Off the Board Chess by Andrew Smith
The Best Games & Chess Experiences of FM Andrew Smith
I actually wrote this book almost 20 years ago, when I took a 'time-out' from my normal life to spend 6 months travelling around the world. In 2002, I resigned from my job, bought a 'round-the-world' airline ticket and set off just after the FIFA World Cup finished, on a trip that was to last for 6 months. My trip started in Myanmar (Burma), via Bangkok, moved south to various islands in the south Pacific Ocean via New Zealand (Vanuatu, Tonga, New Caledonia, Samoa) and then onto Central and South America (Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil).
The idea to write a book only occured to me during my travels when I found myself lounging about on isolated beaches in the south Pacific, when I was sometimes the only 'western' traveller.
My idea was to recall and recount the stories surrounding some of the games I had played and then find the 'score' of the actual game when I returned to the UK.
As a result, nearly all of the games illustrated in this book date back to before 2002, although there are a few examples of more recent games when, for whatever reason, a space appeared.
I briefly annotated most of the games without reference to a computer program, to reflect my thoughts during the game, so there are inevitably lots of errors in the analysis.
My Chess games come with a health warning! Most ideas and analysis are, at best, speculative, and at worse totally unsound! But so what - that is the nature of a sporting encounter.
In my prime, I briefly achieved a FIDE rating status above ELO 2300, allowing me to be awarded the title of FIDE Master (FM), which fortunately lasts for a lifetime because I have never returned to that rating level!
- Andrew Smith
Hardback, 413 pages, 9781527285729
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"I have this book now. It was not what I was expecting but its excellent! Original and full of entertaining games" - IM Andrew Martin
"It is fair to say that I took a punt on purchasing your tome. I am bloody glad that I did. It is one of my most valuable chess books now and I feel lucky to have a copy. Well done on writing it, well done on sharing your joy and your chess experiences with the world. This is a life in chess." - Carl Portman
"I have known Andrew for many years and have had a copy of his book for a couple of weeks now. If you enjoy tactics, off-beat openings, anecdotes and more tactics (without too much analysis), this will definitely be a book for you. What makes this book a bit different from most is that I know personally (or know of) many of the characters featured" - John Bass