Feature articles and hundreds of deeply annotated games
This work is a follow-up to my first book “Unconventional Approaches to Modern Chess – Rare Ideas for Black” which was published in February 2019. This time, I am flipping the board and exploring offbeat opening ideas from White’s perspective. The structure of the book has remained basically the same as before, except that I merged Part III (Showing Ambitions) and Part IV (Early Surprises) into one combined chapter Ambitions & Surprises.
Part I explores sidelines in several mainstream openings. This is the most in-depth chapter of the book in terms of opening analysis. Part II presents two systems that are quite universal in nature and can be used against more than one opening. Part III gives a broad overview of a variety of aggressive lines taken from GM-level games.
As I stated in the previous book, I’m a big believer in the practical approach to chess. In order to win, you don’t need to find the best move in every position. It is neither possible nor necessary. To win a game, it is enough to be just a little bit better than your opponent. To make this happen, especially when facing a strong player, you must force your opponent to solve practical problems. You must get them into a position where the cost of a potential mistake is much higher than usual.
If there is no room for your opponent to make a mistake, then they are unlikely to make it. It is your job to give them plenty of opportunity to go wrong. As Mikhail Tal famously put it, “You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.”
This book aims to expose you to a variety of opening ideas that can help you to achieve this goal. I hope you find reading it beneficial in your future endeavors at the chess board.
At the U.S. Championship in 1989, Stuart Rachels seemed bound for the cellar. Ranked last and holding no IM norms, the 20-year-old amateur from Alabama was expected to get waxed by the American top GMs of the day that included Seirawan, Gulko, Dzindzichashvili, deFirmian, Benjamin and Browne.
Instead, Rachels pulled off a gigantic upset and became the youngest U.S. Champion since Bobby Fischer. Three years later he retired from competitive chess, but he never stopped following the game.
In this wide-ranging, elegantly written, and highly personal memoir, Stuart Rachels passes on his knowledge of chess. Included are his duels against legends such as Kasparov, Anand, Spassky, Ivanchuk, Gelfand and Miles, but the heart of the book is the explanation of chess ideas interwoven with his captivating stories.
There are chapters on tactics, endings, blunders, middlegames, cheating incidents, and even on how to combat that rotten opening, the Réti. Rachels offers a complete and entertaining course in chess strategy. At the back are listed 110 principles of play—bits of wisdom that arise naturally in the book’s 24 chapters.
Every chess player will find it difficult to put this sparkling book down. As a bonus, it will make you a better player.
The way a beginner develops into a strong chess player closely resembles the progress of the game of chess itself. This popular idea is the reason why many renowned chess instructors such as former World Champions Garry Kasparov and Max Euwe, emphasize the importance of studying the history of chess.
Willy Hendriks agrees that there is much to be learned from the pioneers of our game. He challenges, however, the conventional view on what the stages in the advancement of chess actually have been. Among the various articles of faith that Hendriks questions is Wilhelm Steinitz's reputation as the discoverer of the laws of positional chess.
In The Origin of Good Moves Hendriks undertakes a groundbreaking investigative journey into the history of chess. He explains what actually happened, creates fresh perspectives, finds new heroes, and reveals the real driving force behind improvement in chess: evolution.
This thought-provoking book is full of beautiful and instructive ‘new’ material from the old days. With plenty of exercises, the reader is invited to put themselves in the shoes of the old masters. Never before has the study of the history of chess been so entertaining and rewarding.
The Modern Benoni is just about the most aggressive method that Black can choose to counter White’s 1 d4. In the main line variations Black allows White to have a preponderance of central pawns which, traditionally, grants the first player the advantage. However, in return, Black gains the opportunity for tremendously dynamic counterplay. This places White and under immediate pressure as any inaccurate moves can prove to be disastrous.
In this book, FIDE Master John Doknjas 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. With thorough variations and explanations on pawn structures and piece placement, this book provides insight for both strong masters and less experienced players alike. The format is ideal for the chessplayer keen 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.
Play Winning Chess is an enthusiastic introduction to chess that will transform you into a veritable gladiator of the chessboard. Seirawan begins by explaining piece movement, chess notation, the rules of play and basic tactics. His examples, question-and-answer sections, psychological hints, and lively sample games help you learn strategies and play aggressively while having fun. Discovering how to engage in clever attacks and subtle defenses will take you beyond the thrill of competition into the realm of creative art. Play Winning Chess is exuberant and conversational, enlivened by personal anecdotes and fascinating historical details.
The Caro-Kann Defense has always been one of my favorite openings to play and was the very first opening I learned when I started playing chess. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov espoused this opening throughout his career and, with his solid and positional style, inspired me to play the Caro-Kann as well. Many games have been played, and theory has evolved since the days of Karpov’s Caro-Kann. As you will see in this book, this opening offers Black many opportunities for dynamic play, despite its solid framework.
