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How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess Mastery Course
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How to Reassess Your Chess: The Complete Chess Mastery Course

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  916 ratings  ·  49 reviews
How to Reassess Your Chess is the popular step-by-step course that will create a marked improvement in anyone's game. In clear, direct language, Silman shows how to dissect a position, recognize its individual parts and ultimately find the move that conforms to the needs of that particular situation. By explaining the thought processes that go into a master's choice of mov ...more
Paperback, Expanded, Third Edition, 406 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Siles Press (first published 1991)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  916 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chess-books
[This review was written in 2005 and refers only to the THIRD edition.]
If you can only get one book to improve your game, this one is it. Examples and exercises that cover ALL phases of the game, and even if you don't buy into Silman's "thinking technique" this book will introduce you to many advanced concepts (knights vs. bishops, bishop pair, support points, etc.)

Anthea Carson
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best chess books out there. The only one that I like better is another book by this same author, The Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery. Silman changed the way I looked at chess positions. He added humor and analogy to how I looked at positions. I still think of terms like Running from Ghosts and the curse of the mindless king hunter when looking at a position. Those are concepts Silman introduced me to in The Amateur's Mind. This book is more about the im ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a one-volume full-fledged chess handbook
Shelves: chess-literature
The guy teaches you how to state the situation in any moment of a game.
And he does so efficiently, by displaying general principles illustrated by games, analysed both by praxis and computer analysis, backed with exercises.

Whatever your mastery, you can nibble crumbs of know-how and insight useful in any level of competition.

❖Opening, middle game, endgame
❖Open game, semi-open game, closed game
❖Pawn structures
❖Piece coordination
❖Quality sacrifice, positional sacrifice, tactics

All themes
Oct 11, 2016 added it
Shelves: chess
I am crap at chess. I spent a lot of money on books that I thought would at least make me competitive. Nothing worked. I think these chess books will all sit in a box gathering dust and one day I might get the urge to rejoin the local club and get butchered by 12 year olds so then may have a further look. (Generic review for all half finished chess books I will never finish
Dec 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: chess
Silman's book does two things:

1. Introduces the major strategic elements that players should be looking for in every position (minor piece advantage, open lines, pawn structure, king safety, lead in development, etc.)

2. A systematic THOUGHT PROCESS. Namely, look for all the strategic "imbalances" (Silman's term) in the position, formulate a PLAN, find candidate moves that advance that plan, and only then calculate.

On the first matter, Silman's book is a decent introduction for beginners to these
Puneet Gurnani
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess
I have only just completed the 2nd chapter. My 2 cents:
1)A book on positional play/ strategy and planning.
2)if you are looking for tactics, openings or endgame you should look elsewhere
3)Silman recommends 1400-2100 rated players for this book. I would say 1700 and above. Players under 1700 I would say are more to gain by learning tactics as positional play/planning does not quite come into play when you tend to loose a pawn in a 2-3 move variation.
4)his theory of imbalances gives me a intuti
Veselin Nikolov
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good read. I can imagine a beginner player gaining 500-1000 ELO points by carefully reading this book. Now I know weak squares, statics vs dynamics, and a few more concepts that may or may not make me a better chess player. Looks like mastering chess requires a level of memory and dedication that's just not possible for adults. ...more
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, chess
The best chess book for the intermediate player. More than any other author, Silman explains how to truly think about chess and provides the fundamental skills necessary to improve your play to the next level.
Serge Pierro
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chess
Silman's great contribution to chess instruction! This is a MUST read for anyone looking to seriously improve their playing. I consider this to be one of the most important books ever written on chess strategy. ...more
Aug 19, 2012 added it
Liked it. Seems very good, but I don't really know how to play chess... ...more
Murilo Andrade
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess

Amazing book. This book fits perfectly someone in the ELO rang 1500-2000. It continues Amateur's Mind ideas, going much further. Once again, Silman describes incredibly well its imbalances framework. After reading this book, you should be able to assess a big number of positions, by identifying all the described imbalances, which helps a lot when finding plans for the position.

