rec.games.chess.misc FAQ part 2/4
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 I'm a Novice/Intermediate. How Do I Improve?
 Recommended Openings (and Books) for Novice to Intermediate
 I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.)
 E-mail games, Live Net Chess
 FTP files
Subject: [13.1] I'm a Novice (or Intermediate). How Do I Improve?
There are lots of variations to the methods, but the things most good
teachers agree on is to emphasize (1) tactics, (2) endings, and (3)
playing with a plan. Most people spend too much time studying openings.
Just learn enough about openings to get to a playable middlegame. The
books listed below should give you a great start on (1), (2), and (3).
Of course, playing experience is important. Review your games (with a
much stronger player if possible) or your chess computer to find out
what you did right and wrong. Seek out games against stronger players,
and learn from them.
Some books are listed below to help in the quest to improve. You don't
need to buy all these--pick and choose as you please. Buy one or two
general works, a tactics book or two, and an endgame book.
You should also consider reviewing classical games by the masters:
Capablanca, Tal, and others. Read over well annotated games.
1. _Comprehensive Chess Course_ 2nd edition by GM Lev Alburt and Roman
Pelts (ISBN 0-9617-207-0-5). (Available as 2 separate vols. from Chess
Digest.) Expensive. Chess neophytes (i.e., NOT most rec.games.chess
readers) will find volume I useful; otherwise, try volume II. Good
teaching material for an intro-to-chess class. (It is now in its 3rd
2. _Play Winning Chess_. Yasser Seirawan,Jeremy Silman. $9.95 (ISBN
1-55615-271-X) Introduction to chess for the beginner. Interesting and
enthusiastic. Fundamentals, themes of tempo, space, etc.
3. _Logical Chess Move by Move_ by Irving Chernev (ISBN 0-671-21135-8).
Looks at 30 or so games, and comments on the thought behind *every*
move. Bridges the gap between novice and intermediate books.
4. _How to Reassess Your Chess_ by IM Jeremy Silman 3rd Edition.
Explains how to formulate a plan. An excellent improvement program for
the intermediate player. Good companion to assist in understanding of
Nimzovich my system.
5. _The Ideas Behind the Openings_ by Reuben Fine. 0-8129-1756-1.
Algebraic edition. McKay Chess Library. $11.95. Not state of the art
opening theory, but the ideas are explained move by move. For beginners
to C level.
6. _How to Play the Opeining in Chess_ by Raymond Keene and David Levy.
Batsford Chess Library 1993. (ISBN0-8050-2937-0). General outline of
many openings. Classics
7. _Complete Idiots Guide To Chess. 2nd Edition 2002. Patrick Wolf
8. _The Worlds Greatest Chess Games. Graham Burgess, John Nunn, John
More For Stage 2
1. _My System_ by Aron Nimzovich (ISBN 0-679-14025-5). Must read for
class C and above. Then reread.
2. Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch. Hard to find, still in print.
Helps one understand some of the concepts of Nimzovich. Not as well
known as My System, but, in spite of strange terminology, presents
3. _The Game of Chess_ by Siegbert Tarrasch (ISBN 0-486-25447-X).
Excellent instruction for intermediates.
4. _Judgment and Planning in Chess by Dr. Max Euwe. (ISBN 0-679-14325-4)
McKay Chess Library 5. _Road to Chess Improvement Alex Yermolinsky.
Getting Even Better:
1. _Chess Under the Microscope Paul Motwani
1. Chess Tactics for Students. John Bain. Clear diagrams, large format.
Clear and unconfusing presentation of pins, forks, back rank combos,
double attacks, discovered checks, skewers, double threats, pawn
promotion, perpetual check, removing the guard, zugzwang. For chess
players of all ages. Use this book before going on to more difficult
ones such as Pandolfini's Chessercises. While the 1900 player will not
consider either of these difficult, the 1400 and below player will
definitely benefit from this one. More information is at the author's "
http://www.peak.org/~bainj/index.html" home page .
2. Winning Chess Tactics. Yasser Seirawan, Jeremy Silman. (ISBN
1-55615-474-7) Tactics and combinations for the beginning student of
chess. Includes double attacks, pins, skewer, deflection, decoy.
3. _1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations_ by Fred Reinfeld
(ISBN 0-87980-111-5). A cheap book of 1001 tactical quizzes, most from
actual games. Mix of easy & hard. Great for improving tactical ability.
Also 1001 Ways to Checkmate by the same author.
4. _Test your Tactical Ability_ Yakov Neishtadt. Batsford Chess Library
1981 & 1991. $24.95. Includes Decoying, attraction, destroying the
gurard, pin, clearing a square, closing a line, blocking, combinations
and a tactics exam. Many examples from older games and classics. Full
explanations of answers. _Your Move_ is another helpful book by the same
1. _Essential Chess Endings Explained Move by Move_ by IM Jeremy Silman
(ISBN 0-87568-172-7). Very clear explanations of basic endings. For
novices and intermediates.
2. _Pandolfini's Endgame Course_ by NM Bruce Pandolfini (ISBN
0-671-65688-0). Another good endgame book for novices and intermediates.
3. Chess Endings, Essential Knowledge. Y. Averbakh. Concentrates on
basic positions and classical endings.
Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess: Simon & Schuster. Windows in many flavors.
IM Mauice Ashley's infectious enthusiasm will gently guide your
youngster to learn many basic chess concepts. He reviews basic concepts
and moves and uses sports analgies to go over a variety of concepts.
Video coaching is done by Maurice, who may complement you or let you
know you've done something pretty dumb. Exercises help visualization and
Chess Mentor by Aficionado, Inc. http://www.chess.com
. Expert content
developed by chess masters is presented to the user. Together with the
release of Chess Mentor 1.1, five new Challenge Modules have also been
released. The challenges in these new modules are written by IMs John
Grefe, Jeremy Silman, Marc Leski and others.
Chess Mentor by Aficionado, Inc. 1-800-465-9301 (toll free in USA)
Chessbase - multitude of software and database information
Subject: [13.2] New To The Net & Chess. What Do I Do?
The first thing to do is to go play some chess!
Visit the Internet Chess Club which has information on its home page at
Visit: Java based Instant Chess at: http://www.instantchess.com/
Subject:  Recommended Openings (and Books) for Novices to
Remember your goal is to reach a playable middlegame. Don't worry about
what is popular, or what the Masters play. As GM Lombardy once said, all
openings offer good winning chances in amateur play.
As you become stronger, you can shop around for an opening yourself. At
first you should play many openings. Don't learn them too deep at first.
Learn the principles of the opening and the reasons behind the moves. It
is important early in your chess undertakings to spend more time on
tactics. Or as someone else put it "TACTICS, TACTICS, TACTICS!" But of
course opening theory or at least the theory of develpment is important
so you can last more than 10 moves in a game.
Besides what is recommended here, you may want a general manual to
browse in (not study from!). _Modern Chess Openings_ 13th edition
(MCO-13) or _Batsford Chess Openings_ edition 2 (BCO-2) are good
An even better choice of opening manual for both beginners and
intermediates is the prose based "Standard Chess Openings" by ERic
Schiller from Cardoza Press.
General Opening Books:
1. _The Ideas Behind the Openings_ by Reben Fine. 0-8129-1756-1.
Algebraic edition. McKay Chess Library. $11.95. Not state of the art
opening theory, but the ideas are explained move by move. For beginners
to C level.
2. _How to Play the Opeining in Chess_ by Raymond Keene and David Levy.
Batsford Chess Library 1993. (ISBN0-8050-2937-0). General outline of
3. _Essential Chess Openings_ by Jon Speelman and Raymond Keene.
Batsford Chess Library. $16.95. This contains outlines of a large
variety of openings with no discussion. The lines are reasonably current
(as of publication date in 1992).
Opening 1.e4 is a really good idea. It will get you into tactics fast.
Yes, you may last a few moves longer against a Master by cowering around
with 1.Nf3 2.g3 3.Bg2 4.O-O etc., but you won't learn as much or improve
as fast. Add a gambit or two to your system if you open 1.e4.
Recommended books for White Opening:
_Winning with 1.e4_ (ISBN 0-87568-174-5) by GM Andy Soltis. Covers all
(reasonable) Black responses with good lines which tend to avoid the
_Mastering The Spanish with the Read and Play Method. by Daniel King &
Pietro Ponzetto. Henry Holt and Company. 1994. ISBN 0-8050-3278-9. An
excellent introductory discussion of the Ruy. Introduces themes and
strategies and is organized by the type of Center that arises. The best
introduction to an opening for a midlevel player I have seen. (that is
why I placed this specific opening book here.)
As a response to 1.e4, establish pawn control in the center by either 1.
.... e5 or 1. ... c5 (Sicilian), or make a "strong-point" at d5 by either
1. ... e6 (French) or 1. ... c6 (Caro-Kann), followed by 2. ... d5.
Playing 1. ... e5 will subject you to some hairy attacks, but again, you
will learn tactics thereby. To help avoid reams of theory, use the
Petroff defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6) if you choose 1. ... e5. 1. ... c5
(the Sicilian) has rather a lot of White possibilities to play against,
but is sound and aggressive at the same time. Many people know versions
of the Sicilian fairly deep and this may cost you many games. The French
and the Caro-Kann are a bit easier to play, but don't run into as many
early tactics (usually). As a response to 1.d4, play 1. ... d5 and then
follow 2.c4 (the most typical 2nd move) with either 2. ... dxc4 (Queen's
Gambit Accepted), 2. ... e6 (Queen's Gambit Declined), or 2. ... c6
(Slav Defense). The first promotes early tactics, and the other two have
the advantage usually producing similar pawn structures to the French
Defense and Caro-Kann, respectively. If you play French and QGD or
Caro-Kann and Slav, you are less likely to be confused by transpositions
if White varies his move order in the early stages, e.g., by opening
1.Nf3. Recommended books for Black Opening: _A Complete Black Defense to
1.P-K4_ by Cafferty and Hooper. The main line is the Petroff Defense,
but the authors also show how to handle the other possibilities, e.g.,
the King's Gambit. _How to Play the Sicilian Defense Against all White
Possibilities_ (ISBN 0-87568-168-9) by GM Andy Soltis and Ken Smith. _A
Complete Black Defense to 1.P-Q4_ by Cafferty and Hooper. The main line
is the Queen's Gambit Accepted, but the authors also show how to handle
the other possibilities, e.g., the Richter-Veresov Attack. The
disadvantage is you aren't shown how to handle other closed openings
such as 1.Nf3, 1.c4, etc. although these can frequently be transposed
into the QGA. _A Complete Black Repertoire_ (ISBN 0-87568-163-8) by IM
Jeremy Silman. Based around the French and Queen's Gambit Declined. _A
Black Defensive System for the Rest of Your Chess Career_ by GM Andy
Soltis. Based around the Caro-Kann and Slav.
