Graham Thompson’s promise is that readers will learn how to play winning chess from his book. It’s a tough expectation to meet. The book begins with a brief introduction in which Graham outlines why he decided to write the book (to take revenge on his brother-in-law for shaming him during a chess match) and moves on to the basics of how pieces move on the board.
If you already understand chess, this may seem quite simplistic. However, the author quickly moves on to include some easy to remember tactics that move the reader from information recipient, through that “ah-ha” moment and into the space of understanding how to adapt what they’ve learned to create their own tactics.
Thompson isn’t a household name, even among the most obscure of chess circles. Instead, it seems he is a man whose passion for understanding has driven him to learn a process, break it down into understandable, bite sized pieces of information and convey them in an easily understood manner.
The tone of the book is very much conversational with some rather dry examples of wit that prevent the book becoming stuffy, though you may have to forgive the author his frequent references to chess as a game of war.
My overall impression of the book is that it is easy to relate to. I completely understand how it feels to lose a game of chess to someone I felt I should have beaten. I’d recommend the book to anyone who thinks they know how to play chess, yet loses games too often for their liking. The book is nicely illustrated with simple line drawings for each point the author makes, making it perfect for any beginner to intermediate player.
My favorite parts are those where Thompson indulges his witty side through some very dry witticisms. You can’t help smile at some of his quips.
It’s very easy to see how this book could help take a novice player to intermediate level, or improve an intermediate player’s game. The author also kindly makes a couple of recommendations based on his own research as to what other books his readers should continue their chess education with.
Beginners Guide – How to Learn Chess in 60 Minutes. Everything You Need to Learn How to Play Winning Chess Quickly! (Chess Basic to Advanced) by Graham Thompson is a short book with a very long title that shouldn’t put off its readers.
Dave Lynch is an avid reader and book reviewer.
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