Chess Book Review: The Amateur’s Mind by Jeremy Silman

Chess Book Review: The Amateur’s Mind – Turning Chess Misconceptions Into Chess Mastery

I often receive emails asking for chess book recommendations. I have decided to review books I have found useful over the last few years in order to help chess players.

One of the books I recommend to most of my chess students is Amateur’s Mind by International Master Jeremy Silman. This is a unique book developed as a result of Silman’s chess coaching session with his students. Silman is able to uncover the deeply rooted misconceptions his students possess; in Amateur’s Mind, he addresses these misconceptions and provides great tips and advice. In addition to the great instructive content, Silman provides 26 tests with full solutions to help students practice and test their newly acquired skills and knowledge.

The Chapters:

1. The Imbalances

2. The Battle Between Bishops and Knights

3. Acquisition of the Center, Territory, and Space

4. The Confusing Subject of Pawn Structure

5. Material

6. Development and Initiative

7. Many Imbalances, One Board

8. How to Play the Opening

9. Using the Rooks

10. Curse of the Mindless King Hunter

11. Which Side of the Board Should You Play on?

12. Developing Mental Toughness

13. Tests

14. Test Solutions

Who should read this book?

As I tell my students, Amateur’s Mind, is the best 2nd book to have. This book is not for total beginners. Before picking up this book, the reader must know all the chess rules and basics of all phases of the game.

Castling, Stalemate, Tactics, Rank, Files, Pins, Forks, Development, Center, etc. If these words sound foreign to you in terms of chess, Amateur’s Mind is not for you.

Ideally, you should read an introductory chess book like Chess for Dummies or The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess before going through Silman’s book.

In my opinion, reading Amateur’s Mind is a highly beneficial for those in the 1200 – 1700 USCF/FIDE rating range.

The Amateur’s Mind 2nd Edition retails for $19.95. This item is on sale for only $15.35 at our Amazon.com bookstore.

Click here to order this book today!

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