- Paperback: 257 pages
- Publisher: Microsoft Press; New edition edition (April 13 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556156634
- ISBN-13: 978-1556156632
- Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.3 x 23.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #904,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Winning Chess Strategies: Proven Principles from One of the U.S.A.'s Top Chess Players Paperback – Apr 13 1999
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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.
"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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
However, one has to mention that you need to practice, practice and practice! LOL I know it may be a little hard to find a person to play with on a regular basis, so please join a club/play with people as much as you can. With a wife, baby and full time job, I agree that finding time to study these books and my game is not all that obvious.
I do not play online against a computer, I don't like the experience. I prefer to play against another human being (in person) and have that sort of interaction. Now, I digress, sorry about that...
In summary: buy this series, you won't regret it! You'll see that after a few dozen games, you'll develop your own style based on Yasser's simple, yet effective strategies and be a better chess player.
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.
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!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
The only reason I give "Tactics" 5 stars over this one's 4 is that Tactics is just easier to read and work through. Due to the topics of this book the examples are long, some even full games, so while the explanation of the principals of the chapters is simple and straightforward it takes some serious set-aside study time to work through the examples with your own chessboard. (Tactics on the other hand with its short term calculations can be done in your head). The format of having test questions at the end doesn't gel with the subject matter as well as Tactics, but is consistent with the format of the other books of the series.
The examples take longer to work through than to get the point of the chapter--with several chapters I could correctly answer the end of chapter tests without working through the examples. You can quickly review the points of the chapters just by looking for the italicized print, and that is often enough information to answer the end of chapter questions correctly. I'm sure working through all the examples would increase the value and understanding of this book but I am someone who does not have hours a day to devote to studying chess.
Again it is an excellent book and I recommend it, I do believe it has improved my play. Just plan on scheduling serious study time when you want to read through some of it, it's not something you can read casually on your nightstand.
Overall, this is a good introductory text. My son has learned quite a few new concepts, although he still rolls his eyes when an example of slow positional play is presented. He used to complain about not knowing what to do next when no quick tactic maneuvers are available. Such occurrences have become less frequent. I think players between 750 and 1250 will find this book helpful, particularly if they are tactically inclined to begin with.
I am not giving this book five stars because there are two problems with it. Firstly, it has not been carefully proof-read and consequently contains a good number of errata in the chess diagrams, presenting a real headache for the readers. Secondly, not all examples are convincing. On occasions, after the key move suggested by the book, my son asked me why he should not respond by doing something. Upon consulting Rybka, I found that his idea actually led to a winning or drawing position. I understand that good strategies sometimes aim to make it very difficult but not impossible for the opponent to counter correctly. But trying to explain that to a first grader is a chore I would rather avoid.
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