Chess for Zebras by Jonathan Rowson


Rowson introduces innovative strategies for Black to counter White’s early initiative, taking advantage of the extra information gained by moving second. He discusses the concept of “Zugzwang Lite,” where White may have no constructive moves to make. Additionally, Rowson examines the theories of two renowned players, Mihai Suba and Andras Adorjan, who have specialized in championing Black’s cause in different styles.

Chess for Zebras, delves into three essential questions for chess players: why is it challenging to improve as an adult player, what mental attitudes are necessary for making good moves, and is White’s first-move advantage real? Rowson’s background in philosophy and psychology allows him to provide an engaging and informative response to these queries. The book provides players with new perspectives on the opening and early middlegame, including tips on how Black can fight White’s early initiative. Additionally, readers are equipped with a “mental toolkit” to navigate common psychological traps encountered in chess. Overall, Chess for Zebras offers fresh insights into the game and helps players improve their skills.


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