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Learn Chess: A Complete Course Paperback – October 1, 1994
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From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
"Learn Chess" is very clear and goes way beyond the starting rules by covering strategy that will take you to an intermedate player! You get a lot of material that is well organized. If you are looking for a book for an elementary school kid you might consider a lower reading level and more simple presentatiion with "chess, a complete guide for the beginner" that is written for the young reader. Once you finish "Learn Chess" you will be ready for books on tactics, traps, openings, endgames and complete game collections!
The real glory of this book is the middle sections: the chapters on double attack, forks, pins and skewers, and the like are great. It's easy to explain the basics of chess and some of the advanced student subjects like openings; but the middle game subjects can be hard to explain logically (rather than through endless examples). This book does a great job of that.
The same text used to come in two very attractively bound slim volumes.
This book was originally published in 2 volumes. Now they have been combined into one. Volume explains the rules, and the most basic info about the opening, ending, and how one wins a chess game.
Volume 2 covers the most useful ways to win material (pins, skewers, forks). There follows a chapter on mating attacks. Then there is more info about openings and endings. The last couple of chapters give some general advice and points the reader to other sources of chess information.
Each chapter has exercises. Some of them are simple, others challenging. Don't be discouraged if you can't work them all. My advice is to do every exercise. Write down your answers before looking at the solution. If possible, work the exercises without using a set and board in order to develop the ability to look ahead. I enjoyed working the exercises. They illustrate the lessons, and some of them challenge you to think a little deeper.
The Alburt and Pelts books are also very good. Learn Chess could be used before, after, or along with the A&P books to get a couple of views of the same information.
Finally, I decided to put some effort into it and I chose Learn Chess: A Complete Course as my "first" book to learn from. (That old book is somewhere in my bedroom at home, but I consider this book my first real attempt to learn strategy and tactics.) So I'm evaluating this book from a beginner's point of view -- someone who basically knew how the pieces moved and that's all.
Having said that, I would highly recommend this book for a beginner. It begins with how the pieces move, of course, and how to read and write chess notation, but these chapters are short and to the point and very quickly you'll be learning how to play.
The book is divided into two volumes (which were originally two separate books): the first volume explains the basics, such as what your goals should be during the opening, how to attack, and how to win at the endgame. I think the most enlightening part of this volume for me was the explanation of the value of the pieces. This was something I had always wondered about and this book tells you (even in mathematical terms) what the value of each piece is relative to the pawn (and to one another); the second volume delves much deeper into strategy and tactics. You'll learn about forks, pins, skewers, and more. You'll also learn some opening lines and variations, and how to play some endgame scenarios.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first came across this book when I was in graduate school, about 30 years ago. At the time I was a perennially hapless beginner who lost to nearly everyone. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by h-bond
I've been getting into chess lately and had only a basic understanding of the moves and some self-taught strategies; this book is a must have for anyone that needs a good basic and... Read morePublished on October 27, 2012 by Fred C
I like this book except for the fact that some of the exercise solutions have errors...obvious ones. The errors make it really frustrating. Read morePublished on October 14, 2012 by Marcus
I am very happy that I purchased this book. I have already practiced FEN and algebraic notation. I'm just learning both methods. Read morePublished on August 29, 2011 by Denise Borum, JD
I am just starting to get into the book. It appears to be straightfoward, just need to practice.Published on June 11, 2008 by Amazon Customer
I bought this book for a friend who wanted to start learning chess. I don't think it was the best book I could have got her.Published on January 21, 2008 by Bharathwaj Sankara
I've wanted to learn chess for years. I've actually owned a chess set since 1974 (and have still got all the pieces!) but have never really learned how to play. Read morePublished on December 24, 2007 by Robin Catton