Aron Nimzowitsch wrote that studying the middlegame in chess means studying typical positions. Typical positions means typical pawn structures, and studying pawn structures means studying strategy. Middlegame strategy literature is rather poor. We have worked hard trying to provide the best possible material with different colleagues: Isolani Strategy by Alexander Beliavsky/Adrian Mikhalchishin/Oleg Stetsko, Hanging Pawns by Adrian Mikhalchishin, and The Center by Adrian Mikhalchishin/Georg Mohr. Other important books were written by Sergey Shipov, with his two-volume The Complete Hedgehog, and Ivan Sokolov, with his series Chess Middlegame Strategies.
So, here is another try at researching typical plans. The authors, both long-term chess trainers, decided to research ideas that are important in the Maroczy structure for both sides. The Maroczy structure was played by such greats as Bobby Fischer, Tigran Petrosian, Bent Larsen and many others. We would like to present this topic in a slightly different way. Chess players and also trainers usually do not think as deeply as they should in order to achieve better results. We would like to present ideas for both White and Black and this book is written without any bias as to colour.
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.
The Hippopotamus Defence is just what a club player needs. It’s a straightforward and clear-cut chess opening that avoids the ever growing body of mainline theory. It’s universal: Black can use the Hippo against virtually all of White’s choices (1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.f4, the Colle, London, Trompowsky, Réti and others). It’s not very well known and will surprise many opponents.
On top of all that, the Hippo is seriously underestimated: with its characteristic double fianchetto it may look quiet, but inside there lurks a very dangerous animal. FIDE Master Alessio de Santis is one of the world’s greatest experts on the Hippo and has written a practical, well-structured and accessible manual.
The author presents a full opening repertory for the club player, which is analysed in six volumes. In the books you will find many novelties for both sides, with a full move-to-move presentation. Furthermore, the reader will get access to middlegame strategies, endgame techniques and common tactical motifs, which are patterning the proposed variations.
In the first volume the openings of the Slav Defence, the Gruenfeld Defence and the Blumenfeld Gambit are presented.
In this book on the 3.Nc3 French, Harikrishna offers practical ideas from White’s perspective to make your preparation more effective. At times, this means suggesting the 2nd or 3rd choice of the engine. He builds on the material from his earlier French course (Chessable, May 2019) and has expanded it with new analysis in all the lines, especially the 3...Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 variation. Harikrishna analyzes both 5.Nce2 and 5.f4, so that the reader may make an informed choice about their personal preference. The driving force throughout is to keep the book clear-cut and practical. A good example of a practical weapon is the deceptively simple 3...Bb4 4.exd5 line. There are also fresh and interesting suggestions against the sidelines you are likely to encounter, especially at shorter time controls. The entire Thinkers Publishing team joins with the author in wishing you enjoyment and success from this exceptional book.
Chess is 99% tactics. This celebrated observation is not only true for beginners, but also for club players (Elo 1500 – 2000). If you want to win more games, nothing works better than training your combination skills.
There are two types of books on tactics: those that introduce the concepts followed by some examples, and workbooks that contain lots of exercises. FIDE Master Frank Erwich has done both: he explains all the key tactical ideas AND provides an enormous amount of exercises for each different theme.
Erwich has created a complete tactics book for ambitious club and tournament players. He takes you to the next level of identifying weak spots in the position of your opponent, recognizing patterns of combinations, visualizing tricks and calculating effectively. Erwich has also included a new and important element: tests that will improve your defensive skills.
1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players is not a freewheeling collection of puzzles. It serves as a course text book, because only the most didactically productive exercises are featured. Every chapter starts with easy examples, but don’t worry: the level of difficulty will steadily increase.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev ranks as one of the most creative chess minds ever in the history of the royal game. This is his book of secrets and methods, his remarkable life’s work.
Zaitsev unearthed astonishing ideas which even giants of the game had overlooked. World champions Tigran Petrosian and Anatoly Karpov insisted on Zaitsev’s analytical help in their matches, wanting to be first to play his profound discoveries, such as the famous Zaitsev Variation of the Ruy Lopez.
Zaitsev was himself a tournament champion. With his sharp, combinative style, he won dozens of “Most Beautiful Game” awards. Many of these games provide context for his lessons.
But Zaitsev is even more than a renowned coach and competitor. Part analyst, part champion, part chess philosopher, and part chess poet, he reveals the underlying logic and beauty of chess in a way no one else has ever done.
In his eye-opening title chapter, “Attacking the Strongpoint,” Zaitsev makes explicitly clear a common strategic element never formalized until this book. Often overlooked by amateurs and even GMs, the idea can lead to winning tactics in many games!
Backed up by top-level games, Zaitsev also provides deep-level explanations about:
Combinations and Piece Harmony;
Strategy and Structure;
Learning from the Cycle of Chess Epochs;
The Role of Reason and Judgment;
The Chess Law of Conservation of Energy;
Strategy: Evolution vs. Revolution, Recognizing a Favorable Structure.
As you read Zaitsev, you’ll often find yourself thinking, “Ah, now I get it!”
The volume is topped off by supplemental games, a complete autobiography by Zaitsev, a special foreword by world champion Garry Kasparov, as well as tributes and memories from world champion Anatoly Karpov and famed coach Mark Dvoretsky.
The Ruy Lopez is one of the most important chess openings, hugely popular with amateurs and masters alike. Black players allowing the Ruy Lopez main lines are usually condemned to passivity, defending a slightly worse (though solid) position for as long as White chooses this situation to continue.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen doesn’t like passivity. He likes unconventional and active systems that allow him to take command and put pressure on his opponent from early on.
That’s why Magnus Carlsen revolutionized the old Møller Attack, one of the sharpest and most uncompromising variations against the Ruy Lopez. As yet largely disregarded and unexplored by the majority of players, Carlsen’s new approach allows Black to break free early and start giving White a hard time.
FIDE Master Ioannis Simeonidis is the first to investigate this system, cover it in detail, and make it easy to grasp for club players. He has called it the Neo-Møller. Simeonidis has made lots of exciting discoveries, presents many new ideas and shows that it is a reliable and playable system.
Since the Neo-Møller is a very early deviation from the main lines, it’s easy for Black to actually get it on the board and take opponents out of their comfort zone. Simeonidis has created a compact, accessible and inspirational book. One thing looks certain: White players of the Ruy Lopez are going to thoroughly dislike the Neo-Møller!