In what way is this book special? How can it make someone a better player? These are perfectly legitimate questions and whenever I buy a new chess book, I essentially ask the same ones.
The short answer is that this book will give you a comprehensive understanding of the chosen openings. Unlike many other books with a similar profile, it goes beyond pure theory and in addition to giving a great deal of practical advice, it touches on issues such as sample games, typical tactical strikes and, in the last chapter, endgames. On top of all this, a homework section enables you to immerse yourself in a given topic and achieve an in-depth understanding of it in your own time.
We follow this structure because as a coach, I know how important it is to receive as much guidance as possible on a new opening. Only this can lead to true mastery.
Let me recommend this book to any player who wants to learn more about closed openings, adopt a new approach to chess and build up a thorough and sophisticated repertoire. I have tested these openings with my students with good results, so I believe this book is suitable for anyone with an Elo rating from 1600-2500.
This book aims to provide a complete overview of a 1.d4 repertoire against five main openings (King’s Indian Defense, Grünfeld Defense, Slav Defense, Benoni Defense, and Catalan systems after 1.d4 d5), offering analysis of classical games and typical tactical motifs to provide an in-depth understanding of the associated middlegames. A concluding chapter explores typical endgames that are likely to arise from 1.d4.
Each chapter includes a thorough discussion of a particular opening, answering questions such as what types of players choose it, which world champions played it, or how games typically proceed afterwards.
I have chosen 1.e4 for various reasons. First and foremost, it is the move I have played for the entirety of my chess-playing life. In the database, I have recorded approximately 400 white games, of which 350 began with 1.e4! I have also heavily researched the openings covered in this volume, through my column ‘1.e4’ for ChessPublishing.
Secondly, I believe that Black has a wider margin of error in the closed games than in the open games. Even if they do not know all the details of a certain line in the former case, they will end up with only a slight disadvantage in the majority of cases. The same cannot be said about the defenses to 1.e4. In this book you will find that Black must tread carefully if they play an offbeat system, as I have discovered several refutations to the most popular and widely accepted lines within them.
For every opening, I have adopted the same method of research. Firstly I undertake a detailed examination of human games, alongside correspondence/email games, with particular regard to the highest percentage of White wins and the number of games played. The human games allowed me to gain a natural feelings for the practical elements of the opening in question, while the correspondence games (essentially human-assisted engine games) covered the necessary element of objectivity.
The next stage consisted of my own engine analysis, using the Chessbase Engine Cloud to examine critical but unexplored positions. Finally, I engage as critically as possible with the existing literature, as I hope others will do with my work in the future.
At the beginning of every chapter is an overview of the opening, which serves to give the reader some basic foundations and highlights the general concepts, extracted from the analysis section. If the reader is in need of a brief summary of a particular opening, I suggest you focus on the overviews.
The analysis section contains the main body of work. The reader is not expected to memorize everything by heart; in fact, that is probably not a productive exercise. When going through a variation, it is best to stop at a point you think is appropriate, and that should always be the point at which you find that you have fully understood the position.
Each subchapter ends with a model game, which gives the reader a simplified picture of the variation at hand. Similar to the overview chapter, this section is largely illustrative.
"In this book Yuriy does not overwhelm you with variations, but instead he focuses a lot on the verbal explanations and understanding of the typical positions. At the same time, you can be confident that his recommendations are quite sound and have been thoroughly checked with extensive databases, strong engines as well as critically looked upon from the human perspective. I am entirely sure that studying the materials presented in this work will benefit players of all levels, from some relatively inexperienced club players to even strong players." ~ Susan Polgar
In this book on the 3.Nc3 French, Harikrishna offers practical ideas from White’s perspective to make your preparation more effective. At times, this means suggesting the 2nd or 3rd choice of the engine. He builds on the material from his earlier French course (Chessable, May 2019) and has expanded it with new analysis in all the lines, especially the 3...Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 variation. Harikrishna analyzes both 5.Nce2 and 5.f4, so that the reader may make an informed choice about their personal preference. The driving force throughout is to keep the book clear-cut and practical. A good example of a practical weapon is the deceptively simple 3...Bb4 4.exd5 line. There are also fresh and interesting suggestions against the sidelines you are likely to encounter, especially at shorter time controls. The entire Thinkers Publishing team joins with the author in wishing you enjoyment and success from this exceptional book.
From the first moment (about a year ago) when Mr. Daniel Vanheirzeele from Thinkers Publishing contacted me about the possibility of writing an opening book, I was really excited about the prospect. Writing a chess book was a completely new direction for me, and anything new excites me and gives me a high. Then after some discussion we narrowed the topic down to 1.e4 (‘Best by test’) and I found myself with a contract to cover two major variations within the Sicilian: the sharp Najdorf and the trendy Taimanov.
I actually already had a decent reputation as a dangerous theoretician on the white side of 1.e4, and in particular against these two openings. I had shown some interesting ideas in my games over the years which were the result of my real passion for opening knowledge, a trait which has stayed with me throughout my chess career.
Bishop or knight? An eternal dilemma! The legendary Bobby Fischer would likely vote for the bishop. Other authorities like Nimzowitsch would prefer the knight. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Of course, it is clear a bishop usually dominates in open positions while the knight should be preferred in blocked positions. But what does that “usually” mean? Are there exceptions? Sure, a bishop can dominate even in a blocked position if the controlled diagonal is important. Further, the knight can dominate in open positions if there is a good outpost or influential place for it.
The pawn structure definitely determines the minor pieces’ prospects, and it is extremely important to predict the future properties of the pawn structure early in the game. Nowadays it is not enough to start thinking about the endgame in the middlegame. Today’s masters begin their opening strategy based on the arising endgames! Knowing the arising endings may give you some advantage even if the opponent obtained some initiative as was Petrosian’s manner.
By studying this book you should discover many properties regarding the combat between the bishop and knight which will open new horizons in your chess understanding.
In this book (Volume 1) I will present direct combat between the bishop and the knight. You may consider this a prelude to Volume 2 where the story will develop with more complex battles as other pieces will be added. There will be sections with rooks and queens added where either the knight or bishop will be superior. I have no doubts that if you carefully analyze the material in both volumes, you will master both the basic and advanced endgames where one of the key factors will be the material imbalance between having either the bishop or the knight.
Christian tackles one of the most important issues in chess: how to select candidate moves. He illustrates and discusses many different themes such as:
> entering relatively uncharted territory
> replying on your acquired knowledge
> using intuition
> play prophylactically
The official story of the 2020 Candidates Tournament began on November the 11th, 2019 with the signing of a contract between FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation detailing the hosting duties of said tournament in Ekaterinburg from the 15th of March to the 5th of April, 2020.
At that point no one could have even imagined how difficult the road to that tournament would be nor how unexpected the outcome. Yet the significance of the actual numbers in this dramatic epic is hard to overestimate which is why the author will attempt to play the role of chronicler and try to describe as accurately as possible the key moments of this historic event.
Vladimir Tukmakov was our close observer, author and wrote an historical important book on the first part of the Candidates 2020.
In this first volume of Cheparinov’s 1.d4! readers will find my own way of working on openings, and the way I analyze. Many of the lines and conclusions in this book are based not only on computer evaluation, but also on the practical point of view. Of course all the lines have been deeply analyzed by strong engines, and although I am sure they are not perfect, the most important thing is that all evaluations are based on my own understanding and knowledge of chess. I believe this book should be used as a starting point, from which to build progress in opening preparation.
In the book I reveal many new ideas and concepts. The first volume of the series focuses on 3.f3 against the Grünfeld and King’s Indian, two of the most popular openings against 1.d4. I tried to discuss all possible lines for Black after 3.f3, but of course focused on the most principled ones. Most of the lines are very double-edged.
I have revealed some very interesting options for Black as well. This is one of the things that I do in my opening preparation – I look at the openings for both sides. I believe this is very important, because it gives you a realistic view of things. For White I tried to give the lines that I believe are not only the best, but also give Black problems to solve during the game.
In 2017, Romain Edouard launched a brand new series of exercise books, Chess Calculation Training. The series became one of the most popular tactics books amongst advanced players. This new series, Chess Calculation Training for Kids and Club Players, is based on the same model, but aimed at players of a more modest level. In this first volume, you can enjoy 276 chess problems, which arose in real games, and you should checkmate your opponent! The book is divided into eight chapters, starting with basic mates in two, and the difficulty of the exercises increases as you go through the book. It is a fantastic training tool for anyone wanting to improve his tactical skills quickly, and not miss any opportunity to end the game with a glorious checkmate!
Romain Edouard launches a brand new series of exercise books. In this first volume he focuses on middlegames. Romain gives you different instructions for each chapter, so you can improve your general thinking from various angles – exactly as you would face in your own games.
This second book focuses on endgames. There are a lot of things to learn “by heart” about them — but they are often difficult to apply at the board, unless you get exactly the same position as you studied. This is why I believe it is an interesting approach to present an endgames book as a series of exercises, with instructive but practical positions.