Monday, July 30, 2018

Chess Magazines and Periodicals

I get a lot of people asking me about which chess books they should buy. Well, there are a lot of factors involved in choosing a good book for you, including the reason you want a book, your level of play, and your interests in the game. You can get a taste for a number of different styles of chess writing and presentation by buying a magazine, and there is usually a combination of tournament reports from up to date events, historical content, puzzles and instructional material from a combination of regular contributors and guest writers. After a year's subscription to a magazine, you should have a good idea of what books would be good to learn more detailed knowledge of the game.

American Chess Magazine, the best on the market!

The question is which magazine should one buy at the moment? Again, there are a number of factors involved in choosing which one to buy and as I've tried out quite a few over the years, I thought I'd write about my opinions. I will state that this is just my opinion which you can, of course, take with a pinch of salt.

There are 2 magazines on the market dealing with the international chess scene in an easy to read manner. These are New in Chess Magazine and American Chess Magazine. New in Chess has been the benchmark magazine for a number of years now, though I think it's heyday was in the 1990's when it was a truly fantastic publication. It seems to have become a bit lighter since then, which may or may not be a bad thing. I recently subscribed to American Chess Magazine, and it is my belief that this has taken the crown from New in Chess. American Chess Magazine has a distinctly American feel which means that a lot of coverage follows their top players. But when there are 3 American's in the top 10, this will mean detailed reports on the top tournaments of the day as well as some exclusive insider information about their top players. In the latest copy, there is a tournament report of the Candidates tournament by GM Jacob Aagaard which is absolutely excellent, as good as any tournament report I've ever read, with lots of interesting ideas from the games written in a clear instructional manner. American Chess Magazine is the publication I'd currently recommend to anyone who wants to find out more about chess.

There are regional magazines, and these are excellent and represent chess in one's region. I have subscribed to both the British Chess Magazine and Australia's 50 Moves Magazine which are both very good. They bring a feel of their own country to the magazine, though if I had any criticism of these publications, it would be that they are not quite regional enough, and I'd prefer more local content than a view of the chess world through the eyes of Australians or British players. Don't get me wrong, I'm interested in how Aussies are doing in International events and follow their progress, but I'm also interested in tournaments here in Australia, and I don' think a small round up of some local chess would harm the publication. The British Chess Magazine has recently joined with Informator group and this has rejuvenated the magazine. However, there is a share of material which I don't like. The other publication I've subscribed to is the Informator, which is excellent, though heavy going. This is serious stuff, and only for those who are serious about their chess work. It certainly doesn't have the chatty style of New in Chess or American Chess Magazine, though the content is awesome.

If you do take my recommendation and buy a magazine to dip your toe into the world of chess publications, I'd suggest getting a year's subscription. This will give you ongoing material at a cheaper rate, and you won't find yourself with a one off lower quality edition of a magazine, but you'll see it through an entire year to make up your mind. If I haven't plugged the American Chess Magazine enough already, the news this weekend that Editor in Chief will be chess journalist and photographer David Llada, a true chess devotee, should come as a big boost. Anyway, I'll try to post some content from the American Chess Magazine over the next couple of weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment