Druss Blog

An account of my attempts to try and improve my chess.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chess For Zebras

The new book from Jonathan Rowson arrived through the post yesterday - Chess For Zebras.

Rowson is one of my favourite chess authors, I really like reading his thoughts about chess. So I dived straight in as soon as the brown cardboard Amazon parcel thudded through my letterbox. This latest book doesn't disappoint.

The first footnote in his opening chapter is interesting:

"...I agree with the advice of FM Ken Smith who said that until you are about 1800 "your first name is tactics, your middle name is tactics and your last name is tactics" ... For players rated below 1800 who desperately want to improve I recommend Michael de la Mazza's thoughtful and honest book, Rapid Chess Improvement"


At 7:45 PM, Blogger DG said...

Quite amazing, actually. For many years, "legitimate" chess authors had nothing good to say about MDLM.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger DreadPirateJosh said...

how is that book? I've heard good things about it and may buy it. Any thoughts?

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Druss said...

Chess For Zebras - a very good book, and well worth buying. It won't teach you any new tactics, new lines or traps. Rather it asks more fundamental questions about chess. How do we improve? How do we find the best move? Does white really have an advantage going first? What baggage do we bring to the game?

He has a number of useful advice... like: don't make a plan more than 3 moves long; you can never solve a position, just respond to the changing demands as the game progresses. But you have to think about it and internalise it before you will improve.

Here is a pdf sample of the book

Or did you mean MDLM's book? I've heard good things about that too ... ;)

At 3:47 PM, Blogger DreadPirateJosh said...

Thanks for the information and the sample, it looks really good, your description sounds good.

Also, thanks for the "summary feed" at bloglines, that's an excellent way to keep up with all the blogs without having to click on each one!

At 10:49 AM, Blogger King of the Spill said...

That's interesting. I have heard plenty of good players/trainers recommend regular tactics study and even CT-Art, but few MDLMs approach.


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