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This book features both composed studies and real-game positions. Composed positions distil tactics into their purest form: nothing irrelevant is present on the board. We can focus purely on the key ideas, which makes them an ideal learning tool. As one of the world’s greatest experts on chess composition, Yochanan Afek is the perfect man to select the best studies for this purpose. In over-the-board chess (in which Afek is also highly accomplished), the tactical ideas tend to be less complex, but they may prove harder to identify – unless they are already familiar to you. Afek provides a perfect example in his introduction, where the stunning final move of the 2016 world championship could not possibly have been missed by those familiar
with an earlier game. All the real-game positions in this book are taken from games by world champions (male or female).
Following the structure of John Nunn’s best-selling Learn Chess Tactics, in each chapter a theme is introduced and a number of examples are explained. Then the reader immediately gets to use this knowledge in a series of carefully selected exercises.
It’s major news when a legendary player reveals his opening secrets. And when he has rarely written about his games or preparation methods, and was famous for meticulous, ahead-of-his-time opening analysis, it makes it a true publishing event.
Yet that is what eight-time world championship candidate Lajos Portisch has
done. In this book, he opens his extensive opening files and presents the most
important games and unused novelties in the Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Game). As well
as drawing upon games from his own long career, Portisch includes important Ruy
Lopez games by modern champions, including Anand and Carlsen, describing them
from his own unique perspective.
Mikhail Golubev has played the Sicilian as Black and White for the whole of his chess career, specializing in the sharpest and most aggressive systems. Here he presents the whole undiluted truth – as best he sees it – about this most popular and cut-throat of openings.
There is much to learn from Golubev’s honest ‘warts and all’ presentation. We
see the process of discovery and experimentation, and develop a feel for the
spirit of the Sicilian. There is a wealth of original analysis (all scrupulously
computer-checked), novelties and strategic guidance. For Dragon, Sozin/Najdorf
and Velimirović players in particular, this book is an absolute must-read, but
Anti-Sicilian and Taimanov players are among those who must also watch out.
Assuming no previous knowledge of the game, Grandmaster Paul
van der Sterren teaches you how to play and draws you into the fascinating
world of modern chess.
This carefully crafted chess course is divided into true lessons,
each building on what has been learned in the previous ones. Before
moving on from a topic, you have the chance to test that you have
fully understood it with the help of thoughtfully graded exercises.
Throughout, there are references to online chess resources and suggestions
for online activities, such as training, playing and live broadcasts,
and chess-related social media. Also dotted throughout the book
are pieces of chess lore, practical tips and information about great
players past and present.
So you have learned how to play chess, studied tactics and know
some basic endgames and openings. What’s next? The glue that
binds it all together is strategy. By forming a good plan, chess-players
seize strong points on the board and target the opponent’s
weaknesses. Experienced player and teacher Thomas Engqvist
shows that it all depends on logic that can be grasped by players
of any age. He explains how to identify the right strategy in a
wide range of typical situations. With his guidance, you will soon
be finding good plans on your own – and then it will be time
to demonstrate your tactical mastery!
He first teaches the importance of the central squares and the
basics of pawn-play, before examining the role of each of the pieces
and how they are affected by the pawn-structure. Finally we see
how to use them together to launch attacks of many different types.
You then get a chance to test your new strategic skills in 54 exercises,
all with full solutions.
The author has selected 53 miniatures from throughout chess history –
the earliest are from the 1850s, while the most recent are from
grandmaster events just a few months ago. A miniature is a decisive
game, won in 25 moves or fewer. Most of these 53 games feature brilliant
tactics, attacks on the king, and even a few outrageous king-hunts.
In many, the winner had to overcome cunning defensive ploys and
But our aim in this book is not just to admire the players’
skill, but to learn how we can play like this in our own games.
Chess coach Ataman is keenly focused on the instructive points,
explaining which features of the position justified the attacks,
and what prompted the critical decisions. Where analysis is given,
it is restricted to what it would be realistic for a human to work
out at the board.
By carefully choosing variations that lead to similar structures,
IM Sam Collins has put together a powerful repertoire book ideal
for players with limited study time. White opens with 1 e4 and develops
his pieces to natural squares, seeking open lines and the initiative.
The dominant theme of this sound and active repertoire is that –
where reasonable – White seeks out Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP)
positions: i.e. with the c3 Sicilian, Panov Caro-Kann, Tarrasch
French, and the Italian Game with early c3 and d4.
There are no speculative gambits here, just plenty of healthy
aggression and new ideas. Because so many of Collins’s recommendations
lead to familiar structures, ideas can easily be transplanted from
one opening to another. He gives illustrative games that emphasize
the key themes, including White’s many opportunities to forcibly
weaken and attack the black king. The specific analysis is up-to-the-minute
and features ideas that have proven their worth in grandmaster practice.
Throughout there is attention to move-order subtleties, with clever
nuances in ‘sidelines’ that your opponents are unlikely
to have examined in detail.
Chess might seem a complex and mysterious game, but the ultimate
goal is simple: checkmate. Checkmate can occur in all stages
of the game, from snap mates in the opening, through middlegame
attacks to simplified endgames.
This book lays out, in systematic and thorough fashion, a wide
range of mating patterns and techniques, in particular showing how
each piece-pair can combine to deliver mate. A working knowledge
of these ideas enables players to move on to mating combinations,
where pieces lay down their lives so that the remaining forces can
deliver mate. Gude explains an amazing variety of tactical devices,
and illustrates them in unforgettable style with some of the most
brilliant mating attacks from practice, new and old. There
are chapters on how to attack kings in the centre, as well as standard
(and other!) attacks against the castled position.
This is a true textbook of checkmate; readers will never be short
of mating ideas, and will instinctively know when there is a possibility
to launch an attack, or when they must parry the opponent’s threats.
Fundamental Checkmates also features more than 300 exercises
with full solutions.
Endgames with rooks and pawns are the most frequently occurring
in chess, arising in about 1 game in 10. If you learn an important
technique in this endgame, chances are you will end up using it
sooner or later.
And there are a great many methods and concepts that can be mastered
with a little effort. This book highlights the key themes in rook
endings, and at each turn invites the reader to test his knowledge
and skills with abundant exercises.
Rook endgame theory does not stand still. New practical examples
illustrate novel approaches as players seek to pose problems to
their opponents – Magnus Carlsen has shown that even the driest-looking
positions can feature deadly traps. The ongoing creation of new
endgame tablebases – of which coauthor Yakov Konoval has been
at the forefront – enables new classes of positions to be
assessed with definitive certainty. Using six-man and the brand
new seven-man tablebases, the authors re-examine many of the old
evaluations and reach new and enlightening conclusions about classic
rook endings. You will be startled and amazed, and soon discover
that you are becoming a far more effective endgame player.
In this thought-provoking, wide-ranging
and often inspiring book, the authors examine how chess style and
abilities vary with age. The conventional wisdom is that greater
experience should compensate for a loss of youthful energy, but
with so many of the world elite currently in their twenties, chess
is increasingly looking like a young man’s game. By making
a number of case studies and interviewing players who have stayed
strong into their forties, fifties and beyond, the authors show
in detail how players can steer their games towards positions where
their experience can shine through. Interviewees include:
- GM John Nunn
- GM Yasser Seirawan
- GM Nigel Short
- GM Judit Polgar
- GM Keith Arkell
- GM Pia Cramling
- FM Terry Chapman
- GM Jon Speelman
- GM Sergei Tiviakov
- WIM Ingrid Lauterbach
By examining so many aspects of chess,
the authors have written a work that ends up transcending its subject-matter,
and becomes a text on how and why we love chess, the means by which
we can play successfully whatever our age and level of play, and
how chess is truly a game for life.
The appeal of the Scandinavian Defence is easy to understand:
it is very forcing – Black is virtually guaranteed to get
his desired structure. There are no annoying ‘Anti-Scandinavians’
But for many decades the Scandinavian was regarded with some
suspicion, as Black apparently loses time recapturing on d5. Modern
players have a different view. The great Danish player Bent Larsen
kickstarted the revolution with his provocative assertion that it
is an improved Caro-Kann (and, not least, beating Karpov with our
opening)! But the 21st-century Scandinavian is a different beast
altogether; the new main line of the whole opening (3...Qd6) has
proven to have great strategic richness, with more than a few tactical
tricks lurking just behind the scenes. The Scandinavian has been
transformed into an opening that strong grandmasters are willing
to use as their main defence, rather than as an occasional surprise
This thoroughly modern guide focuses on these new approaches,
while also covering the more traditional main lines. Kasparov guides
the reader carefully through each system, explaining his recommendations
with wit and clarity. With his help, you will have your opponents
wishing there really were some ‘Anti-Scandinavian’ lines!
This is a book for those who enjoy problem-solving and appreciate
clever solutions, and have at least a basic knowledge of chess.
It is about the composition and beauty of chess problems: positions
forged not in combat but from pure human imagination, and featuring
elegant and surprising solutions.
The author offers a personal view of chess problems, conveying
an infectious zeal for his subject. Because this is as much a collection
of short stories as it is a conventional problem collection. No
matter how you use the book, you can expect many hours of excitement
and a craving for more. Each chapter presents a variety of chess
problems of a specific type, ranging from the familiar ‘mate
in two’ puzzles via retro-analytical problems worthy of a
whodunit novel to 15-move series problems and the ‘outer limits’
of fairy problems (altered rules or pieces). Throughout, the creative
processes of problem chess are at the forefront of the discussion.
