Magnus Carlsen is the greatest chess player of the 21st century. His tactical wizardry, strategic inventiveness, technical expertise and legendary fighting spirit put him head and shoulders above all other players. They also make his games tremendously instructive.

To extract the best lessons from this amazing source material, Gambit has commissioned Martyn Kravtsiv, a Ukrainian grandmaster from the same generation as Carlsen (in fact, they were born just a few days apart). He has annotated these 42 games from a thoroughly modern perspective and with an innate understanding of the impact Carlsen’s play has had on modern chess.

In each game Kravtsiv picks out a key point – the Magnus Moment – where Carlsen demonstrates the special insight that sets him apart from other players. Perhaps he clarifies a messy situation, confident in his technical ability. Or sacrifices to gain practical chances in a game that has not gone to plan. Throughout, the emphasis is on how Carlsen makes life hard for his opponents in any way he can, whatever the objective assessment of the position on the board.

Each game is a themed lesson on an important chess topic. The bulk of the book addresses the fight for advantage and initiative in the middlegame, but there are also chapters focusing on opening ideas, endgame play and human factors.

Martyn Kravtsiv is a grandmaster from Lviv, Ukraine. His tournament results include tied first places at Cappelle in 2012 and the 2015 Ukrainian Championship. He represented his country at the 2017 World Team Championship and was a coach for the team that won silver medals at the 2016 Olympiad.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Watch a YouTube video in which GM John Nunn presents a sample from this book.

“Every game features an important key point, and is connected with an important chess topic… very educational!” – John Elburg, chessbooks.nl

“For players eager to improve their understanding, this book is most welcome… the author has succeeded in presenting the various themes in a clear way. An excellent textbook” – Herman Grooten, schaaksite.nl

“Each game has its own theme. For example, Carlsen-Karyakin, Bilbao 2016 is ‘Prophylaxis’ – preventing a threat that doesn’t exist yet. All in all a great book” – B.H.Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

“…not the first book devoted to the reigning World Champion, but it is one of the better ones” – IM John Donaldson

“I am a fan of the way this book is presented using instructive moments from the games of a great player” – Carl Portman, Carl Portman Blog