The March of Chess Ideas
by Anthony Saidy
Anthony Saidy's acclaimed chess classic The Battle of Chess Ideas critically examined the development of chess strategy in the modern era by looking at the ideas and games of ten great 20th century players; Botvinnik, Reshevsky, Keres, Bronstein, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Larsen, Spassky and Fischer. It was revised in 1994 as The March of Chess Ideas to include sections on Karpov, Korchnoi and Kasparov. With ten of these greats, Saidy did battle over the board. This work is a significant contribution to chess literature.
IM Anthony Saidy was born May 16, 1937 in Los Angeles. He gained the title of International Master by tying for 2nd in the grandmaster tournament at Venice, Italy in 1969. He competed in several U.S. Championships from 1960 to 1974, taking 4th prize in his last and his best result. He played 3rd board on the 1964 U.S. team at the Tel-Aviv Olympiad, and took part in four U.S. student teams, culminating in a U.S. victory at the World Student Championship at Leningrad in 1960 (the first American world win since the emergence of the Soviet chess machine).
Saidy won the American Open Championship in 1967, shortly after a 2nd-place finish in the Atlanta U.S. Open, and repeated that win in 1992, in a 4-way tie. His main chess achievement however, is the 1972 book The Battle of Chess Ideas, a Retiesque appreciation of the greatest living players, most of whom he had faced over the board. Chess Canada called it "fuel for the soul." He also co-wrote the 1974 coffee-table book The World of Chess, called by the late Norman Cousins "a lavish work of art."
In 1972 he was at the storm center of the prelude to Bobby Fischer's historic journey to Iceland to bring the world crown to U.S. shores. He captained the U.S. Women's Olympic Team at Buenos Aires in 1978, and was repaid on his return to the U.S. Championship in 2002, when his only wins were scored against girls.
In 2000, Saidy retired as an L.A. County doctor specializing in tuberculosis. Twice divorced, he still plans a pretty combination off the chessboard. He is a prodigious book collector and possesses an enormous library on many subjects, including one of the largest privately owned collections of chess books in the United States. While his Elo rating has plummeted from its all-time high of 2532 in 1964, he is agitating for a nonagenarian world championship, which he guarantees to win.
About the book
This book was previously published under the same title by Random House, ISBN 978-08129-2233-2. The original paperback has 321 pages. In the e+Books edition, you can play through all the material on the live board. Navigate the Contents by chapter. Games, game fragments and positions are indexed by player (White or Black) and opening. The book has been enhanced by the addition of scans and photographs, many from the collection of Jacqueline Piatigorsky.
"...those who love the game of chess will meet a kindred spirit here, and will find in his celebration of the beauties of the game many of their own unspoken thoughts: this is not ammunition for combat; it is fuel for the soul...it demonstrates at once lyric charm, philosophical acuity, and infectious enthusiasm...Saidy's major achievement, however, is his series of portraits of his contemporaries. Each is a creative and provocative work...A valuable and enduring work."
- Chess Canada, June 1972