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ccmcacollister 32 ( +1 | -1 )
Pal Benko's Book ... I was wondering if anyone has read the autobiographical book by Benko? I think it came out in the last several years, and is his latest that I know of; was costing about $45.
What did people think of the book? Is it worth the $$$ ~! Are there many interesting stories and annotated games there?
Thanks Much, in Advance

}8-) Craig AC
bucklehead 152 ( +1 | -1 )
Our cranky mutual friend... ...sent me a copy of this book last year, and I thought it was wonderful (both the act and the book).

The first 2/3 is the "biographical" part, but it's a chess biography--the personal details are sandwiched between many self-annotated games. I think it's a really good balance; plus, it's well written and very engrossing. He covers his early life behind the Iron Curtain, his defection, making a living in America, his relationship with Fischer, how Walter Browne apparently tried to steal the Benko Gambit, etc. And a nice touch is how he doesn't spend a lot of time patting himself on the back about (what appear to be) his many romantic conquests. He'll say something like, "I was in Curacao enjoying the company of a pleasant Venezuelan woman," and leave it there.

The back 1/3 consists of an interview, a review of Benko's opening repertoire by some other guy, and (most importantly) a bunch of Benko's favorite endgame studies. Basically, the stuff that Benko writes himself is the best.

Is it worth $45? I don't know, but it's certainly a different kind of chess book, one that's a good read on a literary level as well as being of value to the student of the game.

PS: I found it on for about $30:


If you want to support GK, you can also get it at Amazon through the GK link, for $32.85 ( -> ).
kansaspatzer 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Sounds like a good interlibrary loan.

Reading your comment, bucklehead, made me remember his excuse for his famous loss to Fischer, and the infamous excuse he provided for it. I suppose it's rated PG-13, and I don't want to lose my forum posting privileges, so I'll leave it at that.
ccmcacollister 22 ( +1 | -1 )
THANKS ~! much for the info guys. It sounds like a real good read to me and perfect for when I don't want to analyze (most always). That UPS delivery the other day did look like a book too. 'll find out tomorrow!
wrecktangle 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Speaking of Benko... ...I see he has updated Fine's Basic Chess Endings.

How is it? I would guess it has a lot of late computer Endgame analysis.

My copy of BCE is ragged; of course it's the Tartan Paperback version of the original McKay book.