Friday, 1 August 2014

Chess Reviews: 239

The chess product review pile has grown large in recent weeks. It's now time to round up the latest releases. As usual, my more detailed reviews will appear in CHESS Magazine, while here we will present an overview of recent titles, with regular postings on the subject over the course of the next week or so.

A number of chess books have been reissued in an updated format; some with extra material, others without.

Russell Enterprises continue their policy of upgrading classic historical works to ''21st Century Editions'', with algebraic notation replacing the now defunct descriptive. Two well-known books by Fred Reinfeld are the latest to receive the treatment.

The project has the blessing of Fred's children, Don and Judith Reinfeld, who provide a short preface (the same one for both books). Series editor Bruce Albertson has tidied up the text, knocking out typos and occasionally adding short notes to the solutions. Speaking of typos, there's a very unfortunate example at the start of 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate in the section on Chess Notation. In demonstrating how to use short algebraic instead of the long form, the first move for White is given as ''1 e2'' instead of the correct ''1 e4''.

The material is, of course, first rate and makes an excellent resource for chess tutors and coaches. The presentation is very clean and tidy. Improving players will also be able to sharpen their tactical vision by solving a chunk of puzzles before they head off to a chess match. In both books, the solutions are hidden away at the back so there is little danger of seeing the answers ''by accident''.

1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate jumps straight in with Queen Sacrifices and then there are chapters devoted to Checkmate Without the Queen, Storming The Castled Position, Harrying the King, Discovered Check and Double Check, Pawn Promotion, A Variety of Motifs and Composed Problems.

Here's one to try. Can you force a checkmate?
White to play
1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations starts with Pinning and runs through 20 chapters of the usual suspects before ending with The Weakened Castled Position.

Here's one I selected at random.

White to play
There's plenty of material here. It should take even the most diligent of students some time to get through all 2,002 puzzles.

There will be more on new editions of books soon.

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