Description : (LARGE PRINT EDITION) This book is a facsimile reprint and may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages.
Description : Instructive, amusing test-yourself guide by a grandmaster asks readers to predict their opponent's moves and helps improve their game by studying the plans and ideas of the best players.
Description : CHESS STRATEGY MOVE by MOVE First published in 2013 by Gloucester Publishers Limited, North burgh House, 10 North burgh Street, London EC1V OAT Copyright© 2013 Adam Hunt The right of Adam Hunt to be identified as the author of this work h as been asserted in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978 1 85744 997 6 Distributed in North America by The Globe Pequot Press, P.O Box 480, 246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437-0480. All other sales enquiries should be directed to Everyman Chess, North burgh House, 10 North burgh Street, London EC1V OAT tel: 020 7253 7887 fax: 020 7490 3708 email: [email protected]; website: www.everymanchess.com Everyman is the registered trade mark of Random House Inc. and is used in this work under licence from Random House Inc. Everyman Chess Series Chief advisor: Byron Jacobs Commissioning editor: John Emms Assistant editor: Richard Palliser Typeset and edited by First Rank Publishing, Brighton. Cover design by Horatio Monteverde. Adam Hunt is an International Master from Oxford with two Grandmaster norms. Since 2003 he has taught chess full-time at Woodbridge School in Suffolk, helping the school along the way to produce three England representatives. He has acquired a growing reputation for coaching having also worked with the England and Wales junior teams at many international events, including the World Youth Championships and World Under-16 Olympiad. He comes from a family of chess players, with his sister Harriet currently ranked as the top female player in England. This is his first book.
Description : "A Complete Chess Education Based on the Games of World Champion Lasker " The motivation behind this book was to flesh out some of the ideas discussed in my earlier books Understanding Chess Move by Move and Understanding Chess Middlegames. While reading those books first might help to clarify some concepts, John Nunn’s Chess Course is a stand-alone book. Some basic knowledge of strategic and tactical chess themes is assumed, but anyone who has read either of the above books (or those of an equivalent level) will have ample background to start this one. While in some ways this book can be regarded as a successor to those titles, my approach here is rather different. The earlier books featured carefully selected examples, each one designed to illustrate a specific point or points. While this method is valuable for illustrating each topic, it gives a somewhat false impression of the course followed by the majority of real-life games. In practice, games are rarely decided by a single concept; different themes are important at different stages of the game and sometimes several themes are intertwined. The games in this book have been chosen so as to show how the most important chess concepts operate in practice (Nimzowitsch did something similar in following up My System with Chess Praxis). Given my intention, the next question was how to select the games from the millions available. I wanted to give the opening relatively light coverage and focus mainly on the middlegame and endgame. The reason is that once you have grasped the basic principles of opening play, further improvement depends largely on deeper study of those openings in your repertoire. Unfortunately, detailed commentary on a particular opening is not very interesting if you don’t play that opening. Therefore, opening study is best done using a database in conjunction with specialized books on the specific openings you are interested in. I therefore decided to focus on the games of one particular player, moreover one who did not vary his openings much throughout his career. This would avoid filling the book with explanations of several different openings and would allow me to focus on the parts of the game which are of most general benefit. I decided on Lasker for a variety of reasons. His chess credentials are impeccable, as he was World Champion for 27 years, longer than any other person. Moreover, he had what is often termed a ‘universal’ style, in that he could handle all types of position well, and therefore a study of his games would benefit all aspects of the reader’s play. His style tended towards straightforward plans, which he executed precisely. Such clear-cut play is especially instructive, because it’s possible to understand what he was trying to do and transfer the learning to one’s own games. I certainly gained a great deal from looking at his games in detail, and felt that my own understanding of chess had become broader as a result. A final point is that there is relatively little good material available on Lasker’s games. He didn’t write much himself, and subsequent commentators have not done him full justice (more on this in Chapter 2). I might have chosen a modern player, but one problem with contemporary toplevel chess is that subtle opening innovations often play a crucial role. It’s difficult to explain such innovations without giving a great deal of background information and, as such innovations are often backed up by many hours of computer analysis, they can also be quite complicated. Once again, I felt that going into great detail about certain openings would prove a distraction from the main purpose of the book. Chess is a huge subject, and it’s inevitable that a book, even of 320 large-format pages, will be selective. My aim is to cover the most important chess themes, but although the book deals with many purely technical issues, there is a strong emphasis on thought-processes and decision-making. The psychological side of chess is not an