The Book Of The Nottingham Tournament

By Dr. A. Alekhinte Price $5.00

When a book containing the game scores of a tournament with an entry such as that at Nottingham, 1936, is published, the critic finds it convenient to use the trite phrase, "This book will be an ornament to anyone's chess library." I use the phrase, too, because it is peculiarly applicable. The Nottingham book is superbly bound, and printed on excellent paper with extremely clear diagrams and print. The book is, truly, an ornament.

But honesty compels me to say that here its virtues come to a lamentable end. The ¡heralded annotations of Dr. Alekhine are, to be frank, disappointing and at times even inadequate.

So far as the games themselves are concerned, chess players need not be disappointed. A tournament in which Botvinnik, Capablanca, Dr. Lasker, Euwe, Alekhine, Flohr, Fine and Resh-evsky took part was bound inevitably to produce chess masterpieces. And because of the importance of the tournament, it seems only logical to expect an intensive treatment of the games by the annotator; even more so when one recalls the magnificent analysis on record to Alek-hine's credit in the monumental. New York 1924 Tournament Book and his Deux Cent-Parties D'Echecs (Two Hundred Games of Chess) <

26 K-Kt2 ... 27 PxKt? PxPch Better 26 Q-K2, P-R4; 28 K-R1 BxKt

27 Q-Kt2, P-Kt5; 28 29 PxB R-Kt7 PxP, PxP; 29 Kt-R4 30 Q-K1

winning the exchange. Preventing ... Q-R5. 26 . . . Kt-B5ch!



Dr. Lasker

White resigns, for wins.

Dr. Lasker

White resigns, for wins.

And the intensive treatment is certainly missing in the Nottingham 1936 Tournament Book. Time and time again Alekhine contents himself with a brief and incoherent summary of general principles of play which because of their generality might as well have been left unwritten. He does not include many references to back up his arguments in reviewing the openings; knowing his immense theoretical knowledge of variations and where they were played, one seeks—but seldom finds—sufficient analysis to sustain his own general criticisms of the opening moves.

Part of this sketchy treatment can be attributed to the personal element. The Alekhine of 1936 is more certain of himself; since he did his splendid work on the 1924 book, thirteen years have intervened, bringing triumph after triumph until the Alekhine of 1936 is the disdainful master rather than the conscientious pupil of 1924. He takes much for granted now that he could not yet assume in times long past/

Thus I must in all fairness censure the Nottingham Tournament Book as being a splendid production of the bookmaker's art, a complete historical record of a great chess tournament— and a regrettably incomplete document of analytical criticism.—P. H, L,

Orders Filled by THE CHESS REVIEW

PILLSBURY'S CHESS CAREER By P. W. Sergeant and W. H. Watts

Price $2.50 A new and revised edition. More games have been added, bringing the total up to over 240, While the notes are not all they might be, American chess players should be grateful for this generous selection from the games of one of our greatest masters.

Incidentally, this seems to be a good oppor-

0 0

Post a comment