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 .
Emanuel Lasker was world champion for a remarkable 27 years (1894-1921) and is generally regarded as having been way ahead of his time in his understanding of chess. He primarily regarded chess as a fight and considered that the strongest move in a position was the one that created greatest problems for the opponent and not necessarily the one that was objectively “best”.
His strengths included:
his skill at accumulating small advantages with quiet manoeuvring;
his astonishing ability to find tactical resources in defence;
his uncanny knack of provoking errors in balanced positions.
Lasker was, essentially, a complete chessplayer and his games feel thoroughly modern. Indeed many contemporary elite players (the most obvious one being the current world champion Magnus Carlsen) exhibit a very similar style.
The Move by Move series provides an ideal format for the keen chessplayer to improve their game. While reading you are continually challenged to answer probing questions – a method that greatly encourages the learning and practising of vital skills just as much as the traditional assimilation of chess knowledge. Carefully selected questions and answers are designed to keep you actively involved and allow you to monitor your progress as you learn. This is an excellent way to study chess while providing the best possible chance to retain what has been learnt.
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.”
I was lucky enough to play against six world champions and several top players in my modest chess career, but the greatest player I feel privileged to have known, to have spent time with him, was Miguel Najdorf, “El Viejo”.
This is a chess book, with 275 commented games, it covers all his chess career, but it has also many stories. Najdorf was the most important Argentinean chess player, and he was an exceptional person. Oscar Panno said that Najdorf reminded him of Don Quixote, in the part of the book where he tells Sancho Panza, “Wherever I am, that is where the head of the table is going to be”. He successfully overcame the most terrible setbacks, as few are capable of doing. Writing about Miguel Najdorf is one of my greatest pleasures as a chess journalist and writer!
In Mikhail Tal: The Street-Fighting Years, Tal’s long-term coach and second Alexander Koblenz takes the reader through the first 12 years of Tal’s chess career, from promising junior to world champion in 1960 and encompassing his return world championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik in 1961.
This classic book, first published in the Soviet Union in 1963, contains 77 games and fragments annotated by the author who provides ring-side commentary and unique inside knowledge, as well as background information to the games and anecdotes.
Five of the games are taken from Tal’s 1960 world title match and seven from his 1961 world title match. Aside from Botvinnik, opponents include Bobby Fischer, Vasily Smyslov, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, David Bronstein, Viktor Korchnoi, Paul Keres, Efim Geller, Yuri Averbakh and many other stars of chess during the 1950s and early 1960s.
The analysis has been updated using the latest computer technology by International Master Valeri Bronznik. Bronznik delivers a masterclass in modern analysis of classical games while allowing Koblenz full scope to demonstrate how Tal destroyed his opponents with the best attacking chess known at the time. Indeed, Bronznik makes many new and exciting discoveries in Tal’s games and this work serves as an instruction manual for playing practical, street-fighting chess.
As Alexei Shirov writes in his foreword, “I am very happy that this old but highly instructive book is finally out in English. The old Russian edition has always been a special treasure for me and I truly enjoyed reading it through again.”
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.
Paul Morphy is a chess legend and without doubt one of the greatest players in the history of the game. His understanding of the game was years ahead of his time and in his era he was easily the best player in the world. His chess career was brief but brilliant and he influenced all the great champions who came after him. His legacy includes a treasure trove of wonderful strategic and attacking games which are highly instructive for all aspiring chess players. In this book, Grandmaster Zenón Franco examines in detail Morphy’s chess style, selects and studies his favourite Morphy games, and demonstrates how we can all improve our chess by learning from Morphy’s masterpieces.
Move by Move provides an ideal platform to study chess. By continually challenging the reader to answer probing questions throughout the book, the Move by Move format greatly encourages the learning and practising of vital skills just as much as the traditional assimilation of knowledge. Carefully selected questions and answers are designed to keep you actively involved and allow you to monitor your progress as you learn. This is an excellent way to improve your chess skills and knowledge.
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.