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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious anecdotes and powerful insight into chess.
I found myself laughing outloud at the anecdotes Yasser describes in the first few chapters. He has a great sense of humor but also delivers the goods when it comes to teaching chess. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is new to chess (may be too easy for advanced players).
I don't know Yasser, or affiliated with MS Press, I genuinely think this is a...
Published on 19 Jan 1999

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book that opens badly
This book starts out nicely, and it covers all the openings, and Seirawan has an easy style to read. BUT:

- he starts off by telling you how to open badly, recounting his early learning experiences. This makes for a good story, but since first impressions last, what I remember most clearly from this book are all the bad openings!

- the pages are...
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Mr. Gwilym A. Ellis


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious anecdotes and powerful insight into chess., 19 Jan 1999
By A Customer
I found myself laughing outloud at the anecdotes Yasser describes in the first few chapters. He has a great sense of humor but also delivers the goods when it comes to teaching chess. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is new to chess (may be too easy for advanced players).
I don't know Yasser, or affiliated with MS Press, I genuinely think this is a great book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for intermediate players!!, 13 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Sierawan's "Winning Chess Openings" is a book that focuses on players of intermediate strength. He takes a main line with the four main openings (King's pawn, Queen's pawn; both white & black) and explains and illustrates why and how a position is reached.
One draw back is that there are many variations to each "main line." While this may be good, I thought each variation should have had it's own section to avoid confusing the reader.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great One in the Series, 10 Jun 1999
By A Customer
All 5 books in the series are extremely good. Although this book is not as detailed of an opening book as many others; however, it is probably the best beginner's book on the topic when used as a supplement with the other 4 books. Every beginning chess player should read these book before all others: Playing Winning Chess, Winning Chess Openings, Winning Chess Tactics, and Winning Chess Strategies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for greater depth of understanding the fundamentals on which the game is based., 19 July 2013
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This review is from: Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess Series) (Paperback)
Essential reading for greater depth of understanding the fundamentals on which the game is based as all future play in a game rests upon a successful or otherwise opening. This is another book of a superb series on how to play chess and improve your game. Lively text with clear explanations, interesting and helpful. Useful for chess players of all levels who want to improve their game. Highly recommended, even players at a Superior level of achievement will find (be reminded of) useful hints and tips.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yasser has a great writing style, 9 April 2013
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Even though they recommend that you study the end game before putting time into openings, I wanted to read and study this book. I have Yasser's other books and I really enjoy his writing style.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and well written, 21 May 2012
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This is the second chess book I bought, having started out with the more general "The right way to play chess" by D.Brine Pritchard. While that was a good introduction, it left me with a lot of questions about how to confidently start out a game and what to expect from my opponent. Pritchard recommended getting a book on openings and the reviews of this one persuaded me it was the right choice and I was not disappointed.

Yasser Seirawan has a very friendly and relaxed style which makes this book an interesting read in spite of the dry subject matter. He tells a lot of stories about his early games and how he learnt the hard way why some opening moves are better than others, so by the time you get to the step by step run through of each opening you understand the principles behind the moves.

It is also satisfying that he has a definitive recommendation for the best way to start any game, which saves you having to learn the hundreds of different variations open to you, but is instead based on logic and sound principles.

I've only given it four stars because there are a number of typographical errors which really should have been picked up by a proof reader. These are largely in the chess notation, where it looks like someone was reading the author's handwriting and didn't really understand what they were typing. This does however keep the reader on their toes and makes you think about the moves you're reading, rather than accepting them unquestioningly, so maybe it's a good thing!

I've since gone on to buy "Winning Chess Tactics" by the same author, which I would also recommend.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book on Openings for Beginners., 27 July 1999
By A Customer
GM Seirawan entertains and educates on many common openings and the ideas behind the openings in this book. I enjoyed it because as a beginner, I want to know what openings he likes and what his experiences are with the openings. I think more experienced players may find the information basic, but it's perfect for beginners.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy chess, 15 Mar 2006
By A Customer
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This review is from: Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess Series) (Paperback)
Its not often that you will start to read a book on chess openings and end up enjoying a good belly laugh. Yasser has a great sense of humour and his own chess beginnings are described in a light hearted and entertaining style.
Anyone reading this book will be entertained and learn at the same time what more can we ask ?
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplifies the opening game., 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This book really helped me in my opening. I learned many openings and how to defend them. I have won many more games after I used this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book that opens badly, 2 Feb 2012
By 
Mr. Gwilym A. Ellis (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess Series) (Paperback)
This book starts out nicely, and it covers all the openings, and Seirawan has an easy style to read. BUT:

- he starts off by telling you how to open badly, recounting his early learning experiences. This makes for a good story, but since first impressions last, what I remember most clearly from this book are all the bad openings!

- the pages are badly laid out and printed. Sam Collins's Understanding The Chess Openings shows how it should be done, with a new page for every opening, three sharp board illustrations per page and lots of space and clearly set moves. By contrast Winning Chess Openings does not have enough illustrations, and the ones there are are quite badly printed, fuzzy with extra lines on the squares. The openings just run into each other over the pages as though trying to save space. It makes it really hard to flick back and forth through the book, which you need to do in order to work out how each opening relates to the other, since ...

- ... the different openings are relentless. I didn't feel there was enough of an overview to know what to do with each opening. You turn the page and bam, there's another opening to swallow, and the book goes on like that page after page. He needs much more logical grouping, so that the reader knows how the openings relate to each other. The bulk of the book is the central 166 pages, split into sections by king vs queen's pawn and classical vs modern. Those categories are far too broad, and were meaningless when I was beginning. It would be much better to split the openings under the central variation - Sicilian, Italian, French etc. - as then each section would be much smaller, and it would be clearer how the openings are grouped and differentiated.

- he tells you that he has missed out some hypermodern openings, and that he has saved these until last on purpose as he thinks they are the best when learning chess. Brilliant. You have to read 200 pages of the book before he tells you the best openings. If these are the best openings, why doesn't he just put them first? The book seems to be written backwards. He should lay out the material the way he does his tactics book, in which he starts with the main tactics likes forks and pins and ends the books with less common things like windmills which makes sense as, let's be honest, how often do you read right to the end of a book?

With editing, re-setting and better printing this could be a great book. I like his easy beginner's style and friendly way of writing. But as a beginner I stopped reading this book and it was only when I came back to it months later, having learned elsewhere (Wikipedia's entries on chess openings are brilliant, as is Sam Collins' book) lots of opening theory, that I could see what he was trying to say.
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Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess Series)
Winning Chess Openings (Winning Chess Series) by Yasser Seirawan (Paperback - 15 July 2003)
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