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     Volume 4 Issue 48 | May 27, 2005 |

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Time Out

Of books Chess

One of the good habits that a chess player has to develop is reading. Though computer programmes are a good substitute for books, chess lovers still derive immense pleasure from going through the great classics.

Books, if you study them seriously, will always have a wholesome influence on your play. In fact, one of the standard methods of increasing your strength is to follow the games of any great master available in a book with detailed annotations.

That said, which book do you begin with? When I started playing chess in the early seventies, there was a real scarcity of printed material on chess. One day, perhaps in June 1972, I discovered Fred Reinfeld's " Attacks and Counter Attacks in Chess" at the Public Library. The name itself suggested what kind of staff it contained. The author's love for violent attacking chess was amply reflected in his choice of games. And I came to learn, for the first time in my life, names like Guico Piano, Ruy Lopez and Dutch Defense. We had the notion at that time that reading books would transform us into masters almost overnight. So I kept the discovery secret for some months, but did not notice any great change in my playing strength!

Where did things go wrong? Well, the idea of reading a book was all right. But the problem was that I was desperately trying to imitate the strong players who had produced those beautiful combinations. I did not have a grasp over the underlying principles of attacks and counter attacks. The book had entertainment value, but the author did not elaborate the ideas for the learners.

The next book that I found was Dr. Max Euwe's " Road to Chess Mastery". Again a very attractive title! But this book was different. Dr. Max Euwe (world champion 1935-37) was a much respected chess teacher and theoretician. He wrote the book for students eager to learn the basic principles of the game. It became quite popular among our chess players.

Dr. Max was known for his solid style of play. Here is a game he won against Alekhine.

White-Max Euwe
Black-Alexander Alekhine [D45]
World Championship 1935

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nc3 a6 6.c5 Nbd7 7.b4 a5?! 8.b5 Ne4? [¹8...e5] 9.Nxe4 dxe4 10.Nd2 f5 11.f3 Qh4+? 12.g3 Qh6 13.Qe2 Be7 14.Bg2 00 15.00 Nf6 16.Nc4 Bd8?! 17.fxe4 fxe4 18.Nd6?! Qg6 19.b6 Be7 20.Nc4 Qg5 21.Bd2 e5! 22.Nxe5 Be6 23.Rf4 Qh6 24.a3 g5! 25.Rf2 Qg7 26.Raf1 h5 27.Kh1 Qh7 28.Bc3 h4? 29.gxh4 Qxh4 30.Ng6 Qh7 31.Nxf8 Rxf8 32.d5! Nxd5 33.Rxf8+ Bxf8 34.Bd4 Be7 35.Qf2 Qh4 36.Qxh4 gxh4 37.Bxe4 Bd8 38.Bf5 Bxf5 39.Rxf5 Ne7 40.Rf6 Nc8 41.Rxc6! 1-0


Position after 32.d5!


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