The Seven Deadly Chess Sins

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“a fascinating, original, insightful work by the most promising young chess writer out there. ... one of the best chessbooks to come out in many, many years.” - IM Jeremy Silman, Silman Reviews

Everyone loses chess games occasionally, but all too often we lose a game due to moves that, deep down, we knew were flawed. Why do we commit these chess-board sins? Are they the result of general misconceptions about chess and how it should be played? And how can we recognize the warning signs better?

In this thought-provoking and entertaining book, Jonathan Rowson investigates, in his inimitable style, the main reasons why chess-players sometimes go horribly astray, focusing on the underlying psychological pitfalls: Thinking (unnecessary or erroneous); Blinking (missing opportunities; lack of resolution); Wanting (too much concern with the result of the game); Materialism (lack of attention to non-material factors); Egoism (insufficient awareness of the opponent and his ideas); Perfectionism (running short of time; trying too hard); Looseness (“losing the plot”; drifting; poor concentration).

“could well prove to be a leading contender for chess book of the year and may prove the most original work of its genre since Nimzowitsch’s ‘My System’ appeared more than 70 years ago” - J.J. Walsh, Irish Times

Jonathan Rowson became Scotland’s third grandmaster in late 1999, within months of graduating from Oxford University. He was runner-up in the 1997 European Junior Championship, Scottish Champion in 1999 and winner of the Canadian Open in 2000. Rowson’s first book, Understanding the Grünfeld, has been highly praised for the quality and originality of his writing, and freshness of approach.

“...contains a huge quantity of original insight. Rowson’s style is refreshingly wordy - a few pages here and there without a chessboard in sight makes the book interesting to read without a chessboard in hand. That said, there are plenty of real examples to emphasise the validity of his theories. Rowson has pinpointed a lot of problems I have experienced without realising it and his suggested remedies are extremely useful. Highly recommended...” - GM Luke McShane, Sunday Express

“Jonathan Rowson’s psychological and philosophical musings called ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’ makes splendid reading and certainly helps those chessplayers who think too much during the games, or miss opportunities, or are too greedy, or don’t pay attention to material, or refuse to see another human across the chessboard, or try to be too perfect or drift while concentrating. Or all of the above” - GM Lubosh Kavalek, Washington Post

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