Throughout a game of chess, the players must constantly make judgements and decisions that cannot be determined simply by calculation. They must then rely on their positional judgement. Good positional skills are primarily developed by experience, but they can also be learnt. In this book, Carsten Hansen provides a wealth of advice and ideas that will help give readers a helping hand up to new levels of positional understanding. Paramount in this discussion is the player's need to weigh up positional elements at the board, and decide which are most important for the situation at hand. Topics include: the quest for weaknesses, "what is the initiative?", understanding imbalances, the relative value of the pieces, decisions regarding pawn-structures, structural weaknesses, and where and how to attack.

Carsten Hansen is a FIDE Master from Denmark who currently lives in the USA. He has a reputation for writing well-researched books on major chess topics, and is known to many through his painstaking book reviews on the Internet. This is his fourth book for Gambit: see also The Gambit Guide to the English Opening: 1...e5, The Symmetrical English, and The Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3.

"What Hansen excels at is choosing the right examples to illustrate his points - and providing illuminating words to make them accessible to the reader." - Rick Kennedy,

"I figure to put about 20 ELO points on to my grade (2433) by the time I've finished; that's how good it is. I can't really say more than that. Oh, and I am ENJOYING reading it!" - Andrew Martin, Seagaard's Reviews

"In one word, this book is excellent." - Andy Mack, Weekend Chess

"Includes plenty of exercise diagrams to test your understanding. This is a universal training guide suitable for players of many levels - for which all chess teachers will be grateful..." - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

"Hansen provides advice and ideas to show you what to look out for to evaluate positions relatively quickly and to help guide you to making correct decisions, both short-term and long-term." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons

"Carsten Hansen is developing into a very reliable author, and this book only serves to enhance his growing reputation." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"Readers will learn not only much about important positional aspects, like exploiting a structural weakness, from this work, but also much about the important aspect of positional sacrifices, something which is often not well understood at club level. For all those looking to improve their overall chess strength, and especially their positional understanding, this is highly recommended." - Richard Palliser,

"A very attractive textbook it, the Danish FIDE master Carsten Hansen leads the reader by clear and instructive ways into the world of positional chess and communicates much knowledge and understanding." - Schachmarkt

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Gambit books by Carsten Hansen: Gambit Guide to the English Opening 1…e5, Improve Your Positional Chess, The Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3, The Symmetrical English.