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My Book Reviews, II

   Kasparov's new book.  (mybook_1.gif,  22 KB)


"Instant Classic" … or simply hoop-la?

  A BOOK REVIEW ... by  ... by  LIFE-Master (of chess), A.J. Goldsby I  
  (My review of the book, "My Great Predecessors, Volume I." 
By GM Garry Kasparov and D. Plisetsky.)  

According to the NY Times website, this book is selling very well. A friend, who is also sells chess books, tells me that he cannot keep these in stock. And on the Chess-Base website, "M.G." says this book is guaranteed to be an instant classic, and it is "review-proof." After reading this, I thought it was almost a waste of time to even bother writing a review. But since I have had at least two-dozen requests for this, I decided to go ahead and try.

I have had this book for close to two weeks now … and it is no exaggeration to say that I almost could not put it down. A beautiful hard-back book, almost 500 pages from one of the greatest chess players who ever lived. (Kasparov was one of the youngest "Super-GM’s" ever, World Champion from 1985 until 2000, and also the Number One player by rating for almost 20 years. He also won 10 very strong events … IN A ROW!!! His accomplishments speak for themselves.) The publisher, Everyman Books, is also one of the best in that particular field. There is a good intro, and also indexes in the back of the book.

The way the book is laid out is also interesting. Chapter One is on the players who came before the World Championship became official. The next four chapters are on the first four World Champions: Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, and Alexander A. Alekhine.

Before I continue I want to briefly tell you a story. One of Reinfeld’s early books was a book on the games of Capablanca. (He initially paid to have it published in the late 1930’s. Later it was published by a major publisher during WWII, but took off and sold really well after the war ended.) I used to make regular visits to NY in the late 60’s and early 70’s because my grandmother lived there. Several masters had a problem with that book. One in particular told me that Reinfeld was a good friend, but he greatly objected to his "silly and frivolous use of question marks." (He was afraid that Reinfeld’s book – because it was fairly well known – would forever prejudice the way that people viewed those games. He also noted that in other books where he annotated the same games – "Great Brilliancy-Prize Games of the Masters,"  for example – he dropped many of the question marks he had used previously.)

I think many of the same criticisms that were leveled at the Reinfeld book, could also be made against this book – too many question marks. And in some cases, they are simply not deserved. (I also often wonder if Kasparov’s ego prevents him from being completely objective … he seems almost too eager to tear down the games of the old Master’s – as if this will make his feats seem greater somehow.)

In the first part of this review, I am going to cover the flaws I see in this book. In the second part of the review I will point out what is good or outstanding about this book.

I want to (also) make the average reader aware that this book is NOT entirely by Garry Kasparov. MANY Soviet books are "ghost-written" by minor players and masters, and this is at least partly the case here. (Around 1999 or 2000 I had an Internet student who was playing chess with a fellow from Russia. This person told my student that his teacher was a master and also … "already hard at work preparing material for Kasparov’s next book.") In fact if you check the dust jacket, you will see that Dmitry Plisetsky, (and helpers?); was deeply involved in this project, and probably did much of the writing and the analysis.

The first thing I noticed when I began reading is that I noticed many either misleading or completely inaccurate statements. For example on page # 35, we see the statement that, "Morphy settled in New York." (NYC) Nothing could be further from the truth. He did not buy a house, rent one, or even let an apartment. In fact anyone who has read Lawson’s book on Morphy will note that he wanted to return home immediately after the Chess Congress. But he also wanted to play a match with Staunton, and his admirers convinced him to stay in NY (briefly) until he could determine whether or not Staunton would make the trip to the U.S. to play him in a match. After discovering that Staunton could not be persuaded to leave England, he immediately set sail for that country in an effort to make the match with Staunton a reality. It should also be noted that Morphy considered chess a hobby and not a profession – he had passed the Bar Exam at age 18, but the law prevented him from practicing law until he tuned 21. Morphy was basically killing time with chess, (at his Father’s suggestion, who was a prominent Judge); until he turned ‘legal age.’ This book is full of such historically inaccurate statements and every reader should be aware of this before they dive in. {He also discusses Pillsbury without delving into the fact that he probably had a severe disease that caused his untimely death.} This is not an isolated case, either. Kingston and Winter have already pointed out the many other mistakes in this book as well.

