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  1. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    10 Feb '09 18:13 / 1 edit
    Dr. S. Tartakower and J. DuMont - 500 Master Games of Chess

    I just picked this book up from the library (it hasn't been checked out since 1994, I'll probably be able to re-check-out several times if I should need too) and I'm going through it and I've found multiple games in my exclusive repetoire.

    French, QID,
    English, KIA,

    It also carries some games of typical transpositions I see. However, I was curious as to how to approach this study. As of right now, I intend to play each game in my repetoire out on a pretty standard chess set. Is this the best way? Should I go through them ALL? My repetoire first, and then the rest? ??? .... ????

    Perhaps I should try to find a candidate move before looking at the next move each time? I'm not really sure. This is the first book I've dived into where I have every intention on playing through each game by hand.

    Does anybody have experience with this book that could give me some pointers on successfully replaying through it? Anybody have any good advice on how to get the most out of it?

    Anybody with any knowledge of replaying Master games will be greatly appreciated.

    -GIN
  2. 10 Feb '09 19:52 / 3 edits
    This is a great chess book.

    Go to the library and tell them you lost it and how much does it cost.
    Most likely it will be very cheap - if it's not then tell them you
    will have another look for it - and find it!

    An old dodge that one, it's in my new book.
    Chess Openings for Hackers & Slackers
    Chapter 13: 'How to Build up a Good Chess Library.'

    It has nothing to with openings, but if I put openings in the title
    then the sheep will buy it.

    How to use it?
    A quiet room, full size set and off you go.

    Tartakower will guide you. He has the knack of stopping at the right
    bit and dropping on a note. A very good writer and player.

    Use the diagram to play out the variaitions (Tartakower - usually
    keeps them light - if not then you can be sure there is something
    in there he wants you to see).

    You can either go back to the diagram or as I used to do play out
    the whole game again, not re-reading the notes but remembering
    what was said at critical junctures.

    Start with the open games. Tartakower chose the most instructive and
    entertaining games. His wry and humerous comments mixed into
    a classic game is better than any DVD.

    To my ever lasting regret I never played out the closed games.
    In my day the book came in two volumes so I bought vol 1 Open Games.

    I of course obtained Vol II years later but never went through them all.
    The Open Games had moulded me. I wanted to play like these guys
    and I was going to do it with 1.e4.

    This book is my Desert Island Book.

    I envy you as I would envy someone who had never heard
    Sgt. Pepper's and was about to hear it for the first time.

    20 years from now GM Nowakowski will passing on this book to a
    student of the game.

    "Here you are son, the greatest Chess Book ever written covering the
    Golden Age of Chess."

    (The 20 years from now pun will be lost on non Beatles fans)
  3. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    10 Feb '09 23:12
    Originally posted by Nowakowski
    Dr. S. Tartakower and J. DuMont - 500 Master Games of Chess

    I just picked this book up from the library (it hasn't been checked out since 1994, I'll probably be able to re-check-out several times if I should need too) and I'm going through it and I've found multiple games in my exclusive repetoire.

    French, QID,
    English, KIA,

    It also carries s ...[text shortened]...
    Anybody with any knowledge of replaying Master games will be greatly appreciated.

    -GIN
    You may be intersted in this piece by CJS Purdy. It's from a previous thread of mine some time ago. I've go no idea how to do the link thing so i've simply cut and pasted.

    Some of you may just have cause to thank me for what you are about to read.
    it's some truly magical advice written by the first world correspondence champion and aclaimed chess teacher CJS Purdy. those of you familiar with the writing of Purdy may have read this before but i felt i just had to share the wisdom.
    The advice is so simple and practical and to a certain extent helps to cut through all the hype we're subjected to by the modern day chess market.
    This particualr excerpt reads like poetry and i have to confess to getting a shiver down my spine the first time i read it. i hope you find it useful.

    How to improve
    The one infallible way to improve is by practice, but I DON’T just mean playing chess. That is certainly helpful, providing you record your games and go through them afterwards trying to run your mistakes to earth- still more if, in addition, you have a coach to go through the games with you a third time.
    If by any chance you can afford coaching, that is the most valuable kind;
    Other kinds of coaching can be got from books- and far more cheaply.

    But by practice I mean playing against champions- any master will gladly play you at any time of the day or night and, moreover, will gladly bring along two other masters to help you out. The visiting masters don’t ask for fees or even refreshment; as a matter of fact they may well be ghosts from the last century, but they will play none the worse for that.

    The masters who are there to help you do not interfere much. They leave you to study the position for yourself. When you make your move, however, one of them says, to your great delight, “YES, JUST WHAT I’D HAVE DONE.” Or- more often than not, if you’re a beginner- he will say politely, “NO DOUBT AN EXCELLENT MOVE- I HAD IN MIND ROOK e2, BUT STILL…”
    That is all this man will ever say, but you must immediately retract your own move and play his; these chaps are very touchy underneath their old world courtesy.

