I chose to write a book on advanced rook endings as I simply did not wish to write another book that would be like the many already available. I have done my best to present analysis and articles I have written over the past 10–15 years. This work has been presented in my daily coaching sessions, seminars, workshops, etc. The material has helped a lot of trainees to develop into quite strong players gaining international titles and championships.
The endgame is the moment of truth. It is the phase of the game where we will try to reap the seeds of our effort regardless of whether that is the full point of victory or the half point of the draw. The significance of errors increases in the endgame as the opportunities for correcting them are few.
Mark Dvoretsky makes a general quote: Rook activity is the cornerstone in the evaluation and play of rook endgames. This activity may take diverse forms: from attacking the enemy pawns, to the support of one’s own passed pawns, to the interdiction or pursuit of the enemy king. There are indeed times when the rook must remain passive and implement purely defensive functions. But even then, one must stubbornly seek out any possibility of activating the rook, not even stopping at sacrificing pawns, or making your own king’s position worse.
In this guide International Master Vladimir Barsky teaches the method created by his mentor Viktor Khenkin (1923-2010). It’s based on an ingenious classification of the most frequently occurring mating schemes. A wide range of chess players will find it an extremely useful tool to recognize mating patterns and calculate the often narrow path to the kill.
All the 1,000 examples (850 of them in exercise format) that Barsky presents are from games played in 21st century. He has carefully selected the most instructive combinations and lucidly explains the typical techniques to corner your opponent’s king. More often than you would expect, positions that look innocent at first sight, turn out to contain a mating pattern.
This is not just another book full of chess puzzles. It’s a brilliantly organized course that has proven to be effective. Finding mate isn’t rocket science, but you need to know what to look for. Vladimir Barsky teaches you exactly that.
The King’s Indian Defence is one of the great classical counter-attacking openings. The most aggressive world champions (including Mikhail Tal, Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov) have all scored brilliant knockout victories with this opening.
In this book the highly experienced coach international master Andrew Martin explains the basic ideas behind all the different variations that occur after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6. The focus on strategic elements such as pawn structures, attacking plans and typical piece manouevres allows the reader to quickly gain an excellent feel for this complex opening.
First Steps is an opening series that is ideal for improving players who want simple and straightforward explanations.
"And the rest is a matter of technique" is an annoyingly common phrase used in chess literature. The implication from the author is that the task of converting a typically winning position into a full point or converting a drawing position into half-a-point is relatively straightforward. However, as all of us practical players realise, it's not always a simple as this, and many hard-earned points are wasted through "a lack of technique"
In this valuable book Jacob Aagaard aims to solve this perennial problem. He arms the reader with several endgame weapons that every strong technical player has in his toolbox. These include important skills such as schematic thinking, domination, preventing counterplay, building fortresses and utilising zugzwang. These tools are illustrated in deeply analysed games containing numerous different themes. A serious study of this book will ensure that the reader need no longer need fear the word "technique"!
Italian-American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana is the perfect role model for any aspiring player. Already a very strong grandmaster, he announced his presence as a leading contender for the world title in 2014 when he scored an incredible 8½/10 (including seven straight wins from the first seven games) in the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis. This was an elite event where he finished an astonishing three points clear of Magnus Carlsen, whom he will challenge for the world title in late 2018. Caruana earned this right thanks to his fine victory in the Berlin Candidates where he scored 9/13 and finished a point clear of a world class field.
Caruana’s style is universal. He is a very dangerous attacking player who is also equally at home in quiet strategic positions or manoeuvring in an endgame. In this respect he is the epitome of the modern grandmaster, being a hard-working and determined fighter who prepares thoroughly and plays with great determination and accuracy.
The Fifth Edition of a Modern Masterpiece!
When it appeared in 2003, the first edition of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual was immediately recognized by novice and master alike as one of the best books ever published on the endgame. The enlarged and revised fifth edition is better than ever!
Here is what Vladimir Kramnik, the 14th World Champion, had to say in his foreword to the fifth edition:
“I consider Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual an absolute must for every chess professional, and no less important even for a club player... I always recommend this book... I consider it to be one of the very best chess books published in recent times and I am very pleased with the new enhanced edition...”
German grandmaster Karsten Müller, widely recognized as one of the best endgame theoreticians in the world today, has carefully updated the fifth edition with the help of American grandmaster Alex Fishbein. The incredible instructional value of the exercises has been preserved, and the blue text used in the first four editions has been replaced with text with a light grey background.
The Modernized Grunfeld Defense will be extremely helpful for any chess player looking for a reliable lifetime repertoire against White’s 1.d4. It will benefit current Grunfeld players as Yaro unveils his analysis and numerous novelties waiting to be played over the board.
Some players become good at chess, some very good, while others excel at the game. Jacob Aagaard identifies the key factors that separate the very strong players from the rest. He includes chapters on when to calculate, how to evaluate positions, how to study theory, how to study the endgame and when to force the position. Anyone who follows the advice in this book cannot fail to improve their feel for the game.
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.