Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z by Jeremy Silman

“An easy-to-understand guide to chess strategy...has always been the amateur's dream...This book makes that dream a reality.” That's part of the blurb and it is also not true.

    Silman has written some good stuff, but this book isn't one of them! It's neither well-written nor well-edited and the title is misleading. Besides that, most of the book covers very basic stuff that only an absolute beginner would need. 
    Even the layout is crappy. Lots of blank space on the pages and the diagrams and printing looks like it was designed just to increase the length of the book. About ¼ of the book covers openings. Further, each concept only gets about half a page which is hardly enough for giving the reader a complete guide to anything. 

   My dad had a saying which I never completely understood, but somehow it seems appropriate here. When something wasn't very good he used to say, “I wouldn't hit a dog in the (butt) with it!” Silman appears to be going the way of Fred Reinfeld. Reinfeld's early books were GREAT, but at some point he discovered that all the time and effort he put into writing good chess books didn't pay off so he turned to pumping out trash. One has to wonder if this is what happened to Silman!

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