Petrosian vs the Elite: 71 Victories by the Master of Manoeuvre 1946-1983 Paperback – Feb 1 2007
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About the Author
Grandmaster Raymond Keene OBE is the world's most widely read chess columnist. He is the author of 120 chess books and is chess correspondent for the Times, The Sunday Times and the International Herald Tribune. He lives in Clapham, London. Commonwealth chess master Julian Simpole teaches junior world champions and is author of the recently published Junior Chess Training. He has written over 400 chess columns for regional UK newspapers and led his team to victory in the British Lightning Chess championship. He is currently travelling.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are some good annotations in this book and the games are very well chosen. However, there are no photographs, the introduction is skimpy [15 pages] and there are no introductions to the games at all. The book is a collection of annotations without context that dehumanizes this unique personality and his intensely personal struggles and fascinating clashes of style with characters like Korchnoi. Each game deserved at least a little introduction to set up and enrich the reader's appreciation of the games as sporting events and fierce human struggles. I kept going to other books to look up where he stood in a tournament or match. If as a lover of chess, you want to enjoy Petrosian, then this book is really just a companion to Kasparov who gives a much richer treatment that brings Petrosian's games to life. Keene has made a career of pumping out little books. A second edition that addresses the inadequacies could also be the monument to Keene's career as a chess writer as well as the great book on Petrosian.
Nowadays, with databases and computers, to find games and variations is easy, so quality depends on explaining which variations are critical in "real life" (something computers are still not that good at) and how the variations are tied together into an overall game plan. Here, Keene and Simpole do a good job. The annotations are detailed, try to explain why the game "worked out" as it did, and--an indicator of quality--the opponent's moves are sometimes praised and Petrosian's sometimes criticized. Sadly, Keene's overheated writing is sometimes on display: "the entire black army is consigned to an Hadean frozen lake of Dante-esque or Miltonic dimension", he writes of Petrosian-Fisher, 1959.
Keene writes both good and bad books. The more Keene cares about his subject, the better the book. He cares most about unfairly-maligned or misunderstood chapions of the past; his best books are those about Staunton, Nimzowitsch, and--now--Petrosian. If only there wasn't so much chaff in Keene's total output along with the wheat.
I didn't ever studied much of Petrosian, so his style of play and unique ideas in almost every game gave me much joy. Descriptive style of authors Ray Keene and Julian Simpole is ideal for long, enjoyfull and consuming study of the games at the real chess board on the table.
Since the era of computers came, any Petrosian game actually needed some kind of checking and revision. And without much of annoyance author excellently incorporated that in their analysis. I had even much fun studying knowing that Petrosian positional style is becked and verified in that manner too.
One thing I didn't understood: name of the eight chapter is "Gotterdammerung". Is it a typo for some german translation or what.
I warmly recommend this book.
Honestly, I didn't know too much of Petrosian before I read this, figuring he was just some boring chessplayer with lots of draws. So, I have to give this book 5 stars, because it is an interesting work on a misunderstood chessplayer, with lots of games and plenty of insigtful (and painless) annotation...