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Think Like A Grandmaster Paperback – January 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Batsford; Algebraic ed edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713478853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713478853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 146 people found the following review helpful By David Small on May 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the book that has spawned a large number of other books on the subject of the Grandmaster's thinking processes. It is a classic and for that reason gets 3 stars from me. However, I do believe that the premise upon which this book is based is flawed and for that reason I do not give it a higher rating. Let me explain what I mean.

In this book, Kotov outlines his theory on why GMs are better than IMs, why IMs are better than FMs etc. It all has to do with analysis. They analyse better. Yes, yes, yes. He is right. They do. But why do GMs analyse better? This is the key question. I think Kotov got the answer wrong.

Kotov claims that he was a poor analyst, but that he improved by doing regular exercises in which he analysed complex positions, writing down all the variations. Each position was analysed only once to create a "Tree of Analysis". Candidate moves are chosen and then each move analysed one by one, branch by branch until the analysis is complete. The problem with this idea is that if flies in the face of contradictory evidence that this approach works. I DO agree with Kotov that improvement in analysis is the key to becoming a stronger player. I do not agree that his method will do more than produce a small change in your playing strength.

The contradictory evidence:

1) As so clearly pointed out by Richard Reti in his classic "New Ideas in Chess" even if there is a choice of only 3 moves at each branch point in the tree of analysis, the number of branches becomes so thick that it is impossible to analyse each branch. What distinguishes a titled players analysis from the analysis of a weaker player is the ability to EXCLUDE irrelevant moves, not include ALL moves. Humans will never be like computers in this regard.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "ivplaza" on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are many books out there that claim to teach the Intermediate level player how to look for the best move during middlegame play but fall short of fulfilling their end of the bargain. This book is one of the ones that goes above and beyond what the title promises. Even as far as to show you how to create a PLAN (contrary to what "How To Reassess Your Chess" by IM Jeremy Silman states in regards to books that show one how to form a plan; also another great middlegame book by the way). However, there are some mistakes that must have occured when transposing the original descriptive notation to algebraic notation. But if your're looking to 'really' improve as a chess player then you have to expect to run accross some mistakes along the way. A word of advice: Ignore the mistakes the minute you find them and just forge ahead! There are some great ideas given in the examples of games from many Russian Grandmasters that if looked for in ones own games it WILL help to improve ones overall rating. That is of course, if you're willing to study this book thoroughly by not only setting up the positions given in the book on your own board but also by incorporating the suggestions given into your own chess strategies. So, if you want to know how to train your mind to think like a grandmaster, buy the book!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a classic. Alexander Kotov analyses the way Chess players analyse! This is a highly original book which attempts to look at the thought processes of grandmasters, and provided recommendations and tips for thinking faster and more effectively through the maze of variations one encounters during chess games. Tips include being systematic by enumerating candidate moves at the outset, and following each variation once and once only to avoid going backwards and forwards between variations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "ivplaza" on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are many books out there that claim to teach the Intermediate level player how to look for the best move during middlegame play but fall short of fulfilling there end of the bargain. This book is one of the ones that goes above and beyond what the title promises. Even as far as to show you how to create a PLAN (contrary to what "How To Reassess Your Chess" by IM Jeremy Silman states in regards to books that show one how to form a plan; also another great middlegame book by the way). However, there are some mistakes that must have occured when transposing the original descriptive notation to algebraic notation. But if your're looking to 'really' improve as a chess player then you have to expect to run accross some mistakes along the way. A word of advice: Ignore the mistakes the minute you find them and just forge ahead! There are some great ideas given in the examples of games from many Russian Grandmasters that if looked for in ones own games it WILL help to improve your overall rating. That is of course, if you'rewilling to study this book thoroughly by setting up the positions given in the book on your OWN board and incorporate them into your daily play. So, if you want to train your mind to think like a grandmaster, buy the book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Norberto Martel Gutierrez on December 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
In this book you will learn how to improve your choices about chess moves.
The chapters that justify the book are:
1, create your elections as trees.
2. exercise your vision.
3. blind spot
4. Positional Judgement

There are other chapters that will be helpful, such as creating your repertoire and other.

I think every great chess player, this book had passed through their hands, if you are a coach or player, this book will help a lot to improve your chess.

Alexnder Kotov, is one of the players that created the Russian School of Chess, his books have been in the Botvinnik school, and there are sticks out methodologies.

It is a book that is geared to players of any level, more EXPERIENCED reader, the easier it is to assimilate the ideas of the book.

The benefit of the book is really to get a mental discipline
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