A couple of years ago, I read Carol Dweck™s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and it made me think a lot about how my mindset has affected my success and failure as a chess player. As a result, I made a lot of changes in my approach to my training and gameplay “ as well as what I do with myself and how I process the game and the outcome afterwards. I remember thinking that somebody should write a book about this kind of thing in relation to chess, and this has now happened thanks to Barry Hymer and Peter Wells.
Chess Improvement is very different from most chess books in that it is not packed with actual examples from chess games. There are some chess examples, but these are there to contextualise the theories and examples discussed. In addition to the discussion by the authors, there are insights offered from several of the best players in England from the last couple of decades, including: Adams, Short, Howell, Jones, McShane, Sadler, and Hunt. An impressive line-up “ and their insights from their successes and failures definitely help to underline the validity of the authors™ analysis and hypothesis.
This book should be a must-read for all ambitious players, as well as their coaches and parents (if we are talking about a young player). It is eye-opening in many aspects of psychology and in the approach to playing and supporting a player. Through the reading of this book, I have had reason to finetune many of the things I do for myself, as well as for the students I work with. Without giving in to hyperbole, I think Chess
Improvement is one of the most important books pertaining to chess that have been written in the last few years, and possibly extending beyond that.
Carsten Hansen in American Chess Magazine, issue #20.
Find out more about Chess Improvement here.