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.”
Over time, my attention focused on the Modern Benoni. In this opening, the bishop on g7 is the same icon that is the basis of the King’s Indian, but here it can operate on the whole a1-h8 diagonal instead of being locked in by its own pawn on e5, as usually happens in the King’s Indian. Black’s plan is outrageously simple: with pawns on d6 and c5, and sometimes b4, he creates a breakwater that opens up space for his favorite on g7.
My expectations from the opening were reinforced by two games by the greatest chess romantic of all time, Mikhail Tal. It seems to me that these games will help you, dear reader, to be imbued with love for this extraordinary opening.
Grandmaster David Smerdon plays the Scandinavian, but not in the typically solid style of this popular opening. He gives the Scandinavian a welcome twist by using it as an all-out attacking weapon! The repertoire he presents in this book is an enhanced version of the one he has successfully employed at grandmaster level over many years. The backbone of his repertoire in the main lines is provided by the razor-sharp Portuguese and Icelandic gambits, while Smerdon also gives answers for Black against White’s other options. Smerdon examines the most important games, presents cutting-edge theory and shares all his discoveries with the reader. This book tells you everything you need to know about successfully playing Smerdon’s Scandinavian.
Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev ranks as one of the most creative chess minds ever in the history of the royal game. This is his book of secrets and methods, his remarkable life’s work.
Zaitsev unearthed astonishing ideas which even giants of the game had overlooked. World champions Tigran Petrosian and Anatoly Karpov insisted on Zaitsev’s analytical help in their matches, wanting to be first to play his profound discoveries, such as the famous Zaitsev Variation of the Ruy Lopez.
Zaitsev was himself a tournament champion. With his sharp, combinative style, he won dozens of “Most Beautiful Game” awards. Many of these games provide context for his lessons.
But Zaitsev is even more than a renowned coach and competitor. Part analyst, part champion, part chess philosopher, and part chess poet, he reveals the underlying logic and beauty of chess in a way no one else has ever done.
In his eye-opening title chapter, “Attacking the Strongpoint,” Zaitsev makes explicitly clear a common strategic element never formalized until this book. Often overlooked by amateurs and even GMs, the idea can lead to winning tactics in many games!
Backed up by top-level games, Zaitsev also provides deep-level explanations about:
Combinations and Piece Harmony;
Strategy and Structure;
Learning from the Cycle of Chess Epochs;
The Role of Reason and Judgment;
The Chess Law of Conservation of Energy;
Strategy: Evolution vs. Revolution, Recognizing a Favorable Structure.
As you read Zaitsev, you’ll often find yourself thinking, “Ah, now I get it!”
The volume is topped off by supplemental games, a complete autobiography by Zaitsev, a special foreword by world champion Garry Kasparov, as well as tributes and memories from world champion Anatoly Karpov and famed coach Mark Dvoretsky.
The purpose of this book is to shed some light on the underlying principles that govern “boring” chess positions, bordering on equality. Such positions have gradually become the main dish of nowadays’ chess menu because people have increased their level, their stamina, their desire to grind down wins out of nothing.
The author proposes a clear streamlined method of thinking in dry equal positions without long-term plans. It is based mostly on correct evaluation and categorization of the position, and on move by move play.
The book is not for novices, it assumes that the readers have mastered the basics already and wish to make the next step in their chess development.
The Ruy Lopez is one of the most important chess openings, hugely popular with amateurs and masters alike. Black players allowing the Ruy Lopez main lines are usually condemned to passivity, defending a slightly worse (though solid) position for as long as White chooses this situation to continue.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen doesn’t like passivity. He likes unconventional and active systems that allow him to take command and put pressure on his opponent from early on.
That’s why Magnus Carlsen revolutionized the old Møller Attack, one of the sharpest and most uncompromising variations against the Ruy Lopez. As yet largely disregarded and unexplored by the majority of players, Carlsen’s new approach allows Black to break free early and start giving White a hard time.
