Book Cover Of Invisible Moves by Yochanan Afek & Emmanuel Neiman

Book Review Of Invisible Moves by Yochanan Afek & Emmanuel Neiman

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Table of Contents

Elite chess players, despite their strength, often make seemingly easy mistakes. 

It’s shocking that players who can spend hours calculating 10 moves ahead of time might not see a one-move win. 

Even more astonishingly, both players often make these mistakes. But as chess demands, the likelihood of double blindness should typically be quite low.

Now you need to honestly answer these questions for yourself:

Have you ever lost a chess game because you overlooked a straightforward victory or a clever move? 

Have you ever questioned why some moves are more difficult to perceive than others? Has your ignorance and mistakes ever caused you frustration?

If the answers to any of these questions apply to you, then you should read ‘Invisible Moves’ by Yochanan Afek and Emmanuel Neiman. 

This book offers a unique and engrossing look at the logic, geometry, and psychology of chess plays, that are hidden from most players.

As seasoned chess players and instructors, the writers have studied and dissected hundreds of real-world chess problems and game instances that are difficult to perceive especially during a real game. 

Several categories of unforeseen moves have been recognized and categorized by them, including:

  • Moves that are hidden by the obviousness of another move
  • Moves that are hidden by the complexity of the position
  • Moves that are hidden by the familiarity of the pattern
  • Moves that are hidden by the interference of the pieces
  • Moves that are hidden by the direction of the attack
  • Moves that are hidden by the symmetry of the board
  • Moves that are hidden by the psychology of the player
Invisible Chess Moves: Discover Your Blind Spots and Stop Overlooking Simple Wins

In their book, “Invisible Chess Moves”, Neiman and Afek explain the psychological, positional, and geometric factors that cloud your brain. The book provides many unique examples, instructive explanations, and illuminative tests to help you discover your blind spots and see the moves which remain invisible to others. 

Before we continue with our review, let’s take a look at the authors.

Who are Yochanan Afek and Emmanuel Neiman ?

Yochanan Afek is an Israeli International Master. 

He is also a writer and a trainer, but being an endgame study composer is arguably the thing that has brought him the most attention. 

A large number of international honors have been bestowed upon him, and he has written hundreds of endgame studies. 

Additionally, he is the only individual who has ever been awarded the title of International Master for both chess literature composition and over-the-board composition.

On the other hand, FIDE Master Emmanuel Neiman hails from the country of France. 

He has produced books on chess training and chess strategies, and he is also a chess instructor in his own country.

Their investigation and analysis of hundreds of instances of difficult-to-see moves from original puzzles and games served as the basis for this book.

They are moves that are disguised by the obviousness, intricacy, familiarity, interference, direction, symmetry, or psychology of the situation. 

Many distinct forms of invisible moves have been recognized and described by these individuals. 

In addition, they provide enlightening tests, clarifying explanations, and helpful advice that the reader may put into practice to strengthen their vision and intuition.

Now that we’ve known the authors, let’s dive into the content.

Every Chapter Summarised

This book is subdivided into two main parts: Objective Invisibility and Subjective Invisibility. 

Each part has two chapters which makes a total of 4 long chapters. There is a test section and solutions included at the end.

Chapter 1 – Hard-to-see moves

Certain moves are more difficult for a person to find than others. 

For example, moves of the knight are more challenging for a novice human player to consider than rook moves.

Also, the forward advance of a rook is more natural and relatable than the backward movement while parallel movement of the rook to the side are often missed.

These difficult moves to see were discussed in this chapter with the aid of diagrams from real games. 

Other concepts like desperado, quiet moves, and intermediate moves were also talked about.

Chapter 2 – Geometrically invisible moves

Beginners may find it challenging to understand chess geometry and how to handle individual pieces, while seasoned players are familiar with these techniques. 

However, even grandmasters might overlook a backward rook move more often than a forward one, and they also find it more difficult to locate horizontal movements than vertical ones.

Due to these lapses, the chapter went on to discuss circuits and geometry, backward moves, horizontal effects, and changing of wings, and pins.

Chapter 3 – Invisible moves for positional reasons

Stronger and more professional players know when to deviate from an automatic rule. 

They know when exceptions apply, still they often fail to consider some invisible moves simply because they are illogical. 

This chapter discussed so many missed opportunities where those illogical moves weren’t taken into consideration.

Chapter 4 – Invisible moves for psychological reasons

This chapter focuses on the psychological impact of a player’s anticipation of a game’s outcome, whether it be a win, draw, or loss, based on rating or title judgment. 

The chapter also discusses how technical and geometric problems can make it difficult for players to find the right move. Games that have these characteristics were treated.

The Positives Of The Book

For chess fans, the book offers a lot of advantages that make it a worthwhile and entertaining read. 

Here’s what I think:

  • The basis for writing this book is a testament to the author’s hard work. 

The book offers a captivating and unique exploration of how to identify unseen moves, which serves as its foundation.

  • The book is enlightening and instructive since it defines and categorizes several unseen move types. 

To further assist the reader in developing their vision and intuition, the book offers insightful explanations, enlightening quizzes, and helpful advice.

  • This book is delightful because it contains a variety of interesting and unexpected examples, ranging from simple strategies to complex combinations, from historical masterpieces to modern positions, and from well-known errors to hidden ideas.
  • The book is appropriate for expert players who are knowledgeable about chess theory and tactics and want to identify their blind spots and observe what other people fail to notice. 
  • Teachers and chess coaches may construct lessons and activities for their pupils using the book, which is also a great resource.

Downsides Of The Book

The book also has certain downsides that you need to be aware of. Here are some of them:

  • The book does not cover all types of undetectable moves and the authors admit that their categorization is subjective and imperfect. There may be other factors that affect how chess moves are perceived, including the time.
  • The writers focus on discussing and displaying unseen actions but do not provide any information or advice on how to avoid or overcome unforeseen plays from your opponent.
  • The book is not so beginner-friendly and requires a high degree of chess knowledge and ability from the reader. 

It is mostly intended for advanced players who have a good understanding of chess theory and tactics. Some of the examples and tests are difficult and may discourage less experienced players.

  • The book is not very affordable, costing around $25 for the print edition and $15 for the digital version. Some readers may find it too expensive for their budget or may prefer to spend their money on other chess books or resources.

That’s all for this review. Kindly let me know if this was helpful.

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