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The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games Paperback – October, 1998

66 customer reviews

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Paperback, October, 1998
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Editorial Reviews


For the famous games which appear in other books and anthologies, the authors have provided the most thorough and careful annotations you will find. They also include some extremely brilliant games which haven't received much attention elsewhere. ... Of the various 'Greatest Games' collections, The Mammoth Book of The World's Greatest Chess Games is the most up to date with the highest-quality annotations. You will want a copy on your shelf. John Watson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Graham Burgess has been a World Chess Federation (FIDE) Master since the age of 20. He lives in Bristol, England.

Dr. John Nunn was among the world’s leading grandmasters for nearly twenty years, winning four gold medals in chess Olympiads and finishing sixth overall in the World Cup in 1989. He lives in Chertsey, Surrey, England.

John Emms is one of England’s strongest grandmasters, and an experienced trainer and editor. He lives in Tonbridge, Kent, England.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers; 1st Carroll and Graf ed edition (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786705876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786705870
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

243 of 248 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Going over games that are well analyzed is a good way to learn all parts of chess (openings, middle games and endgames all with all the tactics, traps and positional play involved). Although this is not a book that uses analysis of every move, which is my favorite type of book (such as "Logical Chess" or "Unbeatable Chess Lessons"), the games contain enough analysis at important points to make it a worthwhile book. My only real complaint is that the book is made really cheaply with cheap paper and a very tight binding that forces you to really press to keep it open. This is a book deserving a better quality production. The contents are very good (4 stars) the paper and tight binding is rather poor (2 stars).
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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book contains selected games. Both of the masters of new, old all great which will help your ability to checkmate! One Hundred and Twelve games analyzed games study, alone or with your best buddy. The analysis though not real deep makes is light enough for your mind to keep. Want deeper analysis using games get books by Nunn (Understanding Chess) or by Snyder ("Unbeatable Chess Lessons for Juniors"). They are move by move both fun and the the analysis more tighter. These days when it comes to books with games and good analysis you have many to choose so start reading them all it's no time to snooze.

Now down to real business! "The Mammoth Book" contains a wide variety of games over a long time span by many strong players. The analysis ranging from light to moderate in depth is for an intermediate level to stronger player level. This is not a down to basics level book. I was disapointed only in that the book was made out of really cheap paper and is hard to keep open when using (why four instead of five stars). True, I prefer the "every move commented on approach" used by Chernev, Nunn and Snyder, but "the Mammoth book" is still excellent.
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122 of 128 people found the following review helpful By on October 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the "games collection" that I have been waiting years to find! It is a book of 100 chronologically-ordered, heavily annotated chess games, which the three authors decided upon through some sort of weighted voting system, in which Graham Burgess annotated 50, John Nunn 25, and John Emms 25. It is not a "mammoth"-sized book; it is about the size of a typical bestseller paperback, though somewhat wider. To give you an idea of where the historical concentration of games occurs, Game 1 is from 1834, Game 25 is from 1926, Game 50 is from 1963, Game 75 is from 1981, and Game 100 is from 1997. The most heavily-represented players are Mikhail Tal (11 games), Bobby Fischer (9), Garry Kasparov (8), Anatoly Karpov (8), Jose Capablanca (6), Emanuel Lasker (6), and Boris Spassky (6). I would have expected to see more games from Paul Morphy (0 games!), Adolph Anderssen (2), Harry Pillsbury (2), Tigran Petrosian (2), Wilhelm Steinitz (3), and Alexander Alekhine (4). From those lists, you can probably infer that the book is somewhat skewed toward the modern games. On the other hand, there are only three Karpov-Kasparov games, which surprised me. There is a lot of analysis in the games, with plenty of biographical descriptions and "color". Despite the fact that three different authors did the annotating, there is a very "uniform" feel to the games; it doesn't read like it's three disjointed authors. Maybe that's because three people did the analyzing and one person did the writing.
My favorite historical collection of annotated games was always Tartakower & du Mont's famous collection of 500 games, plus a supplemental book of 100 more games, but those left off at around 1950.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Roo Bookaroo on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are already 36 reviews that say it all.
I can only repeat that the content of the book is exceptional, as mentioned by everybody.
My only comment there is that it would have been good to have a diagram of the board for the final position of each game.

My main grievance is the low quality of the book production, because I am infuriated everytime I try to use this book. I had to express my immense disappointment at the miserable production of this book.

I own both books by Graham Burgess, the Mammoth book of Chess, which I fortunately got in the hardback edition of CASTLE BOOKS, with an American title -- CHESS Tactics and Strategy. This hardback is physically decent, even if the gluing of the pages to the back is not of the best quality, and has started breaking up. But the printing is good, the paper of much better quality, and the diagrams crisp and clear.

However I got the World's Greatest Games in its standard paperback edition by Carroll & Graf. This is physically, the worst chess book I have ever bought. You can't keep the pages open without using weights to press on the spine. Very quickly the spine breaks and pages start coming off. The paper is disgusting, very close to toilet paper. It is yellowish and fragile. The margins are about 1/8th of an inch on the sides. No way to write one's own notes. The book starts disintegrating quickly. Reading the book is an annoyance, and there's no fun or joy in handling it. It's as if nobody in the production team had any feeling for good books.
There's a British tendency to push economizing to the maximum, and the original publisher is a group called Robinson Publishing, which kept the product to a minimum cost.
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