The way a beginner develops into a strong chess player closely resembles the progress of the game of chess itself. This popular idea is the reason why many renowned chess instructors such as former World Champions Garry Kasparov and Max Euwe, emphasize the importance of studying the history of chess.
Willy Hendriks agrees that there is much to be learned from the pioneers of our game. He challenges, however, the conventional view on what the stages in the advancement of chess actually have been. Among the various articles of faith that Hendriks questions is Wilhelm Steinitz's reputation as the discoverer of the laws of positional chess.
In The Origin of Good Moves Hendriks undertakes a groundbreaking investigative journey into the history of chess. He explains what actually happened, creates fresh perspectives, finds new heroes, and reveals the real driving force behind improvement in chess: evolution.
This thought-provoking book is full of beautiful and instructive ‘new’ material from the old days. With plenty of exercises, the reader is invited to put themselves in the shoes of the old masters. Never before has the study of the history of chess been so entertaining and rewarding.
This collection brings together more than 120 of Bent Larsen’s best games, annotated by himself.
His comments are lucid, to the point, instructive and humorous.
Here we are, together on this page, both interested in the French Defence with 3.Nc3 Bb4. Before telling you what you can learn from this opening, let me tell you a little story about my journey in the French. I started playing the French after reading John Watson’s Play the French, which improved my play a lot. I learned that the French is a positional yet concrete opening, and many of my young opponents couldn’t grasp its subtleties. Moreover, many opponents were far less prepared against 1...e6 than against 1...c5 or 1...e5. Unfortunately those days would end.
During the 2008 Dutch Youth Championships (U20), I understood that everyone would throw 7.Qg4 in the Winawer at me. In that respect, my opening preparation was simple: I’d study the Winawer for Black very intensively and the problem would be solved. In reality, I faced many difficulties. Novelties I’d find in the evenings were promptly refuted by the engine the next morning; I was constantly thinking about the French, but I couldn’t quite make it work. There was this strange, inexplicable feeling in my stomach, some might call “butterflies”. I had fallen in love with a chess line! Despite my two losses in the crucial games, I still believed I had a great repertoire with countless novelties to show for it.
My System is at the top of a very short list of chess classics.
The Sveshnikov is undeniably one of the most dynamic and aggressive Sicilians available these days.
Most recently, it was made popular again by World Champion Magnus Carlsen in his match against Fabiano Caruana at the end of 2018.
The main lines lead to complex positions, and a deep knowledge and understanding of the opening is a real necessity for any player who wishes to enter this battlefield.
Our author, Robert Ris, focuses on all the current developments, highlighting the most important and instructive games from recent years, using his own over-the board experiences.
Ris is well known for his theoretical knowledge and overall opening expertise. And we are quite convinced that he provides Sicilian players with an up-to date arsenal for playing the Sveshnikov.
“I left chess in 2012. I did not touch it for several years. Then I decided to test my strength in Internet blitz. I started from scratch. The board floated before my eyes, and my knee twitched. Less than two months later, I crossed the grandmaster rating mark. My opponents, among them lots of players with a big name, played chess better than me. Surprisingly though, I knew more. On a small island of chess theory, onto which I lured them, I was better equipped. Much better! About 30% of the games ended in wins around the 20th move. A quarter of the games simply ended in mate. In all games, I opened with the moves 1.b3 and 1…b6.”
International Master Ilya Odessky is the world’s leading expert on the 1.b3 and 1…b6 chess opening systems. Despite their apparent calm, these openings can get extremely sharp. Now Odessky presents his findings and achievements of recent years. His baffling traps will help you crush your opponents in the opening, with both White and Black.
Odessky admits that some of his lines may objectively be somewhat dubious. But in blitz and rapid games they will lead to spectacular play and many surprising wins. Ilya Odessky will entertain, amuse and surprise you in this highly unusual chess opening book full of ultra-romantic chess.
This book aims to arm White players adequately against Black’s most dangerous answer to 1.c4 – 1…e5. It is written from White’s standpoint, but it should also serve Black players since the authors often discuss several alternatives to the main lines. The focus is on the modern variations 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 and 4.d3.
In this book, Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic teaches you how to look beyond the material balance when you evaluate positions. With loads of instructive examples he shows how the actual value of your pieces fluctuates during the game, depending on many non-material factors. Some of those factors are space-related, such as mobility, harmony, outposts, structures, files and diagonals. Other factors are related to time, and to the way the moves unfold: tempo, initiative, a threat, an attack.
Modern chess players need to be able to suppress their need for immediate gratification. In order to gain the upper hand you often have to live with uncertain compensation. With many fascinating examples, Kuljasevic teaches you the essential skill of taking calculated risks. After studying Beyond Material, winning games by sacrificing material will become second nature to you.
Chess is a cruel game. We all know that feeling when your position has gone awry and everything seems hopeless. You feel like resigning. But don’t give up! This is precisely the moment to switch to swindle mode.
Master the art of provoking errors and you will be able to turn the tables and escape with a draw – or sometimes even steal the full point!
Swindling is a skill that can be trained. In this book, David Smerdon shows how you can use tricks from psychology to marshal hidden resources and exploit your opponent’s biases.
In a lost position, your best practical chance often lies not in what the computer recommends, but in playing your opponent.
With an abundance of eye-popping examples and training exercises, Smerdon identifies the four best friends of every chess swindler: your opponent’s impatience, their hubris, their fear, and their need to stay in control.
You’ll also learn about such cunning swindling motifs as the Trojan Horse, the Decoy Trap, the Berserk Attack, and ‘Window-Ledging’.
So, come and join the Swindlers’ Club, become a great escape artist and dramatically improve your results. In this instructive and highly entertaining guide, Smerdon shows you how.
In this new edition of his award-winning book, IM Herman Grooten presents a complete and structured course to amateur players on how to recognize key characteristics of all types of positions and how to make use of them to choose the right plan.
Study brings wisdom. Practice brings perfection.
Following his highly acclaimed Mastering Chess Strategy and Mastering Opening Strategy, this book completes a trilogy of strategy books by Grandmaster and renowned chess teacher Johan Hellsten. In his new work Hellsten focuses exclusively on endgame play and covers every type of endgame: pawn, minor piece, rook and queen endgames. He examines not only the many fundamental positions that everyone needs to know, but also the key themes and characteristics of successful endgame play, including activity, creating and exploiting weaknesses, active and passive defence, fortresses and technique.
Just like his previous two books, Mastering Endgame Strategy is a product of Hellsten's many years' work as a full-time chess teacher and is specifically designed as part of a structured training programme to improve strategic thinking. In addition to the many examples there's an abundance of carefully selected exercises which allow readers to monitor their progress and put into practice what they have just learned. Following such a course is an ideal way for players of all standards to improve. Although designed mainly for students, this book is also an excellent resource for chess teachers and trainers.
Opening preparation is essential, but for aspiring players understanding the middlegame is even more important.