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- Publié sur Amazon.com
IM Silman's "imbalance" method of chess instruction is justly popular. I shows the amateur--usually for the first time--what is *really* going on in a high-level chess game: to wit, the creation and exploitation of different imbalances (superior pawn formation vs. two bishops, say) around which the two sides make their plans.
This book begins with a summary ("crash course") of his thinking techinque and imbalances from "How to Reasses Your Chess" (HTRYC). Then, a selection of over 110 problems (comprising opening, middlegame, and endgame positions as well as complete games to annotate); and, finally, their solutions. The book's great strength is in this last, very detailed, part. Every solution gives not only the correct move, but explains why: how the move helps one side use his positive imbalances or minimize his negative ones, and how the move fits with his overall plan. In addition, the solution of course offers data about the game: players, date, tournament, etc.
Clearly, Silman put a lot of effort into his book: not only does he give original and detalied analysis of every position (including a re-analysis, from the point of view of his "imbalances" method, of some of the most famous games in chess history), he also chose a very wide range of players--from Fischer and Morphy to obscure correspondence players to 1500-level amateurs--if the game edifies the reader. I wish more chess writers would do this: one learns just as much (and more) from Silman's down-to-earth "Why is this move, which looked perfectly logical to the 1500-rated player, simply wrong?" than from the typical "What marvelous combination did Fischer find here?" one usually finds.
To those who want to learn or practice Silman's thinking technique, which is well worth knowing if only in order to understand masters' games better, this is a very good book. Apart from the hard work and originality, I commend Silman for not being greedy and trying to squeeze more sales out of a previous book: instead of referring the reader to HTRYC for an explanation of his method, the Workbook is a stand-alone book that includes a detailed explanation of it, even if it might hurt sales. (It also has a larger, clearer format and far fewer typos than HTRYC). Such ethical behavior by authors should be the (Grandmaster) norm, but isn't.
One problem, though, is the quirky design: candid photographs of famous chess players are printed in the book apparently at random, and the "solution" section reprints every question before giving the solution to it. The first oddity is due to Silman's desire to show chessplayers as they really are. The second is probably because, on the one hand, Silman doesn't want people to read the problem with the solution "tempting" them on the bottom of the same page, while, on the other, once they *do* decide to look at the solution, he doesn't want them to go back and forth between different pages to make sure they see what bishop or pawn the solution is talking about. In my view, it would have been better on balance to omit both as unnecssary and distracting rather than helpful. That said, this is a minor issue, and perhaps a matter of taste.
If you are interested in chess strategy at all, this is a great book to get.