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How I Beat Fischer's Record (Judit Polgar Teaches Chess) Hardcover – September 21, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Notions of chess have been shattered by a teenage Hungarian girl – some call her modest and soft-spoken, but many opponents know her as a ferocious tiger over the board – who after years of steady progress began breathing down the necks of the top men and now has broken the barrier of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs: she has earned the rank of Grandmaster at 15 years and 5 months, one month younger than Bobby Fischer when he did it 34 years ago.”

New York Times, 1992

About the Author

Judit Polgar has been ranked 1st on the Women’s rating list from 1988 to this day. In 2005 she became the only woman in chess history to participate in the World Championship final.

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Product Details

  • Series: Judit Polgar Teaches Chess (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quality Chess; First Edition edition (September 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907982191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907982194
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A. Ali on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before I even start reviewing the book, let me comment on the sterling production quality: the paper and binding of this 382-page are superb. Handled carefully, the book will last a lifetime. And this is important because the book is of enduring value.

There are many good books that have been published recently -- for example, Hendrik's "Move First, Think Later" and Tukmakov's "Modern Chess Preparation." But Polgar's book is in a league of its own. The contribution of Mihail Marin to making this a book from which a player can learn can clearly be seen.

The notes are the right combination of insightful verbal commentary mixed with just enough concrete analysis to lend it credence. Often there is just a discussion of the ideas, plans, and themes because concrete moves and variational analysis would be redundant (like "Tal-Botvinnik 1960" by Tal, "Zurich 1953" by Bronstein or the books by C.J.S. Purdy). Nowhere will a reader get lost in a jungle of variations. The emphasis is on insight and understanding. This kind of book is the most difficult to write because what is being conveyed is chess *wisdom*. To give a stray example, take the position given on p.78 (Farago-Polgar 1986, 3r2k1/p1r1qpbp/1pnpp1p1/8/2P1PP2/1P3BP1/P5QP/3RR1BK); the notes are:

"Both sides have good development, but White has more space and the bishop pair. With his last move, Qd2-g2, my opponent created the threat of e4-e5, but failed to understand the importance of keeping the c3-square under control

"Black's main trump is the weakness of the d4-square, but unfortunately ...e6-e5 would leave my bishop passive. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of White's previous inaccuracy and place the bishop in front of my pawn chain before defining the structure in the centre.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Yee on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very instructional!

Capturing the youthful joy of playing beautiful chess, Judit Polgar has created an intimate and instructional book for players of all strength. For aspiring young and amateur players, she shows how to play winning chess by giving tactical examples of "tricks" that arise after even the most innocuous of moves.

For example on page 49, Judit plays a seeming innocuous move 32. K-KR4 while closing her eyes as if from fright only to spring the trap of a Queen sacrifice after her opponent Lars Bo Hansen is lured into 33. QxP. Upon seeing the Queen sacrifice 33. ... Q-N7 check, Hansen's "face turned red instantly."

What is so extraordinary about this book is the sheer intimacy of being in the mind of Judit as a young master and international master as she has kept a handbook of all her games along with the time spent for each move. She provides the particular circumstances and stakes of each encounter along with a short bio of many of her opponents along with the strategy and thought processes of her games as the moves are being played.

Today, Judit's "Skill-Building Chess" subject has been adopted to be taught in Hungary's elementary schools. For those and other parents, this would be a valuable guide as to how to prepare their children to have a head start on learning chess although many will not be able to devote as much time to immersing their children in chess as did Judit's parents. Still, parents can learn much on how to teach their children winning chess tactics and strategy from this book.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. Britton on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sparkling chess, clear instruction from "simple tricks" to more complex positions, interesting anecdotes and photographs -- Judit Polgar has written a chess book for the ages! This is just the first of three planned volumes, which covers her progress to the grandmaster title, and I eagerly await the next volume. This is the book that I'd choose along with Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games" as my "desert island" books.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Charidan on December 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
She actually played more games to gain the title, so even if she were younger in age, she had more attempts than Fischer before earning the GM Norm. Fischer earned his GM Title at the very highest level of competition, at the Portoroz Interzonal 1958. When placed in that context, the claim loses its luster and becomes suspect as a gimmick to sell more books, which I suspect is a brainchild of the publishers more than Judit herself.

This is not to take away from the merits of the book. It does fully deserve its 5-star rating. Judit is a delight to read and her games are worth studying. Except for the title (I wanted to remove half a star because of it), kudos to the publishers for another high quality production. I recommend this book to be part of any serious chess library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Hernández on October 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I love this book.
I own the old cover (which I like better). Anyway, the content of the book is awesome. I am not nearly a GM or IM or even a FM, so since the FIRST example in the book she blew my mind. In that precise moment I knew that the book was going to be superb - and it didn't dissapoint -.

The quality of the book is just AWESOME.
The cover is thick, pretty and all-against resistant. The pages as well.
The pictures (both diagrams and Judit's personal pics) are excellent and really clear.

The comments made by Judit - not only the ones for chess, but for the overall bio - are outstanding, funny and really enjoyable.

I absolutely love the book.
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