About the Imperfect Chess Series

I love books on chess openings. I have a ton of them. The sad truth is, however, they don't really help me in any practical way. You see, I am not a great player and the people I enjoy playing chess with are not great players either. We are club players, amateurs, hacks, patzers, fish or what ever name you can think of.


So when I get a cool book on, say, the King's Indian Defense, and I read it and learn the ins and outs, it does little for me. Because when I sit down to play with my opponents they are usually off-book within a few moves and it is not readily apparent why they made a mistake.


I learned long ago that excellent chess players only need about a pawn advantage (which we will later refer to as a 1.00 advantage) before the game comes apart. Players at my level, however, barely notice a 1.00 advantage. Depending on your abilities many club players are still in the game when they are down a full piece (which is a 3.00 advantage)!


All those cool professional opening books I own show the lines that stay within that 1.00 advantage for each side. The moment a line goes beyond that there is little reason to continue the analysis. They focus on what I call, “perfect lines”. Lines where both sides play very well with a focus on both sides responding accordingly. Which is great for expert players.


This book will instead focus on imperfect players playing imperfect lines, and will look at what happens beyond the 1.00 advantage.

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© Sean Nelson