Romain Edouard launches a brand new series of exercise books. In this first volume he focuses on middlegames. Romain gives you different instructions for each chapter, so you can improve your general thinking from various angles – exactly as you would face in your own games.
De la Villa started collecting training material and selected those exercises best suited to retain and improve your knowledge and avoid common errors. In this book the Spanish grandmaster presents hundreds of exercises grouped according to the various chapters in 100 Endgames. Solving these puzzles will drive home the most important ideas, refresh your knowledge and improve your technique.
This book contains a massive amount of clear, concise and easy-to-follow chess endgame instruction. The advice De la Villa gives in the solutions is practical and useful. Ideal for every post-beginner, club player and candidate master who wishes to win more games.
This book will bring something new to your chess library. In our computer era, focus is usually on openings. Watching recent broadcasts, the new generation would rather choose games of a certain opening and look for an interesting idea or even a brilliant novelty. I offer, and recommend, a different concept altogether, based on the famous Soviet school of chess. The focus should be on understanding strategical concepts, principles and underlying logic. Fashionable opening lines will be forgotten (or re-evaluated) sooner or later, but understanding cannot be lost, and can be only upgraded. It is sad to see some players that are well equipped with opening lines, who are unable to realise a big positional advantage in an endgame. So, our advice is to concentrate on Strategy and Logic.
This book is highly recommended for club players, advanced players and masters, although even higher rated players may also find it useful. There is no doubt that lower rated players will learn a lot about thinking processes and decision making, while some logical principles can be put to use by more advanced players too.
The reader may ask: Why those games? The games presented in this book cannot be classified as the “best ever” (of course, such a classification is subjective). However, each game was chosen for its logic and instructive value. Of course, the author understands that readers’ opinion may differ. Either way, the games are useful for exploring many important points: How to evaluate a position and choose an appropriate plan? Where to attack? When to attack? When to exchange? How to realise an advantage?… Learning how to answer such important questions during your future games will improve your chess knowledge and technique considerably. Always try and introduce logic into your games – you will be delighted with the results!
The author also chose some instructive games with the idea to illustrate some psychologically important moments in chess such as the counter-attack, zeitnot or realisation.
The games are separated into chapters, each focusing on a topic. This should facilitate the reader’s navigation through the book.
The Petroff Defence is well known to be one of Black’s soundest and theoretically robust responses to 1.e4, having been tried and tested by a host of World Champions and other elite players. This book shows how you too can harness the power of this top-class opening.
Playing the Petroff offers an ideal solution for practical players. Swapnil Dhopade is a young Indian GM and theoretician, who presents a compact yet bulletproof repertoire for Black, drawing on the games of leading Petroff specialists such as Gelfand, Caruana and Kramnik. This book also provides plenty of guidance on how to deal with 1.e4 e5 games where White avoids 2.Nf3, with particular focus on ‘Anti-Petroff’ lines such as 2.Bc4.
In this, the second book in his two-volume work, GM Martyn Kravtsiv shines the spotlight on the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4). Most chess players learn the basics of this opening as beginners, yet it contains enough depth and complexity to provide the world’s best players with a rich and ever-evolving battleground.
Though written unmistakably from White’s perspective, this work takes a different approach from that of a typical repertoire book. Rather than filling valuable pages analysing rare, inferior and generally irrelevant options, the author delves deep into the most important main lines, explaining the key move-order details and providing White with a series of well-researched ideas which will force your opponents to solve difficult problems at the board.
Join The Italian Renaissance and create your own masterpieces!
Martyn Kravtsiv is a Ukrainian Grandmaster with a peak rating of 2685, with expert knowledge and experience of 1.e4.
Russian International Master Maxim Chetverik has written a strategy textbook containing 75 deeply annotated positional games that show players how to devise plans to handle a number of key strategic themes, such as when to open up the game, how to activate the pawn chain, how to carry out positional sacrifices and many others. Unlike most other textbooks, the strategic plans are viewed as battles where the plans of each player clash, and Maxim analyzes why one plan comes out on top.
Also unlike most other textbooks, all example games are drawn from grandmaster play in the 21st century, some played in 2018, and consider the plans right out of the opening stage. This makes the book of particular value to players wishing to better understand the strategies that the openings they play may lead to, bearing in mind the author is an openings expert with ten openings books published. The majority of games are played by elite grandmasters, including Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin, Giri, So, Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Leko, J. Polgar, Topalov, Kamsky, Morozevich, Korchnoi and Spassky.
Chetverik introduces and illustrates the concepts of macroplan and microplan, which provide a simple structural framework for players seeking to devise plans in their own games. The macroplan is the specific way to achieve the required result (usually, a win), for example, the successful exploitation of a queenside pawn majority. The microplan is a way of solving a local problem that involves several moves, such as transferring a knight from a bad square to a good one. Ideally, a macroplan is a chain of sequential and carefully calculated microplans.
This book is largely aimed at strong club players wishing to improve, or their coaches. The recommended Elo range is approximately 1,800 – 2,200, although it may of course be of interest to players a bit lower and a bit higher than this range.
The Woodpecker Method is the name given by Axel Smith to a training system developed by his compatriot and co-author Hans Tikkanen. After training with his method in 2010, Tikkanen achieved three GM norms within a seven-week period.
