Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 19 Oct '07 21:57
    I'm working through it now, seems like a helpful book. But, Silman seems like a jerk.

    He speaks of "stopping games in disgust" with 12 year old kids he's teaching when they don't properly take advantage of a bishop-knight imbalance.
  2. 19 Oct '07 22:09
    I found that kind of annoying, too. There's one example right at the beginning of the book where he says he stopped the game because the student dropped a pawn. But I was playing through it with an engine, and it turned out the student had a way to win the pawn back in a move or so and was still in a pretty good position.

    I always wonder why they don't go over books like this with an engine. I don't know when the 1st edition was written, but you'd think they could go over it for the 2nd edition.
  3. 19 Oct '07 22:33
    Another annoying thing: He's constantly amazed at what idiots his students are. Apparently he was never, or does not remember being, an amateur.
  4. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    20 Oct '07 12:36
    His demeanor aside, Silman's books are excellent. Agreed that he seems to suffer from 'the best players aren't the best coaches' syndrome, but that doesn't detract from the lessons imparted in The Amateur's Mind and How to Reassess Your Chess.
  5. Standard member buffalobill
    Major Bone
    20 Oct '07 16:39
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    His demeanor aside, Silman's books are excellent. Agreed that he seems to suffer from 'the best players aren't the best coaches' syndrome, but that doesn't detract from the lessons imparted in The Amateur's Mind and How to Reassess Your Chess.
    At times he can be exceptionally irritating. That aside, this is a very good book - with this fresh in my mind, I went on to beat a 2100 USCF player and I need to go through it again.
  6. 20 Oct '07 18:37
    Be interesting to see a GM critique of some of Silman's games.
    "Oh dear, so wrong. May as well have stopped playing here..."
  7. 20 Oct '07 19:08
    Originally posted by incandenza
    I found that kind of annoying, too. There's one example right at the beginning of the book where he says he stopped the game because the student dropped a pawn. But I was playing through it with an engine, and it turned out the student had a way to win the pawn back in a move or so and was still in a pretty good position.

    I always wonder why they don ...[text shortened]... when the 1st edition was written, but you'd think they could go over it for the 2nd edition.
    Michael de la Maza (who wrote the popular book, "Rapid Chess Improvement" claimed in either his book or in one of the articles upon which his book was based that Silman's analysis of certain positions were completely invalidated by computer analysis.

    de la Maza's thesis, for those who don't know, is that class players should spend virtually all of their time solving tactics puzzles. He claims that he went from 1400 to 2000 in less than two years by studying nothing but tactical puzzles. He won the "A" prize at the World Open one year,and then "retired."

    In an article on Jeremy Silman's website, GM Rashid Ziatdinov wrote that non-masters shouldn't study strategy at all; just tactics and endgames.
  8. Standard member Fleabitten
    Love thy bobblehead
    20 Oct '07 19:21
    Originally posted by gaychessplayer
    In an article on Jeremy Silman's website, GM Rashid Ziatdinov wrote that non-masters shouldn't study strategy at all; just tactics and endgames.
    That seems counter-intuitive. I mean, what use is a knowledge of end games if one doesn't know how to reach an end game that is advantageous or at least relatively equitable to begin with?

    I'm not saying that studying end games and tactics isn't vital to improvement. But I would think that only studying those things to the exclusion of all else is really only half the task.
  9. 20 Oct '07 19:26
    Originally posted by gaychessplayer
    Michael de la Maza (who wrote the popular book, "Rapid Chess Improvement" claimed in either his book or in one of the articles upon which his book was based that Silman's analysis of certain positions were completely invalidated by computer analysis.
    That's probably the reason they don't revise it in the new edition. I mean, they could make small corrections, but he's not going to want to rewrite a whole section if the analysis turns out to be flawed.
  10. 20 Oct '07 19:32
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    That seems counter-intuitive. I mean, what use is a knowledge of end games if one doesn't know how to reach an end game that is advantageous or at least relatively equitable to begin with?

    I'm not saying that studying end games and tactics isn't vital to improvement. But I would think that only studying those things to the exclusion of all else is really only half the task.
    I would speculate that Ziatnidov's point is that "strategy" can only be understood once one has a firm understanding of tactics and endgames. The whole point of having a strategy is to increase your chances are successfully playing a decisive combination, or trading down into a winning endgame.
  11. Standard member TippedKing
    Blunder Grandmaster
    21 Oct '07 04:43
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    That seems counter-intuitive. I mean, what use is a knowledge of end games if one doesn't know how to reach an end game that is advantageous or at least relatively equitable to begin with?

    I'm not saying that studying end games and tactics isn't vital to improvement. But I would think that only studying those things to the exclusion of all else is really only half the task.
    Endgame study helps you learn the more intricate working relationships between your pieces in an environment where there aren't many pieces on the board as distractions. Those themes show up in other stages of the game and you know them very well. It gives a foundation upon which to build more chess knowledge.
  12. 21 Oct '07 04:47
    Originally posted by Fleabitten
    That seems counter-intuitive. I mean, what use is a knowledge of end games if one doesn't know how to reach an end game that is advantageous or at least relatively equitable to begin with?

    I'm not saying that studying end games and tactics isn't vital to improvement. But I would think that only studying those things to the exclusion of all else is really only half the task.
    maybe the idea is that by mastering endgames, the player will build a natural tendancy to "tactic" his way to an endgame that he knows is superior.