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David vs Goliath II

What is it that separates a grandmaster from an amateur player? This is a topic of several books, and it is also a question that I've asked myself. I have long been curious about what we can learn from grandmasters and what a patzer like me can implement in my own games in order to take at least a small step towards becoming a competent chess player. And the book under review here is one that promises to do just that.  If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron! What can you expect from this book? Grandmaster versus Amateur  is a book that I've had in my collection for several years. I bought it back in 2015 and started reading it immediately. For some reason, I only read the first two chapters and then I put the book away. I don't remember why. During my vacation this summer, I decided to pick it up again, and now I've finally read the entire thing. The premise of the book is to discuss what
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Judgement and planning

Some books "fly under the radar" and do not get the same attention as the evergreen classics. But sometimes, there is gold in old mines. And I found a little golden nugget while shopping for used books. A book written for amateurs, by (arguably) the best amateur of all time; former world champion Max Euwe. Sounds promising, right? If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron! What can you expect from this book? In my previous review of Chess Fundamentals , said that few world champions have written books for beginners and intermediate players. Capablanca is, of course, one exception. And another is Max Euwe. Euwe is not the most well-known world champion. He was in his prime in the 1930s and 1940s, most notably in 1935 when he dethroned none other than the great Alexander Alekhine. Although many have suggested that Alekhine only lost because of heavy use of alcohol, beating him is no small feat (rega

Lessons from a legend

What if you could get chess lessons from a former world champion? Would you say yes? This is a question that Kostya Kavutskiy asked in a recent video . I decided to accept that offer, and during the past few weeks, I've spent some quality time with the third world champion, José Capablanca. In his 100 year old book, he outlines some of the most important principles of chess. If you haven't already read this book, maybe you should? Hopefully, this review will help to decide if this book is for you. If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron!   What can you expect from this book? Several world champions (most of them?) have written books for advanced players. Capablanca is one of the few who have written chess books for beginners and intermediate players. And his book Chess Fundamentals  is a classic introductory book. Many people have recommended it, and I've had it on my reading list for a long time

Stop and reassess!

In my very first post on this blog, I reviewed The Amateur's Mind by Jeremy Silman. That was my first step to understand chess strategy. And I actually bought another one of Silman's book at the same time, but for some reason, it took me more than ten years to read. I finally decided to go through it and now I am ready to share my thoughts with you. (It feels like I've written this before.) If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron! What can you expect from this book? Before writing this review, I had a few candidates. I am always reading several books in parallel, and I have a number that I'm about to finish. So I asked the Twitter community for input on which book they would like me to review as number 50. And this came out on top. So far I have reviewed 49 books on #patzersreview . Which one should be number 50? My candidates are: - Silman: Reassess your chess workbook - Nunn: Solving in

Dynamize your chess

Some books are worth waiting for, and this one is exceptional in terms of waiting. When I ordered the book, it took over 6 months before it was delivered. When I finally got around to reading it, I realized that I should probably read more basic books on chess strategy in order to get more context on this one. So I put it away for a while. The result is that it has taken almost two years from when I ordered the book until this review was done. Is it worth the wait? Read on to find out. If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron!   What can you expect from this book? In How to study chess on your own , Davorin Kuljasevic recommends that you should "dynamize" your tactical training. Dynamic chess strategy  is a good book to get you started on that track. And it is also one of the books that Kuljasevic references repeatedly throughout his book. But what exactly does it mean? Well, that's one of the ma

All by myself

How do I study chess in the most effective way? This is a question most chess players ask themselves at some point. Once in a while there comes a book that promises to deliver the definitive answer. And just a few months ago, such a book came out; How to study chess on your own . With such a title, this is a book that I just had to read. Should you read it too? In order to answer that, I think you should read this review and figure it out for yourself. If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron!   What can you expect from this book? Like many other books, the first time I heard about How to study chess on your own  was on the perpetual chess podcast that featured an interview with author Davorin Kuljasevic . The interview made me curious about the book, so I decided to get it. How to study chess on your own  is a big book. It has 380 pages that spans 9 chapters (plus solutions), 71 annotated games and 34 tests o

Thoughts on chess improvement

I was recently interviewed by Kevin Scull  for his podcast  Chess Journeys: Tales of Adult Improvement . When I got the request, I started thinking about what I have to contribute with in terms of improvement advice for chess players. I ended up creating a mindmap of it all, and thought I would share it with you along with an elaboration of what it means. Three questions for you In my opinion, there are three main questions that you need to ask yourself in order to find your  path to chess improvement: Why am I doing this? What will I focus on? How will I study? I have tried (and failed) myself, many times. And what I've realized is that you cannot copy other people's plans for improvement; you need to create a personalized plan that is adapted to your goals, your needs and your general life situation. Don't copy other people's improvement plans Start with WHY I've seen a lot of adult players describe their chess goals. Almost all of them are defined in