Best Lessons of a Chess Coach: Extended Edition was published by Mongoose Press in July of 2020. The Mongoose Press website states, “In this long-awaited extension of the classic Best Lessons of a Chess Coach, the reader is invited to take a seat in the classroom of a renowned chess teacher.” The renowned teacher is FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry; his co-author is Candidate Master Edward Eusebi.
Best Lessons of a Chess Coach: Extended Edition is available via the Forward Chess app, which allows for clicking through moves. However, Mongoose Press mailed me the paperback version of the book. Disclosure: Because I am a book reviewer, publishers sometimes mail me free books. Further disclosure: Mongoose Press is the publisher of two of my books, Thinking with Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14 and Prepare With Chess Strategy.
For most games in Best Lessons of a Chess Coach: Extended Edition, the advice in the “Introduction to this edition” works. That advice is to find each game on the Internet to play through/click through it. There are several diagrams within each game in Best Lessons of a Chess Coach: Extended Edition, so one could follow the games in one’s head using those diagrams and the notation. But visualizing is, at least for me, a lot of work.
So, as I reviewed the book, I typed the names of each game’s players into a search bar. Most games popped up right away, for example on sites like 365Chess.com. Then I clicked through the games while reading through the book’s annotations and trying its exercises. The exercises usually ask the reader to evaluate alternative moves or variations. Answer keys for each chapter’s exercises are at the end of each chapter. I usually got the exercises right, but not always.
Let’s look at an exercise from a game which is new to this edition, William Graif versus Grandmaster Cemil Can Ali Marandi, Chicago 2019. I could not find that game online. Graif is Sunil Weeramantry’s student and had emailed Weeramantry the game. Here is an exercise based on a variation that could have happened in the game.
This exercise I got right. The answer is in the next paragraph.
According to Weeramantry and Eusebi, “…Qf2!! is curtains for White.” The white queen plans to move to f1 to give checkmate. If White tries Rxf2 then ….Re1+ leads to a checkmate.
Best Lessons of a Chess Coach: Extended Edition is attractively formatted, with large print and plenty of white space on each page. Each game is well-annotated, and each lesson features several games. Each lesson ends with advice and a list of themes. The book is aimed at chess coaches, but would also be helpful for as a self-improvement text for players rated 1000 or higher.