I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.)
You may not actually need this section because you may have already
figured out what to do at your current elevated status of chess playing.
In case you are looking, aimlessly for things to do to improve. I will
recommend a few good sources of material. At the higher levels, tactical
ability is a given. Opening theory will become increasingly important.
So will the occasional surprise, something outside of your usual
repertoire. It is important to develop a sense of both what positional
improvements are possible and what dynamics underly a given position.
Methods of choosing and analyzing "candidate moves" is increasingly
important - and has at no level really not been important. The use of
computer database software to study recent games will be useful. At a
high level, you will be able to study the games of your opponent. The
assistance of high level chess program to analyze lines that either you
or your opponent plays can also be helpful and serve as a double check
on your own analysis. You should analyze not only the games you lose,
but also those you win. Be sure that you know the errors you made in the
games that you have won. When looking at games for ideas, in addition to
looking at the Informants and NIC yearbooks you may also consider
looking at high level correspondance chess games. These contain themes
that have been worked out with considerable time and effort. New ideas
and older ones that may have been overlooked may frequently be obtained
from the Correspondance Chess. The Correspondence Chess Yearbook, is a
periodical that covers many key correspondance games. It is published by
the Italian firm s1 Editrice. (See publications for more information).
Monographs are also available on a wide variety of openings. These are
quite comprehensive. They are available in paper, and disk in the
formats acrobat and chessbase. Sample opening monographs include the
French Winawer, Caro-Kann advance, Cambridge Springs, Benoni Defence
Taimanov Variation (A67) English Opening (A21), Sicilian Defence Najdorf
Variation (B99), Semi-Slav Botvinnik Variation (D44) and the The
Leningrad Variation in the Dutch (A89).
Books useful at a higher level of chess play:
Think Like a Grandmaster, GM Kotov. 200 pages. Difficult reading.
Concepts easily understandable. But you need a bit of a gift to apply.
But then you are "really good" and want to be better.
Grandmaster Achievement. GM Polugayevsky. 223 pages.
Chess Master...at any Age. NM Wetzell. 300 pages. Easy reading. Wetzell
obtained his Master title at age 50. There may be hope!
Training For the Tournament Player. IM Dvoretsky and GM Yusupov. Learn
how to determine your strengths and weaknesses and improve.
Mastering the Endgame, Vol 1. GM Shereshevsky and Slutsky. Endings from
the open and semi-open games. Sicilian, Caro-Kann, French, Ruy.
Mastering the Endgame, Vol 2. GM Shereshevsky and Slutsky. Endings from
the QG and closed openings. English, etc.
Batsford Chess Endings, by GM Speelman, Im Tisdall, Im Wade. Single
volume endings encyclopedia. You should have your endings under control
after this one.
Dynamic Chess Strategy. Mihai Suba. Pergamon Chess. 144 pages. Offbeat
humerous book describing Suba's philosophy toward strategy. Over 800
games of GM Suba may be found in Chess Assistant's Gigantic 350,000+
database of games. Suba loves the hedgehog. NM Allan Savage recommends
this book as a "classic to be".
Books for Children
Following is a "Scholastic Chess Syllabus" developed by Ken Sloan. It is
intended as a shopping list for parents who don't know the literature.
There are many other good books - this is simply one collection.
Scholastic Chess Syllabus of Ken Sloan (with Ken's comments)
Pawn&Queen and In Between, Volume 1, Number 1. Available from USCF. In
quantity 10, it comes with a Teacher's Guide. "This is the book that I
give to everyone who walks in the door. I consider it an excellent
starting point. In spite of the title, there will be no "Number 2". It's
a good guide to large-group lecture-style teaching - but I prefer to
have "good readers" go through it by themselves (or with their parents)
and then use it as the basis for questions."
1) Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, by Fischer, Margulies,& Mosenfelder ISBN
0-553-25735-8, paperback from Bantam. Kids love this book. No notation.
Every page contains a single problem. The answer (and the next problem)
is overleaf. After reading the right-hand pages, you turn the book over
and go through it again, reading the left-hand (upside-down) pages.
Concentrates on MATE! No board required. I give this book as a prize
2) Play Winning Chess, by Seirawan (with Silman) ISBN ?-???-?????-?,
paperback by Tempus Books of Microsoft Press. Explanation of basic
strategic concepts (space, time, etc.) Combining this book with Winning
Chess Tactics (see below) gives a consistent, enjoyable 2-book sequence.
3) Winning Chess Tactics, by Seirawan and Silman. ISBN 1-55615-474-7,
paperback by Tempus Books of Microsoft Press. Explanation of basic
tactics, examples, and tests. Biographies of famous "tactical" players,
from Anderssen to Kasparov, along with representative games.
4) Let's Play Chess: A Step-By-Step Guide for all First-Time Players, by
Pandolfini. ISBN 0-671-61983-7, paperback from Fireside (Simon &
Schuster). For the text-oriented kid. Every paragraph has a point, and a
number. Can easily be skipped - but has lots of useful ideas, in pithy
5) Square One: A Chess Drill Book for Children and Their Parents, by
Pandolfini. ISBN 0-671-65689-9, paperback from Fireside (Simon &
Schuster). Workbook format. The paragraphs are still numbered. Lots of
diagrams, lots of questions to answer.
6) Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps (202 Openings Designed to Instruct
Players of All Levels). ISBN 0-671-65690, paperback from Fireside (Simon
& Schuster). One opening (actually, one line) per page - showing an
instructive shot, and a bit of analysis of the ideas. Useful as a source
of 202 short lessons - but also a good book for a low-beginner to read
through in search of opening ideas - there are 202 to choose from!
7) Weapons of Chess: an Omnibus of Chess Strategy, by Pandolfini. ISBN
0-671-65972-3, paperback from Fireside (Simon & Schuster). A collection
of short ruminations on every topic you can think of. almost always with
a diagram, and a lesson attached. No board necessary, even for
low-beginners. An "idea" book.
8) Pandolfini's Endgame Course, by Pandolfini. ISBN 0-671-65688-0,
paperback from Fireside (Simon & Schuster). Highly recommended. Short
lessons on the endgame, beginning with KQRk and ending (238 endgames
later) with KNPkb. KBNk is handled in Endgames 16 through 24, one small
step at a time. Beginners will need a board the first time (or two)
through the book. When the material is well understood, the player
should be able to read through each lesson without benefit of a board.
9) Chessercizes: New Winning Techniques for Players of All Levels, by
Pandolfini. ISBN 0-671-70184-3, paperback from Fireside (Simon &
Schuster) . Not exactly "problems"; not exactly "lessons". Written in
the modern Pandolfini style - one idea/example per page. Easy to take in
short segments, or as fodder for lessons.
10) Chess for Tigers, 2nd edition, by Simon Webb. ISBN 0-08-037788-2,
paperback from Permagon Press General advice on varied topics, with a
lesson woven into every chapter. Finally, Ken Sloan's recommendations on
opening books. Students who learn from Pandolfini will "naturally" play
double K-pawn openings. I see no reason to interfere with this for quite
some time. Eventually, they want somethings more meaty. My approach is
to first introduce the Evans Gambit - and then the Ruy Lopez.
11) Evans Gambit And A System Vs. Two Knights Defense, by Tim Harding.
ISBN 0-87568-194-8, paperback from Chess Digest. An excellent
presentation of opening ideas which will appeal to the young player.
Beginners need to be cautioned to simply follow the "bold type" - on
later passes they can come back for another level of detail, and then
another, etc. Emphasis on complete games.
12) How to Play the Ruy Lopez, by Shaun Taulbut. ISBN 07134 4873 3,
paperback from Batsford. Good presentation of essential opening
material. Can be read at several levels - starting with simply the text
introductions to each chapter and "just the bold type" for the main
line. Details can be picked up in later passes through the book, and in
analysis of games actually played. This book can be used for ideas on
how to meet the Ruy Lopez *as Black*, while still aiming for the Evans
Gambit with White. By now - we're probably well out of the "kids books"
area. I believe that any 6th grader (and most 4th graders) can read all
of the above books. I suspect that these books will take any beginner to
at least USCF 1400. By that time, the student will be ready for the
"adult" literature, and the choice of books becomes much more
personalized, depending on choice of openings, style, etc.
Other books/software useful for children include:
1) Chess Tactics For Students, by John A. Bain, ISBN
0-9639614-0-3,available from John Bain, P.O. Box 398, Philomath, OR
97370 or . $14.95 Students or Teachers Edition. 20%
discount with orders of 10 or more student editions Free Teachers
edition with order of 15. Introduction to tactics. Clear, large format
book with excellent typeface. Step by step explanation of problem
solving. "fill in the blank" response area in text. Start with problem,
use hints if necessary, then check answers. Good for young and beginning
players who need practise in tactics. Excellent for group or individual
use. Important and often neglected area of study between learning the
moves and learning the openings. I (SP) recommend this book highly
before attempting Pandolfini's Chessercises, which is a bit difficult
for beginners and lower level players. More information is at the
author's "http://www.peak.org/~bainj/index.html" home page .
2) Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess (CDROM) Bookup. $49. Software version of
book mentioned above, plus an excellent chess engine.
3) Josh Waitzkin's Attacking Chess. Josh Waitzkin(IM). Fireside Chess
Library,1995. $12.00. Entertaining, well written approach to tactics,
from Josh's games.
4) The Chess Doctor. Bruce Pandolfini. Fireside Chess Library, 1995.
Chess prescriptions for what ails your game. Maurice Ashley Teaches
Chess: Simon & Schuster. Windows 95 & Windows 3.1. Requires 486 33 MgHz
or faster. 8 MG RAM. 8 bit or greater sound card. IM Mauice Ashley's
infectious enthusiasm will gently guide your youngster to learn many
basic chess concepts. He reviews basic concepts and moves and uses
sports analgies to go over a variety of concepts. Video coaching is done
by Maurice, who may complement you or let you know you've done something
pretty dumb. Exercises help visualization and planning.
Subject:  Publications
_Ajedrez Universal_, Luis Hoyos-Millan, P.O. Box 10020, Staten Island,
_APCT News Bulletin_, c/o Helen Warren, P.O. Box 70, Western Springs, IL
60558. Correspondence chess.
_BDG World_, 303 Cleveland St., P.O. Box 66, Headland, AL 36345.
_Blitz Chess_, WBCA, 8 Parnassus Rd., Berkeley, CA, 94708. Edited by GM
Walter Browne, who also founded the World Blitz Chess Association. The
WBCA runs "blitz" (5 minutes/game) tournaments and has a separate rating
_Caissa's Chess News_, P.O. Box 09091, Cleveland, OH 44109.
_Chess_, Chess & Bridge, Ltd., 369 Euston Road, London, England NW1 3AR.
