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Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master Jeremy Silman
The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery Jeremy Silman



Jeremy Silman's books on chess are jewels, says MICHAEL WAGSTAFF.



The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery  Jeremy Silman Jeremy Silman is an international master who has made his name as a coach. Both of these books can be recommended unreservedly. I only wish they had been around when I was a young would-be. The endgame book is simpler to explain and does what it says in the title. If you are a beginner that is okay. If you have an Elo grading of about 2200 that's okay too. Most grades of player, whether high or low, will be able to learn something. For club players it is the end of the quest. They have struck gold.

The Amateur's Mind is a more ambitious book because Silman deals with more intangible elements, giving examples from his own students of how amateurs go wrong in handling positions that for strong players are simply a matter of 'technique'. There are chapters, for instance, on how to handle bishop-versus-knight middle games, how to use rooks effectively, the pros and cons of doubled pawns, isolated pawns and other pawn structures. It also has a section on mental toughness, which is a key element in chess but little addressed.

It does not deal in generalities. For instance in the section on pawn structure it deals with the isolated pawn. The author explains what has to be done to make it weak: that is, control the square in front, exchange minor pieces, keep a rook and queen to pile up on it and use a 'friendly pawn' for the coup de grâce

To repeat: these two books are jewels. If you are serious about wanting to improve, buy them and study hard.



–  Michael Wagstaff






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