Jonathan M Adams' Chess Web Site


A site of chess links, mainly Australian & New Zealand, and recommended books
A site of chess links, mainly Australian & New Zealand, and recommended books


An elephant never forgets they say, but are you like me?
Do you find you forget those opening lines and end-game strategies that you have analysed?
Do you find your analysis gets fuzzy in the mind when at the board?
I believe there is no better book to help you address these problems than Alexander Kotov's 1971 classic Think Like a Grand Master (Batsford). It also addresses the imperative need for planning in chess. This is further pursued in his successor book, Play Like a Grand Master. Kotov is one of my favourite chess authors. But he does take work - he sees so much more than I do! His material is quite advanced. Slightly simpler (and also excellent) are Jeremy Silman's How To Reassess Your Chess and Alex Dunne's How To Become a Candidate Master. For more on recommended books, see below.

This web site will link you to the best chess books (IMHO) and web sites, particularly from Australia and New Zealand.
The picture shows FM and former NZ champion Dr Jonathan Sarfati, now working for Creation Ministries International ( and living in Georgia, USA, conducting a blindfold simultaneous chess exhibition in Merroo in the NSW Blue Mountains in January 2004. Sarfati won 10 and drew 2 of his 12 games, his personal best for 12 games in such exhibitions. (He once got 11 out of 11 in an exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand.) The webmaster for this site, Jonathan Adams, now living in Sydney, is the go-between conveying the moves to Jono's opponents and the watching audience. Well done Jono!

In January 2010 norths chess club will be hosting the Australian Chess Championships. Your webmaster is a member of the organising committee. See the official web site for details.

In January 2009 the Australian Open Championship was played at Manly. The winner on countback of the title was IM Alex Wohl, with IM George Xie finishing on the same score as him. See

In April 2007 Australia's biggest ever chess tournamewnt was held in Parramatta, Sydney. Check out for full details. This very successful tournamant was organised by Brian Jones and Vasil Tulevski.

In January 2006, New Zealand's biggest ever chess tournament was held in Queenstown. Check out The tournament (main, 30/30 and 05/05) was organised by IGM Murray Chandler and Paul Spiller. Your webmaster went over, returning to his homeland, for the 30/30 and 05/05 tournaments. The main event had 193 players.

Your webmaster now plays at the Manly Warringah Leagues Club Chess Club (Manly) and the North Sydney Leagues Club Chess Club (norths) in NSW. Previously he has played at the Otago Chess Club (Dunedin, New Zealand), the Otago University Chess Club, the Civic Chess Club (Wellington), the Wellington Chess Club, and the Canterbury Chess Club (NZ); and also briefly in both the NZ Correspondence Chess Club and the Correspondence Chess League of Australia.

As well as playing, your webmaster from 2005 - Dec 2007 branched out into the chess Arbiter / Games Captain role at the Manly club. Yes I'm (was) the arbiter, I know the score. From square one I'll be watching all 64! (Yes, Chess is one of my favourite musicals, with some excellent music, although it could not be called a positive musical.)

In May 2007 your webmaster finished third equal in the Mingara May Major, an Australian Grand Prix event on the NSW Central Coast, with 4 points out of 6. The tournament was won by Croatian born former NZ resident and now FM Igor Bjelobrk, with IM Gary Lane finishing second. See for details.

Other favourite chess books:

1. Chess Games Collections:
a. Y. P. Geller (IGM), The Application of Chess Theory, Pergamon, 1984. (Annoteted games aranged by openings.)
b. R. J. Fischer (IGM), My 60 Memorable Games, Simon and Schuster (preferred by RJF) and Faber and Faber, 1969.
c. M. Botvinnik (IGM), 15 Games & Their Stories, Chess Enterprises, 1982.
d. O. Sarapu (IM), 'Mr Chess'. The Ortvin Sarapu Story, NZ Chess Supplies, 1993.
e. S. Gligoric (IGM), Fischer v Spassky. The Chess Match of the Century, Fontana, 1972.
f. G. Kasparov (IGM) & R. Wade (IM), Fighting Chess: Kasparov's Games & Career, Batsford, 1995.

2. Openings Books:
a. A. Dunnington (IM), How to Play the King's Indian Attack, Batsford, 1993.
b. E. Gufeld (IGM), An Opening Repertoire for the Attacking Player, Cadogan, 1996.
c. Gary Lane's (IM) excellent column Opening lanes at

3. Endings Books:
a. R. Fine (IGM), Basic Chess Endings (with Corrections and Alternate Solutions by P. Crane and Rev. D. Chew), Bell, 1941. (recommended for its comprehensiveness and its 15 Rules for the Endgame at the end.)

4. Middle Game Books:
a. Y Averbakh (IGM), Chess Middle Games. Essential Knowledge. Cadogan, 1996.
b. M. Dvoretsky (IGM), Secrets of Chess Tactics, Batsford, 1992 (1996 reprint).
c. M. Dvoretsky (IGM) & A. Yusupov (IGM), Training for the Tournament Player, Batsford, 1993 (1996 reprint).
d. J Silman (IM), How to Reassess Your Chess, Siles Press (19993 expanded third edition).

5. Other
For a good basic book with wide coverage that you can read while commuting without a chess set I recommend James Eade, The Chess Player's Bible: Illustrated Strategies for Staying Ahead of the Game, ABC Books, Sydney, 2004. The colour diagrams are excellent! For your children who aspire to beat you, you can't go past IGM Murray Chandler, How To Beat Your Dad at Chess, Gambit Publications, 1998; and T. Nottingham, A Lawrence & IM Bob Wade, Winning Chess: Tactics & Strategies, Sterling Publishing, New York, 1999. For trying to guess moves played in games and understanding the reasons behind them I recommend Alex Dunne (USCF Master), How to Become a Candidate Master, Thinkers' Press, 1992.

6. And a favourite quote:
Life is generated only by life. He who wants to educate himself in Chess must evade what is dead in Chess-artificial theories supported by few instances ... ; ...the weakness of uncritically taking over variations discovered by others; ... the incapacity for admitting mistakes; in brief, everything that leads to a standstill or to anarchy.
Longtime world chess champion Emanuel Lasker, from Lasker's Manual of Chess, p. 338 (Dover edition, 1960) cited in W. A. Dembski, The Design Revolution, 2004, p.325.


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