Phone (+44) 071 388 2404. General manager is IM Malcolm Pein. 12
issues/year; subscription rates a UK L23.95/yr, L45/2 yrs; Europe
L29.95/yr, L56.95/2 yrs; USA/Canada (2nd class airmail) $49.95/yr, $95/2
_Chess Circuit_ PO Box 1962, London NW4 4NF Edited by Adam Raoof 6
Issues/yr UK L12.00/yr Europe L14.00/yr US or CAN L17.00/yr e-mail
Mag for the active tournament player.
_Chess Informant_ by Sahovski Informator, P.O. Box 739, Francuska 31,
11001 Beograd, Yugoslavia (Serbia). Published in March, August, and
December (semi-annually before 1991). Consists of "good" games (judged
by committee) from major tournaments; as well as interesting positions
(combinations, endings) given as a quiz, and tournament crosstables.
There are about 750 games/issue classified by opening (known as _ECO_
classification). Notation is figurine algebraic; games are annotated
(often by the players) with special ideographs (defined for 10
languages). The January & July FIDE rating lists are published in the
following edition. _Informant_ games are also available in
_Chess Life_ magazine and/or _School Mates_ magazine--see .
_The Computer Chess Gazette_, Box 2841, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.
714-770-8532. Focuses on computer chess.
_The Correspondence Chess Yearbook,A four-monthly periodical dedicated
to the correspondence game Format - cm 24 x 17; pag. 240 in each volume;
Algebraic annotation with figurines; Opening Classification ECO; Approx.
350 annotated games plus theoretic and written articles in each number;
Ranking and results tables of the most prestigious tournaments;
s1 Editrice S.r.l. - Via Porrettana, 111, 40135 Bologna Italy Fax
*39-51-6147636 - C.C.P. - 18367409 - Credit Card - Visa, American
Express, Master card, Euro Card - Email:
_GMA News_, 2 Avenue de la Tanche, 1160 Brussels, Belgium.
_International Computer Chess Association (ICCA) Journal_ published
quarterly. Membership/subscription is $40/year (Hfl. 60). Follows
computer chess worldwide. ICCA, c/o Don Beal, Department of Computing
Science, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS,
England. ICCA Europe, c/o Prof. Dr. H. J. van den Herik, Department of
Computer Science, University of Maastricht, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD
Maasticht, The Netherlands
_New In Chess_ published by Interchess BV, P.O. Box 393, 1800 AJ
Alkmaar, The Netherlands. http://www.newinchess.com/
1- Scacchi e Scienze Applicate
articles/surveies in Italian and/or English.
WRITE for sample Issue TO:
I-30122 Venezia - ITALY
2- Sinfonie Scacchistiche
articles/surveies in Italian and/or English
WRITE for Sample Issue TO:
Via carpenino, 8
I-19121 La Spezia - ITALY
near L.30.000/50.000 (Italian)
WRITE for Sample Issue TO:
Corso Diaz, 3
I-12084 Mondovi (Cuneo) - ITALY
near L.55.000/90.000 (Italian)
4- L'Italia Scacchistica
WRITE for Sample Issue TO:
Via Lamarmora, 40
I-20122 Milano - ITALY
near L.80.000/120.000 (Italian)
5- Informazione Scacchi
WRITE for sample Issue TO:
Via Baracca, 4
near L. 25.000 in Italy
Subject:  Where to Get Books and Equipment
*This area needs revision*
Chess Digest, Inc., P.O. Box 59029, Dallas, TX 75229. 800-462-3548; fax
214-869-9305. Massive selection of books; also boards, sets, and clocks.
Limited computers and software. Large (!) catalog available.
Chessco, P.O. Box 8, Davenport, IA 52805-0008. 319-323-7117. Associated
with Thinker's Press publishers. Books, boards, clocks. Catalog
Computer Chess Gazette, Box 2841, Laguna Hills, CA 92654. 714-770-8532.
Chess computers and software.
Electronic Games, 1678 Mayfield Road, Lapeer, Michigan 48446.
800-227-5603 or 313-664-2133. Computers, software, and clocks.
Heath's Cliffside Cottage, 14002 Frederick Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68138
1(402)-896-4550, 1-800-406-0445.Chess sets, boards, books, clocks,
videos, t-shirts and sweatshirts, scorebooks and other chess related
items. Private or small group instruction at reasonable rates. Master
Card, Visa and American Express. e-mail address is
ICD Corp., 21 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746.
800-645-4710 or 516-424-3300. Chess computers and software. Associated
with _Computer Chess Reports_ (see ). Highly recommended on RGC.
Lindsay Chess Supplies, Box 2381, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. 313-995-8738.
Books, sets, clocks. Possibly the cheapest source for _Informants_.
Metro Game Center (Jeff Prentiss), 4744 Chicago Avenue S., Minneapolis,
MN 55407. 612-874-9555.
National Chess and Games, P.O. Box 17278, Anaheim, CA 92817.
PBM International Corp. Inc., 11 Church Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
800-726-4685; fax 201-783-0580. Computers, software, and clocks. Catalog
Jon C. Rather, P.O. Box 273, Kensington, MD 20895. 301-942-0515. Used
Sound Chess, Inc., P.O. Box 7504, Boulder, CO 80306. Audio tapes
(cassettes), video tapes (VHS), books and software. Send $1 for catalog.
Fred Wilson, 80 E 11th St, Suite 334, New York, NY 10003. 212-533-6381.
