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!)
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.
The purpose of this book is to shed some light on the underlying principles that govern “boring” chess positions, bordering on equality. Such positions have gradually become the main dish of nowadays’ chess menu because people have increased their level, their stamina, their desire to grind down wins out of nothing.
The author proposes a clear streamlined method of thinking in dry equal positions without long-term plans. It is based mostly on correct evaluation and categorization of the position, and on move by move play.
The book is not for novices, it assumes that the readers have mastered the basics already and wish to make the next step in their chess development.
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.
Are you struggling with your chess development? While dedicating hours and hours on improving your craft, your rating simply does not want to move upwards? Spending loads of money on chess books and DVDs, but feeling no real improvement at all? No worries – the book that you are holding in your hands might represent a game changer!
Years of coaching experience as well as independent research has allowed the author to identify the key skills that will enhance the progress of just about any player rated between 1600 and 2500. Becoming a strong chess thinker is namely not only reserved exclusively for elite players, but actually constitutes the cornerstone of chess training, being no less important than memorising opening theory, acquiring middlegame knowledge or practising endgames.
By studying this book, you will:
– learn how to universally deal with any position you might encounter in your games, even if you happen to see it for the first time in your life,
– have the opportunity to solve 90 unique, hand-picked puzzles, extensively annotated and peculiarly organised for the Readers’ optimal learning effect,
– gain access to more than 300 pages of original grandmaster thoughts and advice, leaving you awestruck and hungry for more afterwards!
The Modernized Grunfeld Defense will be extremely helpful for any chess player looking for a reliable lifetime repertoire against White’s 1.d4. It will benefit current Grunfeld players as Yaro unveils his analysis and numerous novelties waiting to be played over the board.
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.
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 20th Anniversary Edition & International Bestseller!
In 1998, the authors set out to demonstrate the viability of the Accelerated Dragon as a weapon for Black, not fearing the Maroczy Bind or any other set-up White can come up with. In the intervening year, the opening has been part of the opening repertoires of world top players such as Carlsen, Ivanchuk, and numerous other top grandmasters.
Even though the original material is now older, it is still very instructive and will enhance anyone's general understanding of chess and, specifically, of the Accelerated Dragon. This book contains all the original material of the first edition with some additional main games as well a couple of entirely new segments.
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.
The Breyer and Zaitsev Variations of the Ruy Lopez are two of the most dynamic lines played today. Examining them from both White and Black’s point of view, Greek grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias discusses their strengths, weaknesses and presents suggested improvements where necessary.
The Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez is the brainchild of Hungarian hypermodern Gyula Breyer. He suggested the paradoxical knight retreat 9...Nb8 early in the 20th century. Although its soundness has been confirmed in many grandmaster games for over a century, there is surprisingly little which has been written about it. This book has just changed all that.
The Zaitsev Variation was one of Anatoly Karpov’s workhorses in his title matches against Garry Kasparov. Formulated by the brilliant theoretician Igor Zaitsev, it can be found in the repertoires of some of the leading grandmasters of our era. As the author notes in his introduction, this is an objective presentation of two excellent opening variations for Black, from which players sitting on either side of the board may profit. The play is strategically complex, tactically rich and will improve you as both a player and connoisseur of the game.
Kotronias’ clear writing style, coupled with in depth analysis, makes for a splendid opening manual on two of the most topical – and solid – variations of the Ruy Lopez.
The Scotch Game is the most “open” of all the Open Games. In fact this is the only really Open Game, in its essence, which matches the traditional terminology.
The move 3.d2-d4 breaks immediately the symmetry. White tries to occupy the centre and gain additional space. Rapid contact between the opposing forces takes place, in fact much quicker than in the other open (and not only open...) games, which increases the value of every move and requires from both sides tremendous accuracy at a very early stage of the game. Positions with opposite castles arise much more often in the Scotch than in all the other Open Games put together.