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Blindfold chess

Are you impressed by people who can play chess without seeing the board? For the uninitiated, this is a very impressive display of skill. But it is a skill that can be learned, and you don’t need to be a grandmaster to achieve it. The trick is to start small, with few pieces on the board - or in a diagram. In this review, I will discuss a book that can help you on the way to becoming a blindfold chess wiz.   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? A few years ago, my chess club arranged a small chess display in a local shopping centre. One of the things we did was having someone playing blindfolded against one of the spectators. People around the table were completely blown away by this, and many even asked if it was a trick. (It’s not!) Although blindfold chess seems amazing, even impossible, to some people, it is a skill that is very attainable. I would even claim that
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Questions of modern chess theory

A Soviet classic - that's what it says on the front cover. And for good reason, I think. At the beginning of this year, I decided I would invest some time studying strategy books. I already had a number of them in my collection, and then I stumbled upon a thread in the facebook group ”chess book collectors”. The post contained some controversial claims about the book Question of modern chess theory , which was unfamiliar to me at the time. The post and the ensuing discussions piqued my interest, and I decided to check it out. After some research, I realized that this was a stepping stone for many other books, so I put it at the top of my reading list. I read it during the summer, but haven't got around to writing a review before now. So I actually had to read it again. Anywho, I am finally ready to share my thoughts with the world. Hope you enjoy it. If you like these reviews, please consider supporting my work. Visit my patreon page for details. Become a Patron! Wha

Let’s Go!

Now it's time for something completely different. As you probably know, I usually review chess books. But during summer I have spent some time reading my first ever books on the game of Go. So I would like to share some thoughts on that with 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 these books? I first came across Go about ten years ago, when a friend of mine introduced me to the game. He was also fairly new to the game, but he kicked my behind every time we played. So I don't consider myself to be very talented, but I was still very fascinated by the game. And the fact that I took such a beating from my friend is something that has stuck with me over the years and made me curious about what it is I need to learn in order to play the game at a half decent level. And finally, I decided to take a look at some basic books on the topic. After a quick search on the we

Reassess your chess

Some books don't really need an introduction. And this is one of them. But a blog post needs one, so here we are, in the middle of an introduction. How to reassess your chess was one of the first books in my collection. I first read it around 2014, and decided to reread it this year. And now I am finally ready share my thoughts on it with you. I hope you enjoy my review! 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 the beginning of my chess studies, I read The Amateur's Mind and saw a tremendous increase of my chess understanding. My playing strength increased dramatically and I felt more confident than ever. I also enjoyed Silman's writing style, so I felt that it was a good idea to take a deeper look at what he had to offer. Considering the amount of praise that can be found (basically everywhere) of How to reassess your chess , I felt that this was a n

Understanding middlegames

Have you ever found yourself unable to find a move in the middlegame? Of course you have. We all have. About ten years ago, this was a recurring problem for me, which led to a lot of frustration. My conclusion was that I needed to learn how understand middlegames. So what better way than to read a book with the title Understanding Chess Middlegames ? Sound like the perfect remedy, right? Ok, let's 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? I first read this book when I was just starting to study chess seriously. I bought it after reading a recommendation in an online forum. I would say this was ten years ago, but the book came out 2011, so it couldn't have been before that. Anyhow, my playing strength was probably around 1200 (I was unrated at the time) and I was having trouble choosing moves in non-tactical positions. Basically, I was playing without

Estimating playing strength

Have you ever felt like your chess rating doesn't represent your actual playing strength? Sometimes we want to be able to estimate playing strength based on individual games rather than rating (which changes more slowly). During the past few months, I've been taking a number of online courses and learning python for data analysis. In one of the courses, the final project allowed me to choose my own dataset. So surprise surprise! I chose something chess related. (Not really surprised, are you?) When we play games online, getting a computer evaluation is just a few clicks away. And a commonly used statistic is the average centipawn loss, or simply the average deviation from the computer's best move. Many of us tend to think that centipawn loss (CPL) is a good estimate of playing strength. And, of course, it gives some indication, but it's far from a perfect predictor. Fellow chess/statistics blogger Patrick Coulombe has investigated the correlation between rating and CPL

David vs Goliath

What is it that separates chess masters from amateur players? That is a question that many people have asked. A simplistic answer is that the master is simply better at all parts of the game; openings, middlegame, endgame, calculation, tactics - you name it! On the other hand, this question has a quite complex answer. Former world champion, Max Euwe (together with Walter Meiden), has written a book that aims to illustrate the differences in how masters and amateurs approach the game. I have been curious about this book for a long time, and I have finally had the opportunity to read it and share my thougths on it with 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? Chess master vs chess amateur is a book that for some reason does not get as much attention as other books. After reading it, I cannot see why. This is a book that has a lot to offer. It is full of practical