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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 May 2001
It has been said that one becomes serious about chess when one buys their first book on the subject. I became serious when I bought this book. Pritchard's agenda is to take the absolute beginner to the standard expected of a good club player. That's quite a leap, but it's a goal Pritchard achieves with ease and style. Beginning with an explanation of how the pieces move, we move through basic concepts (forks, pins, en passant etc.), tactics, strategy, how to handle the opening (including a list of the most common openings currently played), middle-game and end-game. All of the subjects are handled in a highly literate style that is accessible to all ages, with the sure-footedness of a seasoned master, and without condescension. The reader feels assured that the lessons being given are of the highest quality, and that the principles absorbed will always be relevant, regardless of fashion.
From my own experience, The Right Way To Play Chess completely transformed my game. Prior to reading this book, I knew how the pieces moved, and considered myself a chess player. Yet I was constantly defeated by friends, and grew increasingly frustrated at the apparent ease with which they did this. Having read this book, the defeats came to an abrupt halt (strangely, so did the games - a coincidence, I'm sure). Against most casual players, I now had not only the ability to handle most situations but also, crucially, the knowledge to enable me to *understand* why certain situations should be handled that way.
The Right Way To Play Chess remains absolutely outstanding, the benchmark for beginners. I cannot imagine a better book for giving you a rock-solid foundation on which to build your chess career.
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on 26 September 2002
Pritchard's aim in this book is to give new players a firm foundation on which to start their chess playing. The book teaches how the pieces move, gives guidelines to follow in each stage of the game and a bit of advice on tactics and mating the enemy king. He explains each section with absolute clarity and everyone should be able to follow it easily.
However, if you have been playing chess for a while and already know the basics then this book is unlikely to help much. It claims to take a complete beginner to the level expected of a good club player but this is not true. To become a good club player much more practise with tactics would be needed. Invest in a tactics book designed for novices and, along with this book, that is all you should need to become a very competent player.
For any beginner wanting to learn how to play well this is the best choice (at an outstanding price!)
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on 12 October 2008
This is very much a book for those new to the game of chess. Once you;ve reached the novice stage within a club then you're probably not going to learn a great deal from it.
But for those learning, this really is excellent. It explains the rules of the game, telling you exactly how the pieces move, the object of the game, and all the possible circumstances under which the game can end (eg. checkmate, resignation, agreeing a draw, caliming a draw etc).
It also clarifies plenty of rules with which many beginners are unsure. For instance, there is an idea in circulation one cannot castle once one has been in check. This book clarfies that, and confirms correctly that one cannot castle whilst in check, but can do having previously having been in check so long as the king has not yet moved.
It then divides the game up into three sections, namely the opening, middle game and endgame. It offers some very good advice on how to play each of these three stages of the game.
It also offers exmamples of play from real games, along with some various tactics that every chess player should know about.
Overall, this is excellent reading for somebody new to the game of chess.
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on 16 November 2009
This book is great. It is short, clear and to the point. Well written, interesting and engaging.

It really begins with the basics, from how to place the board to how the pieces move and the relative value of each piece. The book also explains chess notation, so you can follow a game or recreate it at your leisure.

Then it goes into basic tactics and strategies with very useful diagrams that relate perfectly well to the written material.

Some parts of the book, where particular move by move accounts of certain games are given are better understood with a real chessboard at hand so you can move the pieces in line with what the book says, otherwise, unless you have a great visual mind, it's pretty much nonsense.

In short, I am very glad I bought this book and can't wait to get a bit more into chess.

If you are a novice to chess strategy and tactics, there is no better place to begin than this.
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on 7 July 2010
An excellent book, well explained and illustrated. My only negative comment would be that there are some good diagrams which are explained by the text with some questions to answer based on the diagram. However these diagrams are not always on the same page as the text so there is a certain amount of page turning to work on the exercises etc. Other than that I would have no doubts about it being an excellent book.
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on 11 April 2010
Okay, so there are two types of Chess player - casual players, and enthusiasts. This book is essential for both, but if you're an absolute beginner, then this book is not for you. Yes, D.B. Pritchard does explain how the pieces move, and he does cover the rudimentary basics, but the depth required to cover these for an absolute beginner is not there. The first 2 chapters are thus, essentially a recap for beginners who already know all of this.

The rest of this book then goes on to explain the theory of the game with practical and instructive examples, but it only gives you a broader more general look at this. However, armed with this knowledge a player could turn up at his/her local chess club armed with the confidence that he/she will not make a fool of him/herself.

For casual players this book is all you will need, and you will win a fair few of your games. The enthusiasts amongst you though, will require a lot more than what this book alone can give, and there is no amount of knowledge you can gain from chess literature that will outweigh the experience you will gain from winning and losing a few games. If you wish to become more than just a casual player, definately read this book, but get down to a club too, and read other books that will give you more depth and specialist knowledge.
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on 28 December 2013
This book seems far superior to some others on offer by such as former World Chess Champions and the like. The author has to assume that the recipient knows how to play and this book takes it from there in a reasonable and interesting style. There are Chess books out there that that may be by Masters of this noble game but they are virtually unreadable. It is rather like in the world of Maths and Science where "brilliant" first class graduates are brought into schools but they can't always teach. Knowing the subject is not the same as being able to impart the knowledge or imbue enthusiasm in the subject. Schools Minister please note.This author scores well in all departments. I bought the book for a young relative who is now also enjoying a Classic Staunton design chess set. DJG
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on 29 July 2012
I am an intermediate chess player, not the best but not a beginner. I still found the book highly useful even though I knew most of the beginner stuff in there. It goes through a lot of detail about the opening, middle and end of a match. Numerous strategies are also included and it helps if you have a friend or someone to play to try out the moves. The only flaw I would say is the diagrams are not always clear.
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on 11 May 2016
This famous book has proved invaluable to countless players from absolute beginners to those who have progressed in the game. I initially bought this many years ago and lost it, so bought it again after deciding to brush up on my game (I also bought the kindle version!)
Would-be players should begin here!
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on 12 May 2014
Structured perfectly for a beginner as myself, I have played while reading it and in no more than 2 weeks I was able to beat people that i thought were in a different league than myself.

Nice book
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