Reviews part II – The other side of the story
Thank you all for the debate on the reviews. As is normal, most people supported my point of view (which is why they read this blog in general, I assume), so I want to especially want to thank those that disagreed. A debate is more interesting if you have more than one point of view represented. I still disagree, but I appreciate you for making your opinion present, especially when immediately a few people will jump up and say we should not listen to you. On the contrary, we should, but use our sound judgement of course.
“Given the confusing structure of this nine-volume series of instructional books, it seems as if the publisher took a page from the George Lucas handbook. The course is made-up of three series, each with three levels: The Fundamentals, Beyond the Basics, and Mastery.”
This is the start and the reviewer returns to the point a few times. Yes, the series is not well structured in the way we have done it. We did it to ourselves, of course. What happened was that we took on volume 1 of each of Artur’s three serieses and then later on changed our minds and took all three. Suddenly we were trapped.
The other criticism we recognise extremely well is that the volume is meant to be easy (the German title actually translates pretty closely into “how to reach 1500 in elo”). We killed this German title and all connection to it in the marketing (but had to keep it in the book) because we found it entirely bonkers. As an example, I had three of my students solve exercises from Boost your Chess 3. Of 56 points they scored 55 (rated 2650), 52 (rated 2560) and 38 (rated 2250 – with one IM-norm). So this is what is needed to get to 2100? No, clearly you are much better than that if you know all the stuff in these books! My guess is beyond 2400, if you have the practical experience as well.
Michael McGuerty writes it like this:
“Yusupov writes that the material targets three groups according to rating strength: under Elo 1500, under Elo 1800, and under Elo 2100. Even so, the lessons are at a very high level. Consider that the following two examples are the from the first lesson, “Combinations involving bishops,” in Chess Evolution 1: The Fundamentals, which is the third book of the Fundamentals Series (given here without the accompanying deep analysis):”
Then he goes on to give a few examples of how difficult the exercises actually are. And they are quite challenging indeed.
An excellent review, which seems entirely flawless to me. Maybe he rates the book too highly? This is probably the only place where anyone would seriously disagree with him!