The French Defence is coming back to fashion again! One of the leaders in the 2020 Candidates tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi, successfully staked on it. Lately World champion himself also embraced the French several times. A great expert of this opening is the last challenger for the world title Fabiano Caruana. The French became a real arena of the battle of the engines – neural network genius Leela was confidently repelling the attacks of its powerful rivals.
The author’s view on the French allows Black to obtain fresh creative positions without having to compete with deep knowledge in well trodden paths.
The theoretical material is based on the author’s tournament practice, and passed the test at a GM level during the writing of the book.
The Colle-Zukertort is a deep independent opening in its own right, but is also very flexible. Transpositions to the Queen’s Indian or Slav are often possible. The simplicity of placing the bishop on d3, a knight on e5 and following up with f4 and Rf3 with checkmating prospects is very tempting. Underneath it all though, it is way more than that simplified idea. It is filled with rich positional possibilities and nuances that one should be aware of. I have tried to show as many aspects as possible, pointing out exactly the relevant details and knowledge that are normally only accessible to strong positional players, such as Kramnik.
This opening is for fans of classical chess. I wanted to present chess in the “old” style, before players had access to engines to help them with their play and understanding. Before engines, players such as Colle and Zukertort created and innovated to such an extent that we still use their ideas today. I wanted to use this approach, to remind readers that this style of chess still exists.
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.
From the first moment (about a year ago) when Mr. Daniel Vanheirzeele from Thinkers Publishing contacted me about the possibility of writing an opening book, I was really excited about the prospect. Writing a chess book was a completely new direction for me, and anything new excites me and gives me a high. Then after some discussion we narrowed the topic down to 1.e4 (‘Best by test’) and I found myself with a contract to cover two major variations within the Sicilian: the sharp Najdorf and the trendy Taimanov.
I actually already had a decent reputation as a dangerous theoretician on the white side of 1.e4, and in particular against these two openings. I had shown some interesting ideas in my games over the years which were the result of my real passion for opening knowledge, a trait which has stayed with me throughout my chess career.
In this first volume of Cheparinov’s 1.d4! readers will find my own way of working on openings, and the way I analyze. Many of the lines and conclusions in this book are based not only on computer evaluation, but also on the practical point of view. Of course all the lines have been deeply analyzed by strong engines, and although I am sure they are not perfect, the most important thing is that all evaluations are based on my own understanding and knowledge of chess. I believe this book should be used as a starting point, from which to build progress in opening preparation.
In the book I reveal many new ideas and concepts. The first volume of the series focuses on 3.f3 against the Grünfeld and King’s Indian, two of the most popular openings against 1.d4. I tried to discuss all possible lines for Black after 3.f3, but of course focused on the most principled ones. Most of the lines are very double-edged.
I have revealed some very interesting options for Black as well. This is one of the things that I do in my opening preparation – I look at the openings for both sides. I believe this is very important, because it gives you a realistic view of things. For White I tried to give the lines that I believe are not only the best, but also give Black problems to solve during the game.
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.
Tigran Petrosian, the ninth world chess champion, was one of the deepest thinkers the chess world has ever seen. His handling of complex strategic positions was legendary. Now, for the first time, Russian international master Igor Yanvarjov has put together a superb collection of virtually all the known games played by Petrosian – with both colors – in the King’s Indian Defense and other closely related Indian structures.
The author’s objective was, first of all, to reveal the richness of Petrosian’s chess world and to follow the strategic development of the King’s Indian Defense through the prism of Petrosian’s creative work. He does this with the presentation of almost 300 deeply annotated, complete games.
This splendid collection of annotated games will not only have enormous appeal to King’s Indian aficionados, but to all chessplayers who wish to expand their understanding of the strategic concepts underpinning the royal game as a whole.
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.
Over time, my attention focused on the Modern Benoni. In this opening, the bishop on g7 is the same icon that is the basis of the King’s Indian, but here it can operate on the whole a1-h8 diagonal instead of being locked in by its own pawn on e5, as usually happens in the King’s Indian. Black’s plan is outrageously simple: with pawns on d6 and c5, and sometimes b4, he creates a breakwater that opens up space for his favorite on g7.
My expectations from the opening were reinforced by two games by the greatest chess romantic of all time, Mikhail Tal. It seems to me that these games will help you, dear reader, to be imbued with love for this extraordinary opening.
The unique concept of Monster your middlegame planning received a very good feedback from our readers, therefore we decided to continue the series by keeping the same concept for endgames in two volumes. The author GM Efstratios Grivas is going through the most important endgame topics in a testing format, so the reader not only masters endgames, but also tests his actual knowledge.
Jacob Aagaard describes his chess improvement philosophy, developed over more than twenty years of thinking about one question: How do we make better decisions at the chess board