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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

The Spanish Exchange Variation. A Fischer Favourite: With Repertoire for Tournament Players (Progress in Chess)

The Spanish Exchange Variation: A Fischer Favourite: White Repertoire for Tournament Players - Stefan Kindermann, Phil Adams The Spanish Exchange Variation is reached after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bc6 dc 5. 00, creating the following position.


It's notoriously difficult for Black to get any counterplay against White's minute advantage.

This month's New in Chess had a nice Fischer story featuring this opening. As is well known, Wilhelm Steinitz became delusional towards the end of his life and was heard to boast that he could offer God odds of pawn and move.

"That would never work," said the comparatively rational Fischer. Then he thought a bit more and added, "But if I was White against God, at least I could play the Spanish Exchange and get a draw!"

"Suppose God played the Sicilian instead?" asked Hans Ree, a Dutch contemporary.

"No problem!" replied the great Bobby. "I'd play the Sozin Variation and stand better!"