    You are allowed to ask what is wrong with your own move, but you must ask the third man. Sometimes he will merely give an enigmatic smile and suggest that your evident skill is quite equal to working out the answer. At other time he will be much more helpful and give you quite a lecture on the position. Sometimes he will say in a whisper, so that his crony does not hear, “AS A MATTER OF FACT, OLD CHAP YOUR MOVE IS JUST AS GOOD”- or even, “WELL, TO BE QUITE CANDID, MY HIGHLY TALENTED FRIEND HAS MADE AN OVERSIGHT.”

    And so the game proceeds. Your man will never lose the game for you, though he may be held to a draw. At the game’s conclusion your benefactors will vanish, but you can instantly summon three more by the simple process of turning a page.

    I have simply described what happens when you play over a game between a couple of champions, covering the winner’s moves with a card until you have worked out what you would play at each point. You must NEVER look first. Your third visitor- the one who is alternatively garrulous and enigmatically silent- is, of course, the annotator.
    What is the superiority of this form of practice over a regular game with Smith? Obviously this: that Smith and you have nobody to point out your mistakes. You and Smith will go on making the same sorts of mistakes year after year, whereas the student is continually raising himself to the level of his ghostly visitors. It is true that a beginner would get on still better if the annotator would turn on more garrulity and less silence. But space limitations prevent that. However, what does matter if some moves in a game completely baffle you? If you do understand many of the moves you have learned something; and gradually a smaller and smaller percentage will baffle you.

    More about practice

    I said previously that practice was all-important, but that I did not mean playing against actual opponents. What I meant was playing over the games of champions- and I explained the proper way to do it.
    Play one side only- usually the winner’s side if the game is not a draw. Cover the moves with a card in which a niche is cut out of one corner. Think out each of your side’s moves before you look at the game move, taking as long as you would in a match game. Use a chess clock if you have one. Having thought of your move actually make it on the board. That is vital- otherwise you will constantly be tempted to cheat yourself. Then slide the card over till the game move is exposed by the niche. If you guessed differently try to find out if and why your move was bad. Never let your eye stray over an annotation beforehand.
    Look at your opponent’s reply immediately. For one thing it may assist you in discovering some fault in the move you chose.

    It is absolutely necessary to play over games if you want to become a stronger player. Talented players have become champions without swotting openings, without frequent practice against live opponents, without indulging in correspondence play, without reading many books- but no one has ever become a champion without playing over plenty of first class games.
    Even Morphy had to learn that way. It is clear that in his youth he played over practically every game published in his day. It was said by Maurian, his friend that Morphy only played about 500 games against live opponents in his life. The true figure is certainly much greater, but it is probable that before he played in his first and only tournament- the inaugural American championship event that was the prelude to his veni, vedi vinci of Europe- he played fewer than 300 actual games, few enough to show how relatively unimportant they were in his development compared to his study of published games.

    Combe, the obscure Scottish master, who won the British championship at his only attempt last year, did so after having no over-the-board practice for six years. But night after night he indulged in his favourite hobby of playing over master games.


    Well there it is, some truly great advice from probably the best chess writer and teacher ever to have lived.
  4. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    10 Feb '09 23:38
    Excellent!
    GP and Talisman you have both given me excellent advice, and have given me almost everything I need to begin. I love the part with the card to play the games, I think that's exactly how I'll move along through these games.

    I have (2) more questions that remain (sorry for not being clearer with the beginning of the thread).

    (1) I'm currently moving through Reuben Fine's "Chess the Easy Way" to help me brush up on some simple mates, some fine games, and to help strengthen the Chess base that I'm building on. Should my study of "500" begin now, and hold on "Easy", should they both work in conjuction, or should I finish "Easy" before moving onto some of the annotated games by the Masters?

    (2) I'm curious as to which section I should work through first. GP enlightened me about going through them ALL which I have no problem doing. Afterall, I do love the game! However, I'm worried which section I should study first? I'm half thinking that due to my weaknesses tactically, I should begin with the Open section? My repertoire stands mostly in the "Partial" section. So, Begin in Open, Close, or Semi-Closed? or Go from Cover to the Cover, no skipsies!

    Once again guys, thanks for the great advice, I'll be using all of the above to help me gain the most from the book. I'm really looking for Chess growth here, as much as I love chess books... I want to ensure I gain the most with every pass!

    -GIN
  5. 10 Feb '09 23:48
    You know what I am going say.

    Toss the Fine book across the room and start with the Open Games.
    This is the grass roots of chess.
  6. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    11 Feb '09 02:58
    Originally posted by Nowakowski
    Dr. S. Tartakower and J. DuMont - 500 Master Games of Chess

    I just picked this book up from the library (it hasn't been checked out since 1994, I'll probably be able to re-check-out several times if I should need too) and I'm going through it and I've found multiple games in my exclusive repetoire.

    French, QID,
    English, KIA,

    It also carries s ...[text shortened]...
    Anybody with any knowledge of replaying Master games will be greatly appreciated.

