Item description for The System: A World Champion's Approach to Chess by Hans Berliner...
Hans Berliner is one of the most successful correspondence chess players of all time, and was utterly dominant in the 5th World Championship. Here, for the first time, he explains the set of principles - The System - that he used to guide him to the right moves. Readers will be astonished by the simplicity and power of Berliner's methods as he takes several major openings and subjects them to System principles, and finds radically new approaches to them.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The System: A World Champion's Approach to Chess?
Some real truth in a chess book Dec 4, 2002
This book is one of the most interesting I have read. It has many interesting points such as a revised points score scale for the pieces. Berliner clearly believes in this as he has used it for the evaluation function in his computer program HITECH. Also some of the opening analysis is very interesting, such as some very convincing ideas on Benko gambit and Grunfeld.
The book is has been slated by some ignorant reviewers who do not fully understand what Berliner is trying to say in this book. The idea in the book to me is that evaluation is the key to the middlegame and that you have to have an openings philosophy.
The anecdote about his conversation with Bobby Fischer is also an eye opener.
All in all very entertaining, more please Dr Berliner!
Too good to be true Sep 10, 2001
Like many of the other reviews to this book, I believe this book was amusing! It was very provocative to get me to think about changing from my Beloved English to the Queen's Pawn Opening. However, like many other people, I cringe when he claims to have worked out a forced win for White. Yes, his little records are exciting, and perhaps he is on to something, but I doubt that chess will be solved to a level where humans can know how to do it, ever. Still, there is much to be said for his interesting first two chapters, where he lets you in on some good information, much of which was review (in the first chapter), but still informative. I did enjoy this book, but for someone really looking to improve their chess, I can not recommend it.
eccentric and egocentric but worth reading, maybe Jul 10, 2001
When you read - page 174 - "we wanted to claim that this is The theory of chess, not just my theory" you may think that the author is a joker or the innocent victim to german and american culture. OK, Berliner was an average chess player - US results were meaningless in years when soviet players dominated - and 30 years ago was a succesful correspondence chess player, then quitted active chess. he dedicates himself to computer science and designed and programmed Hitech a succesful chess playing software until late 1988. So now he writes this book pretending to reveal the chess truth. Here Berliner comments 13 games, most recent of which is 30 years old, when in the chess world 30 years are 300 years. He explains how to choose each move it's true, but this leads to variations and every chess lover knows variations are confuted all saints day by chess practice. Berliner thinks he is Prometeus but chess is an unrevealable fire. However the book contains some interesting idea so I'm happy having read it.
The System - How to create more pressure playing d4 Dec 20, 2000
Although this book has had some poor reviews, it should not be under-estimated. If you are of playing strength 1600-1800 (which I currently am), and you like to play d4 as an opening, I would highly recommend this book. Although Berliner speaks of "The System" as if it could be written down as an equation (so to speak) i.e. the "unified field theory of chess," (this concept is interesting to analytical types and/or scientists)-> The book does has many merits for the d4 player against the Benko Gambit, Indian defenses, etc.. Check it out!
An Absurd Book Jul 11, 1999
For those of you tempted to buy a book whose author claims to have worked out a forced win for White against the Grunfeld and several other defenses, I strongly recommend that you read the independent reviews by John Watson and Jeremy Silman at chesscafe.com, where the specifics of much of Berliner's bad analysis and megalomaniacal pontificating are spelled out in detail. In my case, I found the book to be a slightly amusing exercise in debunking crackpot science (which is why I gave it two stars). I'm sure that there will be several others who will agree with me that this may just be the most preposterous chess book ever written. If, however, you're the sort of person who watches PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE every time it's on TV, calls the Psychic Friends Network regularly and thinks professional wrestling is for real, this book is right up your alley.