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I Play Against Pieces (Batsford Chess Book) Paperback – June 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Svetozar Gligoric, an acclaimed journalist and grandmaster, is the author of over 20 books on chess - including a best seller on the 1972 Fischer v Spassky which sold over 400,000 copies

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Product Details

  • Series: Batsford Chess Book
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Batsford (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713487704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713487701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Peter June on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a great book on the life of a fascinating player, this is the book for you. "I Play Against Pieces" covers 130 of Gligoric's best games, categorized by opening. There's a wide range going from the King's Gambit to the King's Indian, the Nimzo-Indian to the Ruy Lopez; he covers tons of openings, which makes it ideal for somebody who wants to get a full taste of chess.
In addition to all the games there is a preface on Gligoric's life, which gives you some insight into his play. After all of the games, he also gives some interesting information on his contributions to opening theory in chess. All these provide an interesting supplement to the games.
The games are very high quality in here too. Gligoric's style of analysis is different than many other authors I've read. He doesn't spend time going over things like "18.Nc4!? (in the 24th USSR Championship Taimanov played 18.Ne4! against so-and-so resulting in [insert 20 move variation] with small advantage to white)" He sees that as useless commentary. No reader really wants to look into sidelines like that. Instead Gligoric takes a very text-based approach to game annotations with comments like "This is a concession to White since now the black bishop is not so well protected along the diagonal, but black was hesitant of abandoning the blockade of the e6 square and gave up on 29...Qe7." Rather than speaking in the merely concrete terms of chess (i.e. reams and reams of trivial variations) Svetozar instead chooses to instruct the reader in the simplest way possible.
So far as I've checked, this method means less variations which means less errors.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By I. Knezovic on November 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Svetozar Gligoric`s name is rarely heard among new kids in chess circles nowdays, and this moderate man was never braging caracter. But Svetozar Gligoric is a chess giant. Lived and played in era od absolute soviet domination, he managed to stay on absolute top in fifties and sixties.

I live in Croatia (which was part of Yugoslavia), and this great serbian GM influenced all of us by his calm and clear works, in which this book goes in piedestal of biography chess colection books there are. To the sheer quality of this book I can only compare the book "Life and games of Mikhail Tal", also written by author himself.

Gligoric is not starting his anotations at move 25. No, they begin when he predict player will lost the tread of logic of it, and that usually means somewhere around move 5. Sometimes even at move 1, not to explain the move by itself, but to give a broader picture of game.

Also, games are organized by openings, which greatly helps to follow authors mind paths in differing from game to game.

Author used to play more d4-s as write (70% vs 30% e4), and against d4 played KID, Nimzo, QGD, and vs e4 played mostely e5, and few c5.

He showed his 130 wins, almost every one was against the world top. For example, there are 4 wins vs Fisher(!) amongst lot of wins against Smislov, Botvinik, Larsen, Tal and frankely every

other from top.

Atomic bomb of positional chess.

Apsolutely recomended.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This collection of GM Gligoric's games from the entire span of his long career is rightly considered a classic. He seems to update it once in a decade and it is republished with new material. This edition might be the last update, as the man is probably not playing much chess anymore.
I recommend this game collection over almost any other similar work by other players. Gligoric has the ability to annotate in a very lucid and comprehensible way. As a member of the older generation and as a positional player, his annotations do not include tons of Fritzy lines but are easy to read and follow. On the downside, the analysis is not always very deep as you'd find in a Nunn book, but there is still material here for months of study in this thick tome. And there's some pictures here also, which is rather rare nowadays for a chess book.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A.J. Goldsby I on February 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Gligoric was/is one of the greatest chess players of the twentieth century ... at one time, (mid-to-late 1950's - through the very early 70's); there was a very small group of players that the (Soviet) Russians really feared. They were Bobby Fischer, (of course!); Miguel Najdorf, Samuel Reshevsky, Bent Larsen, and this player. (GM Svetozar Gligoric)
Gligoric, (11 times Yugoslav Champ.); won many international tournaments and was an extremely feared competitor ... his first major success (a surprise) was Warsaw, 1947; ahead of such players like Boleslavsky, L. Pachman, and V. Smyslov. His string of victories at major international tournaments is almost too long to cover, a few highlights are, first at: Hastings, 1960/61; Reykjavik, 1964; The Hague (zonal), 1966; Tel Aviv (Israel); 1966; Varna, 1971; Los Angeles, 1974; and Montilla, 1977. He also had wins in about a dozen major key matches. (These are only clear firsts, his 'top five' list of tournament finishes would be too long to try and name here!) He is obviously a little older now, and past his {best} playing days.
Gligoric is also one of the most respected teachers and authors who ever lived, at least outside of Russia. He wrote mostly for newspapers and magazines, his few books (today) are considered collectors' items.
Anyone who 'grew up' or played chess in the 1970's will fondly remember his "Chess Life & Review" articles. (I had a very small library of books as a teen-ager, but I carefully saved and indexed all of my magazines, Gligoric's "Game of The Month" was easily the most important theoretical articles that I had access to during that period.)
I respect and revere this player too much to go looking for mistakes with the help of the latest computer programs.
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