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Inside the Chess Mind: How Players Of All Levels Think About The Game Paperback – July 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

What separates a Grandmaster from a club player? How do the thought processes of a world-class competitor differ from that of an amateur? What techniques can an enthusiastic chess player employ when striving to reach the next rung on the ladder? Jacob Aagaard provides the answers to these questions in this revolutionary and entertaining new book. He supplies numerous meticulously selected challenges to a group of players of a very wide range of ages and playing strengths. Once all the participants have attempted the tests, their discoveries, solving methods and difficulties with the exercises are evaluated and compared, and conclusions are drawn while the players are also interviewed about their exercise techniques, ideas and opinions about chess in general. Inside the Chess Mind enters fresh territory in chess literature by providing thought-provoking insight as to how the chess brains of the great, the good and the improver operate.

*Suitable for players of all strengths
*Includes challenging puzzles
*Written by a highly experienced chess coach
*Clarifies both the differences and similarities between Grandmasters and amateurs


About the Author

Jacob Aagaard is an International Master from Denmark who has earned himself a deserved reputation as an industrious and no-nonsense chess author. His recent books for Everyman include Queen's Indian Defence and Excelling at Positional Chess, while his earlier work, Excelling at Chess, won the prestigious ChessCafe.com Book of the Year Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess; 1st edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857443578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857443578
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,098,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first started reading this book, I thought it would be a waste of money and time. This book is about 10 different tactical or positional situations on the board, and a whole lot of comments by players of all ratings commenting on them ad infinitum, ad nauseum. After I got through test position 1 (already having read about 4-5 hours through the book), I was mentally exhausted. How could I go through 9 more arduous, complicated tactical or positional puzzles? But by the end of test position 3, I was feeling a lot better about the book, since I actually got the question right(!). The rest of the book was more or less rewarding, and it certainly slowed down my over the board thinking which for a faster time control player is a good thing, at least in the slower time controls.

The positions themselves are of course very complicated. You have several minutes to look at the position and find the best move. The participants in the test talked into a microphone about what they were thinking during the analysis, and this was of course all put into the book. This is what makes the book unique; that you can "see" the thought processes of players at various levels analyze a complex position. A 1400 player will actually find most of the good main lines, but will usually end up picking the wrong move. A grandmaster will usually find all of the good lines, and pick one of the better ones, if not the best. Even Fritz 8 got into the mix, and of course scored the best of all the "participants". I personally was not disappointed in my score of 3 ½ / 10, since for my rating that was normal to above-average. Even Fritz did not solve all of the problems in the given amount of time!
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2 Comments 14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is hard to put down. It is a great concept (though not an original one) and the problems are awesome. I picked it up in the bookstore and browsed through it casually. I had grabbed three books to take a look at, but never even cracked the other 2 open. As noted in the other reviews, and the summary, there are 10 chess problems (most of which are very complex) and multiple participants who looked at each problem and recorded their thoughts on the continuations. Two of the particapants are GM and a third is a titled player. There are multiple non-titled players, and fritz also gives his thoughts. I was interested in the book because I thought the idea of seeing how 2200+ people look at these positions compared to lower rated players, might be helpful. Are they better at calculating? Better at understanding positions? Better at considering all candidate moves? Better at forming long term plans in closed games? Better at recognizing tactical shots? I won't spoil the conclusions, or perhaps, more accurately stated, the observations. However, the best value in the book seems to be the struggle to understand these positions and continuations yourself. They are not simple mate in 3 questions. Often, the titled players do not completely solve the problems; they are frequently on the right track, but haven't worked it out completely in the alloted time.

It is really a great book. When I am done with it, I will be hoping he puts out a follow up with 10 more problems to look at. I have a fairly large collection of chess books. Most of them are eventually rellocated to the bookshelf where they serve as "reference books" in the future. This book is fascinating, and there is only one way to read it - cover to cover. I highly recommend it.
Comment 27 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, fisrt i have to say that this book is a nice experiment of Jacob Aagaard.
How does the book work?.
Jacob, make and experiment showing the same position to diferent skill player, from amateur, Fide Master, Inrnational Masters and Grand Masters like Yusupov and chess engine loke Fritz (8).
You can see how all candidates moves appear accourding to the player, from each level.

Every player writes a forework from each position's approach, this help a lot to see how diferent are the thinking of the players. Just yusupov notes, is a plus value of the book.

The only bad thing, there are approach from very poor skill player, and this not any value for me,maybe other reader could taste this, but even that i skiped it. I only focused on Fide Master and higther player. But the book is good.

Beginer may not enjoy the book, but will help but i am almost sure that this book, will not like to many intermediate chess player. The player who want to see why his chess stock, this could help to find the way.

There are many positional approach, this is not a tactical chess skill.

OK Enjoy
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Format: Paperback
Very interesting study on how chess players of all levels think. After doing the exercises and comparing the results, I had a much more detailed understanding of my mistakes and common pit falls that beginning and intermediate players face. The book was well worth the modest price.Inside the Chess Mind: How Players of All Levels Think About the Game
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm sorry to say this was a terrible purchase. I thought it was going to be like 'The Amateur Mind' by Silman which is excellent. Instead the book consists soley of players of different levels thinking their way through ten positions. What was supposed to be learned by this is beyond me. I guess the idea was you were to do your own analysis first and then somehow 'rate' yourself by comparing yourself with how others thought through the problems. Well, it's a process that does not work. I consistently did worse than the grandmaster, which somehow did not come as a surprise to me. Also I did consistently better than the beginners and novices, also no surprise. I consider this book the worst one I now -- unfortunately -- own.
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