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Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Why The Negative Reviews Are Wrong
What all these critics seemed to ...
What all these critics seemed to miss is that the book is called 'Chess FOR DUMMIES', it is not intended to be comprehensive, or even close to it, it is intended to teach you that basic terminology and introduce the basic ideas, and then direct the more serious student towards more mature resources, which it does, in Appendix B.
The book introduces one to the basic rules of chess, including the more obscure rules which are unknown to most beginners, such as 'en passant', it introduces one to the history of chess, it introduces one to the basic principles of chess, the opening, the middlegame, and the endgame, it introduces one to some very basic terminology, it tells one where to find the best chess web sites and places to find an opponent, and it has a good glossary of basic terms, it introduces one to basic chess notation, and introduces famous players and games, and offers encouragement to beginning by assuring them that the idea that one needs to be a 'supergenius' to play good chess is a total myth, that chess does not require exceptional intelligence. And in addition to all of this, it is very easy to read and understand.
Exactly what more can one expect from book called 'Chess for Dummies'?
Now, the complaint 'it doesn't go into depth describing the openings, sometimes offering only the first 3 moves'.
The person making this complaint apparently missed the 'for dummies' part of the title.
I am at a near total loss to understand how an in depth exploration of various openings, beyond the first 3-4 moves, is helpful to a beginner.
The fact of the matter is that most people, in the real world, who are not chess experts, do not play according to whatever theory or model you might have in mind.
Knowing what the first 30 book line moves for the Sicilian defense are will not help most beginners because most of the opponents they face will not make the moves the opening theory expects them to make. And cluttering up the book by considering umpteen variations does not exactly help matters.
The only people likely to play an opening down to the first 10,20,30 moves are experts, and if you one is beginner, than one shouldn't be playing against experts anyway because one will not learn anything. A beginner should be playing against other beginners. The way to learn how to play better chess is playing against opponents with a similar skill level.
Much better than listing all of the 10,20,30 book moves for every opening is to introduce the first few moves of some of the more popular openings, introduce the basic principles of openings so that beginners will know what they are supposed to be accomplishing in the opening, introduce the basic terminology, and then direct the readers elsewhere for more information.
And what do you know, that is precisely what this book does.
So the complaint that the book 'doesn't go into much depth about various openings' is just silly.
This is a very good basic introduction to chess, the complaint that it not comprehensive is ridiculous. It is not intended to be comprehensive, it's for dummies.
posted by 1328914 on May 9, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.
Not the best book to begin with
posted by BigFalls on December 3, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2011
Posted August 26, 2005
Posted March 4, 2005
Leaves out so much basic material
Ugg!!! I don't really like the entire 'Dummy Series' as a whole which only a real 'dummy' would buy. This really applies to this book. It covers the very basic rules in a very skippy way. Then jumps from here to there is formatted 'mini' chapters that really leaves out so much material that any beginning student would be lost. This is one of the worst beginning books ever written, but has sales only because of it being part of the 'dummy' series. Spend your time really looking at reviews of good beginning chess books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2004
Leaves out Material - poorly organized
Simply put this book leaves out essential material that is important in teaching chess to a beginner. The book doesn't present material in a good order that allows the student to build on earlier material. I teach chess in elementary schools, running several after school programs each week. I therefore have looked into and investigated over a dozen beginners books. This one is at the bottom of the list for anyone of any age.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 31, 2004
Chess For Dummies
This book is simply awful. It falls into that category of 'Series' books that want to formulize everything. The 'Dummy Series' is a bad series on all counts. Chess, like math, builds on itself. If you don't get a solid foundation you're in for a lot of trouble. The thing about Chess For Dummies is it leaves out a lot of basic material. As you're progressing along you find you have to go right back to the start to learn a basic concept that Chess For Dummies left out. Also, for a beginner's book there is way too much extraneous material. Simply put, this is a really bad book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2003
Chess For Dummies
When my nine year old son started learning to play chess at his school I bought this book so I could learn enough to help him along. Things started out bad with this book from the start. It seems chess teachers don't use this book to teach beginners. I went to my son's school and asked the chess teacher why Chess For Dummies wasn't a good beginner's book. He explained to me that the book left out many key fundamentals that a beginner needs. So I asked what books did have all that and was told that the first two volumns of Lev Albert's Comprehensive Chess Course covered it all, but that Yasser Seirawan's Play Winning Chess series was also good and if I wanted something a little less heavy that Bruce Pandolfini's Square one was a good book to get you playing fairly fast. He went on to say that all these titles were used in his chess classes. I asked him if Chess For Dummies was okay somewhere down the line. He told me I might as well donate it to the public library as it was practically of no use. I felt kind of silly about running out and buying Chess For Dummies. I only kept the book long enough to see why it didn't make the grade while the others did. After I learned how to play it soon became obvious why it didn't make the grade. Too many things weren't in Chess For Dummies but were in the other books. Fortunately, Barnes & Noble.com was kind enough to let me return the book for a refund. So, my advice to anyone who is about to buy this book is, don't.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2003
Bad Choice For Beginners.
