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  1. 04 May '06 08:01
    I have a health book that employs a useful procedure for rating different supplements for different conditions according to how useful they are:
    Essential - extremely useful
    Important - very useful
    Helpful - fairly useful

    So . . . if you guys would offer up your expert opinions on how useful the studying of master games is, that would be useful to me. May I suggest you use the above rating system? Thanks.
  2. 04 May '06 08:24 / 1 edit
    Seems like a good idea.

    But - how good a book really is, is heavily depended of how good the reader is from the beginning.
    A beginner book for a beginner, an intermediate book for the intermediate, an advanced book for the advanced player.
    A beginners book for the advanced player is of no good for him, no regarding how well it is written.
    A too advanced book for a beginner isn’t good either for a beginner, no regarding how well it is written, he will just be confused and perhaps discouraged.

    Now I have the rating of 1433. I would like to have good advice of books for my particular level. Not too advanced, not too simple. Essential , Important, Helpful is not helping too much.
  3. 04 May '06 15:06
    Studying master games is essential, especially older games up to the succession of Alekhine. One Russian GM told me that beginners are taught in his country to not study anything but classic games for the first two years. Studying contemporary games without having studying the classics is a bad idea because you will lack the foundation that contemporary GMs have built upon.
  4. Standard member 33moves
    4th stooge
    04 May '06 17:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by der schwarze Ritter
    Studying master games is essential, especially older games up to the succession of Alekhine. One Russian GM told me that beginners are taught in his country to not study anything but classic games for the first two years. Studying contemporary games without having studying the classics is a bad idea because you will lack the foundation that contemporary GMs have built upon.
    Essential! I wish I could have read this wonderful advice a few years ago, as I had immediatly started studying and going through modern games, and felt extreme frustration in some of the more positional games from the GMs. I have recently "discovered" Capablanca and Steinitz, and have a great time going through Morphy and his era. The battles are much more straight forward, and give you a sense of fighting over key areas on the board. Capablanca was a brilliant natural player, studying his games can be very illuminating. Lets face it, most of us "class players" are not at the level where we need to know more than 10 moves deep in most of the openings we play, we never get there- our opponents drift out of opening theory very early, and then we are in a battle where the person who best understands the needs of the position will come out on top. Studying classical games develops that BASIC positional sensibility, and clearly defines many of the tactical justifications for the moves we make in our favrorite openings, and the typical middlegames that these openings lead to. Our modern opponents(class players) are more likely to play moves like Anderssen (attack early, attack hard) than play like Petrosian (positional build-up and prophelaxis). Study these early games, and you are more likely to say WOW! and AHA! rather than HUH? and "what were those last two moves getting at?"
  5. 05 May '06 00:29
    OK, so who's games, exactly, should I study? Capablanca, Steinitz, Morphy . . . anyone else? Who comprises that succession to Alekhine?
  6. 05 May '06 00:32
    You could probably include Lasker in that list.
  7. 05 May '06 01:05
    basso -

    Get Tartakower's 500 Master Games of Chess. After tactics practice this is probably the best thing an under 2000 player can do for their game.
  8. 05 May '06 01:08
    Anderssen, Morphy, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, and Alekhine are all excellent choices if you want names. Probably you could throw Akiba Rubinstein and Harry Pillsubry in there, as well as Blackburne and Schlechter, if you really want to go nuts with the early greats.

    More personality comes out in those games too. It's part of the reason I think the future is with shuffle chess, Garry K. is probably the greatest player ever but there's less personality in his games after the early years because scientific opening preparation overwhelms everything else. IMO.
  9. Standard member 33moves
    4th stooge
    05 May '06 01:14
    Originally posted by basso
    OK, so who's games, exactly, should I study? Capablanca, Steinitz, Morphy . . . anyone else? Who comprises that succession to Alekhine?
    Annotated games, frequently in descriptive notatation in those older books-
    Logical Chess: Move by Move Irving Chernev (algebraic) The Immortal Games of Capablanca, Fred Reinfeld. The Worlds Great Chess Games, by Rueben Fine. My Great Predecesors, Garry Kasparov vol 1. Many books out there about Morphy, and Steinitz. A must have book, only in descriptive, as far as I know- My Best Games Of Chess 1908-1937, Alexander Alekhine.
  10. 05 May '06 01:19
    Up to 2000 I'd say go up to Fischer in your study. Morphy, alekhine, lasker, capablanca, andersson--all the great players are fine. Some time after fischer, opening preparation/ computer analysis became prevalent, and it's difficult for the uninitiated to figure out what all the jockeying is about unless you have a really good annotator. At the end of the day, go over the master games for enjoyment. Pick your favorite player and get a book of his/her games and follow along. To me it's like reading a great poem or hearing a symphony or going to a museum to see your favorite artist. The imporovement will come naturally. And you can say to yourself, "I remember Larsen was confronted with a situation like this and he did so and so." Thus your favorite player becomes like an unpaid mentor. Cover up each of his moves and try to figure out what move is made next. No better way to improve and enjoy yourself in the process. Miles ahead of memorizing reams of opening analysis.
  11. 05 May '06 03:14
    Thanks for your input, on this and all the questions put out there. I get quite an education reading in this forum.

    I just got through playing through a few of Morphy's games. Wow, what a sneaky little devil! What genius!
  12. 12 May '06 15:15
    Originally posted by basso
    OK, so who's games, exactly, should I study? Capablanca, Steinitz, Morphy . . . anyone else? Who comprises that succession to Alekhine?
    You need to read the chapter on Steinitz in Euwe's book, "The Development of Chess Style." Then you need to study Rubinstein, Nimzovitch, Capablanca and Alekhine. If you're really ambitious, study Botvinnik, then Smyslov.
  13. 22 May '06 14:27
    Can anyone reccomend some heavily annotated game collections with games by the masters above?

    Thanks for your help.