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35 votes
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Why can white not mate in this position from Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess (frame 73)?

The bishop on c2 can be moved to h7 to block the check.
dennisdeems's user avatar
34 votes

How to improve from ~1200?

@Arka Mukherjee, I find most players under 2100 weak tactically, so at 1200, you are certainly weaker than you understand you are. I do not say that to be mean, but just as a very logical person, who ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
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34 votes

Stockfish is considering a move in a book by GM Mihail Marin as a blunder

Mihail Marin simply missed that 1.Ng6 is winning, even faster than 1.Qg6. During opening analysis, and even during a game, sometimes when you find a satisfying continuation you forget to follow Lasker'...
Evargalo's user avatar
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30 votes
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Did Bobby Fischer actually write "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess"?

Basically, no. It was co-authored by Stuart Margulies and Don Mosenfelder, and while Fischer may have contributed a little, it is generally accepted that he just lent his name to the project. Soltis,...
PhishMaster's user avatar
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25 votes
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Trading queens in the opening

There is not opening that usually paves the way for a queen trade. There are plenty of specific lines that allow for it, but it takes cooperation from your opponent. The first line that comes to mind ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
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20 votes

What is the Dorfman method in chess?

This is not a book review, nor is it an opinionated account of the method. I've never really used this method per se, but have read/heard about it, so hopefully my rough summary here doesn't do ...
Ellie's user avatar
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20 votes
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Stockfish destroys Daniel Naroditsky's endgame variation (from his book (Mastering Positional Chess))

I think you misunderstood both the position and Naroditsky's comments. Stockfish says starting position is losing. The point of the study, as often, is that the correct evaluation goes against your ...
Evargalo's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why are opening books so popular?

I think there are number of reasons why these are so popular: It is easy to start learning openings. You can read about ideas and memorize some lines. It is not so easy to learn middle game or end ...
bjedrzejewski's user avatar
16 votes
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Is Silman's book 'How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Imbalances' any good?

"!?" 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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
15 votes

Recommended books that explain each move

You're looking for Understanding Chess Move by Move by John Nunn. Every move is explained in detail. I cannot recommend Chernev's book for the reason I put in the comment below Brian Towers' answer.
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,172
12 votes

Which of these two endgame books?

Since you are a 1400, Silman's book is the way to go. His book will give you the solid endgame foundation that you need. Only once you read his book up to "Endgames for Class A" should you get the ...
Jimmy360's user avatar
  • 503
12 votes

How to improve from ~1200?

Your first task should be to get better at tactics. It's one thing to understand what a pin is and why it works, for example, but it's quite another to be able to spot the circumstances under which it'...
Arlen's user avatar
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12 votes
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Books on opening theory organized around tactical/strategic motives, not opening lines

You might be looking for two separate, but related types of books. First, and I have an extensive library, I could find no books that do not organize the openings somewhat by sub-variation. The ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
11 votes

How respectable is the CM title?

There are, of course, some players who have been given the title in perfectly "respectable" circumstances like reaching a certain rating or reaching 50% in an Olympiad. However, try this. Go to the ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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11 votes
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Failing to understand a pin from a tactics book

To me one move was clear - Nxd5 But after 1...cxd5 2.Rc7, although the knight is pinned for a move, Black can easily unpin it by moving the queen to d6, d8, e6, or e8. In fact, the knight ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19k
11 votes

What is the Dorfman method in chess?

"The Method in Chess" is a regressive scale of factors that you can use to evaluate a position. Here they are in order: King safety, which is more important than all the others combined. Material, ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
10 votes

How to improve from ~1200?

at 1200 I strongly believe You are wrong about all your core assumptions about your understandings; or if you really have those strategic/positional understandings you must start to do tactics - at ...
Drako's user avatar
  • 1,125
9 votes

What are the mistakes committed by players who take many years to become an expert?

I can think of three mistakes that a lot of class players who think they're working on their chess make: They read chess books. In particular they buy lots of them and then skim them, or study / try ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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9 votes
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Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual vs Fundamental Chess Endings

They are both great, I agree that you should get both. Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual is perhaps more instructive since it has slightly more explanatory text and tries to organize the material around ...
Dag Oskar Madsen's user avatar
9 votes

How to proceed with the book "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis?

I'm not familiar with the book itself, but for learning pawn structures it isn't important to memorize every single thing. The key is to understand the general ideas behind each structure. E.g.: what ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
9 votes

Recommended books that explain each move

Try Winning Chess Brilliancies by GM Yasser Seirawan. There are some sample pages here. It's of course not going to hold up to modern Stockfish analysis, but it still gives a selection of great games ...
Allure's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is Sadler's 2000 book Queen's Gambit Declined focused on white or black?

I got pointed to this topic by a friendly chatter at the TCEC. In principle, Brian is absolutely right - an opening book 20 years old is really going to be missing some stuff and certainly won't give ...
Matthew Sadler's user avatar
9 votes
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Books that explain fundamental chess concepts

I've focused this answer on resources that have clear, strong writing with good explanations. Some also have puzzles that support the author's presentation of ideas. When I first started playing chess ...
SecretAgentMan's user avatar
8 votes

Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual vs Fundamental Chess Endings

I disagree with the other answer that it's not the book but the hours you put in - if the book is off-putting and difficult to follow, it will affect your motivation to put in the hours required. IM ...
firtydank's user avatar
  • 5,767
8 votes
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What was the first "Opening Repertoire" book?

1939: White to Play and Win by Weaver Adams. Adams believed that 1.P-K4 (1.e4) wins by force. In this book he presents his recommendations for White against the various Black defenses. For example, ...
bof's user avatar
  • 3,782
8 votes
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How much should I rely on an external board or diagram when reading a chess book?

I can copy the diagram on a board or simply on my computer (and do not move the pieces), but I wonder whether I should. It is very much worth while setting up a board and following the game on the ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
8 votes
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Recommended books that explain each move

it would be great if there was a book where they explain every move in the game There is such a book. It is called "Logical Chess Move by Move" written by Irving Chernev and published in ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
7 votes

Did any authors ever try to adopt Hans Kmoch's pawn structure terminology?

I was asking myself who else tried to use Kmoch's terminology; I never find in my books other authors using most of his terms (only some of them). I am probably the only guy who thinks that the ...
Renato Bender's user avatar
7 votes

Best books on middlegame strategy?

The two books by John Watson about strategy. These themes are considered from a historical viewpoint usually in contrast to the way they are presented in textbooks. Even if you find a favorite ...
MichalRyszardWojcik's user avatar

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