Sunday, March 23, 2008

Five best: books about chess

Gabriel Schoenfeld, the managing editor of Commentary and a chess columnist for the New York Sun, named a five best list of books about chess for the Wall Street Journal.

One book on the list:
Tal-Botvinnik, 1960
By Mikhail Tal
Russell Enterprises, 1970

How exactly do grandmasters think? Mikhail Tal's account of his struggle for the world championship title nearly a half-century ago is not merely an analysis of 21 thrilling games. It is an intimate view of the chessboard fantasies of a supreme tactical genius. Tal (1936-92) was pitted against Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-95), the world's foremost "scientific" player, the defending title-holder and the dean of the Soviet school of chess. In the resulting clash of styles, Tal prevailed by a convincing margin. His victory was a vindication of unfettered imagination and a demonstration that chess can be scientific only in the way that Soviet socialism was scientific, which is to say not at all.
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue