Originally posted by @paul-leggett
I would say they are separate "circles" that only overlap a small bit.
Silman focuses on the amateur's incomplete or misinterpreted understanding of the game, while Rowson focuses on a player's incomplete or misinterpreted understanding of themselves in the context of the game.
Silman is black and white compared to Rowson's color. I don ...[text shortened]... not doing justice to his work, and I feel bad about it. He is well worth reading in my opinion.
I'll put the books on my plan-list.
I suspect the Dead Sins resembles a bit Watson's Secrets Of Modern Strategy in a sense that it's not so practical and that author wanted to show off with his insights and cleverness. Watson's book was awarded but it was not written with such great style (
look who's talking! - I hear some RHP members say
) - he repeats same syntagma in a row in same paragraph and the same page. Possible the sign of eagerness of the inspiration.
The good thing in Watson's book is that it may change the attitude of an expert.
And in a review of Rowson's book I read--> "he's writing about the difference between knowledge and skill!"
And here I would say that for skill one still needs to get some lessons from a good coach.
From Watson's book I found most amusing his disavowing of Alekhine's comments of Sicilian Defense and fianchetto, and most useful are small games of Suba.
But this paragraph I wanted to quote here-->
Description versus reality
Before entering into discussions of specific rules and principles, I should make a simple distinction which applies to my notes as welle as anyone else’s. One must always keep in mind the diffrence between a description of play and the play otself. For all I will say about rejecting rules, it is still true that we must use them as tools when annonating a game. Thus, for example, there is no substitute for saying something like “and Black stands better because of his two bishops and White’s backward pawn on the open d-file”. One simply has to bear in mind that such a statement has an implied subtext, for example: “ Black stands better because, although there are many cases of two bishops being inferior, this is not one of them, since the knights in this particular position have no useful putposts and White can’t play the pawn-break that might force a transformation of the pawn structure leading to the creation of an outpost )or he could do so, but at the cost of allowing a strong attack againts his king)...” and so forth.
. . .
I think that there is a great danger here for the student. He or she will pick up a book of annotated games by some world-class player ans assume from such generali descirpitons that “this is the way the great players think”. In reality, most players are uncomcerned with giving exact descriptions of their thought/processes; it is much easier to characterize a position genrally, with hindsight, and ignore the gory details.”
... end of quote
Those words from Watson's book healed my wounds. I always envied the comments of Gligoric. for example, like "with this move White finishes development, puts more amount of pressure on field f7, gives free post for Rook, and protect his King".
Everything is perfect.
When I play, I struggle from to move, and when I try to employ general strategy, I usual overlook a tree in front of my nose.
In aftermath-analysis with my OTB opponents, I often get irritated by theirs conviction in their comments.
"I prefer this since my hedgehog position doesn't allow you to come near me!" says one who defetaed me as Black in English opening.
"And had you played this, I would changed my finachetted bishop your Knight on c3 and played Qa5 and you'r doomed!"
So confident and with a diabolic smile.And it sounds "skilled", you know.
When I checked later his moves on my netbook, it turned out he was wrong.
well, I am waiting for him on next OTB tournament in that position!
We could have met on Malta Open in November, but after 3 Maltese opens in a row, I passed this one (I couldn't afford it). Maybe next November. I see he took part this year again.