An old Soviet quip has it that Western amateurs “play the opening like grandmasters, the middlegame like experts, and the endgame like beginners.” Soviet-trained players would fearlessly steer the game toward the final phase, confident of their superior endgame skill. Ilya Rabinovich’s Russian Endgame Manual is a major reason for this.
Rabinovich raises the beginner’s understanding of the endgame to a sophisticated level, starting with elementary checkmates and then moving on to the principles for handling complex endgames and advanced concepts in king-and-pawn endings, such as the theory of corresponding squares. The author pays special attention to frequently neglected endgame themes such as rook vs. pawns, rook vs. a minor piece, and queen vs. rook.
First published in 1927 and updated in 1938, this classic work – featuring more than four hundred instructive endings and over three hundred exercises for self-study – served a generation of players at the height of the Soviet School’s dominance. Mongoose Press now makes it available to the English-speaking public for the first time.
International Master Jonathan Hawkins was a relatively slow starter in the world of chess.
Seven years after his acclaimed and bestselling The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White, Grandmaster Larry Kaufman is back and presents a completely new White repertoire with 1.e4 aiming for an objective advantage in the simplest practical manner. The Black repertoire from his previous book has been thoroughly revised and updated, with some crucial chapters replaced.
This is the first opening book that is primarily based on Monte Carlo Search, a revolutionary algorithm that has made chess engines much stronger and more geared towards practical, human chess. The highly original analysis has resulted in many improvements on existing theory.
The story of AlphaZero has a wider impact. Game Changer offers intriguing insights into the opportunities and horizons of Artificial Intelligence. Not just in solving games, but in providing solutions for a wide variety of challenges in society. Game Changer also presents a collection of lucidly explained chess games of astonishing quality. Both professionals and club players will improve their game by studying AlphaZero’s stunning discoveries in every field that matters: opening preparation, piece mobility, initiative, attacking techniques, long-term sacrifices and much more.
Bestselling author Viktor Moskalenko presents an extremely powerful set of lines for White. The guiding principle of his 1.d4 repertoire is: be bold and put pressure on your opponent as early as possible. Moskalenko does not shower you with long computer-generated variations, but has a keen eye for the essence of positions. His talent to find new resources in well-known lines results in a host of novelties, daring recommendations and cunning tricks.
When you play his lines and follow his recommendations you will frequently surprise your opponent and build up positions full of swing. This is a typical Moskalenko book: practical, accessible, original and inspiring.
The Sicilian Taimanov arises after the opening moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6, and is an ideal weapon for Black in the modern era. It is theoretically sound, and strikes a perfect balance between solidity and dynamic counterattacking potential, which makes it a popular choice among club players and top grandmasters alike.
GM Antonios Pavlidis is the ideal guide to this opening. A keen theoretician, he has been using the Taimanov as the backbone of his repertoire for many years. As a lifelong 1.e4 player, he is also adept at seeing the position from White’s perspective, making his insight all the more valuable to the reader. In this book, Pavlidis shares top-class analysis as well as the expert knowledge he has gained from his many years of experience with the Taimanov.
The Grünfeld Defence is well known to be one of Black’s best and most challenging responses to 1.d4, and has long been a favourite choice of elite players including Kasparov, Svidler, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave and many more. As with many openings, however, it can be difficult to navigate the ever-expanding jungle of games and theory.
Playing the Grünfeld offers an ideal solution for practical players. Alexey Kovalchuk is a young Russian talent with expert knowledge of the Grünfeld, and in this book he shares his best ideas to form a complete, coherent and combative repertoire for Black. In addition to theoretical soundness, efforts have been made to avoid variations leading to early forced draws, as well as those in which Black allows his king to be attacked at an early stage.
FIDE Master and coach Tigran Gyozalyan fills a gap in the chess literature with the first systematic exploration of the king’s role and capabilities in the opening and the middlegame
Spend more study time on what’s really decisive in your games!
The average chess player spends too much time on studying opening theory. In his day, World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker argued that improving amateurs should spend about 5% of their study time on openings. These days club players are probably closer to 80%, often focusing on opening lines that are popular among grandmasters.
Club players shouldn’t slavishly copy the choices of grandmasters. GMs need to squeeze every drop of advantage from the opening and therefore play highly complex lines that require large amounts of memorization. The main objective for club players should be to emerge from the opening with a reasonable position, from which you can simply play chess and pit your own tactical and positional understanding against that of your opponent.
Gerard Welling and Steve Giddins recommend the Old Indian-Hanham Philidor set-up as a basis for both Black and White. They provide ideas and strategies that can be learned in the shortest possible time, require the bare minimum of maintenance and updating, and lead to rock-solid positions that you will know how to handle. By adopting a similar set-up for both colours, with similar plans and techniques, you will further reduce study time.
Side-stepping Mainline Theory will help you to focus on what is really decisive in the vast majority of non-grandmaster games: tactics, positional understanding and endgame technique.
The Sicilian Najdorf is one of Black’s best and most combative responses to 1.e4. The Najdorf was championed by Fischer and Kasparov during their respective periods of dominance over the world chess scene, and has been used extensively by many other World Champions and elite GMs, including Anand, Gelfand, Topalov and Vachier-Lagrave to name but a few.
Despite the Najdorf’s obvious pedigree, many players are intimidated by the highly tactical and theoretical nature of some of its main lines. In Playing the Najdorf, IM David Vigorito shows that this need not be a problem, as he offers a complete repertoire for Black based on positional principles, offering sound recommendations which lead to a fighting game without turning the battle into a memory contest.
Greek grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias is well-known for his excellent analytical work and writing style which presents the material in a way that is comprehensive and easy to understand. In this book – his first for Russell Enterprises – he offers a thorough system for Black against 1.d4. That includes responses to other systems such as the Colle, Trompowsky, London, etc. So, are you ready to stake your claim as Black, fighting from the first move? The Tarrasch may be just what you are looking for!