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MACA Book Review
101 Chess Questions Answered 101 Chess Questions Answered
by: Steve Giddins

Price: $26.95
ISBN: 978-1-906454-00-5
Format: Book 128pp.
Publisher: Gambit Publications

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

This book is aimed at those who are new to chess, but have little experience with competitive play. Its goal is to give a “good grounding in all the basics of chess.” The material is divided into eight sections. Part one (Q1-7) discusses, among other things, finding and joining a chess club, Internet play, and who is world champion. Part two (Q8-20) is devoted to the opening. It answers what one’s goals should be, the importance of the center, and how to choose an opening, etc.

Part three (Q21-32) covers tactics and combinations. Tactical motifs are introduced and advice is given on how to improve. Part four (Q33-44) moves on to planning and strategy. Giddins explains how to form a plan, how to meet the opponent’s plans, the affect pawn structure has on planning, pawn majorities, and the minority attack.
Part five (Q45-69) discusses positional play and is the largest section. Topics include weak pawns, space, misplaced pieces, positional exchange sacrifices, the main principles of defense, and isolated and hanging pawns. Part six (Q70-82) takes on the endgame. The reader is introduced to endgames principles, the opposition, geometrical motifs, zugzwang, etc.
Part seven (Q83-86) features aspects of competitive play: dealing with losses, winning or drawing on demand, tournament preparation, and when to vary one’s openings. Part eight (Q87-101) focuses on training and computers. Issues include the best way to train, finding study material, understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, which computer programs to use, chess variants, recommendations for further reading, and the future of chess.

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