Let me first say that I have read several of Pandolfini's chess books and have enjoyed them. In fact, I think Pandolfini's Endgame Course is excellent. However, this book is very poor.
As a chess player: the book is hollow. His observations are so obvious that they add no real value.
As a business leader: sorry, it is even worse. With phrases like "Play the board, not the person," Pandolfini acts like he is giving great wisdom, but there is no substance. Here is how the chapters are structured.
Chapter opens with an Axiom: e.g. "Play the person not the board"
Body of the chapter: Chess stories proving the value of the axiom
A few paragraphs at the end of the chapter:… Read more
This was not the second chess book I purchased, but it should have been. Instead, I bought books on openings and strategy - a big mistake.
I think chess books come in three varieties.
1. Introductory overviews (how the pieces move, notation, etc.)
2. Annotated games
3. Specialized topics (strategy, tactics, openings, middlegame, etc.)
A good annotated game book connects the dots. It shows how all of the specialized topics work together in real games. By explaining every move, Chernev shows the beginner how to:
1. Control the center in the opening
2. Develop pieces with purpose
3. Use your pieces together to gain material
4. How to finish the "won… Read more
After studying an overview of chess (e.g. Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess) a book on tactics is a logical next step. I have purchased several tactics books. I found this one to be the best for teaching the beginner how to effectively recognize tactical opportunities and execute winning tactical sequences.
Learn by example?
Some tactics books show examples and hope for results. This would be like a golf pro showing me a video of Tiger Woods, and then asking for his fee. I am sorry, but examples of great tactics will often discourage beginners more than educate them. Examples of these types of books include:
1. Combinations, the Heart of Chess
2. Chess… Read more