Books on chess exercises are usually about tactics. But in most of the positions that you think about during a game, there is no tactical solution. What you are doing most of the time is trying to find a way to improve your position or weaken your opponent’s, by applying strategic rules.
Experienced chess trainer Emmanuel Bricard has created a practical exercise manual with carefully selected and tested training positions that teach you how to develop the right plan.
Russian International Master Maxim Chetverik has written a strategy textbook containing 75 deeply annotated positional games that show players how to devise plans to handle a number of key strategic themes, such as when to open up the game, how to activate the pawn chain, how to carry out positional sacrifices and many others. Unlike most other textbooks, the strategic plans are viewed as battles where the plans of each player clash, and Maxim analyzes why one plan comes out on top.
Also unlike most other textbooks, all example games are drawn from grandmaster play in the 21st century, some played in 2018, and consider the plans right out of the opening stage. This makes the book of particular value to players wishing to better understand the strategies that the openings they play may lead to, bearing in mind the author is an openings expert with ten openings books published. The majority of games are played by elite grandmasters, including Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin, Giri, So, Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Leko, J. Polgar, Topalov, Kamsky, Morozevich, Korchnoi and Spassky.
Chetverik introduces and illustrates the concepts of macroplan and microplan, which provide a simple structural framework for players seeking to devise plans in their own games. The macroplan is the specific way to achieve the required result (usually, a win), for example, the successful exploitation of a queenside pawn majority. The microplan is a way of solving a local problem that involves several moves, such as transferring a knight from a bad square to a good one. Ideally, a macroplan is a chain of sequential and carefully calculated microplans.
This book is largely aimed at strong club players wishing to improve, or their coaches. The recommended Elo range is approximately 1,800 – 2,200, although it may of course be of interest to players a bit lower and a bit higher than this range.
Opening preparation is essential, but for aspiring players understanding the middlegame is even more important.
The new series of middlegame books by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Georg Mohr starts with a volume about the center.
International Master and experienced chess trainer Thomas Willemze is the handyman you are looking for. He tells you which are the most urgent problems that need fixing. In his no-nonsense guide, Willemze presents essential techniques on how to mobilize your pieces in order to gain the upper hand.
This handbook, probably the most thorough grounding in the history of teaching chess, was recently created for chess teachers at the DYSS, the special sports school for young talents in Russia.
In VOLUME 2 you are again handed basic and advanced tools to improve in a wide array of areas: assessing and handling pawn structures, employing positional and tactical means to improve your position, identifying weak spots, mastering attacking dynamics and more.
The basic concept of the book is simple but quite effective: various surveys on all aspects of the game, covering and explaining unrevealed or poorly explained ideas and paths. In the present book a total of 40 concepts are deeply analysed.
Chess master, author, and renowned teacher Dan Heisman shows you the whys and the hows of annotating your games. Using entertaining clashes from four decades of tournament play, Heisman traces his own development as a player and analyst, illustrating how his method works in practice.11
Do masters methodically cut their way through the branches of a tree of analysis? Is it true that attacking players calculate a dozen moves ahead, while positional specialists rely on abstract principles? What exactly does it mean to “calculate,” anyway?
The goal of this book is to illustrate how specific pawn structures should be studied for typical themes even if they arise from different openings. The pawn structure with (typically) White’s isolated queen pawn on the ‘d’ file has been known for over a hundred years, and different players have shown best plans for both sides over the years.
FIDE Master and coach Tigran Gyozalyan fills a gap in the chess literature with the first systematic exploration of the king’s role and capabilities in the opening and the middlegame