isolated subject, but one which interconnects with the purely objective situation on the board. Once again, the choice of Lasker worked well here as psychology was an important part of his style. All world champions have had the ability to induce mistakes by their opponents, although their techniques have varied widely. Tal’s method was to drown his opponents in tactical mayhem, while Karpov had a more positional approach. Unusually, Fischer seemed to take little account of his opponent’s style, but simply tried to play the objectively best move whatever the circumstances. If Lasker’s technique needed to be summarized in one word, it would be ‘misdirection’. His talent lay in creating situations in which the normal rules and evaluations didn’t apply; his opponents would fail to realize that something was amiss until it was too late. This technique was so successful that not only Lasker’s opponents, but also many later commentators, have failed to appreciate Lasker’s modus operandi. As a consequence, the myth has developed that many of Lasker’s wins were based on swindles, pure luck or even the effect of his cigars. In reality, there was nothing mystical or underhand about his games; they were based on a deep understanding of chess, an appreciation of deceptive positions and some shrewd psychology. Another myth for which there seems no real evidence is that Lasker deliberately played bad moves in order to unsettle his opponents. Certainly Lasker played bad moves, as all chess-players do from time to time, but the point which struck me when analysing his games was how often he adopted a safety-first strategy. Lasker was a great fighter and had a strong will to win, but his winning efforts hardly ever crossed the boundary into recklessness; in almost every case, he played moves that appeared provocative but were no worse than the alternatives, with the important difference that they were more likely to induce a mistake. I have chosen the games solely for their instructive qualities. This isn’t primarily a book of Lasker’s best games, although Lasker fans will find his most famous battles included. Although Lasker wins most of the games, I have included a few draws and losses if they were especially instructive. The style of annotation is heavily textoriented. In a few places it proved impossible to explain the position without recourse to more detailed analysis, but wherever possible I have attempted to explain the ideas in general terms. Lasker’s clear-cut style proved especially suitable for this type of exposition. The choice of topics covered may appear a little unusual, but it was based on my desire to deal with general concepts of wide practical application. My selection starts with airly concrete topics and gradually moves into the area of thinking-processes and chess psychology. Along the way, it proved possible to mention some themes that are not often covered in textbooks, such as queenless middlegames and manoeuvring. To those who are disappointed that this or that topic is missing, I can only reply that mastery of the chosen themes enabled Lasker to remain World Champion for more than a quarter of a century. This book is not intended as a biography of Lasker, and details of his life and career are available elsewhere, but here is a quick summary to put the games in context. Emanuel Lasker was born on 24th December 1868 in Berlinchen (today known as Barlinek in Poland) and his chess talent first came to public attention in 1889 when he finished second in a tournament held in Amsterdam (Game 12 is from this event). His rise to the highest level was relatively quick, and he became World Champion in 1894 by beating Steinitz convincingly (+10 –5 =4); a return match in 1896/7 saw the aging Steinitz defeated even more heavily. By modern standards, Lasker played very few serious games in the course of his career (one calculation gives a total of 529). Given its length, this may seem remarkable, but the chess world was very different in those days. There were very few elite events, so opportunities for the top players to meet each other were infrequent. Leading masters, including Lasker, often gave tours involving simultaneous displays and other exhibition games, so they were actually far busier with chess activities than their tally of tournament and match games would suggest. Moreover, Lasker did not devote himself totally to chess, and there were periods in his career, sometimes lasting for years, when he played no serious chess. Instead, he devoted himself to publishing ventures, such as Lasker’s Chess Magazine, or to areas outside chess, including mathematics and philosophy. It was more than 10 years before Lasker again defended his title, against Marshall in 1907. The result was a humiliation for the American, who failed to win a single game. The following year Tarrasch was expected to provide a tougher challenge, but he could not recover from a disastrous start and Lasker ran out an easy winner by eight wins to three. In 1910 Lasker defended his title twice; the first match, against the Austrian Schlechter, has proved controversial ever since. In a very short match of only 10 games, Lasker was one point down before the final game. The precise rules of the match have been debated by chess historians ever since, but the weight of evidence suggests that had Schlechter drawn the 10th game then he would indeed have become World Champion. The final game is worth playing over (it is not given in this book); Schlechter established a winning position, but a series of errors gave away first the win and then the draw. Lasker won the game and retained the title, which he defended easily in a one-sided contest against Janowski later the same year. Due to the First World War, top-level chess was practically non-existent for several years. Lasker’s next challenger was Capablanca and the two met in Havana during 1921. The match was to be over 24 games (or