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This is mostly a book about chess with brief references to business. The concept sounded interesting and it had such great reviews, I gave it a try - and am disappointed.
Seems the author really wanted to write a book about chess history and strategy, and stuck in random thoughts about business. It would be helpful for those whose main desire is to improve their chess game, or perhaps interesting to those who are already fairly accomplished chess players.
Each chapter presents a principle of chess - "Play with a plan," "Learn from your mistakes" - followed by lengthy examples from chess, then a tiny bit basically saying that this also applies to business. For example, in the chapter entitled, "Don't Sacrifice Without Good Reason," he gives the brief business example of flooding the market with free product in order to try to gain customers who will pay for it in the future. Then he says that in chess and business it's really better to sacrifice your opponent's pieces than your own. If there is a way to do that in the business world, he has left me in the dark about what he means.
A more fundamental drawback is that he seems to take a wholly adversarial win/lose approach to business. In chess, there's always an opponent, a winner and a loser. The approach of Stephen Covey and others - to seek win/win solutions - makes more sense to me.
Another flaw in his approach is that chess has only two people/entities involved, whereas in business you have at least three - yourself as a product/service supplier, your prospects or clients, and your competitors. At least in my profession, I find I do far better to work on my relationship and communication with potential clients, than I would do by attacking my competitors in some way. I enjoy good business relationships based on trust.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
Let me say that this book took me by surprise with its intriguing stories drawn from the annals of chess history. The book is a hybrid chess instruction/business strategy, which draws life lessons from lessons learned on the chess board. The author enjoys interjecting zen-like axioms similar to ?your weakness is your strength.? Overall, the book is extremely satisfying when wanting to know basic principles which the best players abide by.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful