Chess players can look ahead, formulate a clear plan, and act accordingly. That's why chess is the perfect learning environment for becoming a strategic expert. But how do you train this? It starts with playing many games and analysing them carefully afterwards. At the same time, you should learn from the best by studying the games of the world's strongest players and gradually build their techniques into your play. This book offers you 100 strategic exercises from the games of the best of the best, the World Champions from Bobby Fischer to Ding Liren. You will learn foundational techniques such as: how to improve your worst-placed piece; how to exploit a lead in development; or make the right piece trade; and how to create a strong square; plus numerous others. Solving these exercises will help every ambitious club player better understand how to make and execute plans. 260 pages
In an ideal world, any aspiring chess player, at almost any level, would get better with a coach. If that’s not possible, having chess champion coach Thomas Engqvist’s book at your side is the next best thing.
In his series of lessons, Engqvist guides you through not only the most important elements of chess to master but also the psychology, how to marry knowledge with imagination, and how to stay motivated.
Suitable for older children through to adults, the lessons are drawn from chess games through history, from the 16th century to Magnus Carlsen and latest Alpha Zero computer chess. It features a range of key players, including Steinitz, Lasker, Nimzowistch, Botvinnik (Soviet chess school), and Fischer. With clear and accessible annotations to give clarity, the games highlight the most important lessons to learn and, just as importantly, how to ‘practise’ chess.
International Master Thomas Engqvist has travelled the world teaching and coaching chess to a very high level for decades – and with this book, he can be your coach too.
About the Author
Thomas Engqvist is an International Master from Sweden. He has over 30 years’ experience as a chess coach and teacher. He has worked with players at world championship level in both junior and correspondence chess. He is the author of 300 Most Important Chess Positions and 300 Most Important Tactical Chess Positions, both published by Batsford.
Are you a parent of a junior chess player who feels that because you don’t know how to play chess, you can’t help your child? Or are you an adult or junior chess player who has taken private chess lessons for years, but feels you haven’t been progressing?
In both cases, there can be a lot of reliance on a chess coach who has been given free rein with lesson content and direction. They probably have some sort of plan but it is likely to be a plan used for all their students. This is not ideal. More important is a well-thought out, individualized plan, that focuses on a specific player’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Formulating such a plan is crucial for making improvements.
Victoria Doknjas and her son John Doknjas are an ideal writing partnership to tackle this topic. John is a FIDE Master who has already established himself as an excellent and highly-respected author who understands the improvement process very well. Victoria has over a decade of experience navigating the competitive chess arena with her three master-level sons, including also running her own chess academy. Together they offer a unique and informative insight to those wanting to get more out of their chess studies, as well as presenting practical advice in areas including:
- Identifying important goals and how to work towards them.
- Understanding how to objectively analyse your games.
- Maximising the efficiency of software and engines for learning.
Reading this book can broaden your horizons in the essential areas of chess study, and ideally let you better evaluate what your chess coach is teaching you. And if you don’t have a chess coach, this book will provide you with an excellent foundation for serious chess study. 384 pages
The book consists of 36 attacking games from the 21st Century divided into four chapters.
Mastering attacking play in chess is a dream that we all long to achieve, but of course the art of attack does not arise by itself.
Constructing positions which favour the attack is the most difficult task.
In this book we shall see games with brilliant finishes, but we shall also draw attention to the different phases through which the struggle passes, in order make such finishes possible.
Attention has been paid not only to what happens on the board but also, wherever possible, to the influence of the analysis engines not only on a player’s preparation for the game, something that has become more important in these early years of the new century, but also on the practical context of the game.
The games are prefaced by brief biographical information and a short description of the events of the game.
After each game some lessons are highlighted. 254 pages
The seconds tick down relentlessly toward zero just as your game approaches the critical stage. Your higher-rated opponent is putting your game under severe pressure, so extreme accuracy is needed to hang tough and avoid falling into a losing position. What do you do now – should you exchange pieces to relieve the pressure, lash out with a sacrifice, probe for weaknesses in the opponent's camp, or maybe just give up and get a lesson on how to bring the point home?
The answer is… none of these! At such do-or-die moments, says Steve Hrop, the first thing to do is to sit on your hands and take a few deep breaths. In Defending Under Pressure and Managing Your Emotions at the Chessboard, the author uses critical moments from his own tournament games (most of them against players rated above 2200) to describe the difficulties of thinking straight when the enemy is at the gates, and then outlines methods and techniques to clear your head, evaluate the position, and find your way to the best move. Techniques include how to avoid redundant pieces that critically limit your mobility; when visualization is more important than calculation: and “freeze-framing” positions to eliminate blunders.
Save the draw – or turn a looming defeat into an astonishing victory – with the tips in this practical training manual! 236 pages
OUT OF STOCK
“And the Rest Is Just a Matter of Technique...”
How often has this comment been appended to a game move or variation? As many players know, it really may not be all that easy to figure out what is meant by this familiar phrase.
After the untimely passing of legendary instructor Mark Dvoretsky, Artur Yusupov was given access to Dvoretsky’s famous card files. With the core material based upon these files, the former top ten grandmaster – and perhaps the most successful of all of Dvoretsky’s students – put together this book, modifying and refining the content as needed.
The book begins with a “theoretical” explanatory section. This is followed by 102 practice positions, which increase in in difficulty. Good technique for gaining an advantage is useful in all areas of the game, so there are positions from the opening, middlegame, and especially the endgame – not only from practical games but also from various studies.
The comments to the solutions are very detailed, explaining not only the main line but also the supplementary side variations. Yusupov thought it important to demonstrate the logic in the search for a decision and to show how a chessplayer can come to the right conclusions at the board.
Dvoretsky’s master student Artur Yusupov has done a great job in selecting and presenting the material so that this book “feels” like another genuine Dvoretsky work. This book is a real gem and I hope that it gives you as much pleasure as it has given me. And that from now on, when you have an advantage, the rest really will be, well, just a matter of technique... – From the Foreword by Grandmaster Dr. Karsten Müller. 175 pages
This book is the sequel of the successful puzzle-book series from GM Ivan Ivanisevica Known as a great tactical player Ivan Ivanisevic select the 548 puzzles All the puzzles have been collected from practical games (OTB, Blitz, Oline). There are more than 500 examples from GM practice. Puzzles are divided into 5 levels of difficulty. In this book, you can find a lot of tactical motifs and ideas which you can use in your games. Maybe you will find your games in our next book! Have fun and enjoy solving puzzles. 350 pages
During his long journey as a chess player and coach, GM Axel Smith came to the realization that understanding colour-complex strategies is one of the key differences between strong and weak players. After many years of delivering lectures and training material to his students, Smith produced a Chessable course on the topic, which has been extensively edited and reorganized by Quality Chess to produce this book.
In these pages, the award-winning author breaks down colour complexes into various sub-topics such as blockades, opposite-coloured bishops and exchange sacrifices, with carefully chosen exercises to test and reinforce the reader’s newfound understanding. Use Black & White Magic to improve your chess strength!
GM Axel Smith is the award-winning author of The Woodpecker Method, Pump Up Your Rating, e3 Poison and Street Smart Chess, which were all enthusiastically received by readers and reviewers. Using the Woodpecker as part of his training, as an adult he improved from a rating of 2100 to becoming a Grandmaster. 264 pages
This approach is intended to enable the reader to assign himself to one of the player types and find out whether he belongs to the activists or rather to the pragmatists, theorists or reflectors. The result allows to draw conclusions in order to further expand the individual strengths or to develop a more universal playing style overall.
Because even if you usually win thanks to your strengths, it makes sense to work on your own weaknesses as well. Of course, if there is only one move in a position, you should be able to find it. Playstyles are especially important in positions where you have a great choice. However, they also play a role when you choose the type of position, which you should strive for based on your style.
Interestingly, a playstyle can also be imitated, which may even be the appropriate strategy against certain opponents. For example, certain characteristics stand out clearly in activists, and being able to adjust to them as an opponent is of course very valuable. A good example is Kramnik's win over activist Kasparov (at the London 2000 world championship match). Since Kramnik always managed to steer the game in the direction appropriate to his style, his big opponent never had the chance to demonstrate his own strengths in positions with attack and initiative.
While 'The Human Factor' was about a clear distinction of the four playing styles, this book aims to emphasize the universality of each player. After solving the tasks tailored to the four player types, it becomes clear how your own competencies are distributed. Accordingly, GM Vincent Keymer states in his foreword:
"Even if the further development of one's own player personality to a universal player who unites all player types may remain a utopia, it's still worth pursuing."