Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Books to start with, books to begin with

People who want to improve their chess like buying books and at that I'm certainly no exception, I have to hold myself back from buying books anyway.

When I got tired of just reading chess blogs, that went largely beyond my comprehension anyway, when I was done doing some exercises on the Chess Tactics Server on an irregular base, and when I had had it with getting my ass handed to me with the very few games that I played I started thinking about getting a bit more serious about chess and improving myself. The natural response is obvious: start buying chess books!

So that's what I set out to do, but where to start. A friend of mine, we'll call him Jabba, lend me a copy of a Dutch translation of:
A.J. Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics, 1978.

Whilst working my way trough this book I wanted more, more exercises and a more thorough understanding of the basics based on a modern method. To start with the latter, thankfully I live in the Netherlands where there are several choices for books that are based on the infamous Steps Method. This is also the method where Tasc Chess Tutor is based on.

I got myself a complete series of five books so I had all Steps. ("Step" is the English translation of the Dutch word Stap.
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 1
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 2
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 3
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 4
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 5
(= Let's Play Chess. Step 1 etc.)

Now I had the basics covered and got Dutch translations/editions of the first three of a four book series that would provide me with quite some exercises. I can't find proof of existence of that fourth one anywhere, although it is mentioned in at least one of those books. It's possible it wasn't published, or that at least there wasn't a Dutch edition of it.
A.J. Gillam, Starting Chess, 1977/1978, 128 pages (nice to have the first part of the series as well, however it's useless compared to the Steps!)
A.J. Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics, 1978, 136 pages
A.J. Gillam, Simple Checkmates, 1978, 128 pages

Then I got myself a birthday present and a motivational tool: Once I can understand this one, I'll know a thing or two about chess.
R.J. Fischer, My 60 Memorable Games, Faber and Faber, 1972 (or a later reprint), 384 pages

Currently I've ordered a few books, but I'll write about those once I've got them.


RT Solo said...

I really want to get that Fischer book "My 60 Most Memorable Games" too! In "Idiot's Guide to Chess" Wolff says that it's ..."a book every chess player should read. Period." From what I've read it sounds like Fischer turned into sort of a nut but I'll bet it's still a good book! Have you read it yet? Do you think you learned a lot?

logis said...

Beside those "Stappenmethode" books it's nice to also get the Tasc CD so you can do all on your computer (first you get an explanation/lesson after which the exercises come) Handy tool.

Secondly i suggest you look for the book "Amateur tegen Meester" of Max Eeuwe. He gives commentary by each move.

transformation said...

if you prefer to do it as a post, follow the link, at your comment, at my blog, and i can send you my password, so you can do it as a one time guest contributor? comment has email, etc. dk