Playing over high-quality chess game collections is important to becoming a stronger player. Amateurs can have a hard time understanding grandmaster chess moves. Therefore, well-annotated games are important. They tell the reader the strategies and plans by both players which makes learning easier and more enjoyable. The Informants are the best chess game collections you can find anywhere on the Internet. Playing over these high-quality games will make you a better player. It will also help you analyze your own games.
Modern chess events appear in various chess magazines such as Chess Life or New in Chess but they only publish a small number of selected games. A chess brilliancy that happens in an obscure tournament in the Philippines is rarely covered — there simply isn’t enough room. This is where the Informants come in. They specialize in publishing only the highest quality chess games from tournaments all around the world. As of this writing, Informants come out once a quarter (4x a year).
The ultimate reference for top players
World class players use the Informants to keep up-to-date on the latest in chess theory. I wouldn’t recommend them as the primary study tool for chess players under 1800 but regular exposure to them will help your game. Why? Because the quality of these games is simply amazing. You will be shocked by how strong some of these players are and the incredible battles they have with each other. Each volume consists of hundreds of chess games in algebraic notation with special annotations intended for international audiences. Instead of publishing volumes in multiple languages, they use text symbols.
So, order a new or used copy at your local book store and play through some games. You will not be disappointed. They are the best chess game collections that money can buy.
Below is a list of the Informant chess symbols as listed on Wikipedia.
- ⌓ Better: Indicates a better move than the one played.
- □ Only: The only reasonable move, or the only move available.
- Δ Idea: Indicates the future plan this move supports.
- ∇ Countering: Indicates the opponent’s plan this move defends against.
- TN or N Novelty: A move that is a theoretical novelty.
- ↑ Initiative: Indicates an advantage in initiative.
- → Attack: With an attack.
- ⇄ Counterplay: Indicates that the player has counterplay.
- ↻ or ↑↑ Development: Indicates a lead in development.
- ○ Space: Indicates more space owned by one player.
- ⊕ Time trouble, a.k.a. Zeitnot: Indicates the player had little time remaining on their clock.
- ⊙ Zugzwang