Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42
  1. #1
    CC Rookie
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22

    6 books to chess mastery

    How about we run a little exercise here.

    Imagine you've been handed the task of training a young pimply faced teen who has been assessed as being the most naturally talented chess player in the history of the world! (they used this brain scanner thingy). Unfortunately, there is a catch, this teen cannot read more than 6 chess books. If he (or she) reads 7, his head explodes (it's an unfortunate genetic defect). You've been given the task of guiding him from ignorance to world domination...by recommending just six books.

    Now, the higher powers at FIDE will be assessing the kid after he's read 2 books, then again after 4 books. Get him from easy beat, to competant, to master.

    My try:

    To get him out of his rabbit phase I'll recommend
    Play Winning Chess - Seirawan
    Winning Chess Tactics - Seirawan

    (I think these are good for a beginner. Easy to understand and fun to read; not too overwhelming and complicated. )

    Now to introduce him to some positional play and endgame study I'll try
    How To Reassess Your Chess - Silman
    Winning Chess Endings - Seirawan

    (Personally I loved Winning Chess Strategies and would recommned, but I think Silman Reassess Your Chess has the same stuff with some extra stuff that's very important, his Silman Thinking Technique, and his combination indicator rules.)

    My young apprentice must be kicking some ass by now. I'm damn sure that just two more books isn't going to get him over the line against Kasparov, but you can't get around that head exploding thing, so I'll try
    Understanding Pawn Play - Marovic
    Ideas Behind The Chess Openings - Reubin Fine

    (now I would have recommneded My System by Nimzovitch and Art of Attack in Chess by Vladimir Vukovic, but I felt some concentrated opening theory and pawn theory was more important.)


    Six months ago I started playing chess again and was desperately looking for some recommendations to get my chess skills back up in the quickest time possible. I couldn't find much but I did some research and bought a few books and can now recommend the above books to anyone who is in the same position I was.

    Please help these poor rabbits out by adding you're own book study regime, but remember, it's only 6 or...pop.
    Last edited by b1_; 08-08-2005 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,381
    Are your best friends 3 teenage bears?

  3. #3
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,381
    Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

  4. #4
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,575
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    I think I am, b2
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    CC Rookie
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    Actually, you're the first to figure that out straight away. I do get some very strange guesses...but wait a minute, off topic you mofo's. Books. You know how kids are. 200 books to chess mastery is too overwhelming. Six'll do.
    Last edited by b1_; 08-08-2005 at 11:23 PM.

  6. #6
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,687

    six books

    Well I suggested one book to one of our Box Hill juniors and he was already working through it.

    This book is top of my list.

    1. "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht.

    You only need to learn to play endings once and this book has a fantastic amount of material and is really interesting to read. I know one player who has boosted his Australian rating 200 points and claims it is due to this book.

    2. "The Chess Struggle in Practice" by David Bronstein.

    " This is the best tournament book ever written. Most writers have it in their best three chess books ever written. If you only own six chess books then you want to be able to play through the games again and again. It will improve your middle game out of sight.

    3. "My Best Games of Chess 1924 - 1937 A Alekhine.

    A collection of 120 games with tremendous annotations. Once more these games can be played through again and again.

    4. "One hundred selected games" M M Botvinnik. Another collection of games
    with splendid annotations.

    5. "Aron Nimzovitsch: A Reappraisal" Raymond Keene. This book contains a
    set of games which illustrate Nimzovich's middle game ideas in action. Many of the annotations are taken from Nimzovitsch's own writings and translated into English for the first time. I think that it was Bent Larssen who cast doubt upon the English translations of "My System" and "Praxis". This book is great because you can see Nimzovitch sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully using his middle game concepts.

    6. A repertoire opening book. Opening books go out fashion so fast that playing boring old fashioned systems would be the way to go.

  7. #7
    CC Rookie
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    Remember guys, you're training an absolute beginner. Meaning, he doesn't even know how to move the pieces yet. Starting him off with a 400 page book on the endgame probably won't work because he'll be moving his rooks diagonally (Btw David, I'd never heard of Fundamental Chess Endings but the reviews look good. Probably get that one).

