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  1. Standard member Dedken
    Sir
    28 Nov '06 19:54
    Hey there,

    I decided to improve my chess and have just acquired a CD with about 50 books on it. I haven't a clue where to start as I need to improve all areas of game. I'd therefore like to know what is generally considered to be the best book for a sort-of average player to get hold of? Any suggestions (not too theoretical please)?

    Thanx a million
  2. 28 Nov '06 20:04
    This one is about 10 years old, but it was the last chess book I bought lol. I believe it was called Attacking Chess by Josh Waitzkin. It shows some great tactical lessons for beginners to Class C and up.

    I am also a romantic, so, Chess in a Nutshell I would also recommend.

    Good searching!
  3. 28 Nov '06 21:29
    Originally posted by Dedken
    Hey there,

    I decided to improve my chess and have just acquired a CD with about 50 books on it. I haven't a clue where to start as I need to improve all areas of game. I'd therefore like to know what is generally considered to be the best book for a sort-of average player to get hold of? Any suggestions (not too theoretical please)?

    Thanx a million
    If your serious about improving your chess then you should start by studying endgames.

    Few people take this advice (including me when I was younger) but any good player will tell you that it is good advice.

    Learn too the various ways of checkmating your opponent with different combinations of pieces.

    Good luck
  4. 28 Nov '06 22:17
    Originally posted by Rene-Claude
    If your serious about improving your chess then you should start by studying endgames.

    Few people take this advice (including me when I was younger) but any good player will tell you that it is good advice.

    Learn too the various ways of checkmating your opponent with different combinations of pieces.

    Good luck
    I'm afraid I have to disagree with this.

    While I think it is important to learn the basic endings as part of your broad study of chess I see no point in learning endgames if you get slaughtered in the opening/middlegame.

    Chess, after all, isnt played in reverse.

    My way (FWIW) is to pick an a few (the key word is a FEW) openings you like and learn their ideas and some theory. Make yourself familiar with the middlegames that arise from them and their common plans.

    Learn to plan! I cant stress this enough.

    Only then progress to the endgame.

    Well thats my 2p worth. At the end of the day you have to study in a way that is comfortable for yourself and a way that keeps chess fun!
  5. 28 Nov '06 22:58
    Originally posted by Tengu
    I'm afraid I have to disagree with this.

    While I think it is important to learn the basic endings as part of your broad study of chess I see no point in learning endgames if you get slaughtered in the opening/middlegame.

    Chess, after all, isnt played in reverse.

    My way (FWIW) is to pick an a few (the key word is a FEW) openings you like and learn the ...[text shortened]... day you have to study in a way that is comfortable for yourself and a way that keeps chess fun!
    Well, OK, I respect your opinion but if you don't know your destination how do you know which route to follow?

    "True, it lies in the nature of things that the student should gather his first experience in the opening and middle game, but this evil, for such it is, must be rectified as early as possible."

    Aron Nimzowitsch
    'My System'

  6. Standard member Arrakis
    D_U_N_E
    28 Nov '06 22:58
    Originally posted by Tengu
    I'm afraid I have to disagree with this.

    While I think it is important to learn the basic endings as part of your broad study of chess I see no point in learning endgames if you get slaughtered in the opening/middlegame.

    Chess, after all, isnt played in reverse.

    My way (FWIW) is to pick an a few (the key word is a FEW) openings you like and learn the ...[text shortened]... day you have to study in a way that is comfortable for yourself and a way that keeps chess fun!
    I agree with Tengu.
    Pick 1 opening to play for White and 2 openings to play for Black:
    One against e4 and one against d4.

    Once you get these basics then move on to the middlegame and finally the endgame.
  7. 29 Nov '06 00:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Rene-Claude
    Well, OK, I respect your opinion but if you don't know your destination how do you know which route to follow?

    "True, it lies in the nature of things that the student should gather his first experience in the opening and middle game, but this evil, for such it is, must be rectified as early as possible."

    Aron Nimzowitsch
    'My System'

    Im not saying DONT learn anything about the endgame. I just feel (and I could be wrong!) that a little too much emphasis is placed on learning the endgames.

