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Curacao 1962: The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World [Paperback]

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Item description for Curacao 1962: The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World by Jan Timman...

The 1962 Candidates' Tournament in Curaao was one of the fiercest chess battles of all time. At the height of the Cold War, eight players contested the right to challenge World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. The format of the tournament was a gruelling quadruple round-robin. Twenty-eight games were to be played on the tropical island, in a contest that lasted two months. The air trembled with drama and intrigue. One of the favourites, the brilliant Mikhail Tal,was taken to hospital after 21 rounds and had to withdraw. Three other players from the Soviet Union, Keres, Petrosian, and Geller, were making suspiciously short draws when playing each other. The two American players came to blows over the services of the second they were supposed to share. Bella Kortchnoi, whose husband took an early lead in the tournament, was a puppet in the hands of the scheming Rona Petrosian, the wife of the later winner. And one of the favourites was a lanky 19-year-old boy from Brooklyn, Bobby Fischer, who openly accused the Soviets of collusion and was later proven right. In the end, Tigran Petrosian was the winner and went on to become the new World Champion the following year. But such was the impact of Fischer's accusations that this was the last time such a battle was organised. Henceforth the challenger to the highest crown was determined in a series of matches. Curaao 1962 was the last Candidates' Tournament. In Curaao 1962, Jan Timman returns to this clash of giants and takes a fresh look at the games. Timman describes the course of the tournament and annotates the most important games (including 16 of Fischer's!) in his usual lucid and instructive style. Curaao 1962 revives a tradition of great tournament books, such as Alekhine's New York 1927 and Bronstein's Zurich 1953.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Illustrated
Studio: New In Chess
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   New in Chess
ISBN  9056911392  
ISBN13  9789056911393  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jan Timman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jan Timman is a former world championship candidate who rose to the number two spot of the FIDE world rankings. He is the author of several highly acclaimed bestsellers, such as Curacao 1962, On the Attack!, Power Chess with Pieces and The Art of the Endgame.

Jan Timman was born in 1952.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Curacao 1962: The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World?

Scenes from Mt. Olympus   Jun 25, 2006
I first read of Curacao in Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games, one of my first chess books, and quickly learned the names of these titans of Chess that Fischer clashed with at other times in his seminal book (one of the best chess books of all time--the old one, not the mistake-ridden revised one). But Timman at last supplies some real light on what was the great Paul Keres' last run for Challenger to the World Champion (2nd place--4 times!), and also about the politics and intrigue that went on that Fischer complained about and later was proven to be for the most part true. Some photographs of the event--a rarity indeed (a young Petrosian, and a young Kortchnoi who's intense glare hasn't changed in a half-century of play) with a human touch about the players, albeit a so short biography of them outside of chess (some complained about the conditions, mostly of the Caribbean heat, not the playing hall). I don't think Timman included all the games (there were many arranged draws) and only a few games are analyzed in great detail (he is spare in using analysis of other players' analyses such as Fischer & Tal & Kortchnoi who did publish selected games from Curacao), but he managed to find critical quotes and notes from the Patriarch and others observing the games and players, brief and insightful as they are. This is not a deep book, but it was entertaining and more revealing about some the greats. These were real people, though to me they are not mere heroes, but the real gods of Caissa's folklore as they fought amongst themselves for the privilege of playing for Zeus's (Botvinnik's) crown. But it left me wanting more: more on the intrigue, more about the players' thoughts, likes & dislikes about each others and their situations (Benko had been stateless as a refugee--a little known fact), and something more of a 'where are they now.' or since (Keres died in 1975, Petrosian in 1984, Geller I thought was one of great innovators in opening theory particularly the Sicilian and was a second for Karpov. Fischer descended into tragedy after becoming World Champion, Tal's health problems plagued him throughout his life--he died in 1994, and Kortchnoi had the career of Odysseus--and presently gives the new generation of Grandmasters 'lessons' on what candidate level play should be.) This is a good historical tract and game collection.
Now if Timman could take on Portoroz, 1958 ... some sequels (pre-quels?) can succeed the first attempt (Spider-Man & Spider-Man II, some argue Godfather II is better than Godfather). Go to it, Jan!
Not Zurich 53, but worth the money paid  Apr 22, 2006
First and formost I congratulate Jan Timman for his efforts to make a book about tournament which was played 44 years ago (wau!). It must have been a great tournament in that respect!?
Well, possibly or possibly not. We now know about a plot to draw games between themselves involving Petrosian, Geller and Keres. And we know about Tal health issues which forced him to finaly pull out from the tournament, and he was out of form anyway, with just a few very good games. So we can almost exclude half of the games played from serious analysis.
Benko and Filip were slightly below the strenght of the others at the tourney, with occasional brilliances, which are very worth of study. So I must say that, basically, we are left with Fisher and Korchnoi here.
I would personally have a very hard time writing a book in that circumstances.
Since Curacao was played so long time ago, I doubt if not for Timman now and here, that anyone could or would write this kind of book in the future.
I like Timmans commentary on analyzed games, he is at least on paar in this book with his usual analitical skills. I like many fotos in the book too, most of them I didnt saw untill now.
It is a pitty that Timman didnt anotate a single drawn game. I doubt there were no some good fights in there.
To conclude: To be honest, Timman pulled a great job covering the tournament which was not so great by itself. Nevertheless its a worth of looking into some stories and many good games which today constitute a skeleton of modern chess opening theory. Lot of Sicilians, Spanish, English and Reti for fans.

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