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Is it possible to become a very strong player without reading books?


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1

    Bartleby73

    So one of my chess tutors, a FIDE 2000+ player, claims that he has never looked into a chess book as he finds them boring. Is that possible?  I think he is making this up. Hard to imagine that you play chess for that long and at his level without ever having read a chess book. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2

    AndyClifton

    It used to be impossible.  Now though with computers, online play, video tutorials, etc etc...sure, I'll buy that.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3

    DrCheckevertim

    Sure. I mean, this website isn't a book right?

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #4

    Bartleby73

    sure, but I think he is a bit too old to have all his chess wisdom from the internet.

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #5

    bronsteinitz

    Lets go for the columbo approach here. How can he find them boring without having looked in them? Well, what do you think? Have we identified a sneaky natural raw talent that reads books but wants to give the impression that he is the dude of chess?

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #6

    Popcorn179

    Books are one way we contain and communicate information, but it is always second hand in comparison to actual human interaction. It's always more fun to learn by playing. Being able to play various random players from all over the world means you can see all different styles of openings, strategies and play, which was the kind of thing that books were good for back before the internet boom. Various demographics would be used to various play styles in the same way accents evolve.

    Surely you can still learn things from books. But you should always be reading what you're interested in. Don't force yourself to study a boring old chess book because you think you ought to, when you'd rather just play a game, or watch a famous match analysis on youtube, or play solitaire. (Unless of course you find that boring chess book to be thoroughly interesting, then go ahead!)

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #7

    Bartleby73

    bronsteinitz, I got the sneaky idea that you are right. He claims that he has bought books, but never read them.

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #8

    pellik

    I could understand how players of more physical sports could want to avoid having the image of a book-reader for one reason or another, but in Chess? What's it coming to when chess players don't want to be seen as book-readers? 

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #9

    hicetnunc

    I've known a French IM who learned only through playing (a lot!), analyzing with stronger players and using a chess engine (back when they were 2500-2600 strength).

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #11

    beardogjones

    OMG! You mean in addition to remembering how the pieces move

    we have to learn to read!

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #12

    Kingpatzer

    It is exceptionally unlikely however remotely possible. If you found an IM to instruct you, analyze with you, and play you for hours and hours a day, you could certainly become quite good without ever reading a book. 

    But for those of us who don't have the wealth to hire our own world-class daily coach, it won't happen.  

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #13

    Bartleby73

    pfren wrote:

    No, it isn't.

    you mean it is not possible to become a very strong player without reading books?

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #15

    Scottrf

    Well, you're wrong then. There's nothing in a book that someone can't tell you verbally.

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #17

    Scottrf

    Funny, but you're still wrong.

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #18

    Kingpatzer

    Pfren, are you saying that if someone had a GM or IM trainer work with them every day for several hours, they'd still be unable to become a strong player (to me that means around NM strength) even after many years or even decades of work unless and until they opened up a book and started reading? 

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #19

    bronsteinitz

    Something tells me that Scott learned all his moves orally :-)


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