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Never read it, and don't care to read it anytime soon (also if they send me a free copy). Chess Books are totally useless.
It was one of the fist books I ever purchased. It is very good and a fun read.
Tal's forward to My System is in and of itself priceless! I read part of it in a biography of Petrosian by Shekhtman. Tal wasn't only a great world champion (he didn't hold the title long enough to be a great world champion), he was also one of the best chess commentators of all time!
For once I'm speechless...
I have more touble with chess books too. I learn SO much more in an hour of personalized live instuction or even from a video than I do from a book. Perhaps it my Messed-Up-A.D.D.-Instant-Gratification-Generation issues at play, but I improve more from alternative methods of instruction. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am an extremely visually-focused learner. Show me and I won't forget it (and will understand it faster).
I fully admit that I am a lower-level player too, so perhaps to a much higher-rated player a book, crammed with info is still the most "bang for your buck"?
I do understand that people learn differently from different sources, but the great advantage of a book over a video is that far more information can be crammed into a chess book than a video. Seeing a chessboard on a video does not impart extra information.
I have read that people feel they learn more from videos, but usually retain more in tests and quizzes if they read the material.
I watch videos for the sole purpose of entertainment. For education I prefer books (paper or electronic). I'm not a fan of chess videos. Learning is I find too slow. I can learn more reading in 30 minutes than watching a 1 hour video.
In a lot of chess videos, the teacher seems a bit disorganized and unsure of what he wants to say. It doesn't look like they plan them out very well.
Kasparov is perhaps an exception. In his My Story videos, he made some offhand comments that are quite interesting (splitting the board in two with a pawn wedge, or pawns as attacking pieces), but in his writing, he tends to get caught up in long complicated lines without offering an interpretation of what is going on.
In general though, I find that books have a lot more well-thought-out generalizations than videos do. Videos might be good if you are just starting out, but if you want meaty content, at some point, I think you need to switch over to books or instruction with a coach.
Only if you don't know how to read.
Some of us treasure chess books because we come from an era where it was the only source of chess knowledge (other than a mentor or coach..and I had neither of these).
Others eschew chess books because they come from an era where internet, DVD, computers, etc. are universally available with convenience (you don't have to juggle a flashlight, chessbook and mini-chessboard/pieces while you are in bed and are supposed to be sleeping because it is your "bed time" and you are only 12 years old).
I see certain advantages in all the resources. I have chess books in paper, on ebook readers, internet access, smart phone (comes in handy to play chess while "indisposed"), videos, etc.
So many options; so little time. It is nice to multi-task all these resources. I think that these are the best of times to be a chess player. And, that includes occasionally even reading a chess book.
"Never read it, and don't care to read it anytime soon (also if they send me a free copy). Chess Books are totally useless."
Maybe that's why you are stuck at sub-1600. How long have u been playing. Looks like a long time, and u r still stuck @ sub-1600... LOL. I am 13yrs now, 1470 OTB, granted I am no Bobby Fischer, but I bet u in 5yrs time i will not be sub-1600 like you! Books are not "completely useless".
Thank u very much.
Took a verbal whuppin from a kid.....better yet a soon to be player that will be superior to you on the board in every way. lol.
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