This book is about the practical approach to the game of chess. It shaped me as a player and now I would like to share my philosophy with you. My objective is to combat several generally accepted misconceptions, such as a) only studying opening theory will make you a better player, b) one should always follow the first or second line shown by Komodo or Stockfish, and finally, c) that “in theory” is equivalent to “over the board”. The last fallacy is especially dangerous because it implies that players will keep on making the best moves over the board, and therefore sidelines should never be played as the opponent will always find a way to retain and convert the advantage. That is in theory. In practice, however, many players will feel like fish out of water once they end up in a position that is objectively better for them but one that they have never analyzed. Overall, based on my experience as a chess professional, I strongly believe that the above-mentioned fallacies do not hold true empirically,
The book is divided into four parts. Part I covers sidelines in the mainstream openings where I take a major opening and analyze one or several sidelines. This is the most theoretical part of the book, where I share a significant amount of original thoughts and analyses that constitute my opening repertoire. Part II discusses the concept that I refer to as systems. It still involves theory, but less so in comparison to Part I. What I am trying to convey in this part is the “schematic thinking” – where you think in terms of plans and typical ideas. Part III takes one step further in abstraction – it analyzes notable modern games where one player showed ambition early on in the game and it worked out well for him. Part IV covers the so-called “early surprises” where early on in the game a player implemented a move that shocked his opponent.
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.
This book invites you beneath the surface, where you can learn to navigate the depths of chess. Jan Markos shows how a strong player perceives chess, which features of a position he focuses on, and how he thinks at the board.
This book series is about that central question: what matters in the opening? What plans are on hand? Which (hidden) concepts are concealed in the current position that has arisen just after the opening? Volume 1 in a new series by Herman Grooten covers Ruy Lopez and Italian Structures.
This book series is about that central question: what matters in the opening? What plans are on hand? Which (hidden) concepts are concealed in the current position that has arisen just after the opening? Volume 2 in a new series by Herman Grooten covers Queen’s Gambit Structures.
After the first two volumes of the series had been produced (the first about Ruy Lopez and Italian structures after 1.e4 e5, the second about Queen’s Gambit structures after 1.d4 d5), it was time for me to consider the third volume. Since the Sicilian is such a popular opening among club players, the choice was virtually automatic and resulted in the book you now hold. It was, however, clear from early on that such a nuanced and wide-ranging opening could never fit in a single volume. That is why the series will continue with more Sicilian books after this one. As my former teacher, the late Huub van Dongen, once said: “There is more literature about the Najdorf variation alone than about the Middle Ages!” And, you know, maybe he’s right. The complexities of the Sicilian are such that it is quite the job to explain them in the style I established with the first two volumes on more classical openings. Each Sicilian variation has quite specific characteristics and deserves separate treatment. But in placing the systems in books I tried to group together those that are most similar to each other. Hence, the Dragon does not go with the Sveshnikov; in the present book you will find the Najdorf and Scheveningen variations, which are altogether more similar to each other and even have some overlap.
The first volume dealt with the Najdorf and Scheveningen variations, and it is now time to pay attention to three other extremely popular systems: the Taimanov, Kan and Richter-Rauzer variations. After careful consideration within the Thinkers Publishing team, we decided that it made sense to group these variations together. In particular, the first two are closely related and share the feature that, in both cases, Black plays ...e7-e6 and ...a7-a6 at an early stage. They typically have the idea of retaining more options for their king’s bishop by postponing ...d7-d6 (or even omitting it entirely.) The bishop may go to b4 or c5 in different lines. The Richter-Rauzer is, in theory, just one of the possible developments from a Classical Sicilian. We have already dealt with a few games that started with the Classical and where Black shortly played ...e7-e6; and 6.Bc4 (the Sozin variation) was rightly treated within the Scheveningen pages. However, it is clear that White’s most popular counter, the Richter-Rauzer variation (6.Bg5) deserves separate attention.
Aron Nimzowitsch wrote that studying the middlegame in chess means studying typical positions. Typical positions means typical pawn structures, and studying pawn structures means studying strategy. Middlegame strategy literature is rather poor. We have worked hard trying to provide the best possible material with different colleagues: Isolani Strategy by Alexander Beliavsky/Adrian Mikhalchishin/Oleg Stetsko, Hanging Pawns by Adrian Mikhalchishin, and The Center by Adrian Mikhalchishin/Georg Mohr. Other important books were written by Sergey Shipov, with his two-volume The Complete Hedgehog, and Ivan Sokolov, with his series Chess Middlegame Strategies.
So, here is another try at researching typical plans. The authors, both long-term chess trainers, decided to research ideas that are important in the Maroczy structure for both sides. The Maroczy structure was played by such greats as Bobby Fischer, Tigran Petrosian, Bent Larsen and many others. We would like to present this topic in a slightly different way. Chess players and also trainers usually do not think as deeply as they should in order to achieve better results. We would like to present ideas for both White and Black and this book is written without any bias as to colour.
This book presents a Black repertoire based on the QGA. The authors consider the Classical System with 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6, but they also offer alternative approaches – building up tension with 4…Bg4, and the destructive 4…a6 aimed at quick equalisation.
Are you struggling with your chess development? While dedicating hours and hours on improving your craft, your rating simply does not want to move upwards? Spending loads of money on chess books and DVDs, but feeling no real improvement at all? No worries – the book that you are holding in your hands might represent a game changer!
Years of coaching experience as well as independent research has allowed the author to identify the key skills that will enhance the progress of just about any player rated between 1600 and 2500. Becoming a strong chess thinker is namely not only reserved exclusively for elite players, but actually constitutes the cornerstone of chess training, being no less important than memorising opening theory, acquiring middlegame knowledge or practising endgames.
By studying this book, you will:
– learn how to universally deal with any position you might encounter in your games, even if you happen to see it for the first time in your life,
– have the opportunity to solve 90 unique, hand-picked puzzles, extensively annotated and peculiarly organised for the Readers’ optimal learning effect,
– gain access to more than 300 pages of original grandmaster thoughts and advice, leaving you awestruck and hungry for more afterwards!
While the theory is far from being exhausted and still developing, Grandmaster Milos Pavlovic made a strong case and found new alternatives to battle White’s setups.
New and substantially expanded edition of a modern chess classic. By chance, in 2013 publisher New In Chess discovered a previously unnoticed and unpublished extra batch of endgame tactics collected by the legendary Dutch correspondence grandmaster Ger van Perlo (1932-2010).
More than 250 fresh examples have been added, making this fourth edition 25% BIGGER than its predecessors.
For casual players and club players.
Why is it that most amateur chess players love opening and middlegame tactics but hate endgames? Why do you usually look at only a couple of pages in any endgame theory book you see?
Sit back, forget about theoretical endgames, and enjoy the entertainment of real life chess in Endgame Tactics!
There is no substitute for hard work in getting better at chess, as a wise grandmaster once said. But you always work harder at something you enjoy. Make the first step towards improving your endgame play (and beating more opponents) by learning to love the endgame.
Endgames are fun, and the examples from everyday practice in Endgame Tactics prove it.
– New (4th) and 25% expanded edition of a best- selling modern classic;
– More than 1,300 Sparkling Tricks and Traps;
– WINNER of the ECF Book of the Year Award;
– WINNER of the ChessCafe Book of the Year Award;
– Makes regular players discover the fun in endgame.