Chess Step Workbook.

kevinhaggins
I was looking for a easy to read chess book and I came across good reviews on learning chess workbooks that are used in the Netherlands. I was looking at the Step2 book and it says it is for 800 -1400 rating. My question is this book any good for adults and what is the difference from doing tactics from chess.com then from a book?
dannyhume
Overall good and highly regarded.

The entire Steps consists of 6 levels. Each level has a teaching manual and several workbooks, each with around 500-600 problems. There are also CD’s for levels 1-3 (Chess Tutor) that are very good and offer lessons and lots more problems (typically between 1500-2000 problems on each CD).

Since it was intended for classroom use, I didn’t find the Teaching Manuals to be terribly useful, felt like a large waste of time reading them.

The workbooks, however, have lots of good problems to solve, but there is essentially little to no explanation (the classroom is where you are supposed to get the explanations).

The main appeal for an adult to go through these is having some sort of proven comprehensive chess curriculum with lots of interactive problems, and knowing the level that those problems lie. Otherwise, you might find yourself just be doing random tactics and random lessons online. All that said, the first 3 steps are mostly tactics, some endgames, and occasionally opening principles. Level 4 begins to introduce positional concepts, but it is still mostly tactics.

I have two criticisms of Steps Method:
1. They won’t get with the times and offer their entire course on an app or online. Their reasoning is that “Kids love getting a new workbook.”
2. The workbooks themselves don’t contain the answers ... you have to look them online.

Those two issues result in a great deal of inefficiency and wasted time built into the Chess Steps program for an adult self-learner that is quite annoying when you can find dozens/hundreds of thousands of interactive problems and many interactive courses on this site and others (but you’d have to build your own curriculum if you went this route).
kevinhaggins
dannyhume thank you for the insight. I was looking to buy the workbook, mix and the plus books. I was looking at the manuals and saw it was $16 dollars so I am glad that you don’t recommend them, I thought you needed them to do the workbook.
MGT88

I have the entire Step Method program (including the "Chess Tutor" CDs), which I purchased from New In Chess (bundle discount; other retailers also offer bundle discounts on the program), and I think @dannyhume wrote a pretty good summary. For the adult self-learner, I would just add a few comments:

- The step 1/2/3 CDs (which are only available for step 1/2/3) pretty much completely mirror the manual/workbook versions of steps 1/2/3, and are probably superior in some ways

- The manuals increase in usefulness with each step (from almost completely useless in step 1 to designed for the adult self-learner in step 6); it is probably not advisable to skip manuals 4/5/6

- Feel free to inbox me or post any specific questions you may have

dannyhume
Thanks, MGT88, that’s useful to know ... I have been gone through all of the workbooks of steps 1-4 and chess tutor 1-3. CD’s. I read all of the step 1 manual and part of step 2 and 3 manuals, but they tired me out without giving hardly any practical information, but I will revisit step 4 teaching manual and see if there are little things I need to pick up from the earlier manuals.

One other note ... I believe on the chess steps website (at least the US version), they say that the vast majority of the chess problems on the Chess Tutor CD’s are different than what is in the corresponding workbooks, so by getting all of the workbooks and CD’s for levels 1-3, you are getting a few thousand problems for each level.
MGT88
dannyhume wrote:
Thanks, MGT88, that’s useful to know ... I have been gone through all of the workbooks of steps 1-4 and chess tutor 1-3. CD’s. I read all of the step 1 manual and part of step 2 and 3 manuals, but they tired me out without giving hardly any practical information, but I will revisit step 4 teaching manual and see if there are little things I need to pick up from the earlier manuals.

One other note ... I believe on the chess steps website (at least the US version), they say that the vast majority of the chess problems on the Chess Tutor CD’s are different than what is in the corresponding workbooks, so by getting all of the workbooks and CD’s for levels 1-3, you are getting a few thousand problems for each level.

That's correct about the CDs/workbooks (I did them all); they offer different problems but the material is the same, so it's a matter of preference regarding doing both. Regarding the manuals 1-3, I agree there is not much value there for any half-decent player, but there are a few golden nuggets and they can be read through very quickly when you know what to skip (e.g., anything regarding teaching methods, the solutions pages, etc.). If budget/time is an issue, I think the CDs are far superior in both cost/quality than the books for steps 1-3; if budget/time not an issue, doing both is even better.

USMNTfan

I am an adult learner that is doing Steps.  I started on 3 and am almost through 4 now including the plus versions.  The Mix workbooks are good as puzzle books.

I agree that there are chapters that I struggled with due to the lack of good explanation.

I am going to go back and do the visualization book that comes between 2 and 3 as my visualization is not good.

Alena_str
USMNTfan Does the step workbook have visualization book?what is it called? I have solved step 4 and I liked it very much. After having solved it I remembered themes very well.
USMNTfan

Its steps 2 thinking ahead.  I haven't done it yet but others have said how good it is so I am going to go back to it.  

https://www.stappenmethode.nl/en/step2.php#S2vd

Alena_str
Thank you. I’m an adult learner too.