Friday, May 25, 2007

Now This is Odd

He's me. Or maybe, I am him. I don't know, maybe it is just Deja Vu.

One of the most respected documents on the Web is by Dan Heisman, and it is about Real Chess. There is a link on the sidebar to that document, and most of you have read it. If you haven't and you are here, because of your desire to do better at chess, read it.

Now, I had dismissed off hand his book, Everyone's 2nd Chessbook which I thought was a continuing rehash of the stuff on Novice Nook, his column on Much of his stuff is various different viewpoints on the same thing, but essentially is don't lose, pay attention to the rules, use time wisely, you may not have yet found the best move.

But I was playing around one day with search inside in and he specifically mentioned an event that was almost exactly the same event that had driven me to start this blog. A talented player (my best friend) gets beaten by a suprise, the fried liver attack. This happened to my son twice at state, and once at his next quad. Out of 8 games, all 3 loses were to the Fried Liver Attack. He mentions the exact same thing on page 20.

So I immediately bought the book.

Unfortunately, that book is this blog. I didn't mean for it to be. I am seriously asking questions, and writing about the difficulties of getting the appropriate education. And trying to expand it as we I go along. Almost everything in this book has either been repeated here, or mostly scheduled to be repeated here. Unfortunately, largely, it is a discussion of what the ideal book should be or contain. With some examples. It is not, as hoped, the book.

The book is well laid out. It was designed as sort of a hybrid between the dual column inscrutability of an everyman's chess book, and the Idiot's Guide. I would say that it appears like a skilled amateur with an idea laid it out, or an average pro. That said, it much better than most that I have seen in the chess book department.

Would I recommend it? I am going to give it 3 1/2 stars. It serves mostly as confirmation of what I had thought had been original rants :-), and it does give some useful stuff going forward, but much of it has or will be talked about here.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

More Later...


rd said...

Just discovered your blog via your comments on Chesstales. Great reading...thanks!


Blue Devil Knight said...

Why don't you just get a coach? :-P

They aren't that expensive.

Come on, get a coach.

"Get a damn coach, can't you see the boy wants you to get a coach."

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, see the video here.

Blue Devil Knight said...

If that link doesn't work, this one does.

hisbestfriend said...

Now that was funny.

We will probably not get a coach over the summer. He is progressing nicely, even with the lack of books for us. I don't think the coach would add as much as what we are doing, and summertime is actually a really bad time for coaching (most coaches have a wonderful summer of camping planned).

We will see where we are at the end of the summer, and what he wants to do.

So, you get to watch the train wreck vicariously!

I am not anti-coaching

takchess said...

If I were to deeply study and actually do what Heisman says in his Novice Nook, I imagine I would become a very solid player.

For me the trouble is I would rather lightly read alot of sources than intensely work through one. I also enjoy study attacking chess and it's lines more than reading about defense.
I am comfortable losing two games to a good player if it means I strongly win one against him with an attacking game.

Playing a good game of chess is relatively simple (but hard to do)

hisbestfriend said...


The do not lose mantra, really has nothing to do with attacking or defense, but rather in don't make bad moves.

Mostly, it is about developing a playing routine, that helps to exclude bad moves each and every time.

There is also some stuff about using the clock well and not getting caught by tourney rules.

It is more about using the playing rules well, rather than what is played.

His theory is that it is worth maybe 200 points of strength.

I think that is probably accurate.