Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Big Chess Project!

My husband is vacation this week, and has a bad case of spring cleaning fever. However when he gets like this, there are benefits for me. He went and bought some new bookcases for the living room and the bed room. I was able to move a bunch of books out of my office and rearrange my chess books. My chess books had been on about 4 or 5 different shelves in different book cases so it was hard to know what I had. I took every single chess book I owned and put them in piles by various categories. No, I am not doing the Blue Devil Knight farewell book review thing seen here and here. He did a fine job on that. No need to reinvent the wheel.

That really tall stack contained books with really basic stuff that I use to teach kids. You can tell where my book buying priorities has been lately. Though the book on the top of that pile is the first chess book I ever bought back in 1971. The books to the right of the tall pile are chess related fiction, biographies, books about and games of Fischer, and other not so serious chess stuff. The two piles to the left, are game collections and opening books. All the other piles are middle game, tactics, analysis, and other serious topics. Hidden in one of those piles are classics such as "Think Like a Grandmaster" (Kotov), "Last Lectures" (Capablanca), "Contemporary Approach to the Middle Game" (Suetin) and Art of The Middle Game" (Keres and Kotov). All of those books are in English Descriptive. I think those 4 books combined cost less then Silman's Endgame book. Book were cheap in the 70s.

The finished product!

After getting all the books arranged and shelved I found I only had 4 duplicate books, and two of the duplicates were given to me. I did discover I had two different editions of Silman's "The Amateur Mind". I also found some DVDs that I forgot I even owned. The next step of the project is to figure out which of these books I should actually take off the shelf and study!


CMoB said...

I wonder how many chess books the average grandmaster owns. Somehow i bet not as many as the average amateur.

A little while ago i saw this picture from a gm's working space and i could only spot one chess book lying around :)

Very nice collection though.

Polly said...

I didn't even count the actual number of books. The fourth shelf isn't all chess books. There are some chess DVDs on it, and a nice wood set that I like to keep handy when I actually clear space on my desk to play. The three books to the right of the chess pieces are not chess books, but they do relate to how my brains operates. I thought putting them on the chess shelf was a good spot.

chesstiger said...

I hope now that the books are dust free again and at a new home i hope, just like you i guess, that you actually do some studying with them.

Maybe instead of taking one book you can take one of each category (opening, middlegame (gamecollection), endgame or how to analyse) that way you have variation of what you study.

Only thing to do is make sure you only take another book of a category is when you have finished the book of that category.

That way even the lesser book in your collection gets read instead of put away after a few pages.

Anonymous said...

Polly, Nice collection. Glad to see that it doesn't include an overwhelming number of openings books. The top book, "How Chessmasters Think," by Paul Schmidt, is a book I've never heard of. Is it good? The title sounds intriguing, but I bet it's just a collection of games...

Anonymous said...

a very good chess library indeed, and a wonderful organiztion of them.

Polly said...

Anon 3:11: The book was originally published in Germany in 1949 under the title "Schachmeister denken". It was translated and published in 1988 by Chess Enterprises. I can't tell you whether it's any good or not, because like many books in my chess library it was bought and not read. It is a collection of old games from 1936 to 1942. The book has an interest premise. In addition to standard annotations Schmidt tries to bring out what the players were thinking about in terms of move selection. Maybe I'll have to take a look at some of the games. There are some good games in the book.