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Are you bored with playing it safe in the opening? Had enough of developing your pieces sensibly, aiming to control the centre and getting your king castled? Do you yearn to tear the opposition apart in the style of the great 19th century masters? Then Grandmaster Gambits 1 e4 is the book for you!
The highly successful writing duo of Richard Palliser and Simon (GingerGM) Williams have teamed up again to create a repertoire based on jettisoning a pawn (and often a whole lot more) very early on. Whatever opening your opponent favours against 1 e4, the authors have a dynamic gambiteering counter which will throw them onto their own resources.
The Sicilian Defence? Attack it with the Wing Gambit.
1...e5? Tear Black apart with the Max Lange Attack.
The French? Suffocate Black with the Advance Variation including Magnus Carlsen’s souped-up version of the Milner-Barry Gambit.
The Caro-Kann? Play the Hillbilly Attack with 2 Bc4! Your opponent might laugh but they won’t be laughing when you crash through on f7.
Forget about playing “properly” in the opening. Open 1 e4, play the Grandmaster Gambits and rip your unprepared opponents apart!
The vast majority of chess games witness familiar strategies and well known tactical motifs. These are the games that you will find in the anthologies and opening repertoires. Sometimes however, games appear that seem to have been played on a different planet.
Conventional strategies go out of the window. Familiar tactical themes are nowhere to be seen. Chaos has broken out. The pieces appear to be in open rebellion and are steadfastly refusing to do the natural jobs that they were designed for.
Having to navigate a path in such a game can be a nightmare. Do you rely purely on calculation? Is it better to trust your instincts? Can you assess the position using “normal” criteria?
In order to answer these questions, prolific chess author and coach Cyrus Lakdawala has assembled a collection of brilliantly unconventional and irrational games. The positions in these games appear almost random. Kings have gone walkabout, pieces are on bizarre squares, huge pawn rollers are sweeping all before them.
Irrational chess is like nothing you’ve seen before. As well as being highly instructive this is a hugely entertaining book.
Do not adjust your set. It’s chess, Jim, but not as we know it.
Ian Nepomniachtchi, challenger to Magnus Carlsen’s World Championship title in 2021, is an outstanding chess talent. “Nepo” as he is universally known is a fascinating player and this book assesses his career and analyses his original and creative style in great depth with numerous deeply annotated games.
Nepo is one of the very few players in the world to hold (at least prior to the match) a plus score (four wins to one with six draws) against Carlsen in classical chess. Nepo and Carlsen are peers and first started playing each other in the Under-12 category of the World Youth Championship in 2002. In that event, Nepo edged out Carlsen on tie-break. At that time he out-rated Carlsen by 100 points and was generally considered to be the more promising of the two prodigies.
Nepo is a fascinating player who loves open and irrational positions and excels when on the attack. Unsurprisingly, he cites Mikhail Tal as his all-time favorite player and says Tal is the player who has exerted the greatest influence on him. As with that great Latvian genius, Nepo thrives on anarchy and chaos and has frequently got the better of Carlsen in games with mind-boggling complications. He is also lethal when he has the initiative.
Nepo has steadily climbed the world rankings and his finest achievement was his victory in the 2020/2021 Candidates’ tournament with 8½/14 points (+5-2=7) which gave him the right to challenge Carlsen for the world title.
Cyrus Lakdawala is an International Master, a former National Open and American Open Champion, and a six-time State Champion. He has been teaching chess for over 40 years, and coaches some of the top junior players in the U.S.
The Black Lion is a thoroughly modern counterattacking system that is a nightmare to face. This wild and aggressive line attempts to take away White’s initiative from a very early stage and is guaranteed to throw your opponents off balance.
The Black Lion is essentially a contemporary and aggressive interpretation of the Philidor Defence (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6). The Black Lion starts with a slightly different move order, 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3, and now the lion family splits into two different animals: the risky lion (3...Nbd7) or the tame lion (3...e5). Both treatments are thoroughly investigated in this book.
Simon Williams (the Ginger GM) is the ideal guide to explain how to whip up an extremely dangerous attack using either treatment. Williams is well known for his swashbuckling, attacking play and the Black Lion suits his style perfectly. His commentary and annotations are always instructive and entertaining.
– The Black Lion is an unusual and dangerous system with little established theory.
– White cannot rely on simple, safe moves as such a strategy is liable to be overrun.
– The Black Lion is fun and exciting to play!
Most chess openings have been around for centuries; the first book on the Ruy Lopez was written in 1561. Not so the Jobava System. This is a thoroughly modern opening that has only achieved prominence in the last decade or so. It is named after the Georgian chess visionary Baadur Jobava, a highly imaginative and creative grandmaster. The Jobava System is based around the opening moves 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4. For many years this was considered to be a quiet and unassuming backwater of chess theory. No longer!
Thanks to the efforts of Jobava and others this system has been honed into a fierce attacking weapon. As this opening is so new the correct defensive methods are not well understood. This makes the system extremely dynamic and dangerous.
In this book, Simon Williams (the Ginger GM) delves deep into the Jobava and offers up a complete repertoire based on this exciting new system. The advantages are clear:
– There is very little existing theory
– Black cannot play safely on “auto-pilot”
– It is fresh and it’s fun!
There are many secrets in chess, knowledge of which distinguishes a chess virtuoso from an amateur. One of these secrets is the ability to play positions with opposite-colored bishops.
Why is it so important? The point is that the presence of opposite-colored bishops is not always a sign of an impending draw. Due to a number of factors, one of the bishops may turn out to be stronger than its opposite number. This can lead to a successful attack, material gains or obtaining some other advantages that contribute to winning the game.
Grandmaster Alexey Bezgodov has written a book analyzing 174 endgame positions with opposite-colored bishops as training material for advanced players who wish to deepen their endgame skills. Endgame theory, tactics and strategy are all covered, and this will help strong improvers to grind out wins instead of draws, and to avoid losing in difficult positions. The most positions are taken from modern games, and they mostly feature world champions and top grandmasters, including Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik, Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer, Tal, Korchnoi, Andersson, Shirov, Gelfand, Caruana, Nepomniachtchi, and others.
Alexey Bezgodov, born in 1969, was Russian champion in 1993 and runner up in 1999. He has written around 20 books on all aspects of chess.
The variation of the French that starts 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 (or 3 Nd2) 3 ... dxe4 is often called the Rubinstein Variation. It is a great way to simplify the position and ensure that the middlegame battle rewards strategic understanding rather than rote memorisation of opening moves. It is also a very useful weapon to defuse the attacking intentions of aggressive White players who plan an all-out assault in the main lines of the French Defence.
An important feature of the lines after 3...dxe4 4 Nxe4 is that Black has various different ways to continue. 4 ... Nd7 is the most common but 4 ... Bd7 (planning ... Bc6 – the Fort Knox Variation), 4 ... Be7 and 4 ... Nf6 are all possible. All these lines are covered in the book.
Finally, White can, of course, avoid the 3 ... dxe4 variation with (amongst others) the Advance Variation, 3 e5. Martin provides antidotes to all these possible sidelines and so the variations in the book provide a complete repertoire to meet 1 e4.