FIDE Master Ioannis Simeonidis is the first to investigate this system, cover it in detail, and make it easy to grasp for club players. He has called it the Neo-Møller. Simeonidis has made lots of exciting discoveries, presents many new ideas and shows that it is a reliable and playable system.
Since the Neo-Møller is a very early deviation from the main lines, it’s easy for Black to actually get it on the board and take opponents out of their comfort zone. Simeonidis has created a compact, accessible and inspirational book. One thing looks certain: White players of the Ruy Lopez are going to thoroughly dislike the Neo-Møller!
Do you instinctively know what to do in every type of chess position or are you often uncertain about how to proceed?
Wouldn't it be really useful to know the best chess strategies and to recognise when they should be used?
IIn this book Sam Collins examines key games from both the classical and modern eras. He analyses the major strategic ideas that have stood the test of time and notes their considerable influence on his own games. Studying classic examples from great players allows us to create a personal library of standard ideas. This helps us recognize key positions, making it easier to determine the most effective ways to attack and defend. Crucially, it helps us find the right path much more quickly than we would by relying on calculation alone.
Grandmaster and renowned chess trainer Michal Krasenkow presents a treasure chest of puzzles designed to stretch the minds of all players. Imagination and calculation are two of the most important qualities of a chess player, and they are qualities which, with purposeful practice, can be developed significantly. As you analyse and solve more and more positions, your brain functions more efficiently, you are able to recognize and master additional tactical methods and patterns, and it becomes increasingly easier to solve similar types of positions.
The exercises in this book are a 'collection of jewels' that Krasenkow has picked up during his career as a chess player, commentator and trainer. Solutions to the puzzles are often hidden, spectacular and unexpected, and are specifically designed to improve imagination and calculation. Many of the puzzles are taken from Krasenkow's own games, and this allows him to give the reader a unique psychological insight as to how and why solutions were or were not found during battle.
The author presents a full opening repertory for the club player, which is analysed in six volumes. In the books you will find many novelties for both sides, with a full move-to-move presentation. Furthermore, the reader will get access to middlegame strategies, endgame techniques and common tactical motifs, which are patterning the proposed variations.
In the fifth volume the openings of the Chigorin Defence, the Queen's Gambit Declined, the Tarrasch Defence, and the Semi-Tarrasch Defence are presented.
The Queen’s Gambit is one of the great classical openings. All the world champions and elite players have played this opening – most of them for both sides.
In this book the highly experienced coach international master Andrew Martin explains the basic ideas behind all the different variations you can encounter after 1 d4 d5 2 c4. This includes the classical defences (such as the Orthodox, the Lasker and the Slav) as well as the weird and wonderful (such as the Albin Counter-Gambit, the Hennig-Schara Gambit and Marshall's Defence).
First Steps books are based around carefully selected instructive games which demonstrate exactly what both sides are trying to achieve. There is enough theory to enable the improving player to get to grips with the opening without feeling overwhelmed. If you want to take up a new opening, First Steps is the ideal place to start.
Following on from his first successful book for Thinkers Publishing, The Correct Exchange in the Endgame 2018, Eduardas Rozentalis turns his attention towards the best tool for chess improvement: test your current knowledge! Our author has provided the most important key elements to practice one of the most difficult decisions: exchange or not! With most competitive games nowadays being played to a finish in a single session, this knowledge may prove invaluable over the board. His brand new coverage is the best tool for anyone looking to improve his insights or can be used as perfect teaching material.
The book before you is a product of what happens when two chess players start a relationship (which started over six years ago) and enter a dialogue about how to get ready for the next tournament. The content of this book is a training program for players who plan to play an over-the-board tournament a few weeks from the time they start training with this book. This book, unlike other similar books in the field of improvement, does not have a central theme. In other words, we are not focused solely on openings, middlegames or endgames. Moreover, the book does not only concentrate on specific themes (calculation, positional decisions, or other strategic aspects), though many of these concepts are addressed throughout the book. Instead, this book offers a holistic view on how to approach every single position in it, regardless of the phase of the game or the nature of the position. We try to teach players how to identify types of decisions in various positions, while pointing at the trade-off between a hardcore calculation and a heuristics judgment.