In spite of its long history however, for most of its life the Scotch did not enjoy great popularity. It was a recognized answer to 1...e5, for sure, but it never seriously challenged the Ruy Lopez as the most “objective” way to fight for an opening advantage. The general opinion was that Black had enough resources to achieve equality. The turning point for the fortunes of the Scotch was the world title match between Kasparov and Karpov in 1990, the first time that the opening had been tested at such an elite level. Unsurprisingly, Kasparov’s decision to employ this old opening meant that its appearances in tournaments soared. The popularity of the Scotch generated by this match remains today, and I would say it is perhaps more popular than ever before. That begs the obvious question – why? Well, due to the nature of the positions that tend to arise it is ideal for engine analysis, and so it lends itself perfectly to the tools of the current day. It is a nice paradox that the Romantic foundations of this opening merge so well with the computerized modern era. Credit can mostly be given to Kasparov for reviving this old opening, but there are many others who have contributed to exploring new ideas and forging new paths. A lot of discoveries have been made by some young grandmasters who don’t shy away from analysing deep tactical solutions with the aid of the silicon beast.
The only other book written on the Scotch that I used whilst searching for material is the excellent work by the English GM Peter Wells, The Scotch Game. Wells’ book comes from an older, classical style of opening literature which is helpful in developing the reader’s understanding and certainly still has its merits today. Since its publication in 1998, however, many new lines have been introduced and our general approach to the Scotch has changed dramatically. Nevertheless, it served me well as guidance as I wrote this work. This book is going to be a big one, so my introduction will be a little different to my usual approach. I will try to present the most important features in the book so that readers can immediately see what kind of material they will find.
Four years have passed since the first edition of our Richter-Rauzer Reborn book and if we look at the recent past, we can see that this variation of the Sicilian has been gaining more and more popularity and is very often seen in tournament practice. The fact that this opening has become part of a standard repertoire against 1.e4 for many top players such as Rapport, Dubov, Li Chao, Korobov, Gupta, Vovk etc . speaks for itself about the quality and the fascination of the variation and also about the many possibilities it offers. It’s hard to pinpoint the real reasons for this popularity, but it’s likely that the answer lies in the complexity of the positions that arise on the board and the large number of new ideas, which we will talk about in this book.
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.
After the first two volumes of the series had been produced (the first about Ruy Lopez and Italian structures after 1.e4 e5, the second about Queen’s Gambit structures after 1.d4 d5), it was time for me to consider the third volume. Since the Sicilian is such a popular opening among club players, the choice was virtually automatic and resulted in the book you now hold. It was, however, clear from early on that such a nuanced and wide-ranging opening could never fit in a single volume. That is why the series will continue with more Sicilian books after this one. As my former teacher, the late Huub van Dongen, once said: “There is more literature about the Najdorf variation alone than about the Middle Ages!” And, you know, maybe he’s right. The complexities of the Sicilian are such that it is quite the job to explain them in the style I established with the first two volumes on more classical openings. Each Sicilian variation has quite specific characteristics and deserves separate treatment. But in placing the systems in books I tried to group together those that are most similar to each other. Hence, the Dragon does not go with the Sveshnikov; in the present book you will find the Najdorf and Scheveningen variations, which are altogether more similar to each other and even have some overlap.
Aron Nimzowitsch wrote that studying the middlegame in chess means studying typical positions. Typical positions means typical pawn structures, and studying pawn structures means studying strategy. Middlegame strategy literature is rather poor. We have worked hard trying to provide the best possible material with different colleagues: Isolani Strategy by Alexander Beliavsky/Adrian Mikhalchishin/Oleg Stetsko, Hanging Pawns by Adrian Mikhalchishin, and The Center by Adrian Mikhalchishin/Georg Mohr. Other important books were written by Sergey Shipov, with his two-volume The Complete Hedgehog, and Ivan Sokolov, with his series Chess Middlegame Strategies.
So, here is another try at researching typical plans. The authors, both long-term chess trainers, decided to research ideas that are important in the Maroczy structure for both sides. The Maroczy structure was played by such greats as Bobby Fischer, Tigran Petrosian, Bent Larsen and many others. We would like to present this topic in a slightly different way. Chess players and also trainers usually do not think as deeply as they should in order to achieve better results. We would like to present ideas for both White and Black and this book is written without any bias as to colour.