Chess

I was taught how to play chess when I was very young, but for some reason lost interest as I grew older. Well, I've rediscovered chess, and I'm determined to learn to play to my maximum potential. I'm always interested in playing correspondence chess by e-mail, so if you'd like to play, e-mail me! In fact, with the Java applet provided by Misty Beach, you can view my current correspondence games and my archived chess games. Admittedly, the archive is more for my own personal use than yours, but feel free to look at them (and if you'd be so kind, let me know if you find any errors or typos - they're easy to spot because the applet doesn't know how to handle them).

I've recently rigged another copy of the viewer applet with some openings. It's not very extensive (only 174 lines), and it leaves much to be desired, but it's a start, for me anyway. This, too, is mostly for my own personal study, but if you think you can benefit from it, feel free to check out my opening book, so to speak.

Useful chess links

Here are some fun, interesting, or useful chess links I've found:

Great chess literature


Bruce Pandolfini and Yasser Seirawan - two men who have changed my life forever. Check out these books I recommend, by these two and by other authors. The commentary on each book is my own. These links will take you to each book's Amazon.com listing, where you can purchase the book right over the Internet, if you so desire.

Play Winning Chess - Yasser Seirawan, Jeremy Silman
An Introduction to the Moves, Strategies, and Philosophy of Chess from the USA's #1 Ranked Chess Player. I think Yaz is a gifted chess writer, and this book is the perfect place to start, if you're interested in playing chess but don't feel like you know where to begin.
Winning Chess Strategies - Yasser Seirawan
Most people I know play chess without a plan. This book helped me learn how to come up with a plan, and why certain strategies are better than others. As always, Yaz is clear, to the point, and explains why things are so.
Winning Chess Tactics - Yasser Seirawan
This is the book that got me interested in chess again, for the first time since I was a kid. I never realized that chess is such a tactically rich game! This book helped me learn how to take advantage of short-term imbalances in each position. It's a great tool not only to help you use tactics against your opponent, but to know what tactics your opponent will try to use against you - and thereby to prevent him from doing so.
Winning Chess Brilliancies - Yasser Seirawan
Some of the greatest chess games of the past 25 years are contained within, each one with commentary and clear explanation by Yasser Seirawan, a very gifted writer and chess player. He "de-crypts" some of the grandmaster moves which might otherwise seem unintelligible, taking time to point out alternate lines of play and the ideas behind the moves.
Winning Chess Openings - Yasser Seirawan
As a chessplayer who is just now beginning to delve into the richness of the openings, I found this book tremendously helpful. I had no idea where to begin! Seirawan covers almost every major opening, taking time to explain the ideas behind the moves and to explore many lines other than the "main line". Thanks to this book, I have gained a basic knowledge of the openings, and I can go from there. This is a sort of opening "handbook" for me.
The ABCs of Chess - Bruce Pandolfini
Pandolfini gives a broad, shallow explanation of a range of chess topics which will be especially helpful for the beginning or intermediate player.
The Chess Doctor - Bruce Pandolfini
Subtitled "Sure Fire Cures for What Ails Your Game", this book gives a remedy to each of the 100 most common chess "ailments". Pandolfini, as always, writes clearly and includes many helpful diagrams.
Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps - Bruce Pandolfini
Most opening books only tell you how to play when things go "right" - that is, when your opponent plays the well-known opening lines. But how do you take advantage of a subtle blunder by your opponent? This book will tell you how. With about 200 examples of common amateur mistakes in the King Pawn openings, he will train you to keep an eye out for how you might take advantage of them.
More Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps 2 - Bruce Pandolfini
Similar to Traps and Zaps, but this book delves into different openings than just the symmetric King Pawn openings covered in the first volume.
Kasparov and Deep Blue - Bruce Pandolfini
The Historic Chess Match Between Man and Machine. Pandolfini gives a comprehensive analysis of each game, and each move, of the 1997 rematch between World Champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue. The book is written for the intermediate-level player, is well-organized, and easy to follow. I enjoyed it a lot, and find myself referring to it if I ever need some information about the match.
Pandolfini's Endgame Course - Bruce Pandolfini
This is the only real endgame book I've ever read, and I found it helpful. Pandolfini breaks down different aspects of the endgame, sectioned off based on which pieces are left on the board. A good place to start, if you want to study the endgame but don't know where to start.
Weapons of Chess - Bruce Pandolfini
You've been given many powerful weapons right from the start, but how do you use them to your advantage? Good tips on opening/middlegame strategy for the intermediate player.
Best Lessons of a Chess Coach - Sunil Weeramantry, Ed Eusebi
Here's a book I have to read again! The book is written as a sort of "dialogue" between chess coach and student. Many master games are reviewed, and various game-winning strategies are studied. The book helps you to learn how to think during a chess game (which is one of my biggest problems).
Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess - Bobby Fischer
Fischer explains in an easy-to-follow manner, giving examples, diagrams, and quizzes. The book focuses on simple combinations, particularly mating combinations, and even more particularly, back-rank mating combinations.
My System: 21st Century Edition - Aron Nimzowitsch, Lou Hays (editor)
My System is a true classic of chess wisdom. This edition has been revised and translated from descriptive notation to algebraic by Lou Hays. I'm currently reading it and learning a lot - I know that it will have more to teach me each time I read it, in the years to come.
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http://www.cs.utah.edu/~thelenm/chess/