For those of you who may not be familiar with these books, let me start by telling you that they are very well done.
They’re far different than most books I’ve seen on positional chess. One of the main reasons for this is that rather than breaking the material up into the expected chapters of open files, outposts, strong squares, etc. the two volumes are split with Volume One covering openings and middlegames, and Volume Two focusing on structures and dynamics. Yes, dynamics. After all, as Botvinnik noted, “tactics are the servant of strategy.” Which is a way of saying that positional play is often aimed at gaining a large enough advantage to crash through tactically.
This post is not a review. If you would like to see my review of Volume Two of this set you may click here.
If you would like to read a review from several years ago on my original blog about a Shirov DVD showing how tactics crown positional advantages, then click here.
So if this post is not a review, then what is it? I’d say it’s a call to action. You should purchase these books if you enjoy well presented material.
For instance, in Chapter One of Volume One the theme is “A Lead in Development.” There are five well annotated games which are shown first. I present – without annotation since that would take forever to copy from the book – four of those five. The fifth is a training game of Sakaev’s and so is not in my database.
Tal – Uhlmann 1971
Tal – Toran 1961
Tal – Petrosian 1974
Seirawan – Karpov 1982
In this game Yasser fell behind in development and Karpov steamrolled him.
Then at the end of the chapter there is a section on “additional material” which simply lists a handful of games for the reader to analyze and review on their own. Those games are:
Keres – Botvinnik 1941
Svidler – Dreev 1997
Kasparov – Polugaevsky 1978
Karpov – Karpov 1993
So when all is said and done you’ve have five games with detailed annotations and another four to review on your own.
I really enjoy books like this with that added element of “go do more work on your own” to them. Almost as much as I love the Soviet School of Chess.
Til Next Time,
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