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Winning Chess Strategies: Proven Principles from One of the U.S.A.'s Top Chess Players [Paperback]

Yasser Seirawan , Jeremy Silman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Paperback, April 13 1999 --  

Book Description

April 13 1999
Learn to: Knock your opponent off balance with bold opening moves Formulate an overall game strategy before the middle game Understand the motivation behind your opponents every move Position yourself for a winning endgame. A special section features actual games of history's greatest chess strategists.

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This is the third of Seirawan's four-volume series, which takes the reader from chess greenhorn to a player advanced enough to understand grandmaster play. Here, Seirawan shows how to set long-range goals for a game and systematically gain a superior position. His deft explanations give anyone with basic chess knowledge (covered in his previous books) the insights to leap levels in play. As usual, he tackles the subject with an infectious enthusiasm, communicating the sporting thrill as each piece of a meticulous plan comes together. Throughout the book, engrossing chess puzzles help teach strategic points.

Review

"Seirawan does a great job with this book."--Chesscorner.com

"These two books will teach you enough to beat most of your friends and family and all the kids on your block."--Evan Kreider, ChessPraxis
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Anyone who has ever read a chess book is probably familiar with the four key elements of position - force, time, space and pawn structure. This book contains the best treatment of the element of space that I have ever encountered.
Seirawan addresses the needs and treatment of each piece as well as strategic pawn play. His observations regarding the use of pawns to support N outposts are particularly insightful.
There is a very good treatment of B vs N and how to play this matchup from both sides. Creation and exploitation of weaknesses is explored in depth with an emphasis on focus that is rarely expressed in chess books.
Seirawan repeatedly stresses key themes such as utilizing all your pieces, or consolidating your position after winning material. These reminders are interwoven with the chapter material in a very natural and instructive manner. Example games or game fragments tend to illustrate several elements concurrently. The game commentary is very rich and instructive, and focused on the strategic principles, so there is little in the way of dense tactical variations.
This book is written in a very readable, engaging style. Seirawan is an excellent author as well as a top flight chess player. This book is probably best suited to club and tournament players advancing through USCF 1400 and higher.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this book rocked my world May 18 2004
By Steven
Format:Paperback
i'm a 1000-1100 player and this book rocked my world. my rating unfortunately hasn't sky rocketed but i attribute that to the string of 1200-1500 players i keep playing online. dude but this book is sooo good. it'll walk you through really basic yet amazingly profound principles of chess. things as simple as "Playing with a material advantage." there is also great stuff on pawn play, creating weaknesses and territorial domination (also more pawn play commentary). i highly recommend it for beginners who have already played a bunch and are looking for that next level. it also has this phat chapter at the end with biographicals of master strategists (as opposed to tactitians and what not) and some of their great games. he has capablanca turning alekhine into a little school girl. and rubinstein just laying a colossal smackdown on tarrasch making his tarrasch defense look like so much butter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book -- hella typos. June 12 2003
By cmpst52
Format:Paperback
ALL of Seirawan's books get five stars, this is no different. Buy this book, learn positional and long-term play.
However, my "Winning Chess Strategies" (published by Everyman Press, rather than the old Microsoft publication) is plauged by typographical errors! The books in this series I read, published by Microsoft, were pristine and free from mistakes. Similarly, my copy of "Winning Chess Tactics" published by Everyman Press had no typos.
But this book? Wow! Errors every few pages! Let's hope the upcoming Everyman publications of "Endings," "Openings," and "Brilliancies" are better proofread!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mid-Level Strategy book focusing on a varitey of concepts this author feels is important to learn Dec 16 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is book at a mid-level skilled player who wants to add on their their basic knowledge of chess. Ideas are taken from actual play and are made into broken down examples. This is instead of using complete games (another excellent way to improve - here one of the mid-level comment on every moves book like "Logical Chess" or "Unbeatable Chess" would fit in well) the author focuses on a variety of concepts that he fees are important. This is certainly a good, but not a great book.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars maybe the best book in this great series June 2 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone who is serious about learning to play chess well should begin with Seirawan's Winning Chess series. I had heard good things about it, so I bought this series for my wife. I figured that it would all be too simple for me, but decided to skim through the books quickly anyway. I learned quit a bit from both the Tactics and Strategies books. Seirawan's system is very similar to the system that co-author Silman teaches in his more advanced How To Reassess Your Chess (which would be the perfect book to read after finishing the Seirawan series). I learned things from Strategies that I hadn't learned from Reassess; and Tactics goes into greater, very helpful detail about setting up and executing tactics and combinations. This is a great series, I recommend it strongly to any player rated below 1600.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb book. must read right after the tactics book March 15 2005
By Mohammad Rashid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
superb book. must read right after the tactics book by the

same author. However, you don't have to become really good

at tactics before reading book. see, the tactics book has

2 levels of porblems. Ones that are easy and ones that are

really tough. As long as you can get through the erasy ones

in each chapter, you are ready for this book.

