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
This book will bring something new to your chess library. In our computer era, focus is usually on openings. Watching recent broadcasts, the new generation would rather choose games of a certain opening and look for an interesting idea or even a brilliant novelty. I offer, and recommend, a different concept altogether, based on the famous Soviet school of chess. The focus should be on understanding strategical concepts, principles and underlying logic. Fashionable opening lines will be forgotten (or re-evaluated) sooner or later, but understanding cannot be lost, and can be only upgraded. It is sad to see some players that are well equipped with opening lines, who are unable to realise a big positional advantage in an endgame. So, our advice is to concentrate on Strategy and Logic.
This book is highly recommended for club players, advanced players and masters, although even higher rated players may also find it useful. There is no doubt that lower rated players will learn a lot about thinking processes and decision making, while some logical principles can be put to use by more advanced players too.
The reader may ask: Why those games? The games presented in this book cannot be classified as the “best ever” (of course, such a classification is subjective). However, each game was chosen for its logic and instructive value. Of course, the author understands that readers’ opinion may differ. Either way, the games are useful for exploring many important points: How to evaluate a position and choose an appropriate plan? Where to attack? When to attack? When to exchange? How to realise an advantage?… Learning how to answer such important questions during your future games will improve your chess knowledge and technique considerably. Always try and introduce logic into your games – you will be delighted with the results!
The author also chose some instructive games with the idea to illustrate some psychologically important moments in chess such as the counter-attack, zeitnot or realisation.
The games are separated into chapters, each focusing on a topic. This should facilitate the reader’s navigation through the book.
This work was originally envisioned as a single-volume collection of my most memorable games, annotated by me, à la Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games. However the more I delved into the past, the more things started to rise up from the recesses of my memory, which, along with deeper analysis and more detailed introductions to the games, made it more like an anthology of chess stories. Thankfully, my gracious editors decided to split the work into two volumes.
What you are going to find in this first volume is a selection of my most memorable battles on the chessboard during the first of two different periods. It covers the time from my arrival in the USA as an up-and-coming young talent in early 1989, acquiring the freedom to play in any open tournament in the world and quickly gaining precious experience to grow into a challenger for the World Championship in 1996. This period ended with my early retirement from the game to pursue other goals in life.
This is the second volume of my memorable games collection. Here you will find games that I played after my return to chess back in 2004. It had been eight years since my last tournament, and so much had changed for me. I had entered my first marriage and just graduated from Touro Law Center with an eye on my favorite subject, Intellectual Property, and on another new development at the time called cyber law, which dealt with issues related to the internet and international jurisdiction.
At the same time it represented an opportunity for me to return to something that I had devoted so much time and energy to, the game of chess. For the first time in my life I was free to pursue directions of my own choosing.
The decision was a difficult one, but finally I decided to return to chess, feeling that I could somehow positively influence both FIDE and the chess world in general. They were still split and had different world champions, the FIDE one, and the PCA one, which was the more prestigious of the two. The PCA World Champion was Mr. Kramnik, who had succeeded Mr. Kasparov as World Champion in the long line of world championship matches.
Clearly there were some triumphs and failures during this period of my chess career, but ultimately I feel that I have left a certain mark on the generation from which the world’s current top players have emerged.
Once again, in the games that follow, I try to share my vision of chess as a great intellectual battlefield where many factors play a role, including psychology and the science of computer home preparation. For me, there still exists the exciting journey to find the great truth of what is happening on the chess board, and the search for an even greater objective, the beauty of the game. With these in mind, I have selected these games, to share with you the knowledge that I have acquired so far.
Grandmaster Insides takes you into the inner world of the American Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy, a former World Junior Champion.
The author’s aim in this volume is to improve the tournament chess player and professional alike in their ability to evaluate and execute crucial and hard-fought practical endgames – either in converting a winning position or holding a draw. This book will also sharpen the player’s overall cognitive competences in practical situations, where the normal laws of endgame theory have little or no value. Dreev accomplishes this by providing categorized and detailed examples with clear commentary from his own tournament games, as well as from other Grandmasters’ at the elite level.
After reading this book the reader will increase his or her knowledge of the typical and not-so-typical methods of play in the middlegame, become familiar with ideas of non-standard solutions to practical problems arising during the game and be able to apply this knowledge in his or her own games.