Valeri Beim is a grandmaster who lives in Austria. He has won numerous tournaments and plays in the Austrian and German leagues. For many years he was the head trainer at the chess school in Odessa, and he was also the trainer of the Israeli Olympiad team.
Reviews - What do customers think about How To Play Dynamic Chess?
One book that teaches what so many others try to teach ... Apr 6, 2008
Valeri Baim does what so many other chess instructors try and do, teach the essentials or building blocks essential to winning games. This book does assume a certain basic knowledge base because of certain assessments at the end of certain variations. But I can guarantee every reader that if they diligently go through this book, they will understand how not only to choose moves but also how to logically calculate variations based on dynamics in chess. Two chapters on initiative and breakthrough are alone worth the price of the book.
The only knock on the book (extremely minor) is that the author is a bit uneven in his assessment and elaboration in certain positions. But the modern reader should set the unclear positions and work them through.
The book is very clearly written and provides first-class instruction and most importantly, goes straight for the topics that really lead to improvement and better understanding not only how one wins, but also how one gains an advantage and then subsequently builds on that advantage.
One last minor point, the author introduces a concept of difference in dynamic potential (my paraphrasing of his concept). This could be a follow-on book and address "quieter systems" in openings like the English and Queen's Gambit (or certain quieter variations of those openings).
In the end, this is a top ten chess book with the likes of Silman's The Amateur Mind, Paul Keres Master Class etc etc..
Bursting with useful advice - six stars! Dec 8, 2005
What I can never do is beat weaker people. You know how it is - if they don't actually blunder a pawn or two, if by some miracle everything stays level, you just don't know how to create the opportunities for them to go wrong, and the game ends in a disappointing draw. You and I need to know how to create opportunities for Mr Average to go wrong. And here, I think, professor Beim can help enormously! "In positions where the pieces are highly mobile, any mistake can be decisive." Dynamic chess! In other words, no matter how beautiful your opponent's position may be, and how superior to yours in terms of pawn structure and piece locations, it is always possible that you may have dynamic resources that make his static ones worthless. It's always good to make a weaker opponent think - he is more likely to go wrong than you are! And if all your pieces are leaping around like wolves then he really has to think. This is a book bursting with useful advice, such as the idea that you have to take the pieces as a whole and make the best of the whole team, not just put each one where you think it looks nicest. Or like "exploiting a dynamic advantage requires resolute action without delay." Like tennis perhaps - you might be in completely the wrong place, having been pushed around the court by your opponent, but if you have the ability to jump and stretch and contort your body, it may just be that you can win the point - then appear on countless sports pages as a twisted demon of a being with a blurred ball travelling somewhere between ground, arm, and high-kicking legs! ...but you have to seize the one moment you can do this, otherwise you're just a guy on the ground with grass stains on his pants. Beim gives you loads of instructive examples, masses of ideas, then expects you to try them out for yourself. It's like a university degree course! OK it's work but you come out with some kind of Ivy League degree, not a $30 certificate from an Internet site saying you've got a PhD in Rocket Science and Exploding Pumpkins. Real work, real results, and a lot more points at those local tournaments!
Magnificent explanation of dynamic considerations Oct 28, 2005
Your modern grandmaster plays very dynamically, yet much of literature still treats chess as if it were a static game. Some authors/publishers have recognized this transformation, most notably Gambit with its fine middle game series that began with Watson (Secrets of Modern Strategy) and Yermolinksy (Road to Improvement). "How to play Dynamic Chess" by Beim is a book that deserves to join this select group of modern middle game classics. This is an incredibly readable book, explaining many profound ideas in the most accessible and straightforward terms. It is fascinating to see how chess hs changed over the decades. Not the rules, but the way the best players approach the game (i.e. witness the cut and thrust games in the recent world championship tournament in San Luis). The instruction in "How to Play Dynamic Chess" is set around complete games, and the annotations represent some of the best - and wittiest! - chess writing I've seen. Don't let this treasure pass you by.
It is a good but not great book Oct 17, 2005
I do think this book is instructional but I don't like the style.
Classic instruction from a first-class trainer Feb 19, 2005
This book, along with Lessons in Chess Strategy (by the same author) is a total gem. I am not alone in thinking this. On the web newsletter Chess Today the reviewer Dan Aldrich wrote that "after reading this book I have but one question - who is Valeri Beim and why has he been hiding so long? These are two of the finest treatises on chess strategy ever written". In fact Beim has the credentials - he is a grandmaster, and, perhaps most to the point, a former head trainer at the chess school in Odessa. He is also a great storyteller. How to Play Dynamic Chess is divided into five large chapters, and within those chapters are a large number of deeply instructive games. Many of these games are classics from the former Soviet era, and, as Beim was part of this world, we see the personal touch throughout. A typical intro: "And now, yet another game by Efim Geller! Isn't this overdoing it? But what else can I do, when he had so many fine "breakthrough" games to his credit?" Mr Beim, show as many Geller games as you like! I could be instructed by them all day long. If you are serious about improving, this book could take you to master level and even beyond.