Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chess Games of Grandmaster Alexander Kotov Added to

I have added the chess game collection of Alexander Kotov to the main site at Alexander Alexandrovich Kotov was a Soviet chess grandmaster and author. He was a Soviet champion, a two-time world title Candidate, and a prolific chess author. Kotov served in high posts in the Soviet Chess Federation and most of his books were written during the period of Cold War between the USA and the USSR. Therefore, his works tended to be rather critical of (and occasionally somewhat dismissive toward) American players. Russian players, on the other hand, were presented and described in a particularly favorable light.

Kotov's books also included frequent praise for the Soviet system in general. For example, the 1958 book The Soviet School of Chess (which he co-wrote with Mikhail Yudovich) stated that "The rise of the Soviet school to the summit of world chess is a logical result of socialist cultural development." At the time, statements such as this were sufficiently controversial that Western publishers felt compelled to include disclaimers in versions of his books that were translated for distribution to English-speaking countries. Dover Publications, Inc.'s 1961 paperback version of The Soviet School of Chess was distributed primarily to Western countries and included an introduction that stated "...literature of this type, though helpful in our ultimate understanding of the game, is very often riddled with distortion. The publishers of this Dover edition are very much concerned that readers be aware of the propaganda techniques employed, even in the history of chess, by the Soviet Union."

Notwithstanding Kotov's forays into the political realm, his books were insightful and informative and were written in a congenial style. He often made his points by citing first-hand stories of incidents involving famous grandmasters, most of whom he knew personally. Such entertaining and enlightening personal accounts helped to ensure that his books would remain popular among chess players of widely varying nationalities and playing strengths.

Source: Wikipedia

jrobichess makes chess videos and has a chess blog along with a personal chess site at

1 comment:

justin said...

interesting! thanks for that, jrobi