    To explain further, my recommendations were:

    1. Play Winning Chess - Seirawan
    2. Winning Chess Tactics - Seirawan

    3. How To Reassess Your Chess - Silman
    4. Winning Chess Endings - Seirawan

    5.Understanding Pawn Play - Marovic
    6.Ideas Behind The Chess Openings - Reubin Fine

    They are to be read in that order by a newbie. The order is designed to get them interested (first two books have lots of diagrams, good commentry, not too many huge tangential variations), and skilled up by providing the most concentrated chess knowledge in as few a books as possible. I don't know anyone who looks forward to study. Tell someone that if they read these 200 chess books they too can be a master, they just won't bother. But tell them that all they need is 6 books it'll be a different story. I'm a firm believer that chess skill can be taught to the talentless, right up to pre-master, with not too much difficulty.

    (Here's a story. I have a younger brother who was interested in chess but could never beat me. I could tell he liked chess but losing all the time was not appealing to him. I sent him an email that was not more than 10 lines long setting out the basic tactics, 3 opening principles, and some middlegame principles, and the very next game he almost beat me!)

    I'm hoping this thread will help some people out. If you're a beginner, have a look at all the 1. and 2. books offered (the best will be those mentioned the most I'm guessing). If you've been playing for ages but never read any chess books I think the number 3. and 4. books will dramatically improve your play. If you're already good, the number 5. and 6. books will probably improve your play some more. Whatever your skill level is at start with the appropriate number.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,437
    For a total beginner I still think you can't go past Purdy's primer.

    Two excellent books for kids/beginners once they've advanced to the stage where they understand how the pieces move and have played a few games:

    - How To Beat Your Dad At Chess (50 checkmate patterns)
    - 50 Tricky Chess Tactics For Kids (50 tactical patterns)

    both of those by GM Murray Chandler. I have been spending a bit of time working with the latter and it has definitely been helpful to me. I imagine I will still be refreshing my memory with it in 10 years time!
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  9. #9
    CC International Master Bereaved's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,222
    Would that be in the banned?

  10. #10
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,381
    yes of course...

  11. #11
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    20,896
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa
    play me
    in your profile you say that you are not a player and not interested in chess (or used to)

    just bringing up out of interest

  12. #12
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,687

    books

    " training a young pimply faced teen who has been assessed as being the most naturally talented chess player in the history of the world!"

    Most naturally talented chess player in the history of the world" and does not even know the moves - this seems somewhat curious to me. Nevertheless if we are to start from an absolute beginner then what is needed is somewhat different.

    One hassle is that some of the older books are only available in descriptive
    notation. Our super talented youngster should have no problems with handling both notations.

    So first we need a beginners book in algebraic notation. Several have already been suggested. I will not add another

    Next two books that use descriptive although they may have been reprinted in algebraic notation.

    "The guardian book of chess" covers a great deal very economically. Starting from how the pieces move to middle game ideas, a basic opening repertoire that is somewhat dated, some basic endings and a few puzzles and problems. All in all a very useful paper back which may still be in print. It is just the book to help the player rapidly improve.

    "Laskers Manuel of Chess" Emmanuel Lasker. This book starts from how the pieces move and covers a mass of openings, middle game and endings concepts. The annotated illustrative games are superb. Our junior can return to this book again and again long after he is a strong player.

    One of Silman's books dealing with selecting candidate moves. The concepts outlined are relevant for players of all strength. Silman's books are just the thing to turn to if you have a form slump. Using a systematic approach will help you fight your way out of it. (speaking from experience the first thing that goes wrong in a form slump is intuition, the second is confidence.)

    "Pawn Power in Chess" Hans Kmoch. This book should be mandatory reading for all club chess players. Working through this book will improve your openings middle games and endings play. Whenever I see juniors playing there will be examples where they miss the centre and the fork trick, the night attack (your opponents pieces are fast asleep) and as for the sealing sweeping concept it might as well be hidden in hanger 51 it is so alien to them.

    I have only made four suggestions.The last three will help any club player.

