In what way is this book special? How can it make someone a better player? These are perfectly legitimate questions and whenever I buy a new chess book, I essentially ask the same ones.
The short answer is that this book will give you a comprehensive understanding of the chosen openings. Unlike many other books with a similar profile, it goes beyond pure theory and in addition to giving a great deal of practical advice, it touches on issues such as sample games, typical tactical strikes and, in the last chapter, endgames. On top of all this, a homework section enables you to immerse yourself in a given topic and achieve an in-depth understanding of it in your own time.
We follow this structure because as a coach, I know how important it is to receive as much guidance as possible on a new opening. Only this can lead to true mastery.
Let me recommend this book to any player who wants to learn more about closed openings, adopt a new approach to chess and build up a thorough and sophisticated repertoire. I have tested these openings with my students with good results, so I believe this book is suitable for anyone with an Elo rating from 1600-2500.
This book aims to provide a complete overview of a 1.d4 repertoire against five main openings (King’s Indian Defense, Grünfeld Defense, Slav Defense, Benoni Defense, and Catalan systems after 1.d4 d5), offering analysis of classical games and typical tactical motifs to provide an in-depth understanding of the associated middlegames. A concluding chapter explores typical endgames that are likely to arise from 1.d4.
Each chapter includes a thorough discussion of a particular opening, answering questions such as what types of players choose it, which world champions played it, or how games typically proceed afterwards.
Lasker’s Manual of Chess is one of the greatest chess books ever written. The fact that it was first published almost 85 years ago has diminished neither its relevance nor significance in today’s modern chess world.
This new edition takes Lasker’s legendary classic and puts it in a form more congenial to 21st-century readers. What is different in this edition? The English version of the Manual had remained, even through numerous reprints, virtually unchanged since it first appeared almost 85 years ago. In this new edition figurine algebraic notation is used, now standard throughout most of the world, instead of descriptive notation. The chapter on descriptive has been replaced with one explaining algebraic. Some of Lasker’s more awkward or archaic wordings and grammar – English was not his first language – have been improved or modernized, though this has been done sparingly. Besides more diagrams (the old edition was woefully stingy with them), the main additional features here are:
1) Photos of Lasker and some of his major contemporaries.
2) “Lasker Lore” – brief notes highlighting important events in his career, and portraying something of the man and his era.
3) Computer-checked analysis. Virtually every move and position has been subjected to computer analysis. Even with so fine a chess mind as Lasker’s, the occasional mistake or improvement was found. For minor items, brief comments have been added in italics directly in the text. However, sometimes the new analysis required longer discussion, and sometimes even warranted revision of Lasker’s original text. To minimize disruptions, such notes have all been placed in an appendix at the back, the text to which they correspond being indicated by superscripted numbers within the main body of the book. In cases where the original text was changed, the endnote shows Lasker’s original analysis, and gives the reasons it was modified. In cases where the original text was left intact, the endnote gives a correction or improvement.·
This is one of the finest books ever written on the art and science of chess. Read it, learn, and enjoy.
I have chosen 1.e4 for various reasons. First and foremost, it is the move I have played for the entirety of my chess-playing life. In the database, I have recorded approximately 400 white games, of which 350 began with 1.e4! I have also heavily researched the openings covered in this volume, through my column ‘1.e4’ for ChessPublishing.
Secondly, I believe that Black has a wider margin of error in the closed games than in the open games. Even if they do not know all the details of a certain line in the former case, they will end up with only a slight disadvantage in the majority of cases. The same cannot be said about the defenses to 1.e4. In this book you will find that Black must tread carefully if they play an offbeat system, as I have discovered several refutations to the most popular and widely accepted lines within them.
For every opening, I have adopted the same method of research. Firstly I undertake a detailed examination of human games, alongside correspondence/email games, with particular regard to the highest percentage of White wins and the number of games played. The human games allowed me to gain a natural feelings for the practical elements of the opening in question, while the correspondence games (essentially human-assisted engine games) covered the necessary element of objectivity.
The next stage consisted of my own engine analysis, using the Chessbase Engine Cloud to examine critical but unexplored positions. Finally, I engage as critically as possible with the existing literature, as I hope others will do with my work in the future.
At the beginning of every chapter is an overview of the opening, which serves to give the reader some basic foundations and highlights the general concepts, extracted from the analysis section. If the reader is in need of a brief summary of a particular opening, I suggest you focus on the overviews.
The analysis section contains the main body of work. The reader is not expected to memorize everything by heart; in fact, that is probably not a productive exercise. When going through a variation, it is best to stop at a point you think is appropriate, and that should always be the point at which you find that you have fully understood the position.
Each subchapter ends with a model game, which gives the reader a simplified picture of the variation at hand. Similar to the overview chapter, this section is largely illustrative.
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.”
Street Smart Chess is an expert guide to scoring more points at the chessboard. When does it pay off to play hard for a win? Or safe for a draw? And how do you adapt your playing style accordingly?
GM Axel Smith answers these questions, and more, by using a world-class player as a model for each chapter. Learn how Magnus Carlsen grinds out wins from level positions; how David Navara beats lower-rated opponents, and how Baskaran Adhiban beats higher-rated ones! Or serve-and-volley in the opening like Peter Heine Nielsen.
Playing well is a good start in chess, but you also need to be Street Smart.
The Caro-Kann is renowned as a top-tier defence to 1.e4, and Lars Schandorff’s Grandmaster Repertoire book on this opening received rave reviews. As GM Zenon Franco Ocampos put it, “I cannot imagine a better way of converting into a Caro-Kann player.” A decade later, Schandorff is back with a completely new repertoire which improves on his previous work in every way.