the first to win 8 games), but after 14 games Lasker had lost four times without winning a game, and he resigned the match. Lasker’s play against Capablanca was oddly lacklustre, although the reasons for this are not entirely clear, with the Havana climate, ill health, Lasker’s financial problems and depression all being given as possible causes. Lasker was by now 52 years old and appeared to be in the twilight of his career. However, he still proved a worthy competitor when he won the Mährisch Ostrau tournament in 1923, but the great New York event of 1924 was expected to be a much tougher test, as practically all the world’s top players were participating. Playing remarkably fine chess for a 55-year-old, Lasker outdistanced the field to win 1½ points ahead of Capablanca. It was one of the great tournament performances of all time, yet after second place at Moscow 1925 Lasker left the top-level arena and, after a couple of years giving exhibitions, dropped out of chess more or less completely. In 1933, Hitler’s rise to power forced Lasker and his wife, who were both Jewish, to leave Germany, and financial considerations drew him back to the chessboard. Now well into his sixties, Lasker was still a very strong player and could produce outstanding individual games, but it’s not surprising that his play was more erratic than in former years. His third place at Moscow 1935, half a point behind joint winners Flohr and Botvinnik, was achieved when he was 66 years old, and is very likely the best performance by a sexagenarian in chess history. Lasker’s last tournament was Nottingham 1936, but he remained busy with writing for the remaining years of his life. Lasker died on 11th January 1941 in New York, aged 72. Because Lasker had a universal chess style, he did not influence the chess world in any dramatic way, yet he left a considerable chess legacy. The Lasker Defence to the Queen’s Gambit (1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e3 0-0 6 Nf3 h6 7 Bh4 Ne4) is the contribution to opening theory which is most relevant today. That it is still very much in the limelight is shown by the final game of the 2010 Anand-Topalov world championship match, when the Indian grandmaster used it to win with Black and thereby retain his title. The Lasker Defence to the Evans Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 Bxb4 5 c3 Ba5 6 d4 d6 7 0-0 Bb6) was an important development in its day, and Lasker made several lesser contributions in other openings. However, Lasker was not an opening specialist and it is more in the areas of middlegame play and chess psychology that Lasker’s influence is felt today, even though it may be hard to quantify. Lasker promoted the ideas that chess is a struggle and that the will to win is an important factor, and these days all grandmasters know very well that chess isn’t only about playing good moves. In the majority of positions, there are a number of possible moves of roughly equal merit, and choosing between them is not only a question of whether, as a computer might tell you, one gives you +0.11 pawns advantage and another +0.12. It’s more about finding the move which discomforts your opponent and is most likely to induce a mistake. The universal acceptance of such ideas, which owe their origins in a very considerable part to Lasker, show that his influence remains alive today. Finally, it is interesting to consider which of the top contemporary players has a style most resembling Lasker’s. My vote would be for Carlsen. Like Lasker, he is little concerned with subtle opening finesses and is quite happy to play lines which are not regarded as critical, if by doing so he can reach positions that are awkward for his opponent. Like Lasker, his middlegame play is superb, and his opponents sometimes seem to lose without doing anything obviously wrong. Finally, his determination to continue the game and his ability to outplay strong opponents even in drawish endgames bring to mind some of Lasker’s most famous victories. His wins in the pivotal fifth and sixth games of the 2013 match against Anand, which enabled him to become World Champion, are very much in the Lasker style. Relentless pressure lasting far in the endgame eventually led the Indian grandmaster to falter and lose drawn positions. This book is intended to be read sequentially rather than dipped into. Elementary topics come first, while as the book progresses more abstract ideas are introduced. The later chapters deal with psychological issues. Finally, there is a selection of exercises for the reader to solve. The solutions to some of these contain further useful material and are well worth looking at in detail. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Edward Winter regarding some historical matters and Viktor Zakharov for giving me access to the seven-man endgame tablebases. Naturally, any mistakes in the book are my own responsibility. In conclusion, I hope that readers will find this book both instructive and enjoyable, and that it will help them to gain a deeper appreciation of the games of one of the greatest players of all time. John Nunn Chertsey, February 2014 "CHESS EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES"
Description : For centuries, blindfold chess—the art of playing without sight of the board or pieces—has produced some of the greatest feats of human memory, progressing to the extent that the world record in 2009 was 45 [and is now 46] simultaneous blindfold games. This work describes the personalities and achievements of some of blindfold chess’s greatest players—including Philidor, Morphy, Blackburne, Zukertort, Pillsbury, Reti, Alekhine, Koltanowski, Najdorf and Fine, as well as present-day grandmasters such as Anand and Kramnik. Including some never before published, 444 games scores are presented, peppered with diagrams and annotations. Hints for playing blindfold, and its practical value, are also included.