This book investigates how chess-players find good ideas. Amatzia Avni, a psychologist by profession, pursues this goal by interviewing top players and analysts. The discussion focuses on their most interesting and instructive games and compositions.
Avni has been careful to allow his interviewees to convey their own thoughts, rather than direct their answers to comply with any pre-existing theories. We experience the events on the board through the vivid recollections of the player. This gives us a realistic view of each struggle and how the critical decisions were really made.
Avni also presents the players with some unfamiliar positions, and records their reactions upon encountering these new situations. Once we have heard from the grandmasters, Avni discusses the essence of what was said, and provides some insights and recommendations.
The interviewees include famous grandmasters such as Boris Gelfand, Ilia Smirin and Lev Psakhis.
Amatzia Avni is an Israeli psychologist. He is a FIDE Master in both game and composition, an international judge of studies, a former editor of the Israeli magazine Schahmat, and a regular contributor to Chess Monthly and Kingpin.
"Avni is very good at getting the grandmasters to explain their decisions [his] conclusions are always clever, definitely worth reading." - GM Jacob Aagaard, Chesscafe
"His interviews are at the opposite extreme from dry statistics and jargon there is colour and light on every interview page You dont have to hunt for insights and enjoyment - you will be unable to avoid them!" - John Roycroft, EG 156
"The players and topics covered are generally fascinating, and this is an enjoyable way to learn a bit more about what makes great players tick" - Randy Bauer, Silman's website
"Even though it is naturally impossible to deal with all relevant points in this very interesting study on the thought-processes of chess grandmasters, the (English-speaking) amateur player will gain many profound insights from the reading of this work - but above all this: grandmasters are the same as everyone else!" - Dr W. Schweizer, Rochade
"...this is by no account a work solely on chess psychology. The reader also gets as illustrative material well-annotated games, game fragments and chess studies. He can satisfy himself that strong players also blunder." - Jerzy Konikowski, Fernschach International
[Gambit's] "latest example of doing something because it deserves to be done is the original and extremely interesting THE GRANDMASTER'S MIND. ... lots of fun, but it's also an important and most welcome addition to chess literature." - Jeremy Silman, Silman's website
"...not just the research, but the product of the research itself, The Grandmaster's Mind, is a delight." - Rick Kennedy, Chessville.com
"... in highlighting the differences in approach between Grandmasters and weaker players, it does give us lesser mortals a sense of the direction in which we ought to be heading if we want to make progress." - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"It is a stimulating and readable book which encourages the reader to think about the game." - John Saunders, BCM