Readers are given the opportunity to solve most of the problems
before being presented with the solutions. Or you can simply enjoy
reading the book from cover to cover without ever needing to set
up a chessboard.
This book is a comprehensive manual for those new to chess, which
explains with great clarity the basics of the game. Using innovative
methods, Gude ensures that readers quickly grasp each key concept
before building on it by introducing new ideas.
This is an interactive course. With a total of 280 questions
and exercises to tackle, the reader will quickly gain skills
rather than mere knowledge. Gude strips the mystery away from tactics
and combinations by looking first at the strengths and weaknesses
of each piece in isolation, and then showing how they work together
with each of the other pieces. He also presents guidelines on chess
strategy that will help shape the reader’s understanding of
chess, and a wide variety of patterns for the reader’s all-important ‘mental
The section on openings explains the main aims of each major
opening, and the style of game to which they tend of lead, together
with some key variations. Later chapters provide examples of how
to launch attacks, putting together the skills from earlier chapters,
and deal with issues such as chess training, psychology and competitive
chess at club and tournament level.
Most chess games are decided in the endgame. It is here where
you reap the reward for your good play, or else use all your cunning
to deny the opponent victory. Knowing just a few key endgame techniques
will dramatically increase your confidence, as you will understand
what positions to aim for and which to avoid.
Starting with the basic mates and the simplest pawn endings,
this book provides all the endgame knowledge that players need to
take them through to club level and beyond. Müller carefully
guides us step-by-step through a fascinating range of endgame tactics
and manoeuvres, helping us understand the underlying logic.
Throughout the book, many cunning endgame tricks are highlighted.
You will have fun springing them on friends, family – or your
opponents in serious tournaments. Chess Endgames for Kids
makes learning chess endgames fun. But it is also a serious endgame
course written by a leading endgame expert, and provides a firm
basis for vital skills that will develop throughout your chess career.
Now available worldwide.
Following on from his successful books Understanding Chess
Endgames and Understanding Chess Middlegames, John
Nunn fleshes out the theory by showing how World Champion Emanuel
Lasker handled a wide variety of practical situations.
Covers topics not usually considered, such as queenless middlegames
· Dissects strategic issues including piece
activity, pawn-structure and bishop vs knight
· Looks at psychological aspects of chess,
such as choosing lines which are most uncomfortable for the opponent
· Discusses how to handle inferior positions
· Explanations focus on general ideas rather
than detailed analysis
· Features more than 100 of the most instructive
examples from Lasker’s career
· Concludes with a selection of exercises,
with full commentary and explanation
Now available worldwide
A good opening repertoire need not require an enormous amount
of study to be highly effective. A cunning choice of lines and move-orders
can steer the game to positions that we like and deny the opponent
his preferred strategies.
In this book, highly experienced chess opening writer Graham
Burgess presents a repertoire based on 1 d4 and Nf3 with precisely
those aims. Black’s possibilities for counterplay - and sharp
gambit play - are kept to a minimum. The main cornerstones of the
repertoire are carefully chosen Queen’s Gambit lines, the
Torre Attack (vs ...e6), and a variety of fianchetto options against
the King’s Indian and related set-ups. White’s position
is kept highly flexible, with many possible transpositions to a
wide variety of systems that the reader can use to extend and vary
the repertoire. The book features a wealth of new ideas and original
Now available worldwide.
This chess puzzle super-challenge contains 100 fun positions
to solve, ranging from encouragingly easy to mind-numbingly hard.
Using an innovative format, every puzzle is preceded by an instructive
example, illustrating an important pattern.
Each puzzle has been graded to suit a wide range of chess abilities.
Beginners or younger readers will enjoy reading the basic warm-up
exercises. The more experienced can wrestle with some classic puzzles,
whilst at the same time learning of typical themes and killer concepts.
The final challenging chapters - Mission Impossible - are guaranteed
to torment and inspire the most talented of future champions!
Now available worldwide.
Sick of defending with Black? Never found a reliable way to fight
for the initiative when White plays 1 d4?
Allow Grandmaster Aveskulov to assist. He has put together a
sound but ultra-aggressive repertoire based on gambits that have
proved their worth in grandmaster play over many years. The Benko
Gambit is dreaded by many 1 d4 players. Black gets very active piece-play,
and even if White reaches a pawn-up endgame, he is often shocked
to find he is worse due to Black's intense positional pressure!
If White avoids the Benko, that's when we hit him with the Blumenfeld,
sacrificing a pawn to set up a strong pawn-centre and attacking
Aveskulov examines all of White's options and move-orders after
1 d4 Nf6, and shows an aggressive reply to each of them. He is never
willing to take existing theory on faith, and throughout the book
presents an extraordinary wealth of new analysis and ideas. He also
explains typical plans in depth, so you will always know how to
turn the screw once you have your opponent on the run.
