Saturday, July 23, 2011


Cecil John Seddon Purdy was a genius of that I have no doubt. His writings have been copied and used by others and not really updated!

He was the first world correspondence chess champion. That's not amateur time.

He wrote some thoughtful, right on books. And he himself recognized the genius of Morphy, Fischer, and others.

While not putting a whole lot of stock in high IQs, he said it was worth something. Kasparov supposedly has a hi IQ (for chess) and yet some things I have "heard him say or write" seem really screwed up. A lot of times this "ignorance" starts from a poorly understood premise and so everyone is capable of falling into this trap.

But I believe sometimes Purdy gets misquoted and therefore misunderstood and even worse, "mistaught" when teaching others.

For example, Purdy liked the "idea" of the Double Attack as often that is hard to meet in real games. Champs such as Lasker, Capablanca, and Alekhine were masters of the double attack. (See the Chess Gangs of New York and London series for examples.)

But sometimes they do not work, especially if one of the pieces attacked can jump in the way of the other piece which is being attacked. Knights are good at this. It only takes one bad "apple" (or example) to destroy the whole pie.

Einstein said: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

In chess there is so much to know. For example, GM Reuben Fine was a firm believer in being exceptionally good in the opening because if no discernible errors were made which caused your opponent to lose, he must've misplayed the opening. So this is why there are so many refinements going on and Purdy would have loved them, and he did remarkably well in keeping up with them.

His book, My Search for Chess Perfection is back from the printer ($39.95) and it is one I really think every improving player should have because he not only gets to the heart of the matter with great examples, he explains the problems in a way that is remarkably clearer than most. I have been told this time and again. 

If you agree (or not) please send me a note telling me why you "think" so.

The picture of Purdy with the chemistry beaker was from the cover of our first book on Purdy's Search. The title for the book was changed from the original (MY Life and Games...) and given to me by Patty Scoville, an incredible colleague. Fastest selling book we ever had. My 1997 edition was $22.00. The new edition is set in larger type, artwork added, a huge index dropped in (took me days to create that). The page size is larger, the book has been "vetted" through many printings, and after 14 years, it's only $18.00 more. If I was a Republican it would now be $60. If I was a Democrat it would be FREE. But, I am a businessman, and you'll have to pay real money to get it.


No comments:

Post a Comment