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qpawn
18-06-2006, 08:30 AM
It is a long time since I read John Love's "Positional Ideas in chess": a fabulous book that covers all the positional basics such as space , pawn structures [hanging, doubled, isolated, when these structures should be gone into or avoided] etc.

It appears that the book is nigh on impossible to get unless I am preapred to buy stuff over the net. For reasons that would take about 3 years of computer science lectures I do not trust internet credit card/purchasing security.

There is a dearth of "positional bread and butter" stuff pubished these days. I don't want some ego-driven book where the author is preaching his or herpositional mantras. I just want a straightforward, objective guidebook on positional stuff. This is exactly what John Love provided; it is regrettable that my local library got rid of his excellent work.

Are any good positional books being written? Does anyone write them anymore? And I don't want to read any poseur authors who think that they can write anything and it will sell! If an author writes garbage like "all hanging pawn complexes are weak" then I will see through it.

Frankly, 95 percent of the chess books that have been written in the last 10 years have been absolute trash.

Desmond
18-06-2006, 09:49 AM
Hi qpawn, (btw I initially thought your name was gpawn - go the grob!)

I like your question. It's difficult to answer though. It seems you have a basic positional understanding already.

Understanding pawn structures is the key. I'm not just talking about phalanx, chain, doubled, passed, isoltated here. It is vital that you understand the type of structures that will arises repeatedly from the openings you play. Let me give you an example.

If you play 1. d4 you must be prepared to me the QGD. Then consider what pawn structures will arise from that - the isolated d-pawn (or Q-pawn if you prefer) and it's children the hanging pawns (eg. c4 d4 vs b7 e6), the isolated pawn couple (c3 d4 when the c-pawn cannot easily advance) and others. There are other options black has apart from 1. ... d5 of course, but I'll limit my example here. In this case, I would unreservedly recommend that you read Nimzowitsch. Read "My System", then read "Chess Praxis".

In short my answer is to study books with middlegames that result from the openings you play. After this, study games of GMs in the opening you play. Read enough books, pay attention, take notes and you will learn much more than any author will be willing to reveal.

That is the best advice I can give you. It may be the best you ever get for free. I have read over 100 chess books. Some of them had nothing to teach me, some of them I treasure. I know what I'm talking about and I understand chess at a high level. The study of chess is not a pedestrian process. Take on board what the author says but look for more and compare it to what others have to say.

Good luck :)

ElevatorEscapee
18-06-2006, 11:01 AM
Hi qpawn, depending on who the person running the online shop is, if they are based in Australia, you may be able to order a book online, but pay by posting off a cheque or Australia Post Money Order rather than risk using a Credit Card (it can't hurt to contact them via email to see if they would accept that as a payment option). :)

(I used to pay for a lot of my eBay auction wins this way).

qpawn
18-06-2006, 11:17 AM
I am basically a positional player. I always have been even when I was about 10 and knew "nothing" about chess. I actually play the same openings that I played 20 years ago when I was a junior!! French, queen's gambit KIA etc.It is clear to me that some people play a certain way from the absolute outset; perhaps there is a certain style of thinking that I have. When I was 12 some people watched my games and said that it was a "scientific" way of playing. [ though it may have been apt to call it "scientifically bad" !!]

I have a reasonable positional understanding but it usually goes like this: ok, here I have to decide if the isoleani is worth creating in my pawn structure. What did John Love say about it? umm...wish I could have found that book :)

I try to work through the game of strong positional players: Kramnik, Euwe, Capa etc . Of course Capa was arguably the greatest positional player ever. I can't relate that much to Petrosian's games; I am more of a classical player than a hypermodernist.

The beauty of d4 or 1.PQ4 as an opening is that the opponent must make complex positional decisions over an extended period of time. These decisions can be very difficult. In the VIC open where I lost to Rincewind in a QGD I was faced with choice after choice: do I capture with this pawn or that one, do I go for hanging pawns or an isolated pawn, do I try to counter his queen's attack on the kside or counter his rooks on the open files? IMO this is a degree of subtly sustained pressure that, in general, you don't get from 1. e4. The only 1.e4 opening that can do it is the Spanish [ or Ruy Lopez if you like] but if you face a Sicillian then it's a different game.

thanks again.

