Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some new arrivals and an update

We went to visit family in LA, so I didn't get any chess related activities in over the weekend other than to finish my initial look through Andy Soltis's latest offering What It Takes To Become A Chess Master. It appears to be a nice complement to his earlier work Studying Chess Made Easy where Soltis gives specific advice on how to study and improve. He does give some advice in this book on how to improve the traits and habits being discussed, but not nearly as detailed as the earlier work. I think he does raise many good points though and it is a good addition to my collection.

In addition to Reti's Masters of the Chessboard, I also picked up Kasparov's latest tome in kindle format as it was being sold for under $14 versus the roughly $30 for the hardback. I might eventually get the hardback to complete the collection, but it seemed like too good a price difference to pass up and I wanted to look at more chess books for the kindle. As I stated in the earlier post I had also picked up Chess Secrets: Giants of Innovation. It's formatting looks pretty much the same as the Kasparov book which makes sense since they are both Everyman products. The diagrams are pretty clear and the text looks nice enough. Having a second look at the Reti book I noticed that the diagrams seem a bit blurry, which I didn't notice the other week. It isn't so bad that I can't stand reading it, but it is slightly annoying.

Some other physical books that have arrived recently are the latest entry in Artur Yusupov's book series, Chess Evolution 1, The Grandmaster Battle Manual by Kotronias, The 2nd volume of Donaldson and Minev's massive work on Akiva Rubinstein, the latest edition of Anand's game collection for Gambit, and Grandmaster Versus Amateur by Shaw and Aagaard.

On the training front I have been doing a minimal amount of tactics (10-20/day) on chesstempo and am back in the mid 1800s standard, and I have started a series of correspondence games on schemingmind. The main thing I need to do with the correspondence games is keep the amount to a manageable level. It is easy early on the start a bunch of games, but as they progress it gets difficult to keep up with all of them if you have too many going. I have been thinking of jumping in to one of the 45 45 leagues (ICC, FICS, or playchess), but I am worried about whether I can work the games around family obligations, plus the inevitable interruptions that come with having a young child if I play the games at home. I will have to discuss with my wife if she is willing to let me do that one night a week. Perhaps I can play them from work in the evening in order to concentrate on the game.