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The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played: 62 Masterpieces of Chess Strategy Paperback – November 6, 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Here are 62 masterly demonstrations of the basic strategies of winning at chess, compiled and annotated by one of the game's most admired and respected writers. Each game offers a classic example of a fundamental problem and its best resolution, described and diagrammed in the clearest possible manner for players of every level of skill.
As Irving Chernev observes in the Introduction, "Who will doubt the tremendous power exerted by a Rook posted on the seventh rank after seeing Capablanca's delightfully clear-cut demonstration in Game No. 1 against Tartakower? And who will not learn a great deal about the art of handling Rook and Pawn endings (the most important endings in chess) after playing through Tarrasch's game against Thorold?"
Chernev's lively and illuminating notes on each game reveal precisely how Capablanca, Tarrasch, and other masters—Fischer, Alekhine, Lasker, and Petrosian among them—turn theory into practice as they attack and maneuver to control the board. Readers will find their techniques improving with each lesson as Irving Chernev dissects winning strategies, comments on alternate tactics, and marvels at the finesse of winning play, noting at the end of his Introduction: "I might just as well have called this collection The Most Beautiful Games of Chess Ever Played."

About the Author

Chernev was known as one of the most prolific and highly regarded writers on chess.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (November 6, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486273024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486273020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a book that contains a variety of different games that are supossed to be instructive. Some of the games are interesting and some are rather boring. The author takes on the side of the winner, showing with exclamation points the brilliant moves, but not the weaker moves when they are made, except by the losing side. Often a good defense or better move was available that is not pointed out. Personally I like this author's other book "Logical Chess Move by Move" and "Unbeatable Chess Lessons for Juniors" much better that show the ideas behind every move and doesn't seem to take sides.

This is still a good book, but very biased toward the winner of each game that effects the quality of the analysis.
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Format: Paperback
Easily one of the best books ever written. This is one of the first books I purchased over 30 years ago. I am sure it helped start me on the road to Chess Mastery.
Chernev, like Reinfeld, did NOT write chess books to impress other Chess Masters. He wrote books simply and with great care. He also put his tremendous love of the game into this book.
I simply cannot convey what a wonderful book this is. This book will especially appeal to the average player, especially someone who wants to improve his game.
I usually don't rave about books. This is an exception.
Here is what I say about this book on my web site:
<< The next book is by Irving Chernev. I met this man several times, and he had a real love for the game that few players today demonstrate. He would look at games by the hour with anyone. I personally believe Chernev was at least IM strength. (I believe he played in several U.S. Championships.) The book is:
"The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played."
[62 Masterpieces of Chess Strategy.]
It contains 62 true masterpieces of chess by various different players. (Masters such as Fischer, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal, etc. Plus many more of the all-time greats!!) Each game is carefully and lovingly annotated. This book had a tremendous impact on me and the way that I viewed and looked at chess.
{I studied it many, many, many times.}
Chernev provides games with an almost blow-by-blow commentary. His ideas are simple, fresh, insightful, and expressed with great clarity. He explains all the basic ideas of the game in a manner that ANY chess-player can follow. The variations are perfect. Not too much to overload the senses. I have had players who were almost beginners to players who were accomplished tournament players ...
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By A Customer on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
After reading through most of these reviews that are for the most part extremely favorable I feel it's necessary to add this slightly less favorable review to complete the picture.
The book is a collection of annotated games, and the author wrote it for instruction. So far so good. There are several problems with this book, however:
- The analysis is sometimes misleading, or outright wrong. Chernev tries to explain everything with general principles, but often the chosen move just had to be played for tactical reasons. This gives the reader the wrong impression that just about any position can be played according to generalities, which is wrong.
- Many of the selected games are fairly dull games where both sides just trade down material and then one side wins in the endgame after a mistake by the other player. This is not a fault per se, but the potential buyer should be aware of this. You won't find many interesting attacking games in this book.
-Chernev provides very one-sided annotations. Often average moves by the player who eventually wins are marked with exclamation marks, while excellent moves by the loser get no mention.
-Chernev typically doesn't explain the plans for the side who eventually loses.
-Bad moves by the winner are typically not marked as such.
-The annotations are often irrelevant. Often Chernev gives long, non-forcing side variations that have absolutely nothing to do with the game played. Reading through these variations doesn't help you to understand the underlying game in the least.
In conclusion, I would say it's a decent book, but nowhere near the quality of Chernev's "Logical Chess", or other collections of annotated games by authors such as Euwe or Nunn. It is certainly not a "must-have".
4 Comments 158 of 184 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book, along with Chernev's "Logical Chess Move by Move" is clearly the authors Magnum Opus.
The book features 62 chapters (i.e. games) played by the "older masters" like Tarrasch, Lasker, Capablanca, Rubenstein, Fischer(I know - not that old), Botvinnik, Nimzowitsch, Petrosian, etc. etc.
The games are dissected at a level comfortable for club level players. Each game focuses on a theme (i.e outpost, weak square, bishop pair, rook ending, Occupation of 7th rank, isolated pawn, etc.
I highly recommend this book (along with the other book mentioned) to anyone rated between 1100 - 1600. I can think of few other titles that will return as much value for the modest time investment to read them!
Chernev has an infectious love for the game of chess paralleled by few (if any) chess writers, past or present. He was probably around International Master Playing strength. Each game hammers on one particular positional theme. This book is incredibly instructive.
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