My analyses are delivered as ChessBase files or pgn files.
This makes them far more more valuable than an opening book with the same content. Let me explain.
The problem with books
To be very clear: I love books, I love chess books and I read a lot of them in my life. And there are definitively many good opening books around, providing useful strategic explanations. They are a good way to get started, but their structural problems make them a second tier training tool for serious studies:
- It takes ages to play through lines using book and chessboard. Keep in mind that you have to view every line several times, in order to fully understand the underlying concepts and to attach them to your memory! At least this is what I have to do…..
- There is very limited scope for augmenting or refining the content.
- You can’t directly check the information with an engine.
- You don’t have access to full games, which is important for studying the middlegame plans or to see how a line unfolds into a typical ending.
- In books, interesting analyses have to be kept very short (the author has to shorten his original analyses) due to the limited amount of space. By contrast, electronic files can provide you with the full content. This doesn’t mean that you have to process all that information, as you determine yourself how deep you want to delve into the material in any given situation.
- You can’t prepare effectively with books in the short time available during a tournament.
- Books get outdated after a some time, while digital analyses can easily be updated.
Converting analog to digital data
In order to circumvent the problems inherent in books, you can transform the content of books to files on your computer. This is a method I practiced myself when I still was an active professional. You would have to:
- establish a variation tree for every sub-line of the book by merging all relevant games
- restructure this material according to the order of the author
- insert all relevant symbolic and verbal information
- possibly do some cosmetic clean-up, as the variation tree is bloated with irrelevant games
By doing this one time, you will find out that it is quite time consuming. If you multiply the hours spent with your hourly rate in your professional job or with the value you assign to one hour of your spare time, you will probably arrive at a pretty significant figure. You might want to use this figure as a benchmark for evaluating digitally available analyses.