Book Review: Luther’s Chess Reformation by Thomas Luther

When ”Luther’s Chess Reformation” came out I had no doubts it would be an ”at least interesting” book to read, so I purchased it without even downloading the sample excerpts available at the online store. I have followed Luther’s chess career and studied his games for many years, so I was very curious to read what he had to say.

GM Thomas Luther

It only took the first chapter to exceed all the expectations I had on this piece of work. Luther’s captivating narrative on his beginnings as a chess player, from a little kid to a Grandmaster is quite an enjoyable read. Between the stories of growing up in the old Germany, the author shows important games he played with insights that are very instructive no matter what your level is.  The games are explained with more observations than complex variations, making the study quite pleasing. The reader will quickly fall inside the Grandmaster’s mind and learn what GMs think.

Not just chess. As you may know, Thomas Luther was born with a physical disability. This didn’t prevent him from making a successful career  in chess with multiple victories in tournaments across the world. Luther talks in all honesty about the difficulties chess players with physical disabilities have to face day after day in chess competitions. In his compelling narrative style the author succeeds in showing the reader the other side of life. An inspirational part of the book as valuable as the chess lessons inside of it.

In this book Luther responds to questions that have been asked by chess amateurs (and not only amateurs) for a long time, but very few authors answered with clarity. For example: How does a Grandmaster think? How does a Grandmaster train day by day? The answers to these questions have always been a sort of a ‘limbo’ and everybody has different recipes, but here the author tells it from his own experience.

I took the liberty to paste the photo of the contents of the book:

(Click to enlarge)

For trainers and coaches. I find the book extremely useful for trainers who want to learn more about teaching techniques and how to communicate better with their students. Luther himself became an official coach and he tells many stories about the work he has done with his pupils – the problems that kids may have at training sessions, the differences between group and individual lessons, the work with the opening repertoire etc. The book also contains tons of original tests and studies that will make your brain work. I personally appreciated ”The Luther’s test” which is a small test with 21 positions for players rated 2200-2400, seriously? These exercises are tricky! 🙂

Luther’s book is original and deals with topics that you don’t normally read about in chess publications.

Highly recommended! 

Liked it? Get the book here:

Written by (IM) Renier Castellanos

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