Saturday, February 19, 2011

Old...but not forgotten

"Old... but not forgotten" is devoted to books that have been published more than 10 years ago, but they contain meaningful material for various reasons. At first a wikipedia link to introduce the author  Edward Lasker and his great chess autobiography. It is a thick book: 428 pages (!!) and you can find a used copy of it online for less that $10,00 see for instance
The only thing I do not like is that the descriptive notation is used to annotate the games. A jump in the early 20th century chess and a way not to forget the masters of the past.

We read what follows from the back cover: "In this autobiographical chess manual, Edward Lasker traces his successful chess career from his early interest in the game as a boy in Germany through more that 50 years of tournament play. No chess enthusiast can fail to be entertained as this chess master and winner of five world capital championships describes the giants of the chess world whom he met and played against in tournament after tournament in the major cities of the Americas and Europe. Included are amusing anecdotes and first-hand impressions of many of the great players who have now become legendary figures, plus records of the hints given him by his intimate friends Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Jose Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine.

Writing in the lively, genial manner which has made him a favorite chess author, Lasker brings to life most of the important masters of the last two generations--Emanuel Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Rubinstein, Nimzovich, Bernstein, Yates, Janowski, Pillsbury, Tarrasch, Reti, Bogolyubov, Reshevksy, Marshall, Fine, Horowitz, and many lesser-known figures. His narrative is interspersed with stimulating analyses of some 77 games, including those played between Frank Marshall and the author in their match for the U.S. championship in 1923, Lasker has chosen interesting, exciting games, and explains not only what actually happened abut what might have happened had the players used different tactics.
Chess fans will be delighted with Lasker's insightful comments, from which many valuable lessons can be learned. In addition to games not previously published in English, and his own analyses of the strategy and tactics employed in them Lasker has included many examples from older chess literature that both beginners and seasoned players will enjoy."

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