Book Recap: Simple Chess by GM Michael Stean


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Perpetual Chess Podcast


We are back with another bonus podcast edition of Chess Books Recaptured. This month I am joined by Jonathan of The Abysmal Depths of Chess Blog to discuss a classic book, Simple Chess, by GM Michael Stean. Simple Chess is an excellent positional primer which features succinct and helpful annotations for the club player. Over the past couple of months, Jonathan has been blogging about each of the 30 games in the book, so he knows the material inside and out, and I was very glad to have him share some highlights of what he has learned from studying Simple Chess so thoroughly. As always, we discussed improvement takeaways, favorite quotes and lessons distilled from this excellent book. You can get all of the details, timestamps and hyperlinks below.    0:00- Why did Jonathan volunteer to discuss Simple Chess?  Mentioned: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Perpetual Chess Episode 201 with FM Peter Giannatos, Perpetual Chess Episode 195 With GM Keith Arkell,  The Chess Dojo ranks: Classic Chess Books:, Fred Wilson books    6:30- What is the format of the book?  GM Anatoly Karpov, GM Wolfgang Uhlmann, GM Lajos Portisch, GM Samuel Reshevsky, GM Tigran Petrosian, GM Bobby Fischer   12:30- What should we know about the author, GM Michael Stean  Mentioned: Sicilian Najdorf by GM Michael Stean, GM Viktor Korchnoi , End Game: Kasparov vs. Short by Dominic Lawson, GM Ray Keene, William Hartston    17:30- For what rating is this book most helpful? (Probably around 1300-1900) Mentioned: Recap of Winning Chess Strategies with Neal Bruce,  Mastering Chess Strategy by GM Johan Hellsten, Link to Jonathan’s blog post about  Karpov-Westerinen 1974   24:00- Check out our new, which gathers your games from the major chess sites and generates reports to let you know which aspects of your game need work. If you decide to subscribe, be sure to use the promo code Chess30 to save 30%.   25:00- Why is Karpov Westerinen from the book Jonathan’s favorite game ever? Jonathan’s blog post about the game is here:   28:00- I read the opening paragraphs and we discuss the major themes and chapters of the book.    32:00- We discuss some listeners questions relating to how this book compares to My System, Positional Decision Making in Chess, Mastering Chess Strategy, Chess Fundamentals    37:00- Is it worth uploading the games from Simple Chess into Chessbase? What is the best way to study it?  Mentioned: list of games from Simple Chess:  The Passion Paradox,  Peak Performance, Chess Improvement: Its All in the Mindset    46:30- What positional concepts are not covered in Simple Chess?  Hanging Pawns, Isolated Queen Pawn, Karpov Spassky 1975   50:45- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable! Resources to work on your positional chess there include Winning Chess Strategies, and Chess Strategy for Club Players:   51:30- We discuss a few of our favorite games from the book. Mentioned: Fischer - Gadia, Unzicker - Fischer, Spassky-Fischer Game 5 1972, Andersson-Knaak, Vogt-Andersson, Recapping Reassess Your Chess with Todd Kennedy   55:00- We read a few favorite quotes from the book.    56:30- What are the chess improvement takeaways?    1:02:00- Do we have any quibbles with the book?  Mentioned: Everyman Chess e-books, Fred Wilson, Martin Justesen   1:15:00- Thanks to Jonathan for joining the show and sharing his incredibly detailed knowledge of Simple Chess. Follow him on twitter here: Read/Subscribe to his blog here: 1:16:00- Blindfold puzzles are back! #1-  White to move and draw White: Kc6, Ba4  Black: Kb1, Pb2 Link To Position, Turn Engine On for Solution #2- White to move and win White: Kc4, Pc6 Black: Kh2, Nd8 Link to Position, Turn Engine on For Solution   If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, You can do so here: See for privacy information.