How to Become a Candidate Master

A Practical Guide to Take Your Chess to the Next Level
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Surprise yourself and reach higher!

This book is based on real amateur games and shows you how an average club player can proceed through the ranks and reach Candidate Master level. It’s a hard struggle, nothing comes for free and your path will be strewn with setbacks and disappointments. Just like in real life.

Alex Dunne guides you in the more than 50 games that you will be ‘playing’ and offers lots of practical, straightforward and effective advice. Slowly but surely, you will improve in all phases of the game: the opening, the middlegame and the endgame. Dunne explains when and how to activate your pieces and how to recognize and punish the errors your opponents are bound to make.

At the end of the book, having absorbed these lessons, your experience, technique and confidence will have improved in such a way that your first win against a master will not come as a big surprise.

Alex Dunne is an American FIDE Master, ICCF Correspondence Chess Master and author of more than a dozen chess books. He lives in Sayre, Pennsylvania.

This is a revised, improved and extended edition of the 1985 classic.

“As anyone who has watched the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix knows, book study is an important element of advancing your skills. Dunne adopts a unique methodology, offering 52 actual tournament games that pit a Candidate Master against another player. He puts the reader in the chair of the Candidate Master, challenging you to come up with the right moves and strategies. This is a clever pedagogical tool. While it’s instructive to study games between grandmasters, it’s practical to see how the typical Class C or B player reacts in a variety of situations. Dunne’s writing has a wonderfully homespun quality. He talks to the reader plainly and simply. There are no highfalutin phrases or theories, just solid advice.”
Cecil Rosner, Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)

“Dunne is quite aware that the journey to improvement is rarely a smooth one, but imparts plenty of very handy practical advice.”
CHESS Magazine (UK)

“A classic book on solitaire chess. It is well know that playing solitaire chess is a proven method to improve in chess. Especially, when the improving players has few opportunities of over the board play. The key is to work on every one of the fifty two games (at a pace of one game per week, the busy reader can finish this book in one year) game as in a real game and recording the variations you calculate. Many digital resources are available to play solitaire chess, yet a printed copy of ‘How to Become a Candidate Master’ remains a solid resource to improve at chess”
Miguel Ararat, Florida Chess

More Information

Publication date:
October 10, 2020
Number of pages:
New In Chess
406 gram