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.
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
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.
In the fifteen chapters and 480 exercises in this book, we will encounter many subjects, for example attack, defense, surprises and hidden moves, while some chapters will be especially dedicated to four great players – Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer and Kramnik – in order to learn about their styles. The last two chapters are also of a very special kind, ‘Extraordinary Wins’, where you will see moves of the kind you won’t meet very often in life, and ‘Special Section’, with exercises requiring special instructions.
After his 2008 book ‘Winning Chess Middlegames’, Grandmaster Ivan Sokolov takes us a step further into his dungeon of middlegame skills. In his well known style, Sokolov focuses on the different aspects of the complex middlegame.
How does one achieve the unique ‘sound’ and distinct technique that are absolutely necessary to become successful at the highest level? It can only be done via a deep understanding of the chess player’s personality and the unique talent that distinguishes him from other soloists. It is here that the role of a coach is of the utmost importance. First, it is necessary to understand the nature of your student’s chess talent, and second, it is important to identify the player’s character and personality traits. His style ought to be harmonious, so that the essence of the human being matches the characteristics of his chess talent. Since it is the same emotionless computer that is now in charge of the purely chess component, it falls upon the coach to deal with the chess player’s personality, mysterious and unknowable as it might be.
Yes, a lot depends on the number and power of dependable cyber assistants, on the size and quality of various chess databases, on the enthusiasm of the seconds and on the ability to work with modern electronic gadgets, but at the highest level, almost all elite chess players have the same tools at their disposal. Thus, as always, everything is decided — as in the ‘good old days’ — by the player's talent, by his unique ability to create. The coach's task is to help his student develop this unique creative side to the maximum. It has so happened that in recent years I have been able to work closely with great chess talents who were at the same time outstanding personalities. I hope that an inside look at this kind of work will be of interest to both specialists and chess fans. I faced several ethical problems when working on this book.
Many of the chess players who appear in these pages are still young; their whole life, including their sports career, lies ahead. That is why I tried to avoid purely personal details and did not reveal any professional secrets. I hope that these players, like me, will be curious to reflect on their own achievements and mistakes, and to take the reader on the difficult journey that allowed them to become prominent chess personalities.
Robert Ris wrote this book especially for club players who want to do more than opening theory.
I assume that most of you have read (and enjoyed!) the first volume of this series, but for those who haven’t: don’t worry. The level of the content of the two books is identical and you can work through the second volume without having studied the first one. However, it’s still not too late to get a copy of the first volume! In the first six chapters I will mainly look at positions with limited material left on the board. Endgames, yes, but also positions where the initiative plays an important role. My aim is to illustrate the specific features of all the pieces and this can best be done without too many other pieces on the board.
This book is definitely not a book full of theoretical lines. Of course, I will give some advice if possible and necessary. But the main purpose is to explain the structures that can result from double fianchettoed positions. The reader will find five chapters with structures from the white side and six chapters with structures from the black side. The last chapter is a mixed one, with games from both sides. The main — and longest — part will be the first chapter, with games and analyses of my own main weapon starting with Nf3, g3 and b3 against the King’s Indian and Grünfeld. I will show the reader a few games of my own and also games from Kramnik and Andersson, two of my favourite players.
I have learned a lot from their games myself. I have played those structures for nearly 25 years and one of my sons also now starts with 1.Nf3. During my years of playing chess I tried many possible openings with White and Black, but I was only successful with fianchettoing one, or even better both, bishops. Maybe this was a sign and those structures are really a lifestyle for me? I hope you will enjoy reading this book and maybe these structures will also become part of your lifestyle. ~ Daniel Hausrath