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Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z Paperback – July, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat takes readers on the road trip of a lifetime in this wildly inventive book that tackles the age-old question from bored kids: "Are we there yet?" Hardcover | Kindle book | See more for ages 3-5
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  • Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z
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  • The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery
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  • Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Siles Pr; 1st edition (July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890085014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890085018
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good starter book for someone, yet is far from complete... The name is a bit deceptive to claim to be a complete strategy guide... This reads more like a Chess Dictionary than an actual strategy guide... Perhaps a better name would of been Chess Dictionary, Grandmaster Techniques from A-Z... I would say this book is mostly good for those U1600 range... The lower you are, the more this book most likely will help you... Just realize this gives a brief basic idea of what something means... By no means is this a complete work that will make you into an IM or GM... I will try to give a basic idea of what to expect in this book...
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...
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Format: Paperback
If you looking for a lot of strategies defined and briefly covered then this is the perfect book. If you are looking for a book on detailed strategies, opening traps or tactics on a deep level then this is not the right book. It simply doesn't get into anything very deeply (though it covers a lot of different strategies briefly). For what it is (more of reference book) this is a good book (you just need to understand what it is!).
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book after buying Silman's "Reassess Your Chess" and "The Amateur's Mind", both of which have been very helpful to me. This book bills itself as a strategy guide.
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.
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By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I liked this book, but not nearly as much as his How to Reassess Your Chess. While most topics are covered, there is simply not enough explanation on some of them. For example, explanations of bishop sacrafices, deflections, and other tactical issues are able to be covered in 1-2 pages. However, positional topics, like "Mysterious Rook Moves", weak squares, and imbalances in space, material, etc., are too complex to be discussed in any short format.
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).
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