Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ludek Pachman

GM Ludek Pachman, who passed away in March 2003, is in my opinion THE best chess writer ever ... hands down, bar none! Unfortunately, many of his books either were never published in English or are long out of print. Among my favorite Pachman books are ...

Modern Chess Strategy
A one-volume condensed version of the earlier (and long out-of-print) three-volume Complete Chess Strategy.

Tactica Moderna en Ajedrez (Modern Chess Tactics)
A two-volume follow-up to Modern Chess Strategy covering tactics. Lots and lots of examples, followed by lots of exercises and several illustrative full games, on each topic.

Teoria Moderna en Ajedrez (Modern Chess Theory)
A 4-volume opening treatise (Open Games, Semi-Open Games, Queen's Pawn Games, Closed Games). It doesn't cover quite the same amount of ground as ECO in terms of raw number of lines, but it still manages to cover an impressively immense amount of material while also including lots of textual discussion of the theory and strategy behind each opening and its major lines.

Decisive Games in Chess History
Pachman analysis 65 pivotal games from 1870 to 1972, looking not just at the actual chess moves on the board but also the competitive and psychological aspects of the situation.

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