137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Opening Book for a Beginner,
This review is from: Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess - Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
The author has selected openings where brief analysis is provided, some of the concepts that are important in the specific opening and then provided variations. Memorizing lines is not what a beginner should be doing. It is better to "understand" the ideas behind the openings - yes this book doesn't say "memorize openings" per say, but it that is what the actions of this book seem to call for.
Personally I feel that a beginner should be looking for "non" mechanical openings that contain a variety of both tactical and to a lesser degree positional concepts for learning purposes. The type of tactics that you will encounter at a beginning level in the openings you are using is important. I like the idea of getter a general survey type of opening book that has a good concentration of the ideas (like "Understanding the Chess Openings") along with a book that covers opening tactics (like one of a variety of Chess Trap books) is the way for a beginner to find the right openings and to gain an understanding of what they entail. You need a good variety of openings to be shown for you to get a fair grasp of what you might like - and this book falls short in this area.
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Initial post: Jun 25, 2010 9:35:06 PM PDT
As a beginner, I find part of this review to be incorrect. I never felt like I was supposed to memorize anything and, to be honest, never memorized anything. Despite the presentation of different specific openings, the commentary ON those openings is what I found useful. The other books you mention might be better, but it is incorrect to say that the book encourages rote memorization. Instead, the openings are used to demonstrate the "concepts that are important". As a result of reading through all the different openings and analysis, I found I had a much better grasp of these concepts, which has allowed me to feel confident at the beginning of all my chess games. Even if I'm not following a prescribed path, I know the concepts behind those paths. In other words, I did find exactly what you say a beginner should be looking for: a variety of tactical and positional concepts. Now, again, you may be right that other books serve this purpose, but that doesn't mean that this one doesn't.
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