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  1. 07 Jun '11 23:14 / 3 edits
    As i have slowly crawled my way up to play players 1800+ it has become apparent that in many instances general principles are not enough (i am losing two games at present to poor opening play).

    We often hear moans, mostly from those in Edinburgh, (cause they just spent fifty squillion pounds trying to lay two tram tracks in the city and failed and are now bust), that opening books are a scam and that one should just play chess. Well that is fine if your Capablanca, but not an average chess addict. After reading Golombecks introduction to Keres and Kotovs midldegame book which i purchased in a charity shop in a local village, i wondered what else he had written, and to my astonishment, he had written an opening repertoire book, Modern opening chess strategy which i managed to procure for a mere fiver! Ok its written in the nineteen fifties in descriptive text, but it has a rather excellent opening repertoire, but more importantly, the ideas behind the openings are explained.

    Does it matter that its fifty years old? what do you think?
  2. 08 Jun '11 00:10
    "...the ideas behind the openings are explained. "

    £5.00 well spent.
  3. 08 Jun '11 00:15
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    "...the [b]ideas behind the openings are explained. "

    £5.00 well spent.[/b]
    do you think it shall be out of date? he calls the Latvian the Greco counter gambit i think, its in the section on the Ruy.
  4. 08 Jun '11 00:18
    It depends on what opening(s) it discusses. If it's a book on the Ruy or Caro-Kann I'd
    think it would probably suffice. If it suggests playing the Najdorf or something sharp
    like that, it would definitely have a lot of holes in it. I guess you could always go
    through it with an engine, which is usually a good idea with an opening book
    anyway as they all tend to be very optimistic.

    Honestly though if you're looking for a serious repertoire book I'd definitely go with
    something more modern. Just because the book happens to be written by Golombek,
    who is a great writer, doesn't imbue it with any magical powers. There's no shortage
    of great modern writers who'll probably have much of the same to say but with
    lines that are more relevant to the times.
  5. 08 Jun '11 00:41 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Elmyr
    It depends on what opening(s) it discusses. If it's a book on the Ruy or Caro-Kann I'd
    think it would probably suffice. If it suggests playing the Najdorf or something sharp
    like that, it would definitely have a lot of holes in it. I guess you could always go
    through it with an engine, which is usually a good idea with an opening book
    anyway as they all te robably have much of the same to say but with
    lines that are more relevant to the times.
    Its an opening repertoire book, not on any one specific opening, its covers the Ruy Lopez, and the English if you wish a queenside opening as white, all the semi open Caro Khan, French, Scandinavian etc , and gives three for black, the Sicilian against 1.e4 and two queenspawn defences, The Nimzo and the Queens Indian. The great thing about it is that it covers unusual ones as well, like the Latvian, the elephant gambit and openings like 1.b4. etc

    more relevant for the times, for example? I am not so sure about that for the general ideas and principles remain the same. regardless of time.
  6. 08 Jun '11 01:10
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its an opening repertoire book, not on any one specific opening, its covers the Ruy Lopez, and the English if you wish a queenside opening as white, all the semi open Caro Khan, French, Scandinavian etc , and gives three for black, the Sicilian against 1.e4 and two queenspawn defences, The Nimzo and the Queens Indian. The great thing about it is tha ...[text shortened]... not so sure about that for the general ideas and principles remain the same. regardless of time.
    I don't read many chess books and so I cannot personally recommend a modern book
    on general opening principles, maybe others can. I just wanted to warn you that you
    should definitely take a lot of the given lines with a grain of salt. While it's true that
    opening principles have stayed the same, many (most) opening lines have not.

    I would say it's analogous to learning calculus by Newton's Principia. Yeah you
    can do it, and you'd be learning it from an "old master" so to speak, but a lot has
    happened since the book came out. There are better, easier ways to learn the
    material now, more relevant to what's going on in math/chess in modern times.
  7. 08 Jun '11 01:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Elmyr
    I don't read many chess books and so I cannot personally recommend a modern book
    on general opening principles, maybe others can. I just wanted to warn you that you
    should definitely take a lot of the given lines with a grain of salt. While it's true that
    opening principles have stayed the same, many (most) opening lines have not.

    I would say it's analog learn the
    material now, more relevant to what's going on in math/chess in modern times.
    When i was an art student, I spent many an excellent hour in the Kelvingrove museum copying the old masters.

