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Improve your Chess Now! - Tisdall

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Improve your Chess Now! - Tisdall

Post  ChessCaissa on Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:32 am

OCR'd PDF (14.6 mb):

Thanks to kasparovg! sunny

Review by IM John Watson, himself one of the most respected contemporary chess writers:

"GM Jonathan Tisdall's Improve Your Chess Now has a deceptively elementary-sounding title. This is a book with advanced and original insights, and arguably one of the very best chess books published in the last five years. Although many of the tactical and pattern-training exercises he presents are aimed at players of, say, 1600-2200 strength, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if grandmasters couldn't read this book and not only enjoy it immensely, but 'improve their chess' as well. Tisdall begins (as does Nunn, by the way) with a fairly lengthy discussion of Kotov's 'tree of analysis' method of calculation. Like Nunn, Tisdall concludes that there are a number of serious flaws in the extreme version of Kotov's technique, and includes some lengthy examples of real-world chess to illustrate those flaws. His list of tips on how to calculate, given at the end of first chapter, is concise, to the point, and well worth committing to memory.

Continuing with calculation techniques, Tisdall moves on to visualization methods, using blindfold chess and the idea of 'resetting the mind's eye' on intermediate positions as training techniques for improving one's calculations. These are ideas he has tested with his students in Norway; they represent a fresh approach to what is traditionally the most common failing of developing players.

Improve Your Chess is also a gold mine of practical advice. There is a chapter on playing bad positions, one on recurring patterns, and one on the value of the pieces (including a variety of positional sacrifices). Tisdall talks about bad bishops, the bishop pair, and a variety of material imbalances such as bishop and knight versus rook and pawns. Throughout all this, the author writes with a chatty and enthusiastic style. He draws upon a lifetime of thinking about chess, and includes numerous entertaining quotes and concepts from great players. In his last chapter, called 'Wisdom and Advice', Tisdall turns thoroughly philosophical, presenting a wide collection of provocative thoughts and observations from various sources. This includes some excellent practical advice about time pressure and an intelligent discussion of prophylaxis, a concept which is increasingly important in today's chess. One of the sources he taps is a bit unusual: proverbs from the game shogi! Tisdall manages to find proverbs in chess which are analogous to the shogi ones; but these are not very convincing, in my opinion. For example, he quotes (with what seems tacit approval) Lasker's rules such as not moving a piece more than once in the opening and developing knights before bishops, even though one could argue that these are among the most counterproductive of all such suspect generalities. But this is a small point; there is simply a wealth of absorbing and relevant advice here about attitude, over-the-board energy, objectivity, and a host of other facets of practical play.

To conclude his book, Tisdall provides two Appendices with useful mating and tactical patterns, followed by an entertaining bibliography with a mini-review of each book! If it isn't already obvious, this is one of my favorite newer books, and I think you can hardly help but learn from it and be entertained by it, whatever your strength."


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Re: Improve your Chess Now! - Tisdall

Post  dulcinian on Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:21 pm

Thanks!!! Razz bounce

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