With this book you'll find out how easy chess is to learn. The exposition is clear and informal and strikes a rather unique level. Whereas most introductory manuals are either sketchy and undeveloped or else lose the reader in a maze of technical detail, this volume is one of the very few intermediate accounts. It covers the most elementary procedures and also takes you through the development of basic strategic notions. Written by a well-known British master and chess correspondent, it packs an amazing amount of material into its pages, and it gives you a quick, easy-to-follow, full course of instruction.
The first part of the book explains the rules, describes the pieces and their possible moves, and shows how games are won, lost, or drawn. Miscellaneous terms are defined. Numerous examples and crystal-clear diagrams illustrate the textual account and help give novices a firm grasp of fundamentals; beginners can read through these 30-some pages and then sit down and start to play immediately.
The rest of the book concentrates on the development of skills by the use of general tactical principles. Barden handles the problems of openings effectively: he discusses actual game situations in detail and shows what and what not to do — and why; then he looks into two typical openings fairly thoroughly (the Hungarian Defense and the Queen's Gambit). The middle and endgame are also examined with respect to common situations and ways of dealing with them. The emphasis throughout on the isolation of patterns and recurrent positions (and away from memorization) gives the beginner greater understanding and flexibility. The final two chapters analyze a full game, telling why each move was made.
No handier or more effective introduction is available in English. A brief study of this book and a few practice games will make you appreciate the enthusiasm of your friends and of hundreds of thousands all over the world for this fascinating pastime.
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