“365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

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Kevin Thurlow
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“365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:31 pm

Carl kindly started a "Book Reviews" section at my suggestion. So here is a book review...

“365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis, Batsford, PB, £16.99.
As the title suggests, there are 365 exercises from real games to help you improve. The author suggests that you do one exercise each day for a year, though obviously, you can do them quicker than that. There is one short annotated game and at least one quiz question to test you. Another game follows, showing the same themes. There actually 411 answers to the exercises, and extra games so you get nearer to 750 games. The author suggests looking at the game from both sides, which is good advice.
A lot of the questions are, “What is the best move?” or “What happens if…?”. At first I was puzzled there was not a diagram at that point, but then I realised that the author wants you to play through the whole game to recognise the patterns and flow of the game. If you are given a diagram, most people will be lazy and just look at that. However, I would have liked an index to the games, so I could refer back to games by particular players.
Most games are quite short, 20 moves or so, and feature some seriously good players managing to lose in that time, e.g. Topalov, Gelfand, Huebner, Euwe, Smyslov, Petrosian, Bronstein, Larsen, Korchnoi etc.
Each day’s title has an illustrative title and subtitle, e.g. “When a good opponent plays a beginner’s move, look for his tactical reason.” How very true!
I have not looked at every exercise, but those I have looked at are interesting and instructive. The author does say (quite rightly) in the foreword that once you have finished the exercises, you should start again as you will probably look at some of the positions differently and may find other nuances in the positions. Even if you are strong enough not to learn much from the games, there is plenty of entertainment.

Mark Ashley
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Re: “365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby Mark Ashley » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:47 pm

Excellent. I enjoy good reviews and am sad to see the number of online sites that have them decreasing. Is this a new title?

Kevin Thurlow
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: “365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:15 pm

First published 2017

Nick Grey
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Re: “365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby Nick Grey » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:14 am

Kevin - thank you for sorting out my 55th birthday present for September and also giving me something to do (a book review) in August when I have 3 weeks almost forced annual leave due to a lack of a train service during rush hour.

Personally I like setting up a chess set and playing through a game so this one sounds fantastic.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Location: Bideford

Re: “365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby IM Jack Rudd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:43 am

Soltis is a good author; Chess Mistakes: How to Detect and Avoid Them is one I would certainly recommend.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: “365 Chess Master Lessons” by Andrew Soltis

Postby Matt Mackenzie » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Also his "The Art of Defence In Chess" from around that time.

Of course he also has a few potboilers in his prolific output, and regularly gets told off by E G Winter for his seeming aversion to sourcing :)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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