Friday, April 18, 2008

Things I Don't Like About Chess Books III

Authors and publishers who really can't be arsed and don't mind showing it ...

R.D. Keene,
Flank Openings
British Chess Magazine 1988

Page 104:
"In this section I examine a few lines of the English which were not included in the scheme of the first edition, and were only touched on lightly in the supplement to the second ...

Perhaps a 4th edition of 'Flank Openings' will include all lines of the English in detail, but if it does, I fear 'Flank Openings' will have to divide amoeba-like into two volumes!"

I wouldn't have minded were it not for the fact that I was reading the effing 4th edition. Obviously RDK was far too busy to get off his capacious backside and give the text even the most cursory of once-overs to see if anything might need changing. And, by the way, no it hadn't divided, 'amoeba-like' or otherwise.

There's another curiosity on page xiii:-

"Games extracts (sic) are not listed in the following index. Readers who wish to add further references will find a blank Index on pages xv and xvi as well as space for notes at the end of the book."

We can't be bothered but you can do it if you like.

By the way, regular visitors of the blog may or may have not have noticed that there has not actually been a 'Things I Don't Like About Chess Books' I or II yet. Very true - but I've decided to consider the following articles the opening brace of the series.

the omission of important lines
- Nigel Davies: The Dynamic Reti, Everyman 2004

[comment removed to keep Nigel Davies cheerful. Actually he hadn't asked us to do this (or threatened us with legal action if we didn't) but, hey, we want him to be happy so we did it anyway]
- Nigel Davies: The Dynamic Reti, Everyman 2004


Anonymous said...

Ray Keene has written one or two excellent books eg "Nimzowitsch a reappraisal" and "Becoming a Grandmaster". Incidentally he used to go to school in Battersea and played for that club too. He even gave a simul there a few years ago for FREE. These older books were all written without the benefit of computers and databases which make it so easy now. - Joe S

ejh said...

Yes, well, Peter Hain was a good thing thirty-five years ago too.

Chris Morgan said...

In his book, 'Secrets of Practical Chess', John Nunn points out that in books with titles like 'Winning with the...', the author might write 100 pages and then realise there is a bad line for his chosen opening. In this case, the author might say something like 'The reader might like tho explore these lines for himself' rather than illustrate a bad line.