This book is real genius (2 negative poinst are mentioned

below), here is why:

1. author used very simple language

2. he answered so many of my questions

3. it, i think, covers every situation I could think of

4. it is broken down by chapters, each one covering

either a a general principle (e.g. where

pieces should aspire to go, only it is NOT boring)

5. It teaches you how to think and evaluate any position

and then formulate a strategy.

2 negative points:

1. really there should have been more diagrams per example.

2. there should have a chapter (separate) on "how to evaluate

a position". The topic is covered in different chapters.

I am so impressed: I want o give examples:

lets say you are ahead a minor piece, what should

youn do?

lets say you are ahead in development, what should you do?

answer is attack.

Ok, so where should you attack? center, q-wing, k-wing?

let's say that you should attack on king-side, what

conditions must exist (or you should play to create)

before going for the actual attack?

How do you attack? pawns? prices?

what do you attack? king? a piece? a square?

great book really.

I would say best for ratings 1350-1800. mine is 1600+.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Read Aug. 6 2009
By Chess reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the best one chess strategy I have ever read. While other books spout cliches about pawn structure and how doubled pawns are bad but not always bad (not a revolutionary idea) Seirawan actually covers HOW to punish a bad pawn structure, or a hole, or a weakened king position. This book is very concrete in explanation and focuses on minor pieces and pawns. I especially enjoyed Seirawan's prophylactic pawn move (Van der Wiel-Seirawan Baden, 1980) ...g6! and how he showed how to both stop pawn advances and gain a superior minor piece with ...h5! Seirawan shows his mastery by not specifically saying that you have to make a plan (Kotov and Silman?) but nonetheless showing all the pieces working towards a specific goal. An excellent book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strategy Primer for Intermediate Amateurs Dec 2 2008
By E. M. Hodge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The third and final part of a series by renowned International Grand Master Yasser Seirawan and International Master Jeremy Silman, Winning Chess Strategies is also the most difficult to devour. The book follows the same format Seirawan and Silman used in Winning Chess Tactics, taking one strategic element of chess at a time and spending an entire chapter on it. Each are explained, explored and exemplified individually to help the aspiring chess amateur develop these lines of strategic thought.

More knowledgeable chess enthusiasts will likely recognize a lot of this material. Strategic concepts like material advantage, stopping enemy counterplay, target creation and the dynamics of a successful king attack aren't exactly new concepts in chess. The amateur, however, will probably find a goldmine of interesting new ideas. The difference between a well placed bishop and a poorly placed bishop, for example, or the proper placement of powerful pieces like the queen and rooks. As usual, Seirawan's discussion of pawn use is superior.

Probably the most puzzling and arguably most helpful chapter to the amateur mind is the chapter on faulty strategies. This chapter discusses the typical mistakes and pitfalls made by amateurs trying to adopt a strategic style of play, such as attacking prematurely, complacency and "playing from the gut". This chapter was reminiscent of Silman's "The Amateur's Mind" and is probably more representative of his work rather than Seirawan's.

As with Play Winning Chess and Winning Chess Tactics, Seirawan and Silman spend a chapter discussing the strategies of the great masters. Specific games of Steinitz, Rubenstein, Capablanca, Nimzovich, Petrosian and Karpov are chosen to exemplify strategic and positional play rather than tactics, with apologies to Lasker, Alekhine, Tal and Kasparov.

Like the other two parts of the series, which I recommend reading before this one even if you're familiar with the material, I was bothered by the writing style rather than the information. Winning Chess Strategies seems to be written for children, and is sprinkled liberally with chess axioms and rules that the authors then give contradictory examples for. Every once in a while the text is interrupted by a quick positional quiz, to which the solutions only come at the end. Though the material is golden, the format and style detract significantly from the immersion. It stands in stark contrast to Silman's other work, which leads me to believe that Seirawan was the primary writer.

All in all, though, Winning Chess Strategies is a very useful piece of work that I think will greatly help the amateur chess enthusiast on the road to mastery.
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