The second thing I noticed in this book were errors in analysis. (I will get to some hard cases here shortly.) If you go to the Publisher’s website, they are advertising that, "ALL of this work was meticulously computer-checked." In the introduction to this book, on page 10, Kasparov himself tells you that this material was: … "studied under the microscope of the latest analytical chess programs." Kasparov also makes many references in the book to his "iron-friend." (Fritz) Therefore it is not unreasonable for us to expect that there should be very few errors. But when I went looking, I found mistakes in nearly every game I examined! Also much analysis has been "borrowed" from other sources, without giving due credit. I also wonder how much of Garry’s older work was simply reproduced without any new analysis. (Or even checked.) 

The third thing I noticed was a definite lack of focus. When I first picked this book up, I expected to see all the best wins of each of the four champions that this book was about. I was sadly disappointed here. Many of their best games are nowhere to be found! Then I saw that many of the (former) World Champions losses were analyzed as well. At first I was slightly annoyed, but then I thought: "OK. Fair is fair. To objectively judge the works of these players, wins – as well as losses – should be examined." But then I noticed there were MANY games that could not fall into either category. (For example: Game # 21, page # 75. I. Gunsberg – M. Tchigorin; 2nd Match game, Havana, 1890.) What bearing do these games have on the examination of the players at hand? At first a few of these could be justified – we judge the players of that era through the lens of their contemporaries and their games. But some of these seem completely out of place, the only reason I can find for their inclusion was that it is a famous game and Garry was looking for an excuse to take a crack at it! (For example: Game # 38, page # 126. H.N. Pillsbury vs. S. Tarrasch; Hastings, 1895. The analysis of this game is very bad, you may compare it to mine - which you can find with any search engine on the Internet.)

And another fair complaint about this book is that Garry is an excellent writer, he has proven this many times in the past. (Read some of his articles for the NY Times and the Wall-Street Journal, for a few examples.) I showed this book to several students who are not bare-bones beginners, but not very advanced. They all voiced the criticism that they would have preferred more explanation of ideas and fewer variations … some of the notes were simply too complex for them to follow properly.

Before I go any further, I should let you know I consider myself something of an expert on Pillsbury. I have every book in English on this player. Additionally I have books in Yugoslav, Croatian, Spanish, German and Russian on him as well. I also have several notebooks full of writings, observations and analysis on Pillsbury’s life and games. (I was once trying to get a book published on him, but it never got off the ground.)

One of the most famous games that Pillsbury ever played was his loss to Lasker in the Quadrangular Masters Tourney of St. Petersburg, 1895/96. (Game # 41, beginning on page # 132. Lasker considered this his best-ever game.) First – there are simply too many question marks; many of these cannot be justified completely. He gives the move 19.exf7+ a question mark, (‘?’) but his analysis is not entirely convincing. (Other masters have given this move no mark at all, a few have even given it an exclam.) He does note the exceptional brilliance of the concept of 17…Rxc3!!, followed by 18…Ra3!! He also duly notes that 21.Bb5! was probably the best defense. Then there is a whole slew of question marks for the moves 24 through 28, whether or not all of these are justified I cannot say. (Some of these possibilities are so deeply hidden that no player ever found them before it became common use to use a strong computer program to analyze chess games.) He does notice that 26…Rxa3!! was an exceptionally brilliant move. He gives the move 27…Kh7; a question mark, while the authors of another book, ("The World’s Greatest Chess Games," by Nunn, Emms & Burgess.); give this same move an exclam. BOTH BOOKS CANNOT BE RIGHT! And while 28.Kxa3? may be a mistake, I doubt it merits a double-question mark. The draw was VERY deeply hidden - - - and Pillsbury was in time trouble at the end of the game. (For another viewpoint on this fantastic game, see Chernev’s book on the 12 greatest chessplayers.)

