|Title: Learn from the Legends
||Author: Mihail Marin
|Publisher: Quality Chess
|Price: € 26,99
|Reviewed by: Arne
||Date: 27/2 2005
Learn from the Legends – Chess Champions at their Best
This book is one of the first by the new multi national publisher Quality Chess. Just like
Experts against the Sicilian this book lives up to committal name of its publisher.
The basic idea of Marin’s new book is illustrate various themes using examples from the games of chess legends.
At the same time he shows examples from his own games and describes how and when he was influenced by the legends. For example, he was so impressed by Petrosian’s exchange sacrifices that his teammates used to say that he had “won the exchange” when he had sacrificed a rook for a knight or bishop. The chapter on Kortchnoi sums up rest of the book. Marin calls Kortchnoi a universal player and his fondness of Kortchnoi is also underlined by the fact that Marin’s son is named Victor.
The eight chapters are
- Akiba Rubinstein´s Rook Endings
- Alexander Alekhine and the Fourth Phase of the Game (positions with Queens and Rooks and no minor pieces)
- 'n the Patriarch´s Footsteps (about Botvinnik's deep analysis)
- Tal's Super Rooks vs. Two Minor Pieces
- Petrosian's Exchange Sacrifices
- Bobby Fischer's Pet Bishop
- Opposite Coloured Endings in the Games of Anatoly Karpov
- Viktor, the "Non-Existent" Hero
As you might already have guessed the book mainly discusses technical or rather simplified positions. So don’t expect Tal to sacrifice pieces left and right. Here he only sacrifices to minor pieces for a rook (and a pawn or two).
Mihail Marin has put a lot of effort into the book. His analysis is extremely deep and detailed. His introductions to the chapters and the characterizations of the players is also first rate.
I liked the chapter on Petrosian's exchange sacrifices the most. Also the chapter on Tal was quite interesting. How often have you headed for a position with a rook against two minor pieces?
The chapter on Botvinnik seems a little bit out of context since his special strength is not related to a particular material imbalance but rather to his deep analysis and annotations.
Excellent Starting Point
There is no doubt that this book is an excellent starting point if you want to become a stronger chess player.
Mihail Marin has put a lot of effort into the book. The examples are well chosen and the analysis is extremely deep and detailed. His introductions to the chapters and the characterizations of the players is also first rate.
On top of that Marin gives you a personal account from a writer and player who clearly loves chess passionately.
Drawings - Arrgghh...
I only have one negative thing to say. The drawings of the chess legends that accompany each chapter are nothing short of horrible. They mock the masters instead of paying tribute to them. Also they are quite poor from a technical point of view. For example, the drawing of Fischer doesn’t look like Fischer at all and the drawing of Petrosian looks much more like Kortchnoi than Petrosian. Arrgghh!!
Marin is not responsible for the drawings and anyway they are not terribly important. The overall impression of the book is very good and I strongly recommend it for serious students of the game.