My topic for today is books.  I have too many of them.   When you want to move house and downsize that’s a problem.  My solution has been to give half of them away.   “That must have been traumatic” grandmaster Ian Rogers commented, but it had to be done sometime.   The MV Anderson Chess Collection at the State Library of Victoria took 29 boxes, mainly foreign books and magazines, and were quite pleased as on looking into the first box she opened the librarian said “we haven’t got about 50% of these!”    The Melbourne Chess Club received 16 large plastic tubs of English language books (and two bookcases) which they are now selling off to chess players for $5 each.  Let’s hope they all end up in good homes.   Actually one of the coaches at Chess Kids said to me the other day “Robert, I bought this openings book from the Melbourne Chess Club and it’s got your signature in it!”  A collector’s item no doubt.

I’m still left with about 6 or 7 bookcases of my english language periodicals and my old and better books which I have kept.  I guess that in my old age sorting and cataloguing them will give me something to do.  Actually I found quite a few unexpected items as I was sorting through my collection.  One large box contained 1500 copies of the 1973 edition of the Laws of Chess …. no doubt one of my better purchases in the past.   I think Cecil Purdy bought 10,000 of them from China in the 1970’s so this must be my share from that lot!

The topic of “books” also arose at the first session of the Chess Academy in term 2 when James Morris was telling the class what he did to become a master and he noted that he just read heaps and heaps of chess books.   Strangely, since that time, a number of my students have asked me to lend them some books to read so perhaps books may yet come back into fashion.

So now we must move on to a puzzle.  Have a look at the position below from the game of one of my students from the recent RJ Shield in Ringwood.  He is doing well but next move blundered.  In my lessons I keep asking my students to identify the problem in the position then try to find a solution to the problem.  Of course there isn’t always a way out, but in this case there was but my student missed it.   Perhaps you can do better.   Just follow the notes one move at a time ….

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