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Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess Paperback – February 4, 2010

383 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0923891602 ISBN-10: 0923891609

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Ishi Press (February 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923891609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923891602
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 154 people found the following review helpful By David Richmond on August 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, so many reviews bashing this book for promising the moon and the stars and then not delivering! It's not a bad book!

If you are brand new to chess, want to learn to play relatively quickly, without getting bogged down with the more advanced stuff, and want something you can pick up and put down for short periods of time, this is a good book for you. You will learn the rules of the game and the basics of winning the game (checkmate, not long term strategy). It's pretty engaging because it doesn't spend a lot of time on explanations, instead most of its space is devoted to puzzles. Each page has a short one-move puzzle, with the answer on the next page. It's a pretty quick 'read', and it's pretty basic, probably anyone over 1300 should look for something more advanced.

I'm a little amused at all of the gripes:

"It wasn't written by Bobby Fischer." - OK, fine, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile. Many books supposedly by experts were really ghostwritten, doesn't make them worthless. And knowing Bobby's anti-social nature, I suspect he wouldn't be the greatest teacher himself, anyway ;)

"It doesn't teach chess." Sure it does. No, it doesn't teach *all* aspects of chess, but it does teach chess! It teaches everything you need to know to complete an entire game.

"Not enough written text." This is more of a learn-by-doing kind of book.

"Other books are better." Yep, there's lots of great books out there. This one has some good stuff in it, too.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a book that only covers how to checkmate it has so few problems compared to every other book I have seen that covers checkmates that it is a waste of time and money. The checkmates were so simple that as a beginner I went through about half of them in five minutes and stopped after that. Even for a beginner it is worthwhile to get a book with more examples and one that explains the different types of checkmates.
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181 of 204 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has the title that made me think there was covering of all points of chess. But when I got the book Bobby Fischer only sets up positions (and only one per page) where you must find a checkmate that is very, very easy to find. Every page is like this. I should have read the reviews on it so I could have spent the money on a top book that teaches beginners. If you are are reading this (like I should have read the reviews) then do not buy this book unless you want a bunch of easy to solve checkmate positions instead of a book that has real lessons to learn from. I have since gotten "Chess for Juniors" and "How to Beat your Dad at Chess". "Chess for Juniors" gives very good lessons and "How to Beat your Dad" has checkmate positions but tells you much more about them.
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236 of 268 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BOBBY FISCHER TEACHES CHESS was first published in 1966, when the great player was still a young man seen as a prodigy newcomer in professional chess circles. The first thing one has to realize about the book is that it is essentially ghostwritten--a long tradition in chess primers and accessories--so those hoping to understand something of Fischer's playing peculiarities will be quite disappointed. The book is the creation of Stuart Margulies and Donn Mosenfelder, two educators and chess aficionados who wanted to create a chess primer using the then-new concept of "Programmed Instruction". In spite of the fact that the book is an experimental teaching tool created by two academics, it is written as if Fischer himself were speaking, which makes for a rather incongruous style.

Enough about its origins. What readers should be most concerned about is what the book is and whether it will help their chess skills. BOBBY FISCHER TEACHES CHESS begins from the very beginning with a 13-page introduction to the rules of chess. This is probably redundant since many chess boards come with a sheet describing the rules. The real instruction really consists only of a series of example situations, which the reader is asked "Can white checkmate? If he can, draw an arrow." then one has to turn the page to find out. The amount of situations here are very limited, and one would encounter them and master them in one's first few games. This makes the book rather unnecessary. There is no discussion of openings, no use of algebraic notation (which pretty much all other chess titles use). All the strategy presented is short-term, there doesn't appear to be even general hints such as the importance of gaining control of the centre of the board.
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133 of 149 people found the following review helpful By George Berry on April 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for a good book on "How to Checkmate" get "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess" or even Polgar's massive Puzzels Book. Fischer's book has very little material in it is is dated because of much better books of the same nature. Looking for a good instructional book: if a kid, adult or teacher get "Chess For Juniors". If a classroom teacher consider getting "Teaching Chess in the 21st Century" in addition to "Chess for Juniors".
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146 of 164 people found the following review helpful By John Robinsson on May 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has recently been clearly shown to not only have not been written by the famous Bobby Fischer, but to contain a bunch of cheaply put together simple to solve checkmate problems.

You want a good Beginner's book? Look at CHESS FOR JUNIORS for any age or IDIOT'S GUIDE TO CHESS if you are an adult level reader.
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