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The Grandmaster’s Mind


My banner makes an attractive headline; but I would humbly opine that this book is sort of like Kotov’s classic “Think like a GM” and Pal Benko’s “Winning Chess Psychology” combined. I was at the prestigious HB Tournament as a spectator; and there was the widest array of chess books I had ever seen were on sale. Opening books, ones on tactics, games collections, etc. but I wanted something a bit different and this was one of about 6 books I purchased and I have not been disappointed. There are two parts of the book, the first part has 12 chapters; the interviews with 12 different chess players and this keeps up one’s interest. Though grandmasters and masters are interviewed in the various chapters and give their input on chess and the thinking process, my favorite chapter is 9 on Ofer Comay, who is largely a chess problem solver, having won tournaments for solving such puzzles. It is interesting to hear what he has to say and some puzzles are provided. This is one of the strong points of this book in that like the Pal Benko book there is an element of human interest. Much of the book can be set aside for bedside reading or maybe when one takes the bus, a workbreak and such. Part two of the book entails discussions, chapters 13-21. Classic games are discussed and another strongpoint of this book, sometimes not-so-classic games, but they make points by the author and interviewees so suffice well. In fact, I like some of the examples provided not involving Grandmasters because it is probably closer to my skill levels. That brings me to the point that some parts would seem to be for more advanced players but others would benefit as well. Another plus of the book is Avni’s uses of boxed quotes to highlight important concepts and other uses of summing up key points of information. Of course, for my humble opinions, I am only a player between 1600-1700. I’ve sought to give this work an honest appraisal. I noted two reviewers here, the author and another urging reading a review of this book. I purchased it and read it and will return to it time and again for the interviews and discussions on the thought processes involved in playing chess

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