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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

How to Improve Your Chess

How to Improve Your Chess - Fred Reinfeld Not and I are having fun this week doing live web commentary at the Geneva Chess Masters, where some of the world's top grandmasters are taking part (until the final on Sunday, you can see us here). We told the organizers in advance that we would be aiming for entertainment rather than accuracy, which they were quite happy with.

We soon developed a couple of running jokes to use in our routine. One of them involved pouring scorn on the computer's evaluation of the games; the other was to quote the works of the late Fred Reinfeld, ironically referring to him as the ultimate authority on the game. We were pleased to hear that most visitors got it, and we have been told that the viewing figures are entirely satisfactory. But not everyone was amused. Someone forwarded us irate tweets from the ever-fragrant Natalia Pogonina


(woman grandmaster and current Russian Women's Champion), who didn't think it was funny at all. Chess is a serious game, you know!

I've just been looking at WGM Pogonina's website, and I stand corrected. Here is a quote from this page for people who want to know just how serious she is. I am sure that her forthcoming book will rapidly outsell Mr. Reinfeld's combined output:
As all LatestChess readers probably know, both chess and Kamasutra originate from India. In "Chess Kamasutra" I and my co-author Peter Zhdanov will show that it is possible to apply sex principles to chess, and vice versa. We will be reviewing the most interesting openings and middlegame positions and relating them to positions from Kamasutra; surprise our readers by introducing the "love theory" which is extremely effective for developing your chess skills and becoming happy in personal life; share unique trainings in "sexchess", approbated by ourselves.

Chess Kamasutra is going to be a very entertaining and useful book covering many interesting subjects - we aren't revealing most of the secrets yet, but one day you'll be able to see it for yourself.