If you’re one of our friends who stays “electronically connected” with us (Twitter, Facebook) you may already be aware of the fact that ChessCentral is presently offering some classic chess eBooks at a reduced sale price, namely Henry Bird’s Chess Masterpieces, Emanuel Lasker’s Common Sense in Chess, and (one of my personal favorites) Richard Reti’s Modern Ideas in Chess.
But these aren’t just any old “plain Jane” eBooks. Sure, you could find these classics in a “scanned” form, in which a library has run the pages through a scanner, organized the scanned images, and assembled them into a PDF download (which is the way most eBooks, regardless of topic or genre, work). You could print the pages if you wished and play through the games on a physical chessboard. But that’s a little labor-intensive, and it’s also not how ChessCentral eBooks work.
ChessCentral’s eBooks are delivered in ChessBase format. You can use any of the commercial ChessBase programs (ChessBase, Fritz, Rybka, Shredder, Hiarcs) to open and read these files; you can also use the free ChessBase programs (ChessBase Reader or the new ChessBase Light) to open and read these books. Our eBooks are more than just words on a screen — they’re complete hypertext electronic books: click on a chapter link and you’ll jump to that chapter, click on a game link and you’ll jump to that game, complete with a chessboard on the screen.
You can replay a game simply by clicking your mouse on the on-screen controls or by tapping a cursor key on your keyboard. As you play through the game (seeing the moves on the chessboard), the current move is highlighted in the notation (so that you can always find your place) and you can easily see and read the text commentary associated with that position. You can change the size of the text, making it larger or smaller if you wish:
You can choose to display just one move at a time in the notation:
And as an extra aid in understanding the games, you can have a chessplaying engine display its analysis of the current board position — even in the free ChessBase Reader and ChessBase Light programs!
All main moves and variations are replayable without continually resetting the board or using multiple boards (as is the case with a printout and physical board). If you’re using ChessBase or one of the playing programs as your reader, you can make and save your own notes to the games. And if you ever decide you need a physical printout, each game is fully printable should you require it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are plenty of other advantages to using electronic versions of these classic texts. You can learn more about ChessCentral’s complete line of electronic chess books as individual titles just by visiting our website and clicking on the name of an eBook from our collection. There are also some free short eBooks available in our Members Area if you’d like to try an eBook to see how you like it.
Have fun! — Steve
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