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Amateur to IM: Proven Ideas and Training Methods Paperback – 16 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Mongoose Press (16 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936277409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936277407
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

International Master Jonathan Hawkins was a relatively slow starter in the world of chess.Learning the game at the age of eight, he was a keen junior who won a number of local tournaments. But by his own admission, "by the time I was in my mid-teens my age-to-playing-strength ratio was distinctly average." He started to study chess very seriously in his late teens and achieved a rapid rise through the ranks. He became a FIDE Master in 2008 and earned the title of International Master in 2010. 2011 brought Jonathan two Grandmaster norms. One of them was earned at the super-strong British Championship, in which he outscored numerous Grandmasters to share third place. How did Jonathan Hawkins manage to go from being an average tournament competitor to a player on the brink of clinching the Grandmaster title? It took just three years for him to become a FIDE Master, an International Master and to achieve his first two Grandmaster norms. The secret was knowing what to study and how to learn as efficiently as possible. Focusing his attention firmly on the endgame, Jonathan devised a number of building blocks and identified a number of very important areas of study. The result of his hard work was a meteoric rise through the ranks, as he became firmly established as a prominent GM killer on the English tournament circuit. These pages reveal the secrets of his notebooks for the first time. IM Hawkins presents special material aimed to help you become a much better practical player, one armed with a deeper understanding of key aspects of chess. A careful study of the lessons presented in this book should enable the chess student to gain a significant improvement in both performance and rating.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Coathup on 6 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book where I've wanted to study every page - unlike a lot of my chess library where an occasional line is flicked through.

Each lesson / position leaves you feeling you know more about the game (I'm around 2150 FIDE / 200 ECF ). Expect to improve your understanding, recognise patterns quicker, and win more games.

Agree with the other reviewer that it needs a better title, but it's certainly no dry endgame manual - it's essential knowledge, key ideas, positions and guidance brilliantly explained.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By burbo on 12 Dec 2012
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there's no two ways about it: you'll not get over 2100 in chess unless you spend the time learning fundamentals so well that you can blitz them.

the list that you need to know is in this book. it's wonderfully chosen and the reducto ad absurdum techniques work really well.

i too can now checkmate with knight and bishop in under 30 seconds...it doesn't matter if it's only used once in 5,000 games. the level of self-respect an IM has demands certain things - the things you'll find here.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr G on 8 Oct 2013
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I've only had this book for a couple of months but already it's taught me a few useful techniques. Very clear, helpful, covers very useful topics and I can immediately see how these ideas helped Hawkins to progress. I don't have the time or inclination to use the book in the same way, but I think it will be helpful to most amateurs who want to improve their playing strength. 5 stars
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Clarke on 1 April 2013
Format: Paperback
As a beginning chess player I am keen to learn the key fundamentals of the game to improve my chess rating. Studying books is a key part of this learning. This book focuses on the principles of planning ahead. Knowing that opening theory and other tactics are covered more elsewhere Jonathan discusses endgame strategy. If you want an openings book you need to go elsewhere. The book discusses thought processes that a master player uses and discloses how JH approaches chess. It is useful in that respect. The title is not misleading, but you need to know it is endgame study and not intensive in terms of game analysis. There are many minor piece endings and the annotation is conversational and easy to follow. I continue to study it as an endgame book and find it useful.

I am good friends with Jonathan's brother so was very keen to buy this book. It did not disappoint!
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chess Book Addict on 6 Jan 2013
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James Howell's Essential Chess Endings is as good at explaining endgames but does it more concisely and covers more variety. Silman's book is helpfully split into which endgames are useful for which rating levels.

Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual is universally recommended by strong players.

I started off reading this with some enthusiasm but got bored by the amount of space on king , g and h pawn vs king and h pawn, and I was even more bored to see a section on the minority attack in the Carlsbad structure lke in every strategy book
To be fair there is very good treatment of a famous game Botvinnik draws when down a clear outside passed pawn in a rook ending, and Hawkins gives a full account of a game where he is ground down by Nigel Short.

My biggest criticism though is there is little where Hawkins describes how he made progress in the opening or middle game , where most chess games are decided, or the psychology of eventually being able to beat players who were 400-500 Elo points above him only a few years before despite his very slow progress as a junior
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