Good defensive abilities earn players a great many half-points and full-points. The climax of the defence is the launching of a devastating counter-attack, a skill at which all the great chess champions have been adept. Of particular interest to club players is Marin's discussion of how to defend against unsound attacks, and the problem of how to parry the attack while retaining winning chances. Other topics include attack and defence in equal positions, where both sides must judge carefully how much of their resources to devote to the attack and the counter-attack. The main subject, though, is the case where the defender is fighting for his life, and must decide how to maximise his chances of survival. Marin considers psychological issues and explains the main options available to the defender: simplification, cold-blooded defence, a positional sacrifice, 'blackmailing' the attacker, or a counter-attack.
Mihail Marin is a strong grandmaster from Romania. He achieved his first major success in international chess by qualifying for the interzonals in 1987. He has won the Romanian Championship on two occasions and has played in seven Olympiads. For several years he was editor of the magazine Chess Extrapress. See also Secrets of Attacking Chess.
Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.
"Maximize your chances of survival with this guide to defense and counter-attack." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons
"The author of Secrets of Chess Defence may not be that familiar to the general chess public, but he will be once this book receives well-deserved acclaim. Romanian GM Mihai Marin has written a wonderful book that is not only educational but also funny. Amazingly no translator is credited. Either Marin is completely at home writing in English or editor Burgess has done an outstanding job preserving the author's voice as he relates anecdotes from his days playing on the Romanian national team. Secrets of Chess Defence covers many subjects that have been poorly dealt with in the chess literature including Two Minor Pieces for a Rook and the Economy of Resources in Defense. Reading this book one cannot help but appreciate that Marin possesses a high level of chess culture. My advice is buy Watson and Marin's books and call in sick to work for a couple weeks!" - John Donaldson
" Verdict: an important contribution to the small amount of literature on the subject of defence in chess." - Phil Adams, 3Cs website
"Chess defence is invariably the part of the game that a lot of players don't like to study because they find it too boring or they'd rather attack like Tal. In this his first publication, Mihail has written a book that will change your mind about defence as an important element to the game." - Michael Stevenson, New Zealand Chess
"...the part I found most interesting were the chapters covering defence by means of sacrifices." - John Pugh, Chess Post
"This is Marin's first book and it is value for money. He starts from the premise that defence is a very broad concept indeed and is not restricted to bad positions, but can also include good or equal positions. For example, how many times do we encounter strategically good positions requiring the parrying of a temporary initiative?" - Mark Robertson, Weekend Chess
"...one of the most fascinating books on a wrongly neglected subject and material for many long training sessions" - Harald Fietz, Schach Magazin 64
"All chesslovers who want to improve their ability to defend can unconditionally and emphatically benefit from intensive study of Marin's book." - Dr. W. Schweizer, Rochade