In reply to a comment of Blue Devil.
Rules are generalisations by their very nature. This means that concrete analysis of a position will always precede over rules.
In the first 3 of the 5 stages from novice to expert the student is rule dependent. (1. novice, 2. advanced beginner, 3.competent player, 4. proficient player, 5. expert) Then you arrive at the most difficult transition, from 3-4. Gradually you have to replace your dogma's by concrete experience, which is far more detailed and subtle than a rule can ever be.
I think that is impossible to skip the use of general rules and to head for concrete skill by experience right away. My problem with Watsons book is that it might give you the impression that such approach is possible. The second problem I have with it is that it gives the impression that the rules of Nimzowitsch are no longer valid.
His proofs often goes along the following line:
"So you say that all Americans are patriots? I will invite all non-patriot Americans for dinner and send you the bill!". As said earlier, of course any general rule has exceptions aplenty. That by itself doesn't make the rule invalid.
Dvoretsky says in his book of chess excellence part 3 though:
"Until today the idea's of Nimzowitsch have stand the test of time."
(me saying "1", rest of the world saying "2", boo-yelling crowd, exercising crowd-independence)
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