My hope is that readers of all levels will find something of value to them in this book. The material contains many new ideas and the analysis often stretch quite far from the opening stages. Nevertheless, I have done my best to help the reader make sense of the complicated variations and of the positional nuances inextricably woven between them. The idea is not only to show you the moves, but also to help you develop both your understanding of the underlying plans and your familiarity with broader strategic concepts, to guide your decision-making even beyond the opening.
Matthew Sadler is one of the UK's strongest ever players. He became a grandmaster at 19, won the British Championship twice and, amongst other amazing achievements, made a gold medal winning score of 10.5/13 on board four for England in the 1996 chess Olympiad.
In 2000 Matthew quit full-time chess. However, he re-emerged ten years later in 2010 to play a rapidplay tournament in Wageningen, Holland which he promptly won with 7/7. In 2011 he played in strong international events at Barcelona and Oslo and won them with the Fischer-like scores of 8.5/10 and 8/9 respectively. After a decade away from the game, these results are simply astounding.
Matthew's extraordinary ability at chess stems not simply from natural talent but is based on a brilliant aptitude for preparing to play. He understands exactly what needs to be studied and how to go about it. In this book he recounts how he organised the preparation for his 'comeback' and from his results the success of this method is self-evident. In this book Matthew shares his secrets and reveals how to:
– Incorporate unorthodox openings into your repertoire;
– Study middlegame situations;
– Understand what is important in the endgame.
Chess players are known to be obsessed by openings. However, world champions have recommended that up-and-coming players should actually begin by studying the endgame first. This is because only by studying simplified positions can one fully develop an understanding of how chess pieces work - both in isolation and with each other. It is also the endgame where the true depth and subtlety of chess is revealed.
In this instructive and entertaining book, renowned endgame expert Steve Giddins selects 50 of the finest examples of endgame play in the history of chess. Giddins examines each example in great detail and uses them to demonstrate the essential principles of high-quality endgame play. This book is full of essential guidelines and tips which all players should follow if they want to become a successful endgame player.
– 50 examples of brilliant endgame play;
– Examines key endgame strategies;
– Ideal for players of all levels.
The Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence provides a battleground for one of the key conflicts in chess: structure versus activity. Black voluntarily accepts a weak pawn formation but in return obtains easy development and excellent piece activity. This is a line that finds favour with aggressive, attacking players who are confident in their tactical ability. The idea of playing ...e5 in the Sicilian is an old one but the modern Sveshnikov treatment was developed in the 1970s, since when it has featured in the repertoires of numerous elite players. It is currently experiencing great popularity due to the fact that it was Magnus Carlsen’s choice in his World Championship Match against Fabiano Caruana in London 2018. Carlsen’s success with the line was a significant factor in his eventual victory in the match. Since then he has continued to use the Sveshnikov with great success.
In Opening Repertoire: The Sveshnikov leading chess author Cyrus Lakdawala guides the reader through the complexities of this dynamic variation and carves out a repertoire for Black. 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.
“Together With Mamedyarov” is not a collection of his selected games but it is primarily a study-book. It contains test positions taken from games of the famous Azeri grandmaster with detailed comments on the solutions to the tasks. In this book the solutions have been placed right after a diagram with a test except for the six positions given as a warm-up in the beginning of the chapter one. For those of you who work without the assistance of a coach would recommend that you cover the answer with a sheet of paper to avoid spoiling the benefit of solving the problem.
The tests’ tasks are intended for training:
1. tactical vision,
2. calculation of variations,
3. strategic decision-making,
4. your assessment of a position.
The solutions have been given points ranging from 1 up to 7. After calculating their total amount, you can determine your approximate level by the author’s ranking scale. But do not forget that this ranking scale is subjective. After totaling your result, you should have an idea about what type of tasks are the most challenging for you. This will help you direct your time and efforts on the areas where you need further improvement. The tests given in the first and the second chapters differ by the level of complexity. The tests in chapter one corresponds to an Elo rating of 1400–1900 while chapter two is aimed at players rated 1700–2100. When you solve the tests from Mamedyarov’s games try to reproduce the thought process of one of the most creative and bright grandmasters of today. Imagine yourself in his place during a game, look at the chessboard through his eyes and think about the positions together with Mamedyarov.
In this book I collected 40 games of the World Champions which should depict their usage of the dynamic play in the most accessible manner. You will be able to examine how they treated all the dynamic aspects of chess throughout their careers, and how much their ideas contributed to development and evolution of chess technique. Also, you fill find 120 additional exercises with 120 different types of positions exploring the Champions’ ability to sense the dynamics, tactics and victories! That part of the presented material should be used as a workbook of chess tactics, so you can test your tactical prowess trying to find the way the legends applied dynamics in their games.