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Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z Paperback – July, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Basically the book starts with an introduction explaining the goals of this book and how the idea to write happend... Silman explains how he had a student that basically wrote a book like this in a simple form... He could not deal with how books overwhelm person with too much information... So Silman took that idea and expanded upon it, creating basically an easy to digest Chess Dictionary... It then goes into a short explanation of what the various chess notation symbols mean... This can be good for a starter since its easy to confuse !? with ?! :)... Then he gets into Chess notation, this part bothered me a bit to say the least... I wish he covered and explained descriptive notation since that was something I had lots of trouble understanding starting out... I think that would of helped someone staring out very much to say the least... Also make it easier for them to get older chess books and understand them... Still he covers modern notation rather well and in an easy to understand way...
Then we get into the 4 main parts of the book... They consist of The Opening, The Middlegame, The Endgame, and Practical Matters...Read more ›
This book covers a lot of ground and hits upon a lot of fundamental ideas that a good chess player needs. I am hardly a beginner, but some of the tactical ideas in chess are new to me as I have either never encountered them or I never had them shown to me. This book does a lot to shed light on some of them. It covers such topics as x-rays, windmills, double attacks, pins, forks, etc.
An extremely useful section of this book, to which I have found nothing comparable in other books, is a description of common opening systems and what they try to accomplish. The assessment Silman gives is related directly to his system of imbalances (see his other books for more detailed information on that), and each opening system is picked apart and explained. This is beyond helpful, this is absolutely critical. For this reason alone I bought this book.
The book reads like an encyclopedia -- not exploring each subject exhaustively, but including it and summarizing. This intent is spelled out in the introduction. This is an important point to note -- this book was not intended to be exhaustive.
This is a good book. What prevents it from being a great book is not what is has, but what it doesn't have -- it needs more examples. Each subject after the coverage of openings gets a page or two on average, including one or two examples. I would have liked to have seen more examples to further convey the concepts. This does not mean a student should expect to pick up this book and gain instant mastery, but there should be good "proof of concept" for each idea the author presents. Also, I would have preferred to see coverage of a few more opening systems and/or variations.
As a tournament preparation guide, as the introduction suggests, this book is a very valuable resource.
I do recommend this book as an introduction to these themes, but Winning Chess Tactics is better for tactical issues, How To Reassess Your Chess is better for positional understanding, Pandolfini's Endgame Course is better for, well, endgame work, and Standard Chess Openings is better for Opening Knowledge.
If you want a quick refresher with little depth, this is it. If you want the depth, you'll still have to go elsewhere. I would love an expanded 2nd edition that covers all topics in greater detail. Then you'd have a truly "complete" book.
Silman is a great teacher, and a clear, concise writer. This book by any other author would probably only get 3 stars (assuming it was written in a less effective manner).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An ideal book for those who want to improve themselves in chess.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book is nothing about strategy at all. It's just a reference book with very little analysis and actual tactics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christopher Rossetti
I am so happy my grandson like it very much to improve his talents for tournaments, I bought another copy to improve my chess game training 65 years ago from chess family but got... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gloriosa O. Agdeppa
This is a good book on chess strategy. The author clearly knows his stuff and gives solid advice. But, I don't care for the way the sequences of play are given. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Henry A. Rhyne
This was a gift. The person who received it has raved about how much it helped him. He said it gave him the information he needed to