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Bobby Fischer
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Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  952 ratings  ·  93 reviews
This book is essentially a teaching machine. The way a teaching machine works is: It asks you a question. If you give the right answer, it goes on to the next question. If you give the wrong answer, it tells you why the answer is wrong and tells you to go back and try again.
This is called "programmed learning". The real authors were experts and authorities in the field of...more
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by Bantam Books (first published 1972)
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James
Dec 04, 2013 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beginning chess players
Note to readers looking for a little light reading enjoyment on a sunny afternoon: "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" is not the book you're looking for. It has two woefully undeveloped main characters, with poor distinction between protagonist and antagonist. These mysterious main characters, known only as "White" and "Black", have the sole purpose of meddling constantly in the affairs of thirty-two minor characters, also lacking more than cursory description or much development. With "mating" being...more
Michael
Jul 03, 2011 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning and intermediate chess players
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: chess
This book is about the one thing Bobby Fisher undeniably knew well - chess (this review will not comment on his ideas on other subjects). It is an excellent tutorial for improvement, and will work for chess players at any level, or even those who have never played. Fisher's premise is that the object of the game is to achieve checkmate, therefore the most basic thing to learn is how to do so. For me, this was an excellent shift in perception - whereas before my game focused on immediate concerns...more
Judith
I really love "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". It introduces several key concepts, such as pinning, back-rank attacks, interposing etc., and after each concept there are lots of puzzles. In the puzzles you have to determine how to accomplish checkmate, if it's checkmate even possible or if it can be avoided (as the defender), always by the means that has just been explained (except for the mixed-bag exercises). This really drives home the points and forces you to learn.

In a real game, you start t...more
Robert Postill
This is the first chess book I've read cover-to-cover and as such it's a very interesting read. The material is well presented and clear. The book doesn't contain much prose, it's essentially a long stream of puzzles for the reader to follow. The puzzles build in difficulty and between the advancement of the puzzles and repetition the underlying concept starts to become clear. As a mode of interaction I found that very pleasant. Certainly my back-rank mating skills are markedly improved having r...more
Jared
This book would be better titled "Bobby Fischer Teaches a Very Limited Set of Mating Positions." It does a good job of teaching a person to recognize opportunities for checkmate. What it doesn't do is teach chess. There is nothing here about openings, middle-games, or principles of end-games like passed pawns, stalemates, etc.

The presentation style is good, and the book does a good job of teaching the very limited set of mating positions that it bothers to present. And it's short. But don't expe...more
David
Bobby Fischer Teaches Back Rank Mates would be a more accurate title, and a title that included the other two coauthors would be more accurate still. But never mind the cover. This is a handy little course in beginner's-level tactics. The coauthors use their method of "programmed instruction," a series of bite-sized exercises, each with immediate feedback to reinforce each lesson. The scope is limited, but the method is self-paced and engaging. It has me thinking about using programmed instructi...more
Yonina
Excellent guide for learning to play chess......by the world master Bobby Fischer
Steve
The first 60 pages are as good a "How To/For Beginners" as you'll find anywhere and alone are worth the price tag if you need a How To. After that it's almost entirely back-rank mate puzzles which is a bit disappointing, although to be fair I got several of them wrong for going too fast and not focussing; My downfall during regular play as well.

Nothing about minor piece tactics & strategy...Knights v Bishops, advance posts and support points. (Also, this is the only book I've seen that value...more
Javier
This is the first book about chess I've ever read. I don't know what I was expecting (nothing, perhaps).

Very suitable for beginners like me. The book is centred exclusively in checkmates. I knew beforehand many of the techniques by experience, I just needed to put them the name (pin, discovered check, etc.). However, I've learnt new things. Until now I wouldn't have considered a queen sacrifice EVER. Now, I'm more open minded about it (as long as it leads to checkmate, of course).

I don't know if...more
James
Feb 21, 2008 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children, adolescents, and adults starting out as chess players
A good introductory primer on chess tactics. It is basic, but at that level it works. The format is to present a chess position and ask the reader to decide how to achieve a checkmate or some other gain in a couple of moves; each problem is presented on one page with the answer on the next page, on the right-hand side of the book - once you've gone through it, you turn it over, as it continues back through the book on the other pages in the same way. The problems slowly get progressively more te...more
Hodgesensei
A very good step-by-step introduction to chess that leads to back-row checkmating and eventually several excellent techniques learned through Fisher's method of allowing the reader to discover answers.
Tom Ewald
Back when this was written, "programmed learning" was very popular. You try to figure out a problem, then go to the listed page to see how your answer fared. This is written in that way. If you already play chess fairly well, this won't help you. But if you don't know how to play, or barely know how, I strongly recommend this as your first primer. You don't need to set up a board to use it; you can just use the book. Very well done, and always my recommendation for an introduction to my favorite...more
Justin
it was a better introduction to back row checkmates then I have been reading. It was written for beginner level and was appreciated how it was taught with that level in mind.
Mark Cheverton
I've played chess since I was a kid and I consider myself quite good, but I've never formally learnt openings, strategies, tactics etc. In an attempt to improve my game I hunted around the top books list and Bobby Fischer kept coming up.