  13. #13
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,575
    Lasker's book was one of the first chess book I read and was quite insightful though somewhat dated I feel. Earlier than that I read Alexei Sokolski's Your First Move. This is a shorter book and probably even more suitable for an absolute beginner. Patriotically, I should also mention Purdy and Koshnitsky's Chess Made Easy. I have one printed in 1967 (17th ed) with a cover price of 25 cents! The first chess liturature to which I was exposed. Whilst short it covers the basics and is also suitable for the complete beginner.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    CC Rookie
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    Most naturally talented chess player in the history of the world" and does not even know the moves - this seems somewhat curious to me.
    That Brain Scanner Thingy is an amazing machine. Simply swiping the subjects head over the scanner beam it can tell how good at chess they might be. No need for them to know any chess. It uses some kind of reverse polarity beam that ionises brain particles. Quite remarkable .

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    One of Silman's books dealing with selecting candidate moves. The concepts outlined are relevant for players of all strength. Silman's books are just the thing to turn to if you have a form slump. Using a systematic approach will help you fight your way out of it. (speaking from experience the first thing that goes wrong in a form slump is intuition, the second is confidence.)
    I agree. I believe you're talking about How To Reassess Your Chess here. Silman is great because he knows what the average player thinks, and so all the information in his books are targeted directly at that type of player, not above him.

    The Silman Thinking Technique has really helped my play. It basically is method of assessing any chess position, and using that knowledge to devise a plan. How many times have you played a game where you make move decisions based on endless calculation, chess principles, the position of the planets etc, but with no plan in mind. Silman argues that you must have a plan to succeed. And you do not need to be a strong calculator to come up with a plan either. And not only does it improve your play, but it speeds up your moves aswell. The book is a gem. Highly recommend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    "Pawn Power in Chess" Hans Kmoch. This book should be mandatory reading for all club chess players. Working through this book will improve your openings middle games and endings play. Whenever I see juniors playing there will be examples where they miss the centre and the fork trick, the night attack (your opponents pieces are fast asleep) and as for the sealing sweeping concept it might as well be hidden in hanger 51 it is so alien to them.
    Ahh. This book was the other pawn book I was considering in my list. I didn't pick it because I haven't read it yet, and it is said to be a difficult read at times. It was written in the 1940's but is the classic pawn book, the one all the masters have read. If I saw it on the shelf I would buy it.


    Just a quick note if you are considering diving into any of the books mentioned here. Download Chessbase Light (free) and annotate each book in the program. It will allow you to get through each book faster because you will be able to jump back and forth between different variations and positions instantly, rather than having to reset positions on a chess board manually. It will also allow you to revisit the books later and not have to set up all the chess positions over again. You may not even have to annotate yourself because others have already done it for a number of books using Chessbase or in the standard .pgn format. These can be found here: http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/~gossimit/c/book.htm
    Last edited by b1_; 13-08-2005 at 07:24 PM.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,437
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    One of Silman's books dealing with selecting candidate moves. The concepts outlined are relevant for players of all strength. Silman's books are just the thing to turn to if you have a form slump. Using a systematic approach will help you fight your way out of it. (speaking from experience the first thing that goes wrong in a form slump is intuition, the second is confidence.)
    I just purchased Silman's "The Amateur's Mind" and it has been a revelation ... and I am expecting a dramatic improvement in my positional play from here onwards. Can't wait to give some of his concepts a try out in some serious games. He makes positional play seem very accessible.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Stinginess of Chess Players
    By Paul S in forum Australian Chess
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 24-04-2008, 09:48 PM
  2. How to increase chess participation.
    By ursogr8 in forum Australian Chess
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 22-04-2005, 05:02 PM
  3. Junior performance and training
    By auriga in forum General Chess Chat
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 20-12-2004, 09:34 PM
  4. Mt Buller - Chess World letter to ACF
    By ChessGuru in forum Mt Buller Chess
    Replies: 210
    Last Post: 17-07-2004, 11:58 AM
  5. Australian chess wheel reinvented again!
    By Kevin Bonham in forum Australian Chess
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 20-02-2004, 04:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •