Bobby Fischer

His Approach to Chess

Elie Agur

Reviewer: Jeremy Silman
Cadogan Chess
276 pages

Don’t let the title fool you; Bobby Fischer: His Approach to Chess is not another book about Fischer. Instead, it’s a fascinating look at the middlegame (well… a bit of endgame too) from the point of view of Fischer’s style.

When it first came out, one noted IM told me that a player of Agur’s strength couldn’t possibly do a good job on such a difficult subject. However, this bit of chess elitism has to be relegated to the garbage can; Agur has written a modern classic!

Deep, penetrating and well thought out, I have recommended this book since I first held it in my grubby hands. Mr. Agur looks at subjects like pawn structure, piece placement, material, timing, strategy, clarity, alertness, playing to win, tactics and much more in ways that haven’t been addressed in earlier books. Dissecting all of these subjects by using a backdrop of Fischer’s games was a stroke of genius. Actually finishing this project and making it such an interesting and instructive read is even more impressive.

Though I can’t agree with all his analysis or all of his opinions (and he is free with both), I have to admit that he tried hard to understand each and every game (whether he completely succeeded isn’t important) and he tried equally hard to pass his conclusions on to the reader. So much original thought and original analysis are very rare in chess books. Agur deserves a lot of credit and I, for one, take my hat off to him.