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on March 7, 2004
After completing another introductory chess book I started to read chess for dummies and find it very explanatory. I especially like the fact that the reader is presented the essential chess terms one by one
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on May 30, 2003
A few years ago, I took up Chess. I was looking for a book to upgrade my skill level. I browsed for hours if not days in bookstores in the hope of finding a Chess book I could actually read. You will note that Chess books are written in a strange cryptic language that make the Greek used in PhD level math look like kindergarden blocks by comparison. Finally, after a lot of research I came accross Chess for Dummies.
This is the Chess book you can actually understand, and quickly learn from. You improve your skills by learning a key set of strategies that apply at all levels of the game. Unlike other books, you don't need to memorize the 100 most famous Russian Chess matches before you can play descent Chess.
This book took me as far as I cared to go. I found myself playing descent Chess in rather competitive environments such as the most advanced rooms of online Chess websites, and playing blitzkrieg Chess in public plazas reserved almost exclusively for Chess geeks.
I have since quit Chess. But, I am sure I will pick up the game again. When I do, I will certainly review the Chess for Dummies.
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on September 17, 2010
I am a very casual chess player (I play 1 or 2 times a year). I will also sometimes try to play against a computer, but I get crushed all the time. I have purchased this book not necessarily because I intend to play chess more often, but more out of curiosity. I wanted to see if I - with a few tips - could beat a computer playing on beginner settings.

Keeping in mind that I totally qualify as a chess "dummy", here are my comments on this book:

* The author does not teach you how to play chess from scratch; you need to have basic knowledge of the game to understand the topics covered by this book. That being said, the author does emphasis on a few rules that are generally not well understood by beginners, such as castling.

* The author gives simple explanations on how to approach the game (concepts of advantage of space and material). This was totally new to me.

* The author also introduces and comments on the more common openings in a chess game. This was the section I was looking forward to as I generally do not know how to start. I find however that, although the book has helped me in that regard, it could have helped me more. The reason is that the author will generally show and explain the right move in a given situation, but he does not explain why another logical move (or at least another move that seems logical to a beginner) is not appropriate.

* As a downside, the author puts too much emphasis on openings for the player that plays with the white pieces. He provides only sparse comments on strategies when playing black.

I have enjoyed reading this book more than I expected. It is very well written. I doubt however that more experienced players will find in this book what they are looking for.

P.S. For the record, after I have read this book, I am now able to beat a computer playing on beginner settings 50% of the time. Clearly this book will help a dummy improving his game.
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on December 14, 2000
This book is good for the absolute beginner. Someone who doesn't even know how the pieces move. There are several chapters dedicated to how the pieces are allowed to move. There are no good chapters on Chess strategy. If you want the basics AND strategy, check out the book "The Complete Idiots Guide to Chess". It's much better overall. One great thing about this book: you don't need a chess set to follow along, nor do you need to know any sort of chess notation. Every lesson has diagrams so you can follow the lessons with JUST THE BOOK! I'm at the point in my chess career where I'm reading higher-level books, but I still reread this one in spare time occasionally. I also lend it to people who *might* be interested, or people who know the moves, but don't know how to implement them. This book is good because you can get through it in a few days, and be better off for it. Just realize that it is aimed at beginners and you won't go wrong with it.
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This is, by far, one of the most comprehensive Chess Manual books I've ever read! All the basic and advanced moves are shown in here, as well as some very good strategies and tactics. On top of that, it also shows great websites and matches about chess!

I'd definitely love to recommend it to all the chess players around the world, because it helps me a lot in improvement!

Thanks, bye!
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on May 18, 2002
James Eade is a very solid chess player and a great teacher. I have played him three times in the US Open, and I have kibitzed with him a few times. Eade has a great knowledge of the game of chess, and that was why I was suprised that his beginners book on chess was far less than great.
This book, although acceptable for beginners, is inferior to the Complete Idiot's series on the game. Eade only touches extremely basic principles, and neglects important subjects such as tactics.
Do not buy this book if you have the option of buying Wolff's book- and definentely do not waste your money buying both of them.
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on August 30, 2001
This isn't a bad book. It's just that there are so many books in this category which are so much better. The most obvious comparison is to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess, by Patrick Wolff. Wolff's book, like so many others, is so much better than this one that one wonders why this one is still in print.
The book is well written and entertaining. I enjoyed the cartoons, which begin every chapter, a fixture of the Dummies series. The material is accessible to the beginner. On the other hand, this book only takes you so far, and I was left very unsatisfied.
Eade's biggest mistake is to delay presentation of chess notation until Appendix B, at the very end. This means that the notation is not available anywhere in the book as a means of presenting more material in the pages available to him. The result is a book with lots of pictures, and the reader doesn't have to spend a lot of time visualizing the moves or taking out a chess set. On the other hand, it really limits the amount of material Eade can present. Other authors have managed to surmount this challenge in books without notation. Bobby Fischer's book certainly comes to mind. Unfortunately, Eade never overcomes the limitation he has placed on himself. As a consequence, he presents the material very well but runs out of space before he can move to the next level.
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on June 3, 1998
James Eade's Chess for Dummies is a book I wish had been written 30 years ago when I started playing chess. Packed with valuable information, you can save literally years in your chess development by studying the topics contained here. Even seasoned tournament players can use the text as a refresher in chess basics. Eade shows master-level understanding of the royal game as he explains not just the movement of the pieces and the basic rules, but also the importance and uniqueness of the three parts of the game--opening, middlegame and endgame. Other topics explained in easy to understand language include: tactics, sacrifices, mates and strategy. Eade also explains how chess players think in chapters such as Pattern Recognition and in subsections such as Planning. Anyone who studies this text and practices at a local chess club will soon be out of the beginner class and ready for tournament play. The reader will have a firm foundation for further study into that game that puzzles, challenges and fascinates players of chess.
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on December 13, 1999
What is your goal from chess? Do you want to have fun? Do you want to beat the club pro? Or would you just like to beat that loud-mouthed, bragging neighbor? What you want out of the game should largely determine what you buy. If you really want to get better, then buy a specific book on the the phase of the game that you want to improve on. The material in this book is fair to good. A rank beginner could learn something from this book, but that person would probably have to work hard to do so. I have a slight problem with the way this book is laid out. For instance, the Chapter on the openings entitled, "The Opening: First Things First," is chapter 10 and starts on page 155! Some positive things about this book is it has lots of explanations and pictures. (Diagrams.)If you are familiar with IDG books, and like their work, (XXXX for Dummies)you will probably be satisfied with this book. If not, then don't pin all your hopes on this book.
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on April 8, 1997
You can't ask for much more from an introductory book on chess. Mr. Eade combines informative but lighthearted instruction with the easy-to-read format of the Dummies books. I recommend Chess for Dummies as the first stop for any novice who wants to play with a friend or who wants to beat the local "know-it-all" who relies on tricks instead of on principles. Because of its high quality, however, Chess for Dummies is also good for players with U.S. Chess Federation ratings up to 1600, because Mr. Eade constantly repeats the ideas that lead to victory. The only addition I would like to see--and it may have been left out to avoid scaring off beginners--is a bibliographical essay or bibliography broken down by category (openings, middlegames, collections, etc.) of books for different levels of chess players. Jeremy Silman provides such a list in his How to Reassess Your Chess, 3rd ed
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