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MACA Book Review
Magic, Black to Move and Win! Magic, Black to Move and Win!
by: Richard Moody, Jr.

Price: $30.00
Format: Book 260pp.
Publisher: Self-published

Reviewed by: Life Master and FIDE Trainer Lou Mercuri
Recommendation: Not Recommended

This is the first time we have reviewed a self-published book and the author, Richard Moody, Jr. (a US non-master) has put forward a lengthy double-spaced book on the virtues of some unusual opening variations for white and a detailed coverage of a “magic” game he played as black illustrating, in part, the problems of playing with a bad bishop.

This book has a mixture of topics and discussion points. There is some general discussion of opening principles, some analysis of lines such as 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Qe2 and 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 as being to white’s advantage. The chapter delineations were difficult to follow, and there are no headings or indexes that make managing the material any easier. A Fritz computer program was used to analyze many positions, however a bibliography and many potential source games were lacking. The book seems to offer a potpourri of the author’s thoughts on openings, chess theory, famous players such as Nimzovich (who he greatly dislikes) and his own “magical” win with black.
I could give this book a few marks for originality, but everything else is bothersome and sometimes infuriating. I don’t like it at all. For starters, most people can’t really use an opening book without an index and I don’t know anyone who agrees with the conclusion on page 251 that “One of the worst responses to 1 e4 is perhaps 1…e5.” Also, something tells me 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Qe2?! won’t keep Petroff players staying up at night worrying. His constant scathing criticism of Nimzovich is completely unjustified. I honestly don’t think it’s worth a review in CH, except readers should be warned away from it.
There has never been a time in chess history when more top level analysis, publications, and materials are available to players of all levels. With such outstanding material available, there is no reason to purchase Moody’s book except as an oddity. (Not Recommended)

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