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Chess FAQ FAQ part 2/4

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Parts 2, 3 and 4 can be obtained in the same way as part 1.

[13] I'm a Novice/Intermediate. How Do I Improve?
[14] Recommended Openings (and Books) for Novice to Intermediate
[15] I'm really good. How do I get better? (Class A/B and Up.)
[16] Publications
[17] E-mail games, Live Net Chess
[18] 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.

General Books:

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
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

important concepts.

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.

Gambit Publications.

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 "" 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

author. Endings:

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.

Educational Softwa

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. 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)

1-510-644-9301 (international)

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:

Subject: [14] 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

many openings.

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).

White Pieces

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

well-trodden paths.

_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.)

Black Pieces

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 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.

Highly recommended.

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 "" 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: [15] Publications

_Ajedrez Universal_, Luis Hoyos-Millan, P.O. Box 10020, Staten Island,

NY 10301.

_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

ChessBase/NICBase formats.

_Chess Life_ magazine and/or _School Mates_ magazine--see [2].

_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.

Magazines: Italy

1- Scacchi e Scienze Applicate

articles/surveies in Italian and/or English.

WRITE for sample Issue TO:

Romano Belucci

Castello 5449

I-30122 Venezia - ITALY

near $10

2- Sinfonie Scacchistiche

[Chess problems]

articles/surveies in Italian and/or English

WRITE for Sample Issue TO:

Massimo LaRosa

Via carpenino, 8

I-19121 La Spezia - ITALY

near L.30.000/50.000 (Italian)

2- Scacco

WRITE for Sample Issue TO:

Salvatore Gallitto

Corso Diaz, 3

I-12084 Mondovi (Cuneo) - ITALY

near L.55.000/90.000 (Italian)

4- L'Italia Scacchistica

WRITE for Sample Issue TO:

Adolivio Capece

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

I-24123 Bergamo


near L. 25.000 in Italy

Subject: [16] 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 [15]). 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_.

Catalog available.

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

chess books.

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 [2]).

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: [17] 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

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 5000), FICS (Free Internet Chess Server at

telnet 5000), (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" with a link.

Press escape after logging on using Blitzen to play for free as a guest

without registering.

ICC Facts

* 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

the internet).

* 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.

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.

* watch Grandmasters and International Masters

playing blitz.

* 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,

kibitz, whisper.

* 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 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: 5000 ( 5000) Main US


EICS: 5000 ( 5000) Main

EURO server

Other national sites:

BICS: 5000 ( 5000) British

CrICS: 7890 ( 7890) Croatian

DICS: 5000 ( 5000) Dutch

FrICS: 5000 ( 5000) France

GICS: 5000 ( 5000) Germany

MaxICS: 5000 Canada

MICS: 5000 ( 5000) Mid-east


UCHICS: 5000 ( 5000) Chile

ZICS: 5000 ( 5000) Australia 5000 ( 5000) Mexico 5000 Italy 5000 ( 5000) India

Alternative sites: 5000 ( 5000)

Rockaway, NJ, US 5000 ( 5000)

Columbus, OH, US 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:

at . More information on winboard and

winboard resources is in part 3 of this FAQ.

NAME Operating System Author


GIICS DOS with modem 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.

Email/Correspondence Chess


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 ( )

The International Email Chess Club [IECC] 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

all CC.

IECC: Internet Email Chess Club. Independent; runs free e-mail events.

IECG: International E-Mail Chess Group. Now staging a revival; runs free

e-mail events.

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 and other groups may be viewed at:

[18] Material Available via Anonymous FTP

FTP is a way of copying files between networked computers. Information

on it is available via anonymous FTP from

"" 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

from "" 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 "" or via

the web: "" 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 [17]) 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.,, under

/pub/aminet/game/think. GNU chess. Gnuchess is a freely available

chess-playing software program. Gnuchess 4.0 can be FTP'ed from: *

"" * "" * 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 (; please restrict access to

weekends or evenings. A server can answer e-mail requests (put "send

HELP" as the message to

). Get

TEX/chess12.*. See [23].

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

..Z " ) (European users use

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

"" 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.

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