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Your First Chess Lessons

YOUR FIRST CHESS LESSONS (Paul van der Sterren)
96 pages (198 mm by 130 mm)

Assuming no previous knowledge of the game, Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren teaches you how to play and draws you into the fascinating world of modern chess.

This carefully crafted chess course is divided into true lessons, each building on what has been learned in the previous ones. Before moving on from a topic, you have the chance to test that you have fully understood it with the help of thoughtfully graded exercises. Throughout, there are references to online chess resources and suggestions for online activities, such as training, playing and live broadcasts, and chess-related social media. Also dotted throughout the book are pieces of chess lore, practical tips and information about great players past and present.

Chess Strategy for Kids

128 pages (248 mm by 172 mm), hardback

So you have learned how to play chess, studied tactics and know some basic endgames and openings. What’s next? The glue that binds it all together is strategy. By forming a good plan, chess-players seize strong points on the board and target the opponent’s weaknesses. Experienced player and teacher Thomas Engqvist shows that it all depends on logic that can be grasped by players of any age. He explains how to identify the right strategy in a wide range of typical situations. With his guidance, you will soon be finding good plans on your own – and then it will be time to demonstrate your tactical mastery!

He first teaches the importance of the central squares and the basics of pawn-play, before examining the role of each of the pieces and how they are affected by the pawn-structure. Finally we see how to use them together to launch attacks of many different types. You then get a chance to test your new strategic skills in 54 exercises, all with full solutions.

Instructive Chess Miniatures

128 pages (230 mm by 178 mm)

The author has selected 53 miniatures from throughout chess history – the earliest are from the 1850s, while the most recent are from grandmaster events just a few months ago. A miniature is a decisive game, won in 25 moves or fewer. Most of these 53 games feature brilliant tactics, attacks on the king, and even a few outrageous king-hunts. In many, the winner had to overcome cunning defensive ploys and inventive counterattacks.

But our aim in this book is not just to admire the players’ skill, but to learn how we can play like this in our own games. Chess coach Ataman is keenly focused on the instructive points, explaining which features of the position justified the attacks, and what prompted the critical decisions. Where analysis is given, it is restricted to what it would be realistic for a human to work out at the board.

A Simple Chess Opening Repertoire For White

160 pages (210 mm by 145 mm)

By carefully choosing variations that lead to similar structures, IM Sam Collins has put together a powerful repertoire book ideal for players with limited study time. White opens with 1 e4 and develops his pieces to natural squares, seeking open lines and the initiative. The dominant theme of this sound and active repertoire is that – where reasonable – White seeks out Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) positions: i.e. with the c3 Sicilian, Panov Caro-Kann, Tarrasch French, and the Italian Game with early c3 and d4.

There are no speculative gambits here, just plenty of healthy aggression and new ideas. Because so many of Collins’s recommendations lead to familiar structures, ideas can easily be transplanted from one opening to another. He gives illustrative games that emphasize the key themes, including White’s many opportunities to forcibly weaken and attack the black king. The specific analysis is up-to-the-minute and features ideas that have proven their worth in grandmaster practice. Throughout there is attention to move-order subtleties, with clever nuances in ‘sidelines’ that your opponents are unlikely to have examined in detail.

Fundamental Checkmates

384 pages (248 mm by 172 mm)

Chess might seem a complex and mysterious game, but the ultimate goal is simple: checkmate. Checkmate can occur in all stages of the game, from snap mates in the opening, through middlegame attacks to simplified endgames.

This book lays out, in systematic and thorough fashion, a wide range of mating patterns and techniques, in particular showing how each piece-pair can combine to deliver mate. A working knowledge of these ideas enables players to move on to mating combinations, where pieces lay down their lives so that the remaining forces can deliver mate. Gude explains an amazing variety of tactical devices, and illustrates them in unforgettable style with some of the most brilliant mating attacks from practice, new and old. There are chapters on how to attack kings in the centre, as well as standard (and other!) attacks against the castled position.

This is a true textbook of checkmate; readers will never be short of mating ideas, and will instinctively know when there is a possibility to launch an attack, or when they must parry the opponent’s threats. Fundamental Checkmates also features more than 300 exercises with full solutions.

Understanding Rook Endgames

UNDERSTANDING ROOK ENDGAMES (Karsten Müller and Yakov Konoval)
288 pages (248 mm by 172 mm)

Endgames with rooks and pawns are the most frequently occurring in chess, arising in about 1 game in 10. If you learn an important technique in this endgame, chances are you will end up using it sooner or later.

And there are a great many methods and concepts that can be mastered with a little effort. This book highlights the key themes in rook endings, and at each turn invites the reader to test his knowledge and skills with abundant exercises.

