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.”
In Mikhail Tal: The Street-Fighting Years, Tal’s long-term coach and second Alexander Koblenz takes the reader through the first 12 years of Tal’s chess career, from promising junior to world champion in 1960 and encompassing his return world championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik in 1961.
This classic book, first published in the Soviet Union in 1963, contains 77 games and fragments annotated by the author who provides ring-side commentary and unique inside knowledge, as well as background information to the games and anecdotes.
Five of the games are taken from Tal’s 1960 world title match and seven from his 1961 world title match. Aside from Botvinnik, opponents include Bobby Fischer, Vasily Smyslov, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, David Bronstein, Viktor Korchnoi, Paul Keres, Efim Geller, Yuri Averbakh and many other stars of chess during the 1950s and early 1960s.
The analysis has been updated using the latest computer technology by International Master Valeri Bronznik. Bronznik delivers a masterclass in modern analysis of classical games while allowing Koblenz full scope to demonstrate how Tal destroyed his opponents with the best attacking chess known at the time. Indeed, Bronznik makes many new and exciting discoveries in Tal’s games and this work serves as an instruction manual for playing practical, street-fighting chess.
As Alexei Shirov writes in his foreword, “I am very happy that this old but highly instructive book is finally out in English. The old Russian edition has always been a special treasure for me and I truly enjoyed reading it through again.”
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 pawn endings composed by the leading Ukrainian problemist Mikhail Zinar.
Zinar is a prolific endgame expert who has produced several hundred studies since the 1970s, with a focus on pawn endings. His works have appeared in many leading Russian-language chess publications, including Chess in the USSR, 64 – Chess Review, and Chess Bulletin. He collaborated with Yuri Averbakh on the second edition of Averbakh’s Chess Endings (1983), in which he revised the theory of “corresponding squares”. In the foreword, Averbakh wrote: “Chapter ten, devoted to corresponding square systems, was written by chess composer M.A. Zinar – a big specialist in pawn endings. Otherwise, this chapter would have looked out of date.”
Zinar co-authored a Russian-language manual for creating pawn studies with Vladimir Archakov in 1990 called Harmony of the Pawn Study. He collaborated with Tkachenko in compiling this book.
Rezvov lived a long and tragic life: it was at the age of nearly 90 that he was awarded the titles of Ukrainian chess composition grandmaster and FIDE chess composition international master, and his love of chess kept him going through life as a child laborer, WWII solder, prisoner of war and later prisoner in the Soviet Union. His compositions appeared in leading chess magazines such as Chess in the USSR, 64 – Chess Review and The Problemist, and he won many prizes. Several of these compositions were produced jointly with Sergei Tkachenko. Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 studies and problems by Odessite chess master Nikolai Vasilevich Rezvov (1921–2013), which will help you to appreciate the splendor and depth of the royal game.
Oleg Pervakov (born in 1960 in the city of Kirov) is widely recognized as Russia’s greatest living chess composer. He has composed nearly 500 studies and he has won the individual chess composition world championship three times: in 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2013-2015.
In this book, Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 of Oleg Pervakov’s best studies. The selection is quite varied – from elegant short studies with six moves to romantic grotesques with many pieces on board and over 30 moves to the solution. Yet what all of these studies have in common is spectacular play by both sides. And watch out: they are tough! That said, Oleg’s compositions are never boring. You may buy this collection of studies to test your endgame tactical abilities, to improve your endgame understanding, or simply to appreciate chess in all its beauty.
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one bishop in the finale, yet manages to win or draw
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one knight in the finale, yet manages to win or draw
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one pawn in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.
Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one rook in the finale, yet manages to win or draw
International Master Tibor Karolyi and FIDE Master Tigran Gyozalyan have written a comprehensive two-volume treatise on the life and games of Tigran Petrosian, who was world champion from 1963-1969. The present Volume I takes the reader on a journey from Tigran’s childhood, through the war years, successes in Georgian and Armenian national championships, his emergence as an elite player winning the Soviet championship and Olympic gold, and victory at the famous 1962 Candidates Tournament in Curacao.
Karolyi and Gyozalyan provide deep modern analysis of 148 full games and fragments, and summarise almost all known games played by Petrosian in the period. They also provide considerable background colour on each game, with round-by-round analysis of tournaments and matches in which they were played. Very few of these games have previously been analysed in detail in modern books, and those that were have nevertheless been subjected to considerably improved analysis.
Petrosian’s opponents in Volume I include world champions and challengers Fischer, Tal, Spassky, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Euwe, Korchnoi, and Bronstein, as well as leading players such as Keres, Geller, Benko, Polugaevsky, Reshevsky, Taimanov, Kotov, Gligoric, and many others. There is a special focus on his coaches Ebralidze, Lilienthal and Boleslavsky.
An added bonus is the inclusion of rare photos taken from private collections in Georgia and Armenia, many of which have never before been published in the West.
With a foreword by the greatest Armenian chess player of modern times Levon Aronian.
Russian International Master Maxim Chetverik has written a strategy textbook containing 75 deeply annotated positional games that show players how to devise plans to handle a number of key strategic themes, such as when to open up the game, how to activate the pawn chain, how to carry out positional sacrifices and many others. Unlike most other textbooks, the strategic plans are viewed as battles where the plans of each player clash, and Maxim analyzes why one plan comes out on top.
Also unlike most other textbooks, all example games are drawn from grandmaster play in the 21st century, some played in 2018, and consider the plans right out of the opening stage. This makes the book of particular value to players wishing to better understand the strategies that the openings they play may lead to, bearing in mind the author is an openings expert with ten openings books published. The majority of games are played by elite grandmasters, including Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin, Giri, So, Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Leko, J. Polgar, Topalov, Kamsky, Morozevich, Korchnoi and Spassky.
Chetverik introduces and illustrates the concepts of macroplan and microplan, which provide a simple structural framework for players seeking to devise plans in their own games. The macroplan is the specific way to achieve the required result (usually, a win), for example, the successful exploitation of a queenside pawn majority. The microplan is a way of solving a local problem that involves several moves, such as transferring a knight from a bad square to a good one. Ideally, a macroplan is a chain of sequential and carefully calculated microplans.
This book is largely aimed at strong club players wishing to improve, or their coaches. The recommended Elo range is approximately 1,800 – 2,200, although it may of course be of interest to players a bit lower and a bit higher than this range.
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.