This is the second volume of my memorable games collection. Here you will find games that I played after my return to chess back in 2004. It had been eight years since my last tournament, and so much had changed for me. I had entered my first marriage and just graduated from Touro Law Center with an eye on my favorite subject, Intellectual Property, and on another new development at the time called cyber law, which dealt with issues related to the internet and international jurisdiction.
At the same time it represented an opportunity for me to return to something that I had devoted so much time and energy to, the game of chess. For the first time in my life I was free to pursue directions of my own choosing.
The decision was a difficult one, but finally I decided to return to chess, feeling that I could somehow positively influence both FIDE and the chess world in general. They were still split and had different world champions, the FIDE one, and the PCA one, which was the more prestigious of the two. The PCA World Champion was Mr. Kramnik, who had succeeded Mr. Kasparov as World Champion in the long line of world championship matches.
Clearly there were some triumphs and failures during this period of my chess career, but ultimately I feel that I have left a certain mark on the generation from which the world’s current top players have emerged.
Once again, in the games that follow, I try to share my vision of chess as a great intellectual battlefield where many factors play a role, including psychology and the science of computer home preparation. For me, there still exists the exciting journey to find the great truth of what is happening on the chess board, and the search for an even greater objective, the beauty of the game. With these in mind, I have selected these games, to share with you the knowledge that I have acquired so far.
Ivan Bukavshin, born in Rostov-on-Don in 1995, was a Russian chess prodigy. He was European U12, U14 and U16 champion and placed third in the world U16 championships among many other successes, gaining the Grandmaster title at just 16 years of age. Ivan finished third in the Aeroflot Open in 2015, behind Daniil Dubov and Ian Nepomniachtchi, where he put in a performance rating of 2803. Ivan achieved a series of 2700+ performances over 2013-2015. He tragically died in early 2016 at the age of 20.
This book, by his friend and coach Grandmaster Jakov Geller, takes a detailed look at Ivan’s life and career in 50 deeply annotated games and 14 fragments. Apart from Jakov, 20 other guest grandmasters annotate games in this book, including super GMs Dubov, Alexander Morozevich, Vladislav Artemiev, Vladimir Fedoseev, Maxim Matlakov, and Evgeny Alekseev. The list of Ivan’s opponents in these games includes Peter Svidler, Alexander Morozevich, Vladimir Fedoseev, Ernesto Inkariev, Richard Rapport, and Dmitry Andreikin.
How Magnus Carlsen Became the Youngest Chess Grandmaster in the World is the fairy-tale-like story of his rise.
Magnus Carlsen is arguably the strongest player of all time. His dominance is such that every loss comes as a shock. They remind us that even he has his weak moments. In fact, identifying the root causes of his losses holds valuable lessons for all players.
Cyrus Lakdawala’s search starts with a series of Magnus wins and draws to give the reader a feel for how incredibly difficult it is to beat him. The World Champion’s arsenal is awesome: a superlative ability to calculate, near-perfect intuition, probably the best endgame technique ever, a wide and creative opening repertoire, a willingness to unbalance the position almost anytime, and last but not least: his unparalleled will to win.
How to Beat Magnus Carlsen has a thematic structure, which, together with Lakdawala’s uniquely accessible style, makes its lessons easy to digest. Sometimes even Magnus gets outplayed, sometimes he over-presses and goes over the cliff’s edge, and sometimes he fails to find the correct plan. And yes, even Magnus Carlsen commits straightforward blunders. Lakdawala explains the how and the why.
It’s wonderful to have a World Champion who is not just incredibly strong, but who is also happy to experiment and take risks. That’s what makes Magnus Carlsen such a fascinating chess player. And that’s why he is the hero of this book. There is no doubt that Carlsen has examined all his losses under a microscope. If he benefits from this process, then so will we.
This exceptional book continues the unique project where one of the greatest players of our time transforms her personal journey to the top into a roadmap for everyone who ever wanted to better themselves in the game of chess
Notions of chess have been shattered by a teen-age Hungarian girl – some call her modest and soft-spoken, but many opponents know her as a ferocious tiger over the board .
During my chess career I have played almost 4000 classical games, a good deal of them against grandmasters, including world's top players, a number of which I managed to defeat. A lot of these games are interesting and instructive, and studying them will definitely help any player to get new expertise, learn new ideas and therefore improve their chess skill. This book is divided into three chapters. The first part is a brief description of my life and career. The second chapter includes 54 of my most memorable victories grouped by their main contents (tactics, attack, positional play etc.) while in every section games are arranged in chronological order. The third chapter is specifically devoted to endgames and contains analyses of the 12 most interesting, often amazing endgames, I had in my practice.
Some of the games and endings were published (mostly a long time ago) in various chess magazines. All my earlier annotations have been fully revised for this book, with the help of more modern computers and analysing engines. I don’t understand the strange approach of some chess commentators (mostly those providing online coverage of games), who decline using chess engines in order to give more "human" commentaries (which leads to numerous mistakes and blunders as they can't fully concentrate on the games in the same way as players do). I don't see any contradiction between human explanation of decisions taken in the games and their verification with technical aids. On top of this, computer analysis often reveals fantastic possibilities hidden in the position, which are as instructive as details of human thinking.
