10 December 2009

Keen on Keene

Just so no one gets the wrong idea from last week's post Pinning the King, I'm a big fan of GM Raymond Keene. How could anyone serious about chess not be? -- British champion, assistant to a World Champion candidate, organizer of three World Championship matches, FIDE insider, prolific writer -- the man has done it all.

I have a number of Keene's books on World Championship matches of the last 30+ years and they all make good reading, with or without a chess board. They follow a consistent formula : an account of the historical setting for the match followed by light, occasionally skimpy, annotations for each game with an informative introduction on the importance of that particular game.

Keene understands chess as few writers do. Having said that, I'm not naive and I wouldn't transact any business with him. Nor would I take for granted everything he has written without confirming it against another source. Chess fans who ignore him or who dismiss him because of his obvious faults are overlooking a wonderful resource.

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