Kevin Bonham
18-06-2006, 08:21 PM
Michael Stean's deceptively-named "Simple Chess" (1978) is very good IMO. Although it is little over 100 pages long, during the time when it was out of print, some quite high prices were being paid for it as there was really not much like it on the market. I sold my spare copy for $25 and heard of others going for more. I believe it is now available in an algebraic edition.

Phil Bourke
18-06-2006, 09:36 PM
Euwe & Kramer's 'The Middlegame' and Keres and Kotov's (?) 'The Art of The Middlegame' are two that would be of interest along with Nimzowitsch's books. All of these books probably need to be read two and three times to start to absorb the ideas they are teaching.

qpawn
19-06-2006, 12:22 PM
I might go to Chess world and hunt for some of these recommended books.

What is odd about the number of books written for club players is that they usually concentrate upon a specific opening. But that won't usually help someone get better at playing chess; it could help someone to get better at the Sicillian pelikan, Scotch gambit etc : :rolleyes:

MichaelBaron
20-06-2006, 12:07 PM
If you want to learn about startegy/positional play I would reccomend having a look at Nimzovich's "My System" Bronstein's "1953" and Kotov's "Think like a Grandmaster"

For 1800+ players - Dvoretsky's books are second to none

Desmond
20-06-2006, 12:26 PM
If you want to learn about startegy/positional play I would reccomend having a look at Nimzovich's "My System" Bronstein's "1953" and Kotov's "Think like a Grandmaster"

For 1800+ players - Dvoretsky's books are second to none

Agreed, Positional Play by Dvoretsky is a gem, but not to be recommended to the ~1100 player.

qpawn
20-06-2006, 12:33 PM
In general you could be right that Dvoretsky's works are too advanced for 1000 to 1200 rated players. But in my case I think that I could make a fair fist of an advanced book, given the prior reading that I have done over time.

Desmond
20-06-2006, 01:03 PM
In general you could be right that Dvoretsky's works are too advanced for 1000 to 1200 rated players. But in my case I think that I could make a fair fist of an advanced book, given the prior reading that I have done over time.

I would still suggest you to read Nimzovitch first. The Kotov trilogy is good too. I am yet to read the Bronstein book.

qpawn
20-06-2006, 02:00 PM
Golombek once reviewed "My Ssytem" and said that Nimzowitch one of the best ever chapters on playing against the isolated queen's pawn. OK. I got to go to Chessworld and start reading :D

bobby1972
20-06-2006, 03:41 PM
the best book on positional is "reshevsky on chess" its fantastic i improved from 1389 to 1999 in 2 ratings list thanks to this book i got the rating list to prove it its a great book why this man never became world champ is a big question,i have never read a book on chess that made inspired in chess like this one.

bergil
20-06-2006, 03:43 PM
the best book on positional is "reshevsky on chess" its fantastic i improved from 1389 to 1999 in 2 ratings list thanks to this book i got the rating list to prove it its a great book why this man never became world champ is a big question,i have never read a book on chess that made inspired in chess like this one.
Here's one for you Bobby, See a head, kick it! ;)

Arrogant-One
20-06-2006, 04:12 PM
the best book on position is "reshevsky on chess" its fantastic ...

No, No, No. You've forgotten about the Kama Sutra. That's the best positional book. How do you think Anand became a Grandmaster?

bobby1972
20-06-2006, 04:30 PM
i did not get it? what do you mean see a head and kick it .its a great book seriously

Arrogant-One
20-06-2006, 04:43 PM
i did not get it? what do you mean see a head and kick it .its a great book seriously

I am sure they are both very good books! :P

MichaelBaron
20-06-2006, 05:19 PM
No, No, No. You've forgotten about the Kama Sutra. That's the best positional book. How do you think Anand became a Grandmaster?

It is indeed a "positional" book since it contains 100s of interesting and instructive positions :) :doh:

Denis_Jessop
20-06-2006, 10:31 PM
I think a lot depends on one's playing strength. A beginner or a moderate club player would find Nimzo, Kotov and Dvoretsky very hard going. Likewise Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy. Even Euwe and Kramer is a bit weighty whereas Euwe's Judgement and Planning in Chess is excellent. There is also John Watson's Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy to consider. In fact probably everyone has a favourite or two or three and not all would be the same.

DJ