How To Study From Chess Books

IM Kostya Kavutskiy shares his method for studying and learning from chess books.

0:00 Intro
1:02 Zlotnik’s Middlegame Manual overview
1:44 How to study from chess books
3:43 Studying a sample game
14:22 When should you stop & think while reading?
16:11 Summary/conclusion

Zlotnik’s Middlegame Manual:

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30 Comments

  1. Would a smaller magnetiic chess set do the job?

  2. Let me Save you some time and sum up the video…. HOW TO READ A CHESS BOOK? ANSWER: READ THE CHESS BOOK 😂😂

  3. Step One Read the words on the page 👍. Commenting for the algorithm

  4. I liked using Chessbase when reading old game collections. I can click through the game while reading. I had a grand goal of entering all of Alekhine’s and Botvinnik’s annotations from ‘My Best Games of Chess 1907-1938’ and ‘100 Selected Games’ and creating CBH files but I type TOO SLOW.

  5. What is the best chess book or books to buy in amazon for calcuation???

  6. Kantian theory and model for managing ethical issues

  7. Would love to see the other Dojo GMs comment to say whether they 100% agree with this approach or whether they have something to add / question.

  8. This is one of the best book i have. I love each part. The Carlsbad section is really great. And yes, read the words. Zlotnik give tons of great info. The guy did worked with Kortchnoi and he have a lot of anecdotes.
    The last section before the exercises section show a lots of good ideas about the d5 square in the Sicilian.

    For myself. Yes i read the words. I Play the game on a real board without looking at the variation first. Than i play the game again on Fritz 17 (chessbase) and after that i start looking at the variation's and yes sometimes the evaluation at first sight don't always agree but if you let the machine run for longer time. I think Zlotnik was subventionned by some chess engines developers.

    And like you said Kostya, i like to ask question to engines. Why did he not play the move i would had played ? And than, copy the variation the engines see.

    This book is really good. From the beginning to the exercises section it took me 5 weeks. Another author that i like is Ivan Sokolov ( -winning chess middlegame and also – Sacrifice and initiative) However (with the kindle) you have to be aware with the notation sometimes they're are small errors.

  9. Even after going through this game, I'm struggling to answer the question of "what did we learn?" Maybe it's just that this one was a "game for children", as you said, and not the most instructive example, but I'm not sure if this game was intended to illustrate any particular concept, or what generalizable idea I was supposed to be taking from it (beyond "don't play copycat chess for 10 moves straight"). I often have this issue when they show variations, especially less forcing ones; there's often no analysis of why a particular move is played, just an assessment at the very end.

    What do you try to gain from going through games on books like this? How do you take lessons away from it that aren't hyper-specific to the position in the game? Or was this game just a poor example compared to later ones in the chapter, where the words on the page say more about what to pay attention to?

  10. Great book by my former coach! Totally recommended for all level players from 1500 onwards.

  11. Excellent video! Just what i was looking for. A couple questions, do you think is better to read without any board (nor physical nor digital) just going throght the moves on the head? Some coaches recomend It in orden to train visualization, but do you think it’s helpfull or it´s better to focus more on learning by replay the moves using a board. There’s a level when it is possible/convenient to read books like This? I appreciate to read your thoughts on this. Thanks.

  12. I feel using a physical board a bit impractical when reading a book with lots of variations. You'll have to remember the positions, reset pieces after each variation. Things can get quite tricky if you read an opening book or My Great Predecessors. So is there any great advantages using a physical board when reading?

    How much time do you spend reading a game? How fast do IMs and GMs read through a chess book?

  13. I'm a fairly beginner level player (like, ~1100) but am interested in training and trying to get to ~1600. I feel comfortable (for a newbie) in the early game and I can identify how to close games, but I am totally lost in the mid-game…I find myself thinking "All my pieces are protected and developed…now what…?" I looked at reviews of Zlotnik's book and it seems much of it will be way over my head. Is there a "Midgame for Dummies" book? Or, would a general "Chess for Dummies" book be smarter?

  14. I have manyyy.. leathered bound books ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  15. Do you think it can be beneficial to practice reading to chess book without a board? Im studying the ruy lopez from Modern Chess Openings and im starting to be able to see the board in my head. This is something i want to be able to do anyway, playing in my head to calculate better, but should i always be using a board anyway?

  16. I feel like a lot of time spent in this method is mostly transcribing the moves on the book. Would it more efficient to study from an interactive online chess course like a chessable course where it eliminates a lot of this time that would otherwise be spent just putting the moves on the board?

  17. There could be a huge difference between studying with the real board and the screen, because the screen is 2D and the real board is 3D. I am saying this 'cause once I stopped playing tournaments for some years, playing only on-line. When I went back to tournaments the board and pieces seemed strange. I do not know how many people had this feeling. I know that young players are used to browse through a book very quickly and absorb some content, but as I am an old fashioned player I still prefer books, paper books, not even e-readers.

  18. I don’t know if it’s just me, however I don’t think middle game books are useful, I only read opening books and endgame guides because I feel like it’s wasted time to read middle game stuff… Or maybe I’ve only read bad middle game books and that’s why I don’t like reading them.

  19. i would say like im a elo 400-800 should i read it

  20. what is software / app that you use to build the game on/with?

  21. I'm partially sighted, so slowing down and playing on a big board helps.

  22. i just bought that book and i was looking for a video on how to study with it because i was a little confused. Lol

  23. Hello , i had a chess opening book its named “modern chess openings” I couldn’t figure out how to read it or understand it , it is my first opening book. I would be very happy if someone would help me bcz the book is like 20 bucks but I couldn’t figure out the book. It has been sitting on my desk for a while :).

  24. Ya, maybe when I'm 1800 FIDE rating….lmao….

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