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  1. 06 Jul '09 10:12 / 1 edit
    My rating is a little over 1230. So all the famous positional chess books everyone is recommending are really too hard for me now.

    Could Seirawan's Strategies book be considered a positional primer for someone in my rating level? If not, what would you suggest?

    Thanks.
    grit
  2. Standard member karoly aczel
    Goin in dry bro
    06 Jul '09 10:21
    Originally posted by grit
    My rating is a little over 1230. So all the famous positional chess books everyone is recommending are really too hard for me now.

    Could Seirawan's Strategies book be considered a positional primer for someone in my rating level? If not, what would you suggest?

    Thanks.
    grit
    intuition and practice. (but I'm only 1330)
  3. 06 Jul '09 10:33 / 1 edit
    The Seirawan books do what they say on the cover and have clear explanations but you might want to work through the tactics and endings book before strategies.

    An alternative endings book would be Silmans Complete Endgame Course ...and this is broken down into ratings - so you can dive into the 1200 section.

    I think that getting into strategy books is easier if you have more familiarity with the principles
    of tactics and endings.

    "The Amateurs Mind" also by Jeremy Silman will be a toughie at the moment but should be
    considered once you've progressed a bit.

    You should find: "Discovering Chess Openings" by John Emms really useful now.

    My final recommendation is Irving Chernev's "Logical Chess Move by Move" . It has every
    move explained. This one will be a case of setting up a board and working through it rather
    than any quick read.

    You've correctly identified the trouble with books - it has to be the right book at the right time.
    And as different people learn in different ways you can't always rely on recommendations.

    However, if you take the books recommended here and spend enough time with them you'll
    certainly improve. It's easy to get many books and just dip into them so worth remembering the
    saying: "it's not how many books you have - it's how many you've read"
  4. 06 Jul '09 11:30
    Originally posted by grit
    My rating is a little over 1230. So all the famous positional chess books everyone is recommending are really too hard for me now.

    Could Seirawan's Strategies book be considered a positional primer for someone in my rating level? If not, what would you suggest?

    Thanks.
    grit
    Play Winning Chess is probably a better idea for a 1200 rated.
    It has most of the basic positional/strategic ideas you will need to know, plus a lot else besides.

    http://tinyurl.com/qqefmn
    You can look at the first few pages if you copy/paste the above link.
  5. 06 Jul '09 12:51
    Thanks so much for your replies. Do you think Simple Chess by Stein would be too hard for me right now?

    grit
  6. 06 Jul '09 13:27
    Originally posted by grit
    Thanks so much for your replies. Do you think Simple Chess by Stein would be too hard for me right now?

    grit
    That's a good question. The writing is very clear but I don't know if it would mean much to you without first understanding more of the underlying basics.

    Try this:

    QUOTE FROM "SIMPLE CHESS" by MICHAEL STEAN

    We all like to attack. There is a streak of sadism running through every chess player that helps him to sit back contentedly, sipping a cup of tea, while his opponent head in hands, tries frantically to avoid mate in three. But where do attacks come from? The mere action of pushing one or two pieces in the general direction of the king does not constitute an attack. In general a successful attack can only be launched from a position of strength in the centre of the board. This "position of strength" can take various forms, the simplest being an outpost.

    As the name suggests, an outpost is a square at the forefront of your position which you can readily support and from where you can control or contest squares in the heart of your enemy camp. To be useful an outpost must be firmly under control and so should ideally be protected by a pawn. Conversely your opponent should not be given the opportunity to deny you access to your outpost, so in particular it must be immune to attack by enemy pawns.

    This last condition is far and away the most important and can indeed almost be taken as the defining property of an outpost.

    END OF QUOTE

    ...it then goes on to give examples with diagrams etc...if we're lucky maybe someone will put up a board showing a typical knight outpost as an example (I have to dash)...but the above is an example of his writing style.

    Also my copy is in descriptive notation 23 R-N3+ K-B1 ..which might be tough although someone has said there is a version in algebraic notation - worth checking before you buy.
  7. 06 Jul '09 13:47
    Thank you, Mahout. Especially for giving a quote from the book. I like the way he writes.

    Amazon says it is now in algebraic notation, and I can get a good used copy.

    Might be worth it! (Unless it is so far over my head that I get in a strain trying to read it.)

    grit
  8. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    06 Jul '09 18:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by grit
    My rating is a little over 1230. So all the famous positional chess books everyone is recommending are really too hard for me now.

    Could Seirawan's Strategies book be considered a positional primer for someone in my rating level? If not, what would you suggest?

    Thanks.
    grit
    yes the strategies book is a good enough read and will give you lots of the usual stuff you'll read about weak squares, open files, superior minor piece etc.

