Regular readers will probably be aware of my views that, in general, you will learn more from the games of players 200-300 points stronger than you than from the games of players 1000 points stronger than you.
To put it another way, you might learn from:
- Your own games: learning from the mistakes you made and trying not to make them again.
- Games of players of your own strength: you can learn from the mistakes they made and try not to make them in your games.
- Games of players slightly stronger than you: you can think “Yes, I could learn to play like that”.
Yes, it’s also worth looking at the games of top grandmasters, which might, in general terms, act as an inspiration, but if you try to learn too much from them you’re quite likely to end up confused.
So it’s always good to welcome a new book of well annotated amateur games. That’s what we have with 100 Instructive Chess Annotations by Mike Read, a Correspondence Chess Senior International Master.
We have, as you might guess from the title, 110 games by players with a connection with the county of Norfolk, annotated by Mike Read and first published in En Passant, the Norfolk county chess newsletter. While a few players of international standard (Owen Hindle, Robert Bellin, John Emms for example) are featured, most of the games come from club and county matches and local tournaments, even going down to a game played on board 5 of a county U100 (in old money) match. The annotations are indeed instructive, and the games are unfailingly entertaining, often featuring brilliant attacks and sacrifices. Even low rated players deserve their day in the sun.
I’ll be reviewing this book in more depth for British Chess News shortly (it may indeed be there before you read this) but I’d certainly encourage all amateurs to have a look. It’s a great – and remarkably cheap – buy whether you’re looking for instruction or just entertainment. You’ll also find the author’s own story inspirational.
Here’s one of the games featured in the book – but you’ll have to buy it to read the instructive annotations.
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