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OK, one book that I think is rather bad: "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". This book is too elementary even for those who don't know how the pieces move. In the foreword Fischer said something like this: "I hope you will be a better chess player after having read this book. At least, I was!" Hmmm... wasn't this book released the same year Fischer become the world champion? Me too could have been a world champion back then!
I read this book when I was 7. There's no doubt in my mind that this book actually improved my game far more than any other book. Maybe that's because there's a ton of room for improvement at that age, but maybe not.
This visual style is engaging for youngsters in a way that other chess books definitely are not (my father had a Reinfeld book as well, and I hated that book at 7). More importantly, it teaches beginning players how to mate, and it does so backwards, like learning simple endgames and moving to more complex ones. Find the mate in one. Find the mate in two. Three, four, five...by the end you can easily see thematic mates of half a dozen moves or more.
It changed me from a 7-year-old that could beat 10-year olds with knight forks and discovered checks to a player that could beat 15-year-olds playing the KID ;). It teaches you to go for mate, how to recognize the elements of a winning sacrificial combo, etc. It teaches you to construct/build mates.
I distinctly remember playing for 3rd place at a tournament that year, and having to figure out OTB how to force a win with K+2R vs. K+R (it had never come up before), and that I would never have figured out how to convert the win without the principles I learned from Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.
There's no way this can be considered the "worst" chess book. For the correct target audience, it's arguably the best book out there.
Agree. I'm going through this book with someone to teach them chess. It's amazingly good. I had my doubts because of comments about it "only teaching back rank mates". It's so much more than that. Might be one of the best beginning chess books ever.
BFTC isn't one of the worst books - not by a long chalk. I also think it's a pretty decent beginning chess book. I like the "programmed learning" format. But it is quite limited in the type of material covered. Is there anything about the endgame? Openings? The full range of tactics (including forks)? Counting? Elementary strategy?
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