David Natiuk's Reviews > Winning Chess Piece by Piece

Winning Chess Piece by Piece by Ted Nottingham
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Feb 16, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction, chess, young-adult
Read in February, 2011

Although I enjoyed the chess stories and anecdotes, this book came across as disorganized and unfocused. It seemed to fall strangely between a book for beginners and the more intermediate player, but was obviously trying to be a book for beginners.

The book starts out with a story about the codebreakers of World War II and how they were chess players. Strange way to start a book and the connection was not entirely clear. Then it mixes together lessons for the beginner with quizzes and alternate games to play (kings & pawns, two knights & pawns, etc.)

Although this sounds like a decent structure, the implementation was much more haphazard. For example, one of the earliest excerpts was "The Rook that grinds like a mill" which is definitely more advanced and occurs rarely in a game. So it's not well-suited for the beginner, but is clearly intended as such.

Most disappointing is that although the title states "Winning Chess piece by piece" there is very little about finding weaknesses, pawn structure, or any more advanced topics. They should've just called this book "Learning Chess piece by piece" and it would've fit much better.

The most interesting parts of the book were the stories about famous chess players and some of their matches. Also fun is to learn about the ELO ranking and what makes a "Grandmaster" etc. So there is probably something in there for most players, but you can do better with a more focused book for your interests and play level.

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