This is an easy post, though a disappointment-filled one. I’m reading Chess College 3: Technique by Efstratios Grivas. This is probably the most uninspired chess book I have ever read (actually, I know it is, because I’ve only read a few so far).
First off, there is hardly any meaningful advice given in the book at all. Ninety percent of the text is merely a list of the moves from some of the games Grivas has played in his career… and won, of course. The subtitle is “Technique,” but that designation is pretty much meaningless. It could have just as easily been subtitled: “So These Are The Moves From Some Of The Games I Won.” There’s hardly any space given to edificational advice beyond some parenthetical lists of other moves that could have been made but weren’t (and even here, Grivas doesn’t go into explanations about why these alternative moves were bad chess).
Secondly, the book is divided into sections such as, Two Bishop Play, or titles like that. But all this means is that the author might say something at the end of the list of game-moves like, “in this game, Black made exemplary use of his Bishop pair.” Yeah… okay. Big help that.
The best chess advice I’ve gotten from an impersonal source has been the Chessmaster software from UbiSoft. There’s a ton of tutorials on it and past games of champions you can watch and similar cool stuff, but my favorite part is watching some of the games of Josh Waitzkin– these are replayed in front of me while he gives some great and actually helpfully advice– both big picture and detail things. He’s a really good teacher. I don’t have that disc anymore and miss it.
I’ll keep plowing through the games in the Chess College book when I find the time over the next several months– there’s still advantage to be gotten simply from playing through the games of the masters… But great chess book, this one is certainly not.