    First published in 1959. All too often chess openings books consist of reams of variations and sub-variations and bracketed sub-sub-variations, with no apparent explanation for why a move is chosen or why one path deserves precedence over another. Golombek fought tenaciously against this denigration of his art, for he considered chess an art form. The Grandmaster Emeritus always sought to explain the ideas behind the moves and give the strategic justification for any course of action. For this reason alone Golombek's chief openings manual, reprinted here, will outlive the ephemera which largely characterise rival efforts to explain the entire gamut of openings available to the ambitious player. Armed with Golombek you will understand what you are doing -not just become a performing monkey which apes the movements of the masters!

    http://www.hardingesimpole.co.uk/biblio/1843821338.htm
  8. 08 Jun '11 02:09
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    When i was an art student, I spent many an excellent hour in the Kelvingrove museum copying the old masters.
    I really don't want to argue about whether chess is more of an art or a science, it's
    just too rare that someone actually changes their mind online. I'll just say this: my
    analogy is better!

    🙂

    You go to art school in the Northeast?
  9. 08 Jun '11 02:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Elmyr
    I really don't want to argue about whether chess is more of an art or a science, it's
    just too rare that someone actually changes their mind online. I'll just say this: my
    analogy is better!

    🙂

    You go to art school in the Northeast?
    north-east of where? north-east to me is Aberdeen. as for your analogy, well, one does not learn chess the way one does mathematics, unless of course one learns mathematics, subliminally 🙂
  10. 08 Jun '11 02:27
    Ah I see, I meant in the good ole' US of A.

    I'm just gonna assume Aberdeen is not in the Middle East, so we can be friends. 😉
  11. 08 Jun '11 02:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Elmyr
    Ah I see, I meant in the good ole' US of A.

    I'm just gonna assume Aberdeen is not in the Middle East, so we can be friends. 😉
    no its a rather cold and windy city on the north sea shore, that is the north east of Scotland, depends where in America you are from, i am an honorary Texan. Love southern music, Allman brothers and stuff like that, JJ Cale etc, one day id love to visit. Louisiana, Georgia, places like that. Anywhere where its warm will do, instead of like less than one hundred miles from the Arctic Tundra!
  12. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    08 Jun '11 02:41 / 1 edit
    it doesn't matter if it's not up to date. or even if the analysis is totally accurate. if a master wrote it, it's accurate enough. the important thing is to learn how the basic positions generally work. the ideas. your main goal, as always, should be to learn PRINCIPLES. not explicit sequences. -and once you've got those down, THEN you patch up the exceptions.

    I'd also strongly advice against fritzing them. the master's analysis is based on a body of human work. that knowledge comes from countless hours of practice. real world. whether the engine likes the positions or not is completely irrelevant. engine can't tell you principles. it can't tell the difference between an uncalculable chaotic position and a solid one. they're all the same as far as it 'knows'. what you need to get from the analysis is the HUMAN experience. ie. how the average HUMAN sees and treats the positions. and for that, even an old opening book is good enough.
  13. 08 Jun '11 03:34 / 1 edit
    "You go to art school in the Northeast?"

    In the RHP world Northeast is in Russia. (see latest blog)
    I do wish you guys would get up to speed.

    At the under 2000 level Just armed with the idea and spirit of an
    opening plus a few illustrative games one should be able to get into
    a comfortable middle game.

    Of course if one's opponent should start violating a few principles
    and throw pawns at you, and this can happen in any opening especially
    at the lower levels, then everything is tossed overboard and you have to
    deal with the threats.

    No opening book is going to give you all the tactical solutions to memorise,
    these you have to work out for yourself.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    08 Jun '11 03:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    As i have slowly crawled my way up to play players 1800+ it has become apparent that in many instances general principles are not enough (i am losing two games at present to poor opening play).

    We often hear moans, mostly from those in Edinburgh, (cause they just spent fifty squillion pounds trying to lay two tram tracks in the city and failed a ...[text shortened]... nd the openings are explained.

    Does it matter that its fifty years old? what do you think?
    When I play the KIA I sometimes transpose into a line of the Reti that I learned from Keene's Flank Openings, and Keene points out that when it was played in the 1920's the correct path for Black was confirmed.

    I play the line anyway, and no one in the last 20 years has played the best line, and even then it's equal, so I'm risking very little.

    I think the Scotch Opening has shown us that what is old is new again, and the wheel is constantly turning.

    EDIT: My post is an example of what GP's post says right above this one. Most of my recall is based on ilustrated games, not lines, as they are easier for me to remember, and the plans are clearer. What he says, works.
  15. 08 Jun '11 08:40
    Originally posted by wormwood
    it doesn't matter if it's not up to date. or even if the analysis is totally accurate. if a master wrote it, it's accurate enough. the important thing is to learn how the basic positions [b]generally work. the ideas. your main goal, as always, should be to learn PRINCIPLES. not explicit sequences. -and once you've got those down, THEN you patch up the e ...[text shortened]... sees and treats the positions. and for that, even an old opening book is good enough.[/b]
    thanks, this was what i was thinking as well, although i could not find a way to express it. Yes i also thought that Fritzing it was a little pointless for who can understand computer moves? I agree, its the human elements and principles that are so appealing.