The format of this book is essentially nearly 300 chess positions which develop your understanding of common tactics for checkmate. By three quarters through the book was more up to my level with some more complex multi move puzzles, but in the end it didn't go t...more
Nick
I'd started reading many chess books, but seldom finished them ... after a while, I was getting lost into the labyrinth of c4-s or e5-s, losing patience after some sophisticated commentary, "wise" explanation or demanding chess notation. This is only the second such chess book that I managed to read "d'al capo al fine" - and this is because of how this Genius of Chess chose to write it. Absolutely lovely, am sure, for any chess rookie.

On a side note, one can surely see from the examples presente...more
Ken Williams
Reading this book improved my game so much I finally beat my brother who was in tournaments.
Earl Baugh
A great book for starting chess. Gets you thinking about patterns.
Andrew
This book was given as a present to me by my friends uncle who is an advent, or used to be, chess player. The book is written in a style of all puzzles with different themes, examples are sacrifices, interposition, removing the defender, and checkmating. It is for beginners, but I found it very useful. In chess everyone sees the same thing but understands it differently. It helped me to understand more complicated positions and see things I would not have before. Even though some of it was simpl...more
sac
I don't know that I can give this book a rating. It's the only book that I've read where you read it forwards then turn it upside down and read back the other way. I suppose more than anything, this book teaches you how to 'look', but it's really basic. Seriously--I seem to recall a section on back rank mates. But when I was 10 or however old I was when I read this, that sort of drill was useful to me. Oh, it's mostly set up as exercises, which I like. I suppose it's a really, really basic Sharp...more
Andre
Two things I don't really like about the book are that it's mainly about offensive strategies (there are times where the authors show you how to escape a mate situation) and it's only really about the end game. So after reading this book I'm much better at recognizing the key elements of a mate?, but I have no idea how to start the game so that I don't get myself in a mate situation. But it's an awesome read! Some of the descriptions of the possibilities are amazing. I definitely have much more...more
Seth
It's fine. All tactics so its essentially flash cards in book form.
Joem
(First, I should note that this is not a novel; it's a collection of puzzles to solve with Fischer's commentary.) I quite enjoyed the puzzles (and I did pretty good at most of them). And I do believe it got me thinking about chess better than I had been. But it ONLY covers checkmates. That's it. True, that's the end goal of chess, but chess is so much more than just the checkmates. For instance, there's the beginning AND the middle, too! It teaches some tactics/strategy, but not as much as I was...more
Ian Mullet
Nov 14, 2007 Ian Mullet rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring chess players
this is a really addictive book of chess puzzles. on each page a board situation will be presented along with a question such as, how can white mate in one move? on the following page is the answer. the nice thing about this book is you don't need to play along with a chess board in front of you, which is the case for most instructional chess books. so you can just lie in bed and read it. hopefully, it helps my chess game, but sometimes i think it's just as fun to read chess books as it is to pl...more
Lena Loneson
Not for total beginners, but if you know the basics of chess and have been playing regularly, Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess is a fantastic set of puzzles that help you learn the endgame: how to spot chances to mate and take full advantage.

The book leads you through simple mating techniques to more complex ones, and it's great fun. I found myself completely sucked in to the interactive lessons -- sharpen your pencil and you're good to go.
Dave Jones
Great instructional book for the absolute beginner. Arranged in a unique programmed instruction format in which the readers is given a series of one-page lessons. You are given a chess position and asked how to move appropriately. Great fun! Since this is a book for chess newbies, it concentrates on tactics (short term). My major criticism of this book is its lack of depth. It spends way too many pages on back-rank checkmates.
Oman
This book is great practice if you want to become a better chess player. It is basically a collection of chess puzzles that increase in difficulty by the end of the book. Each chapter has a summary on different techniques you can use to solve the puzzles. After reading this book you will find yourself constantly looking for checkmate combinations, even if they take more than three moves. A great guide written by a great chess player.
Heath
Great for the road if you aren't one of those that can visualize the board from algebraic notations and occasional scatterings of current board positions, like most of the other books on chess out there. Strong basics and a very enjoyable book, I only wish it was longer. Also, this is the book that got me to start looking for the Fireside publishing logo, they are all very good visual books and I'm a visual type of guy so I love 'em.
Albert Derbes
Fischer's oddness at the end of his life does not detract from the quality of this teaching work. For anyone who wants to become quickly adequate at chess, this book will work. Unlike most chess books, this text is not overly long. It teaches the basic concepts of tactics well. Any parent or grandparent who wants to play chess with his quickly advancing young should start here.
Arkar Kyaw
The puzzles are fun and educational. The only problem is that Bobby Fisher guy is so full of himself that it can become annoying at times.
Sudheer Kumar
Great book for chess beginners.This is a book of endgame puzzles on how to make a winning move.The kind of chess problems discussed in this book involves single move mating,series of moves involving mating combinations,sacrifices etc to check mate.Though this book deals with only endgames...it generates interest for chess beginners and amateurs.
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