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MACA Book Review
Chess Strategy for Club Players Chess Strategy for Club Players
by: Herman Grooten

Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-90-5691-268-0
Format: Book 412pp.
Publisher: New In Chess

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Subtitled “The Road to Positional Advantage,” this book presents amateur players with a structured course on how to recognize the key characteristics of a position, and how to make a plan based on those features. IM Grooten has built on Steinitz’s Table of Elements to provide stepping-stones to positional mastery. 

The book is organized so that each element is illustrated as aptly as possible, with model examples, and exercises at the end of each chapter. Many of the positions in the book have been used by the author in his own role as a trainer over the past twenty-five years. In this time his students have included Loek Van Wely, Jan Werle, and Benjamin Bok. 

The book is designed to enhance the readers understanding of how to recognize the most important features of a position and to develop a plan accordingly. The emphasis is placed on determining the strategic characteristics of the position. Grooten writes, “positional play is essentially about directing your pieces to the right squares” and that “pursuing a plan that is in accordance with the demands of the position is absolutely necessary to achieve better results in games.” He also notes that “the importance of opening theory is grossly overestimated.” 

This is a great book!


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