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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review: The Genius and the Misery of Chess


Perhaps when the author wrote the manuscript in his native language, all flowed well and errors were minimal. But somewhere between the original manuscript and the final edited version in print today, countless quirks appear.

The premise of the book is quite promising. Forty-seven players, ancient and modern, are examined with brief profiles, a picture and one or more games. Each profile is short, generally up to six pages in length. My personal chess library is full of books on openings, tactics, endgame strategy, puzzles and single-player biographies, but doesn’t contain a single volume profiling a multitude of players. Even Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors series required multiple volumes.

The book has a number of "ups" and "downs" - for the next week my review appears at the main ChessCafe book review page, and it is also permanently archived here.

A young Sammy Reshevsky

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