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Improving from intermediate to 'advanced'

  • #1

    Hi folks,

    Nice to be on your forum - I'm here hopefully to stay but in the meantime for some advice - perhaps you an help.

    I am a former chess regular, of intermediate + level, looking for materials to help me get back into chess. I used to play quite a bit on queenalice.com and held a rating of around 1700 - though I don't know whether that system was the typically used system. I am a logical and analytical person with some ideas of how I'd like to play - favoured openings etc, but in my years I've never known much theory, had recourse to recognised strategies or 'named' moves and gambits - as a result I have never been able to quite reach the next level. I tend to feel my way through games by thinking logically, but this has never been enough for me to beat people better than me with grounding in various approaches.

    I would like to buy a book which is designed for people who want to improve by thinking about different approaches, sets of moves, strategies etc. I'd like something thorough and detailed prose-wise but also perhaps illustrated(because I'm a child at heart). 

    I tend to find that books entitled 'advanced chess...' are written by masters for an elite audience(beyond me) and lots of books entitled 'intermediate chess...' attempt to teach stuff like what forks and pins are, where I want something beyond that if possible. 

    With that in mind could anybody recommend me anything, some sort of chess coaching bible?

    Thanking you in advance,


  • #2



    A mixed review above but I found this book very readable and it always put me in a very "chessy" mood whenever I dipped into it.

  • #3

    Hard to say because chess skills are so varied and you're dividing it into only 3 types: beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

    Unfortunately there's no one book that will make you a great player.  Depending on what you want to improve and how good you are there are certainly some good books out there though.  Can't get a feel for how good you are or anything, but I'm thinking a good strategy book like Pachmans Modern Chess Strategy.

    "Advanced" books are usually written for ~1800-2100 USCF type players.  At the moment I can only think of 1 book written for players master or higher and that's Dvoretsky's Analytical Manual.

  • #4

    When you say 'I would like to buy a book which is designed for people who want to improve by thinking about different approaches, sets of moves, strategies etc.' I assume this is for positional ideas rather than tactics or openings?

    Simple Chess by Michael Stean is a good starting point, after that there are a whole raft of different books that focus on middlegame plans and strategies.Jeremy  Silmans Reassess Your Chess is worth looking at, and then at a slightly more sophisticated level there are 3 books by Neil Macdonald "Chess:The Art of Logical Thinking", "The Art of Planning in Chess" and 'Chess Success: Planning After The Opening'.

     The problem is that even after you have been shown dozens of examples of how to play an IQP position or positions where a bishop is better than a knight and vice versa (for example) you still have to be able to recognise when those ideas are applicable in the SPECIFIC position you have in front of you.

    Theres yet another new book by Andy Soltis called Trade Secrets of The Masters (or something like that) which gives 25 positional 'prynomes' that apparently everybody needs to know but some of those ideas are never going to be on the radar for intermediate players. Unfortunately you won't really know whether or not you find a book useful without buying it!


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