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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 9208  
Subject: Chess Teaching Books Date: 2/26/2002 3:20 PM
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Okay, I'm gonna start it off not with a game but with a note on chess books, and wondering who's read what on good chess stuff...

Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman

I've recently finished reading this and thought it was an incredible read. The basic assumptions he uses are that you know how to play chess and you know how to read notation of the moves. Pretty simplistic. He starts off simple and gets deeper as he goes. If you're flipping through it, it would appear as though it's thrown together fairly randomly. However, he does an excellent job in merging it all together. If you're not an advanced player, I would highly suggest your NOT skipping ahead to chapters that appeal to you. As I read through it, I found myself wondering why he was covering certain topics. But as I was playing through his examples, I also found that I was understanding more and more what was happening in the position because of what had earlier been covered. Had I skipped ahead, I'd have been lost.

He does a terrific job of using games as examples. He doesn't stray too far from the games, which I've found to be the case in some other books. I'm reading a book on openings right now, where the guy will start a game, then he'll randomly branch off into different games and go through the entire branched off game with no comment. Not bad if you're experienced and can read the positions as they come. But not a good way to teach. Silman gets into an example, and will stop every so often to say "Not X move because of this this this this and this" and then go right back on point. He'll often stop after certain moves to explain what you're looking at, and nearly every time a move is accompanied with a ? or ! (to note an excellent move or a blunder), he breaks in to tell you why it's a great or terrible move. On a side note, unless you're experienced enough to play an entire game in your head, having a chess board in front of you to play through the moves he's talking about is an absolute must.

The book is primarily covering the middle-game. There is little said on end-games, and even less on openings. He gives a few suggestions for recommended reading, and I'm anxious to get to a few of them.

Currently I'm reading "Standard Chess Openings". Like I said, it's not the best teaching book in terms of how to play through the games. It does a nice job teaching what the standard chess openings are (and I mean past the first or second move), and what the advantages and weaknesses of the positions are opening. But once you get into the middle-games it does not do a great job teaching anything. I'm skipping around to read first the openings I'm interested in, and will continue with others afterwards. It's highly likely that I will play through mostly the games noted, and not the games he branches into because there are too many and they have no explanations with them.

Thoughts are welcome, as are other book suggestions.

Chris
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