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.
The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence is so popular that the total number of games played in this line exceeds the number of games played in many complete openings! It has been the favourite line of many world champions and grandmasters. Famous lines such as the Poisoned Pawn, the Polugaevsky Variation, the Sozin, the English Attack, to name just a few, are known to all chess players as belonging to the Najdorf Sicilian.
Learning the Najdorf will help all players to understand Sicilians in a better way. Different aspects of chess such as defence, attack and sacrifice, positional themes and tactical storms, can be found in this book.
The Nimzo-Indian and Queen’s Gambit Declined are among Black’s soundest and most universal answers to 1.d4. In his trademark style, Milos investigates the most positional ways to proceed after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6
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Contrary to what the critical pessimists might say, the Reti opening is an ambitious weapon for White. By avoiding the main theoretical debates, White tries to reach an unbalanced position from an early stage of the game, with many different plans being available.
I am not seeking glory with this book, but I certainly had to have a book in tactics! That’s the main idea of the book; to be a companion for trainers and players who seek improvement — simple but effective! The names of the mates are not important. What’s crucial is understanding and subconsciously memorising these patterns in order to recognise when they’re about to occur in a player’s own games. These mating patterns are not confined to chess problems and puzzles.
As will be shown, they occur in the games of Grandmasters and even World Champions, past and present! They belong to everybody’s games, even beginners’! Each mate’s theoretical pattern is presented as a diagram, with constructed examples and actual games. It is suggested that students set-up and play through these mates from the losers’ viewpoint as well. Most difficult of all is recognising patterns when they occur horizontally (i.e., rotated 90 degrees) from the normal orientation. The key to each pattern is the status of the squares surrounding the king: which ones are obstructed, which are potential flight squares that can be controlled with the available pieces. Players are advised to know these patterns forwards, backwards and upside down!
A complete manual for the Taimanov, one of the most popular and complicated Sicilian variations.
This book invites the reader to enter the wonderful elite chess world with one of the most creative GM’s of all time. It tells about his approach to the core of fighting, about his strongest points but also about his weaknesses. It presents real masterpieces and hurtful losses.
The book Together with the Candidates that you are holding is firstly a book of tests with their solutions, given in the format of game fragments with detailed comments. All the tasks in this book have been taken from games of the Candidates competitions. They differ very much in their degree of complexity. I hope this will allow a wide circle of readers to find the tests corresponding to their own chess level here.
A new collection of puzzles carefully selected by two experienced trainers.
This book is about the practical approach to the game of chess. It shaped me as a player and now I would like to share my philosophy with you. My objective is to combat several generally accepted misconceptions, such as a) only studying opening theory will make you a better player, b) one should always follow the first or second line shown by Komodo or Stockfish, and finally, c) that “in theory” is equivalent to “over the board”. The last fallacy is especially dangerous because it implies that players will keep on making the best moves over the board, and therefore sidelines should never be played as the opponent will always find a way to retain and convert the advantage. That is in theory. In practice, however, many players will feel like fish out of water once they end up in a position that is objectively better for them but one that they have never analyzed. Overall, based on my experience as a chess professional, I strongly believe that the above-mentioned fallacies do not hold true empirically,
The book is divided into four parts. Part I covers sidelines in the mainstream openings where I take a major opening and analyze one or several sidelines. This is the most theoretical part of the book, where I share a significant amount of original thoughts and analyses that constitute my opening repertoire. Part II discusses the concept that I refer to as systems. It still involves theory, but less so in comparison to Part I. What I am trying to convey in this part is the “schematic thinking” – where you think in terms of plans and typical ideas. Part III takes one step further in abstraction – it analyzes notable modern games where one player showed ambition early on in the game and it worked out well for him. Part IV covers the so-called “early surprises” where early on in the game a player implemented a move that shocked his opponent.
This book series is about that central question: what matters in the opening? What plans are on hand? Which (hidden) concepts are concealed in the current position that has arisen just after the opening? Volume 1 in a new series by Herman Grooten covers Ruy Lopez and Italian Structures.
This book series is about that central question: what matters in the opening? What plans are on hand? Which (hidden) concepts are concealed in the current position that has arisen just after the opening? Volume 2 in a new series by Herman Grooten covers Queen’s Gambit Structures.