Rook endgame theory does not stand still. New practical examples illustrate novel approaches as players seek to pose problems to their opponents – Magnus Carlsen has shown that even the driest-looking positions can feature deadly traps. The ongoing creation of new endgame tablebases – of which coauthor Yakov Konoval has been at the forefront – enables new classes of positions to be assessed with definitive certainty. Using six-man and the brand new seven-man tablebases, the authors re-examine many of the old evaluations and reach new and enlightening conclusions about classic rook endings. You will be startled and amazed, and soon discover that you are becoming a far more effective endgame player.

Chess for Life

CHESS FOR LIFE (Matthew Sadler & Natasha Regan)
224 pages (248 mm by 172 mm)

In this thought-provoking, wide-ranging and often inspiring book, the authors examine how chess style and abilities vary with age. The conventional wisdom is that greater experience should compensate for a loss of youthful energy, but with so many of the world elite currently in their twenties, chess is increasingly looking like a young man’s game. By making a number of case studies and interviewing players who have stayed strong into their forties, fifties and beyond, the authors show in detail how players can steer their games towards positions where their experience can shine through. Interviewees include:

  • GM John Nunn
  • GM Yasser Seirawan
  • GM Nigel Short
  • GM Judit Polgar
  • GM Keith Arkell
  • GM Pia Cramling
  • FM Terry Chapman
  • GM Jon Speelman
  • GM Sergei Tiviakov
  • WIM Ingrid Lauterbach

By examining so many aspects of chess, the authors have written a work that ends up transcending its subject-matter, and becomes a text on how and why we love chess, the means by which we can play successfully whatever our age and level of play, and how chess is truly a game for life.

Understanding the Scandinavian

176 pages (248 mm by 172 mm)

The appeal of the Scandinavian Defence is easy to understand: it is very forcing – Black is virtually guaranteed to get his desired structure. There are no annoying ‘Anti-Scandinavians’ to study!

But for many decades the Scandinavian was regarded with some suspicion, as Black apparently loses time recapturing on d5. Modern players have a different view. The great Danish player Bent Larsen kickstarted the revolution with his provocative assertion that it is an improved Caro-Kann (and, not least, beating Karpov with our opening)! But the 21st-century Scandinavian is a different beast altogether; the new main line of the whole opening (3...Qd6) has proven to have great strategic richness, with more than a few tactical tricks lurking just behind the scenes. The Scandinavian has been transformed into an opening that strong grandmasters are willing to use as their main defence, rather than as an occasional surprise weapon.

This thoroughly modern guide focuses on these new approaches, while also covering the more traditional main lines. Kasparov guides the reader carefully through each system, explaining his recommendations with wit and clarity. With his help, you will have your opponents wishing there really were some ‘Anti-Scandinavian’ lines!

Problem Chess: Art and Magic on the Chessboard

Electronic-only edition
£8.09/$9.95/€9,17 in Kindle format and £6.99/$9.99/€8,99 in app format

This is a book for those who enjoy problem-solving and appreciate clever solutions, and have at least a basic knowledge of chess. It is about the composition and beauty of chess problems: positions forged not in combat but from pure human imagination, and featuring elegant and surprising solutions.

The author offers a personal view of chess problems, conveying an infectious zeal for his subject. Because this is as much a collection of short stories as it is a conventional problem collection. No matter how you use the book, you can expect many hours of excitement and a craving for more. Each chapter presents a variety of chess problems of a specific type, ranging from the familiar ‘mate in two’ puzzles via retro-analytical problems worthy of a whodunit novel to 15-move series problems and the ‘outer limits’ of fairy problems (altered rules or pieces). Throughout, the creative processes of problem chess are at the forefront of the discussion.

Readers are given the opportunity to solve most of the problems before being presented with the solutions. Or you can simply enjoy reading the book from cover to cover without ever needing to set up a chessboard.

A Complete Chess Course

224 pages (248 mm by 172 mm), hardback.

This book is a comprehensive manual for those new to chess, which explains with great clarity the basics of the game. Using innovative methods, Gude ensures that readers quickly grasp each key concept before building on it by introducing new ideas.

This is an interactive course. With a total of 280 questions and exercises to tackle, the reader will quickly gain skills rather than mere knowledge. Gude strips the mystery away from tactics and combinations by looking first at the strengths and weaknesses of each piece in isolation, and then showing how they work together with each of the other pieces. He also presents guidelines on chess strategy that will help shape the reader’s understanding of chess, and a wide variety of patterns for the reader’s all-important ‘mental database’.

