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apastpawn 137 ( +1 | -1 )
Your chess library Having moved my medium size collection of chess books recently to a new bookself nearer my computer, I became aware of one glaring observation. Seems there are two chess books that have been held together by the use of military OD green duct tape as a binding. Don't laugh, They have held together for over 20 years this way. These two books reflect the chess player I was and the chess player I am today.

I puchased my first book when I was 16 (yes they had books back then). The title was Chess Openings, Theory and Practice by I A Horowitz. A rather thick opening bible. MCO was not out yet. I would study each opening trying to understand the reasoning and progression of each along with the few traps referenced in the book.

Which leads me to my other smartly bound book called Winning Chess Traps by Irving Chernev. This book was a treasure to me at the time. With it I was able to memorize dozens of opening traps and best of all spring them on my opponents. There is nothing better than to play and checkmate your opponent in less than a dozen moves.

In reflection, these two books are me and my style of play: Opening strength and Traps/tactics ad lib.

Would like to hear what books are your most used and do they reflect your chess?

bucklehead 153 ( +1 | -1 )
Interesting... I own both of those books, though they don't seem to have done as much for my game as they have for yours. Duct tape would have been a good idea for the Horowitz book--mine is now in two pieces, with one half lost somewhere in my office (so what's left is a book without covers which begins smack in the middle of the QGA). I bought this one way back in college, at a time when MCO was available but when my startled mind (the concept of "opening theory" being almost wholly unknown to me) recoiled at MCO's algebraic notation.

If wear and tear is the proxy here for usefulness, then my two additions to this list would be "Modern Chess Strategy" by Ludek Pachman and "Pawn Power in Chess" by Hans Kmoch. Both have several layers of tape on the spines. Do these illuminate my strengths and weaknesses? Probably not accurately: I aspire to be a better middlegame player, but I almost always formulate idiotic plans (several per game).

A close contender for the wear-and-tear award is the first chess book I ever bought, "A Complete Defence to 1 e4" by Cafferty and Hooper (1986). I have it in arm's reach right now. It was this book that infected me with the Petrov, which I learned then and play to this day--in fact, this book remains my primary resource on the Petrov, despite more than twenty years of age. Probably time to upgrade, since its minor section on the Center Game omits any reference to my beloved 2...Nf6!?
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apastpawn 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Thats two that I haven't read. I have read Pawn Power several times. Didn't quite understand or was able to absorb it when I was younger. Reread it a few years ago with a better outcome. My original copy was loaned (permanently) to someone.

For the other two, can't say I've heard of them. Will definitely search for them as I usually can find older chess books using the inter-library loan system.

zhnkiu 80 ( +1 | -1 )
1.Livshitz's: Test Your Chess IQ, Intermediate Challenge (vol1), Master Challenge(vol2), and Grandmaster Challenge (vol3). sequence of thematic puzzles far superior to Polgar's omnibus. likely out of print.

i've destroyed the first volume marking the diagrams. volume 2 and 3 i open up to random diagrams, these days i'm happy solving one once a day.

2. The Complete Games of Bobby Fischer and 500 Master Games of Chess (Book1,2&3). back when i had a lot of free time during the summer break, i'd spend the entire day working through these games at the coffee shop with loud music on my head phones.

3. (future) something on Opening Analysis. my opening repertoire is admittedly very small. and i tend not to look for traps, while i'm easy to fall into them...
apastpawn 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Livshitz ? Haven't heard that comical name in awhile. Reminds me of a friend who had a sh**z-su and poodle mix, a new designer breed dog. She never realized that it was a sh**z-poo.

I enjoyed running thru Polgars thick book of quickie chess puzzles. His daughter Susan also has a newish book out "World Champion's Guide to Chess" and its similar in theme to dad's as it to is mostly quick puzzles.
wschmidt 92 ( +1 | -1 )
Most used over the years... Chernev and Reinfeld - "Winning Chess". 300+ tactical puzzles grouped by theme. I've gone back to it several times since the late 1960s, always benefiting. Most recently I've loaded the positions on my PDA and run them through an engine on that. Several oversights that were missed but those are instructive now.

"Pandolfini's Endgame Course". It may not be the best, but it's what I got the basics from. There's a website that has a list of errata that is a must if you're going to use it seriously.

Chernev's "Logical Chess, Move by Move" - a classic, every move of 33 games explained. Classical principles of chess illuminated. I know modern writers like Watson and Silman think Chernev leaves a lot to be desired, but it's the first game collection I read and I still value it.

How do these reflect my game? Well, they're pretty simple and I'm a simle guy. (I also like Michael Stean's "Simple Chess").
easy19 21 ( +1 | -1 )
My first chess book was
Chess openings from T. Schuster A small book with all the basics of chess openings in it. So very simple that my opening skills and rating improved rapidly