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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess, Third Edition Paperback – May 3, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick Wolff is a two-time U.S. Chess Champion (1992 and 1995) and an International Chess Grand-master. Patrick writes a chess column for the Boston Globe.  In addition, he has been a chess coach and instructor and has appeared in several instructional chess videos.

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: ALPHA; 3 edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592573169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592573165
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been playing Chess casually for many years. Only recently have I taken it upon myself to try to further my understanding of this game. Idiots Guide is an excellent start for the list of books I have compiled on the topic, based on other users recommendations. The book is broken up into 4 sections, with the first 3 being relevant to the rules of the game, strategy, tactic, and such. The 4th section is more of a tidbits and trivia section containing short biographies of the who's who in chess, which in itself can be pretty interesting. However, the meat of the book is in the first 3 sections. The author shows step by step the various games that demonstrate the principles. The overall writing style is simple and easy to understand. Personally, I felt that this book was too strong to be in the same category as the "Idiots Guides" or the "For Dummies" books. The end section gives a good list of follow up books also, which I also plan to read.
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Format: Paperback
Some of the time the instruction and material was just fine. But then something was introduced that seemed out of place or not well explained. Some rewording and some reorganizing is needed in "The complete Idiot's Guild to Chess". There is no problem with it having a lot in it, it is just how it is presented and explained. After looking around I ended up with a complete beginner's guild to chess that was directed at my age, easy to understand and had lots of material.
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A Kid's Review on January 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book that has LOTS in it, but is VERY BROKEN UP then we have have it! Qunantity BIG time. This is a great book for anyone one is not starting from scratch. This is not such a great book for someone who is not an advanced reader or who knows nothing about chess at all to start out with. It jumps around from one chapter to another and does not build exactly on one chapter to the next. I prefered "Learn Chess, A complege course" by Alander and Beach, much, much more and when I started I also got a Juniors Chess Book that was good that had a building upon each earlier chapter approach.

This book is ok for somebody who knows well the rules and the very basic stuff. Otherwise, just so, so, but takes work!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm 70 years old and picked Chess for my mental exercise during 2009. Hey ! It's working ! The Guide is really very clear and presents Chess in an interesting way so one doesn't get lost or overwhelmed by it. Great book to start Chess with.
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Format: Paperback
I've always had a fascination with chess and wanted to learn how to play for many years. My only problem and I think the problem of many other people was a fear or intimidation of the game. I was under the impression that you had to be of superior intellect to learn the game and always stayed away from learning anything about chess. I finally decided to learn about the game and read several books to try to help me learn and understand more about this great game.

Of all the books that I have read, this book has helped me the most. The rules and fundamentals of the game were explained in a manner that the chess novice could understand with diagrams included to allow you to visually see what was being explained to you. After only reading the first three chapters I was playing games of chess with friends and against my computer and actually winning a few games. I never thought I would actually be playing a game of chess but now I find it's my favorite hobby. I recommend this to anyone who has always wanted to play chess but felt that they weren't cut out for the game. You'll learn easily and find yourself playing chess in no time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At a rather advanced age, I have decided to learn chess, but I need a lot of help so I bought The Complete Idiot's Guide. Here I uncovered an unbelievable amount of information. It answered just about every question that I had, although it did take a bit of effort. I agree with some of the other reviewers that it could have been organized better because I didn't want to wait 150+ pages to find out what was recommended for the opening. Call me a traditionalist, but I would have preferred to read about the opening at the start of the book. Wolff certainly did a good job of explaining the intricacies of chess though. The examples he includes (shown as pictures of games from famous matches) are very helpful and improved its educability. One could visualize exactly what it was he was talking about via the aide of example boards. For me the book was a good investment towards becoming an average player.
3 Comments 28 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Don't listen to the guy who was off on a rant about the "Idiot"

franchise being bad for one's self esteem.

Technically, the ranting guy is right- the "Idiot" franchise IS idiotic, but this is a trivial, pedantic point and not worth wasting such a long review on. Yeah, we all know that the publisher is using the logo to try to sell books, just like McDonalds or Microsoft. Big Deal.

Fact is, Patrick Wolf is a top Grandmaster, and if you are smart, you will listen to anything he has to say about chess. If you are a beginner, there is plenty of good stuff for you here.

I own a whole bookshelf of chess books and play at around an 1800 level. There are lots of useful excercises in the book for a player of my level, too. I got it out of the library, but if I were a beginner, I would buy the book and just enjoy it.

In particular, I enjoyed the "movie" sequences; in one example, you can follow a

whole combination that Kasparov played against Anand in a world championship. These frequent "chess movies" help the novice visualize the flow of action on the board. You can go backwards and forwards.

Also, Wolff actually wrote the book himself, which is more than one can say for "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess".
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