In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

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JustinHorton
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:34 pm

Well, it's not just the proofing, it's that their format is just hard to read, it's not set out well. I've had difficulty with any number of their books.

LATER EDIT: I've had a look at a few of their books and I think this is mostly, but not entirely, a question of how they lay out text, as opposed to games and notes. Games come in a two-column format which is perfectly readable, but the single-column format of text sections, which shouldn't be a problem in principle, is in practice hard on the eye, partly because they have several paragraphs with no space between them and then suddenly they do have a space, partly because they sometimes insert diagrams or illustrations in a jarring way.

I've noticed this for long time, but I recently found Hendriks' Move First Think Later harder to follow than I would have liked, and I mainly blame that on the layout. In Lakdawala's case it just compounds his normal incoherence, and I'd add that his verbosity and liking for numbered lists tend to render the game sections pretty messy as well.
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Nick Ivell
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by Nick Ivell » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:04 pm

The Hendriks book isn't very good. True, some nice tactics are on display, but the title is absolute nonsense!

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MJMcCready
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:40 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:37 am
Checking out the sample pages for this particular effort and good Lord, what a load of dreck. Just to kick off, for instance, with this short passage:
Tarrasch, playing Black, is about to promote in just a few moves, so it’s clear that Pillsbury must find something to deliver either mate or perpetual chess immediately
1. "is about to promote in just a few moves" is a tautology.
2. "perpetual chess" should be "perpetual check".

Shortly afterwards we get to "The queen auditions for the role of heroine, one which she is cabable of fulfilling", where "cabable" should be "capable".

Then, starting - but not alas finishing - on the same page, we get this fountain of nonsense:
‘The entire world rings with praises for my accomplishments,’ the c-pawn, who may have forgotten about something.

When someone responds to a direct question with silence, it is usually for one of the following reasons:
1. Shyness.
2. Excessive pride.
3. Discretion is called for.
4. The person is stupid and didn’t understand the question.
5. Complete inattention.

Tarrasch’s non-response is clearly a case of number 5 on the list. The position is sufficiently deranged, so that confusion naturally flows from it. Or maybe Tarrasch’s c-pawn is like the smart, kind, homely high school kid who secretly prays that the prom queen will dump her football-playing boyfriend and accept him, for his inner beauty.

51...♖b1+! put up the greatest resistance: 52.♔g2 ♖b2+ 53.♔g3 ♔g6. The deepest part of the combination is to see that White wins even here, despite Black’s deeply passed queenside pawns: 54.♕e8+ ♔f6 55.d5! ♖d2 (55...c2?? 56.♕e6+ ♔g7 57.♕e5+ loses the rook) 56.♕e6+ ♔g7 57.♕e7+ ♔g6 58.♕xe4+ ♔f6 59.♕xb4 ♖xd5 60.♕xc3+ wins. We don’t know how much of this Pillsbury saw, since Tarrasch cracked on his last move.

52.♕xh7#

Oops! I’m quite certain about two things:
1. No poet will write an epic about Tarrasch’s last move decision.
2. No bard will sing the unwritten poem’s praises, either.

Details, details. I wasn’t there to witness the finish of this game in 1895. I would bet all my worldly assets that Tarrasch’s cheeks were at this point suffused with a ruby rich blush. This disease of inattention plagued Tarrasch later on in his career as well. In his book Die Moderne Schachpartie, written in 1912, Dr Siegbert Tarrasch self-diagnosed a particularly awful loss to Emanuel Lasker in their 1908 match, with the disease ‘amaurosis scachistica’, or chess blindness.
What do we learn from any of this drivel, except that Lakdawala writes it to fill up as much space as he can as quickly as he can without pausing for thought?
He can't write. Few titled players can. I can assure you what he states the title as, and what the book is about, are two categorically distinct.

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MJMcCready
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:43 am

Nick Ivell wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:32 am
I probably won't read the book either, but I come here neither to praise Cyrus nor to bury him.

I do have his book on Fischer. In the introduction, there's an interesting list of the strengths of great players in certain areas.

So I wouldn't write off EVERYTHING Cyrus has written - just most of it.
Ah that's interesting, that puts him way ahead of the others then. Does it come with any stats? Compared to other titled players, what's his average in terms of hours of picking up a pencil, working out which end you write with and writing your first name correctly. Since way ahead of the others I'd guess it 5-6 hours.

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JustinHorton
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:19 am

MJMcCready wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:40 am
He can't write. Few titled players can
"Few titled players" has nothing to do with it.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Nick Ivell
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by Nick Ivell » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:55 pm

No stats. For 'calculation ability', he lists only 3 players: Lasker, Korchnoi and Kasparov. No argument with those three, but Bobby doesn't even get a look in.

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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by Nick Ivell » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:39 am

I don't expect that anyone will read In the Zone, so I'll give what praise I can for the Fischer book.

Cyrus doesn't just focus on the old favourites. That counts for a lot. I consider myself something of an expert on Bobby, and there were several games I didn't know very well.

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MJMcCready
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:48 am

Nick Ivell wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:54 pm
Sounds like one to miss. If we are talking winning streaks, how can we miss out Fischer's performance from the end of the Palma interzonal onwards - the greatest performance in history?
Diplomatic. the title itself is problematic. Seems like running out of titles, couldn't come up with anything better. Sounds no better than the book the greatest ways, snot, earwax and bogies were removed from the pieces in play in due cause where these unsung heroes the greatest ever or did they just flick it onto someone else in play the let the son-of a gun's tires down, to return to the playing oh so nonchantly until the time away from the board resulted in a loss of concentration in which they left thier queen enprise and couldn't stop dribbling for a good thirty minutes...but on the way home they did punch an unsuspected policeman in the goolies 'Screaming, chess is a waste of life, its for losers only.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:30 pm

U OK, hun?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

John Upham
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Re: In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:48 am

According to Cyrus :
I just found out that my book In the Zone: The Greatest Winning Streaks in Chess History won the American Chess Journalists Award for Best Instructional book of 2020.
If only they had read the comments in this place before making a judgement...
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