Now lets us move on to the very next game. (Game # 42, page # 135. Pillsbury vs. Lasker from Cambridge Springs, 1904.) 5.Bg5 is not approved of by modern theory, 5.cxd5 is the correct move. (See MCO-14 by Korn and de Firmian.) Garry makes no comment. 10…Ne5; is considered dubious, (‘?!’) I consider it to be worthy of an exclam, (‘!’) … the move is correct on principle. (The player who is under pressure should seek relief from an attack by exchanging pieces.) It would take a small book to tell you what is wrong with the note after Black’s 10th move here. Let us just say the note contains more than one error, and that the first game quoted, (Duz-Khotimirsky – Znosko-Borovsky; St. Petersburg, 1905 … is very old, bad, and has been superseded by theory. See any ECO.) 13…Qxb2; is probably the critical moment of the game, yet it passes without comment from Kasparov. There are SO MANY mistakes in the analysis of this game. For example after move 21…Qc5!; we find the note: "But not 21…Rc8; 22.Qd4, Bc6; 23.Rxf6+!" …Rc8 is one of the main tries here for Black. But 22.Qd4? is probably the second or third-best move for White. (I have analyzed 22.Ne5!! to a win for White, Black will either be mated or shed copious amounts of material. And even the move 22.Qh6+!, is better than the one given by Kasparov.) And 23…Bc6??; is just a super-bad move – it changes the computer’s evaluations of this position by 5-12 points … for the worse!!  And the note after move 23…f5; is also horrible. Bad move after bad move. For example, the note ends with: "26.Bg4, with an attacking position for White." But 26.Bg4? is a rotten move, it confers only a slight edge to White. A check with ANY analysis engine will show that the simple 26.Rd4 is much better, and now the computer’s evaluation of this position is "plus-slash-minus" ("+/-") or "White is winning!!" (The analysis of this game is so poor we can only assume that the computer was either broken or turned off!)

The analysis of several of the games of Capablanca and Alekhine are kind of superficial, and leave me shaking my head. (For example: Game # 102, Game # 117, and Game # 125.) In fact I would almost be willing to bet that any strong player who has a strong computer, (fast processor & plenty of RAM); and a good analysis engine, (Fritz 8.0, or ChessMaster 9000); will probably find plenty of mistakes  …  if they are willing to spend the time to look for them.

A final BLUNDER is that there is NO bibliography for this book. For a work as massive and comprehensive as this book tries to be, we have every right to know what the sources were for this compendium. And I don't think this is being unreasonable. Instead we are just left scratching our heads. (There is also NO subject index!!!) 

By now you may get the idea that I hated this book, but nothing could be further from the truth. While this book does have flaws, I like it … and will be reading and analyzing the games in here for many, many years to come. There is much good information in here, insider info, and stuff to amuse and entertain both Master and amateur alike! The analysis – in MANY! cases – reveals ideas and moves and analysis that simply went ignored or undiscovered for years. Kasparov is the first person to take a look at some of these games through a modern prism and attempt to really do a new analysis of some of these games. He is to be applauded. {for the effort} With a little more work, this book could have easily been a monument in chess literature. 

I give it THREE STARS.  (Out of a possible five.)

Make sure you go to and read the slightly shorter version of 
this book review that I posted there as well!

  (NOTE:  Many of the games I mention in this book review, I have DEEPLY 
   annotated, a few links are found on my home page. Check them out!) 


(First)  Posted on my website: Saturday,  September 13th, 2003. 

