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gibo 11 ( +1 | -1 )
think like a grandmaster i heard this book is very good, but does it just talk about chess psycology?
ccmcacollister 118 ( +1 | -1 )
Gibo ...No Sir; Think Like A Grandmaster, by the Soviet player "Kotov" is a very good book IMO. It would doubtless be in my "Top 10" of Chess Books that I have read. One primary objective of the book is to teach how to analyze in a correct and efficient manner, by utilizing an orderly 'Tree Analysis' technique. And how to choose the Candidate Moves on which to begin your analysis.

Also some attacking techniques and performing of positional assessments. I think it is a good & instructive reead for anyone from Novice thru at least Expert. Probably beyond. (My copy is currently 'On the Road', & haven't looked at it for several years now. Or I would give you more details. However, the reason I have not looked is not any deficiency of the book. Simply that I use the techniques in it so much that now, I haven't felt the need to review lately.)

Kotov also explains how he came to choose his primary openings; two of which are the Slav Defense of QGD and the Scheviningen Sicilian, so it is another plus for you if you have an interest in either of those openings. Because he does use a lot of his own games or positions from them to explain to the reader.
Regards, Craig A.C.

PS. I'm thinking of starting a new thread now re "Your Top 10 or 12 Chess Books, and/or Authors".
wadvana 73 ( +1 | -1 )
Errmmm Think like a Grandmaster is a very fine book, but to really understand it and take practical tips from it, You need to have enough practical experience, and chess playing strength - 1600 at least. Otherwise the info will simply be useless, waste of time. Alot of players tend to jump from book to book thinking that they have understood the material they have read. The point is to master a book completely so the material is engraved in long term memory. If your rating does not increase after reading a good book, then you havent learnt the material or your trying to understand something beyond your comprehension.
drgandalf 29 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree Choosing the correct book for you at the correct time is essential. Unless you master 90% of a book, you should continue to struggle with it. Familiarity means little, Application of what you have mastered is the key to great chess.

Kotov's books are primarily for experts and masters. Ratings of 2000+
ccmcacollister 282 ( +1 | -1 )
Gibo, Sounds unanimous then ... since, as the gentleman said, you Are over 1600. TLAGM may be the book for you!

Here a strange & funny thing ... I did start a "10 best books" thread, then forgot to put TLAGM on it! duh. Or would have.

Re Kotov. Think i disagree a bit with some above. As especially regarding the ability to analyze and select candidates ala Kotov. I can't believe there be any Masters who do not analyse in a similar (otb) or More Thorough manner (corr), whether they learned it from Kotov or elsewhere. IMO it is something that is prerequisite to reaching Master status and very helpful toward Expert. (Tho one can make Expert while retaining major gaps in their play, such as my own decision to avoid endgame study, but for some few basic KP and RP EGm's, until Reaching Expert. Which was helpful then to have endgames as an entirely new strength to use toward the pursuit of Master.) If the analytical techniques, at least, presented by K cannot be understood by one, I do not think they could reach Master.

But of course that is not everyones goal. And many things Can be done before then to improve toward that or whatever goal is set, as suggested. But I do think you will be able to understand the book.

Agree if one is looking for playing Tips with Practical Application, then someone like Pandofini may be more what you are looking for. Tips and Maxims generally Are very helpful to increase Rating, as they tend to strngthen thru elimination of weaknesses in play, or allow one to play quicker with less thought, or provide a principal of which one may have been unaware. But do not necessarily contibute sufficiently to attaining ones ultimate potential in the game, I think. For EG one becoming stronger later on by DISCARDING some generalization that may have helped them add many rating points, but being found ultimately to have become hindering to further development, when reaching the stage where it is the very
EXCEPTIONS to that Rule that need to be known at ones new lever of competition.

Only you truly know where you are at. Unless you have a trainer perhaps, who has much better ability than I to assess those He works with ... Which is not necessarily saying much at this point ... since that is something I've just started into trying to do myself. It that new vista that has me thinking along these lines. So just trying to share with you, "where I'm at" insuch thoughts. Not to preach an ultimate answer.

I came back to this thread, thinking maybe I could use a look at a book someone mentioned writing specifically toward reaching players down more in the 1000 or 1200ish area? Thought it was mentioned here by DrG. But must be wrong? Maybe send him a PM and ask him I guess. Right now I'm having "Trainer-Block" I think! 8-)

worldmaster 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Two more books Also worth to mention is Kotov's two other books: "Play like a grandmaster" and "Train like a grandmaster". They are good and instructive, too. Otherwise I agree with what ccmcacollister has said about the other book.
gibo 27 ( +1 | -1 )
interesting point wadvana raises, that if your rating has not gone up after you read a good book then you haven't absorbed in the information properly. I guess it depends what type of book, but there is defintately some justification there.
ccmcacollister 202 ( +1 | -1 )
That is a good point. Probably even true for most part. But not always. Strength Can increase, without Rating increasing. Since rating does not actually measure playing strength, rather it measures how you perform against those opponents you meet in tournament play.
Who may also be learning. To increase your rating in such circumstances, you need not just increased understanding being translated to increased strngth thru proper application; you may also need to be becoming stronger Faster than the players you face, in some circumstances.

For instance if you are among a group of players who face each other frequently & meet little outside competition. Small cities etc. During the 1970's and 80's it was not uncommon for players Nebraska to move to a coastal city in the USA, and find
immediately their rating begin to increase to a point an entire class higher, or more.
"A" players would almost without exception return as Experts or Masters. And not uncommonly lose back 50 points or more after returning.

Yet as a practical matter, it does seem very reasonable to expect Some rating increase after a good learning experience/book. On the other hand. If you had NOT
read it, perhaps you would have Lost rating points afterward. So just kept up with inflation, but like with currency, better than Not doing doing so ?!

I find it helpful, in order to apply new learning, to write it down ... along with just how I DO expect it to help me, in use. So as not only have it in long term memory, as Wadvana advises, but also spelled out consciously & near the surface. That is why sometimes I would review TLAGM before a tmt, to refresh, before it became so integrated in my play that I can no longer recall that from Kotov vs that from elsewhere, that i use everytime I play.

Thanks Worldmaster, I think I'll read those too.! You know, "Make Millions Like a Grandmaster" is coming out soon. Ah, okay. Forget that, its April 2nd already. :-)
calmrolfe 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Some more high quality books Other good high quality instructional books that I can recommend would include :-

Learn From The Grandmasters - Various (Tal, Korchnoi. Larsen, McShane etc)

Improve Your Chess Results - Vladimir Zak

Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy - John Watson

Three Steps to Chess Mastery - A S Suetin

Happy reading !

Kind regards,

Cal