Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Old Books and Forgotten Games

I'm just wondering how many people choose their chess books based on how recently they were published. I guess it can't be many as the there will always be a place for the classics. There are classic chess primers by players like Lasker or Capablanca, or even Purdy or Golombek. There are fantastic biographies of players from the past, and autobiographical games collections must still be very popular. I have collections of games by Steinitz, Lasker, Rubinstein, Tal, Karpov to name a few. Great tournament books are my favourite read, especially if they are by one of the participants.

Periodicals are somewhat different. A book covers a subject, but a periodical covers a moment in time. We generally buy periodicals to keep up to date with whatever subject they cover, whether it be news, or a specific technical issue, like for instance the opening in chess where New in Chess comes to mind. But that doesn't mean that old periodicals are of no value. In fact, they can be very interesting, and provide good background reading. There are often forgotten snippets hidden in their pages.

I've been looking at a random British Chess Magazine from August 1979. Bizarrely, the first article is a theory piece on the Berlin variation of the Spanish, the opening that is plaguing the top level of chess at the moment. I have to say that Jimmy Adams presents it in a much more exciting light, then the post Kasparov-Kramnik era shows it. Ray Keene gives an interesting comparison between the 1979 Montreal GM event won by Tal and Karpov, and some of the great tournaments of the past. And there are some well annotated games by Bill Hartson.

In amongst the home news section I found a game that might be of interest to some of my Australian friends. In May 1979 roaming Aussie IM Max Fuller won a tournament in Jersey with the imposing score of 8/9. One of his wins was published in the BCM, a game that isn't in Chessbase's Bigbase 2015 or Ozbase, so I thought I'd put it on here. I never met Fuller, but I know a lot of people who did so this is for you all. Fuller exploits a space advantage and his opponent's lack of development to force a win of material.

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