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4.7 out of 5 stars19
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2006
I like this book's style.
If, like me, you are returning to chess after many years of not playing, this is a simple, practical guide to all the basics.
Seirawan encourages the reader to think of chess as a game, not just as a series of moves.
He introduces four principles of chess - force, time, space and pawn structure and then illustrates those elements in practice. Everyone knows chess is a subtle, complex game but his relaxed style gives real insight, without being intimidating or condescending.
Having read this book, I felt inspired to play - not something I felt when I read chess books in my childhood.
I thoroughly recommend this book
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on 9 May 1999
I learnt a lot about the basics of chess with this book. Seirawan has such a great feel on how to teach the beginner. I would recommend this book to everyone who is interested in learning chess in an easy maner. Another thing a liked was the fact that Seirawan tells you just enough history about chess to make in interesting, but not overwhelming so that it will bore you if you don't really care about the history of chess.
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on 12 May 1999
This is the absolute best book for beginners that know nothing to people that know how to play chess but really know know HOW to play chess (win). This book gets you to the basics and teaches you the principles of chess that will immediately start to improve your game. The Tactics, Strategy, and Opening books in Seirawan's series are highly recommended follow ups. I have all 5 books in the series.
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on 1 March 1999
An excellent work. The descriptions and the teaching of the basic ideas of chess are fantastic. An excellent idea to add quizes and tests within the book. However, the book is intended more for the advanced beginner and intermediate player, rather than the beginner. I found that Chess for Dummies, by Eade was a better beginners book, and overall a better chess reference. However, I enjoyed the writing style of Seirawan much better and his jokes are hilarious in a tastefull way.
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on 5 June 1997
Mr Seirawan and Mr. Silman! Congratulations! Terrific book! This is by FAR the best book for the beginner that I've read (and I've read a few). I am a beginner, well, used to be. After reading both Mr. Seirawan's & Mr Silman's books. I'm addicted! Chess is a wonderful game, and both authors have really done a great job of illustrating it. Not only do they touch upon the colorful history and personalities of the game, but chess is broken down into the elemental forms a novice can understand.

Material, Space, Time, and Pawn Stucture are the ELEMENTS of the game the reader is enlightened to. Each, carefully explained and beautifully illustrated through the annotated games the authors present.

If you're a beginner, and you're reading this review. Don't hesitate. This is the book!
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on 20 July 1999
If you have not had any kind of chess instruction, this book is a wonderful first book. Covering concepts essential to playing good chess, it is well written and very clear in its ideas. This is definitely a book for beginners, but for beginners it is great!
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on 7 March 1999
This book would be an excellent first book on chess. It introduces the crucial elements of winning play and can help beginning players immensely. Seirawan has an easy to read style and a good sense of humor that make this book a real winner. If you're looking for that "foundation" book for your chess library this one is a great candidate!
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on 11 December 1998
I learned to play chess a long time ago, but never learned to play well. When I recently decided that I wanted to become better, I found this book to be the best starting point. It is very readable and Seirawan has a sense of humor. Problems and situations are explained in English, not cryptic comments, and quizzes and tests are included to reinforce the concepts. Finally, the book is the first of five covering the entire game of chess from beginner to studies of past grandmaster games, giving a unified tutorial of the game.
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on 20 April 2007
Is a chess book which is aimed mainly at weaker chess players. It can be helpful for more advanced players too, but I found that a lot of the material in the book was merely reinforcing my own knowledge, and I am not a chess expert at all. This book would be excellent for players who have a weak grasp of the four basic principles of chess: Material, Space, Tempo and Pawn Structure, but if you have a sound knowledge of these principles then I suggest that a more advanced book is for you.
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on 18 January 2010
This is a great book for anyone who has never played chess or who wants to learn how to play more tactically.

The writing style is engaging and lucid and all of the presented concepts are easy to understand.

The sample games provided at the end of the book are especially useful.

I am definitly considering looking into some of the author's other chess books.
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