The new series of middlegame books by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Georg Mohr starts with a volume about the center.
The Sicilian jungle is vast. Unless you have a massive amount of time on your hands, it is an exhausting task to keep a sharp opening repertoire together against Black’s numerous possibilities. It does not mean that it is impossible, nor does it mean that you shouldn’t do it. But for the average player with an average amount of time available for chess studies, it is important to pick the right battles. This is where our weapon, the Chameleon Sicilian, comes in handy. It proposes a very flexible way for White to handle the Sicilian Defense using the move order 1.e4, 2.Nc3 and 3.Nge2.
This book contains fifty illustrative games and a career overview of Chelyabinsk grandmaster Igor Kurnosov, who was tragically hit and killed by a car in 2013 at the age of just 28. At his last tournament prior to his death, Igor attained a super-grandmaster tournament performance rating in excess of 2700.
Kurnosov left an indelible mark on the chess world—he was a Russian youth champion, a member of the Russian national team that won the world student team championship and the Tomsk-400 team that finished first at the Russian championship. He won or placed highly at dozens of international tournaments.
The games in this book, with highly instructional commentary by Kurnosov’s friends and colleagues, or sometimes by Kurnosov himself, are filled with blistering attacks and subtle endgame play. They have been selected in part to demonstrate the progression of his career, rather than being his absolute best games. Igor had several signature openings, but he undoubtedly is best known in the chess world as a master of the Grunfeld Defense. According to Grandmaster Dmitry Bocharov in this book, Igor was one of the world’s leading experts in the Grunfeld. Igor was a sophisticated analyst, and many of his opening ideas are still relevant to this day. This book will be useful for both beginners and highly-rated players to improve.
Commentators in this book include such well-known grandmasters as Ernesto Inarkiev, Roman Ovechkin, Dmitry Kryakvin, Sergei Rublevsky, and Kateryna Lahno, while his opponents in these games include such names as Boris Gelfand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Dmitry Andreikin.
International Master and experienced chess trainer Thomas Willemze is the handyman you are looking for. He tells you which are the most urgent problems that need fixing. In his no-nonsense guide, Willemze presents essential techniques on how to mobilize your pieces in order to gain the upper hand.
The strategic part of the book consists of thirty-two fully-annotated games divided into five chapters, with the fifth chapter divided into four subchapters. In this strategic part I have given an insight into the historical development of the variation and have tried to help the reader understand the most common plans and concepts for both sides. My own practical experiences in this variation date back to 1994, and over the years I have tried it with Black versus greats like Kramnik, Shirov and Grischuk. Some of these experiences are included in the book. The Chigorin Variation is rich in ideas which can be used in a range of middlegame positions arising from different variations.
Understanding the strategic ideas of this complex variation is also a middlegame improvement ‘tool’ and a must for anyone wanting to take his or her chess to the next level. The current trend, developed in recent years, is for Black to capture on d4 with his e-pawn, aiming for Benoni-type pawn structure positions which lead to rather double-edged positions.
These modern developments and the current theoretical state of affairs in general are dealt with in the theoretical part of the book by my friend, Ivan Salgado. This ‘Chigorin bible’ aims to be the ultimate improvement ‘tool’ for club and tournament players in the variation. The first part provides the reader with a good understanding of general plans and strategic concepts and the second part provides direct theoretical knowledge.
The Chigorin Defence (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6) is a dynamic and provocative response to White’s 1.d4. Rather than set out a defensive stall with systems based on moves such as ...e6 and ...c6, Black prefers to initiative immediate piece play in the centre. The benefits of this strategy are that Black’s queenside pieces, which are often difficult to develop in the Queen’s Gambit, participate in the struggle at once. The queen’s knight emerges immediately onto an active square and the path is left free for the c8-bishop to develop freely. Naturally there are also drawbacks as Black will not find it easy to establish a foothold in the centre in the early play.
