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Thursday, January 17, 2019
Hey there everyone. I have been looking for a good book or two for chess. I would like one soly for openings. Could anyone suggest a good book relatively inexpensive.
1. Zahnarzt says: Monday, March 16, 2009
Nunn's Chess Openings is as good as any I've seen for a general introduction, but don't spend too much time looking at openings if you're relatively new to the game. You'll learn a lot more about playing chess well from collections of combinations that will increase the speed of your calculation, the breadth of your tactical vision and your imagination. Also Portish 'Six Hundred Endings' will open your eyes to tactical opportunities in the endgame and by playing through the examples in your mind, improve your calculating vision out of sight. Most inexperienced players spend too much time looking at openings and when things start to go pear-shaped around move 15 to 20, they blame their opening, thinking it must be bad. The truth is that they don't deeply understand the positions they've reached. They can't anticipate where their opponent is likely to attack and where they should be attacking, counterattacking and defending. Well commentated grandmaster game collections also provide an arsenal of opening and middlegame ideas.
2. Edouard says: Monday, March 16, 2009
So should I focus on overall game or specific parts like opening, middle, endgame, combinations, etc.?
3. ocuervo says: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
4. Zahnarzt says: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
My advice is to study tactics first of all and this is for a few reasons. Firstly it will increase your speed of calculation and you'll see more when you look at positions. Spassky once said, I think about an upcoming World Championship match with Petrosian, that at the end of the day whoever goes "You go there and I go there" better will become World Champion. Chess is about calculation and vision first and foremost. Secondly it is delightful to execute a surprise combination on your opponent. That's the main reason why many of us play chess, because of the unexpected twists and resources available to attacker and defender. Thirdly it's not so good when it's done to you! Not that you really mind since if you live by the sword you have to die by it too sometimes. But with a bit of combinational vision you can spot a lot of what the opponent plans to do to you and perhaps avoid it. Fourthly it will yield the greatest number of points for time and effort spent studying it. I base this claim on my own experience. Endgame play, although essential at strong levels of chess, might only be called upon in 1 in 5 games. Most of us, unless still at school, have limited time for chess because of family and business commitments, so the time you spend you want to be as productive as possible. Studying opening play may make you feel less nervous about the first phase of the game, but it yields very few points. Studying positional play, as I did as a youngster, is fine until someone sacrifices their queen unexpectedly and totally obliterates your last twenty carefully thought out moves. You need tactical vision to execute positional play. Like Karpov, a formidable positional player, but he foresaw all of his opponent's tactics before they could be executed. You canâ€™t beat experience for knowledge and understanding of the opening and if you get into bad positions from the outset, post your game on this site or ask a knowledgable friend for hints for improvement. Use your opening book just as a reference. And a games database too if you can afford one. Look to see what strong players have done at points where your game went pear-shaped.
5. pahrooski says: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Chess is parted into three groups like you stated... One must learn to play the opening like a book, play the middle game like a magician, and play the endgame like a machine...
6. Edouard says: Friday, March 20, 2009
So any good books for tactics?
7. Zahnarzt says: Monday, March 23, 2009
'Chess Training in 5333 Positions' by Polgar is a good place to start. When I bought this 10 years ago a friend rated 1600 laughed that it was too elementary. The next day in a weekend tournament he missed a simple mate in 2 and lost the game. A couple of months later I saw a player rated 1900, in another weekend 1 hour clock event, miss a simple 3 move mate against an IM rated 2300 who went on to win the game. You can't get too much familiarity with mating patterns. Otherwise there are many good collections of combinations. Reinfelds old and perenial '1001 Chess Sacrifices and Combinations' and '1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate' were always good value, although a little repetitive and uneven in quality. Any collection will do you good. My favourite was the 'Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames- Combinations' from the Informant people, because they were all of high quality and original with flawless answers. Play through the book(s) 3 or 4 times and make their ideas your own while improving your speed and accuracy of calculation. Spend no more than 4 minutes max on each diagram and then look at the answer to see how much you got. Play through the answer in your head and if you're not seeing a complicated position well enough, set it up on your board and play through the answer there. Also look carefully to see why your answer was different, if it was - it was probably inaccurate. Flawed calculation is the biggest cause of game loss, and you need to work on improving your visualisation of the board because one subtle little oversight can destroy a beautiful attack and hours of work. These exercises do you three invaluable services. They build you an in-memory database of useful combinations, they fire up your imagination and alertness to combinational possibilities and they improve your calculating out of sight.
8. FredtheCat says: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Edouard, check out any of IM Jeremy Silman's books. I have a few of them and they're full of great lessons in all aspects of the game and he also has a fun manner of writing. So it is also entertaining to read. I take a pencil to mine and mark them up and take notes in etc. Google Jeremy Silman and see if you like what it comes up with. FtC
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