Book Reviews

e3 Poison : A 21st Century Opening Repotiore

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, August 5, 2018

E3 Poison

Axel Smith

Quality Chess

378 Pages

 

I must admit I am a fan of Axel Smith’s work. There got that out the way!

In many ways this book can be considered a follow up to Smith’s previous book: “Pump up your rating”.  So rather than being an opening treatise around 1.e3 this is rather an examination of a number of openings which transpose into a set up with e3,d4,c4 and Nf3. The book then discusses the plans, common themes and tactics which arise in this kind of position. This knowledge is Smith strongly credits towards his gaining of the GM (OTB) Title.

This in itself make the book highly interesting for the CC playe!. We now have a situation where opening databases and engines have made understanding the Opening and Middlegame positions which arise essential if we want to be able to fashion an advantage. In this regard, if the reader is willing to put in the required work, then the book will deliver!

 

Overall: If you like to play moves other than 1.e4 then this book can probably add something to your chess!

 

Scoring: 82% - One for non e4 players!

 

Applying Logic in Chess - Erick Kislik

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, July 8, 2018

Applying Logic in Chess

IM Erik Kislik

Gambit Chess

319 Pages

 

 

This book is weighty - in many ways. It will not be for everyone, as its very word heavy and not the contents not being lightweight either! That said for those willing to work through it the contents are excellent covering a very modern interpretation of Chess and how to get better at it

The structure of the book is interesting with 14 main chapters, going from the very beginning (Not trying to teach the reader the fundamentals but considering such things as the piece values in different phases of the game and different positions), through what to train at, how to train, How to evaluate , How to use engines and how to develop Meta Openings.

For the correspondence player, there are many gems within its pages (read the book yourself to find them!

There has been an excellent crop of new books in recent month's but Applying Logic in Chess, raises the bar (again!)

Book Score: 94% - Joist highest score to date (it would have been the highest if more diagrams had been included to break up the text)

 

Chess Structures

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, June 10, 2018

Chess Structures - A Grandmaster Guide

Mauricio Flores Ríos

Quality Chess

464 Pages

Modern Correspondence Chess has is a game where Strategic thinking and planning take the fore as engines handle tactics rather well!  This book aid the aspiring CC player well in reviewing all the major pawn structures seen in the modern game.

After a short introduction, the book leaps into identifying and reviewing 29 distinct structures. For each one the White and Black plans and piece placement as discussed. This then leads to a number of heavily annotated model games to help the student grasp the strategy in the structure.

The book is rounded off with a number of graded exercises.

The structure of the book is such that the reader can dip into the chapters they want or need rather than having to read the entire book

Overall Score 93% - Well worth adding to your collection!

 

 

 

 

Book Review

Russell Sherwood  Monday, May 28, 2018

World Champion at the Third Attempt

Grigory Sanakoev

Gambit

Paperback

256 Pages

 

Following on from the review of Mike Read’s 120 Games, we have a much older book but one covering the games of a former ICCF World Champion.

The book covers Sankoev’s CC career from the very start until winning the World Championship (at the third attempt).

Although the book comes from the pre-engine era is a rich source of valuable ideas for the aspiring CC player as Sanakoev presents a number of CC “rules” which he refines after each cycle of play.

A few minor negatives – as a translation the language can be a little obtuse and as the content covers the 1960 – 1980’s a few of the ideas are past their sell by date but as a positive, even in those cases, there is still a great idea which can be modified for modern play.

Want a glimpse into the processes of an ICCF World Champion, then this is the book for you. Better still, it currently is selling for only £5 in a number of outlets!

 

Scoring

Value for Money: 10

Readability: 7

Originality: 9

Content: 38

Credibility:10

Durability: 7

Would I buy this (again) 10

 

Total 91%

My 120 Selected Correspondence Games by SIM Mike Read

Russell Sherwood  Friday, May 18, 2018

My 120 Selected Correspondence Games
By SIM Mike Read

534 pages

This is a rarity: A book specifically on Correspondence Chess, even rarer, a games collection. This book is an insight into the playing mind of a very strong CC player from the pre-computer era, so if you like your lines triple checked for accuracy look elsewhere!

At over 500 pages long for £10 this book is great value for money. Negative points, none whatsoever! The cover is already dog tagged on my copy but that is from reading!

One very interesting game is from current welsh CC player David Guy, played in 1990!

Overall, worth a place in every Correspondence Chess Library! 

Using a shiny new scoring system this book weighs in at a highly impressive 90%!

Welsh Correspondence Chess FederationBritish Correspondence Chess AssociationSchemingMind Internet Correspondence Chess ClubSocial Correspondence Chess AssociationWelsh Chess UnionInternational Correspondence Chess Association