This book is huge, but it is worthful to be read from cover to cover, specially with the very easy to read ( often humo
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess
Well, it's Jeremy Silman, so of course the book is good. I think I liked the 3rd edition better though. I had more trouble getting through this one, for some reason, and I didn't like the exercises as much. I think the 3rd edition is a bit more accessible, and more broadly based. The fourth edition is more advanced and more focused on his imbalances approach to chess. ...more
Steve Toyne
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chess
One of the best and most instructive chess books ever written for the amateur player.
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
took my a while to get through the book as I'd read it only each morning while having breakfast. it really improved my chess and my breakfast experience.
I'm still a total beginner and will read the book again to pick up on additional details and reinforce the concepts.
The concept theme of imbalances is well explained and each chapter is filled with personal anecdotes and real life games to support a teaching.
veryr enjoyable!
Sam James
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chess
I must confess I haven't 'read' this book. That is, it's not the sort you read from cover to cover (much like a lot of chess books). However, it's proven a very useful guide to understanding common themes of chess and why we think the we think over the board... though the early chapters are, in my opinion, sometimes a little too obvious. ...more
Justin Tran
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My chess has been reassessed.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It didn't contain endless analysis. It was instructive and entertaining to read. ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The 4th edition is on point.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
...well I say read....the theme of imbalances is intriguing and have been 'through' the book but think it will be a book I return to again and again as I improve my game... ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written book for beginning and intermediate players. Gave me a way better understanding about positioning.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has completely changed the way I play chess. I haven't read the details of this book. I skim it. Because I always repeat the chapter. ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess-books
16JAN11. It won't arrive until the middle of the week. But when it does I'll dive right in. Going through the 3rd edition of How To Reassess Your Chess was an INVALUABLE experience. It opened my eyes to aspects of the game to which I previously had been oblivious. Supposedly Silman completely rewrote the book ("from scratch" was the phrase that caught my eye) greatly expanded it, rearranged it, chopped out the Basic Endgame chapter (the chapter that inexplicably OPENED the 3rd edition!), and add ...more
William Schram
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, games
This is a great book, but not one that you should read, this is a book that should be studied. Many of the ideas are in algebraic chess notation, and unless you are particularly good at visualizing the board, you should probably have one handy. Personally, I suck at visualization of the board, but I digress.

Silman has split this particular edition that I have into sixteen parts, each of which is thematically connected. Most of these parts are further subdivided into chapters. For instance, the f
Jul 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chess
I was dissappointed with this one. I have and like his endgame book. This book seemed to me mostly fluff. His strategic suggestion is to use wishful thinking. The chapter titles are promising and even serve as a decent outline of material that someone of my level (fairly low) should study to improve their middle game, but the actual content isn't there. Example games are only useful if they are carefully explained. I can understand a point from a chapter title and even see that a game is a good ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! IM Silman is a world class teacher! This book sat on my "to read" shelf for several years and I brought it out once I retired. I now had the time to really study chess and this was going to be the start. I am really glad I did as the journey took about 9 months. I used a large chessboard and pen and began on page one and worked through every game and example in the book! His organization, example games and great enthusiasm and humor was spread throughout the book! It was a joy to work throu ...more
Owen M
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess
Jeremy Silman is arguably the best chess author in history. I have never read a better chess book in my life, and I doubt that I ever will. Silman gives a wonderful description of putting together imbalances to create a winning position. I have used Silman's ideas in my own games very successfully. I don't what I'd have done without this book. ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably Silman's best book

the only possible minus to Silman is that his approach to game annotation is unusual. He likes to focus on the big picture and strategic ideas, and will sometimes criticize a move as bad, more on reasons of planning and strategy, and nothing to do with it being tactically sound.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every chess player serious about improving.
Recommended to Aristo by: The TD of the tournament.
OMG!!! I only got this book from winning a tournament, but I must say that this is the best chess book that ever existed. With crystal-clear concepts and a fair share of humor too, this is THE book that any chess player must have!! An excellent work by Silman!
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chess, 2019-read
The third edition was excellent, and this re written fourth addition was as good.
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Nerdy book that's great for aspiring chess masters. ...more
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