Zenon Franco has regularly annotated top-level games for more than a quarter of a century. He has drawn upon this vast experience to present 50 hugely instructive games illustrating a wide variety of chess ideas. Key themes are illustrated by several games, so that we gain a well-rounded appreciation of the relevant ideas, and develop foresight that will enable us to make the right decisions at the board by anticipating problems before they arise. Topics include: Pawn Sacrifice, Exchange Sacrifice, The Art of Manoeuvring, The Second Weakness, Permanent vs. Temporary Advantages, Regrouping, 'Strange' Exchanges, Denying the Opponent Squares, and The Central Breakthrough.
Zenon Franco is a grandmaster from Paraguay who now lives in Spain. He is an experienced chess trainer, his most notable former pupil being Paco Vallejo, now one of the world's top grandmasters.
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"It's actually not fair to say that there are only 50 games, because the author inserts separate, complete games with notes that he compares with the main, numbered games. ... Franco manages to develop the relevant ideas in each section from game to game, with each game showing a different or more sophisticated version of the various shared features. ... Assembling these grouplets requires a specific set of related games, and the author must have spent a long time finding ones that served such a purpose. I think he succeeded. ... What makes the book stand out most is the clarity of Franco's annotations ... highly recommended" - IM John Watson, TWIC
"The annotated games have been selected from various, highly respected sources such as Chess Informant, New in Chess, and from great books by Fischer, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Shirov, Kramnik, Kasparov, Dvoretsky and others. [Franco] focuses on their analysis and adds his own to each game, but do not be misled into thinking that this results in watered down and spoon-fed material. In fact, this is how the games are transformed from well analyzed games to instructive ones. This book will serve well as a training tool for students, trainers and amateurs alike. It is also simply a good read. There are many topics covering a variety of aspects of the game. The translation is very clear and good, and I think we will be seeing more books by Franco in the future. Excellent!" - Akram Shehata, chesscafe.com
"Franco presents 50 annotated games that illustrate topics such as Sacrifice, Maneuvering Play, Simplification and Pawn Play. An emphasis is placed on explaining positional aspects and providing strategic commentary, with an occasional foray into tactical situations, in a manner that is accessible to amateurs. Furthermore, each chapter ends with a number of exercises of varying difficulty designed to reinforce the relevant points." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons
"The author elucidates many highly instructive games with crystal-clear analysis and explanations, and prospective readers will also enjoy the numerous exercises that come furnished with complete solutions." - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman
"Good games collections are among my favourite chess books, and this book certainly falls into that category. The games are well-chosen to illustrate the theme under discussion, and the author sticks to his task without being distracted by tempting side lines. I shall be dipping into it for some time to come." - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"...a fine instructional work" - Steve Giddins, British Chess Magazine
"While there are many books with somewhat similar content to this one, a book with containing annotated games explaining some of the popular aspects to the game, for example attack on the king or the exchange sacrifice, this one, however, is made unique by the the exceptional quality Franco has put in to explain the ideas and characteristics of the position and how it should be played, as well as the excellent instruction found in the exercises following each chapter. Altogether a VERY instructive book and one I highly recommend!" - Andy May, www.nsgchess.com
"The games are well annotated but what makes Winning Chess Explained especially useful are the exercises that appear throughout the book to engage the reader and test his or her understanding of the material. The 45 training exercises come with detailed explanations that make this two books in one." - IM John Donaldson, www.jeremysilman.com