Specializes in out-of-print and rare chess books; also fine chess sets.
USCF - books, boards, sets, clocks, computers, software (see ).
World Wide Web Chess Superstore. 3125 Bridge Ave., Suite B, Pt.
Pleasant, NJ 08742 USA 1-800-425-3555. E-Mail:
Publisher and retailer of chess books, chess videos, chess software and
chess equipment. Illustrated on-line catalog with secure server on-line
shopping. Free monthly on-line publication "SmartChess Online" with many
GM contributors and columnists.
Subject:  E-Mail Games, ICS, Mailing Lists, Gopher, Usenet reader
The Internet Chess Server (ICS) was originally developed by Michael
Moore ). This is the origin of the joy of
internet chess. The ICS allows interactive chess games for those
with Internet telnet capability. Use telnet (e.g., "telnet chessclub.com
5000") to connect. URL's (Uniform Resource Locators do not seem to
always connect well with alternate port numbers, so you may need to log
on by manually configuring your telnet client for port 5000
The four major ones as described below are ICC (The Internet Chess Club
at telnet chessclub.com 5000), FICS (Free Internet Chess Server at
telnet ics.onenet.net 5000), Kasparov.com (available via web
interface) and Chess.Net accessible via their software from - Chess.Net
Live Chess ).
After logging on type "help interfaces" to see what software would be
most appropriate for your system. In March of 1995, the old ICS has
become the Internet Chess Club (ICC). The ICC now charges $49.95 per
year for registration. Students are half price. Full details are
available online and at their website:
. Questions can be answered via
email at: . To play on the ICC, all you need to do is
get free graphical software at http://www.chessclub.com" with a link.
Press escape after logging on using Blitzen to play for free as a guest
* There are over 10,000 members on ICC, from all over the world.
* A database of 90,000 plus games is available for searching
* There are often hundreds of people logged in.
* Players range in skill from Grandmaster down to beginner, so you can
always find someone at your level.
Some GMs who have played at the ICC include:
Adams GM Michael Adams, England.
Leon - A. Shirov
A-Morozevich GM Alexander Morozevich, Russia.
A-Baburin GM Alexander Baburin, Ireland.
A-Khalifman GM Alexander Khalifman, Russia.
Dlugy GM Maxim Dlugy, USA
Doccy GM John Nunn
EasyToGuess GM Joel Lautier, France.
E-Bareev GM Evgeny Bareev, Russia.
FlyingPiket GM Jeroen Piket, Netherlands.
junior GM Ilya Gurevich, USA
Tioro GM Tal Shaked, USA.
velimirovich New GM Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan,Baku, Fide Rating
2567 (1 October 2001), 14 years old when obtained GM, (born in 1987)
* This is "live" chess, not e-mail chess! It only takes a second or
two to transmit your move to your opponent (unless there is bad lag on
* It's a fun, club-like atmosphere,
with people talking about chess, kibitzing during games, shouting
greetings to each other, discussing sports, arguing politics, fees etc.
* play chess 24 hours a day.
* play games using any time
control you and your opponent agree to, ranging from one minute for the
whole game to 5 hours.
* get ratings for blitz, slow chess, and "wild/randomized games. Each
game is rated right after it is played. You can play unrated also.
* watch Grandmasters and International Masters
* play over and study the past 20 games of any ICS
* obtain "graphical interfaces", that allow you to make moves
with a mouse on a board on your screen. These are available for PCs,
Mac, and Unix machines. do "help interface".
* talk to people from all
over the world, with the many commands for communicating: tell, shout,
* search a 7000+ game database of GM, IM and Master
games. For more information, just login into ICC, and look around.
"help" and "info" give you a list of all the files of information that
you can read. You can also talk to an administrator if you have any
questions or problems. Administrators can be found by typing "who" and
looking for a "*" by their name. All may log on and play chess, but if
you wish to have your games recorded and develop a rating, register on
There are several IC Servers running: FICS (Free Internet Chess Server)
- A new location for FICS appeared at ics.onenet.net 5000 in March of
1995. This was begun in response to the new system of charges at ICC
(formerly ICS). The free spirit of the internet lives on here.
Contribute in a positive way to that spirit by volunteering to help with
code enhancements or in whatever way you can. New features include
simultaneous game feature, a new rating system, and has even stimulated
the development of more than one FAQ dedicated to a discussion of FICS
vs. ICC. Events similar to those seen on ICC will also be seen here. I
suggest visiting both the ICC and FICS to get a feel for the atmosphere,
chess played and guests and then deciding whether you want to hang out
on one server or the other or visit both. Help files here may also be
mailed to your e-mail address once you are registered. If you would like
to contribute time and effort to the free server contact an
administrator once registered. Much of the description above for ICC
also holds true for FICS. At FICS you may: You can: * play chess 24
hours a day. * play games using any time control you and your opponent
agree to, ranging from one minute for the whole game to 5 hours. * get
ratings for blitz, slow chess, and "wild/randomized games. Each game is
rated right after it is played. You can play unrated also.