The Chigorin is a perfect counterattacking weapon and will appeal to players who like to throw opponents onto their own resources at an early stage. Jimmy Liew identifies and analyses the precise moments when specific theoretical knowledge is required and also discussed plans and strategies in the quieter variations.
I’ve become increasingly convinced of this comfort zone theory to the degree where I’ve started to apply it to chess. To use the same logic, I believe a chess player is more comfortable in an opening that they have played since childhood. They’ll be less likely to make mistakes in that opening. You can also apply it to tournaments as well.
During the course of the book, I’ll talk about the tournaments that I felt comfortable in, and by the same token the opponents that I felt comfortable facing and the ones that I didn’t feel so happy to play.
International Master Maxim Chetverik’s book covers the Bogo-Indian Defense which is normally arrived at after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+. This book additionally covers Catalan-Bogo hybrids, in particular, the Bogo response to the Catalan Opening with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+. Maxim is a big expert in this opening, having played it in 76 official games as of the publication date, and one of his full games as well as several fragments from his play are included in this volume.
While this solid opening remains part of the repertoire of top-level players, it is also interesting for club players to study and adopt. Its strategic ideas are easier to absorb than those of the Queen’s Indian Defense, and black will not be required to learn as much theory as in the QID. Sharp variations are rare, and tactics play very much a subordinate role to strategy. The key focus is pawn structures, with most pawns remaining on the board in generally closed positions. Yet black retains the ability to vary the pawn and piece setup to suit his taste.
114 deeply annotated games are grouped into 20 chapters with Maxim’s carefully considered recommendations. Many of the featured games and fragments are played by world champions and supergrandmasters, including Carlsen, Kasparov, Alekhine, Anand, Kramnik, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Caruana, Short, Gelfand, Topalov, Shankland, Nakamura, Judit Polgar, Ivanchuk, Yusupov, Ding Liren, Giri, Aronian, Svidler, Hou Yifan, Timman, and many others. Many of the games are drawn from the very recent past and are not covered in previous books on the Bogo-Indian. Indeed, a large number of games from 2018-2019 are included, hence this work, which is full of Maxim’s original analysis, covers the latest theory as of the publication date.
This book is essential reading for both black and white in the Bogo-Indian Defense.
The Complete Chess Course is filled with advice on how to play better chess, regardless of how strong or weak a player you may be. It begins with the most fundamental ideas, reviewing the basic moves of the pieces and pawns, and continues with fantastic examples from the very best players.
Chess is a cruel game. We all know that feeling when your position has gone awry and everything seems hopeless. You feel like resigning. But don’t give up! This is precisely the moment to switch to swindle mode.
Master the art of provoking errors and you will be able to turn the tables and escape with a draw – or sometimes even steal the full point!
Swindling is a skill that can be trained. In this book, David Smerdon shows how you can use tricks from psychology to marshal hidden resources and exploit your opponent’s biases.
In a lost position, your best practical chance often lies not in what the computer recommends, but in playing your opponent.
With an abundance of eye-popping examples and training exercises, Smerdon identifies the four best friends of every chess swindler: your opponent’s impatience, their hubris, their fear, and their need to stay in control.
You’ll also learn about such cunning swindling motifs as the Trojan Horse, the Decoy Trap, the Berserk Attack, and ‘Window-Ledging’.
So, come and join the Swindlers’ Club, become a great escape artist and dramatically improve your results. In this instructive and highly entertaining guide, Smerdon shows you how.
The Sveshnikovs clearly explain the ideas and plans for both sides and provide exercises and test positions. After reading and studying this book, White players, from amateurs to Grandmasters, will make their opponents’ lives even more difficult.
The Hedgehog is a thoroughly modern defense where flexibility and understanding trump rote memorization. Using deeply annotated critical games from international practice, GM Sergey Shipov traces the Hedgehog’s development – from its origins as a way to avoid well-trodden paths to its current status as a respected weapon in Black’s armory.