- IQ and chess skills
- Talent vs. hard work
- How many games to play per year?
- Are women underrated or overrated as compared to men?
- Rating inflation in chess
- What does your chess tell about your personality?
- Playing computers: dos and don'ts
- Developing your chess memory and visualization
- How does one prepare for an upcoming tournament?
- Is 1. e4 really "best by test"?
The author has an entertaining writing style and deliberately chose the essay format (without a single chess diagram or variation given) to stand out from other books and, I would say, be more thought-provoking about the various topics. As a relatively successful amateur (currently rated a little over 2000 FIDE) who also manages (and is married to) WGM Natalia Pogonina, Zhdanov offers a different and sometimes unique perspective on his subjects, the majority of which have direct relevance for improving players. A couple of the most pointed essays have already been quoted from here, as Training quote of the day #9 and Training quote of the day #10.
This is the type of book that can be enjoyed reading a few articles a day (my practice), or if you want to strictly do the one-a-day routine that also works. In part because themes regularly recur, with somewhat different angles or emphasis from the author, I do believe the collection of essays is best enjoyed, absorbed and pondered a few at a time. The book succeeds overall in making the reader think critically about a variety of different chess topics, while thoughtfully presenting its information, rather than trying to be a teaching manual. It therefore fills a unique niche for training and general enjoyment purposes.