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My Favourite Books

The first 3 books here were recomended by 2 local chess players Mr. Steven Tan and Dr. Nithianathan.

  1. Board On Fire , Alexei Shirov

    Comments from Steven Tan from Singapore, 01/08/98
    Shirov is a very creative and all rounded player, capable of positional struggle, excel in tatical melee and having a powerful endgame technique.

    Shirov seems to be Mickhail Tal's mirror image cause this book is really full of stunning fireworks, which never fails to fascinate me. In all, I am full of praises for this book, and I strongly recommend it to all chess player of all strength.


  2. Positional Play , Mark Dvoretsky & Arthur Yusupov

    Comments from Dr. Nithia from Singapore, 01/08/98

    Positional play is all about prophylactic play; always looking out for the opponent's counterplay before you execute your plan. Which probably is the best way to play chess. Most games at higher levels are lost because of failures to adequately prempt the opponent's plans.

    Chess is not only 'art' as Tal once said,but also a 'struggle'. The late world champion Lasker is an striking instance of one of the world's best ''strugglisers"!

    This book also inculcates the value of 'clock-training', one of the Soviet trainers' fearsome methods of teaching. A bonus point is that most complex variations are 'Fritz-tested'. Enjoy!


  3. The Art of Defence in Chess , GM Andrew Soltis

    Comments from Dr. Nithia from Singapore, 01/08/98

    I notice most of our local players are not bad at attacking play but generally poor at good defence.

    This manual teaches you how to handle various defensive postures, whenever restraint, counterplay or diversionary tactics are required. Defence is also an important skill as no doubt is attack, as our local talent IM Hsu has demonstrated convincingly on many occasions.


  4. Pawn Structure Chess , GM Andrew Soltis

    In the game of chess, pawns are usually considered weak because of their limited range of movement. Understanding how pawns affect strategy is the subject of this important book. Here, players learn characteristic pawn structure; how to recognize strengths and weaknesses of pawn chains; when to exchange pawns in the center--and when not to; how to create and exploit pawn "holes", and much more.


  5. The Inner Game of Chess , GM Andrew Soltis

    Chess is 99 percent calculation and this book is devoted entirely to this most mysterious and essential chess technique. "The Inner Game of Chess" examines both the technical and practical aspects of how to think ahead--the selection of candidate moves, the evaluation of end positions, finding the proper move order, and the like.


  6. Improve Your Chess Now , GM Jonathan Tisdall

    The question of how to improve is one that vexes many players, so a practical guide dealing solely with the topic is very welcome. GM Tisdall himself has an interesting chess C.V., having been an active U.S. professional player for some years, before settling in Norway and devoting much of his time to coaching. It is only in the past few years that he has made the final jump to the Grandmaster title, despite long being held in high regard as an opening theoretician and analyst (he was Speelman's second for his 1988 Candidates match with Short). So, this extremely thoughtful and well-planned out manual (which took three years to complete) is clearly borne out of playing and teaching experience.


  7. The Art of Chess Analysis , GM Jan Timman

    Timman analyzes the greatest games of the late 70's and early 80's with a depth and breadth rarely seen in any chess book. These are titanic struggles -- famous games like Bronstein - Ljubojevic, Petropolis 1973; Fischer - Petrosian, 1st match game 1971; and Korchnoi - Karpov, 21st match game 1978. The latter game runs no less than thirteen pages with numerous lengthy analyses of positions that "might have been" had one or another crucial continuation been chosen.

    Timman has attempted to find the absolute truth of each of these games and one suspects that he has come mighty close. I think that how much one gets out of this book will be directly in proportion to one's playing strength. Definitely recommended for players of class "A" strength and above. A classic.


  8. Nunn's Chess Openings , GM John Nunn

    Top Grandmaster analysis, computer-checked, state-of-the-art variations makes NCO an excellent reference for stronger or very serious players. However, BE WARNED, NCO has little or no prose explanations of its evaluations(You've got to figure out why White is better, worse, etc.), neither are "thematic" ideas discussed. Finally, unless you're familiar with ECO cataloging, the format isn't all that friendly.


  9. Modern Chess Openings , GM Nick Defirmian

    Popularly known as MCO, this is the most current and comprehensive one-volume reference book about the chess openings on the market. I have used the older 12th edition since 1993 and still love it very much as it is comprehensive enough for a club player like myself. After reviewing this book, which is availabe at Borders Bookshop Singapore, I would highly receomend this book. Its is evident that much effort had gone into this newest edition. The reference games chosen are as recent as 1996! Kudos to the authors for carefully selecting the most instructive games for lazy people like me!


  10. Three Steps to Chess Mastery , by Alexei Suetin

    This great book by IGM A.S. Suetin contains a wealth of knowledge. Suetin shared his experience at the top with us lesser mortals, showing us the methods to get there.


  11. Life and Games of Mikhail Tal , by Mikhail Tal (died 1992)

    Comments from Yuri Ashuev from New York, USA, 03/03/98

    Excellent book. You've got to get a chessboard now and start analysing the games, no matter if you are a master or a patzer: I guarantee the joy! The only problem is that the Cadogan edition is a thick paperback, prone to fall apart rather easily."

    Well, a great book is hard to come by. Even though the pages may tend to become a little lose with use, it is better to own a copy of it than to wait for the hardcover edition, which may never come out.


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