In Magnus Wins With Black Grandmaster Zenon Franco deeply analyses 30 of Magnus Carlsen’s most instructive games where he wins with the black pieces. This book is written in “move by move” style, a good training tool containing exercises and tests. This format is a great platform for studying chess, improving both skills and knowledge, as the reader is continually challenged to find the best moves and the author provides answers to probing questions throughout. It is the second of two volumes written by Franco for Elk and Ruby Publishing House on the games of Magnus Carlsen. His first volume Magnus Wins With White has proved to be an international best seller.
The main difference between these games and those in the previous book is that fewer of them are attacking games than when Carlsen plays White. This should not come as a surprise, because White has more chances to dictate the game scenario. Nevertheless, there are still some examples in this volume where Carlsen wins by attack. Another important difference is that there are more endings in this volume, which is also understandable.
What remains unchanged is that the fights are always intense. Carlsen never stops trying to win the game, no matter if, objectively, his chances are small. There are several examples where, at some point, his opponents collapse, unable to withstand the tension that Carlsen maintains in the game.
Most of the games are taken from Magnus’s recent career, including one from 2020 and six from 2019. His opponents are nearly all super-grandmasters, and they include former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, as well as Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexei Shirov, Levon Aronian, Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Anish Giri.
In Magnus Wins With White Grandmaster Zenon Franco deeply analyses 32 of Magnus Carlsen’s most instructive games where he wins with the white pieces. This book is written in “move by move” style, a good training tool containing exercises and tests. This format is a great platform for studying chess, improving both skills and knowledge, as the reader is continually challenged to find the best moves and the author provides answers to probing questions throughout.
Most of the games are taken from Magnus’s recent career, including one from 2020 and eight from 2019. His opponents are nearly all super-grandmasters, and they include former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, as well as Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, and, naturally, Anish Giri. In the majority of these games, Magnus demonstrates his ability to outplay his opponents in the middlegame by simply making stronger moves and applying constant pressure that eventually forces the opponent to crack and play weaker moves. In some games, however, this takes place in the endgame. A second book, Magnus Wins With Black, is forthcoming.
In his three-volume treatise, leading Russian chess historian Sergey Voronkov vividly brings to life the long-forgotten history of the Soviet championships held in 1920-1953. Volume I covers the first 10 championships from 1920-1937, as well as the title match between Botvinnik and Levenfish. The key contestants also include world champion Alekhine and challenger Bogoljubov, lesser-known Soviet champions Romanovsky, Bogatyrchuk, Verlinsky, and Rabinovich, and names that today will be unfamiliar yet were big stars at the time: Riumin, Alatortsev, Makogonov, Rauzer, Ragozin, Chekhover, and many others.
This book can be read on many levels: a carefully selected collection of 107 of the best games, commented on mostly by the players themselves, supported by computer analysis. A detailed and subtly argued social history of the Soviet Chess School and of how chess came to occupy such an important role in Soviet society. A discussion of how the chess community lost its independence and came to be managed by Party loyalists. A portrayal of how the governing body and its leader, Nikolai Krylenko, strived to replace an entire generation of free-thinking chess masters with those loyal to the state. A study of how the authorities’ goals changed from wanting to use chess as a means of raising the culture of the masses to wanting to use chess to prove the superiority of the Soviet way of life. Or a sometimes humorous, often tragic history of talented, yet flawed human beings caught up in seismic events beyond their control who just wanted to play chess.
This book is illustrated with around 170 rarely seen photos and cartoons from the period, mostly taken from 1920s-1930s Russian chess magazines.
As Garry Kasparov highlights in his foreword “this book virtually resembles a novel: with a mystery plot, protagonists and supporting cast, sudden denouements and even ‘author’s digressions’ – or, to be exact, introductions to the championships themselves, which constitute important parts of this book as well. These introductions, with wide and precise strokes, paint the portrait of the initial post-revolutionary era, heroic and horrific at the same time. I’ve always said that chess is a microcosm of society. Showing chess in the context of time is what makes this book valuable even beyond the purely analytical point of view.”
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 pawn endings composed by the leading Ukrainian problemist Mikhail Zinar.
Zinar is a prolific endgame expert who has produced several hundred studies since the 1970s, with a focus on pawn endings. His works have appeared in many leading Russian-language chess publications, including Chess in the USSR, 64 – Chess Review, and Chess Bulletin. He collaborated with Yuri Averbakh on the second edition of Averbakh’s Chess Endings (1983), in which he revised the theory of “corresponding squares”. In the foreword, Averbakh wrote: “Chapter ten, devoted to corresponding square systems, was written by chess composer M.A. Zinar – a big specialist in pawn endings. Otherwise, this chapter would have looked out of date.”
Zinar co-authored a Russian-language manual for creating pawn studies with Vladimir Archakov in 1990 called Harmony of the Pawn Study. He collaborated with Tkachenko in compiling this book.
The book contains 50 of the most exciting games of 2016. These games from high-level tournaments have been selected and analyzed by Grandmasters Naiditsch, Balogh, and Maze.