Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

A book review may be a primary source, opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review.
Post Reply
Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2233
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:04 pm

From: https://www.redhotpawn.com/chess-blog/t ... -chess.465

Recently I had the pleasure of reading this:

Image

You will understand that a nutshell review is all I can offer because
it is a murder mystery with a strong chess theme running though it
and going in too deep may spoil potential readers enjoyment of it.

Image

Chess players are getting bumped off and someone is taunting the police by
sending them clues in the shape of chess games and positions from actual play.

It’s good, loads of interesting characters, lots of humour and a few twists and turns.
(I had better add that this is a genuine book. When I first mentioned it on another
site where they ‘know me’ some thought it a joke and this was a ‘spurious’ book.)

I got it new! (I buy one new book a year, the rest I pick up at the four for £1.00
flea market.) The paperback edition cost less than £10.00 from Amazon and unlike
the other more expensive chess books in your collection, you will read this one.

This next review, typically I have not read it, nor will I probably buy it!
Because of that I shall restrict this review to the title and the cover picture.

Image

The title is too close to another famous book, I have already heard other punters,
(the people who actually buy these chess books) mumbling and grumbling about
the title. Carlsen’s name is enough, no gimmick needed. This may affect the sales.

If not then the happy go lucky picture of Carlsen certainly will. He is the most
photographed player in chess history, is this the best they could come up with.

Mind you, if the book is good who cares what it is called but the cover
picture has this open and read if you dare look. Maybe that is the idea

Image

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 3379
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:10 pm

I really don't think the title will make too much difference, the demand for a book of Carlsen's best games is bound to be pretty healthy.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1630
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:36 pm

Has Carlsen authorized this? I strongly suspect not. In which case this is another attempt to cash in on his genius by the looks of it, and comes with analysis by someone hundreds of rating points below him?

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 3379
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:03 pm

Yes but aren't chess books often written by slightly "weaker" players?

Soltis has an output that can be maybe described as "variable" but his best efforts are pretty decent.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

John Moore
Posts: 1978
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by John Moore » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:47 pm

I agree with Matt. Soltis has probably written too many books but bear in mind he is a professional journalist. His best work (probably Soviet Chess 1917-1991, Why Lasker Matters and Bobby Fischer Rediscovered), I really rather like.

If Mr McCready is waiting for Carlsen's book of his own games or for that matter, any of the top 20 writing such a volume, he will be waiting a long time. They can make far more money playing rather than writing. After all, we are still waiting for a book from Mickey Adams who has been playing at the top level for 25 years or more.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19011
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:53 pm

John Moore wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:47 pm
After all, we are still waiting for a book from Mickey Adams who has been playing at the top level for 25 years or more.
His father wrote a two volume (?) biography to which Mickey contributed some annotations. That was quite a few years ago.

John Moore
Posts: 1978
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by John Moore » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Two separate volumes, I think, Roger and separated by a few years. As you have pointed out yourself, many of the top players contribute notes to New in Chess Magazine - it's rather different annotating a few games to producing a book.

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 7838
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:34 pm

John Moore wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:47 pm
I agree with Matt. Soltis has probably written too many books but bear in mind he is a professional journalist. His best work (probably Soviet Chess 1917-1991, Why Lasker Matters and Bobby Fischer Rediscovered), I really rather like.
Art of Defense In Chess I always liked. Though wasn't there a second edition some years ago which began by saying that the spectacular example which opened the original book had turned out to be a nonsense?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

John Moore
Posts: 1978
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by John Moore » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:46 pm

I also liked The Art of Defence in Chess. The new version (published 40 years later!) was called The New Art of Defence of Chess and I rather think that I have seen a not entirely complimentary review of it although I can't remember where (possibly in New in Chess).

John Moore
Posts: 1978
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by John Moore » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:05 pm

I can't count. The Art of Defence in Chess was published in 1980 so the follow-up was 34 years later.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2233
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:56 pm

I too am a Soltis fan - The Books on Lasker, Fischer and Marshall are very good, excellent, as is 'Karl Marx plays Chess.'

As I said, it could a be a marketing ploy and there is nothing wrong with that, though it appears some do not think so.

It's the cover picture I'm not too fond off. A photo collage to capture all his expressions, of which he has plenty, may have been better.

The cover is very similar to the book Andrew did on Fischer.

ImageImage

The book is due to be released on the 12th of November...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnus-Carlsen ... oks&sr=1-2

....they might change the cover picture, It kind of undermines that BBC report from 2017

Image

Use this instead!

Image

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 3379
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:24 pm

John Moore wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:05 pm
I can't count. The Art of Defence in Chess was published in 1980 so the follow-up was 34 years later.
There was also his Chess Mistakes book out around that time, another good read.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1630
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:33 am

The author is a charlatan operating out-of self-interest in a manner which brings shame.

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2233
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:52 pm

The author, David Jenkins like my reviews. He sent me a hardback autographed copy.

Thanks Dave.

I gave my paper back copy to Keith Ruxton, about 10 ago he gave me this. (cartooned the cover for a blog. )

Image

Still on it. Some of them are real brain busters. Have about a third of the book still to do. (recommended)

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1630
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Spurious Games and Carlsen's 60 Memorable Games.

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:22 pm

John Moore wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:47 pm
I agree with Matt. Soltis has probably written too many books but bear in mind he is a professional journalist. His best work (probably Soviet Chess 1917-1991, Why Lasker Matters and Bobby Fischer Rediscovered), I really rather like.

If Mr McCready is waiting for Carlsen's book of his own games or for that matter, any of the top 20 writing such a volume, he will be waiting a long time. They can make far more money playing rather than writing. After all, we are still waiting for a book from Mickey Adams who has been playing at the top level for 25 years or more.
Not waiting for anything by Carlsen in written form. I'm surprised to see Soltis has admirers, when I read Soviet Chess and saw him describe the Soviets as the world's biggest liars in the Introduction, that alone was enough to put me off that publication.

Post Reply