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What It Takes to Become a Chess Master (Batsford Chess) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. März 2012

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  • Taschenbuch: 208 Seiten
  • Verlag: Batsford Books (21. März 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1849940266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849940269
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,9 x 16 x 1,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 163.499 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

International Grandmaster Andrew Soltis is chess correspondent for the New York Post and a very popular chess writer. He is the author of many books including The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess, Transpo Tricks in Chess and How to Choose a Chess Move.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Nice&easy am 8. August 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
hello chessfans! I am an expert level player, Elo 2075, trying to improve to CM.
This book is easy to read and contains some entertainment. It is, however, not a training book and gives insufficient tips for further progress.
It is an account of the author of some important qualities of a master, but, it doesn't make clear how to get them.
To be critical this book is hard to recommend to anyone, as it might be foggy for lets say 1800 player and anyone over 2000 will probably be disappointed.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The book is written as if the author is talking to you: "you play good chess" etc. which is flattering, but soon, you will have enough of it.
There are a number of qualities that chess masters have, and this book intends to explain which these are and how to train them.
Examples are: "little tactics" "sense" "more", chapters which feature a lot of examples where the exception and not the rule applies!! note the double exclamation mark!!.
All fine, but where this book is lacking is the advice on how to train these qualities: browse through games or check annotated games, in just a couple of sentences.
There are better books on the market.
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1 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Peter der Große am 11. Dezember 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Dem Leser wird klar gemacht daß er bei seiner Planfindung die Notwendigkeiten und Möglichkeiten der
Stellung beachtet werden sollten. Insbesondere daß kleine Schwachstellen in seiner Stellung dem Gegner
bei ungenügenden Konterchancen den Weg zum Gewinn der Partie eröffnen.
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56 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von David Dathe - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
GM Andy Soltis states, in the introduction to his wonderful book, an astonishing fact: less than 2% of chess players who take chess seriously ever reach master strength. (For US chess players, using the Elo rating system, a master rating is 2200 or higher.) Read the statistic again, it's not less than 2% of people who play chess, it's less than 2% of people who play chess seriously! Our chess experience is common--we engage in an endless cycle of study and tournament play. Yet, year after year we see no real improvement in our rating nor our chess skill. Soltis' book sets out to discover what seperates chess masters from the rest of us. What is missing from our chess experience that keeps us from improving to master strength?

Based on my reading of the chess literature, I believed the answer to be chess masters are better in four areas: 1) tactical vision, 2) positional judgment, 3) calculating variations, and 4) endgame technique. (The first three are covered in detail, including training methods, in Kotov's book, Play Like a Grandmaster.) Add a few psychological factors such as will-to-win, concentration, and awareness, and you have a complete chess player. Apparently I was wrong. Soltis addresses these skills and states that while they are needed, they aren't enough.

Soltis lists 9 skills, one per chapter, he believes seperates chess masters from other players. Some of the skills I had heard of, some I had heard of but didn't believe, and some of the skills were new to me. Based on my years of teaching experience and study of how expertise in a discipline is achieved, I believe Soltis' list is groundbreaking in chess literature. (I'm a complete skeptic on most everything, but I have to wonder if there has been some sort of chess conspiracy to keep this knowledge from the us ordinary players!)

An example of a skill that Soltis examines is: What Matters Most. In any chess position there can be a confusing variety of tactical and positional elements to consider. In addition, general chess principles are often contradictory. This makes selecting the right move/plan difficult. Chess masters have the ability to focus on the one or two relevant elements of any position and exploit those elements. They see through the "noise" of a position to get at what is most important, what the position is calling them to do. (For the other 8 skills, you'll have to buy the book.)

You may think that masters and GMs are born with these skills. Soltis disagrees. He claims that each skill can be taught and learned. To illustrate, each chapter is filled with study and training techniques. Specific GMs, e.g., Kramnik or Anand, are mentioned in connection with specific skills. Study their games because they show a particular skill particularly well. Numerous quizzes (test positions) at the end of the each chapter allow you to test your ability at mastering the skill being described.

Soltis' book has had a profound effect on my chess. I have personally changed my study routine. I "see" chess differently. In examining GM games, I keep a list of the 9 skills to see what the GM was doing at a certain time. Many times when I play through GM games, certain moves were unclear to me. After reading Soltis' book, the number of confusing moves I see in GM games has been reduced greatly.

