Thursday, February 21, 2013

Books for Dummies

      I like these books for dummies. They don’t make you an expert in anything but what they will do is give you a good, simple overview of the subjects covered. This book is no different.        You won’t find masters using it, but if you are new to chess and want to learn opening basics or if you simply want to learn a new opening, Chess Openings for Dummies is a pretty good start. Disregard the hype that claims the book gives you tips and techniques for winning games from the very first move you make. That’s nonsense, but the claim that the book is a friendly, helpful guide that provides you with easy-to-follow and step-by-step instructions on the top opening strategies and gives you the tools you need to develop your own line of attack…that part is true.
      Some opening books like Modern Chess Openings feature variation after variation in column after column. My personal opinion is that MCO and books like it have outlived their usefulness. Other books specialize on specific openings or even variations and using them requires caution; some are good, some are downright bad. The nice thing about Chess Openings for Dummies is that it gives you a good overview of the openings you’ll most likely run into in practical play as well as good advice on what openings it makes sense for you to use in your own play. A big plus is Eade also gives you the ideas behind the openings and this is probably the most important part of the book. If you understand the ideas then, when your opponent deviates, you will have a basis on which to make a judgment as to the merits of his move.  You will also have some idea of how to take advantage of his move if it is not part of the correct overall strategy of the opening being played.
      All the major openings are covered and well organized: Open Games, Semi-Open Games, Closed Games, Semi-Closed Games and Flank openings are covered in depth in their own section. And…very important…there are the examples of master games played with the openings. This is vital because you really need to see complete games with each opening. Eade gives an example of when the opening is successful and when it isn’t. Highly recommended.

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