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Move First, Think Later: Sense and Nonsense in Improving Your Chess, 2nd Edition Paperback – August 16, 2012
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What a fantastic book! I have not enjoyed reading an instructional book so much in years. I was laughing out loud throughout, because it is very witty, but it is also a really important instructional volume. (Steve Giddins)
Hendriks uses many new examples to make his point. A very entertaining and provocative read. I'm sure readers will improve their chess. (International Master Arthur van de Oudeweetering ChessVibes)
I can't really express just how much I enjoyed Move First Think Later by Willy Hendriks. (Mark Crowther The Week In Chess)
For anyone interested in chess in a broader context, I highly recommend reading Move First, Think Later by Willy Hendriks. (Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura)
Really a fantastic book, loaded with fresh ideas and excellent examples. After reading this book you will feel like Neo in the film The Matrix, when he discovers that his life so far was an illusion and that his real life will start only now. (Martin Rieger Rochade Europa Magazine)
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Top Customer Reviews
Hendriks aims his empirical fire at several deeply cherished notions in the chess community:
* The right thinking process over the board will make you strong.
* Develop a good long-range plan before you think about specific moves.
* Follow adages, such as "respond to a flank attack with a central counterattack."
* Trainers know the right methods of chess improvement.
* Anyone can become an international master with 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.
* Pay attention to your recent results to figure out where you are and what's working.
Citing the research that shows grandmasters don't analyze more deeply than experts, but use their memories much more intensively during a game, Hendriks concludes that our subconscious engages in matching candidate maneuvers to a reservoir of patterns to find a good move. This is why a chess player does not really engage in rational thought, or long-range planning, before looking around for good moves. After the game he might provide a narrative for what happened, but the ensuing narrative does not necessarily reflect his actual thinking during the game.Read more ›
The book is filled with psychology, philosophy, and quite frankly opinion. The basic idea really is that many of the conventional approaches to chess improvement simply are contrived and hard to implement into a clear and coherent method for OTB play. I can't argue with him on that having read many (hundreds) of chess books. The author argues that making a plan is close to non-sensical because very few people can see how a game might morph too far in advance. He also is highly critical of "advice" given by authors who are trying to shape the thinking of their book-reading students. Jeremy Silman is heavy target of Hendriks because of his "advice-like" style of chess instruction. But to be fair, the author rejects almost all chess advice given in books and instead himself just advises "pick a good move".
He spends most of the book trying to justify this approach and it relies heavily on his work on the theory of mind. I tend to think he's on to something here and it really is based on force feeding the brain with well-annotated games. The idea being that if you see a good example of an idea that is tactically possible, you'll consider it yourself and hopefully calculate correctly if it works in your position. So, this is good for young developing brains, but not so great for aging chess brains (probably over 25), and if true, means that you can't expect to really advance much as an aging chess player (again, anyone over 25).Read more ›
This is what I try to do on a daily basis:
1) Play at least 3 games each day on the internet. First, analyze them on your own and write down the thoughts you had during the game. Then, run it by a strong chess program. Make note of any chess patterns you find interesting. Are they similar to patterns you recall in a GM game?
2) Choose at least 3 GM games from the active strong GM chess tournaments being contested. Two of these games should come from the realm of your own opening repertoire (one as White, one as Black). The third game should come from an opening/defense that you are not familiar with. Thoroughly analyze at least two of these games on your own and with a strong chess program. What you want to experience is as many different types of positions as possible. This way, you'll increase your repertoire of chess patterns. During your own games, your unconscious will access these patterns and feed your thinking. The more you do such practice, the stronger, wiser, and more intuitive you'll become as a chess player.
3) As bedtime reading, get a chess book which presents chess positions to solve.
If you do this on a daily basis, you will be guaranteed to become a difficult player for your opponents to play against.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great book if you don*t have a job and lots of time to study it. Mostly endgame stuff, but that makes sense for better players get thru the opening quickly and move on to the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Green-Machine
I like the general point of this book - which is that a great deal of strategic theory is "trailing theory" -- meaning, more of an explanation after the fact than a set of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Malcolm M.
An excellent read. Hendriks may or may not be correct in criticizing other popular books on chess training, but he does bring a compelling and interesting argument about the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Alan W.
One of the best books on chess training I have ever read! Period! I have tried some of Heisman's thought processes. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book says, in effect, that in non-tactical situations (where "all bets are off" since one can easily find oneself a rook down if they make the "natural" move),... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Classics Lover