I believe GM Andy Soltis is best chess author in the history of chess. He doesn't have a "bad" book, and if he did, the book would still be better than 90% of what is out there now. I also believe this is his best book ever. If I had read this book 20 years ago, I would have been a chess master by now. There is simply no better book on real, meaningful chess improvement. I fully expect my chess skill to better a year from now. Buy the book, and your's will be too.
38 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very Good Book 31. März 2012
Von Eskychesser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a very good book. Soltis has a long history of writing good chess books that are very clear in language, very instructive in material and at a meaningful level to where everyone can understand.

This particular book is divided into 9 different sections and with each section comes lots of different examples. This book is probably geared more for an intermediate level player that aspires to get better (even reach master). The examples many times show what a master knows and what you don't! I am a Class A player and I must say it does show a lot of stuff I didn't know! I'm not sure this book alone will take an aspiring player to master, but there is clearly stuff there that will improve one's game. One example in particular came from Chapter 2 - Targets. We all know we need targets, but Soltis gave an example of how a g-pawn was weak and how to go after it. I must say I wouldn't have even considered such a plan - and I'm sure true to the example a master would have.

Soltis is not 100% clear on how you should practice these new lessons, but has written a book on chess study as well and many of those concepts were covered in that book. There are a few small typos and notation glitches, but it doesn't make the book unreadable and there are a lot of diagrams. A very strong intermediate player can read the book without a board and pieces in most cases.

I really enjoyed this book and I learned from it. It's well worth the $13 price!
26 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Improving Your Vision 4. Juli 2012
Von Mark Trevor Smith - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I have read every word in this book, set up every position on a board and studied it, written answers to 52 questions about the positions in the quizzes, and created a ChessBase file containing the games of those 52 positions. I shall soon go through the book again, digging more deeply.

I don't yet know what improvement will come from this study, but I do know that Soltis's approach seems spot on, and I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, despite its difficulties and despite my many blind spots and incorrect or incomplete evaluations of quiz positions. Never before have I so eagerly anticipated studying a chess book for the second time.

We who are not chess masters must change something (or many somethings) if we are ever to become masters. But what do we change and how? Soltis gives us plenty of guidance along that path. My only negative comment on this book is the frequent advice along the lines of "It's easy to find well-annotated games with examples of what I just explained [targets, pawn structures, priyomes, etc.]." Maybe it's possible, but it ain't easy. One serendipitous moment came, though, right after I finished two Spassky games in the final chapter and found an eerily similar priyome in the latest ChessBase coverage of the Russia-China match.

Thanks, GM Soltis, for another great book. Once I judge that my ChessBase file of the quizzes is ready for primetime, I'll ask your permission to make it public.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Another Soltis Book that Sounds Good, But in Practice Falls Somewhat Short 5. Mai 2014
Von Deaf Zed - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
BACKGROUND: In the past few years, I've gone from being nothing more than a very casual online correspondence chess player to one who is now starting to play in USCF rated tournaments. My current (albeit still provisional) USCF rating is in the 2000s. My "actual" playing strength for 'slow' chess is probably in the 1800-2000 USCF range. I've now played my share of speed games (1|0 bullet and 5|0 blitz) against players ranging from Class E to Expert (and even one master). To date I've completely read through at least 16 chess books, as well as half-finished at least a dozen others (probably the same as most other 'serious' chess players). Done loads of tactics problems. Read and still read dozens of annotated master games. Etc. Suffice it to say that while there are still far better chess players on this Earth than me, compared to the average club player, I'm not a complete slouch either. In other words, I have some idea of what passes for good chess literature and what doesn't.

REVIEW: Anyone familiar with author Andrew Soltis' previous books will recognize the format of this one as well. Basically this is a collection of game fragments, organized thematically into a chapter which (here) is about the prime differences between an amateur chess player and a master. Soltis will repeatedly tag-team between explanatory prose and a game example, using the one to support the other (at least in theory). After finishing one game example, he'll move on to another. Until the next chapter of the book. Ad nauseam until the book is complete.

Chapters include: 1.)'What Matters Most' - Soltis argues that a master doesn't necessarily calculate better or farther than an amateur. Rather, the master has a better idea of what matters most in a position and hence, what's even WORTH calculating to begin with. Although I disagree with some of Soltis' claims here, this is one of the best parts of this book I admit. 2.) 'Targets' - How a master will always look for targets to attack, and if he doesn't have any, he'll try to create some 3.) 'Little Tactics' - How masters won't immediately give up on a promising line just because of a small tactical flaw. Rather, the master will try to use 'little tactics' to make his idea work, if possible. 4.) 'Sensing,' - Discusses a master's superior ability to sense things over an amateur, like when zugzwang is approaching, when a position is becoming critical, etc. Soltis' main suggestion for developing better sense is going over more annotated master games.
There's also a chapter (the name of which I forget) that discusses how experienced masters will often forgo objectively better, but more complicated, calculation-intense lines in preference to simpler, more practical moves, so long as the more practical choice still does whatever the master is looking for in the position (win or draw).

