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What It Takes to Become a Chess Master (Anglais) Broché – 21 mars 2012

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

So you're a fairly decent chess player. You compete in tournaments, you play on the Internet. But you would love to make that leap to become a chess master. What do you need to know, how much do you have to practise, and how much of the success of the masters is simply a matter of innate talent, superior brainpower or just good luck? This useful book, aimed at all chess players who aspire to become chess masters, shows you what the masters know and you don't. Written by one of our biggest-selling and best-loved chess authors, in his trademark chatty, accessible but always informative style, this book is filled with practical exercises and test games that will reveal the secrets of how to join chess's elite ranks.

Biographie de l'auteur

International Grandmaster Andrew Soltis is a professional journalist (writes for the New York Post) and popular chess writer. He is the author of many books including The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess, Transpo Tricks in Chess and How to Choose a Chess Move.

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19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Soltis Book that Sounds Good, But in Practice Falls Somewhat Short 5 mai 2014
Par Deaf Zed - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
BACKGROUND: In the past few years, I've gone from being nothing more than a very casual online correspondence chess player to one who is now starting to play in USCF rated tournaments. My current (albeit still provisional) USCF rating is in the 2000s. My "actual" playing strength for 'slow' chess is probably in the 1800-2000 USCF range. I've now played my share of speed games (1|0 bullet and 5|0 blitz) against players ranging from Class E to Expert (and even one master). To date I've completely read through at least 16 chess books, as well as half-finished at least a dozen others (probably the same as most other 'serious' chess players). Done loads of tactics problems. Read and still read dozens of annotated master games. Etc. Suffice it to say that while there are still far better chess players on this Earth than me, compared to the average club player, I'm not a complete slouch either. In other words, I have some idea of what passes for good chess literature and what doesn't.

REVIEW: Anyone familiar with author Andrew Soltis' previous books will recognize the format of this one as well. Basically this is a collection of game fragments, organized thematically into a chapter which (here) is about the prime differences between an amateur chess player and a master. Soltis will repeatedly tag-team between explanatory prose and a game example, using the one to support the other (at least in theory). After finishing one game example, he'll move on to another. Until the next chapter of the book. Ad nauseam until the book is complete.

Chapters include: 1.)'What Matters Most' - Soltis argues that a master doesn't necessarily calculate better or farther than an amateur. Rather, the master has a better idea of what matters most in a position and hence, what's even WORTH calculating to begin with. Although I disagree with some of Soltis' claims here, this is one of the best parts of this book I admit. 2.) 'Targets' - How a master will always look for targets to attack, and if he doesn't have any, he'll try to create some 3.) 'Little Tactics' - How masters won't immediately give up on a promising line just because of a small tactical flaw. Rather, the master will try to use 'little tactics' to make his idea work, if possible. 4.) 'Sensing,' - Discusses a master's superior ability to sense things over an amateur, like when zugzwang is approaching, when a position is becoming critical, etc. Soltis' main suggestion for developing better sense is going over more annotated master games.
There's also a chapter (the name of which I forget) that discusses how experienced masters will often forgo objectively better, but more complicated, calculation-intense lines in preference to simpler, more practical moves, so long as the more practical choice still does whatever the master is looking for in the position (win or draw).

All of this is well-and-good-sounding and indeed, much of Soltis' prose is rather engaging, instructive, and practical. Unfortunately, Soltis has the rather annoying habit of trying to support his good prose with bad, or at least considerably-less-than-ideal, examples. In one part of his book where he's discussing prophylactic moves, for instance, he wants you to guess a move that Carlsen played in a Sicilian Defense game. Did you guess Ka1? If not, then you obviously didn't see all the far-fetched (for me, at any rate) plans that Soltis discussed for black that would make such a move worthwhile for white. A frustrating experience when the same thing happens time and again throughout the book. So much for the prose explanations, I guess.
What's worse is that the majority of Soltis' 'quiz' positions have the same not-very obvious solutions to them, ones that will likely take you minutes (more than 20 quite conceivably) to even come close to solving. Maybe it's because I'm still not quite where Soltis' target audience is (presumably 2000-2200 level players); maybe it's because Soltis' examples overwhelmingly draw from the absolute best players in the world, who themselves are/were many cuts above plain ol' masters. I'm not sure.

