We each have many questions of why when it comes to chess.
Why, I ask myself at 3am each night suddenly springing awake in a cold sweat, did I play 35...Re3 in that game from a decade ago, not noticing the none-too-subtle capture in reply 36.Rf3xe3? Why am I here in this cold empty hall in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday night, a pawn down in a lost endgame opposite an 80ECF ten year old with an IM norm to his name who's still in theory, when I could be in a pub? - or in my old lounge with the TV talking nonsense from the wall? - or in a restaurant glancing over a bottle of wine at a certain someone? - or in fact, at any other spot at all on the entire planet? Why have I spent six hours kibitzing on the ICC and now it's four in the morning and I have a job interview tomorrow? Why do I torture myself with this impossible game again and again? Why does anyone play the Colle?
But amongst all this bafflement, a new question why has arisen at which I dare not even attempt an answer. In 1999, John Nunn and Joe Gallagher wrote "The Complete Najdorf: Modern Lines - Definitive Coverage of Fischer and Kasparov's Favourite Chess Opening". The book is now out-of-print, and no matter how well it is written, one suspects that is not a terrible loss. Najdorf theory from eight years ago is no match for contemporary knowledge, whether from Kasparov's DVDs, the nuggets hidden in the latest database, or a few hours spent with Rybka and some clever ideas.
So. Why then is the cheapest version of this book available from Amazon at the exorbitant price of £100? (Note to American readers: at today's exchange rather, that's about a million dollars.) Not only that, it's a second-hand used copy for that £100, too. The cheapest new copy available - as you can see - will cost you £169.11. But to top it off, another used copy of this book is available for more than that: at the stratospheric cost of £349.02. I'm pretty sure you could hire a Grandmaster or two for several hours of one-on-one Najdorf tutelage for less than that.
Please someone tell me, why. Why, why, why?