I read through the first couple games and was already suspicious of some of his analysis. He acts like playing h3 to prevent a pin is shattering the kingside. I checked to see how an engine felt about h3 in that particular position and the engine is like "yeah h3 is best. Thanks for the advice!
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In chess, as in life, rules must often be swept aside. In general, though, the principles governing sound chess play do make wonderful guideposts, especially in the opening, the middlegame, and the ending! Nunn has argued that Logical Chess Move by Move is a severely limited work produced by a weak player.
Unfortunately, such misleading chess books are distressingly common. Nunn, who once ranked in the top ten players in the world by rating, is a far stronger player than Chernev, who was probably no more than a national master at his peak. Chernev targets primarily players who are not masters and therefore need first principles hammered home, early and often.
Irving Chernev Just as we give babies soft food because it requires no chewing and is easily digestible, so Chernev nourishes the infant judgment of lower-level chessplayers with easy, plausible rules to guide their faltering footsteps. Really he is only trying to direct their attention to the right topics, such as piece activity, piece coordination, king safety, time, space, squares, files, diagonals, color complexes, and so on, to furnish the empty rooms of their minds with necessary terminology and to provide a starting place for their own investigations.
The value of any single move or combination of moves can only be measured with respect to the particular position on the board. It must fit in with the scheme of the game you are playing and be tempered by the demands of the opponent. A great deal depends on what he does, or lets you do. This is why you may find it expedient to develop your queen at the sixth move or to castle at the sixtieth move.
Logical Chess was my first chess book, which accounts for my familiarity with it, and fondness for it. Read it, make it your own, and from time to time the author will whisper in your ear. View all posts by Tim Hanke.
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