The section on openings explains the main aims of each major opening, and the style of game to which they tend of lead, together with some key variations. Later chapters provide examples of how to launch attacks, putting together the skills from earlier chapters, and deal with issues such as chess training, psychology and competitive chess at club and tournament level.

Chess Endgames for Kids

128 pages (230 mm by 178 mm), hardback.

Most chess games are decided in the endgame. It is here where you reap the reward for your good play, or else use all your cunning to deny the opponent victory. Knowing just a few key endgame techniques will dramatically increase your confidence, as you will understand what positions to aim for and which to avoid.

Starting with the basic mates and the simplest pawn endings, this book provides all the endgame knowledge that players need to take them through to club level and beyond. Müller carefully guides us step-by-step through a fascinating range of endgame tactics and manoeuvres, helping us understand the underlying logic.

Throughout the book, many cunning endgame tricks are highlighted. You will have fun springing them on friends, family – or your opponents in serious tournaments. Chess Endgames for Kids makes learning chess endgames fun. But it is also a serious endgame course written by a leading endgame expert, and provides a firm basis for vital skills that will develop throughout your chess career.

John Nunn's Chess Course

Now available worldwide.

320 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Following on from his successful books Understanding Chess Endgames and Understanding Chess Middlegames, John Nunn fleshes out the theory by showing how World Champion Emanuel Lasker handled a wide variety of practical situations.
Covers topics not usually considered, such as queenless middlegames and manoeuvring
· Dissects strategic issues including piece activity, pawn-structure and bishop vs knight
· Looks at psychological aspects of chess, such as choosing lines which are most uncomfortable for the opponent
· Discusses how to handle inferior positions
· Explanations focus on general ideas rather than detailed analysis
· Features more than 100 of the most instructive examples from Lasker’s career
· Concludes with a selection of exercises, with full commentary and explanation

A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White

Now available worldwide

256 pages (210 mm by 145 mm).

A good opening repertoire need not require an enormous amount of study to be highly effective. A cunning choice of lines and move-orders can steer the game to positions that we like and deny the opponent his preferred strategies.

In this book, highly experienced chess opening writer Graham Burgess presents a repertoire based on 1 d4 and Nf3 with precisely those aims. Black’s possibilities for counterplay - and sharp gambit play - are kept to a minimum. The main cornerstones of the repertoire are carefully chosen Queen’s Gambit lines, the Torre Attack (vs ...e6), and a variety of fianchetto options against the King’s Indian and related set-ups. White’s position is kept highly flexible, with many possible transpositions to a wide variety of systems that the reader can use to extend and vary the repertoire. The book features a wealth of new ideas and original analysis.

Chess Puzzles for Kids

Now available worldwide.

128 pages (227 mm by 166 mm), hardback.

This chess puzzle super-challenge contains 100 fun positions to solve, ranging from encouragingly easy to mind-numbingly hard. Using an innovative format, every puzzle is preceded by an instructive example, illustrating an important pattern.

Each puzzle has been graded to suit a wide range of chess abilities. Beginners or younger readers will enjoy reading the basic warm-up exercises. The more experienced can wrestle with some classic puzzles, whilst at the same time learning of typical themes and killer concepts.

The final challenging chapters - Mission Impossible - are guaranteed to torment and inspire the most talented of future champions!

Attack with Black

Now available worldwide.

ATTACK WITH BLACK (Valery Aveskulov)
224 pages (210 mm by 145 mm).

Sick of defending with Black? Never found a reliable way to fight for the initiative when White plays 1 d4?

Allow Grandmaster Aveskulov to assist. He has put together a sound but ultra-aggressive repertoire based on gambits that have proved their worth in grandmaster play over many years. The Benko Gambit is dreaded by many 1 d4 players. Black gets very active piece-play, and even if White reaches a pawn-up endgame, he is often shocked to find he is worse due to Black's intense positional pressure! If White avoids the Benko, that's when we hit him with the Blumenfeld, sacrificing a pawn to set up a strong pawn-centre and attacking chances.

Aveskulov examines all of White's options and move-orders after 1 d4 Nf6, and shows an aggressive reply to each of them. He is never willing to take existing theory on faith, and throughout the book presents an extraordinary wealth of new analysis and ideas. He also explains typical plans in depth, so you will always know how to turn the screw once you have your opponent on the run.

A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White

Now available worldwide.

272 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Such has been the acclaim for John Watson's ground-breaking works on modern chess strategy and his insightful opening books, that it is only natural that he now presents a strategic opening repertoire.

It is the chess-player's holy grail: a flexible repertoire that gives opponents real problems but doesn't require masses of memorization or continual study of ever-changing grandmaster theory. While this book can't quite promise all of that, Watson offers an intriguing selection of lines that give vast scope for over-the-board creativity and should never lead to a dull draw.

