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  1. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    24 Mar '09 13:31
    Who has read Franklin K Young? What did you think of him? Several of his books are available as PDF through Google Books.

    From Thread 105218


    Originally posted by sundown316
    The worst of all time-Franklin K.Young, hands down.
  2. 26 Mar '09 13:32
    The limitations of the English language mean that Johnathan Rowson achieves a standard for unforgivably execrable prose that is impossible to match (this is made worse because the actual chess thinking may well be excellent, but the writing is so bad it's impossible to tell). F.K.Young is one of the few authors to come even close, but the chess content is less likely to be of any real merit. To put it more succintly, avoid.
  3. 02 Apr '09 02:04
    All I know about F.K.Young is this quote of his work in Chernev's Logical chess:

    Always deploy so that the right oblique may be readily established in case the objective plane remains open or becomes permanently located on the centre or on the king's wing,or that the crochet aligned may readily be established if the objective plane becomes permanently located otherwise than at the extremity of the strategic front.

    It always makes me laugh.Maybe I ought to read his books
  4. 02 Apr '09 11:22
    Originally posted by Romanticus
    All I know about F.K.Young is this quote of his work in Chernev's Logical chess:

    Always deploy so that the right oblique may be readily established in case the objective plane remains open or becomes permanently located on the centre or on the king's wing,or that the crochet aligned may readily be established if the objective plane becomes permanently ...[text shortened]... tremity of the strategic front.

    It always makes me laugh.Maybe I ought to read his books
    I tried reading a page or two of one of his books. Good reading material if you have insomnia.
  5. 02 Apr '09 12:18
    Originally posted by BailieDonaldson
    The limitations of the English language mean that Johnathan Rowson achieves a standard for unforgivably execrable prose that is impossible to match (this is made worse because the actual chess thinking may well be excellent, but the writing is so bad it's impossible to tell). F.K.Young is one of the few authors to come even close, but the chess content is less likely to be of any real merit. To put it more succintly, avoid.
    Agree in part About JR's 7th Deadly Sins it just went whoopsh!
    Right over my head. It's a tough read.

    But Zebra's is excellent, some very good stuff in there, a good book.

    (Apparently JR in his interview with John Watson calls me an eccentric.)

    http://webcast.chessclub.com/Watson/2009_03_31/Watson_Chesstalk.html

    I've not seen it yet - my kit is so out of date it cannot handle it
    and no I won't upgrade - why don't you lot downgrade.

    Franklin K Young
    Total waste of time, my candidate for the worse ever 'chess' book
    and my list of crappy naff chess books by far outnumbers my
    list of good books.

    If you see it, buy it and burn it in case it falls into the wrong hands.

    Right I'm off to consult a dictionary and find out what eccentric means.
  6. 02 Apr '09 19:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Agree in part About JR's 7th Deadly Sins it just went whoopsh!
    Right over my head. It's a tough read.

    But Zebra's is excellent, some very good stuff in there, a good book.

    (Apparently JR in his interview with John Watson calls me an eccentric.)

    http://webcast.chessclub.com/Watson/2009_03_31/Watson_Chesstalk.html

    I've not seen it yet - my kit rong hands.

    Right I'm off to consult a dictionary and find out what eccentric means.
    not only eccentric, but wonderfully eccentric! , I laughed the loudest when, at the mention of Rampant chess, which he describes as an antidote, he says that 'its good to remember that people play chess in a much more visceral and swinging type of way', Jonathan Rownson, rock on!
  7. 02 Apr '09 20:13 / 1 edit
    My 1955 dictionary says

    Eccentric Odd, Gay, Not Normal, Strange.......

    I thought it meant a feeling of total happiness, but that is Ecstatic.

    I hate it when these high brows call me names I have to look up.

    And sometimes they make fools of themselves.

    A guy from a fee paying school once called me a Cretin.

    I don't come from Crete.
  8. 02 Apr '09 20:31
    Non of these come close to Hans Kmoch's "Pawn Power in Chess".

    The opening paragraph gets you all worked up about the exciting things you're going to learn then suddenly - wham - we'll just make up some really random terms to use - rams, duos, outside this, inside this that... then call it something else if we've castled - mind boggling.

    I wanted to quote from it as proof, but it went the way of Oxfam some time ago.

    Mind you it's probably still in the there.

    Rowsons, a walk in the park by comparison...(OK a walk in the park with a sixth former who smokes pot and listens to Hendrix). I sort of liked him. Trouble is with chess books, a bit like the Piatakus self help books, it's as if nobody edits them.Seems as though there is no one around with a commercial brain looking over a proof with a cup of coffee in one hand and a red pen in the other.

    As for Kmoch I reckon the translation didn't help but it was probably around the time when only clever people played chess and no one dared say anything for fear of appearing foolish.

    The other one is Watson. I still have his book. Thing is with him I sort of believe him, I can't quite say why, I just do. It's as if what he says is just outside of my "zone of proximal development" as they might say in education circles. So I kept his books with a hope that some time in the future I'd get it.
  9. 02 Apr '09 20:43
    Originally posted by Mahout
    Non of these come close to Hans Kmoch's "Pawn Power in Chess".