Chess servers using a version of FICS --------------
Main sites maintained by group of admins:
AICS/FICS: fics.onenet.net 5000 (220.127.116.11 5000) Main US
EICS: eics.daimi.aau.dk 5000 (18.104.22.168 5000) Main
Other national sites:
BICS: crocus.warwick.ac.uk 5000 (22.214.171.124 5000) British
CrICS: fly.cc.fer.hr 7890 (126.96.36.199 7890) Croatian
DICS: dics.dds.nl 5000 (188.8.131.52 5000) Dutch
FrICS: chess.eerie.fr 5000 (184.108.40.206 5000) France
GICS: chess.unix-ag.uni-kl.de 5000 (220.127.116.11 5000) Germany
MaxICS: callisto.si.usherb.ca 5000 Canada
MICS: wisdom.weizmann.ac.il 5000 (18.104.22.168 5000) Mid-east
UCHICS: cipres.cec.uchile.cl 5000 (22.214.171.124 5000) Chile
ZICS: ics.interdomain.net.au 5000 (126.96.36.199 5000) Australia
mezquite.iico.uaslp.mx 5000 (188.8.131.52 5000) Mexico
fics.infcom.it 5000 Italy
cygnus.csa.iisc.ernet.in 5000 (184.108.40.206 5000) India
gsi.gsini.net 5000 (220.127.116.11 5000)
Rockaway, NJ, US
rogue.coe.ohio-state.edu 5000 (18.104.22.168 5000)
Columbus, OH, US
tom.cjkware.com port 23
Graphical Interfaces for ICS There are several graphical interfaces
available for the ICS. All are available via anonymous ftp from the
chess UPitt ftp site, in the directory pub/chess. See "help addresses"
and "help ftp" on ICS for the location of the ftp site and instructions
on how to use it.
An oldtime favorite of mine is SLICS found at:
others may be found at UPitt via
Chess client may be found
WinBoard/XBoard is very useful and popular. It may be found at:
. More information on winboard and
winboard resources is in part 3 of this FAQ.
NAME Operating System Author
GIICS DOS with modem LLama
NGIICS DOS with TCP/IP LLama
ZIICS DOS with modem Zek
JIICS DOS with modem (requires VGA/mouse) Peluri
Monarc DOS with modem Kevster
Raja Elephant MS Windows and modem (also known as "WICS") fischer
Gilchess MS Windows and modem Azorduldu
SLICS MS Windows 3.1 - TCP/IP dfong
PMICS OS/2 PM and modem (get pmics091.exe,
in pub/chess/DOS/OLD-STUFF) woof
XBoard Unix with X windows and TCP/IP (or modem) mann
WinBoard WinNT and Win95 mann
XICS Unix with X windows and TCP/IP observer
cics Unix with ordinary terminal (e.g. vt100) observer
NeXTICS NeXT with modem or TCP/IP red
MacICS Mac douglas
MacICS-TCP Mac with TCP/IP eew
E-ICS Mac douglas
Aics Amiga fischer
Programmers: Please do "help programmers" for suggestions about how to
parse the output from this server.
The International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF),
defines Correspondence chess as: "Correspondence chess is defined
as a game of chess in which the players do not sit opposite each other
at the chess board to make their moves. Correspondence chess normally is
any game of chess in which the moves are mutually delivered by post or,
in a wider sense, where the moves are made by any other form of
The International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) is the CC
equivalent of FIDE, acting as the world governing body for the
correspondence game. It is a democratic organisation open to the
participation of all players through their national CC organisations.
IECG ( http://www.iccf.com/
The International Email Chess Club [IECC] http://www.iecg.org/
is a very
popular and informal Internet group. The IECC defines itself as a small
intimate chess club and was founded by Lisa Powell. The IECC is free and
has a variety of special events including thematic tournaments, swiss
tournaments, round robin, two match pairings, etc.
CC (Correspondence Chess) Acronyms
ICCF: International Correspondence Chess Federation. Officially governs
IECC: Internet Email Chess Club. Independent; runs free e-mail events.
IECG: International E-Mail Chess Group. Now staging a revival; runs free
IFSB: Internationaler Fernschach Bund. Pre-war forerunner of ICCF.
ICCA: Irish Correspondence Chess Association. (An earlier body called
ICCA was reconstituted as ICCF in 1949).
Top 10 ICCF Players (October 2001)
Berliner, Dr Hans USA GM 2763 41
Timmerman, Gert Jan NLD GM 2734 145
Andersson, Ulf SVE GM 2731` 29
Oosterom, Joop J. van NLD GM 2714 147
Rause, Olita LAT GM 2708 165
Tarnowiecki, Harald OST GM 2692 136
Elwert, Hans-Marcus GER GM 2687 203
Neumann, Joachim GER GM 2685 45
Webb, Simon ENG GM 2665 142
Anton, Volker-Michael GER GM 2664 225
The current top 200 may be found at:
The rec.games.chess.misc and other groups may be viewed at:
 Material Available via Anonymous FTP
FTP is a way of copying files between networked computers. Information
on it is available via anonymous FTP from
"ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/news.answers/finding-sources" rtfm.mit.edu in
the file /pub/usenet/news.answers/finding-sources. If you do not know
how to use anonymous FTP or do not have access to it, you can retrieve
the file by sending an e-mail message to with
"send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" as the body of the message.
(Send a message containing "help" for general information on the
server.) Or, see the posting titled "How to find sources (READ THIS
BEFORE POSTING)" in the news groups comp.sources.wanted or news.answers.
Information on what the various compression extensions mean (like ".Z")
and what utilities are available to deal with them can be found in the
comp.compression FAQ list (see the posting in comp.compression or
news.answers titled "comp.compression Frequently Asked Questions," or
rtfm.mit.edu in the file /pub/usenet/news.answers/compression-faq.
