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The Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This comprehensive guide, in dictionary form, makes all aspects of chess strategy quick, easy, and painlessly accessible to players of all degrees of strength. Each strategic concept is listed alphabetically and followed by a clear, easy-to-absorb explanation accompanied by examples of how this strategy is used in practice.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Siles Press
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Steve Toyne
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: chess
I recommend this for beginners after they have a couple of hundred games under their belt. I don't see club players and above learning a great deal from this book but a complete beginner would be lost.

The section that deals with the openings is far too sparse. It offers very little as to the ideas behind each open, instead it offers two or three routes that games usually go, only going about five moves deep. A beginner shouldn't be memorising lines until they know the ideas behind the opening so
Robert Palmer
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chess
How can I rate this book? I am only a novice chess player, so for me to rate this book written by a grand master is like a recruit still in basic training rating a book written by an experienced general. I believe that the book has valuable insights for beginning chess players, but I also suspect that there is much that I have missed because I am but a novice. Perhaps I should return to this review after a couple of thousand games!
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chess-games
The book is appropriate for beginners and more advanced players. Beginners will learn a lot about chess, and players with some experience will definitely revise, complete and put their knowledge in order. Since, the book has a form of a dictionary, it is easy to go through and find things. Some information, however, e.g. openings are discussed too cursorily for me, it just gives you a general idea and information. But that has its advantages too, because as I said it's rather a dictionary on che ...more
Adam Floridia
Mar 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star-books
In another obvious attempt at pedantry, I decided I should become a chess master. After all, I already know how to move the pieces, so how hard could it be? After skimming this book, I decided that chess strategy is for complete nerds. (In other words, I understood little to nothing and am too lazy to devote actual time into studying chess.) Even though is supposedly one of the easier chess books to understand, I was lost by page five. For now, I’ll have to be content to move my horse and castle ...more
Alex Vasai
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an intermediate player I liked the book, I think 15% of the patterns from the book were unknown or unclear in my mind and now they are stored there, it is an achievement to think you understand them all, I mean you are always searching for something new and chess books present to you 20-30 tiring pages for one pattern, Mr Silman made it simple. I also enjoyed the fact that you do not need a chess board for these teachings.
Veer Gandhi
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good for amateurs/ players just starting out to get an idea of some key concepts in chess.
Cory Donavon
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was really helpful to learn a lot of important chess strategy. Some sections were frustrating to read because a diagram would be provided, then sometimes 8-12 steps would be laid out in chess notation without an updated figure. Each step, by the way, is a move for white AND black. So I’m having to keep track of 24 movements on the board in my head, which admittedly I am not adequately equipped to do. This theme was particularly pervasive in the openings section, which is the first 100 ...more
Apr 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book doesn't teach any strategy.

There's a section that covers every opening in one paragraph (what the hell good is that?). Completely useless.

Then there's a section that covers middlegame tactical motifs (fork, hurdle, pin, x-ray, etc.). Completely useless.

The endgame section is not completely useless, but there are better expositions out there. Including Silman's own Essential Chess Endings.

In short, there's absolutely NO reason to own or read this book (and I say this as an obsessive che
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Principles for the opening, more stuff for the middle like attacking squares, making outposts for knights, posting bishops on good squares and activating the rooks - an not necessarily going after the king. Evaluate the differences between the two sides (Bishop & Knight, v.s. 2 bishops) and exploit the differences. If they only have one bishop, if you post your pieces on opposite colored squares - he has no attack. He can only support other pieces on their attack, not attack directly. ...more
Ryan Winston
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
For anyone who already knows basic Chess, this book should certainly take you to the next level. It conveys the most common openings, tactical middle game movement, and how to be effective in the end game. Many books speak too long on any given topic (e.g. openings) and overwhelm you to a point where you put down the book in frustration.
Highly recommended to get you to the next stage of your chess playing.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chess
Very good book on chess for beginners, talks about the different tactics and how they can be applied in a concise yet thorough manner. It could probably do without the section on openings since it is a book for beginners and the openings are not very in depth for people who really want to learn about them. Silman's other book, The amateur's mind, I feel would be a better for someone picking up a chess book for the first time.
Adrian Alvarez
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wish this book had existed back when I was first learning the game with a friend in high school. I'm afraid I got to it too late to be of much use but it is still an excellent overview for the beginning player (and a quick little refresher for anyone coming back to the game after a period of absence).
Will Eldredge
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what the title says. It is complete, albeit a little unwieldy. It takes some serious uninterrupted time and focus to really dig in to this book. I've had it for years and barely scratched the surface of its potential.
Justin P
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chess
a good, general introduction to strategies and tactics for beginners to intermediate players. includes rules, opening, middlegame, and endgame. there's also a section on "practical matters" which covers chess psychology and so forth. not incredibly in-depth, but valuable all the same.
Tome Addiction
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
More top level introductory to strategy than a detailed strategy book.
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have read on this topic. It is filled with accessible, useful advice that will improve your game. My rating jumped by about 100 points largely because of this book.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chess
I thought this was fairly readable. It is presented with short segments on various topics.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eh, I've read it a few times. I'm not very good in the grand scheme of things. Is this a failure on my part?

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