With the seemingly bulletproof Berlin Wall and Marshall Attack continuing to thwart White’s best efforts to find an advantage in the Ruy Lopez, many top players have incorporated the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4) along with the related Bishop’s Opening (2.Bc4) into their repertoires. In this two-volume work, GM Martyn Kravtsiv shares his insights on this Italian Renaissance from White’s perspective.
Before reaching the Italian, White must be ready to deal with the Petroff Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6). In the first part of this, the first volume, Kravtsiv advocates the well-regarded 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 variation, offering an array of weapons to cause problems for Black, including a large number of untested yet dangerous ideas.
The next topic is the Bishop’s Opening, which can be used as an optional Anti-Petroff move order as well as a weapon in its own right. 2.Bc4 may or may not transpose to the main Italian lines, and it is useful to be able to play both move orders in order to choose the most effective sequence against each opponent. By combining this book with its companion volume, you too can be a part of The Italian Renaissance.
Martyn Kravtsiv is a Ukrainian Grandmaster with a peak rating of 2685, with expert knowledge and experience of 1.e4.
This magnificent compilation of chess form the basis of the first part of Garry Kasparov's definitive history of the World Chess Championship. Garry Kasparov, who is universally acclaimed as the greatest chessplayer ever, subjects the play of his predecessors to a rigorous analysis.
Part one features the play of champions Wilhelm Steinitz (1886-1894), Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921), Jose Capablanca (1921-1927) and Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935 and 1937-1946).
The Dutch Defense is an old opening. A seriously old opening. So old, in fact, that in large part it currently has the reputation of not really causing a well-prepared White player to fear losing. That is especially the case with the variant of it I am analysing in this book: the Stonewall (in which Black continues with ...e6 and ...d5). I intend to show that that impression is mistaken.
First things first: it’s a very positional opening. In contrast to the King’s Indian (which shares the feature of having few early piece or pawn exchanges) play moves slowly and despite there obviously being some sharp lines, the absolute prerequisite for playing the Stonewall Dutch is that you understand positional chess. The first person to really understand the strategic themes at play here, and develop decent plans for Black was sixth world champion, Mikhail Botvinnik. From which it should be clear that positional doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
There have been many revolutions in how chess players view tactical play or opening strategy. However, for me it is fitting that the resurgence of the Stonewall is coming at the exact time that strategic chess is being redefined by Carlsen. It is an echo of when the opening was first introduced: Botvinnik, the ‘Patriarch’ of the Soviet chess school, with its discipline and its principles, produced a similarly seismic shift in how people viewed positional play at the time.
The positional themes in this opening are incredibly complex. We’ll get into it more later but let me just explain some of the confounding factors. From Black’s perspective, playing with a hole on e5 is very much an ‘acquired taste’, in spite of the ideas that have already been found to counterbalance it, such as a queen (or bishop) transfer to h5, or launching the f-pawn against the enemy king.
The Caro-Kann Defense has always been one of my favorite openings to play and was the very first opening I learned when I started playing chess. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov espoused this opening throughout his career and, with his solid and positional style, inspired me to play the Caro-Kann as well. Many games have been played, and theory has evolved since the days of Karpov’s Caro-Kann. As you will see in this book, this opening offers Black many opportunities for dynamic play, despite its solid framework.
My hope is that readers of all levels will find something of value to them in this book. The material contains many new ideas and the analysis often stretch quite far from the opening stages. Nevertheless, I have done my best to help the reader make sense of the complicated variations and of the positional nuances inextricably woven between them. The idea is not only to show you the moves, but also to help you develop both your understanding of the underlying plans and your familiarity with broader strategic concepts, to guide your decision-making even beyond the opening.
Times are changing (as even the Wild West at some point became industrialized) and theory has developed on everything. It has therefore become possible, inter alia, to try and write a rigorous opening manual on the Modern. What I mean is not that equality has been found and this should be your exclusive opening choice for all time to come (I would be lying to you if I said that) but rather that there is now a roadmap as to how you should study this opening. About time, given the number of 1.e4 repertoires that have been written and which contain anti-Modern recommendations (usually in the ‘Other’ or ‘Miscellaneous’ section towards the back!) that nobody has taken the time to combat rigorously.
Furthermore, there has been a sea change in the ethos of Modern players (and also Pirc players): we no longer wish to get something totally new, or redefine the concept of development in Hippo style, but usually these days we want to get a Sicilian structure! That is to say, a position where Black gets to play …cxd4 (or have White play dxc5) and thereby obtains a central majority that will stand him in good stead for the long term. That has now become the intellectual gold standard, a trend that has progressed in tandem with the inclusion of this opening in more players’ repertoires and its slow shift in towards the mainstream from the fringes of what is acceptable.
As artisans (for we must never forget our roots) on this moving fringe, it is important to have your bearings. Nowadays (and however much you feel like playing it freehand) if you want to include the Modern in your repertoire you should do some study. You should know, for instance, where White can get a safe plus (in my opinion, just chapter III.2), where White can get a less-safe plus (chapter IV.4), and where there are routes to equality, dynamic or otherwise (essentially the rest of the book!)