I don't know if book review is allowed in the site or not, but I am just starting with a position I found pretty confusing in his book.

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "?"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r1rk1/1ppn1qp1/2n1bp1p/p1b1p3/2N1P2N/2P1B1P1/PP2QPBP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 1"]

1. Rd5 Bxd5 2. exd5 Ne7 3. Nxa5 Bxe3 4. fxe3 Nxd5 5. Nf5 *

"2.Rd5!? (an imaginative try to infuse some energy into his position and regain the initiative-White is hoping for 2...Bxd5 3.exdS Ne7 4.Nxa5 Bxe3 S.fxe3 Nxd5 6.Nf5) 2...b6! ending the nonsense and leaving White in a quandary."

According to Silman, Rd5 was an inaccuracy whereas Stockfish says that it was the best move. And if you read the above text carefully then you will notice that Silman was trying to say that after 6. Nf5 White was better or the position is equal. But Stockfish says after Nf5 black is better. In reality, at some point the position was equal but Silman made it worse.

After the position, I am feeling like the book doesn't seem worth reading but IMHO, his other book (Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master) was excellent and met Stockfish level as well.

  • The key thing to remember is that Stockfish, great at chess as it may be, cannot teach you how to think like it. Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


"!?" means interesting move, not inaccuracy. The symbol for dubious/inaccurate move is "?!".

Anyway Silman is considering 2...b6 to be the main response by Black. 2...Bxd5 is indeed inferior for Black.

Still, it's perfectly possible that Silman's book has some incorrect lines/evaluations. He didn't have Stockfish when he wrote it. That doesn't mean the book is not worth reading though. It's better to learn from an imperfect 2400 Elo player who can talk to you in human terms than trying to learn from a "perfect" machine that only speaks evaluation numbers.

  • Ohh yes! I mis-see the sign. Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 17:42

As David answered quite correctly, there may be some incorrect lines and evaluations, as there will be in many books. That being said, Reassess Your Chess is one of the best books to read regarding chess strategy in my opinion.

This book is likely responsible for my biggest gains in chess understanding, even though I was severely underrated when I read it.

I would recommend getting a copy of the workbook once you have completed it, as it is full of positions for you to practice your newly acquired knowledge.

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