    My only problem with this type of format is that chess, when it actually comes down to it is never so simple. In any position there's usually a myriad of tactical threats and forcing moves to work through before any of the positional becomes remotely relevant.

    It's a good book to use as supplementary study no doubt about it. However at your level i'd reccomend a great book by CJS Purdy entitled The Search for Chess perfecton. A superb instructional book written for the beginning to average player. It's not actually a purpose written book, rather a selection of Articles written by Purdy throughout his life and then put together in a book format. It contains enough information in a very digestable format to take you way into the 1600's on here!

    Supplement that with this little gem http://www.amazon.com/First-Book-Morphy-Frisco-Rosario/dp/1412039061/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246902339&sr=8-1

    which i would suggest playing over again and again and you'll be well on your way to playing some great chess.
  9. 06 Jul '09 18:12
    Talisman, thank you for your suggestions as to what books I should be able to handle and which will be helpful. Actually I have Purdy's Guide to Good Chess. It is wonderful and I have a real affection for Purdy and that book. Will try to get the one you suggested.

    I'm not sure I can get the Morphy book right now. I've been spending so much on chess books lately. But if you think that book will really help me, maybe I will look into getting a used copy.

    Thanks again for your help. I will definately read the Purdy book.

    grit
  10. 06 Jul '09 18:57
    A First Book of Morphy really is a cracker
  11. 06 Jul '09 20:07
    Originally posted by Squelchbelch
    A First Book of Morphy really is a cracker
    yes it does look rather inviting doesn't it!
  12. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    06 Jul '09 20:09 / 1 edit
    The games of Willhelm Steinitz by Willhelm Steinitz


    the very beginning for learning what "Positional" even means.
    I recommend reading well annotated master games.

    and then reading more well annotated master games.



    -GIN
  13. 06 Jul '09 20:19
    Originally posted by Nowakowski
    The games of Willhelm Steinitz by Willhelm Steinitz


    the very beginning for learning what "Positional" even means.
    I recommend reading well annotated master games.

    and then reading more well annotated master games.



    -GIN
    'Morphy was the first truly positional player' - Reti
  14. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    07 Jul '09 00:23 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    'Morphy was the first truly positional player' - Reti
    Well, I'd say check out Steinitz and Tschigorin 1889.
    "Technically the match was very interesting, given the characteristics of
    each player. Steinitz, creator of the theory of accumulating and
    exploiting small advantages in closed positions, was facing a formidable
    opponent, who was an expert in playing open positions and had an
    aggressive style."
    [102] The Steinitz Papers, Kurt Landsberger

    This game is one of my favorites from the match


    He also wrote a theory, albeit "simple" by todays standards, was revolutionary to classical players during his time.

    1. At the beginning of the game, Black and White are equal.

    2. The game will stay equal with correct play on both sides.

    3. You can only win by your opponent's mistake.

    4. Any attack launched in an equal position will not succeed, and the
    attacker will suffer.

    5. You should not attack until an advantage is obtained.

    6. When equal, do not seek to attack, but instead, try to secure an
    advantage.

    7. Once you have an advantage, attack or you will lose it.

    I would urge you to read this link provided below to understand more
    about Wilhelm Steinitz

    http://www.chess-poster.com/great_players/steinitz.htm

    "...he changed to become the first strategic player in chess history.
    His new idea was that victory can not be obtain just by the will of power,
    creating attacks when there are no justified reasons to do so. Instead,
    attack is the logical consequence of the accumulation of small
    advantages obtained in the previous moves. This advantages included
    better development, more space, better pawn structure, pair of bishops,
    etc. "


    I've still yet to hear from any well learned player that Steinitz was
    anything but the developer of the classical theory. I personally agree
    with this, although I don't believe he was the best proponent of his
    thoery. My personal opinion is that Wilhelm developed the thoery, but
    Akiba Rubenstein was the theories most illustrious proponent.

    And Lasker was perhaps the best teacher of the theory. Of course when
    it comes to hypermodernism the fathers of this movement can become
    rather arguable (Reti, Nimzo, and others). However the classical method
    is pretty well thrown on the shoulders of Steinitz for its creation.

    -GIN
  15. 07 Jul '09 10:39 / 1 edit
    in my copy of 'Modern Ideas in chess', written by Reti, there are three examples of Steinitz style, juxtaposed and compared to Morphys style, and the differences noted, and more importantly why they arose. There is an interesting Steinitz - Tschigorin game which exemplifies his principles, if i find the time i may post it with annotations. But let us not also delude ourselves into thinking that Morphy was not a truly positional player either, for in comparison to his contemporaries, this is what made Morphy outstanding, for in his battles with Anderssen, a man of equal imagination, it was his understanding of the positional concepts which made the difference.