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globulon

globulon

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Chess for Zebras: Making the Most of White and Black

Chess for Zebras: Thinking Differently about Black and White - Jonathan Rowson Full disclosure: I'm quite a weak player at the time of reading this. I don't expect reading this book will make much difference to my strength either. Rowson mentions in an endnote that he basically agrees with the dictum that at my level studying tactics is about all that matters for improvement. Like another reviewer much of the annotations for the games was over my head.

On the other hand it was an entertaining read. It's not meant to be any kind of doctrine. The style was engaging. It really feels like hanging out with an interesting, educated, thoughtful grandmaster and just listening to him talk about how he thinks about the game. He comes across as enthusiastic and modest in pleasant way.

I can see though that it might take a certain kind of person to enjoy this book. I think you have to be able to enjoy some spitballing that doesn't really translate to direct variations or concrete how to's. I think that's why as a weak player it might be easy for me to enjoy it because I don't have deeply held mental attitudes about chess, so it's fun for me to just kind of listening to him rap about stuff. I certainly don't think though that he's expecting anyone to read this and come away going "Yes, Rowson has it all figured out.". It's just not that kind of book. I think rather they are interesting ideas that hopefully can enrich how I think about the game as I (hopefully) grow and get stronger.