Brief Book Review: Studying Chess Made Easy

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Brief Book Review: Studying Chess Made Easy

Post by fiveredapples on October 10th 2016, 4:20 pm

Brief Book Review: Studying Chess Made Easy – Andrew Soltis

This book gives general advice on how to study chess.  While there's nothing novel between the pages, there are likely two or three things that will be new to any reader.  For me, it was the information and advice about 'board visualization,' specifically how there seems to be a correlation between the strength of a player and his ability to visualize the board in his mind's eye.  There were also helpful tips about how to improve this skill.  Less novel advice was on how to study openings: memorize 10-12 moves deep only and stick to the mainlines initially.  If you're like me, you get lost and discouraged as soon as you start running down the seemingly endless serpentine variations and side variations – and side side variations! -- of most openings.  The advice is commonsense stuff, which pretty much describes the whole book, but it was good to get it from someone of Soltis's caliber.  

In the end, you're paying a lot ($30 to $36) for a collection of generic advice that was somehow stretched to 250 pages.  I would recommend this book to a beginner who is now looking to undertake the study of chess more seriously.  Having the right approach all laid out before him at the start of this journey would maximize his learning.  But, for anyone who has been into chess and read any literature or watched any videos, there's not going to be much new here to justify the time or money investment.        

Content Grade: 7/10 (for the right audience)
Priced Factored In: 6/10 (too much for mainly mundane information)

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