The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

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MJMcCready
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:23 pm

Yes I did but I stand by what I say. I do understand the narrative is hard to follow in places but that's mostly due to exertion and Jonathan being so well-educated. I read a few pages each day and find it a pleasantly engaging book.

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JustinHorton
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:51 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:23 pm
I do understand the narrative is hard to follow in places but that's mostly due to exertion and Jonathan being so well-educated
Eh?
MJMcCready wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:38 am
in all probability you hurt the author's feelings
It's not really the reviewer's job to consider the author's feelings. It's the reviewer's job to consider the author's writing.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

David Gilbert
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by David Gilbert » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 pm

Even writers and rappers have feelings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT9WugSs9EY

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MJMcCready
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:43 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:51 pm
MJMcCready wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:23 pm
I do understand the narrative is hard to follow in places but that's mostly due to exertion and Jonathan being so well-educated
Eh?
MJMcCready wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:38 am
in all probability you hurt the author's feelings
It's not really the reviewer's job to consider the author's feelings. It's the reviewer's job to consider the author's writing.
Well we will have to agree to disagree there, I think it's a question of taste. And bare in mind when you review your feelings show as well so you too will be reviewed. I think you were too harsh Justin, nonetheless that's just my opinion, let's leave it there I have too little time on my hands right now and have to write too.

Daniel Gormally
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:58 am

not familiar with this book but I've read some of Rowson's previous books like seven deadly sins.

There's no doubt that he makes interesting observations about chess and he thinks quite deeply about the game. And that's all you have to really do, isn't it really, make insights that get people thinking about stuff. I see Rowson as something of a chess philosopher, a modern day Descartes of the game.

As far as reviews are concerned, that's all they are, reviews. Take em with a pinch of salt. I doubt even bad reviews hit the sales of a book. The only thing worse than being talked badly of is not being talked of at all, sort of thing...

Daniel Gormally
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:03 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:30 pm
I liked both Sins and Zebras, but then again, for all their faults, they had a lot that was interesting and instructive to say about chess. Take that element out, though, and what's left?
isn't that element enough?

given that most books (not just chess books) are cliched efforts.

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JustinHorton
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:25 am

Not sure I'm following you here. My point was that The Moves That Matter almost entirely leaves out "that element" and hence you're left with the faults.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Daniel Gormally
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Daniel Gormally » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:41 pm

ok. thought you meant the original books themselves.

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MJMcCready
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:26 am

This thread appears to have wandered off into the woods. Literature is always open to revision and improvement, especially when the the author is ambitious. Personally, I see well-educated individuals who write about chess as a breathe of fresh air from a literary genre which is, on the whole, decadent and perpetuated by those with ulterior motives pushing them to write rather than an artistic approach towards communicated what they have learnt or believe in. If you were to pile up the all the books on chess written because some poor souls career has failed or is failing, or he wants to cash in on new opening lines, or retell history in the crudest manner possible, the pile would be about 75 times the size of Canary Wharf.

Nick Burrows
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Nick Burrows » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:43 am

Thats about 880,000 books.

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MJMcCready
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:05 am

Unfortunately I may well have read most of them, hence my cynicism. I just wouldn't know where to start if you asked what is wrong, generally speaking, with chess literature then?

Mike Gunn
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Mike Gunn » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:35 pm

I've got several hundred chess books and about 30% of those would come under the heading of general improvement guides. Generally I have found these books disappointing and very few have taught me a lesson which I recall. I just tried to write down a list of books which I found useful and out of 8 two were opening repertoire books, one was on endings and 5 were in the general improvement category. One of the items on this list was "Rowson". I believe I read the whole of Deadly Sins and a fair bit of Chess for Tigers and two things have stuck with me: one is just the phrase "talk to your pieces". OK, other people give essentially the same advice but Rowson gave it a particularly memorable way (and it's useful advice). I think while the Rowson books can be criticised for a high content of what can best be described as pretentious woffle, it's fairly harmless stuff and is often quite amusing, perhhaps not in the way JR intended.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:15 pm

"one is just the phrase "talk to your pieces"."

Tiger Hillarp-Persson says that, but I don't know who said it first. It's good advice. He did mean "consider which piece is worst-placed and try to improve its position", rather than. "COME ON h-pawn - Get down his throat!" delivered at 110 decibels.

Mike Gunn
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Mike Gunn » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:41 pm

Yes, Purdy in his "Guide to Good Chess" (1st edition, 1950) gave a list of things you should consider before making a move. The last one was (paraphrased) "if you can't find anything better to do, improve the position of your worst placed piece" so the idea is at least as old as that.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:30 pm

Then all you have to do is identify the worst-placed piece, which is not always easy.

I had a game 30+ years ago where I had just managed to get my knight off a5, we adjourned, and after many hours of home analysis, I realised the winning idea was to put it back on a5.

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