Customer Reviews for

Chess For Dummies

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Why The Negative Reviews Are Wrong

I have read all of the negative reviews here and they all seem to make the same complaints: it isn't comprehensive enough, it doesn't cover everything, it doesn't say everything that could be said, the layout is confusing etc etc etc

What all these critics seemed to ...
I have read all of the negative reviews here and they all seem to make the same complaints: it isn't comprehensive enough, it doesn't cover everything, it doesn't say everything that could be said, the layout is confusing etc etc etc

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, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Not the best book to begin with

Even though it wouldn't be at the top of my list of recommend introductory chess books, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess" is clearly better (if you must have one of the major series books). The format of "Chess for Dummies" is not in a very logical order in certain ...
Even though it wouldn't be at the top of my list of recommend introductory chess books, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess" is clearly better (if you must have one of the major series books). The format of "Chess for Dummies" is not in a very logical order in certain places and suddenly you are confronted with material that has nothing to do with what needs to be covered at that point. Consider getting either "Chess for Everyone" (my first choice) or "Learn Chess" by Alexander and Beach (my second choice) as excellent introductory chess books for many reasons.

posted by BigFalls on December 3, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Why The Negative Reviews Are Wrong

    I have read all of the negative reviews here and they all seem to make the same complaints: it isn't comprehensive enough, it doesn't cover everything, it doesn't say everything that could be said, the layout is confusing etc etc etc

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    A Good beginners guide

    The sectons on the Middlegame and Endgame are especially good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    Good introductory text!

    This book is fine for getting started in chess. The hardest gap to cross is the one from total novice who is unsure of the rules into the realm of chessplayer. This book gets you there rather handily. And once you've learned the rules, the basics, the notation, etc., it has some nice intros to more advanced ideas. The 'chess professional' (*guffaw*) who rated this one star, and then proceeded to compare this book to Aron Nimzovich's 'My System' (among others), can be safely ignored. If you are looking for a book to hone your middle game into a razor's edge, or to bone up on an obscure line in the Symmetrical English, this is -obviously- not the book for you. After all, it is called 'Chess for Dummies'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 18, 2011

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    Posted December 6, 2009

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted March 14, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2011

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