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Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games Paperback – August 13, 2013
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About the Author
Bruce Pandolfini is perhaps the most experienced chess teacher in North America. He is the author of eighteen instructional chess books, and was portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the film Searching for Bobby Fischer.
László Polgár is a Hungarian chess teacher whose writing and strategies are respected and known worldwide. He holds the title of master coach and coached his daughters, Susan, Judit, and Sophia, to several world championships and 11 Olympic gold medals. They host the annual EU Polgár Chess Festival in Budapest.
Top Customer Reviews
Laszlo Polgar (1946- ), Hungarian Olympic champion, master coach, and father and trainer of the famous Polgar sisters, has here given us a training book to beat them all, one intended for beginners and amateurs from the basic level to master candidate (2,200 Elo). Since it includes the basic rules of chess and explains, with the help of large diagrams, how each piece moves, and since the foreword and all explanatory matter have been given in no less than ten languages - English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian, Russian, and Japanese - it will appeal to chess lovers of almost any age, level, or nationality.
Basically the book consists of over 5000 problems, many taken from over-the-board play, and most of which can be solved within a few minutes - though if you're anything like me some will probably take you much longer! Polgar explains that there are "very few books containing chess problems, games and endgames which are not only easy to solve but elegant and instructive as well. And there are even fewer that offer a sufficient number for regular and intensive training over a relatively long period." His aim is to help us develop our tactics and powers of pattern recognition, and his book, which is great fun to work through and involves practically no reading at all, certainly does seem to improve one's ability to see the possibilities a position may hold.Read more ›
Polgar doesn't have a lot of text here to read, just tons of puzzles, most of which are game-likely situations. One of the hardest things to teach students is often board vision and cooperation of pieces into attacks and mating attacks. Through repetition, this book helps players learn the patterns that will present them opportunities in their tournament games. My players that are serious about their improvement have, without exception, found that this book has bumped their ratings at least 200 points (some 400 points!) in less than a year!
As a coach, I have found that offering internal club recognition for completing puzzles such as these also improved club-wide interest. Additionally, many of the puzzles you find elsewhere, whether in a book or on-line, will have escape possibilities from the stated "mate-in-two" or other move numbers. Of the 5334 puzzles in this book, my students and I have only found ONE with such a problem!
I would not hesitate to give this book the highest possible review rating as a teaching manual - you don't need to re-write the book when Lazlo has already done it for you
But the very fact that this book is so massive creates problems of it's own. A simple question to start with: Do you have almost unlimited time (years and years) to go over about every problem, instructive and not so instructive? Or are you more interested in having well selected problems that are instructive and focus on the most common patterns you are going to come across in actual play?
This book, is loaded with what I call a lot of "filler" problems and a lot of material that is quickly tossed in without much thought toward making this book logically progress from one pattern to another. Simple grouping of "general" types of tactics and ideas is not going to make it.
This book deserves some credit just for being jamm packed. But I would rather suggest tactics/problem books with a more well thought out direction. For a beginner or just beyond that level Bruce Pandolfini's, "Beginning Chess: Over 300 Elementary Problems" and for an intermediate player, Emms "Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book" have condensed plenty of problems into what is more practical to learn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The formatting is bad. The font is way too tiny. Lots and lots of chess problems is a good thing so why make this book so hard to use? Was it done this way to save $$? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joseph Graham
One of the best books about chess problems that I have ever seen .Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of the classic books of chess puzzles for beginning students. Get a copy, use it, and put up with its drawbacks. Read morePublished 4 months ago by TomGinTX