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How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess-Mastery Course, Expanded 3rd Edition Paperback – April, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Siles Pr; Expanded 3rd edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890085006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890085001
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

So I recommend this book to any beginner or intermediate player that wants to improve his/her game.
He then spends the majority of the book going through each of these imbalances so that the player will understand this during their planning.
Bryan Castro
Jeremy Silman is simply the best chess instructional writer I've ever read, and I've read about 70 chess books.
John Adamo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

585 of 614 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Several years ago I was 1400 after drifting down from 1600 due to inactivity. I decided to rededicate myself to chess by studying this book. I carefully went through it cover to cover, did all the exercises and even made a notebook on the book similar to the way I had outlined my college text books. I started playing more frequently, trying to use the Silman Thinking Method. Unfortunately I didn't get any better (well, maybe 50 points). I thought the book was very difficult and I was discouraged. I took another break. I decided to put HTRYC aside any study tactics exclusively. I went through Combination Challenge, Sharpen Your Tactics! the big Chess Informant Anthology volume and a couple of others. I also got tactics program for the computer (the Renko CD's). I spent about 10 hrs a week on tactics. I switched to an an almost all gambit opening repertoire. When I took a break from tactics, I worked on the endgame, reasoning that I might go into a lot of endgames a pawn down and needed to hold my own. I came to really enjoy tactics and endgame studies. In less than 2 years I hit 2047 (I'm at 2029 as I write this). I thought this might be the time to return to HTRYC.
Please excuse the lengthy preamble but I wanted to make my relationship with this book clear and also to make it clear that I have actually thoroughly read the book. Many of the reviews seem far too generous to me, given the book's many deficiencies.
Many have already pointed out, and I agree, that there are far too many typos. It is also true that for a book that claims to be "a complete course to chess mastery" that the endgame section is too skimpy and there is virtually nothing about tactics. Another negative is the unengaging format. The pages are single columned with very long paragraphs.
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243 of 252 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Certain situations that the author feels are important are covered. They become example positions and the planning and ideas that are mainly for one side to get to a goal is well covered. There are some limits to what this book can cover as these are only some examples of some of the many things that can occur in games. I feel that good books to go along with this one would be on positional chess like "My System" a book on attacks like "Art of Attack" and a book on opening traps and tactics like "Winning Chess Traps for Juniors", then you will have covered the most important all around situations that may occur. I think this book is, by far, the best book Jeremy Silman has written!
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Chess amateur on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's hard for me to understand why this book is so popular. Maybe it is because this was one of the first imbalances chess books? The book is well written including the part with the first imbalance - minor pieces, where Silman lay out a set of guidelines for the minor pieces. But in the rest of the book Silman does not do this. That's confusing, it's seems like Silman got lazy. Silman "game-comments" are very often not very good and it is often not related to the subject (imbalance) discussed. Often Silman manage to confuse the reader instead of guiding him. An example is the chapter about doubled pawns. Silman tells us that one advantage with doubled pawns is the possibility to attack in the open file, and he gives us some examples. In diagram 109, in the chapter about doubled pawns, this is not a subject at all, Silman tells us that white only could attack on the queenside only if white's pawn-structure on that side was intact. Silman never explain why white couldn't attack in the open b-file (because of the doubled pawns).

There are some exercises in this book. What differs between a tactical exercise and a positional exercise is that a tactical exercise very often has very few alternative solutions (often only one), but a positional exercise seldom has just one clear solution. Silman give just one solution to each positional exercise. Positional puzzle book as this book should explain why other alternatives are wrong/less attractive. So in addition to this book you will need a teacher, who can explain why your solution to a puzzle from the book is wrong.

This book gives you almost nothing, except listing Silman's imbalances. It doesn't explain deeply how to use the imbalances together. And Silman's imbalances you can get for free from many different Internet sites.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By David Dathe on June 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
The word "classic" should be reserved for those few book which fit the criteria, and one criterion is that everyone should own a copy. Silman's book fits that description. His style and detailed explanations hit his targeted audience exactly--the average chess player. The book describes his method for improving: a thinking process using "imbalances"--any difference between the white and black position (Silman's definition). Silman then devotes about eight chapters explaining in detail the elements of strategy which will likely lead to imbalances: minor pieces, space, the center, weak and strong pawns, weak squares, material, temporary imbalances (lead in development or the initiative), and open lines. He closes the book with "Three Keys to Success" and a discussion of how imbalances look in the opening, middlegame, and endgame. Any chess player who repeatedly studies the material in this book, and plays regularly against strong players, will certainly rise to Expert level of play. Silman is to be congradulated for both writing a modern treatise on chess strategy and for explaining to amateur chess players how to employ such strategies in their games.
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More About the Author

Jeremy Silman is an International Master and a world-class teacher, writer, and player who has won the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open. Considered by many to be the game's preeminent instructive writer, he is the author of over thirty-six popular books, including How to Reassess Your Chess (universally accepted as a modern classic), The Amateur's Mind, The Complete Book of Chess Strategy, and The Reassess Your Chess Workbook. Fans of the game instruction, book reviews, theoretical articles, and details of his work in the creation of the chess scene in the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.