Saturday, March 15, 2014

Can You Can be a Positional Genius?

     I enjoyed this books but it has some good points and some bad points. It is a slim book consisting of ten tests of fifteen puzzles each, 5 easy, 5 intermediate and 5 difficult problems. Analyzing the positions and solving the puzzles will give you an idea of how good your positional understanding is rather than any instruction that will increase your positional understanding. For that, you will have to find another book because Dunnington does not explain ideas in any great detail. Mostly for intermediate level players.
     The benefit is analyzing the positions then seeing how your analysis compares to Dunnington’s. At least that will give you some idea of how well you can play when there is no tactics in the position and you have to do something constructive.  There is a scoring system to tell how well you did, but it seems rather clumsy to me. If you can find this book at the library or get it used cheap, then OK, go ahead and buy it but it's not worth $24.26.

Fifty Great Games of Modern Chess by Harry Golombek

This book contains some of the best games of the top players from the beginning of the 20th century up to 1940…OK, so they are not so modern any more, but games by Alexander, Euwe, Grunfeld, Nimzovich, Reshevsky, Reti, Alekhin, Bogoljubov, Borvinnik, Capablanca, Spielmann, Tarrasch, Marshall, Rubinstein, Keres, Lasker, Fine, Schlechter, Tartakower, etc. have to be good, especially when annotated by Harry Golombek who does an excellent job explaining things. Descriptive notation, but if you were smart enough to learn how a Knight moves, you are smart enough to learn descriptive notation in 10 minutes.