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Anyone have "A First Book of Morphy"?

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  • Anyone have "A First Book of Morphy"?

    So I'm only one game away from finishing rereading Chernev's "Logical Chess: Move by Move", and then moving on to a different book of annotated master games next. I've been assuming the next one would be "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played", also by Chernev, but I also have "A First Book of Morphy" by Del Rosario.

    I just looked at the Morphy book for the first time, and realized that it's written at a pretty basic level. Yes, there are 60 or so Morphy games (not easily numbered, so hard to tell exactly how many), which will be good to go through. But it looks like the writing style revolves around having 30 chapters (10 each for the opening, middle game, and endgame), and having a couple of games in each chapter illustrating a very basic main point of that chapter. So the annotation style seems pretty basic, like this collection is really for beginners.

    So I'm debating whether I should read the Morphy book first, to keep things moving in order of difficulty, since it seems like a more basic book than Chernev's Most Instructive Games. Or if I should skip the Morphy book altogether, since it seems like it might be more basic than what I'm looking for. But then, it does contain 60ish Morphy games, so even if the annotations are stupidly basic, it should still be educational just to go through his games and learn from Morphy's play.

    Anyone familiar with this book on Morphy's games and have an opinion?

    "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald

  • #2
    It doesn't hurt to go back to the basics. Even Tal read basic chess books from time to time to refresh his 'basic skills'.

    Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
    *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

    The King In Jeopardy
    Perfect Your Chess
    Sharpen your Tactics
    The Middlegame, Book I
    ICC Tactical Trainer bot


    "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, but my problem right now is that I've spent the last month and a half refreshing the basics, because I'm returning to the game and rusty. I think I need to move on to tougher material soon, or I'll never get around to it. Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

      On the other hand, these are 60 of Morphy's games. Even if the instructional level is basic, the games themselves should be great to learn from. I'm actually tempted to read this one before Chernev's "Most Instructive Games", just because they'll be good games to see. And if the reading level is light, then I should be able to get through the book and move on faster than reading Chernev's more detailed prose.

      "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Fromper View Post
        On the other hand, these are 60 of Morphy's games. Even if the instructional level is basic, the games themselves should be great to learn from. I'm actually tempted to read this one before Chernev's "Most Instructive Games", just because they'll be good games to see. And if the reading level is light, then I should be able to get through the book and move on faster than reading Chernev's more detailed prose.
        This sounds like a good path to take.

        Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
        *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

        The King In Jeopardy
        Perfect Your Chess
        Sharpen your Tactics
        The Middlegame, Book I
        ICC Tactical Trainer bot


        "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."

        Comment


        • #5
          So I looked at the first couple of games in the Morphy book, and they're pretty low quality. It starts with two games he won against total patzers in blindfolded simuls. Reading reviews of a couple of books on Morphy on Amazon.com, this is apparently a common problem - too many books focus on his one sided victories over amateurs.

          Apparently, the best book on Morphy is "Paul Morphy: A Modern Perspective" by Valeri Biem, at least partially because it gives a serious evaluation of his games against the top masters, including showing his mistakes and how he improved over the course of his short career. Unfortunately, it's out of print and paper copies are hard to come by. It's available electronically in Kindle edition from Amazon, so I may consider that.

          But for now, I think I'll stick to the original plan and read Chernev's "Most Instructive Games" next instead.

          "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fromper View Post
            So I looked at the first couple of games in the Morphy book, and they're pretty low quality. It starts with two games he won against total patzers in blindfolded simuls. Reading reviews of a couple of books on Morphy on Amazon.com, this is apparently a common problem - too many books focus on his one sided victories over amateurs.
            Did he castle and then centralize his rooks? That's what I see a lot of when I read the simuls in The Unknown Capablanca.

            Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
            *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

            The King In Jeopardy
            Perfect Your Chess
            Sharpen your Tactics
            The Middlegame, Book I
            ICC Tactical Trainer bot


            "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."

            Comment

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