@VelociraptorRex I think that's available in algebraic notation now. (But my own copy is descriptive.)
I second 200 Open Games by Bronstein. More instructive books exist, but Bronstein's writing is genuinely entertaining. And the descriptive notation is not such a big deal nowadays since you can look up all the games you like on chessgames and import them into lichess studies.
#10 all the books you mention, except possibly the de villa book, which idk) are available in algebraic, and the OP was asking about books only available in descriptive.
#11 yeah, i can see importing games or looking at the game in algebraic, while reading the book in descriptive... i guess also one would have an engine available, and an analysis board............. makes you appreciate the old farts so much more... they had to use --- was it the chess informant, et al???? i've only seen one copy of that old periodical........ mind numbing.
Not dscriptive but one of the best books:)
Bronstein: GMs' International Tournament 1953
I reproduce the following not to highlight the book neccesarly but the ideas put forward by Korchnoi in the foreward are interesting.
An excerpt from Leonard Barden's book 'Play better chess' 1980.
Improving one's ability as a chess player is not an easy task.
The physical development of muscles on arms or legs can be
easily ach ieved by training with weights. Training will also hel p
improve speed a t running o r swimming. But how much time and
effort must be spent at chess to have any effect ? Thousands of
people play chess regularly but never improve their game at all .
At one time I studied the text-books of Lasker, Capablanca and
Euwe. I admired Euwe's lectures for their consistent and logical
approach, but I particularly remember Lasker's manual . He was
a real optimist, writing that in just 1 20 hours he could teach a
novice to such a high standard that he would be able to stand up
to a master. I don't know how many players have followed
Lasker's advice but, frankly, there is still a great distance between
those who know how to avoid blunders and those who think
independently, who can play openings, w ho appreciate the
subtleties of chess strategy - I mean masters.
One does not have to be a grand master to tutor young chess
players successfully . The a bility to teach is something quite
specia l . I never really managed to teach my own son to play chess .
He would pester me to play, but I would point to a book on the
shelf and say ' First, read th is book and then we will play .' For a
ten year old like him, chess was a game, l ike an electric train, but
for me it is a p rofession, my work. I could not understand his
att i tude to chess, nor could he understand mine.
The task of a teacher is to discover talent in a pupil, to rouse his
enthusiasm and only then to make him an expert by keeping him
regularly occupied with new and increasingly complex problems.
I would like to introduce the author of this book- well-known as
a teacher of British juniors. In 1972 money was made available for
chess education for j un ior players in London, and it was Leonard
Barden who worked with them . In 1976 I had an opportunity to
become an inspector of thi s 'kindergarten' . I played a simultaneous
display with London schoolboys on 30 boards. The display
lasted over seven hours and was exhausting, although
enjoyable, work. I was held to a d raw by no less than ll players
and lost to one. In 1979 Boris Spassky also put Leonard Barden's
work to the test. Spassky won 13 games, lost five and drew the
In 1978 and 1979 the young generation of British chess players,
tutored in part by Leonard Barden, received the highest accolade,
winning the World School boys' Championship .
I do not want to intrude into Leonard Barden's field of teaching,
for in education he is a respected expert. But as a leading chess
player I am often asked the same questions. At the risk of repeating
the contents of this book, I will attempt to answer some of
Perhaps the main point which troubles the beginner is the
extent to which ability will depend on natural talent. In an age
where chess books and instruction are widely available, talent
is not such a vital factor. The ability to work hard is more important.
I know of several grandmasters with no specific talent for
chess. One of them, Botvinnik, was World Champion for 15 years !
To compensate for lack of talent, he possessed an exceptional
capacity for work and an iron wilL
So is studying chess useful and, if so, when should one begin ?
Clearly, it is not something to rush into headlong at any serious
level. To play chess seriously can involve considerable stress, and
chess can become a passion that interferes with other studies.
But in moderate doses chess is generally useful. It is usual to
begin at 10 or 12 years old and studies have shown that at that
age chess develops perseverence, increases attentiveness, encourages
the ability to think logically and teaches objectivity. Indeed, in some
schools where chess has been introduced alongside
other subjects, the level of achievement has been raised.
I am sometimes asked how to perfect one's game. Learning how
the pieces move is a simple matter, but knowing this is no more
than knowing a few words of a foreign language. You would be
foolish to claim to be a ble to speak it. And, like a language, chess
can be studied for a lifetime - there are always new things to
learn . Not even World Champions can exhaust the possibilities.
If you have mastered the basic science of chess and want to
take your ability further, it is a good idea to note down your
games to analyze them later. You can do this with a friend or
teacher, but better still by yourself. You should be really thorough
and write a commentary on all your games, whether you have
won or lost. In this way, you can investigate your own thought
processes and discover the errors made by both you and your
It is more useful to play with a partner who is better than yourself.
If he is much better, you will not understand why you lose.
But if he is much weaker than you, the game will only serve to
boost your ego. The occasional boost to the ego does have its
It is worthwhile studying a few games in detail - perhaps involving
an opening that interests you or the style of a particular
grandmaster. A memorized opening is a weapon you can use in
practical play . And by imitating grandmasters you can bring
yourself up to their level. Don't feel ashamed to copy the play
of Capa blanca or Fischer. They, champions of the world, began
the same way .
I t is only necessary to learn one or two openings, and perhaps
some essential positions in the endgame. There is no point in
endless learning of countless variations. What is important is the
development of flair, the understanding of your chosen openings
and a feeling for the delicacy of strategy.
Chess is both simple and complex. Armed with this knowledge,
you are ready to proceed to develop your chess skill, with the help
of Leonard Barden' s splendid book
@difford thx for sharing this insightful text.
I personally have found websites and YouTube more helpful than books, which I find tedious and slow-movlng. I may at some time turn to books, but for now i'm not reading any books
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