Best annotator ever?

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stevencarr

Best annotator ever?

Post by stevencarr » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:09 am

I'm talking only among top players here, and I'm ignoring the effects of having 3200+ engines finding improvements in published analysis.

Best annotator - Alekhine. The notes in his 1908-1923 book are superbly clear, with detailed lines when needed.

Worst annotator - Botvinnik. 'The weakness of the d-pawn is compensated by the control of the f-file' . If you say so, Michael, but I have no idea what exactly you mean. I'm just an average player, not a top class GM.

Ray Sayers

Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Ray Sayers » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:21 am

I don't know how you would measure such a thing.

I do know there are some wonderful annotators out there who give you a real insight into the factors outside the game itself as well.

Tal's book on the 1960 WC match as an example.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:13 am

stevencarr wrote: Best annotator - Alekhine.
Didn’t he 'improve' his games by making up more pleasing endings for them?


I like Jacob Aagaard’s notes, btw - although we’re not exactly comparing like with like.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Gordon Cadden » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:15 am

The general consensus is that David Bronstein was the best annotator. His book on the Zurich 1953 Tournament, is recognised as one of the classics.
Jan Timman wrote an excellent book on the "Art of Annotation".

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:13 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:The general consensus is that David Bronstein was the best annotator. His book on the Zurich 1953 Tournament, is recognised as one of the classics.
Leaving aside the question of whether Bronstein actually wrote that book, I’d be interested to hear the opinions of those who have the Zurich book and also Najdorf’s book on the same event as to which is better. My feeling is that it’s far from obvious that Bronstein’s (or "Bronstein’s" if you prefer) is superior. Or even Najdorf’s equal.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Gordon Cadden » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:22 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Gordon Cadden wrote:The general consensus is that David Bronstein was the best annotator. His book on the Zurich 1953 Tournament, is recognised as one of the classics.
Leaving aside the question of whether Bronstein actually wrote that book, I’d be interested to hear the opinions of those who have the Zurich book and also Najdorf’s book on the same event as to which is better. My feeling is that it’s far from obvious that Bronstein’s (or "Bronstein’s" if you prefer) is superior. Or even Najdorf’s equal.
Note that I said general consensus. I have Zurich 1953 in a leather bound volume. Also the English translation of Najdorf's book, which is indeed excellent.

Have heard a rumour that Bronstein was not responsible for the Zurich annotations. If you have evidence, please advise.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:44 am

Gordon Cadden wrote: Have heard a rumour that Bronstein was not responsible for the Zurich annotations. If you have evidence, please advise.
Oh no more than what’s available on the net. The idea seems plausible, but I"ve no idea whether it’s true either. I do think if we’re talking about 'best annotator' or whatever then it’s worth raising the issue of who’s actually writing these books.

See also Fischer’s 60MG or Gazza’s MGP.


As for 'general consensus' on Bronstein, well with regard to zurich I suspect his book would have a considerably less strong reputation had Najdorf’s been published in English fifty years ago.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:32 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: See also Fischer’s 60MG
I thought it was revealed long ago, that the writing of 60MG involved Fischer giving his thoughts on the games to Larry Evans and a tape recorder, which were later written up by Evans into a coherent narrative with quotes from other sources added. That accounts for the then novelty of the informal style of much of the material.
RJF wrote:So I chopped it off!
The flavour of it being an interview transcript still shows, enhanced by the separate Evans' introductions to each game.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:44 pm

Mihail Marin, hands down. There are other good annotators as well -- Aagaard, Bronstein, Dvoretsky, Griffiths (who wrote up the notes for "Secrets of Grandmaster Play" before Nunn booted him out), Lakdawala. Not that crook Alekhine.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:53 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:Mihail Marin, hands down. There are other good annotators as well -- Aagaard, Bronstein, Dvoretsky, Griffiths (who wrote up the notes for "Secrets of Grandmaster Play" before Nunn booted him out), Lakdawala. Not that crook Alekhine.

Oh yes Marin. I agree absolutely. Lakdawala somewhat less so. I guess he’s marmite.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:09 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:Oh yes Marin. I agree absolutely. Lakdawala somewhat less so. I guess he’s marmite.
Just look at the two Judit Polgar books published by Quality Chess. It's a dead cert that all the notes were written by Marin. This is the best annotated game collection I've ever seen in my life (and I think I've seen 'em all). Tears of gratitude emanate copiously as I flick through the pages of these two tomes.

John Moore
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by John Moore » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:51 pm

Another vote for Marin. If you've not tried anything by Marin, I suggest starting with Learn from the Legends. I did and rapidly bought everything else by him. He has also done masses of stuff for ChessBase.

And I can't read anything by the incredibly prolific Lakdawala without wanting to throw the book out of the window after about 5 minutes.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:41 pm

John Moore wrote:And I can't read anything by the incredibly prolific Lakdawala without wanting to throw the book out of the window after about 5 minutes.
He's an American writing for Americans. If you're a near-beginner, his chatty and loquacious style might be appealing. I compared his notes in his book on Capablanca to those of Nunn and Golombek in their older book. I didn't find anything new. I am beginning to regret listing him after your dismissive comments.

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by O.G. Urcan » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:23 am

Gordon Cadden wrote: Jan Timman wrote an excellent book on the "Art of Annotation".
The book was entitled "The Art of Chess Analysis."

John Foley
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Re: Best annotator ever?

Post by John Foley » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:29 pm

CJS Purdy was also excellent.

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