Recapping and reviewing the Classic Chess Book Reassess Your Chess by IM Jeremy Silman

We are back with another Chess Books Recaptured Bonus Pod. This month, we recap the classic chess improvement manual, Reassess Your Chess (4th Edition), by Jeremy Silman. To help me discuss the book, I enlisted the help of Todd Kennedy. Todd is an adult improver, as well as being a dad, husband, actuary, chess player and chess fan. For lots more details of what we discussed, please keep reading. If you would like to see embedded hyperlinks, you can find them here:

0:00- My guest go-host, Todd Kennedy, shares a bit about his life and his chess background, and discusses why Reassess Your Chess is a favorite book of his. 

Mentioned:Robert Katende initiative , Chess Books Recapured Episode #1- Recapping The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal with NM Sam Copeland

12:00- I share a couple reflections and observations about the impact of Reassess Your Chess, from prior guests of the show, IM Sagar Shah , and IM Cyrus Lakdawala, and we discuss some biographical details about IM Silman. 

Mentioned: Chess Historian Edward Winter’s post on Chess book sales, Amazon’s Best Selling Chess Books 

23:40- We dive into the book, beginning with Todd’s reading the first sentence, and a discussion of the structure of the book and our favorite chapters. Here are the imbalances Silman covers in the book:

 Superior minor piece, pawn structure, space, material, control of a key file, control of a weak square, lead in development, initiative, king safety, and statics vs. dynamics.

30:45- We take turns reading and discussing our 3 favorite quotes from the book. 

40:00- We each pick some favorite games from the book. 

Mentioned: Volokitin-Delchev 2004 (p. 292), Catig-Mills (p.266), Karpov-Yusopov 1993 (p.304) Read Silman’s follow up post about the Micky Mills game here:

45:00- We discuss our primary takeaways for chess improvement  from the book. 

Mentioned: The Seven Deadly Chess Sins,, Adrien Demuth’s Chess24 London Course 

53:00- How useful is this book for chess improvement? 

56:00- Do we have any quibbles with the book?

Mentioned: Forward Chess, The Anand Files, E-plus Chessbooks App, Chessify 

1:02- Thanks to Todd for his great work recapping Reassess Your Chess. Keep up with Todd on here. 

Puzzle #1- from Reassess Your Chess, page 45, 4th edition, guessing 1400 level 

White: King on h1, Pawn on a4, Bishop on a2

Black: King on g7, knight on d8

White to move and win

(repeat the whole thing) 

Puzzle #2- guessing 2200 level? 

From Pocket Training Chess Book #2 by GM Lev Alburt and Al Lawrence

White- King on c1, Pawn on h6, Bishop on B8

Black- King on h4, Pawn on e5, Bishop on d4

White to move and win

(repeat the whole thing) 

Puzzle 1 diagram- 

Puzzle #1 solution-


Puzzle #2- diagram

Puzzle 2 Solution- 

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  1. To order or find out more about the Chess World Championship Mugs go to , if you decide to purchase them, you can save 15% if you use the discount code “perpetualchess”

  2. Well done guys especially contributing the bigly talent fee to the Queen of Katwe coach's foundation! Could you post some contact and other info about the organization in the comments below? Thanks buddy. Great podcast as always, Ben!

  3. Great discussion of an excellent book. Just curious, I am rated close to 1000. Based on your rating levels, would it be better for me to start with The Amateur's Mind before tackling this book.?

    BTW, I play the London, because as a working adult, I have limited time. I was a d4 player back in the 70's and played the Colle/Stonewall. The London is a similar opening with the advantage of getting the dark squared Bishop out from behind the pawn chain.

  4. that google pdf auto complete applies to almost every chess book.

  5. I just got Jeremy's The Great Courses chess course a few hours ago!!

  6. Sadly, I had already given the endgame study to some student's last month so I knew it as you were describing the position. I really like the concept of doing blindfold positions. Keep up the great work, Ben!

  7. Wasn't the third edition so much better than the fourth edition? Maybe I'm biased because by the time the 4th edition was out I had already reached my peak playing strength (so far!!), but the 4th edition never touched my soul like the 3rd did. That said, I am the biggest Silman fan, and I owe him so much.

  8. New-ish listener from South Africa here. Only discovered this podcast in the last month or so, but I have been devouring every episode systematically from the first and loving it all. These blindfold puzzles are a brilliant addition!

  9. Great we need more classic book review like this please continue doing the good work 😊😊

  10. Excellent channel, you have a new old-fashioned follower, but a chess lover, 51 years old, but trying to be GM. Some good day to dream is worth it.

  11. This book actually shows people how to play chess properly.This book is about imbalances and this gives you a plan and purpose for all your moves instead of moving aimlessly.Its actually the best book I have ever read to understand chess.Seriously,guys and girls,get it.It will take some effort but it’s worth it.Its the secret of how to play chess for real.

  12. in my country costs more than 35€ which is more than twenty dollars.

  13. Sagar Shah from Chessbase India is a borderline con man. You have to be drunk, blind and deaf to believe his rubbish. And so is this podcast. Not a shred of criticism or reflection of criticism provided by others; And there's lot of it! There's no balance at all in this supposed "review". Instead it's nibbling on Shah's and Silman's benis at nearly every turn.

  14. In regards to the discussion around pirating the book, I think it is ridiculous to shame ppl that can't afford the book. This is a book that has been around for a very long time and the author has been more then compensated for it. The publishing companies certainly don't need more of the working classes money, and the length of time when material goes into public domain has been arbitrarily set by the govt.

    The average person gets the shit end of the stick by so many of our economic systems, that for the host to describe pirating a pdf as "beyond the pale" is honestly disturbing. Wages being stagnant for 40 years is beyond the pale, ppl dying from not being able to afford their healthcare costs is beyond the pale. Pirating a book should be met with a shrug at most.

  15. I still have my 3rd edition, which I got years ago and didn't get past the first chapter or so. Should I not bother with it now because the 4th is so much better?

  16. Erm No, He doesn't ACTUALLY owe you or anybody any favours.

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