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A First Book of Morphy Paperback – July 6, 2006
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About the Author
Frisco Del Rosario is a chess teacher and writer. He edited the California Chess Journal from 2001 to 2003, when the magazine won national awards for analysis and general excellence. He resides in San Mateo, Calif., where he writes about basketball for a local newspaper.
Top Customer Reviews
I have been to many of the author's lectures that were based on this book. It was how I was able to rediscover my game and got me back to the core principles of how to win a game (vs. memorizing the 20 variations to the xyz defense to the abc attack). It made chess fun again and had me winning more games.
The book is very readable and well thought out. It is also very powerful - you can spend a little time with it and still have a solid improvement - or you can spend a lot more time and be amazed at how much it can do for your game and your perspective on chess.
With regard to applicability, it has a wide range. I am using it with my young kids and know a bunch of expert players who love it also.
I can't recommend it highly enough.
The book is well written, with not too much commentary, so as not to get bogged down in endless variations. Thirty basic chess principles are put forward (10 opening, 10 middlegame and 10 endgame). Morphy games are then discussed with a focus on the principle being illustrated (one principle per chapter with a few games to illustrate it).
The method of teaching chess principles with real games is an excellent way to learn, at least for me. After going through about half of the book, it becomes not too difficult to guess what Morphy's next move will be as you will be well acquainted with his style.
My only gripe is the non-standard notation, which takes some getting used to. I am not sure why the author abandoned standard notation but it is a pain to read his bare bones notation if you are used to standard algebraic notiation. Hence, only 4 stars.
Each chapter has a theme and has short, briefly annotated games to highlight the theme. For example: "Bringing out the Queen too early" has games in which Morphy thoroughly punishes his opponent for bringing out his Queen too early.
"Don't move the same piece twice in the opening" leads to similar punishments.
The Morphy punishments are brutal, quick, highly entertaining, and certainly leave an impression with the reader.
My only regret is not discovering the games of Morphy long ago. I now understand why teachers instruct their students to start with the earlier champions and move along in time with chess evolution.
Perhaps after Morphy, Alekehine, and Capablanca, I will begin to have some understanding into what Fischer did, and then Kasparov, and finally, champion Magnus Carlsen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most beginners don't have a clue about how to start their chess "career". In 1942, Reuben Fine published his book, Chess The Easy Way. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Nimzo-Karpov
I'm still a beginner, my ELO is 1415, and I'm really enjoying this book so far. I would highly recommend this book to anybody like me looking to improve their chess vision.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
great book to have along with modern prespective and the evolution of chess theory a must have i recommeded is a great add onPublished on November 25, 2013 by Juan H Contreras
I'll leave it to others to review the quality of this book (which, thus far, seems very good), but I just wanted to share that the $3 (! Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by Cory Madigan
Buy the hard copy of this book since the kindle version has way too many notation errors. Analysis is non-bold while only some of the principal variations are in bold. Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by Paul Krauss
On the whole, I found "A First Book of Morphy" to be less than satisfying. Essentially, this book contains 30 chapters, each trying to outline one of Fine's principles of chess. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by Matt B.
This book is great for chess beginners of all ages, easy to read and to follow, excellent explanations without endless mind-numbing variations. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by Just Reader
I fell under the spell of Morphy's games years ago after playing out the Paris Opera House game against Count Isouard and the Duke of Brunswick. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Wineatdusk