    The opening paragraph gets you all worked up about the exciting things you're going to learn then suddenly - wham - we'll just make up some really random terms to use - rams, duos, outside this, inside this that... then call it something else if we've castled - mind boggling.

    I wanted to quot ...[text shortened]... ion circles. So I kept his books with a hope that some time in the future I'd get it.
    Nothing you say will deter me. I have Kmoch's book on my reading list, and there it shall stay until I get to it. And if I end up speaking Kmochian (Kmochese? ), then so be it.
  10. 02 Apr '09 21:59
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Nothing you say will deter me. I have Kmoch's book on my reading list, and there it shall stay until I get to it. And if I end up speaking Kmochian (Kmochese? ), then so be it.
    I was gonna buy this book, is it too hard for a grandpatzer? I have ordered Andrew Soltis book, pawn structure chess, in the hope that I may glean something from it. my latest acquisition, the chess mind, is not what i thought it would be, i get the feeling that i need to hire a lawyer who will solicit the details on my behalf!
  11. 02 Apr '09 22:13
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I was gonna buy this book, is it too hard for a grandpatzer? I have ordered Andrew Soltis book, pawn structure chess, in the hope that I may glean something from it. my latest acquisition, the chess mind, is not what i thought it would be, i get the feeling that i need to hire a lawyer who will solicit the details on my behalf!
    As I said, I haven't read Kmoch's book yet. And it may be a bit over my head atm. But I can say that Dan Heisman has it on his recommended books page in the intermediate grouping, USCF 1300 to 1650. (USCF ratings should be close to Elo ratings at these levels.)
  12. 03 Apr '09 00:17
    Originally posted by BailieDonaldson
    The limitations of the English language mean that Johnathan Rowson achieves a standard for unforgivably execrable prose that is impossible to match (this is made worse because the actual chess thinking may well be excellent, but the writing is so bad it's impossible to tell). F.K.Young is one of the few authors to come even close, but the chess content is less likely to be of any real merit. To put it more succintly, avoid.
    In my opinion, Jonathan Rowson in CHESS FOR ZEBRAS and THE SEVEN DEADLY CHESS SINS is one of the best chess writers there is. If ideas are conceptual constructs, like bricks for building an understanding, he's your brickbuilder and your mason.

    Franklin K Young is all but inscrutable -- and yet -- and I have read most all of his works -- the helpful moments are the quotes he chooses from generals like Napoleon -- that it is force which wins in war (from Young's CHESS STRATEGETICS).

    Emanuel Lasker makes the same point -- it is primarily force which wins in chess.
    Larry Evans makes a similar point, less forcefully. Force is one of 3 keys for Evans.

    So Young is almost useless for winning tactical chess battles. Yet very useful for gaining an appreciation for the analogies between chess and Napoleonic-style war, with its grand battles.
  13. 03 Apr '09 07:38 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    Nothing you say will deter me. I have Kmoch's book on my reading list, and there it shall stay until I get to it. And if I end up speaking Kmochian (Kmochese? ), then so be it.
    Well I'm missing the book now but only because I want to quote some incomprehensible jibberish to prove my point. However I do agree that somewhere in there will be some useful nuggets...but don't say I didn't warn you. May the inside passer and the luft help you get past the ram.

    Search feature in the forums turned up this:

    "Pawn Power" is a good book. I found it very useful. My one piece of criticsm though: get ready to learn a whole new language. The author has a whole vocabularly to describe pawn positions "contender," "sweeper," "passer," etc. I found it a little hard to follow.

    scanduim: Kmoch: Similar in focus and approach to the topic as Soltis, but has a reputation for being hard to read because of Kmoch's frequent use of obscure and confusing terms. If you can get past that its supposed to be good though.

    HomerJSimpson: Tried the soltis book, was terrible. Pawn power I only read the first two chapters and already learned alot about why duo's dominate and control the board and other formations. Arrikas said the book raised his rating 300 pts, Im just too damn lazy to read it, it has some terminology that he events but its not a big deal.

    Maxwell Smart: The critics of this book are turned off by the fact that Kmoch seems to make up his own names for some of the concepts, and I agree that this is somewhat confusing (eg. leucopenia = white square weakness, I think). I didn't have the patience to learn Kmoch's version of chess jargon, so I didn't gain as much from this book as I probably could have.
  14. 03 Apr '09 11:19
    Originally posted by Mahout
    Well I'm missing the book now but only because I want to quote some incomprehensible jibberish to prove my point. However I do agree that somewhere in there will be some useful nuggets...but don't say I didn't warn you. May the inside passer and the luft help you get past the ram.

    Search feature in the forums turned up this:

    "Pawn Power" is a good book. ...[text shortened]... chess jargon, so I didn't gain as much from this book as I probably could have.
    The glossary of terms from the Chessville site gives a decent explanation of the terms. I guess it doesn't really matter to me what terms he uses, as long as the ideas are good. But I can understand if you don't want to bother with nonstandard terminology.

    http://www.chessville.com/Reference_Center/Pawn_Power_Glossary.htm