All of this is well-and-good-sounding and indeed, much of Soltis' prose is rather engaging, instructive, and practical. Unfortunately, Soltis has the rather annoying habit of trying to support his good prose with bad, or at least considerably-less-than-ideal, examples. In one part of his book where he's discussing prophylactic moves, for instance, he wants you to guess a move that Carlsen played in a Sicilian Defense game. Did you guess Ka1? If not, then you obviously didn't see all the far-fetched (for me, at any rate) plans that Soltis discussed for black that would make such a move worthwhile for white. A frustrating experience when the same thing happens time and again throughout the book. So much for the prose explanations, I guess.
What's worse is that the majority of Soltis' 'quiz' positions have the same not-very obvious solutions to them, ones that will likely take you minutes (more than 20 quite conceivably) to even come close to solving. Maybe it's because I'm still not quite where Soltis' target audience is (presumably 2000-2200 level players); maybe it's because Soltis' examples overwhelmingly draw from the absolute best players in the world, who themselves are/were many cuts above plain ol' masters. I'm not sure.

CONCLUSION: Like most of Soltis' books, the topics sound good, the prose sounds good...but the specific examples that are meant to support the prose fall short. Instead of giving examples where the solution move is challenging, yet logical and illustrative, Soltis consistently goes for examples where the solutions are just baffling, if not outright over-the heads of most strong club players. Maybe I'm still not quite strong enough of a player to fully "appreciate" his examples or something.
At any rate, this book, like the other Soltis books I've read, isn't total trash and does have its good points. Unfortunately, it also has more than its share of bad ones.
44 von 58 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Put your money to better use 7. Oktober 2012
Von Rasa - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I am rated USCF 2137 and would seem to be ripe to make the jump to Master by understanding the "secrets" laid bare in Soltis's book. However, I find a different book, one with the more modest title of Chess Lessons [ASIN:1906552827] and written by the less-known Vladimir Popov, to be far more useful in my quest for self-improvement. Popov was (is?) the trainer of the Kosintseva sisters and shares the critical insights that made the sisters the 2500+ GMs they are today. Popov's book is filled with several hundred examples, each of which could serve as a practical training position (and often did!); even in unclear positions, the candidate moves that are given are accompanied by logical explanations, with ideas given before variations. Soltis's book has similar topics ("The Most Important Factor", "Targets," etc.) and the examples, though fewer in number than in Popov's book, are generally good, but not always. (In this kind of review, it is not possible to show actual chess positions and explain why a certain move is not necessarily the unique inexorable solution Soltis likes to pretend it is. But if you are interested in such examples, take a look at A. Root's review of Soltis's book in Chess Life.)

Soltis's book suffers from the central dubious claim that there is a set of clearly identifiable skills that distinguishes masters from non-masters. Surely it depends on the particular masters and non-masters? Is USCF 2199 really that different from 2200? Perhaps the author and his publisher felt that a wimpy title like Chess Lessons wouldn't sell. Consequently, having committed to an arbitrary stance because of the silly title, Soltis feels obliged to hint at the central claim on practically every page. This tiresome repetition is compounded by Soltis's off-putting style. In addition to the exuberant cliches that are standard fare in most American chess writing, Soltis (much like Silman) cannot disguise his condescension toward the reader. Sample Soltisms: "In this position, a *master* would want *more*." "A master knows what matters most." "An amateur is confused by the imposing word 'positional' ... If we replaced it with the easier 'non-material,' they'd have an easier time grasping positions like the following ..." And so on, ad nauseam. Soltis seems unaware that his own examples undermine the main claim--if a position is chosen from a game between two super-grandmasters, say Kramnik and Svidler, and one crushes the other because of his alleged master skills what are we to make of the loser--was he temporarily tainted by amateurish thinking? In some positions, Soltis questions a GM's actual move in a game and uses it to illustrate how a *master* would have found a better move.

Having gnashed my teeth through Soltis's book, making notes about the chess positions and stoically ignoring the purple prose, I doubt if I will return to this book for fresh insights. In contrast, Popov's book is a keeper--it's a book I keep returning to, to identify my numerous weaknesses and to work on them but also to be inspired to be creative.
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