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How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess Mastery Course (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. März 1997

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Format: Taschenbuch
Most the people who've reviewed this book seem to be pretty good players. I'm not -- based on the ratings I got on Chessmaster and Yahoo Chess, I was about an 1100 rated player. Since I play most of my chess games against a friend just for fun, this was never a concern for me... until my friend got better than me, and I started losing consistently.
Knowing that my knowledge of the game was lousy, I started looking for a good book to read, but had lots of problems finding one. It seemed to me that most books either assumed that the player was far more advanced than I was (e.g., opening repertoire books) or far less advanced (e.g., "How to Play Chess" type books). Finding something for the experienced, yet still pathetic, player was a challenge.
Fortunately, Silman fits the bill nicely. One of my main problems in games was never knowing what to do in the middle; often, I was reduced to making random, time-killing moves. And the books I did glance at were no help: "Make a plan," they intoned. Yeah, great advice, but how?
Silman explains how. He tells how to recognize imbalances in the game, and what to do to exploit those imbalances. This advice has proved invaluable to me. Now, I no longer make random moves; all of my moves have a purpose. Many of them still turn out to be deeply stupid moves, of course, but at least they're stupid moves with a purpose. I haven't even finished reading the book yet, but already my ranking on Yahoo has jumped to about 1300, and I'm able to win against my friend again. And I know, with a deep certainty, that I'm not using Silman's advice to the fullest -- a better player than I am could certainly pick up more from this book than I have.
Recommended.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book was extremely helpful in improving my chess game. I like the vehement style of writing that Jeremy uses, ("When I say you must, I mean you must."). I see many of my fellow reviewers lambast Jeremy for his Typos (and they should be corrected in a new edition [with two indices of players and openings, might I add]), but it is very helpful and useful that he expressed clarity and freshness in explaining the most important parts of the book. (There are a lot of dry chess readings througout history and I'm glad Jeremy, Bruce Pandolfini and Lev Alburt are aware to keep things fresh and lively). I was ready to tout this book as the best right along with some of my five-star yeilding cohorts until I follwed through with Jeremy's suggestion and read "The ART of the Middlegame" by Paul Keres and Alexander Kotov. This old book is MUCH MORE thorough than "How to Reassess Your Chess" in describing 1) planning in particular openings, 2)attacking in relation to the board's castled positions and 3)central pawn topography. But, it is an excellent idea to tie thoughts from these two books together; Jeremy's book does cover MANY OTHER planning issues that aren't in "The ART of the Middlegame." Bottom line: Ingest Jeremy's book and improve greatly. But, Ingest it along with "The ART of the Middlegame" and tell the world of chess to be very afraid of you. (Here's a tip... (read my Amazon review of Bruce Pandolfini's "Power Mates"). My review WILL give you some Ideas!
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book focuses on the middle game -- that time when many beginners ask themselves "now what? Do I attack, develop pieces for development's sake, or simply wait for my opponent to make a mistake?" This book teaches you how to analyze any position, determine the strengths and weaknesses of your position and, more importantly, those of your opponent. The book proceeds to discuss methods of attacking weaknesses and creating even more.
This book gave me the ability to think through a game and make a plan instead of plodding along hoping to stumble across a clever or unexpected combination.
It is written in very understandable English. I highly recommend this game to those who are seeking to advance beyond the beginning intermediate stage.
Even better, Silman includes a bibliography and brief description of the chess books he believes will be the most helpful to develop certain parts of the game (e.g. openings, endgames, pawn structure etc.). With so many chess books on the market, it's nice to have a professional's opinion on the one's best suited to help someone of my ability.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is ok for players up to class C I think ( 1400-1600 uscf ) but as a mid A player trying to break into expert, I felt it was too basic. I already know about all those positional imbalances. Mr Silman gives too little coverage to some really imporant things. He doesn't discuss HOW to devise plans once these imbalances are noticed. We get precious little discussion of tactics, even though several of the games have 20 move tactical sequences that justify the 'plan'.
I second some of the other complaints, that there are an incredible amount of grammaical and spelling misakes, and that Mr Silman included an awful lot of his games. I don't think the latter is hubris, however. Rather, he may just be more familiar with the material, and may have made these moves with his method in mind. Also, I think his method is not as original as he has purported. I've read nimzowitch(sp?) notes which made some of the same ideas perfectly clear in the 1900's. Also, a lot of the exact same material has been published in chess life.
So, I think it's OK for a lower-rated player to learn planning, or a stronger player with weak planning skills, but if you already have a good grasp of strategy, at least flip through it first.
dave
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