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Chess Books Reviews / Bologan V. The Stages, or How to became Grand Master (2006)

 Bologan V. The Stages, or How to became Grand Master (2006) V. Bologan. "The Stages, or How to become grand master". it is Moscow, Astrel', 2006. - 256 p., il. - number 4000 c.

Autobiographies of outstanding Grand Masters of the past are very hard to find on the shelves of the modern bookstores. Many prominent chessmen nowadays lack time to create such comprehensive descriptions of their chess careers. Moreover, writing autobiographies is not a very profitable business. However, Viorel Bologan, a Moldavian-Moscow (as he calls himself) Grand Master contributed time, energy and most importantly desire to write a very interesting book "Stages".

In my opinion, this is the book worth reading by everyone who wants to perfect in chess. The author describes his life journey year-by-year in great detail. He proficiently illustrates every important landmark in his chess career with high-quality chess material. All the games are annotated from the first person, and not overwhelmed with mark-ups, that often restrict the free flow of the author's ideas. This book is a great example of vivid chess mind.

You can find so-called "Lessons" at the end of each game. There Bologan shares his thoughts and conclusions about the game. He describes how every game helped him to understand and master general chess principles. There are interesting evaluations, advises and recommendations by the venerable Grand Master in every game's notes.

It is also worth to mention part of the book where Bologan shares memories of his coaches. Most of them such as Chebanenko, Lanka, and Dvoretsky were extraordinary players and well-known in the chess world. The author speaks of these prominent people with great honor. The foreword by Garry Kasparov (who has not spoken much of chess lately) is also a sign of high-quality work.

The only blot on the landscape that spoils the impression of the wonderful book is the low quality of printing. Current readers have almost fallen out of habit of reading yellowish paper that was previously a standard of publishing in Soviet times.

Roman Dobronovsky

:: Added 31.03.2007

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