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Best Play: A New Method For Discovering The Strongest Move Paperback – July 16, 2013

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Best Play: A New Method For Discovering The Strongest Move + Techniques of Positional Play: 45 Practical Methods to Gain the Upper Hand in Chess + Improve Your Chess Pattern Recognition: Key Moves and Motifs in the Middlegame
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alexander Shashin is a chess theoretician and author in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he trains young international players.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Mongoose Press (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936277468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936277469
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Lopez Michelone on July 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very peliminary review. Take this in account, please.

From time to time there are people who think have the secret for chess (I can recall Moskalenko "revolutionize your chess" series - see my review). The new book of Alexander Shashin, a physicist and chess trainer, looks to me a new approach to analyse chess positions. He works in three chess models: Tal's, Capablanca's and Petrosian's styles of playing, to try to find out how they think to find their moves and how to teach people to use these "chess algorithms" in our games.

Shashin's style of writing is like having a chat with him. Sometimes he is trying to convice the reader about the benefits of analysing a chess position using the "principles" of Tal's algorithm. He spend a lot of time working on very difficult positions from Tal's games, to convince the reader about his method to find the strongest move. The examples are really amazing and you can see the magnificent Tal in action. He was one of a kind and in fact, I don't think you can dissect this style of play, because is not only about concepts (or rules) of what to do, is about deep calculations and an amazing chess imagination of the former world champion. Tal is unique and certainly, to try to put in pieces how he plays chess looks, I repeat, a good idea to try, but I think there is no proactical algorithm to mimic Tal's style if you don't know how to calculate so deeply in the position.(By the way, I found in three games, three typographical mistkes in Tal's games. Surprising because with all these wonderful tools to edit chess contents, to make these sort of errors looks absurd).

The author works in the same manner with Capablanca and Petrosian.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Big Mac on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
GM Bronstein once said "The essence of chess is thinking about chess."

Alexander Shashin has thought deeply about the essence of chess, and has analyzed it with the methodology of the nuclear physicist which he is.

This book presents a coherent and logical method for analyzing ANY chess position.

The problem is, the presentation of the material the book contains could have been better.

Much much better.

Instruction by practical game-analysis begins in the text on page 18, where we are introduced to a method of determining the material value, or "m", of the position on the board...count White's developed pieces, add "one" for having the move and subtract the counted number of Black's pieces (don't add one, as Black hasn't the move).

The numerical value obtained is referred to the simple Algorithmic Drift-Chart (which may be intuitive for a physicist to understand how to read, but equates to two days worth of daunting to a determined layperson/chessplayer to decipher. Clues as to how to read the Drift-Chart are buried in the text of the book, a bit here, a bit there, rather than having a page opposite it devoted to explaining it's methodology--annoying.)

But..wait...this methodology isn't to determine "m", but refers to "tempi"-(-not tempo, but tempi)...but..it's not how you determine parameter "t", Time...either--there's another methodology for that, counting all possible squares one's pieces can move to and dividing by all-possible-squares the opponent may move to, deriving a value from that to be compared to the Drift-Chart...
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Ortiz on December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Foreword

The text below is more readable, and contains graphics important to the message, on the original page of the article: [...]

"....

Introduction

In this first article I will show, in more detail than in the User’s Manual, the principle which inspired the Vitruvius’ team in the construction of the Opening Book. With the help of an example I will also show how well our Book integrates itself with the Chess Engine to produce a very original style of play.

Shashin’s theory

Alexander Shashin is a former theoretical nuclear physicist and Russian chess master who currently has completely dedicated his time to chess playing and chess instruction. He is known for his work which models chess on a Physical System.

Very briefly Shashin holds that in assessing any position on the chessboard we need to consider the following factors:
• Material (m) – a very simple notion analogous to the mass of a system.
• Mobility (p) – analogous to the kinetic energy of a system.
• Packing density – analogous to the density of a system.
• Expansion factor – the expansion factor is analogous to the potential energy of a system.

Shashin claims that these four ‘concepts’ are enough to identify the correct path to follow in any chess position (actually he does away with the concept of ‘plan’).

Now let us concentrate our attention on factors 1 and 2, and consider the other 2 factors equal for both players. We define
p= WL/BL
where WL and BL are respectively the total number of legal moves at White’s disposal and Black’s total of legal moves. p is a measure of mobility and to its every value we link a specific move selection algorithm:

A) p> 1.
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