 January 21st, 2004:   I wish to note that my review of  Kasparov's book,  {see just above}; has generated a great deal of controversy - I have received dozens and dozens of e-mails about this one topic alone. In self defense, I wish to state that this is just one opinion ... and that I am entitled to it! Furthermore, I am NOT the only person making these observations!!! In fact, poking holes and finding various improvements in the analysis of this book has become something of a sport on some websites!! The ChessBase web site has run a whole series of articles on this topic, the discussion and moderator being a FIDE GM. (Karsten Mueller.) So perhaps before you set down and write me a really irate e-mail, you should take a few moments, and look at some of these links!  (below) 

Article # 1   Article # 2   Article # 3   Article # 4   Article # 5   Article # 6  

Article # 7   Article # 8   Article # 9   Article # 10   Article # 11   Article # 12   

I have received now literally hundreds of e-mails about these books. Some of you agree with me, others are very critical of me ... for daring to open my mouth, I guess. 

ONE POSITIVE THING  has happened with the release of this book. Prior to this book being printed, I could not get ANY titled player (IM or GM) to take a serious look at these games. Now it seems everyone wants to analyze them and add their own two bits worth. This alone is reason enough for buying these books. Also - this is a set of finely annotated games that you will not find anywhere else, despite the errors.

  (Tuesday;  March 09th, 2004.)  

   The new Soltis book.  (my-bkrvw2_bfr.jpg, 07 KB)


Bobby Fischer ... RE-discovered?

A BOOK REVIEW ... by  LIFE-Master (of chess), A.J. Goldsby I


It has been over 35 years since Fischer published his “60 Memorable Games,” … not counting Nunn’s travesty … or other poor attempts to revise it. And there has not been a single really good – NEW – book on Fischer in over 15 years! (Most of the better books on Fischer are unfortunately OUT OF PRINT - and nearly impossible to obtain.)

The general rumor {in advance} was that Soltis was going to analyze all the same games that Fischer did in his Magnum Opus, and then add 40 more to round things off to an even 100. The first five games in the Fischer book are: vs. Sherwin, (N.J. Open, 1957); vs. Larsen, (Portoroz IZ, 1958); vs. Petrosian, (same tourn); vs. Pilnik, (Mar del Plata, 1959); and vs. Rossetto. (Also Mar del Plata, ’59.) The first 5 games in the Soltis book are vs. D. Byrne, (Rosenwald, NY 1956 – The “Game of The Century.”); Di Camillo, (NY, 1956); vs. Bernstein, (U.S. Champ, NY; 1957-58); vs. Sherwin, (same); and then the Fischer – Larsen game. So it is obvious this is NOT just Soltis’s turn at re-doing the Fischer book. 

First, Soltis is a well-known chess-player and columnist. He has written many chess books. He has an outstanding reputation in the chess community. My students tell me that he is one of the most accessible and easy to understand authors around today. (The Reinfeld or Chernev of modern times.) 

The book is thoughtfully crafted; the annotations are (mostly) precise. There are 100 games here that were chosen for their content, and then they were thoroughly annotated. (There are many games the average chess fan will not have seen before.) NO fan of Bobby Fischer (or Soltis) should miss this book. Any aspiring student will certainly learn a lot about the game by a very careful study of the material that is presented here. And there is quite a bit of thoughtful and new biographical material presented here by Soltis. 

Having said that, I must vent my frustrations about the things that I saw that I did not like. Soltis definitely uses TOO MANY question marks … often he uses a sledge hammer when a lighter tool would have sufficed. (The “Modern School” of annotating.) Many times, the question marks only raise issues that the author does not even bother to explain. (This can be very frustrating to the student who wants to know why the move was bad.) And how can we measure games that were played nearly 50 years ago by the standards of today’s modern opening theory? (I also don’t think Soltis uses a computer to analyze chess games.) 

Soltis also has not spent the time on some of the games that he could. If anyone is curious, see the game Fischer – Portisch, Stockholm Interzonal, 1962. (Game # 28, page # 86.) I think this is one of Fischer’s best games, and one of the greatest R+P endings ever played!! (I have been saying this for close to 25 years. A curious person could use any search engine and find my annotations of this game on the Internet.) Soltis comes close to butchering this classic contest. 

But all hair-splitting aside, this is a very good book about one of the greatest players who ever lived. Just about ANY aspiring chess student will want to add this book to his library. Any student who gets this book … and applies himself or herself … will definitely learn (and enjoy!) a great deal about the Royal Game we all love.  

Despite its flaws, I give it FIVE STARS.  (Out of a possible five.)

(Posted: Oct. 20, 2003.) 

   The second book in the series.  (book_2.gif, 09 KB)

My book review of Part II 

 (Short review, copied from 

More of the same - its such a shame.,  February 18, 2004 
Reviewer: A.J. Goldsby I,  from  Pensacola, FL (USA) 

I have had this book for over a month now, and I have spent many, many hours reading this book and deeply analyzing the games that are given here. (I should also let you know that I am a chess-master with a fair size library, and that I am fairly well-read when it comes to the stories and the lives of the various World Champions.) 

I think a comment on my review of the first volume is in order here, as it generated a great deal of e-mail - some of which was clearly negative. First, it is just one man's opinion! Secondly, if you check any of the popular web sites like ChessBase, you will find poking holes in the analysis of the first book has become something of a national sport for some people. (In particular, see the series of on-going articles by GM Karsten Mueller.) 

When I first received this book, I had anticipated learning a great deal about these players that I did not know. In particular, good books on Euwe's life (in English) are fairly hard to come by. (This volume covers World Champions five through eight, i.e., Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov, and Tal.) I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Max Euwe, who was World Champion from 1935 to 1937. I had once read, (in a book by a popular American writer); that "Euwe possessed a rather dry style," and that he was a strategist and a deep thinker. (he was) But here we see a different side of Euwe, he is pictured as a great tactician who was not afraid to enter into complications if the position called for it! (I found the combination against Speyer given on page 15 to be especially pleasing.) Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter ... and the look into the life of a multifaceted man that many call the last amateur World Champion. 

I already knew a great deal about Botvinnik, but nonetheless enjoyed the chapter on this player immensely. I did not see a lot of new information ... but the chapter made pleasant reading. A slightly sour note was sounded by the discussion of how Kasparov and Botvinnik had ended their personal relationship. (Botvinnik's version of this tale is completely different than the one offered by Kasparov.)

The chapter on Smyslov was very entertaining and well presented. Truly the story of Smyslov's life has been a search for harmony ... both on and off the chessboard, and his games reflect this quality. The games themselves also make a good vehicle for this player, I doubt the average player will know many of these game prior to acquiring this book.  (They are all very beautiful!) 

And finally, we have the chapter on the life of Tal. There is a lot of good and bad in this chapter, I personally (greatly) disagree with Kasparov's statement that Tal's game was about "bluffing" in chess. One cannot become World Champion without being a great player and able to play all phases of the game in at least an adequate manner! In my opinion, Tal returned "dynamics" to chess. With his emphasis on things like a high-intensity struggle, hand-to-hand combat, his willingness to sacrifice at almost any time ... Tal brought these elements back into chess at a time when it needed it the most. (Keres later noted that chess suffered from 'staleness' during this period. He said that it was in danger of dying the death of "the gentleman's draw," and the "win with White - draw with Black" formula. Keres said that Tal's chess was like ... " a breath of fresh air into a stuffy room.") 

And now down to brass tacks. (Many of the complaints I had about the first volume will re-surface here.) A friend of mine - who is something of a chess historian - complained about the many errors in the names and the dates in this book. (One Harvard professor has put out a 7-volume set of books on the communist leaders of the {former} USSR. On page 161, Zhdanov should probably be rendered "Zhidanov" in English.) 

Again there is a definite lack of focus. (About half the games in the Botvinnik chapter do NOT involve Botvinnik as one of the principle parties!) And the author promised the readers a definitive account, but skirts many of the thornier issues of chess history. For example: the fact that Keres was probably forced to throw games to Botvinnik. (Indeed, after Stalin died, Keres won like five games in a row off Botvinnik!) The authors touch on this, but do not really delve into this matter in any real or meaningful way. 

An IM, who was initially very excited about the release of these books, now confides to me that he feels Kasparov had little to do with any of the work done here. A GM told me - on the condition that I did not disclose his name - that he also felt Kasparov did little of the real work involved in this project, and referred to these books as "pot-boilers." 

And probably the most important fact of all is the chess contained within this book. The web site of the publisher still promises analysis free of errors, in the introduction here the authors' state: many of these games will be "analyzed anew with the help of a computer." (Page # 05.) Yet the number of errors contained within this book that I have already found are nearly too great to count. (In one case I found the authors concluded that White was better, but missed a simple combination that wins a piece. In another case they conclude the position is "nearly equal," but miss a mate in three moves.) 

One concrete example is the game that begins on page # 416. (Tal - Botvinnik, 1st Match Game.) This game is replete with errors, I found a problem with almost every note I looked at in detail!! (More than 20 mistakes tallied so far.) 

In closing, I would like to say that these books appear to be well produced, but fall far short of expectations - especially if your name is Garry Kasparov. But on the other hand, any amateur who is looking for a "good read" and some excellent games to look at, might enjoy this book quite a bit. (Just don't check the moves with a strong computer!)  (This is the end of the review, as was posted on Amazon.) 


I had originally planned to count up all the mistakes I found ... this quickly proved not to be a realistic plan, there are simply too many errors! 

I had also planned to deeply annotated like 10 games and post them for free, (As a download - in ChessBase format.); on one of my web sites. But this plan too proved to be untenable, I have only chosen like 4 games, and made real progress to date on just one of them. (Feb. 19th, 2004.)  I may ... or may not post some games on the Internet, I have to finish at least one of them first!! 

And please do not think I am bashing Kasparov just to be a curmudgeon, it is just that with a really good editor and co-analyst (like Nunn?) this series could have been the one to which  ALL  chess players everywhere would have turned to. In the end, I am simply disappointed with the final product, it fell short of previous efforts by the same author. (See his great effort, "The Test of Time.") 

If the above review seems a bit abbreviated, its because Amazon limits you to 1000 words, and when reviewing a book like Kasparov's, that may not be enough. But stay tuned here ... and watch this web site for updates! 


(I plan to post a list of the mistakes I have found in this book here. Look for it soon!) 


I just got (03/09/04) about a dozen letters from friends and fans asking me where the promised list of mistakes is. All I can say is that I am working on it. If you punch in the moves and use your own analysis engine, I feel quite confident that you will find many errors and mistakes as well. The famous draw between Fischer and Botvinnik, (in the chapter on Botvinnik); is a good place to start. 

The Chess Advantage in Black and White : 
Opening Moves of the Grandmasters  (Mckay Chess Library)



   (Here is my short book review, as it appeared on  

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

A very solid choice of openings, June 10, 2004  
 (Reviewer: A.J. Goldsby I, Pensacola, FL / USA)   

Here is a new book by Kaufman, who is (was) known for excellent writing about computer chess ... approximately 10-15 years ago. (This is my short review; I may post a longer one on my web site.)

The basic goal of this book is very singular and specific - to write a "repertoire" book for players who are interested in such things. (A book like this is to provide a student with a program to learn certain openings, in order to be prepared for any possible chess opening that a player might use against them.) The "R.H." chess meter on the back cover places this book for players who fall between the "intermediate" and "advanced" category. (HINT: Beginners would find this book of little or no use.)

