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How Deep Blue Knew

Daniel Johnson reviews Garry Kasparov’s Deep Thinking Times, 3 June 2017, p.16.   We know exactly why Deep Blue knew that its eighth (not seventh) move, Nxe6, was winning by force: it was programmed to play this well-known winning line.

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The No.1 Bestseller

  By the same author   See also Reflections on Garry Kasparov 10 Seconds with Garry Kasparov We Need to Talk about Garry, Part 1: A New Beginning We Need to Talk about Garry, Part 2: Good Decisions We Need to Talk about Garry, Part…

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The Accountant Who Shunned Percentage Chess

  H.E. Bird: A Chess Biography with 1,198 Games Hans Renette 608 pages | hardback | 150 illustrations | 1,198 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2016   Adrian Harvey   During the period after 1860 three British chess players had a plausible claim to be in…

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Chicken or Cat?

‘No one can remember the late Tigran Petrosian’s accepting an unsound sacrifice. It was really a waste of time to throw the gauntlet down before him because he did not possess an ounce of that defiant pride that drives others to refute an opponent’s every…

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The Dullest World Champion

  ‘Tigran Petrosian, world champion from 1963 to 1969, was known throughout his tournament career as the most urbane contender ever to reach the game’s summit. Petrosianism came to stand for carefully guarded control of positions, extraordinary flexibility and slipperiness in defense and prudence in…

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Most Annoying Player

  ‘Which player on the international circuit got on more of his colleagues’ nerves than any other? That’s easy − nine out of ten grandmasters would instantly nominate Henrique Mecking, the one-time Brazilian enfant terrible, who retired from active competition some years ago due to…

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The Forgotten American

  Samuel Lipschütz: A Life in Chess Stephen Davies 408 pages | hardback | 42 illustrations | 249 games | $65.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Hans Renette    Samuel Lipschütz   It does not take much to fire a passion. In his introduction…

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A Draw Offer

  ‘When David Bronstein offered me a draw after 25 moves of our game in the Alekhine Memorial Tournament in Moscow in 1971. I was quite willing to accept. The position had become a tortuous tangle of backward pawns and weak squares on both sides…

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A Monument to Contemporary Chess History Writing

  Ignaz Kolisch: The Life and Chess Career Fabrizio Zavatarelli 376 pages | hardback | 63 illustrations | 174 diagrams | 324 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Stefan Löffler I can’t think of a chess personality who enjoyed a more adventurous and prosperous…

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