Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back to Work: Back to Chess

The title makes it sound like a real grind, but when you're lucky enough to do something that you love, work is a breeze. When I came to Australia over 5 years ago, I couldn't believe my luck landing a job teaching chess. I basically get paid to preach the word about my favourite pastime! However, to start with I found it a bit tough differentiating between work and play. In other words, when I went to the chess club to play some games, it felt like I was going to work! As a result, my enjoyment of playing went down. That only lasted a short time, though and after about 6 months-1 year I was able classify my teaching as work, and my playing/studying as play.

And I'm even luckier now, as I have some top class chess books to look at over the next 6 months or even longer. I have recently found great enjoyment in the endgames, and I bought "Endgame Virtuoso Anatoly Karpov" by Karolyi and Aplin. It's a heavy tome with a lot of deep material, but thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding to play through over time. In fact, I've had such a good time with it, that I've also borrowed some other books on Karpov who is a player that I've never really studied that deeply. Karpov's great rival wa Kasparov, and in London I bought another book by Karolyi and Aplin, "Kasparov's Fighting Chess 1999-2005". While I've looked at many Kasparov games, they all seem to be from earlier periods of his play, especially the late 80's and early 90's. I am looking forward to working through these later masterpieces.

The above books are crammed full of analysis and variations, but are rather short on words, and there is nothing like reading descriptions of ideas, and accounts of events. With this in mind, I also bought in London Bareev and Levitov's "From London to Elista", the insider's accounts of Kramnik's 3 World title matches. Bareev was a second and so there promises to be some great information in this book assuming he is being candid, and of course, the analysis of the games should be good coming from a player of his quality.

Finally, I bought a biography in London. I'll give you a few clues, and you can try to guess which famous player this biography concerns:

He was born in the 20th Century.
He was champion of his country a record number of times.
He won over 100 tournamnets in his career.
He earned a doctorate at University.
He was married with children.

Hopefully someone guesses before I finish the book. :)


  1. That's a pretty good guess, and I once had a 2-volume collection of Keres games. But no, my biography isn't of Keres.