Readers should be aware that there have been several editions of this book. In its original form, in descriptive notation and with Fischer's own annotations, it was very well received indeed, earning high praise from many top players and chess writers. It was also voted the best chess book in any category by the readers of the British Chess Magazine, and I'm sure by others. Unfortunately, when it was later re-edited and issued in an algebraic edition, something happened to Fischer's original annotations. The editors apparently 'revised' them, and the effect was - as Fischer vehemently complained in a recent radio interview - to make him look like "a patzer." He claims that the new annotations are riddled with errors and could never have come from his hand. Since 'My 60 Memorable Games' is as about important to students of chess as Shakespeare's plays are to students of literature, it would be nice to be able to tell readers to avoid the mutilated algebraic edition and to make sure they get a reprint of the earlier and untampered-with edition of the book. Unhappily neither edition appears to be available. Both have been allowed to go out of print and remain out of print. One is left wondering just who is keeping this masterpiece off the market. And why...?
When I first decided on aquiring this literary masterpiece, I was quite under the impression that there would be a higher annotation:move ratio. I was wrong, but perhaps that is a good thing.
There is a plethora of chess enlightenment within the pages. Knowledge isn't spoon-fed to you, as in many lower-level books, but there are excellent annotations which let us peek into the mind of a chess legend. A chess legend whom, if you are reading this page, you probably adore.
The games are ones which Bobby Fischer considers memorable, so therefore they must be pretty great, right? They are!
Still, as I mentioned, the annotations aren't spoon-fed to you, so you won't be getting anything out of simply playing over the moves really quickly and glancing at the annotations. You actually have to sit in front of Fischer's opponent and contemplate the moves through Fischer's eyes.
C.S.Purdy once said,"If the student forces himself to examine all moves that smite, however absurd they may look at first glance, he is on the way to becoming a master of tactics."
I quote him, because, a lot of Fischer's moves come out of nowhere. When going over Bobby's games in endeavor to guess which move comes next, calculating the bizarre moves is beneficial.
It's an excellent book if you are a dedicated chess player. Casual chess players won't get nearly as much out of it. In other words, if chess is your hobby, you won't get as much out of it. If chess is your life, then stop reading customer reviews, and just go ahead and purchase the book!
Was this review helpful to you?
First I would like to state this is not the infamous 1995 Batsford release that infuriated Bobby Fischer. This 2009 copy puts all that scandal in the past and lets a new generation enjoy this great book in the language spoken by most players algerbraic notation. The previous alterations in the 1995 edition have been omitted making this a faithful reproduction of a great work. Mostly grammatical errors and misspellings have been corrected. I happen to own this book and compared it to with the alterations stated by Mr. Winter in his article Fischer's Fury and this new issue holds true. Only one alteration was made that is the game Fischer - Tal Candidates Tournament 1959. Fischer in his original book gives (50.....Ba1 when Bobby could have won with 51. Rc8+) instead the correct move made actually in the game 50....Kc7. Fischer in a interview for a chess magazine states at the last minute before the book hit the printing press he caught the error, he attached a note but fell off. Making this an updated copy.
Before reading this book I disdained studying any Fischer games because I believed he couldn't have been a good player for dropping out of competitive chess. Reading this book completely changed my opinion now I consider him my favorite chess player of all time. What makes this game collection so good it was written by Fischer himself. No chess writer can give you a better insight than the man who actually played the games. Fischer's commentary to his games is refreshing bringing his games to life with humor, brutal honesty and humbleness often stating where he made mistakes and could have played better. It shows Bobby's genius to remember the emotional and phycological ups and downs to his games played years before henceforth the title.Read more ›
Robert James Fischer is probably the greatest player of all time, his only rival being Kasparov (or perhaps Capablanca or Alekhine depending upon one's criteria). It is, therefore, only reasonable that a selection of his best games should rank as one of the greatest chess books. However, this work is more than a mere game collection: In it we have a chance to see a true genuis (IQ 187) at work. I am, hence, willing to say that it is the greatest chess book. The annotations are simply flawless, but this flawlessness is not their most impressive quality. One begins to feel, as perhaps one does only in two other works (The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal and Paul Keres' The Quest for Perfection) that he is actually in the mind of a great player. I specifically remember being struck by his annotations to his game against Robert Byrne, quite possibly the greatest game ever played. I actually began to feel my understanding of chess expand as I studied Fishcer's ideas at the board; going over this game for the first time, I found that his commentary made this almost incomprehensible game seem simple. This book offers the rare opportunity to enter a great player's mind (in my view, the greatest) and make your own ever so slightly more like his. I would also suggest My Best Games of Chess by Alexander Alekhine.
Was this review helpful to you?