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.
The Fifth Edition of a Modern Masterpiece!
When it appeared in 2003, the first edition of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual was immediately recognized by novice and master alike as one of the best books ever published on the endgame. The enlarged and revised fifth edition is better than ever!
Here is what Vladimir Kramnik, the 14th World Champion, had to say in his foreword to the fifth edition:
“I consider Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual an absolute must for every chess professional, and no less important even for a club player... I always recommend this book... I consider it to be one of the very best chess books published in recent times and I am very pleased with the new enhanced edition...”
German grandmaster Karsten Müller, widely recognized as one of the best endgame theoreticians in the world today, has carefully updated the fifth edition with the help of American grandmaster Alex Fishbein. The incredible instructional value of the exercises has been preserved, and the blue text used in the first four editions has been replaced with text with a light grey background.
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 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.
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.
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.
For Lluis Comas Fabrego chess is about more than just winning as many games as possible, it is a creative search for the truth. In True Lies in Chess Comas Fabrego takes on the challenging task of separating the truth from lies in chess literature. Guided by many practical examples and clear advice, the readers will learn how to reduce the complexity of chess towards the essential features of each position, and so improve their play.
In the course of a game of chess, questions continually arise that test a player’s reasoning skills. Questions such as: “Who has the better position?”, “Should I resolve the tension in the center?”, “How can I improve the placement of my pieces?”.
In this long-awaited extension of the classic Best Lessons of a Chess Coach, the reader is invited to take a seat in the classroom of a renowned chess teacher, and learn how to answer such questions while experiencing the beauty, logic, and artistry of great chess games. When Sunil Weeramantry lectures on the games of top grandmasters, one can imagine making decisions alongside them. When he lectures on his own games, one can also experience the personal excitement, disappointment, and satisfaction of a well-contested game of chess. The cumulative effect of studying these lessons is to give the aspiring player a wide range of tools with which to win.