Chess analysis is nearly as old as the game itself, with
many of the pioneering works by the giants of chess history being devoted to
the analysis of positions, openings and endings. Personal computers and
powerful chess software are having a profound effect on chess analysis and
theory - most grandmasters use them extensively. However, this book does far
more than explain methods for computer-assisted analysis. Readers will develop
a deeper understanding of the strengths and limitations of the human mind, and
a greater understanding of many areas of chess while working through the
examples that Robin Smith presents. The many topics in this wide-ranging book
include: Schematic thinking; Dynamic play vs. quiet manoeuvring; Fortresses;
King Hunts and 'King Drift'; The Problem of Exchanging; Interactive
Robin Smith was a top-class correspondence chess
player, and held the grandmaster title for correspondence play. He was USA
Correspondence Chess Champion on two occasions and won a World Correspondence
Chess Championship semi-final.
Download a pdf file with a
sample from the book.
Ian Rogers, CANBERRA TIMES
In recent years,
the flow of quality chess books has become a flood, with British publishers
Gambit being particularly successful at producing worthwhile titles from little
known authors. 2004 did not produce an instant classic such as Dvoretsky's
Endgame Manual in 2003 but the general level was higher than ever, with
even nondescript titles such as 365 Ways to
Checkmate (Gallagher) and Improve Your
Attacking Chess (Williams) turning out to contain original angles on
Gary Kasparov's third and fourth volumes of his My
Great Predecessors series were the year's best-sellers but the prestigious
BCF Book of the Year award went to Pal Benko's autobiography.
favourite for 2004 was Modern Chess Analysis by Robin Smith: a
remarkable guide to using chess software to optimum effect. The subject matter
seemed to be so dry and technical that I was reluctant to read past the
introduction. However, within a few pages I was hooked.
Despite being a chess professional who uses chess software almost every day to analyse and prepare for games,
I learned numerous new techniques from Smith's book. Smith is a correspondence player who has apparently endless time to test examples
on all the major chess programs and by astute use of these programs he convincingly unravels some positions which had been assumed to be invulnerable to computer analysis.
Keen to discover whether Smith's insights were new or would be common knowledge to the computer programming community, I passed the book on to an artificial intelligence expert, Rodney Topor from Brisbane's Griffith University.
Fortunately Topor was also impressed, commenting, "Smith's descriptions of chess programs is very accurate and I was interested to learn how much difference there is between them."