For the purpose of writing this book I decided to look at all the games Veselin has played from 1995 until the present, as there were many I didn’t know! I must say that, although seeing great moves from a 2800 player sounds normal, it was impossible not to be astonished by some of his games. Topalov is one of the kings of practical decisions in chess. He regards chess as more a sport than a science. If he thinks an idea will work over the board, the notion of risk is irrelevant to him. He wants to be on the attack and believes an objectively inferior position isn’t necessarily bad if his opponent needs to find several difficult defensive moves. “If that’s the only move for my opponent, let’s enter the line and see if he sees it!” is his philosophy. He never liked peace over the board or routine play. The moments where he has refused to repeat moves or has sacrificed something strictly out of intuition are countless. In short, Topalov’s aim has always been to hit hard and bring his own touch to the game, and I think he has succeeded!
Grandmaster Milos Pavlovic investigates one of the most popular openings: the King's Indian, with a focus on little explored dynamic ways to counter the basic White system
The Benoni had been under a serious cloud. Milos rehabilitated the whole opening using many new and unexplored ideas. He and the publisher are convinced that this book will inspire to use his reloaded weapons for their own benefit!
Chess has very strict, but also fairly simple, rules: rapid development, control of the center with pawns or pieces, timely castling and defense of the king, the creation of various weaknesses in the opponent’s position, attacking those weaknesses, and control of open lines. At the same time a player shouldn’t get his queen stuck in the enemy camp, or ruin his own pawn structure. Those who know these rules will succeed. It is necessary for a chess player to know opening and endgame theory, standard combinations and motifs, as well as pawn structures and many other things.
A lot of the topics listed demand a very straightforward type of thinking or approach. However it also happens that chess players often discover significant resources which formally exist outside the typical rules of chess. Those who know how to break all the rules and work around those specific guidelines reach the very top. Currently, when thousands of chess books dissect the same standard ideas in great detail, let us remember that first there were those who originally discovered them, implemented them, and made them standard, as well as those who broke the rules and created completely new ones.
The strategic part of the book consists of thirty-two fully-annotated games divided into five chapters, with the fifth chapter divided into four subchapters. In this strategic part I have given an insight into the historical development of the variation and have tried to help the reader understand the most common plans and concepts for both sides. My own practical experiences in this variation date back to 1994, and over the years I have tried it with Black versus greats like Kramnik, Shirov and Grischuk. Some of these experiences are included in the book. The Chigorin Variation is rich in ideas which can be used in a range of middlegame positions arising from different variations.
Understanding the strategic ideas of this complex variation is also a middlegame improvement ‘tool’ and a must for anyone wanting to take his or her chess to the next level. The current trend, developed in recent years, is for Black to capture on d4 with his e-pawn, aiming for Benoni-type pawn structure positions which lead to rather double-edged positions.
These modern developments and the current theoretical state of affairs in general are dealt with in the theoretical part of the book by my friend, Ivan Salgado. This ‘Chigorin bible’ aims to be the ultimate improvement ‘tool’ for club and tournament players in the variation. The first part provides the reader with a good understanding of general plans and strategic concepts and the second part provides direct theoretical knowledge.
Going through the instructive examples and numerous exercises you will see all the important aspects of the piece exchange in the endgame, and enrich your knowledge and understanding of the final stage of the chess game. Trying to solve the positions, you will certainly improve your decision-making ability and analyzing skills.
Many gambit lines, where one or more pawns are sacrificed for the initiative, have to be taken seriously, but Ivan has succeeded in finding many new ideas and theoretical improvements. The result is the neutralisation or refutation of most of these common and well known 'Gambits'.
(Free re-downloadable for those who purchased the first edition!)
One of the remarkable things about the Accelerated Dragon is its appeal to players with vastly different styles. In this book International Master Raja Panjwani presents a repertoire for Black demonstrating a dynamic way to fight 1.e4 from the second move.
A complete manual on how to play the Benko
This book is written for the Black side, though new ideas for White are suggested and old ones occasionally improved. It contains not only the author’s personal take on how to deal with all major White tries after 1.e4 c6, but also a range of alternatives for Black to cater for different types of Caro-Kann player.
The Colle-Zukertort is a deep independent opening in its own right, but is also very flexible. Transpositions to the Queen’s Indian or Slav are often possible. The simplicity of placing the bishop on d3, a knight on e5 and following up with f4 and Rf3 with checkmating prospects is very tempting. Underneath it all though, it is way more than that simplified idea. It is filled with rich positional possibilities and nuances that one should be aware of. I have tried to show as many aspects as possible, pointing out exactly the relevant details and knowledge that are normally only accessible to strong positional players, such as Kramnik.
This opening is for fans of classical chess. I wanted to present chess in the “old” style, before players had access to engines to help them with their play and understanding. Before engines, players such as Colle and Zukertort created and innovated to such an extent that we still use their ideas today. I wanted to use this approach, to remind readers that this style of chess still exists.
Here we are, together on this page, both interested in the French Defence with 3.Nc3 Bb4. Before telling you what you can learn from this opening, let me tell you a little story about my journey in the French. I started playing the French after reading John Watson’s Play the French, which improved my play a lot. I learned that the French is a positional yet concrete opening, and many of my young opponents couldn’t grasp its subtleties. Moreover, many opponents were far less prepared against 1...e6 than against 1...c5 or 1...e5. Unfortunately those days would end.
During the 2008 Dutch Youth Championships (U20), I understood that everyone would throw 7.Qg4 in the Winawer at me. In that respect, my opening preparation was simple: I’d study the Winawer for Black very intensively and the problem would be solved. In reality, I faced many difficulties. Novelties I’d find in the evenings were promptly refuted by the engine the next morning; I was constantly thinking about the French, but I couldn’t quite make it work. There was this strange, inexplicable feeling in my stomach, some might call “butterflies”. I had fallen in love with a chess line! Despite my two losses in the crucial games, I still believed I had a great repertoire with countless novelties to show for it.