Neil McDonald is a Grandmaster, a trainer for the British Chess Federation and a prolific and accomplished author of 37 chess books! He also is a guy who has gathered some great stories to share in his decades in the chess world. His most recent book, Coach Yourself: A Complete Guide to Improvement at Chess is now available from Amazon and many other sellers. Read below the break for more details, links and timestamps.
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0:00- Intro. Neil kicks off with a few great stories relating to chess history. The first connects his mom with a radio interview of former World Champion Alexander Alekhine. You can hear the interview in question here on YouTube. The second story describes an opportunity Neil had to travel to the Soviet Union in 1986 and play legends of the game like former World Champion Mikhail Tal, Oleg Romanishin and many others. Others mentioned in this segment include: GMs Polugaevsky, Vaganian, Portisch, and Spassky, . Ovidiu-Doru Foisor and Sabina Foisor.
22:00- Neil shares a few more stories from his travels, including tales of chess trips to Serbia, Hungary and the Ukraine, interweaving chess and world history.
28:30- Neil tells the story of meeting legendary GM David Bronstein in the mid 1990s. Find out the chess improvement advice Neil got from one the strongest non World chess champions in history. Books mentioned in this segment: GM Genna Sosonko’s The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, and Irving Chernev’s The Golden Dozen.
35:30- Neil fields some questions regarding chess improvement from some of the podcast's Patreon supporters. They touch on selecting opening repertoires, the importance of doing “post-mortems” after a game, . Player mentioned include: GMs Kasparov, Karpov, Korchnoi, Botvinnik, Baskaran Adhiban, Richard Rapport, Chris Ward, John Nunn, Boris Spassky. Books mentioned:The Giants of Chess Strategy by Neil McDonald Perpetual Chess Episodes mentioned: Stacia Pugh
1:07- Another listener asks about which of the older authors like Reinfeld and Horowitz are the most instructive to read these days. Authors mentioned: Irving Chernev, Fred Reinfeld, Al Horowitz, Lev Alburt, Raymond Keene. Books mentioned: From Morphy to Fischer The Chess Training Pocket Book
1:17- We plug Neil’s books! Coach Yourself has a wealth of material for players of many levels. Other books mentioned: Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca Chess Secrets: The Giants of Chess Strategy by Neil McDonald