Jeremy Silman is an International Master in chess and one of the foremost experts in terms of teaching chess to a wider audience. He has written several dozen books in his illustrious career and is recognized for his ability to simplify and distill even the most complex chess concepts. One of his most revered works is the Complete Book of Chess Strategy.
For whom is the book?
Who should read this book? Well, we’ll first start with who should NOT read this book. If you’re a complete novice and a beginner in the game of chess – then we can’t recommend that you read this book. Complete novices will have a hard time digesting the concepts of the book, and some may deem it next to impossible to understand it.
This means that the perfect audience for this book starts at the level of having played at least a hundred games of chess or more first so that the player can understand the basics of chess, such as when and how different pieces move, various attacking and defensive combinations on the board, and finishing the game by means of checkmate. If you feel that you have gotten these chess concepts under your belt, then you may approach reading the Complete Book of Chess Strategy by Jeremy Silman.
On the other hand, if you feel that you’re a reasonably intermediate-to-advanced chess player with a firm grasp on the concepts of intermediate and advanced chess strategies, such as controlling various parts of the board with pins and skewer while being able to plan out discovered attacks and forks – then this book may once again not be appropriate for you.
Well, who is this book for? It’s for the players with a skill level between the two extremes noted in the previous two paragraphs.
What can you expect from “Complete Book of Chess Strategy by Jeremy Silman“?
What you can expect to get by reading the Complete Book of Chess Strategy is a more in-depth knowledge of intermediate chess strategy concepts. Silman has done a phenomenal job of categorizing the various chess strategies in alphabetical order in the book. Moreover, after each strategic chess concept there is an in-depth, yet easy-to-understand explanation of what the strategy is all about – its ins and outs.
Moreover, you will also get examples of how to implement all the strategies in the book. As is the case with learning anything of importance – you will need to practice to get it right. And being able to read the theory behind a certain strategy as well as having been shown an example of how to implement it in a game – will surely help to improve your game in significant ways.
Many rookies make the mistake of memorizing moves and playing chess by rote memory. This gives them gains and improvements in their game in the short term – but it’s a terrible mistake to learn chess in this way in the long run. Jeremy Silman doubles down on the notion that you should learn how the pieces move and have a conceptual understanding of the board – not that you should learn chess by rote memorization.
To sum up
We may have gone overboard by stating that novice players and advanced players shouldn’t read this book in one of the previous sections of this article. Even though it’s written back in 1998, and even though continues to evolve to this very day, the Complete Book of Chess Strategy comprises a timeless piece of chess wisdom that everyone can learn something from. Of course, the book is not without its faults – but it still remains an essential book for anyone and everyone that wishes to improve their knowledge and understanding of chess – regardless of their skill level.
If you like to buy the book from amazon or check the price feel free to do it here: Complete Book of Chess Strategy by Jeremy Silman on amazon.
For other book reviews see Book Reviews Archives – Becoming a Chess Master.