Minimalist Annotations Anyone?

A couple of days ago my son asked if he could use chess books for his daily reading practice, probably because he felt they’d be more useful and interesting than the usual fare. Of course I agreed but then came the search for something suitable. Unfortunately the books which weren’t flooded with commentary and variations were the old ones, but then these were generally in English Descriptive notation.

At this point I was starting to regret giving away my algebraic copy of Capablanca’s Chess Fundamentals but then finally found a couple of things that were suitable. I was actually surprised that they happened to be ones that I’d written myself, and this made me wonder if I was alone in believing that minimalist annotations are better.

It seems that I don’t have much company, at least among authors. Does this mean that we now see far more than Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine et al?

I very much doubt that this is the case,which means that what has really changed is our attitude towards annotating games And in this it seems that I’m very old school, the point being that minimalist annotations encourage the reader to work things out for himself. This of course fosters to the famous art of ‘deliberate practice’, something that has been known since long before it acquired its modern terminology.





Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: