General and middle game books

A selection of general and middle game books.

General and middle game books

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Tiviakov/Gökbulut - Rock...
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Tiviakov/Gökbulut - Rock Solid Chess Volume 2

Sergei Tiviakov was unbeaten in a streak of more than a hundred chess games as a professional player. Who better to share the secrets of Rock Solid Chess and the activity and value of pieces than Tiviakov?

The highly acclaimed first volume of his chess strategy trilogy dealt with pawn structures. In this second volume, Sergei moves on to discuss piece play and unique chessboard situations. Topics covered include the bishop pair, opposite-coloured bishops, centralization and the almost-ignored question of when and whether to castle.

Tiviakov also demonstrates how the value of pieces can vary drastically depending on their exact position. He shows how the entire assessment of a position, and the correct strategy for playing it, can be changed by moving a single pawn from one square to another.

In the final chapters, Tiviakov discusses how to play cramped and passive positions, how to play for a win with Black and how to choose your strategy, based on the opponent’s style and other psychological factors.

Illustrated with examples from classic games and from his own games, and supported by instructive exercises, Volume Two of Rock Solid Chess offers invaluable and unique instruction on topics not covered in traditional textbooks. These strategy lessons will significantly improve your chess and are suitable for all readers, from club players to grandmasters.

Sergei Tiviakov is a grandmaster, Olympic gold medallist, three-time Dutch Champion and European Champion.
Yulia Gökbulut is a FIDE Women's Master, chess author and sports writer from Turkey. 251 pages

€27.31 Price
Bagheri/Salehzadeh -...
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Bagheri/Salehzadeh - Understanding chess Exchanges

Understanding Chess Exchanges by Bagheri & Salehzadeh. Have you ever wondered how chess grandmasters always seem to know which pieces need to be exchanged? Or how an attack is influenced by the number of pieces on the board? When should we keep the queens on, and when should we switch to an endgame?
 
Understanding Chess Exchanges shares expert insights into using exchanges as a strategic weapon. Your newfound knowledge will then be tested using exercises taken from elite modern practice. With a particular focus on Magnus Carlsen – the master of exchanges – this book reveals the principles behind a vital part of chess strategy.
 
Chess mastery is the art of knowing when principles should be followed and when they must be broken. This book guarantees that you will not only become familiar with the typical guidelines, but also learn about their exceptions. Filled with tips, principles and practical advice, Understanding Chess Exchanges is an invaluable asset to a chess player’s arsenal! 352 pages

€32.07 Price

Sokolov - Winning Chess Middlegames

Have you ever wondered why it takes grandmasters just seconds to see what's happening in a chess position? It's all about pawn structures, as Ivan Sokolov explained in his groundbreaking book Winning Chess Middlegames.

In his 2010 bestseller, Grandmaster Sokolov focused on structures arising from 1.d4 openings; in this new companion guide, 1.e4 players get their turn. This new volume covers a dozen topical structures including various pawn formations in the flexible Ruy Lopez, Italian and Petroff openings. But also Black's doubled f-pawn in the Rauzer Sicilian, the notorious Maroczy Bind, the mysterious Hedgehog, the versatile Sveshnikov and the paradoxical French Winawer. Deeply analysed top-level games illustrate the motifs in all these structures.

Club players who study Winning Chess Middlegames 1.e4 or 1.d4 will:

  • significantly improve their middlegame skills
  • develop an accurate sense of which positions suit their style
  • gain new strategic and practical knowledge of openings

Ivan Sokolov's analysis is profound but accessible, and he doesn't take anything for granted. As reviewer Sean Marsh wrote of the first volume: "The lucid and informative explanations convey a large amount of genuine Grandmasterly wisdom. This is easily one of the best middlegame books of recent times."

Ivan Sokolov is a top grandmaster who was born in Bosnia and lives in the Netherlands. He is a former Yugoslav and Dutch Champion and has beaten World Champions Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. As a coach, he led Uzbekistan to victory at the 2022 Chennai Olympiad. Sokolov has written a dozen highly acclaimed books.

€27.31 Price

Gormally - Tournament Battle Plan

Books on how to improve your results over the board have been written before but in these changing times when chess has propelled onto the public consciousness, an update is badly needed. Grandmaster Daniel Gormally uses his 25+ years of experience to take the readers through the fires of the tournament cauldron, while illustrating some of his battles with the best players in England.
Along the way he tackles how to approach online play, an increasingly important issue as this form of chess has increased in popularity. Do you need a coach ? Will streamers relly help you to improve ? And should you turn off your computer ? Gormally emphasizes the importance of independent analysis in enabling the player to make progress and explains how he himself suffered in his results due to an over-reliance in chess engines.
And then there is the nitty gritty of tournament play itself. Gormally grapples with subjects that aren't covered in normal tournament books, from what hotels you should choose, to what kind of diet you need to follow, while also concluding that he lacks the awesome physical fitness of the Norwegian chess god Magnus Carlsen.
It all culminates in an explosive Hastings diary, where the author uses his acerbic wit to pull apart the vagaries of preparing for international competition in an account that verges on comic-tragic. 348 pages

€37.64 Price

Van der Sterren - Mindful Chess

The Dutch Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren was a professional chess player for over twenty years. At the peak of his career, he qualified for the Candidate Matches for the World Championship - and was only four victories away from the World Title. In Mindful Chess, you will get his long and short answer to whether meditation or mindfulness will help your chess.

As a boy, Van der Sterren became fascinated by chess and became a gladiator at the chess board. To quote Theodore Roosevelt, he met with both victory and defeat, much joy and suffering. When, later in life, he discovered vipassana meditation, he met again with joy and suffering - and approached these issues with the same total devotion as he had brought to chess - thousands and thousands of hours on the cushion and studying Buddhist literature.

The reader will follow the two journeys through chess and meditation. And find answers to questions such as: What is chess? What is meditation? Who am I? What is I? Or will the answer elude you, is too much inexplainable and unknowable?

Paul van der Sterren (1956) was a professional chess player for over twenty years. At the peak of his career, the Dutch grandmaster qualified for the Candidate Matches for the World Championship – and was only four victories away from the World Title. He is the bestselling author of Fundamental Chess Openings (Gambit Publishers). In 2023 New In Chess will publish his books: Mindful Chess and In Black and White - a spiritual and a chess autobiography. 127 pages

€15.99 Price

Willemze - What would you play? Test your Chess and Improve your decision-making

The best chess training closely resembles the activity you're training for. This book provides you with an essential component - decision-making in the crucial positions of a real game of chess, played by club players rather than grandmasters. You have to answer the same questions that you face when you stare at the chess board and have to find a move.
Amateur games can be very instructive. Studying the games of top players will undoubtedly help you to improve. However, it is often more enlightening to make decisions or see mistakes at a lower level, as they are easier for most of us to relate to.
Thomas Willemze has carefully selected thirty games that illustrate an important theme, for example:
- Dealing with irreversible moves
- Rerouting your rooks
- Aligning your bishop and pawns
- Converting a long-term advantage
- Taming the London
Willemze is a master at choosing just the right positions to help you improve your chess knowledge and understanding.
Thomas Willemze is an experienced chess trainer and International Master from the Netherlands. All thirty games in What Would You Play have been published in New In Chess magazine. Willemze has written five books for New In Chess, all of which are available as courses on Chessable. 230 pages

€24.48 Price

Nestorovic - Positional sacrifice in modern chess

Positional Sacrifice in Modern Chess (hardcover). A Word from the Authors : "The sequel, or the second part of the “Secrets of Positional Sacrifice” manual is titled “Positional Sacrifice in Modern Chess”. We assume that readers will conclude that the subject of our analysis are recently played games, especially the games played over the last few years. The book is intended for chess players who aspire to raise the level of positional play in this particular field of expertise, as well as coaches working on chess education. Like the previous book “Secrets of Positional Sacrifice”, the book in our hands is divided into chapters according to the material that is the subject of the sacrifice: the positional sacrifice of a pawn, exchange, piece, rook, and queen. Finally, the last chapter deals with “hot games” and contains six games played during November and December 2021. We believe that the book is as interesting and instructive as its prequel. However, the examples are a tad more complicated, primarily because of the positional rook sacrifice section. In actual fact, the examples on this kind were verydifficult to find in practice, and processing them in the right way was a particular challenge for us. The first section, the positional pawn sacrifice, should encourage the reader to execute one of the most complicated positional sacrifices in practice as often as possible. On the other hand, the sacrifice of exchange is the most common and easiest to apply and can very successfully serve as a means of relieving the fear of possible sacrifice of material. Asymmetric positions, i.e., positions with an unusual distribution of material, are mostly featured in the positional piece and queen sacrifice positions. In the last chapter entitled “Hot Games,” we present the analysis on the topics of various fascinating examples, from the latest games of today’s great players. We tried to choose the examples that were easy to follow, so they are embellished with diagrams and explained verbally as well. We paid more attention to the analysis of the positional sacrifice from the moment of its execution to the end of the game. Hence, the introductory part of each example may be somewhat shorter in relation to the first book. Finally, the invaluable exercises at the end of the book should be mentioned. The tasks cover four topics to make them as interesting and easy to solve as possible. The exercises are based on the correct assessment of asymmetric positions and, of course, on concrete calculations. In conclusion, we would like to emphasize that the book highlights the beauty of human ideas and their practical application. In some cases, the authors give preference to the human idea over the assessment of the computer. When a player cannot calculate complicated lines accurately, he should look for an alternative solution of the similar quality. One of the possible answers is the positional sacrifice that leads to asymmetric material and thus the change of the character of the fight. " 307 pages

€33.87 Price

Rogers - Oops I Resigned one more time!

Oops! He’s Back!
Australian Grandmaster Ian Rogers is back with a new book of silly resignation puzzles - the only chess puzzle book where your solution cannot be worse than the player who mistakenly abandoned the game!
Pit your wits against legends from yesteryear to today, from Anderssen to Korchnoi to Gelfand, knowing that they resigned their games unnecessarily and you, perhaps, could have found a way out.
Oops! I Resigned One More Time! is the sequel to Oops! I Resigned Again!, which has gained a cult following since its release in 2021. Marvel again at 100 extraordinary positions and the stories behind them, in themed sets of five, with sneaking a peek at the answers made easy. 175 pages

€21.23 Price

Johnson - Perpetual Chess Improvement

Perpetual Chess Improvement : Practical Chess Advice from World-Class Players and Dedicated Amateurs, by Ben Johnson. In a world awash in educational chess content, knowing how to study the game most effectively can be challenging.

As the Perpetual Chess Podcast host, USCF Master Ben Johnson has spent hundreds of hours talking chess with many of the world’s top players and most accomplished trainers. In the popular Adult Improver Series, he has spoken with dozens of passionate amateurs who have elevated their games significantly while pursuing chess as a hobby.

Guests like former World Champion Viswanathan Anand and YouTube Stars IM Levy Rozman and GM Hikaru Nakamura have shared insights and told memorable stories. And Ben has learned just as much from the many dedicated amateurs who applied their considerable professional (non-chess) experience to their chess learning.

In Perpetual Chess Improvement, Ben looks for common ground and shared principles in all chess advice given on the podcast. Chess players do not always agree on the best improvement methods, so he even adjudicates a few disagreements! The book will show you the following:

  •     How to approach and study different aspects of the game, including openings, endgames, tactics, tournament games, and speed chess.
  •     How to find a chess coach and a like-minded chess community.
  •     How to properly utilize all the powerful chess study tools available.
  •     Instructive chess positions illustrate the topics discussed.


The guests shared a wealth of beautiful stories, and chess study advice on the Perpetual Chess Podcast. This book compiles the highlights and will help you make a holistic plan for your chess studies.

Ben Johnson is a USCF Master and accomplished chess coach. In 2016, he started the Perpetual Chess Podcast, the most successful chess podcast, with over five million downloads and streams in over a hundred different countries - and counting. Ben grew up in Philadelphia and lives in New Jersey with his family. Before dedicating his life to chess, he was a professional poker player and a stock trader.

245 pages

€24.48 Price

Kuljasevic - The How to study chess on your own workbook

This second-volume workbook in Davorin Kuljasevic's How to Study Chess on Your Own series is optimized for chess players with an Elo rating between 1500 and 1800 but is helpful for anyone between 1200 and 2000.  The astounding success of his How to Study Chess on Your Own made clear that thousands of chess players want to improve their game and like to work on their training at least partially by themselves. 199 pages

€24.48 Price

Willemze - World chess champion strategy training for club players

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

€24.48 Price

Engqvist - Chess lessons from a champion coach

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.

€24.43 Price

Doknjas - What chess coaches don't tell you

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

€29.20 Price

Franco - Attacking chess in the 21st Century

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

€28.30 Price

Hrop - Defending under pressure. Mananging your emotions at the chessboard

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

€25.38 Price

Dvoretsky/Yusupov - Technique in Chess

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

€25.00 Price

McDonald - Pressure Play

Pressure Play by Neil McDonald. Have you ever been tortured at the chessboard? If so, then you have probably been a victim of pressure play.

Elite players are brilliant exponents of pressure play. In situations where they have either a tiny advantage or no advantage at all they are highly adept at constantly setting problems for their unfortunate opponents. The position on the board may appear lifeless but they can probe and find plans and regroupings that will constantly ask their opponents difficult questions. These can be countered only by continual alert and accurate defence and we all know how difficult and wearing that can be.

The arch exponent of pressure play is world champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is superb in this area of the game and consistently defeats world class opposition from simplified positions where he has no advantage whatsoever. How does he do it?

In this book, the highly experienced author and coach Neil McDonald analyses the finest examples of pressure play. In doing so he teases out the fundamental concepts that enable players like Carlsen to torture their opponents mercilessly.

  • Paralyse the enemy pieces.
  • Target the weakest squares on the board.
  • Increase and exploit a space advantage.


Master pressure play and it will be your opponent on the rack, not you.  352 pages

€28.30 Price

Ivanisevic : Q&A Puzzle

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

€26.32 Price

Smith - Black & White Magic

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

€24.52 Price

Lakdawala - Irrational Chess

The vast majority of chess games witness familiar strategies and well known tactical motifs. These are the games that you will find in the anthologies and opening repertoires. Sometimes however, games appear that seem to have been played on a different planet. 

Conventional strategies go out of the window. Familiar tactical themes are nowhere to be seen. Chaos has broken out. The pieces appear to be in open rebellion and are steadfastly refusing to do the natural jobs that they were designed for. 

Having to navigate a path in such a game can be a nightmare. Do you rely purely on calculation? Is it better to trust your instincts? Can you assess the position using “normal” criteria?

In order to answer these questions, prolific chess author and coach Cyrus Lakdawala has assembled a collection of brilliantly unconventional and irrational games. The positions in these games appear almost random. Kings have gone walkabout, pieces are on bizarre squares, huge pawn rollers are sweeping all before them. 

Irrational chess is like nothing you’ve seen before. As well as being highly instructive this is a hugely entertaining book. 

Do not adjust your set. It’s chess, Jim, but not as we know it.

€29.15 Price

Muller/Engel/Rafiee The human factor in chess - The Testbook

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."

€24.53 Price