I spent a lot of time in this book the past week, I went over most of the lines, and I analyzed some in great detail. My initial impression was very favorable. I can tell you that this is NOT one of those books that were bashed out in a great hurry.

The author is very frank and honest with you. He had some very specific goals when he wrote this book. (497 pages!) He did not want to always play the "best and most fashionable lines," as this can be a very difficult proposition. (After 1.e4, c5; 2.Nf3, d6; the <best> move according to theory, is 3.d4. But this leads to the Open Sicilian, which could take up hundreds of books to really address properly. Instead Kaufman opts for the move, 3.Bb5+. It is simple, effective, and has a high surprise value. Additionally, there is no easy way to get to a draw, and White can still obtain a viable edge out of the opening.) The author avoided lines where castling on opposite sides occurred and everything hangs by one tempo, similarly he avoided other razor-sharp lines ... where the theory is likely to change on an almost daily basis. (He states in the introduction that he wanted to produce a book of lasting value, that might still be viable 10-20 years from now.) The author also used a "committee" of computer programs to help him find the best moves.

The author, IM Larry Kaufman, proposes that you play 1.e4, as White. (The core of your repertoire will be the Spanish Exchange. 1.e4, e5; 2.Nf3, Nc6; 3.Bb5, a6; 4.Bxc6, etc.) He provides you with a sensible line for every possible opening that any opponent might try to use against you. There are dozens of very good suggestions in here. (And probably many "TN's" as well.) Kaufman also proposes that you meet 1.e4 with 1...e5; using primarily The Berlin Defense. (An excellent recommendation, a GM co-authored this chapter.) He also advises using the Semi-Slav against an opponent who opens with the Queen Pawn. (1.d4) His list of five criteria on page # 377 shows that much thought went into the choice of openings.

There are MANY positives to this book.
# 1.) Virtually any opening that a prospective opponent could pick is provided for. Many times, the line that you will use is solid, and very good. Not only do you stand an excellent chance of gaining a very concrete advantage, there is the distinct possibility that your opponent might not have studied these lines.
# 2.) ALL the analysis has been meticulously checked with more than one computer program. (I found NO large or major mistakes.) Compare this ... to many other books that I have dealt with lately, where the author claims a computer was used, but the volume is still replete with many errors and mistakes.
# 3.) Since many of these continuations are not main line theory, there is little chance that theory will change before you get a chance to use them.
# 4.) The author explains the basic ideas and strategies of an opening at the beginning of each section or chapter.

I did find a few drawbacks to this book:
# 1.) Many of the lines are VERY long, 15-25 moves, (or more). The emphasis here is on being able to memorize a lot of material for your next tournament. (If you forget a line, you might be a dead duck.)
# 2.) Many possible - and even likely moves - are not provided for by this author.
# 3.) Some of the continuations examined here are distinctly inferior. {For one side.} Many improvements will probably be found before the next edition. (Despite what the author says, I doubt that a book like this would be of much use to a really strong Master, say rated 2400 or better.)
# 4.) Some of the games are gross mis-matches. (Page 235 is one such example. White is rated nearly 2600, while Black holds an unimpressive 2215 rating.) I prefer to base my theoretical decisions on games between really strong players with less than a 150 point differential in their respective ratings.

But all these questions are secondary to the overall aim and quality of the book. (On a scale of 1-10, I would give the author at least a 7.5 here.) This is an in-depth and high-quality book that deserves very serious consideration. Players rated 1000-2300 ... that have been searching for a REAL repertoire ... will find this book enormously helpful. Postal players will probably find that this book is a MUST!!

In closing, I truly liked this book; and give it a high recommendation.  (Posted here: 08/23/2004) 


I have now analyzed about 10-12 of his recommendations very deeply. I am planning on bringing at least two of these out for the general public. BUT!! The links will only be posted here. Stay tuned! 

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  Copyright (©) A.J. Goldsby, 1975 - 2013.  
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 This page was last updated (edit or saved) on 09/17/14 .