A general repository for chess-related material is
somewhat associated with the Internet Chess Server (ICS). Currently, the
'ICS FTP host' is "ftp://ics.onenet.net/pub/chess" ics.onenet.net or via
the web: "http://caissa.onenet.net/chess/" Caissa.onenet.net Material is
in the pub/chess directory. New material may be placed in
pub/chess/uploads. Many freeware chess programs for different platforms,
including graphical ICS (see ) clients, are available (e.g., for
MS-DOS, MacOS, AmigaOS, NeXT, and UNIX vt100 or X Windows interfaces).
Scores of various matches and other groups of games as well.
An outline of some of the available directories on ICS follows:
pub/chess: general chess directory
pub/chess/PGN: Portable Game Notation directory
pub/chess/PGN/Standard: ASCII version of the PGN Standard
pub/chess/PGN/Standard.TOC: Table of Contents for above
pub/chess/PGN/Events: directory of directories of events by year
pub/chess/PGN/Players: directory with many PGN games by player
pub/chess/Tests: directory with many chess program test positions
pub/chess/Tests/Manifest: description of EPD test files
pub/chess/TB: endgame tablebases
pub/chess/TB/README-TB: tablebase decyphering documentation
pub/chess/TB/tbt.c: ANSI C tablebase test harness
pub/chess/PGN/Tools: PGN tools and utilities directory
pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz: Standard Algebraic Notation source kit
Chaos. A chess tournament pairing program (Swiss pairing as well as
Round Robin), GNU General Public License, runs on the Commodore-Amiga,
available from AmiNet mirrors (e.g., wuarchive.wustl.edu), under
/pub/aminet/game/think. GNU chess. Gnuchess is a freely available
chess-playing software program. Gnuchess 4.0 can be FTP'ed from: *
"ftp://prep.ai.mit.edu" prep.ai.mit.edu * "ftp://export.lcs.mit.edu"
export.lcs.mit.edu * and probably other sites
It can be compiled for X Windows (with XBoard, below), SunView, curses,
IBM PC character set, or ASCII interfaces. Included in the package are
the utilities gnuan (analysis program), game (PostScript printout),
postprint (prints hashfile), checkgame (checks a game listing for
illegal moves), and checkbook (checks the opening book for illegal
moves). It has been posted to gnu.chess. LaTex chess macros. Piet
Tutelaers' ) chess LaTex package (version 1.2) may
be FTP'ed from sol.cs.ruu.nl (22.214.171.124); please restrict access to
weekends or evenings. A server can answer e-mail requests (put "send
HELP" as the message to
TEX/chess12.*. See .
Notation. Notation is a chess game score preprocessor written by Henry
). It reads chess
games, either in full algebraic or shortened notation (i.e., Nf1-g3 or
f1g3 or Ng3) and is able to output the games and/or the board at any
move, in ASCII, PostScript, TeX, or nroff. It also can generate output
for the gnuan and XBoard programs. It is multi-lingual for piece
identification; understanding French, English, German, Spanish, Dutch,
Italian, Polish, etc. The program also handles variations and symbolized
comments. It works fine on UNIX (Sun SPARCstation and Sun-3). It uses
standard C, and function declarations are done in both K&R-C and ANSI-C.
It won't be difficult to compile for MS-DOS with MSC. Sources have been
posted to comp.sources.misc. You can also get them from Mr. Thomas by
e-mail. They may be FTP'ed from
wuarchive.wustl.edu ) (European users use garbo.uwasa.fi).
Chess notation tool kit. The Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN) Kit chess
programming C source tool kit is designed to help chess software efforts
by providing common routines for move notation I/O, move generation,
move execution, and various useful position manipulation services. There
are substantial additions to the previous version which include a
standard position notation scheme along with some benchmarking tests. A
main program is included which gives sample calls for the various
routines. Simple I/O functions are also provided. A clever programmer
needs only to add a search and an evaluation function to produce a
working chessplaying program. A programmer who already has the source to
a chessplaying program may improve it further by including tool kit
routines as needed for standardization. The author of this package is
Steven J. Edwards ). The SAN Kit
may be retrieved from the
"ftp://ics.onenet.net/pub/chess/Unix/SAN.tar.gz" ICS FTP host .
XBoard. XBoard is an X11/R4-based user interface for GNU Chess or ICS.
As an interface to GNU Chess, XBoard lets you play a game against the
machine, set up arbitrary positions, force variations, or watch a game
between two machines. As an interface to the ICS, XBoard lets you play
against other ICS users or observe games they are playing. You can also
use XBoard as a chessboard to review or analyze games. It will read a
game file or allow you to play through a variation manually. This is
useful for keeping track of email postal games, browsing games off the
net, or reviewing GNU Chess and ICS games you have saved. Beginning with
version 2.0, Tim Mann has taken over development of
XBoard. The program can be FTP'ed from the 'ICS FTP host.'
The FAQ is compiled and posted by Stephen Pribut at
Copyright (c), 1997-2003 Stephen M. Pribut. Permission to
copy all or part of this work is granted for individual use, and for
copies within a scholastic or academic setting. Copies may not be made
or distributed for resale. The no warranty, and copyright notice must be
retained verbatim and be displayed conspicuously. You need written
authorization before you can include this FAQ in a book and/or a CDROM
archive, and/or make a translation, and/or publish/mirror on a website
(scholastic and academic use excepted). If anyone needs other
permissions that aren't covered by the above, please contact the author.
No Warranty This work is provided on an "as is" basis. The copyright
holder makes no warranty whatsoever, either express or implied,
regarding the work, including warranties with respect to merchantability
or fitness for any purpose.