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Chess Self-Improvement [Paperback]

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Item description for Chess Self-Improvement by Zenon Franco & Manuel Perez Carballo...

Chess Self-Improvement by Manuel Perez Carballo Zenon Franco

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Item Specifications...

Pages   238
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 20, 2005
Publisher   Gambit Publications
ISBN  1904600298  
ISBN13  9781904600299  

Availability  0 units.

More About Zenon Franco & Manuel Perez Carballo

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Zenon Franco is a Grandmaster from Paraguay, now living in Spain. He represented Paraguay, on top board, in seven Chess Olympiads, and won individual gold medals at Lucerne 1982 and Novi Sad 1990. He s an experienced trainer and has written numerous books on chess."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Chess Self-Improvement?

For Improvement, really yes..  Sep 26, 2008
I advice this book to everbody, especially good club player and masters, who really want to improve their chess judgement.The method of Zenon Franco
is clear and very simple and the net effect of studying this book is surprising!I have about 180 books on chess, this book, with Kasparov's "Chess Revolution-Part one", has a special value for my chess development...
MAJOR GRIPE  Apr 17, 2006
This is a very difficult book. It is probably too hard for C players and perhaps B players. My main gripe is that moves selected or predicted by the reader which turn out to be the same moves played by the GM during the game often get 0 credit because they aren't the absolute best move (usually the best moves are determined years later by further GM analysis or Fritz). Selecting the move played by the GM deserves some credit unless it's an absolute blunder (which is highly unlikely). The production values of the book are excellent and the teaching value is exemplary. A secondary gripe is the scoring system. What, for example, does "good level" or "not bad at all" mean? It would have been preferable to use a scoring system similar to Khmelinitsky's (Chess Exam) where he uses USCF categories and percentages. That, of course, would have reqired some actual norming.
The Ultimate Training Tool  Mar 2, 2006
This is the greatest training book that I have seen, ever! It cannot simply be read, it must be studied. I suggest using the chess set you use in tournaments, a score sheet for you answers and some blank paper to cover the sections you have not gotten to yet.

I want to be very clear that I do not believe that this book should be used by beginners. If you have not progressed beyond the 1500 level it may be more frustration than it is worth.

Now, if you are an average to somewhat strong player, 1600 - 2000, and you are serious about competing then this book will be of great value to you. I have tried for the past year to use the solitaire chess method to study various books and it simply did not work because other books were not designed to be studied in this way. This book, however, stops you and asks you to choose from among various moves or simply what your next move might be, and grades you accordingly. This makes the possibility of accidentally seeing the next move much less likely. Another key feature is that Franco also asks questions concerning moves that were not in the main line. If Black played 18... Bxd4 but another possible move was 18... c5 Franco might ask what you would have played against that move. And if you are training leave the board as it is and imagine how it would look after the move in question and examine the possible variations without moving the pieces, just like you would have to do in a real game.

I also recommend preparing for each lesson by studying one or two games from the opening played in the game you are about to study. For instance, before I studied the first lesson I looked at the ECO code of the game and then found the game Lasker - Steinitz in the same variation in Kasparov's My Great Predecessors Vol I. The lesson was certainly more enjoyable because I felt confident that I new some of the ideas behind the opening, even though the games progressed in totally different manners.

Since I first wrote this review I have come across two other important techniques that can be incorporated into a study regimen with this book. This first is using ChessBase or another program to create easily reviewable flash cards of key positions that you mishandled or that struck you as a new strategic or tactical idea which you had never seen before. The second idea being to actually analyze your play as you would if it were your own OTB game in a tournament, looking at why your errors were wrong and why the correct move was better.

This book is designed to make training seriously and intensely very easy for you. It has an excellent table of contents and index of games and openings. It is a must for any serious student.
Tough tests mean real improvement  Dec 8, 2005
This book will make you better. Believe me! Buying this book will do for your chess what buying a set of weights will do for your figure. All you have to do (in both cases) is put in the effort, and I mean serious effort. This guy has gone to an enormous amount of trouble to make it easy for you to improve. This is a workout at the gym, with the best equipment, a personal trainer, no queues for the machines, and your favourite music playing. It's going to leave you breathless and quivering with exhaustion, dripping with sweat, but with rapidly strengthening muscles and no more weight problems. There are 50 games, which Franco has analysed thoroughly. He has then identified important points, every few moves, and presents you with questions. Sometimes, you have to choose between several moves (and justify your choice). Sometimes, it's just 'find the move', and there's no guidance. Often he'll deliberately include a move that is highly dubious, but appealing to a club-player. He's pretty vicious with the scoring! You can lose a lot of hard-earned points for carelessly picking a nice-looking move - but then, doing the same thing in a game could cost you one much more important point. The scoring structure for each game covers everything from duffer to grandmaster, and the point is to make you think. So you try, you think harder and harder in pursuit of those elusive points, and boy does it do you good! OK, it's very easy to blunder points away and end up in duffer category, but so so satisfying when you get the plan of the game correct and finish up with a master score. I'm not sure who would get grandmaster points, as sometimes even the actual moves, the ones the grandmasters played, are the very ones that lose you points! It's like being at the gym with about five weights on the machine, and there's about 30 weights altogether - you wonder just who on earth could possibly move all those weights... Unless you're into chess-boxing, it's probably never going to be you or me, but we can try for more of Franco's points!

In short, this is an outstanding book to stretch your abilities and asess your chess strength.

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