The repertoire is based on 1 d4 and 2 c4, following up with methodical play in the centre. Watson uses his vast opening knowledge to pick cunning move-orders and poisonous sequences that will force opponents to think for themselves, providing a true test of chess understanding. Throughout, he discusses strategies for both sides, so readers will be fully ready to pounce on any inaccuracies, and have all the tools to decide on the most appropriate plans for White.

Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion

Now available worldwide.

544 pages (210 mm by 145 mm).

This new expanded edition of the award-winning Vishy Anand: My Best Games of Chess (New Edition) features 30 extra games from the period of Anand's greatest successes.

Anand has been one of the world's top players for more than two decades, and cemented his place in the all-time hall of fame by winning the unified World Championship in 2007, and successfully defending his title against Kramnik and Topalov. But it's not just his results that make Anand special. His style of play leads to highly spectacular games, and his speed of thought is the stuff of legends. He is also a great explainer of ideas, as his annotations for this book demonstrate. Anand is renowned as 'Mr Nice Guy', popular with both the public and his fellow supergrandmasters.

A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire for Black

Now available worldwide.

192 pages (210 mm by 145 mm).

Playing as Black in a game of chess can be difficult. Do you simply try to neutralize White's initiative, or go all-out to complicate the game? Either way, there are many pitfalls, and a lot of study may be needed.

In this book, Grandmaster Eingorn shows that it is possible both to play solidly, and to take White out of his comfort zone. He recommends ideas and move-orders that are a little off the beaten track, but which he has very carefully worked out over many years of his own practice. The repertoire, based on playing 1...e6, is strikingly creative and will appeal to those who want a stress-free life as Black. You will get every chance to demonstrate your chess skills, and are very unlikely to be blown off the board by a sharp prepared line. All you need is a flexible approach, and a willingness to try out new structures and ideas. Eingorn's subtle move-orders are particularly effective if White refuses to pick up the gauntlet, as Black can then use his delay in playing ...Nf6 to good effect and take the fight directly to his opponent.

Understanding Chess Middlegames

Now available worldwide.

240 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

The three-times World Chess Solving Champion distils the most useful middlegame concepts and knowledge into 100 lessons that everyone can understand.

Following on from his successful Understanding Chess Endgames, John Nunn turns his attention to the middlegame - the phase of the chess battle where most games are decided, yet the one that has received the least systematic treatment from chess writers. With the outstanding clarity for which he is famous, Nunn breaks down complex problems into bite-sized pieces.

In the case of attacking play, we are shown how to decide where to attack, and the specific methods that can be used to pursue the enemy king. Positional play is described in terms of the major structural issues, and how the pieces work around and with the pawns. Nunn explains how to assess when certain pieces are better than others, and how we can make use of this understanding at the board. Readers will never be short of a plan, whatever type of position arises.

Each lesson features two inspiring examples from modern chess, annotated honestly and with a keen focus on the main instructive points. Both sides' ideas are emphasized, so we get a clear picture of the ways to disrupt typical plans as well as how to form them.

The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles

Now available worldwide.

160 pages (194 mm x 132 mm).

Solving tactical puzzles is one of the most effective ways to improve your chess. This convenient book provides 300 exercises, with instructive points highlighted in the solutions.

There is something here for everyone. The puzzles in the first two chapters are based on a clear-cut tactic or checkmate, such as those explained in Gambit's best-sellers How to Beat Your Dad at Chess and Chess Tactics for Kids. The endgame challenges highlight tactics and principles in action. In practice it is vital to defend resiliently and seek counterattacking chances - there is an innovative chapter on these rarely-covered themes as well as puzzles where the reader must decide how to punch home an attack.

Chess Openings for Kids

Now available worldwide.

CHESS OPENINGS FOR KIDS (John Watson & Graham Burgess)
128 pages (230 mm by 178 mm), hardback.

For chess-players of all ages and abilities, it is vital to get off to a good start. This simple guide provides all the tips and ideas needed to play purposefully from move one. That's because these 50 Mighty Openings are the very ones used by chess masters and grandmasters to outwit opponents time and again.

This book teaches the names and starting moves of all the main chess openings, and explains the basic ideas. Beginners will learn how to position their pieces for maximum impact. More experienced players will discover some remarkable tactical and strategic themes that are vital for chess mastery.

Chess Openings for Kids makes learning the chess openings fun. Playing these powerful openings helps develop an understanding of how the pieces work together. Soon you will be able to play strong moves in any opening position, and approach every game with confidence - and success.



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