    I agree with arrakis and practice what I preach. OTB I play only 3 openings - Birds, French and The classical dutch. There is a great deal of overlap between birds and the dutch and transposition is possible between the dutch and the french as I open with 1...e6

    As a result I am comfortable with my middlegame strategies and can usually win from a decent middlegame.

    If not I know the basic engames K+Q/K+R/K+B+N and understand basic drawing positions eg Lucene (its late and prob spelt wrong) but I dont bother learning how to convert K+R+B vs K+R+N or some other weird combo. I just dont see the point because they are so infrequent I consider them VERY low yield and essentially time wasted.

    I think this is a solid foundation. As improvement occurs you broaden in all areas from increasing your opening repetoire to converting miniscule endgame advantages.

    Sorry for the rant!!!
  8. 29 Nov '06 00:49
    I would, however, add that if you do end up in a weird endgame straight after the game is over is the ideal time to study it BRIEFLY as it will have relevance to you and is more likely to stick in your memory.
  9. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    29 Nov '06 01:25 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Rene-Claude
    Well, OK, I respect your opinion but if you don't know your destination how do you know which route to follow?
    the destination is to win games, not getting to the endgame. beginners drop pieces left and right, and until that has been dealt with (getting to around 1600), there's practically no chance of the games being decided in the ending.

    in other words: tactics, tactics, tactics, until you don't routinely drop pieces or pawns. everything else is fine, and will become useful eventually, but until that time dropping pieces will mask everything else.
  10. 29 Nov '06 01:55
    If you don't learn the endgame first, then your brain will be impaired, preventing it from learning whatever techniques you'll need later on. It's physiological. It's like a youngster who loads up on the high calorie diet early in life will find it hard to remove weight later in life. That said, it doesn't matter much for the amateur since the effect is probably marginal (the majority of my study time is spent on middlegame judgement and planing). For would be IMs and up, it could be critical.
    (now some wise guy will say prove it, to which I will preemptively respond, I can't)
  11. Standard member Arrakis
    D_U_N_E
    29 Nov '06 02:03
    Originally posted by Regicidal
    If you don't learn the endgame first, then your brain will be impaired, preventing it from learning whatever techniques you'll need later on. It's physiological. It's like a youngster who loads up on the high calorie diet early in life will find it hard to remove weight later in life. That said, it doesn't matter much for the amateur since the effect is pr ...[text shortened]... cal.
    (now some wise guy will say prove it, to which I will preemptively respond, I can't)
    Where do you stand telling us "If you don't learn the endgame first, then your brain will be impaired".

    I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing! You might have well said that people who don't learn endgames first will die from brain hemorrhaging. It's on the same level as your claim.
  12. 29 Nov '06 02:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by arrakis
    People who don't learn endgames first will die from brain hemorrhaging
    I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing!
  13. Standard member preachingforjesus
    Iron Pillar
    29 Nov '06 02:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Regicidal
    (now some wise guy will say prove it, to which I will preemptively respond, I can't)
    Prove it!

    That said, Ifind it interesting that only one chess book; "My System" by Aron Nimzowitch, was even quoted. why don't you start with that.
  14. Standard member Arrakis
    D_U_N_E
    29 Nov '06 04:00 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Regicidal
    I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing!
    It's on the same level as your claim: "If you don't learn the endgame first, then your brain will be impaired". I think I'll look at some of your games. You don't sound like you have the basics of chess knowledge - yet your rating is over 2140!
  15. 29 Nov '06 13:52
    Back to books...

    Winning Chess Tactics by Yasser Seirawan and the rest of that series is highly regarded.

    My first book was excellent explaining opening, middlegame and endgame strategy as well as basic tactics (fork, pin, double attack).

    At your rating, I would study tactics until you feel that most of your losses are not due to blundering pieces away. Then I would read either "My System" by Nimzovich or How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess-Mastery Course by Jeremy Silman. Both of these explain middlegame concepts well. After that it is up to you to put it into practice. Make sure you have a plan, any plan before moving.