Friday, April 9, 2010

Review of "Studying Chess Made Easy"

After reading and rereading the book ”Studying Chess Made Easy”, I have reached the conclusion that there is perhaps only one thing not to like about the book: The Title

It is slightly misleading and somewhat unfair to the author, Andrew Soltis, who have done a fine effort trying to explain how to make studying chess more efficient.

Most chess books sold are too advanced or too specialized for the buyer. That is my honest belief and opinion. These days I need to have a quick look in my chess books data base to be able to figure out how many unread books on, say, Chess Openings I own. How about “Studying Chess Made Easy”? Who would benefit the most from reading the book?

Everybody interested in becoming a better chess player is familiar the ancient and well grounded pieces of advice: solve tactics problems, analyze your own games and study master games

Is there much more to be said? Is there enough to write a book about it? GM Soltis does indeed add a few extra layers of icing to the cake. The hands-on discussions (for example detailed advice on how to study master games) of aspects of chess training, the amusing anecdotes and the well chosen examples does make the book an enlightening reading experience even though a lot of the material is well known to anyone interested in chess improvement. The advanced beginner might find the examples to be a bit advanced but will gain time saving insights in how to make chess training efficient from the clear presentation of the training ideas.

The book can be read and enjoyed by a wide audience.


  1. I feel like I'm cheating by asking this, but what did he have to say about studying master games? :)

    I've seen several different methods advocated: Study lots of unannotated and don't worry about understanding; use annotated only; play "solitaire" where you assume the side of the winner; spend hours trying to understand each move, etc etc.

  2. Thank you for asking!

    In short:

    The basic strategy for studying master games is to work through the games several times. Going into more details for every iteration.... Make lots of notes and then repeat the process after, say, at least a month

    Again, no rocket science but some more guidance than the old advice: Study Master Games. Period.

  3. That is a nice sturdy looking Bishop on the cover!

    Nice review! That seems like s pretty solid tip on Master game study, I shall have to put that to use!

  4. Tack för tipset! Har precis börjat ägna mig lite åt schack igen efter ett uppehåll på 30 år eller så och jag letar efter sätt att lära mig något. Det här verkar ju vara en intressant bok!


  5. Hej Gustav! Hoppas du får glädje av boken. En annan höjdare är Dan Heismans artiklar på
    Hör av dig om du är sugen på ett korr-parti!