    -GIN
    I used to own this book for years. It is a great one. In my opinion play all games in your repetoire first, on a standard chess set, then some of the others if you wish. Many of these old lines of play can be dangerous weapons when used against players that are unfamiliar with there half forgotten secrets. You picked an excellent book to study, so take your time, and learn from the old masters.
  7. 11 Feb '09 06:20
    If anyone in the US is interested in purchasing the book, you can get it for about $7 after shipping: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=500+Master+Games+of+Chess&x=58&y=11
  8. Standard member randolph
    the walrus
    11 Feb '09 06:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    This is a great chess book.

    Go to the library and tell them you lost it and how much does it cost.
    Most likely it will be very cheap - if it's not then tell them you
    will have another look for it - and find it!

    An old dodge that one, it's in my new book.
    [b]Chess Openings for Hackers & Slackers

    Chapter 13: 'How to Build up a Good Chess Li den Age of Chess."

    (The 20 years from now pun will be lost on non Beatles fans)[/b]
    It's amazing what is available in libraries. A friend of mine who teaches at an elementary school in Taos, NM, says that there is a copy of My 60 Memorable Games in the library there- which hadn't been checked out since the 1980's until he arrived! I think he used your method to get it.
  9. 12 Feb '09 13:08
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    [b]This is a great chess book.

    Tartakower will guide you.
    This is indeed a terrific book (as is the lesser known sequel "100 Games of Modern Master Chess" but it was written by Tartakower AND DUMONT. Much of the analysis is reprinted from Rev. Julius DuMont's column in "The Field" (as was pointed out at the time in a generally hostile review by B.H.Wood in "Chess". There might also be some stuff from BCM (DuMont was editor). But 'twas ever thus - have a look at "Modern Chess Masterpieces" (a collection of Larry Evans' columns from CL&R in the 1960's) and you'll recognise large segments that later appeared as written by Fischer in "My 60 Memorable Games". Reinfeld apparently considered his best book to be Frank Marshall's "autobiographical" "My 50 Years of Chess". Bronstein's "200 Open Games" and his book of the 1953 candidates were mostly written by Vainstein. And there are many others.
  10. 12 Feb '09 13:10
    Typo - Ignore the smileys in my last
  11. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    12 Feb '09 22:34
    I’ve no advice on using this book to improve your openings. For me this is a book to enjoy, not to study.

    I have to say the same as Greenpawn in that this book would definitely be my choice for a desert Island chess book.

    It’s the first “proper” chess book I owned and helped me fall in love with chess. Before it I just had a couple of beginners books and some opening books which I bought with the mistaken belief that they would be a quick route to becoming good at this game.

    Quick question: is an algebraic edition available these days? I find descriptive notation hard going now.
  12. 12 Feb '09 23:21
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    it's in my new book.
    Chess Openings for Hackers & Slackers
    Picked that one up on Amazon for $1.17 US + free shipping. I thought it would help my QGD and Sicilian, but instead I got this:

    1 Introduction
    Consisted of, "SUCKER!!!!!!!!!"

    2 Simple Mates
    Looks like a cut and paste job from some sex manual from the 1950's. The models are NOT very attractive.

    3 Complex Mates
    The models switch postions and add a swing. This does not increase their desirability.

    4 Cheating at Chess
    Engine use, leaving pieces halfway between squares and claiming the best position later, using obscure "castling with the Queen" and "today is 2 for 1 capture day" rules. One bright point in this chapter is the idea to keep a spare Q in your pocket and slip it on the board when your opponent is distracted. (see #5)

    5 Distracting Your Opponent
    Small mirror in your palm reflecting light into your opponent's eyes, sneezing all over your opponent's pieces, blatant nose-picking, and frequent outbursts of "Hey, isn't that Bobby Fisher behind you?"

    6 Endgame
    I had hopes of some solid material here, but was disappointed. Consisted totally of how to sweep the pieces off the board, which way you should flip the board, how many pieces you should make your opponent eat, and 1001 excuses for "Why I lost the game to that idiot".

    In total, not Mr G Pawn's best effort, but enough gems of strategy to justify the low price.
  13. 14 Feb '09 21:31
    This sounds like a great book, which I may buy soon.

    However I already have collections of Rubinstein's, alekhine's, Botvinnik's, reshevskys and fischers games, as well as logical chess move by move and Most instructive games ever played. My problem is which to play through first!

    Any ideas?
  14. 14 Feb '09 22:29
    Originally posted by jonrothwell
    My problem is which to play through first!
    Any ideas?
    Logical Chess. Straight forward read and enjoyable. You can skim through games without a board if need be and still get a lot of tips. Later at your practice board, you can dive in deeper.
  15. 14 Feb '09 23:17
    Yeah, if you are that stage then Logical Chess first.
    Then The Most Instrcutive Games.

    But before you start play out Game 19 from The Most Instrcutive Games.

    I know that one game with the one move mates and brilliant fantasy
    finish gripped me.