I've been teaching chess in the public schools for 23 years. I've seen a lot of beginner's books. Chess For Dummies is one of the worst efforts I've seen. Yes, this book will teach you to play chess but it leaves out many basic concepts beginners need. A better choice are several chess books aimed at beginners by Bruce Pandolfini. Panddolfini's books (all available on Barnes and Noble.com)will get a beginner up to playing speed in a short time. Time isn't wasted on areas of chess a beginner isn't ready for right at the start. But Pandolfini sacrifices some critical basic principles in the interest of leaarning to play fast. So, with this in mind, you have to look at Lev Albert's Complete Chess Course (again, all available right here on Barnes & Noble.com). Alburt uses an improved version of the old Soviet system that taught such luminaries as Botvinnik, Bronstein, Keres, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian,Spassky,Karpov, Kasparov, and Krammik. Some think even Bobby Fischer had access to it but that's beyond the scope of this review. Albert's course uses about 26 weeks to bring the absolute beginner up to advanced novice. He is very big on learning the board just as one would learn the multiplication tables and the alphabet. The first two volumns in Albert's course rigorously cover evrything the beginner should know, including memorizing the board. Chess For Dummies leaves this out as do Pandolfini's books. Chess For Dummies also give the beginner some false ideas about chess being easy. Chess, at any level, is a difficult and exacting game. It also implies that one chess book is all you need.To reach chess mastery you need well over 100 books. If you're really serious about learning to play chess srart with Albert's Comprehensive Chess Course, Vol. 1 and 2, instead of Chess For Dummies. You'll be glad you did!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2002
Chess For Dummies
Chess For Dummies is a bad choice for those new to the game. I have been teaching chess for over forty years and have seen many beginner's books. This book leaves too many basic concepts and how to learn and use them out and pads itself with too many Top Ten Lists. This isn't even a good book for the casual beginner. A far better choice is IGM Lev Albert's Comprehensive Chess Course, Vol. 1 and 2. (available on Barnes & Noble.com) These are based on the Russian system (formerly the Soviet System which produced all the world champions from 1948 until 1972 then regained it in 1975)which is a rigorous program for the beginner. A key part of chess is vigorously stressed in Albert's books. The Board and Board Dynamics. Upon completion of CCC Vol. I and II, the successful student can then complete the course by studying Vols. 2 - 7 (although there is a better option for Volumn 7; Ruben Fine's Basic Chess Endings. A good supplemental course for the absolute beginner and novice is IGM Yasser Seirawan's six book set although I recommend substituting Basic Chess Endings for volumn 6 in this series. A third option for the more casual beginner is Square One by National Master Bruce Pandolfini. This one will get you playing faster but without the deeper fundamental basics. I recommend it as supplemental reading. All of these books are appropriate for children and adult beginners and novices and all can be found on Barnes and Noble. I have to disagree with the reviewer who gave Chess For Dummies five stars and was, apparently, not aware of the intention of the reviewer who gave it one star and recommended My System. My System by Aron Nimzovitch is an essential work for the advanced Novice. I agree with the reviewer who gave it one star. If you tell someone they need a book for dummies then you set up a low self esteem image for that person. The title of Chess For Dummies is as bad as the contents. Top Ten lists reflect only the opinion of the author. Not a consensus opinion of the world's top 100 grandmasters, who are the only players with the expertise to evaluate such lists and even then it's still an opinion. Other material covered in Chess For Dummies can be found in numerous other chess books, many available on Barnes and Noble. If you really want to learn to play chess stay away from Chess For Dummies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 4, 2000
Dummies don't play chess! They play at it!
If you're really serious about learning how to play chess get the classic textbooks. This one is too shallow. You can't do it all with one book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 26, 2011
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