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The Chess Mysteries of the Arabian Knights Paperback – May 1, 1992


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Paperback, May 1, 1992
$137.76 $6.06

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The Chess Mysteries of the Arabian Knights + The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes: Fifty Tantalizing Problems of Chess Detection (Dover Recreational Math)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (Txt) (May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192861247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192861245
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,609,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Hearn on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The prevoius reviewer misses the point of the problems, I think. They are not normal chess problems. They are "retrograde analysis" problems, where you have figure out how a given position came to be.
Perhaps this is the reviewer's problem: he claims several of the positions are impossible. In fact, the challenge is to figure out how in the world they *can* be possible; many do indeed look impossible at first sight. I disgree that the book is filled with mistakes. I've worked all the problems, and haven't found any mistakes.
This is a wonderful book, cleverly written, full of ingenious and diabolical puzzles. I heartily recommend it.
Perhaps now that the companion volume, Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, has been reprinted, this one will be as well. It is a classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Safak on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I used to play chess avidly in my youth, partly as a result of reading this book.

The book is structured as a series of fifty independent chess problems, sorted in increasing order of difficulty, based on the tale of the One Thousand and One Nights (cleverly reworded to Arabian Knights in the subtitle). Smullyan ingeniously frames the problems as short stories (say, a murder mystery), engaging the child's imagination. The first few are short and simple, allow the reader to gain confidence, while the last few are up to fives pages long. There are solutions at the back.

I'm keeping my copy for posterity.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I believe this is one of the best books that you can buy. The entire book is mesmerising, from start to finish. Don't pick it up if you were waiting for the bus or during lunch -- it'll probably need a whole Sunday afternoon and even then you'll be solving the problems at work on Monday.
It is entertaining as it is, but it gets better if you work your way through and start solving puzzles of your own without looking at the solutions.
One way to increase the fun is to work with a partner. That way, you'll be able to explain most "impossible" situations in one go, because what you might miss again and again, your partner might catch.
I read this book and "The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes" and both are absolute gems. If you don't like the book, it simply means you don't have the aptitude and patience for solving puzzles.
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