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Ideas for Boosting Chess Skills During a Pandemic: Part 2

by | Apr 21, 2020

2) Studying the Classics:

Do you have chess books lying around the house that you haven’t had time to go through? Now is a good time to get acquainted with any chess books you’ve been putting off. I have a habit of starting and stopping with various books, but I do love the feeling of completing a games collection. I find it’s a good way to pick up new positional patterns and also interesting ways of thinking about certain chess positions. With good annotations, you can get inside the thought process of very strong players.

I am currently going through GM Anand’s ‘My Best Games of Chess,’ which I very much enjoy. Vishy does a good job, in my opinion, of not overdoing the variations while still getting to the heart of a position. His clear explanations as well as his sense of humor are both things I enjoy. He is quite candid about how he came upon certain ideas in his games (and what he missed).You can follow along the games with a physical or digital board, or you can tie this into strategy #1 by going through it ‘blindfold.’ If you go this route, use diagrams in the book as reference points (my preferred method). Overall, I think reading games collections of great players is not only a lot of fun but it can prove very useful for helping with strategic understanding. 

Feel free to share book suggestions in the comments. If you have questions about a certain genre of book (or recommendations by level), ask away!

6 Comments

  1. Clara McGrew

    How Karpov Wins was a book that I went through when I was younger.
    The Golden Dozen (Chernev)
    Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings
    I’ve also gone through part of Fischer’s 60 Memorable games
    And a bit of The Art of Attack as well.

    Reply
    • Kairav Joshi

      Those are definitely some great chess books!

      Reply
  2. Eric Strachan

    In April, I set myself the challenge of playing through one round of games each day from Bronstein’s book on the Zurich 1953 candidates tournament. As there were thirty rounds in this tournament, I was able to complete the book in one month (210 games in total). I highly recommend this book. Bronstein’s style of writing is extraordinary and obviously you are getting first-class analysis from one of the top players of that time who also happened to be one of the participants in the tournament. The book is basically an entire course in middlegame strategy with nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout. He also uses mostly prose to explain the ideas so you’re not being inundated with reams of variations.

    Reply
    • Kairav Joshi

      That’s great!

      Reply
  3. ED Rucker

    I ve e mailed you several times asking, how do I study the pgn, that comes with the videos. I m an eighty year old,just starting out with chess.please respond.

    Reply
    • Ryan Murphy

      Hello, Ed!
      I’m sorry no one has replied to your emails, but assuming you have a video course which comes with a PGN file you have a couple of options for viewing the files in order to review the content. If you don’t have ChessBase you can download a free version that allows you to view PGN files (called ChessBase Reader) here: https://en.chessbase.com/pages/download. Having this program will allow you to open the PGN file type that comes with videos. The other way to do it is to open the PNG file as a text file (with notepad, e.g.) and then to copy and paste the text into an analysis board on chess.com (or other sites). For chess.com once you’ve copied the PGN text, go to the learn tab and click on ‘analysis.’ This will open a board and you should see an option to ‘load PGN’ to the side of the board. This is where you will paste what you copied earlier. That should load the PGN file so that you can scroll through the moves and see any annotations. Hope this helps!

      Ryan

      Reply

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