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Another how to improve thread, with a (long) story by a new member

  • #81


    He could have said that without insulting those who disagree with him. 


    Yes, but there are also exceptions. IM John Watson, for example, got into a conflict with GM Jacob Aagaard after he criticized the new translation of "My System" published by Quality Chess (cofounded by Aagaard) and yet they both recommend HTRYC. What does that tell you? Another example is "Revolutionize your chess" by Moskalenko, which was criticised by many reviewers who have given good reviews to previous books written by him. Or let's take the case of Andrew Soltis where there's basically a consensus in the chess world that his opening books are written to make a quick buck and are bad but the rest are worth buying and even coaches like Dvoretsky loved them. And the most important counter-argument is the fact that both Aagaard and Nunn have written books on the middlegame and positional play. If HTRYC is that bad why didn't they recommend their own books?


  • #82
    RampartRocker wrote:
    keisyzrk wrote:
    solskytz wrote:

    <Jengaias> You have studied "How to Reassess your Chess" quite deeply - and I have to respect this. Indeed, the IQP is not always a bad thing to have, and stressing only its negative aspects certainly doesn't paint an objective picture. 

    I studied his endgame book, and have been following his articles here at chess.com - as well as his chess mentor lessons. He's always interesting, and like every work on strategy - you are always invited to beat your brain against his and see what comes out. 

    I also read "The Amateur Mind" - and he makes very valid points there as well, such as the importance of writing your thought process out in detail - where he shows how the higher-rated players see and understand more when analyzing positions. It was a very enjoyable reading as well. 


    Based on how you jump to conclutions I'm not suprised you like these crappy Silman books. Waste of money. For what it's worth I don't like you or Jengaias. You're both total dufusses.

     Except for cheaters, there's probably nothing worse than a  titled player that insults other users, including fellow titled players that make useful contributions to the site, in a thread started by someone looking to improve. I don't know what the site's policy is regarding this kind of behaviour, but chess.com would be a better place with you banned.

     And to address your comments about Silman, HTRYC is recommended among others by two of the most respected authors in the chess community:  GM Jacob Aagaard in "Excelling at Positional Chess" and GM John Nunn, who is a harsh critic of books he considers bad,  in "Secrets of Practical Chess". Also, last but not least IM John Bartholomew, a YouTuber that is great at explaining his thought process for beginners and has helped me a lot said in a Q&A  that he has read all of his books and articles. Call me crazy but I think I'd rather follow their advice than yours.


     Sincerely, an (ex)lurker from lichess.


    You can take or leave my advice. I and many players at my level don't like Silman's books. Note: I didn't say I don't like Silman, I said I don't like his books. And if the site chooses to remove me for saying I don't like something/someone I don't want to be on that site.

  • #83
    RampartRocker wrote:

    IM John Watson, for example, got into a conflict with GM Jacob Aagaard... and yet they both recommend HTRYC. What does that tell you? ... both Aagaard and Nunn have written books on the middlegame and positional play. If HTRYC is that bad why didn't they recommend their own books?


    They might both like Silman's book, alternatively, both might want to  be members of Silman's club! Recommending one's own books looks like blatant self promotion, if overdone.

  • #84
    I must ask, if Silman books are not universally popular, what books have comparable content?

    I've seen those books suggested in many threads, Pachman's series was recommended earlier. It's fine to discredit one book, but what about a counter proposal? I'm just curious and feel others may come across this information in future.
  • #85

    On structures and strategy i would mention https://www.newinchess.com/The_Power_of_Pawns-p-9034.html

    The author (german GM Jörg Hickl) recommends "My System" and Kmochs "Pawn Power in chess" for further reading.


    On thinking process i like Dan Heismans Novice Nook articles: http://web.archive.org/web/20140625052220/http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm#Novice Nook or if you like to read a physical book: https://www.everymanchess.com/a-guide-to-chess-improvement-the-best-of-novice-nook

  • #86

    <<<My attacks seem predicated on my opponent making a mistake. I can win when he or she doesn’t make a blunder and if simple combinations are available. My opening lack of knowledge seems to lead to an absence of a plan.>>>

    Ignore the others because it's all random noise. You can't study chess properly without studying the openings, because the best process is to follow master games and see how they develop the openings and how a plan is gradually formulated. Don't bother following games without an easy-to-follow narrative, and if you find yourself following a game that you simply don't understand, then scrap it and try another, because not all master games are played according to a coherent plan, even though they may pretend they are. 

    As you become familiar with the basic patterns you encounter, you will recognise them and find yourself thinking for yourself more and more fluently. All attacks depend on the opponent making a mistake. The trick is to apply pressure in such a way as to get your opponent to make these mistakes. The way that pressure is best applied to achieve this varies with the nature of the position. I spent this evening at our local chess club. I played five 20 minute games with the person, a little younger than me, who taught me to play chess over 25 years ago. I just pressurised his position consistently, aiming to create weak spots and so on and sure enough, in four of those five games he manoeuvred himself into a difficult position and then blundered.

    I don't think I'd want to trust some of the authors you mention, to the exclusion of others. There's far too much emphasis on the extremely lightweight stuff put out by Silman. You could do better with people like Karpov and Nunn.

  • #87

    "... Just because a book contains lots of information that you don’t know, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be extremely helpful in making you better at this point in your chess development. ..." - Dan Heisman (2001)
    "... The books that are most highly thought of are not necessarily the most useful. Go with those that you find to be readable. ..." - GM Nigel Davies (2010)
    "... If it’s instruction, you look for an author that addresses players at your level (buying something that’s too advanced won’t help you at all). This means that a classic book that is revered by many people might not be useful for you. ..." - IM Jeremy Silman (2015)

  • #88

    I am going to revive this semi old thread so some people might get some value out of the thread and to let those who participated see that I was serious in my goals and intent to study. I moved from a 1271 rating to pending rating of 1541. (+270)


    My online blitz games are not good examples of my play, however the longer 60 minute time control online games are more reflective. I have played in two (2) USCF tournaments since I made this original post. I have added link to my history: tournament history


    What have I done in the last 7 months?

    I have made a commitment to studying tactics (this can be seen on my stats)

    I have read many of the Dan Heisman Novice Nook articles, and implemented "real chess"

    I have committed to 3 openings, one for white and one for black in response to e4 and one for d4

    I have made notes and utilize appropriate time management, analyzing my games and using my mistakes to add to my own "hall of shame" to study and prevent in the future. 


    I hope someone else can gain from the contents of this thread!

  • #89

    Cherub_Enjel wrote:

    Yeah.. Don't do read those books^.

    The player recommending them should be 2000+ easily if he/she has digested the material thoroughly from any two of those books, but instead plays rapid at a lower level than you do (checking out the recent rapid games).

    Imbalances by silman is a *difficult* book which I didn't finish because I skipped many parts of it because it was too difficult for me. This was back when I was 1900s, and I'm considering trying to read it again at my current level.

    Speed chess is hardly a credential.

    Silmans endgame book is just right for him actually. Silman has it set up for all levels of play. I would recommend skimming through the parts for lower levels to be sure you haven't missed anything.
  • #90

    @boyersj - that’s healthy progress indeed; nice one 😉


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