Siegbert Tarrasch - Die moderne Schachpartie
My 2 personal Chess book favorites would be 1)The very great attacker cq innovator (of King's Indian fame) and almost WC title winner David Bronstein of the Ukraine and his amazing book about the Zurich 53 tournament, which probably ranks alongside Linares in 1994 as the possibly 2 greatest Chess tournaments ever. Up to you, of course. Bronstein in this classic book 100% bucks the normal trend (in analyzing all 210 games of this clash-of-styles post-WW2 tournament, with most participants very actively playing for wins too). Bronstein actually mostly sides with the loser here and instead of lambasting them for an incredible blunder or finding fault with an unbelievable oversight or having a mental blackout, he instead just very precisely explains the whole thought process involved. Very revealing stuff, indeed. He just walks you through basic GM-thinking step-by-step. A very refreshing take on all-things Chess. Unusual too, in that it explains the very flawed and yet very logical thinking behind the losing moves. Kasparov a massive fan of Bronstein, btw.
By far my own favorite though would be "Questions of Modern Chess theory" by Isaak Lipnitsky also of Kiev of the Ukraine, from as long ago as 1956. Almost all Soviet Chess books of the time had publishing numbers well north of half a million+ and all were priced at about 50 kopecki (about a US dollar nickel or 5 UK pence), all were so incredibly detailed and all were mostly aimed at an audience of 8~10 y.o.'s and not any University graduates.
Lipnitsky's book however was published at just a very tiny and even minuscule 10 thousand copies. He was a by-then dying man too, from radiation poisoning from WW2 , at that time. A simply wonder book though. Since 2008 also transliterated into English, although the entire 2nd half of the book (about the Ragozin defence) was completely left-out here (as deemed irrelevant, to modern eyes) and the entire first half was also completely re-written with a modern, western audience in mind. Pity that!
It's still nice to read the 2008 English version and it does has some huge cognitive psychometric values, but the original Russian version is simply vastly superior and it is beyond mindbogglingly good too, even in the very obsoleted Ragozin stuff, so many pearls of Chess wisdom just contained within.
Bobby Fischer (from Brooklyn NYC) used to travel to Greenwich Vge in NYC to visit the infamous "4 connections" Russian language bookshop, with original and heavily subsidized Russian language publications and Fischer even taught himself Russian to just read Soviet Chess literature or Shakmaty v SSSR . One of 22 thousand US souls to visit 4 connections, all cataloged, all phone-tapped and all profiled fully by the FBI too, in those cold-war days. Fischer was a very big admirer of Lipnitsky, Karpov too.
Lipnitsky wrote it all down in such an easy-to-read and very inclusive and informal style (reminiscent of Asimov's writings). So much deeper knowledge principles though, so many life lessons.
So very many great Chess books though - by the likes of Kotov, Nunn, Dvoretsky, Tal, Larsen, Alekhine, Kasparov, Karpov, Spassky, Fischer (60 games etc).
Rowsons „Sins“ and „Zebras“
Suba „Dynamic Chess Strategy“
extend the conventional chess space which is covered in regular books. They are somewhat above the rest.
Old books generally are not bad but compared to modern ones often helplessly overrated. At that time they were the best, sure.
(Lipnitzky is pretty good, no question. But I just read the modern reprint)
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