Now available worldwide.
Such has been the acclaim for John Watson's ground-breaking works
on modern chess strategy and his insightful opening books, that
it is only natural that he now presents a strategic opening repertoire.
It is the chess-player's holy grail: a flexible repertoire that
gives opponents real problems but doesn't require masses of memorization
or continual study of ever-changing grandmaster theory. While this
book can't quite promise all of that, Watson offers an intriguing
selection of lines that give vast scope for over-the-board creativity
and should never lead to a dull draw.
The repertoire is based on 1 d4 and 2 c4, following up with methodical
play in the centre. Watson uses his vast opening knowledge to pick
cunning move-orders and poisonous sequences that will force opponents
to think for themselves, providing a true test of chess understanding.
Throughout, he discusses strategies for both sides, so readers will
be fully ready to pounce on any inaccuracies, and have all the tools
to decide on the most appropriate plans for White.
Now available worldwide.
This new expanded edition of the award-winning Vishy Anand:
My Best Games of Chess (New Edition) features 30 extra games
from the period of Anand's greatest successes.
Anand has been one of the world's top players for more than two
decades, and cemented his place in the all-time hall of fame by
winning the unified World Championship in 2007, and successfully
defending his title against Kramnik and Topalov. But it's not just
his results that make Anand special. His style of play leads to
highly spectacular games, and his speed of thought is the stuff
of legends. He is also a great explainer of ideas, as his annotations
for this book demonstrate. Anand is renowned as 'Mr Nice Guy', popular
with both the public and his fellow supergrandmasters.
Now available worldwide.
Playing as Black in a game of chess can be difficult. Do you
simply try to neutralize White's initiative, or go all-out to complicate
the game? Either way, there are many pitfalls, and a lot of study
may be needed.
In this book, Grandmaster Eingorn shows that it is possible both
to play solidly, and to take White out of his comfort zone. He recommends
ideas and move-orders that are a little off the beaten track, but
which he has very carefully worked out over many years of his own
practice. The repertoire, based on playing 1...e6, is strikingly
creative and will appeal to those who want a stress-free life as
Black. You will get every chance to demonstrate your chess skills,
and are very unlikely to be blown off the board by a sharp prepared
line. All you need is a flexible approach, and a willingness to
try out new structures and ideas. Eingorn's subtle move-orders are
particularly effective if White refuses to pick up the gauntlet,
as Black can then use his delay in playing ...Nf6 to good effect
and take the fight directly to his opponent.
Now available worldwide.
The three-times World Chess Solving Champion distils the most
useful middlegame concepts and knowledge into 100 lessons that everyone
Following on from his successful
Chess Endgames, John Nunn turns his attention to the middlegame
- the phase of the chess battle where most games are decided, yet
the one that has received the least systematic treatment from chess
writers. With the outstanding clarity for which he is famous, Nunn
breaks down complex problems into bite-sized pieces.
In the case of attacking play, we are shown how to decide where
to attack, and the specific methods that can be used to pursue the
enemy king. Positional play is described in terms of the major structural
issues, and how the pieces work around and with the pawns. Nunn
explains how to assess when certain pieces are better than others,
and how we can make use of this understanding at the board. Readers
will never be short of a plan, whatever type of position arises.
Each lesson features two inspiring examples from modern chess,
annotated honestly and with a keen focus on the main instructive
points. Both sides' ideas are emphasized, so we get a clear picture
of the ways to disrupt typical plans as well as how to form them.
Now available worldwide.
Solving tactical puzzles is one of the most effective ways to
improve your chess. This convenient book provides 300 exercises,
with instructive points highlighted in the solutions.
There is something here for everyone. The puzzles in the first
two chapters are based on a clear-cut tactic or checkmate, such
as those explained in Gambit's best-sellers
How to Beat Your
Dad at Chess and
Chess Tactics for Kids.
The endgame challenges highlight tactics and principles in action.
In practice it is vital to defend resiliently and seek counterattacking
chances - there is an innovative chapter on these rarely-covered
themes as well as puzzles where the reader must decide how to punch
home an attack.
Now available worldwide.
For chess-players of all ages and abilities, it is vital to get
off to a good start. This simple guide provides all the tips and
ideas needed to play purposefully from move one. That's because
these 50 Mighty Openings are the very ones used by chess masters
and grandmasters to outwit opponents time and again.
This book teaches the names and starting moves of all the main
chess openings, and explains the basic ideas. Beginners will learn
how to position their pieces for maximum impact. More experienced
players will discover some remarkable tactical and strategic themes
that are vital for chess mastery.
Chess Openings for Kids makes learning the chess openings
fun. Playing these powerful openings helps develop an understanding
of how the pieces work together. Soon you will be able to play strong
moves in any opening position, and approach every game with confidence
- and success.