After the first two volumes of the series had been produced (the first about Ruy Lopez and Italian structures after 1.e4 e5, the second about Queen’s Gambit structures after 1.d4 d5), it was time for me to consider the third volume. Since the Sicilian is such a popular opening among club players, the choice was virtually automatic and resulted in the book you now hold. It was, however, clear from early on that such a nuanced and wide-ranging opening could never fit in a single volume. That is why the series will continue with more Sicilian books after this one. As my former teacher, the late Huub van Dongen, once said: “There is more literature about the Najdorf variation alone than about the Middle Ages!” And, you know, maybe he’s right. The complexities of the Sicilian are such that it is quite the job to explain them in the style I established with the first two volumes on more classical openings. Each Sicilian variation has quite specific characteristics and deserves separate treatment. But in placing the systems in books I tried to group together those that are most similar to each other. Hence, the Dragon does not go with the Sveshnikov; in the present book you will find the Najdorf and Scheveningen variations, which are altogether more similar to each other and even have some overlap.
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.
The secret of its success may be its anti-positional look. The pawn thrust g2-g4 is often so counter-intuitive that it’s a perfect way to confuse your opponents and disrupt their position. Ever since World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik started using it to defeat the elite grandmasters of his day, it has developed, on all levels of play, into an ever more popular and attractive way to fight for the initiative.
Grandmaster Dmitry Kryakvin owes a substantial part of his successes as a chess player to the g2-g4 attack. In this book he shows how it can be used to defeat Black in a number of important Closed and Semi-Closed Defences and Flank Openings: the Dutch, the Queen’s Gambit, the Nimzo-Indian, the King’s Indian, the Slav and several variations of the English Opening.
With lots of instructive examples, Kryakvin explains the ins and outs of the attack on the g-file: the typical ways to gain tempi and keep the momentum, and the manoeuvres that will maximize your opponent’s problems. After working with this book you will be fully equipped to use this modern battering ram to define the battlefield. You will have fun and win games!
"Tactics according to Smyslov" is the first book of the "Power of Tactics" trilogy by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin and IM Tadej Sakelsek.
"Recently many great puzzle books have been published, but this book is a bit different from the others. The authors have used a unique, and at the same time simple, model for classification of tactical elements. They tried to look at this most important feature of chess through the eyes of a great champion, Vassily Smyslov. His ideas about tactics will make studying the different aspects of this subject much easier. Tactics according to Smyslov is the first of three books in the The Power of Tactics series. I can heartily recommend this book to all players with a rating up to 1600. You will find enjoyment while solving the puzzles and improving your calculation." GM Georg Mohr
The unique concept of Monster your middlegame planning received a very good feedback from our readers, therefore we decided to continue the series by keeping the same concept for endgames in two volumes. The author GM Efstratios Grivas is going through the most important endgame topics in a testing format, so the reader not only masters endgames, but also tests his actual knowledge.
Grandmaster Johan Hellsten is convinced that mastering chess strategy - just like chess tactics - requires practice, practice and yet more practice!
This outstanding book is a product of his many years' work as a full-time chess teacher, and is specifically designed as part of a structured training programme to improve strategic thinking. It focuses on a wide range of key subjects and provides a basic foundation for strategic play. Furthermore, in addition to the many examples, there's an abundance of carefully selected exercises which allow readers to monitor their progress and put into practice what they have just learned. Following such a course is an ideal way for players of all standards to improve. Although designed mainly for students, this book is also an excellent resource for chess teachers and trainers.
– An essential course in chess strategy
– Contains over 400 pages of Grandmaster advice
– Includes more than 350 training exercises
Study brings wisdom. Practice brings perfection.
Following his highly acclaimed Mastering Chess Strategy and Mastering Opening Strategy, this book completes a trilogy of strategy books by Grandmaster and renowned chess teacher Johan Hellsten. In his new work Hellsten focuses exclusively on endgame play and covers every type of endgame: pawn, minor piece, rook and queen endgames. He examines not only the many fundamental positions that everyone needs to know, but also the key themes and characteristics of successful endgame play, including activity, creating and exploiting weaknesses, active and passive defence, fortresses and technique.
Just like his previous two books, Mastering Endgame Strategy is a product of Hellsten's many years' work as a full-time chess teacher and is specifically designed as part of a structured training programme to improve strategic thinking. In addition to the many examples there's an abundance of carefully selected exercises which allow readers to monitor their progress and put into practice what they have just learned. Following such a course is an ideal way for players of all standards to improve. Although designed mainly for students, this book is also an excellent resource for chess teachers and trainers.
Study brings wisdom. Practice brings perfection
This is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Johan Hellsten's acclaimed Mastering Chess Strategy. In this new book Hellsten focuses exclusively on opening play. He examines a wide variety of key subjects, including development, the centre, attack and defence, pawn breaks, typical mistakes and how to punish them, and opening preparation, providing the reader with a vital foundation in opening strategy. Just like his previous book Mastering Opening Strategy is a product of Hellsten's many years' work as a full-time chess teacher and is specifically designed as part of a structured training programme to improve strategic thinking. In addition to the many examples there's an abundance of carefully selected exercise games which allow readers to monitor their progress and put into practice what they have just learned. Following such a course is an ideal way for players of all standards to improve. Although designed mainly for students, this book is also an excellent resource for chess teachers and trainers.
– An essential course in opening strategy
– Contains over 350 pages of Grandmaster advice
– Includes over 200 examples and exercise games
The previous book of Khalifman and Soloviov, The Modern Scotch, discussed how to counter 1.e4 e5 in the most direct, aggressive and sometimes even risky fashion. Their new work explores a radically different approach. It presents a White repertoire based on the Four Knights Game, and in particular, the main line – the traditional system with 4.Bb5. The authors summarise the method they propose in the following way: 1. White controls the centre, develops quickly and castles. He DOES NOT strive for a direct clash with the opponent after the first few moves in the opening. 2. He begins active operations only after the completion of his development; as a rule, these will take place in the centre and on the kingside. 3. White strives to reach positions in which basic strategical principles, correct evaluation and ability to choose the correct plan will be at least as important as calculation and theoretical knowledge. 4. He still fights for an opening advantage even though the focus is on the middlegame.
When I set out to write this book, I was clear on certain aspects, like keeping the moves simple and giving as much explanation as possible at the critical moments, as I wanted to ensure that someone interested in learning the intricacies of the Berlin doesn’t get swamped by long theoretical lines, but acquires a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the positions. If you manage to grasp the dynamics of these lines, then you can play not just the systems recommended in the book, but also other popular Berlin variations that have not been covered in this book for the Black side.
My aim in this book is to show that the Delayed Benoni is equally as attractive as its cousin, the Modern Benoni. For some reason – perhaps because “Modern” sounds more exciting than “Delayed”? – my favorite Benoni has been neglected for years, receiving scant coverage in chess publications.
The advantage of “our” Benoni is based on a waiting approach. Black would like to choose a perfect moment to play ...e6xd5, waiting for White to adopt some piece setup that turns out to be inconvenient for him after this exchange. At the same time, we would like to avoid some dangerous or deeply explored variations like the Flick-Knife (a.k.a Taimanov) or systems where White can place his bishop on the optimal f4-square.
A lot of variations in this book can also be useful for King’s Indian players, as a main or alternative way to play. My own journey in the world of the Delayed Benoni started when I was a King’s Indian kind of guy!