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Play Winning Chess

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  36 reviews
"When most people learn to play chess, they usually memorise the movements of the pieces and then spend years pummelling away at each other with little rhyme and even less reason. Though I will show you how each piece leaps around, what it likes to do on holidays, the real purpose of this book is to teach you to understand the four major principles of my Seirawan method: f ...more
eBook Kindle, 240 pages
Published September 19th 2012 by Everyman Chess (first published 1992)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  412 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Amun (Mohamed Elbadwihi)
"You don't have to be 7 feet tall, as quick as Carl Lewis, or as strong as Mike Tyson to play chess. All you have to do is think."

As a kid, I thought I played good chess. In reality, I only knew how the pieces moved, and I came to this realization last year, when a chess set gifted to me by my brother rekindled my love for the game. Playing a few online games convinced me that a blind pigeon could probably score better than I did, and so I set out to improve my skills.

I first discovered Yass
Joe Haack
Has been my on and off lunchtime companion since the summer, in service of my (futile) goal to become better at chess. I enjoy chess because it is one of those rare activities that demand your total attention, which makes it therapeutic for me. I like how this book is organized into "4 key ideas". I am a sucker for that kind of presentation.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've started and not finished a couple of beginner's chess books now - this is the first one I've finished. Seirawan expects more rigor than most do, which is good - the use of teaching algebraic notation from the very beginning and almost demanding its use is very appreciated and will pay off a great deal. Excellent blend of humor, annotation, tactics, and ideas. The best beginner's chess book I've yet seen or read.
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to chess. This book and Chess for Dummies are the best books I know of for those trying to acquaint themselves with the game. Strictly for the beginner.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rather boring; a few interesting points, but nothing that really set this book apart from other "learn chess" books
Nathan Albright
This is the second book by the authors that I have written, and it suffers from a bit of a Goldilocks problem.  If the first book I read by the author was a bit too ambitious and difficult for someone whose chess ambitions are as modest as mine are at present, this book suffers from being a bit too basic.  Admittedly, I read a fair amount of books about chess [1], but this one was far easier than expected.  Admittedly, about thirty years ago this book would have been very useful, as I was at tha ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: game, non-fiction
If I had not previously read Chess for Dummies then I would have been much more enlightened by Yasser Seirawan's introductory book. The former book takes its structure from this series by Seirawan, with this first volume going over the four elements of chess: force (material), time (development), space, and pawn structure. I appreciated Seirawan's writing style, which has entertaining flair to it that adds a degree of levity to the usual serious world of chess.

I also like the focus on general co
Ben Imrye
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short version: A fantastic beginner's guide on how to approach learning chess past how the pieces move.

Long version: Yasser breaks down the basics in terms of:
Force/material. - The value of the pieces, their main strengths/weaknesses and therefore when a trade of pieces is favourable.
Time. - How to mobilise your pieces efficiently and avoid situations where your opponent may force you to waste time.
Space. - How to evaluate how much room you have to manoeuvre your pieces, and what to do if you a
Derrick McNealy
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've known how to play chess for almost as long as I can remember. Regardless, I never felt much better than a fresh beginner. This book has filled gaps in my chess knowledge and has renewed my interest in the game. Seirawn encourages the beginner to learn the foundations of sound play by study and practice. Learn for the masters. Learn from your own mistakes. Don't be afraid to play anyone-- even a grand master. Just enjoy the game-- even if you're playing at a serious level.
Mohamed Mekkawi
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book 2 years ago with the intention to read all of Yasser Seirawan's series but I lost interest in the final pages (as I always do). Still , It was a very interesting read based on solid historical research on chess and it's fundamentals. I'd recommend this to beginners or passionate players. As for novice or advanced players I'd recommend further reading into Seirawan's series, as I intend to do at some point in the future..hopefully.
Debasish Dash
This in an introductory, first chess book targeted to the beginner-novice player. It focuses on explaining what GM Seirawan posits to be the four primary principles of chess – Force, Time, Space and Pawn Structure.
George Manakanatas
Excellent book for beginners covering the basic movies as well as some of the core abstract concepts of the game in a fun easy to read way. Read through it on the train to and from Ghent and feel it would make a great gift for someone new to the game.
Peter Ravijts
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess
Rally good for beginning players!
Deepak Singh Bisth
Loved it.

It is a great book for any beginner or even an intermediate player.

I highly recommend this book and other books by the same author.
Michiel Tummers
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good introduction to the world of chess. Dont expect anything new when you are already a seasoned player, but good to read and reread nonetheless, read this in 3 days or so :D
Saikat Sengupta
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess
Beginners should read this chess book to hone their basic chess reflex.
Sunny Nie
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a good review for beginners ranging from not knowing the rules of chess to having trouble getting above the rating of ~1200.
Adam Gardell
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book on the basic principles of chess. Highly recommended for other beginners who are looking to improve their game.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christian Drechsler
This book would be my choice for a present for a chess beginner. It covers all the basics and it's a pleasure to read. But if you're looking for anything advanced, you should look elsewhere.
Ian Mullet
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: golfers
like witnessing polar bears in their natural environment, reading about how chess players think is amazing. even if it doesn't make you a chess stud, it's still neat to finally have a clue about some simple theory behind the game.
and besides this author is amazing. i watched a video of him and even though he's one of america's greatest chess players he is totally down to earth. read his wiki entry!
'In 2001, Seirawan released a plan to reunite the chess world, which at that time had two world ch
Cole Whetstone
- The four principles of chess are:
- Force: What material advantage do you have on your opponent? Only trade up or across — never down. Go for safe exchanges: a little force can go a long way. Use pin and fork effectively.
- Time: Develop early and often. The rule of thumb is to not move the same piece twice until the midgame. More developed pieces early on allow better tactics as the game moves on. Just get your damn pieces out. Also don’t attack the rook pawns if you are underdeveloped.
- Spa
Jim Kennedy
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written, understandable introduction to the basics of chess. The author brings you through his four most important tenets of play - force, time, space and pawn structure. It is a book very geared towards beginners, which for me is a fair enough description :) Full of examples and annotations and explanations for moves, I found it very enlightening.

It is very easy to jump straight into chess and get beaten a lot, a book like this is well worth the time if you reach the stage where yo
Mark Cheverton
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games
Quite a lot of this book was covering fairly obvious stuff - more pieces in an attack will be more successful, restricting the opponents movement will reduce their options, and so on. Not a bad book, but I can't say I came away from it with any new insights .
Jennifer James
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great introduction to playing chess. Using Seirawan's 4 principles of space, time, force, and pawn structure, I am ALMOST able to beat my computer at the lowest setting... I'll have to read the other books in this series to be able actually to beat it, I guess! :)
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book I read on chess. It had a lot of interesting information, and I suppose as an intro to more serious chess playing it was really good. Of course, I don't have any others to compare it to yet...
Luka Rajčević
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight, especially for beginners. Theory of chess is accompanied with quizzes and tests (situations where you have to find a solution), and it serves as a great introduction to chess game.
Andy McKenzie
Fairly basic but provided me with some background.
Jeff Fors
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone interested in chess for beginners and experts alike.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars because it got me to where I could beat a friend I had never been able to beat in chess.
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Yasser Seirawan is an American chess grandmaster and four-time United States champion. He is a published chess author and commentator. His peak FIDE rating was 2658, which he reached in November, 2011.