CONCLUSION: Like most of Soltis' books, the topics sound good, the prose sounds good...but the specific examples that are meant to support the prose fall short. Instead of giving examples where the solution move is challenging, yet logical and illustrative, Soltis consistently goes for examples where the solutions are just baffling, if not outright over-the heads of most strong club players. Maybe I'm still not quite strong enough of a player to fully "appreciate" his examples or something.
At any rate, this book, like the other Soltis books I've read, isn't total trash and does have its good points. Unfortunately, it also has more than its share of bad ones.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Solid, but not Invaluable Soltis 7 mai 2013
Par R. Tobias - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
American GM Andy Soltis is a long time very popular chess author. He is not so fortunately known for pumping out some, to put it kindly, rather hastily pasted together opening manuals of dubious value, but is even more well known for putting out some gems of the chess literature that are of lasting value. 'Pawn Structure Chess' and 'The Art of Defense in Chess' are just a couple of numerous gems he has written. The volume under review is closer in tone to the latter kind of work, but I do not think it is destined for classic status. The advice is often valuable, but sometimes borders on being worthless. Telling me that a chess master is not just better than me because of his deeper knowledge of openings, middlegames, and endgames, but because of his better chess 'sense' (a better sense of chess danger, eg) gives me virtually nothing of actionable value. What he is saying to me is that you have to play and study a whole lot more to develop this sense, but I already knew that, so he is filling pages in places with what is essentially just that: page filler. But there are many gems given as well, so the work certainly has its value. His chapter on playing for easier positions, for example is rather unique in my experience, and gives real food for thought, as I have been trapped in the past by playing for positions that were considered good by theory, but turned out to be beyond my ability to comprehend and thus come up with an effective plan for. So this is a good book, but I think that there are better works available for the non-master who is looking to improve. Yermolinsky's 'The Road to Chess Improvement', for one example, does a better job, in my opinion of offering practical and insightful advice.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Silly Title, Great Book 22 mai 2013
Par auilachs - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Obviously, most of us are never going to be masters (or even experts), and a 200 page book is not going to help a lot. I can understand that with so many chess books out there you have to put on a little spin to sell. On the upside, this book makes the point that being a great player requires a lot more than just memorizing openings without understanding "why." Soltis provides many good examples of why a club player move and the master move in the middle game can be wildly different. Why? Because the master understands the position. Buy it today! It reminds me a little of the now ancient "Judgement and Planning in Chess" by Max Euwe, also good.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What Matters Most 12 août 2014
Par Meh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
One of my favorites. There's a lot to know if you want to play chess at a high level. It takes more than simple book knowledge. If it didn't, anybody who reads enough books would be a master. That being said, you do still need book knowledge, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. This book mostly covers the other stuff. It covers how masters THINK, and what they look for. Of the various chess books I have, this one has probably helped my game mature the most. I'm not quite at master level yet (mid-to-upper 1800's at this point), but my play has become much more consistent, and I've gotten a better handle at What Matters Most. If you've got plenty of games under your belt but can't seem to get ahead, this may be the book you're looking for. You will also want to pick up Pawn Structure Chess (same author) if you don't already have it.
38 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very Good Book 31 mars 2012
Par Eskychesser - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is a very good book. Soltis has a long history of writing good chess books that are very clear in language, very instructive in material and at a meaningful level to where everyone can understand.

This particular book is divided into 9 different sections and with each section comes lots of different examples. This book is probably geared more for an intermediate level player that aspires to get better (even reach master). The examples many times show what a master knows and what you don't! I am a Class A player and I must say it does show a lot of stuff I didn't know! I'm not sure this book alone will take an aspiring player to master, but there is clearly stuff there that will improve one's game. One example in particular came from Chapter 2 - Targets. We all know we need targets, but Soltis gave an example of how a g-pawn was weak and how to go after it. I must say I wouldn't have even considered such a plan - and I'm sure true to the example a master would have.

Soltis is not 100% clear on how you should practice these new lessons, but has written a book on chess study as well and many of those concepts were covered in that book. There are a few small typos and notation glitches, but it doesn't make the book unreadable and there are a lot of diagrams. A very strong intermediate player can read the book without a board and pieces in most cases.

I really enjoyed this book and I learned from it. It's well worth the $13 price!
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