Friday, March 23, 2007

500 Games

This is Savielly Tartakower. He was a chess grandmaster in the first half of the twentieth century. He wrote a collection of chess games called, "500 Master Games of Chess". It really does contain 500 games, 500 annotated games. That's a lot.

In order to fit all of those games between 2 covers, the publishers had to scrunch up the presentation of the writing and the commentary. It is a hard book to read. Diagrams are few. The use of a chess board is mandatory, unless one uses a database program like chessbasse. I use Chessbase Lite which I downloaded from Chessbase for free. Chessbase allows me to go through variations without loosing my place in the book.

The experience is lengthy but satisfying. Comments are on the light side but more than you'd expect. On the whole, one comes away with a feeling that you understand the games you've just played over. I think that if you want to understand how chess was played from the beginnings through 1940, this book is the best 1 volume book out there.

Disclaimer: The fact that I will be compensated if you click on the link and buy the book turns this post into a semi-advertisement. I only will link to for books I actually liked.


Ssehc (pronounced Shay) said...

I, personally, use the database system in Fritz 9. It has over 1 million games, as well as analysis software.

Jack Le Moine said...

How many of those games are annotated? How many have you played over and studied?

Mark Weeks said...

I agree that the book is a great collection of games, although the notes are dreadful. FYI, you can find a PGN copy of the book on - Mark

Jack Le Moine said...

Well, I wouldn't say dreadful. "Light," "colorful," would be better words. He gives the minimum of analysis and variations. Still, with just that, it's a slog to go through all of those games.

Thanks for the PGN info!