Fred Reinfeld’s timeless Attack and Counterattack in Chess starts with the basic premise that White plays to build on the natural initiative that is inherent in having the first move, while Black plays to sap White’s divine right to this initiative, only to take it over the moment it is possible.
The book is neatly divided into two sections: How White manages to make good use of his right to the first move by taking advantage of typical mistakes by Black, and how Black succeeds in challenging that right and taking over the initiative by jumping on blunders by White.
There are several points to keep in mind as you peruse the games involved. The first is that this is not an opening book. The examples of play are all built around a complete chess game that came to a logical conclusion based on one player’s muffs and the other player’s exploitation of those errors. The other point is that the poor moves that are taken advantage of were to some extent based on carelessness or inattention or lack of knowledge but were also set up on purpose by the winning player.
Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev ranks as one of the most creative chess minds ever in the history of the royal game. This is his book of secrets and methods, his remarkable life’s work.
Zaitsev unearthed astonishing ideas which even giants of the game had overlooked. World champions Tigran Petrosian and Anatoly Karpov insisted on Zaitsev’s analytical help in their matches, wanting to be first to play his profound discoveries, such as the famous Zaitsev Variation of the Ruy Lopez.
Zaitsev was himself a tournament champion. With his sharp, combinative style, he won dozens of “Most Beautiful Game” awards. Many of these games provide context for his lessons.
But Zaitsev is even more than a renowned coach and competitor. Part analyst, part champion, part chess philosopher, and part chess poet, he reveals the underlying logic and beauty of chess in a way no one else has ever done.
In his eye-opening title chapter, “Attacking the Strongpoint,” Zaitsev makes explicitly clear a common strategic element never formalized until this book. Often overlooked by amateurs and even GMs, the idea can lead to winning tactics in many games!
Backed up by top-level games, Zaitsev also provides deep-level explanations about:
Combinations and Piece Harmony;
Strategy and Structure;
Learning from the Cycle of Chess Epochs;
The Role of Reason and Judgment;
The Chess Law of Conservation of Energy;
Strategy: Evolution vs. Revolution, Recognizing a Favorable Structure.
As you read Zaitsev, you’ll often find yourself thinking, “Ah, now I get it!”
The volume is topped off by supplemental games, a complete autobiography by Zaitsev, a special foreword by world champion Garry Kasparov, as well as tributes and memories from world champion Anatoly Karpov and famed coach Mark Dvoretsky.
Tactics are usually why most people find chess fun! This book will greatly enhance
your enjoyment learning about – and benefiting from – the recurring patterns of tactics.
The Ultimate Fischer Collection
In this, his penultimate work, legendary chess instructor Mark Dvoretsky (1947-2016) explores identifying and dealing with problems on the chessboard.
Chess Tests offers chessplayers material of very high quality for working on various themes, from training combinative vision to techniques of realizing advantages. I recommend using those materials for in-depth work in the directions mentioned in the book. If you follow this advice, then this volume will become a valuable addition to your chess studies and will help you reinforce skills and knowledge you have already obtained.
And here is probably the most important point. Dvoretsky wanted to write a book that would not only teach some intricacies of chess, but would also be simply a pleasure to read for aficionados of the game, so he tried to amass the ‘tastiest’ of examples here. I hope that this last book by him is going to achieve this, presenting its readers with many chess discoveries and joy of communication with the great coach and author.
It is very important for the practical player to train his or her ability, understand when to rely on intuition, rules of thumb and more general positional considerations, when to try to solve problems by calculating variations to the end and how to manage time to avoid time pressure.
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.
Which side stands better? How much better? Why?
Most chess players rely on loosely knit, unstructured methods to evaluate chess pieces and positions. They learn positional principles which often lead to inaccurate evaluations and faulty decisions about how to proceed.
This ground-breaking book by best-selling chess author Dan Heisman addresses the evaluation and understanding of how static features affect the value of the pieces in a given position. Now in its fourth edition, emphasis is placed on the static evaluation of each piece’s value and its role in the overall position rather than the assessment of a specific position, but Heisman’s approach can also be applied to help evaluate entire positions by helping to answer the questions who stands better, by how much, and why?
Greek grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias is well-known for his excellent analytical work and writing style which presents the material in a way that is comprehensive and easy to understand. In this book – his first for Russell Enterprises – he offers a thorough system for Black against 1.d4. That includes responses to other systems such as the Colle, Trompowsky, London, etc. So, are you ready to stake your claim as Black, fighting from the first move? The Tarrasch may be just what you are looking for!
The Fearsome Fascination of Kingwalks!
Marching your king across the board – at times right through or into enemy lines – may be both exhilarating and terrifying. Nothing may be quite as satisfying as a majestic kingwalk across the board which brings you glorious victory. And nothing as tragicomic as a needless journey ending in epic failure.
Chessplayers are fascinated by kingwalks, perhaps because of their inherent contradiction and even implausibility. The most important – and vulnerable – chess piece does something other than trying to remain safe.
Topics include: Kingwalks to Prepare an Attack; Kingwalks in Anticipation of an Endgame; Kingwalks to Defend Key Points; Kingwalks to Attack Key Points or Pieces; Mating Attacks; Escaping to Safety Across the Board; Escaping to Safety Up the Board; Kingwalks in the Opening; Kingwalks in the Endgame; Double Kingwalks; and Unsuccessful Kingwalks.
For sheer entertainment as well as instructive value, the kingwalk is transcendent!
Lasker’s Manual of Chess is one of the greatest chess books ever written. The fact that it was first published almost 85 years ago has diminished neither its relevance nor significance in today’s modern chess world.
This new edition takes Lasker’s legendary classic and puts it in a form more congenial to 21st-century readers. What is different in this edition? The English version of the Manual had remained, even through numerous reprints, virtually unchanged since it first appeared almost 85 years ago. In this new edition figurine algebraic notation is used, now standard throughout most of the world, instead of descriptive notation. The chapter on descriptive has been replaced with one explaining algebraic. Some of Lasker’s more awkward or archaic wordings and grammar – English was not his first language – have been improved or modernized, though this has been done sparingly. Besides more diagrams (the old edition was woefully stingy with them), the main additional features here are:
1) Photos of Lasker and some of his major contemporaries.
2) “Lasker Lore” – brief notes highlighting important events in his career, and portraying something of the man and his era.
3) Computer-checked analysis. Virtually every move and position has been subjected to computer analysis. Even with so fine a chess mind as Lasker’s, the occasional mistake or improvement was found. For minor items, brief comments have been added in italics directly in the text. However, sometimes the new analysis required longer discussion, and sometimes even warranted revision of Lasker’s original text. To minimize disruptions, such notes have all been placed in an appendix at the back, the text to which they correspond being indicated by superscripted numbers within the main body of the book. In cases where the original text was changed, the endnote shows Lasker’s original analysis, and gives the reasons it was modified. In cases where the original text was left intact, the endnote gives a correction or improvement.·
This is one of the finest books ever written on the art and science of chess. Read it, learn, and enjoy.