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Move First, Think Later

Sense and Nonsense in Improving Your Chess
Nivå B-D
Utgivelsesdato Juli 2012
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IM Willy Hendriks snur etablerte sannheter om sjakklæring på hodet. Uærbødig, morsomt og seriøst fremmer han "prøving og feiling" som prinsipp framfor langsiktige planer.

WINNER: English Chess Federation (ECF) Book of the Year 2012 Award

RUNNER-UP: Book of the Year 2012

3rd Edition - with a new epilogue: 'The Discussion Continues'

Boka fikk en fantastisk mottagelse, for eksempel:

Hikaru Nakamura, US Champion:

"For anyone interested in chess in a broader context, I highly recommend reading 'Move First, Think Later' by Willy Hendriks."

What a fantastic book! I have not enjoyed reading an instructional book so much in years. I was laughing out loud throughout, because it is very witty, but it is also a really important instructional volume.
Steve Giddins


(et diagram) Yes, I consider myself to be a rational person. Yes, I played 20...Kb8 in this position. No, plenty of time left on the clock. Spent more than ten minutes on this move.1 Playing chess can be confronting, and it sure helps if you can look with a smile at our own performances. I have known some players with a longing for perfectionism, who couldn’t accept their shortcomings and quit playing.

The term ‘confrontation’ in a sentence like ‘playing chess confronts us with the working of our brain’ seems a bit strange. But, although it’s our own brain, we don’t seem to have great access to it. This well-known fact is a major theme (problem) in the whole history of the philosophical and psychological investigations of our cognitive powers.

In the last decades the cognitive sciences (cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, neurology, neurobiology, philosophy and others) have made considerable progress. From general concepts and theories we are moving towards knowledge on a more empirical and microscopic level, to summarise it briefly and (too) simply. Some of the old questions and new in sights of the cognitive sciences form the source of inspiration for this book. Are they of any use for the player trying to improve his chess? Do they shed new light on our different training methods? Or even suggest new and different forms of training?

If you play chess, try to improve your chess or try to help others to improve their chess, a lot of questions from the cognitive sciences automatically come into mind. Can we make good evaluations by following some sort of to-do list? Does the recent attention on unconscious decision-making processes have some value for chess thinking? Is significant improvement possible by purely psychological means? Is talent an overrated concept and can we all be come grandmasters

This book wants to be an inquiry into these and related questions. A lot of theories and books about our thinking and about improving in chess will be re viewed, with the emphasis on their cognitive aspects.

It is not my intention, however, to release a thoroughly scientific work. The way in which playing chess gives us some sort of ‘in side view’ in our mind is one of the fascinating things about our game. Even if the starting point of this fascination is the well-known ‘how on earth could I play this move?’, a question that might turn out to be the ‘ultimate’ one as well. This interest and amazement is what I hope to keep alive in this light-hearted inquiry.

This book is about improving in chess, but apart from being a theoretical discussion it also wants to make a practical contribution to wards this goal. There fore, the majority of the positions that are dealt with will be presented as exercises (puzzles) at the beginning of each chapter.

To anticipate a little: the author is of the opinion that you learn chess only by working with concrete positions. Solving exercises is one way to do this. One of the main propositions of this book seems to be that the moves written down on our notation forms are sufficient ‘language’ to learn chess, and that no further words are needed. (So why isn’t this book just a collection of puzzles, you may ask – and in deed, that could have been a wonderful out come, had the author not been so fond of hearing himself talk.)

If you do the exercises, you will learn the most from this book. Some may say: you will learn at least some thing. There is a fair chance that not everyone will endorse the points of view that are developed in this book – to a considerable extent they conflict with the doctrines of main stream chess didactics. Al though the author isn’t a French philosopher, he does prefer claiming the opposite rather than putting forward some small refinement.

The chess fragments in this book are care fully selected. Since they are not presented as examples of some bigger principle or truth, they should be able to speak for themselves.

No board is needed to play over these frag ments. Al most all of them comprise a diagram and just a few moves, so ev ery one with some skill in visualisation will be able to follow them, ly ing on a couch or in some other preferred position. So let’s start our journey into the caverns of our chess-playing mind. I can not promise the reader that, having reached the end of this book, he will not play moves like 20...Kb8 any more. But he will certainly have doubts about his rationality!

  1. Dam-Hendriks, Dutch Youth Championship 1985 (no, I did not win the championship that year).
  2. To avoid false expectations in advance: had my answer to this last question been positive, it would have been on the front cover of this book.
Detaljert info
Innbundet? Nei
Type Bok
Førsteutgave år 2012
Språk Engelsk
Antall sider 256