think he is more of a “full-board” player. He tries to get stuff going all over the board. Whereas Geller is more like “I want to sac the house for checkmate”. He had to restrain himself in later years, I am sure, and play more correct chess. Korchnoi’s strength I felt was in playing correct chess, even if he had some unusual predilections, such as the Open Def. of the Ruy Lopez.

  3. What’s wrong with the open lopez!?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am actually using that right now.

    I am making my way through Viktor Bologan’s game collection right now. Very good stuff.

    There are so many great game collections!

    I haven’t posted in awhile and work is busy but I am still studying and playing!

  4. TommyG, thanks for responding!

    It’s a neat variation, I agree. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What’s wrong with it? Well, the c6 square is weak, or make that the entire c-file, and sometimes maybe even d or e files, but it leads to an interesting game, but like any opening “piece-play” is the key.

    I have had to limit the number of game collections that I have so that I can actually focus on a key few, and the others it gave me a reason to rifle through them before letting them go.

    Playing at long time-controls is a key, but studying can help to identify mistakes. I am doing that routine now where I put an index card over the moves. My biggest weakness right now isn’t my knowledge, not even quite tactics per se. My biggest weakness is that I don’t recognize threats quickly enough. I am like Helen Keller, I can do it good blindfold, but sometimes I act like I still can’t see!

    There is a new technique that I am going to adopt from now on, it’s from a 1900 level player. He asks himself before a move “Why is this a blunder”. But I am going to modify that and when I see a move I like and want to play will ask myself “Why is this a bad move?” Doing this will force me to discover the potential blunders, weaknesses and drawbacks behind the move I am considering. I need to be more of a skeptic at the board anyway.

    One has to inspect each candidate moves for it’s tactical and positional drawbacks, can’t go by whether it “looks good” at first sight. “looks good” is subject to emotion and optimism. It’s easy to cut off the analysis when one is okay with a move, and it can’t be a general assessment, it has to be one of specific positional and tactical disadvantages/advantages.

    Can’t just say “Well this move removes an attacker and it doesn’t lead to a mate in 3”, although at one time I would have been happy with that sort of general criteria. But that is really an excuse to make a move “I was in time-trouble”, “it seemed not so great, yet okay enough to play quickly”, lots of excuses to make a move, but I think in reality it would be better to lose on time. Ratings-point wise, it’s better to throw out any old move that doesn’t immediately lose in time-trouble, sure, but that isn’t the road to improvement either.

    I would rather lose on time than drop a piece in “time-pressure.” What is the fix for that? Guessing on moves even earlier! So then chess becomes based on “the best quick move.”, that becomes the criteria. For me the answer is to do threat recognition more quickly, yet thoroughly, that would speed up my play.

  5. I went over the Botvinnik-Bronstein Match part of the book on Bronstein, and a few of the other 27 best games, didn’t like this book so wouldn’t recommend it.

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