HTRYC (How to Reassess Your Chess) is widely regarded as a modern classic, and is one of the best books on positional imbalances available to amateurs. I have had this book for about two years now, and I couldn’t get through it in my first attempt of reading it. I found the material too hard, and was just not able to get through the chapters when I first started reading it.
This time around though not only was I able to understand the concepts I really enjoyed reading the book as well. So much so that while reading the book I much preferred reading the book to playing chess!
One of the revelations for me has been that positional skills are a lot easier to learn than I always thought them to be. I’ve always looked at positional chess as somewhat mysterious and enigmatic, and thought that this is for players at the very highest levels, and is not so easily understood by amateurs. However, the book proves that this is not true, and in fact towards the end Silman himself states the following:
I tend to place very high level calculation under the umbrella of “talent”, while positional skills are something everyone can learn and excel at.
So, how do you go about learning positional skills and excelling in them?
By understanding imbalances.
Silman defines imbalance as any significant difference in the two respective positions, and the book details out the following imbalances:
- Control of a weak square
- Pawn Structure
- Superior Minor Piece
- Control of a key file
- King Safety
- Lead in development
- Statics vs Dynamics
I have listed down the imbalances in the order that I understand them and understanding and practicing these imbalances have greatly helped my game. This is a great book that I would very highly recommend to all players.