Playing the Caro-Kann offers a complete repertoire for Black after 1.e4 c6, based on 2.d4 d5 followed by 3.e5 Bf5 or 3.Nc3/3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6 exf6. With cutting-edge analysis, thorough explanations of positional motifs and instructively annotated illustrative games, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Caro-Kann.
Because of the sheer volume of variations, possible transpositions and ever-changing theory, chess openings can be overwhelming – even intimidating. This book is an introduction to understanding and playing chess openings. The author, Danish Master Carsten Hansen, stresses opening play based on comprehending opening principles as well as useful, fundamental knowledge. With an overview of all the most important opening variations, examples of good and bad opening play, opening traps and problems to solve, chess openings and its major principles are covered thoroughly.
Many games are lost as a result of a player’s poor grasp of even the most basic principles of opening play. This book will help you enhance your understanding and give you guidelines on how to best study and play chess openings, reaching good, playable middlegame positions.
"We talk a lot about defence in chess but rarely try to break this major notion down into elements that constitute it and, importantly, that we can systematically learn. This book does exactly that. It is suitable for players of all levels aiming to improve their game. It may be especially appropriate for coaches because of its systematized character." - GM Adrian Mikhalchishin
Many club players think that studying chess is all about cramming as much information in their brain as they can. Most textbooks support that notion by stressing the importance of always trying to find the objectively best move. As a result amateur players are spending way too much time worrying about subtleties that are really only relevant for grandmasters.
Emanuel Lasker, the second and longest reigning World Chess Champion (27 years!), understood that what a club player needs most of all is common sense: understanding a set of timeless principles. Amateurs shouldn’t waste energy on rote learning but just strive for a good grasp of the basic essentials of attack and defence, tactics, positional play and endgame play endgame play.
Chess instruction needs to be efficient because of the limited amount of time that amateur players have available. Superfluous knowledge is often a pitfall. Lasker himself, for that matter, also studied chess considerably less than his contemporary rivals.
Gerard Welling and Steve Giddins have created a complete but compact manual based on Lasker’s general approach to chess. It enables the average amateur player to adopt trustworthy openings, reach a sound middlegame and have a basic grasp of endgame technique. Welling and Giddins explain the principles with very carefully selected examples from players of varying levels, some of them from Lasker’s own games.
The Lasker Method to Improve in Chess is an efficient toolkit as well as an entertaining guide. After working with it, players will dramatically boost their skills – without carrying the excess baggage that many of their opponents will be struggling with.
This second volume on the Ruy Lopez consists of two parts. In the first part I focus on modern systems with ...Bc5, attempting to dissect both the Archangelsk and Moller Variations. These two variations have quite a rich history but in 2020 there have been several developments. If I had to name one person that contributed the most to the developments in those lines it is, without a doubt, Fabiano Caruana. His encounters in the Candidates Tournament in Ekaterinburg, then his theoretical discussion in those lines with Leinier Dominguez, revised my opinion on many of those lines and led to interesting discoveries that I analyze in this book.
In the subsequent part I discuss the Closed Ruy Lopez. It is easily one of the most popular openings throughout the history of chess with many games occuring as early as the 1800s. I suggest going for 9.h3 which usually leads to a positional battle. I present new trends and find new paths and ideas in such evergreen variations as the Zaitsev, Breyer, Chigorin and others. Additionally, I attempt to crack the Marshall Attack by suggesting the Anti-Marshall lines with 8.a4. I must admit that I thought that it would be a pretty easy task to analyze those openings having some prior analysis and experience with both colors. However, time after time I was encountering new challenges and new ideas from both sides that I had to resolve. My conclusions, based on careful analysis with the most powerful engines currently available is presented in this book.
This book completes my series on the Ruy Lopez.
Which opening does better in practice: the wild, “unsound” and “refuted” Latvian Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5) or the solid Philidor Defence (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6)?
As James Schuyler points out, referring to the definitive Megabase, the Latvian Gambit scores higher.
How can such a discredited opening (and the same story is repeated with other “unsound” openings) do so well? The point is that playing like this throws the opponent off balance, makes them anxious and induces mistakes.
Even the very best players recognise the value of discomforting the opponent. Historically, Emanuel Lasker was the master of this approach and his modern day equivalent is world champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen frequently employs offbeat openings and his opponents invariably fail to counter them correctly.
This is the key theme of this book. Schuyler covers all phases of the game and discusses other vital subjects such as harassment, material imbalance, time management, surprise moves, unusual ideas, provocative play, manoeuvres and recovering from bad positions.
The Sicilian Defence is the most popular reply to 1 e4. With 1...c5 Black comes out fighting, immediately challenging any sense of a “natural white advantage”. Sicilian Defence players are often very well prepared theoretically and the tremendous dynamism of the Sicilian can often disturb their opponents. In this book, German FIDE master Jonas Hacker provides a complete repertoire for White when facing the Sicilian. The recommended systems are based on solid strategic considerations. The backbone of the repertoire is the line 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 f3!? This is a perfect line to throw Najdorf and Dragon players off their stride. White will (usually) follow up with c2-c4 and establish a useful space advantage. Many of the other recommended lines are also based around the space-gaining c2-c4 advance providing cohesion across the whole repertoire.
In Opening Repertoire: Beating the Sicilian, Jonas Hacker guides the reader through the complexities of the Sicilian and carves out a repertoire for White. He examines all aspects of this highly complex opening and provides the reader with well-researched, fresh, and innovative analysis. Each annotated game has valuable lessons on how to play the opening and contains instructive commentary on typical middlegame plans.