It doesn’t matter if you are a collector, a user, or a curious person, most “chess people” (whom I call “chessers”) want to know “What is coming?” followed by “how soon will it be here?”

It doesn’t matter too much the reason but for me I have alway wondered, ” Will it cover X or Y or Z?” Is it a search for giving them the “Lee Van Cleef” treatment? Maybe.

Do You Remember LVC?
Lee was in a lot of Westerns and some martial arts films (The Master, where he did NO Martial Arts to speak of but his face could scared the s— out of you!) In the Westerns he was usually a BAD guy but last night I watched 2 of 4 films he was in. One he was a good guy. The other he was a guy with a kind of conscience (there was a different bad guy in the film). In other words, there was a limit to how much silver he stole. LOL. The film quality was terrible and all the stories were drawn out, a feature which probably wouldn’t make it today. There are two movies left to see, and think he is a “good guy” in those.

Then, I will throw the DVD away because the quality is so poor I couldn’t put myself through that again!

Chess books, production wise, are generally on much better paper these days. And, after years of experimentation people with computers are starting to put out acceptable formats. (I can remember when New in Chess, and others, turned the hyphenation feature off for their book production because it was a waste of their time, and time was money. Of course the “stretched out lines” made their books look like crap, but speed was ALL they were interested in. They are doing better now, somewhat better.)

Their latest book, the one by Bologan called Bologan’s Black Weapons is nicely done. I don’t know about you but bad formatting and sloppy editing is a BIG distraction for me. When I am distracted my learning ability goes down. When that happens, I don’t get much out of what I am studying except annoyance. I am after the Experience as well as the Content.

These days the Everyman Chess books are getting bigger and bigger because of the layouts. Bigger size pages, larger type, big diagrams. It’s not uncommon to see a 400 page book which could have been reduced to 250 pages. But, due to its size, that might make it easier to study!? GM Bologan’s book is over 500 pages and compact. No huge diagrams, etc. Lots of content. However, there was a $5 price increase, it is $34.95. One of the higher priced books which seems to be worth it!

A few things, here is a list. These books should be here in 3-4 days. The receipt of the invoice always beats the delivery of the actual items. However, I dropped shipping by UPS as in some cases my profit margin was getting creamed, so I reverted to the US Post Office. Hence, the books may not show up until Christmas. Here’s what is expected:

Secret Life of Bad Bishops by Lund. Yes, I’ve had this one before but it sold out right away.

Chess Developments The Sicilian Najdorf 6 Bg5. This has been a hot topic in the last few years.

Classical French Move by Move by Lakdawala. This has been hotly anticipated recently and since the author has actually played the French you know he will really put his all into it. I saw so many “Advance Variations” played against me I never gave the “Classical” much thought. Black wins a classical games once in a while (instead of playing the Winawer) and the GMs recommend the Classical over anything else.

Game of Queens: Judit Polgar Teaches Chess Vol. 3. In hardcover this has been desired by may since the beginning of the year! One of the skills Judit has going for her is the “simplicity” of the content but it is still very valuable. In other words, either she or Mihail Marin produces the English which makes the book quite readable even though she is beating up strong opposition! Your wait is over. I’m sure you will like it.

A little more data on Bologan’s book.

He’s taking the side with the Black pieces after White plays 1.e4 and he responds with 1…e5. Sure, this has been done before but not like this and not by a top flight GM. For example, though I don’t play the King’s Gambit (as White) I checked out the Kieseritzky on page 127 (because I have published 3 editions of books on the Kieseritzky.) Bolo advocates the Allgaier Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 (you will see this move a lot!) 4.h4 g4 5.Ng5 h6 which Bolo calls a “principled answer” whatever the heck that means!? (Best?, main?, important? or all three?)

An Important Feature
An idea was used in this book which I very much like. Footnotes were used in a “unique” way in Victor’s book. They refer to game citations and are placed, by chapter, at the back of the book, all 2200 of them! In this way you aren’t distracted by names such as Korchnoi, Tal, Carlsen, etc. which might “bias” your treatment of how the line would turn out. That is, if you saw that Fischer’s name was attached to it, you might stop further exploration and be satisfied with “memory loss” when later you can’t remember how it went. But, in the context of how Bologan writes you can “play with confidence” the line the author has evaluated. I like this idea. I could say more but you can find out yourself.

There is some symbolism to learn which might take you 5 minutes or less to look through the book, which, by the way, is loaded with diagrams. (More on diagrams further down.)

The strength of the book is that it was written, moves, opinions and all, by a strong player who has won big tournaments. If you are hoping to learn more about the Ruy Lopez, this book is not for you because it doesn’t cover the Lopez. It does cover, however, many gambits with strange names.

One last thing which I got a kick out of, ALL the diagrams are from Black’s point of view and in a “kind of” 3-D “look.” (Side note: I had this 3-D idea in the 1990s but never had the time to explore it further because of the importance of keeping the wolf away from the door financially speaking. But I did have my son Nate finish up my idea for the ideal chess diagram, which I still use even today! One guy in NY begged to let me borrow it for testing purposes! I finally relented knowing in advance this was probably not a good idea but something even weirder happened instead. I never saw any use of it by him and in fact he quit buying from us and was never heard from again. Sandy Greene. Anyone know what happened? Did he pass away? I think he was a master and perhaps belonged to the same club Fischer played in, maybe the Manhattan. Long side note.)

Anyway, Bologan’s book sells for $29.75 and if you hold a 2014 Green Gold Card, it’s $26.25.

This week, perhaps a discussion of Gold and Amber discount cards for 2015.

Drop an order for chess stuff to us at: info@chessbutler.com


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