Monday, June 27, 2016

Back to Chess

I have a week off and I don't intend to spend it dwelling on the lunacy that is the situation in my birth country, England (I did enough of that over the weekend!). Melbourne was bad enough today. After racist vs anti racist incidents in Carlton Gardens at the weekend, the city seemed particularly grim today. I was walking up Swanston Street today with a damp, grim, grey feel to the day. There were homeless sleeping in doorways while families passed ignorantly past them on this school holiday Monday.

I went to the State Library of Victoria to look at some chess materials in the Anderson Room. An ever growing resource, the Anderson room, is one of the largest collections of chess books in the world. There are many books and periodicals on display and a vast collection held off site that can bee asked for. I just went in to browse at a couple of things today. I looked at some recent New in Chess Yearbooks for a view of some opening ideas. I also read some interviews in the British Chess Magazine and New in Chess Magazines.

I was there for a good few hours and leisurely whiled the time reading about my favourite chess subjects, endings, history and player biographies. After his recent death, it was Korchnoi that I was interested in, and there were plenty of books on him or by him. I also had a brief look at the books on my pet opening, the Philidor (yes, I only have 1 pet opening!), but soon realised that my knowledge of the Antoshin Variation exceeds that outlined by Christian Bauer in his 2007 book "The Philidor Files", or any other book that was on the shelf. There was an interesting article in a New in Chess Yearbook, but that just confirmed ideas that I'd already come up with. Hmmm, maybe I should become an opening theorist?

Of all the books I looked at today, my best recommendation would be "Mastering Endgame Strategy" by Johan Hellsten. This book goes through a load of strategic concepts based around material considerations. Then the second part of the book has over 200 test positions. As I'm nearly hitting 50 year's of age, here's the 49th position from Hellsten's book.

White to play and win

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