Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Favorite Chess Books of the Masters

    Back in January Chessdotcom had a list of chess books by IM Jeremy Silman in which he listed the ones he considered the best of all time as well as those that were considered by GM Yasser Seirawan, IM John Donaldson, IM Dr. Anthony Saidy, IM Daniel Rensch, IM John Peters, IM Cyrus Lakdawaka, IM David Pruess, IM John Watson and IM Jeremy Silman.
     The list is quite diverse, but I noticed some universal selections: My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer, Zurich 1953 by David Bronstein and My Best Games (Vol 1 and 2) by Alekhine. I might also add that there is also available Zurich 1953 by Miguel Najdorf; I have both and personally prefer Najdorf's. C.H.O'D Alexander wrote a slim book that was intended to be part of a trilogy of Alekhine's games that covered the period 1938-1945, but naturally the number of games and their quality was nowhere near approaching the two books by Alekhine himself.
     These titled players also included books that contained the games by their favorite players such as Tahl, Keres, Botvinnik, Marshall, Capablanca, Korchnoi, Bronstein, Shirov, Larsen, Rubinstein, Smyslov, Petrosian and Karpov.
     Diverse books on tactics, strategy and the endings were also mentioned and a few of the players also enjoyed books on chess in general such as Masters of the Chessboard by Reti, The Human Side of Chess by Reinfeld, Soviet Chess by Soltis and even Blindfold Chess by Hearst and Knott were just a few that were mentioned. The thing that struck me in the list of the favorites of these players who went on to gain international titles was the absence of books that lower rated players seem to flock to: openings.