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The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery
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The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  346 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This book takes the student on a journey through his own mind and returns him to the chess board with a wealth of new-found knowledge and the promise of a significant gain in strength. Most amateurs possess erroneous thinking processes that remain with them throughout their chess lives. These flaws in their mental armour result in stinging defeats and painful reversals. Bo...more
Paperback, 443 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Siles Press (first published 1995)
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Now you know how to play, you've picked up a few tactical tricks, maybe learned a few openings and common variations... what next? This book can teach anyone how to develop good plans in chess. It outlines a nice system for reading the board to develop strategic insights, so you can move beyond "OK I do this, then he does that, then I do this..." analysis. I think the author is unusually insightful about how the average player approaches the game and thinks about it; if you know you will read a...more
Anthea Carson
For a review of this book I could say, "see my review of How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess Mastery Course since I talked mostly about this book in that review." But that's ok, I'll say more, because I could go on and on about this book. I never had so much fun reading a chess book in my life.

I read this book many years ago, and I bought thin flat metal chess board the size of a notebook page with flat magnetic pieces and played along with the games in the book, reading Jeremy's wit...more
I'm a casual player and don't study or practice ever. But I'm just interested enough to consider reading a book on chess from time to time. The Shredder app I have on my phone pegs me at 1450 Elo rating, and I'm probably at the bottom range of what level player might find this book useful.

I enjoyed the format where Silman annotates games against his students, including their thoughts on why moves were made, and his notes on these thoughts. A majority of the content relates to the middle game, an...more
How to control knights - take away their advanced posts.
How to use knights - give them advanced posts.
How to value knights v.s. bishops and use that imbalance to work for you. If you find yourself with a bishop difference, work to open the game and get passed pawns on both sides. If you find yourself with a knight, work to keep it closed, and get passed pawns on only one side, and work to give them an outpost.
This book is the definitive introduction to strategic chess, where the player goes beyond sheer tactics and calculation to build a more abstract understanding of the wonderful game of chess. Most examples come from games from amateurs, which makes them far more approachable to the average player. Silman's writing is very clear and entertaining, and his selection of material and exercises outstanding.
Chip and Katie Moore
A modern chess classic, this book is a great primer for folks who want to go from just pushing wood to truly playing the game of chess.
This is easily my favorite chess book. It vastly improved my game.
Great Chess Book! Silman is one of the Chess Authors that i can understand.
Murilo Andrade
Great book. A new classic.

Jeremy Silman is one of the best chess authors nowadays. In a great writing style and easy to follow, he dissects chess thinking as few. He introduces many chess concepts and, through the reasoning of amateur players ( based on his notes with amateur players thinking out loud), he shows how to avoid amateur thinking. This will improve your game drastically.

This book is all about imbalances. In each of the chapters, he describes an imbalance and, through examples, invi...more
Mar 07, 2012 Cory rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: chess
You'll have to spend some time with this one, but it will well be worth it. I've spent months reading it, working fully through each diagram and taking notes, but no other book has helped my game this much. Put in the effort and you will be rewarded.
Steve Toyne
One of the best chess books, slightly let down by the condescending tone and attitude he has towards the mistakes his students make.
Scott Collingwood
I cannot understand this book at all. Will seek a tutor.
Mike  Davis
IM Jeremy Silman is a fine instructor, author of numerous popular books on chess, and an engaging writer. His technique in this book is to take games from tournament play and give them, move by move, to his students, asking them for their evaluations and observations along with planned moves and ideas for progress. It is refreshing and interesting reading for students of chess. I would place this instruction at the mid to strong club player level. I agree that this book should be included in any...more
Melanie Brennan
One of my all time favorite chess books.
helpful and somewhat amusing
Serge Pierro
Another excellent book by Silman on chess strategy. It was interesting to see his students thoughts and then his comments on the situation at hand. Lots of useful information. Highly recommended is the author's previous work, "How To Reassess Your Chess" which makes this book even more useful.
The first chess book that taught me how to look for more in the position then purely tactics. Highly recommended to the 1500 rated player or under. Hell even now going back through it I still get insight into the thought processes of higher rated players
Wellllll, technically this book isn't "finished" because I didn't play EVERY SINGLE GAME in there and I skipped a few chapters because it was due last week and MEL wasn't letting me renew it. BUUUT I count it because this book was reaaaally good!
Mark Nelson
Well written. Well presented. Great idea to explore the thought processes behind the moves. Like any chess book, make sure this is suitable for your current level of play. This is not for begginers.
Arguably the best chess book I have ever read. Without a doubt the most instructive! Silman' prose is wonderful and fun. Highly recommended.
Richard Shulmistra
A must read if you are into chess and have gone through several books...the next step.
Read this one before the other one.
Ben Murphy
Ben Murphy marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
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