I read the year-end reviews looking for a chess book that may help me learn this fascinating and intricate game. The review for Chess Blueprints: Planning in the Middlegame by Nikolay Yakovlev seems interesting.
I download the sample pdf file and find the table of contents cover many of the subjects that are foreign to me ... areas were I do not play well in my games. I read the sample chapter and like the author’s style and think that maybe I could learn from him.
Next, I check the online reviews. Only one review on amazon.com. I did find two other reviews, both with praise. John Donaldson’s review on Jerry Silman’s site says “CHESS BLUEPRINTS is a solid middlegame book that will help players from 1800 to 2200 to learn the fundamentals.” ChessCafe.com has Steven B. Dow’s review says “For the player rated 1400-1800, it is the perfect book for learning strategy.” The Chess Mind, a blog by Dennis Monokroussos gave a range of “from around 1700-2000, give or take”.
Is the book beyond me? What do I do? It may help and is worth taking the chance. So I ordered it and hope it is one of the 10% that is helpful, readable and at an appropriate level. Not of the 90% that I try to read but does not ‘click’. These 90% gather dust in my bookshelves while waiting for my next attempt to fathom what the author is trying to say.
How do others decide?
P.S. Dan Heisman in his Novice Nook – The Most Common and Important Use of Tactics uses a model that says 800 rated players may make 16 material-losing tactical errors/game, 1200 rated players – 4/game, 1600 rated players 1/game and 2000 rated players 1/ 4 games. For a class C player, tactics are necessary but not sufficient.