28 July 2007

Chess Torrents

While preparing the post for The Botvinnik - Smyslov Rivalry (III), I searched for 'Secret Matches -The Unknown Training Games of Botvinnik' by Jan Timman. One of the results of the search was a set of links to a collection of chess ebooks that I had never seen before. The collection was mentioned in several places, all with a common theme: Torrents. Here I had to admit ignorance.

A little more searching led to BitTorrent: 'A popular file sharing service developed by Bram Cohen that prevents people from downloading constantly unless they are willing to share in the overall transmission load on the network.' (www.answers.com). This explained the reason for my ignorance; I've never been interested in digital piracy.

Returning to the sites I'd found on the search for Timman's book, the '[www.underground-gamer.com] Chess Education Collection' (Warning: the ads on the page are XXX) boasts 461 files. Of these, 372 are PDFs and of the rest, more than 70 are decribed with nothing more than e.g. 'RUSSIAN 62 MB'. Total size: 4,857 MB.

A search for 'chess torrent' returned 'about 2,200,000' pages. Now I know the source of the eBay listings that offer a CD or DVD with hundreds of chess ebooks.

1 comment:

Peter Kirby said...

I apologize for a comment two years too late, but there is a basic error with saying that you've found the source of the eBay CD's/DVD's. Just because torrents give access to a large amount of chess material (albeit unlicensed) does not mean that this chess material is on these CD's/DVD's with large amounts of chess material. There could be other sources. If the CD's/DVD's are legal for sale in the US and other places, they most likely draw upon public domain sources (published 1921 or before, and in cases more recently). These are the same sources used by print publishers such as Dover... legally.