"The wisest things ever said about chess" - done - (phew)

Dec 23, 2013, 2:07 AM |

I just finished this book - I actually stayed up past my bedtime by about an hr to cram in the last few items - (I wanted to finish it before my Dan Heisman book on positional evaluation came in) - Just a few ramblings and pointers

1.  About halfway thru this book, I googled for a PDF version of it online, found it, and downloaded it - In theory, this could be construed as stealing, but because I owned a physical copy, and will delete this one after it's done, I don't feel I'm violating the intent of the author.  Why?  Because to be honest, it was hard to read the book, enter the position, pick book back up, and have a cat on my lap - LOL - at some point, it became easier to put the electronic version on one screen, and enter my items in the database on the right -  God bless Batsford, who write some great books, but the short thick binding only lends itself to hands on usage - I wanted to free up my hands for the other task which leads me to #2

2. - I entered every rule and game position into a database and played out the variations - I didn't NEED to do this - after all - many of the variations were short, and others made a point of reinforcing the rule but mostly in the sense of how it wasn't followed - BUT I wanted it in case I ever choose to reread the book and I wanted to go thru the annotations.  I didn't expouse or get too detailed - the rule in the comment first, then some of the variations as they played out but not enough to recreate the book without it

How did this go....well, it definately slowed me down - Maybe for the better - looking at 200+ early to middle games positions may have helped my vision for development - I def. felt like I was seeing some of them before, and some of them (the ones with the Scandanavian/Caro-kann structure of pawns on c6 and e6) -  seemed easy to spot - I'm inspired to pick up "Understanding Chess Middlegames" again and starting over with it - I also tried to measure imbalances and ideas with the positions, but sometimes I just burned out and played through the rules and moved on - Maybe that'll make good training with just random positions at some point

Overall I really like Soltis books - I think they're written more at the 1500-1600 level which is where I hang out - this leads me to my 3rd point

3.  I wish they'd put rating recommendations on books - Publishers won't do that because they'd lose sales, but why should someone buy a book that's too advanced for them?

Anyways, it's done - I'm tired but I feel wiser - next up is finishing off Modern Chess move by move - (my anthology book - to be picked up probably by the middlegames book mentioned or a Botvinnik book) - but when it comes in I'll dive into the Dan Heisman "Elements of Positional Evaluation"  - although the kindle sample I saw looked complicated, I suspect if I put the time into it the way I did Pawn power, unforseen benefits will ensue