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Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,961 ratings  ·  292 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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1966)
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Michael Yes. But it has only a somewhat narrow scope: true, it boasts an easy way to learn a limited set of mating patterns, but neglects opening theory, tact…moreYes. But it has only a somewhat narrow scope: true, it boasts an easy way to learn a limited set of mating patterns, but neglects opening theory, tactical patterns and more. It's easy to follow and you don't need to have a chessboard at hand.(less)

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 ·  2,961 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'll be the first to admit, I'm feckin' useless at chess.

Bobby made me a little less feckin' usless.
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book focuses on the endgame: back rank mating. It is organized into so-called "Frames" in which there are checkmating lessons, puzzles and solutions. I could say the book is aimed at the beginners but that doesn't mean chess players of higher ranks won't have benefit from it. It opens up your eyes to look for checkmate opportunities.
Recommended to those who are interested in chess.

I suggest you write down numbers of the frames that seemed challenging to you, so that in case you decided to re
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unlike Fischer and a lot of my friends who started to play chess when they were 6 years old, I started chess after I could legally drink in the US. Starting off, I lost uncountable times and thought about quitting. I questioned whether it is possible to be really good at chess when one started playing it pretty late in life. I kept thinking about it and sometimes dreamt about playing chess. After finishing this book, I still lost uncountable times and don’t know the absolute answer to that quest ...more
Tom Ritman-Meer
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Only really useful for complete beginners.
Veselin Nikolov
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You'll likely learn how to do back rank checkmates. This was my first chess book.
Robert Postill
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: got-it, chess
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
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: games
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
Kevin Keating
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty good book! Not a bunch of theoretical words and "gambits", it is really just a gresst number of examples where you get to figure out how to mate black. Reads pretty quickly, but teaches pretty well. Good to keep in the car where you can hit it in snippets.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I definitely improved after reading this book
Cassidy Gagnon
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beginning chess players

This book is probably the one of the easiest books ever that I have gotten through, let alone a chess book. Fisher sets out his "programmed learning" in this book to demonstrate differing ways to checkmate your opponent.

However, the methods that this learning program demonstrates for defeating your opponent are very narrow and mostly involve checkmating the opponent on the back-rank. Because of this, there was nothing too new that this book would bring to someone who is somewhat experienc
Mike Hohrath
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been playing a lot of chess this summer so I picked up this book with the hope of improving my game. I would say this limited aim was accomplished, though not much more. I bumped up from an 850 ELO to around a 925, and I definitely am still absorbing and applying what I have learned.

The book is presented in the form of continuous tactical exercises where a chess match is presented and you must determine the best way to checkmate or avoid one with a series of up to 3 moves. There is the occ
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: xadrez
this is a light workbook that consists on solving several quick finishing-puzzles that are not deep. it does not provide bobby fischer’s insights and it isn’t the ultimate guide for improvement, thus it could better suit a player that is beginning on chess and wants to get better at making and understanding some simple mates.
Hatem Araar
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I suggest this book for everyone who wants to be a better chess player
Farsan Rashid
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
After watching the movie pawn sacrifice which is a biopic on Bobby Fischer I decided to read the book. As a beginner chess player I already knew most of the techniques but it introduced formal names like back rank check, stalemate. A perfect 101 chess book for anybody who wants to learn the bare fundamentals of chess, nothing advanced.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at a Garage sale like four years ago and started reading it on a trip to Atlanta. It was a back-up book because I didn't have anyone regular to play Chess with and hone my skills on. The book itself is a well written guide on how to improve your personal chess game which is peppered with anecdotes and examples from the life and career of Grand Master Bobby Fischer. I first heard about this dude due to the film "Searching for Bobby Fischer." I've never been a chess prodigy, ...more
Arihant Chawla
YOU lol, you sly sly character Mr Fischer
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Tom Ewald
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Mark Cheverton
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: games
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
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
a very basic book, fun to read!!! the book starts with the discussion about basic movements of pawns and pieces. Then it proceeds to discuss basic bank rank mating patterns and defense techniques. If you are a beginner in chess and if you like to improve your game, this would be a really good one to start with! very very easy to read and fun to solve. I am basic learner in chess and I managed to finish reading the book without working out the patterns on a chess board, not even once! I definitel ...more
Rajnish Kumar
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Consistency of thought is what this book taught me. Since I am a beginner in chess I always struggled with thinking 3,4 moves ahead and predicting my opponents move in a similar fashion. The focal point of the book was based on some key basic strategies for check mate like back rank attack, hemming king check mate and displacing defenders for check mate. I sincerely recommend it to all beginners in chess to make them see those basic moves of check mate and further strengthening their game. Altho ...more
Shko Sherko
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
It teaches of the very basics of chess through programmed learning (in which asks you a question then explains why the right answer is which), a practical book for beginners. It explains about some important elements -simply- to mate or defend at the beginning of every chapter then gives you a chess game variation questions per page about it. The chapters are mostly about the basic elements of mating, back-rank mating and it's variations, sacrificing to mate a king in a back-rank square, and def ...more
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent guide for learning to play the world master Bobby Fischer
Ibrahim Abd Allatif
very good for absolute beginners
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
a nice mini book.. took me less than 24 hours to finish.. the only setback for this book is :it's almost too easy even for a beginner, such as me, but you won't regret reading it.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
An informative guide to chess for beginners. Well-written and succinct.
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