John Watson fleshes out the theory presented to enormous acclaim in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy and extends it into new areas. He illustrates the modern practice of chess with many examples from imaginative players such as Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Ivanchuk and tempestuous innovators such as Shirov and Morozevich. In Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Watson broke new ground by describing the developments in chess strategy since the time of Nimzowitsch. He explained how modern players are more willing than their predecessors to favour dynamic considerations over static ones, and how they have increasingly transcended the limiting 'rules' which influenced play in earlier times. The dominant results of Garry Kasparov and the rise of a new generation of supergrandmasters testify to the effectiveness of this dynamic and open-minded philosophy which has enriched modern chess. Those who enjoyed Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy will welcome the clarification of important concepts. Chess Strategy in Action can also be read on its own as an outstanding collection of modern games with thoughtful and enlightening annotations.
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. His groundbreaking four-volume work on the English firmly established his reputation in the 1980s, and he has produced a string of top-quality works since. In 1999, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Watson's first book for Gambit, won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award and the United States Chess Federation Fred Cramer Award for Best Book. His pupils include the 1997 World Junior Champion, Tal Shaked. In 2022 he was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame as “one of the greatest writers in the history of American chess”.
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Gambit books by Watson: The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Chess Strategy in Action, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 1, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 2, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 3, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 4, Chess Openings for Kids, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White.
" The game selection alone makes it a very worthwhile investment of time. Strongly Recommended." - Don Aldrich, Chess Today
"...above all else Watson is excellent at explaining these mysterious grandmaster concepts to the club player" - Richard Palliser, Chess Monthly
"...a companion volume...every bit as good as its predecessor. In the first part it covers concepts which were neglected in the earlier work; in the second, it gives examples from play. The book is well structured and packed with erudition" - GM Nigel Short, The Sunday Telegraph
"Watson's book is a very interesting read which contains surprising insights in abundance." - Dr. W. Schweizer, Rochade
"I recommend this book to all players who want to improve their technical ability in the middlegame. This book is also very practical for chess trainers, as one can find a great deal of material in it that one can use for teaching." - Jerzy Konikowski, Fernschach International
"I can recommend Watson's sequel as extremely successful and absolutely worth buying. All readers of his first book will be pleased with the extensions and supplements to the themes." - Schachmarkt
"Another successful book for chesslovers to buy!" - Fernschach
"Whether you have the first volume or not, this sequel is warmly recommended to all chessfriends." - Schachmarkt
"Chess Strategy in Action by John Watson is easy to understand without reading his first book. It is a collection of brilliantly annotated modern games and contains a practical and theoretical part. The book gives the reader a glimpse into the trends and the creative potential of modern chess. It is a must-buy which however is for advanced players. Chess Strategy in Action will really teach you how to play successfully." - KARL
"Yet again John Watson has produced a classic that will be a strong tool of learning in any player's armoury." - Michael Blake, IECG
"I'm not going to attempt to summarise the rich and diverse content of this book - just buy your own copy - you won't regret it." - Michael Stevenson, New Zealand Chess
"A sequel to the Watson classic (Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy). It is not surprising that the games of Kasparov and Shirov feature a lot. They are two players who especially illustrate how the traditional rules and values of the pieces can fall short, compared to assessing the dynamics of the position" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad
"Verdict: "Watson 2" is an essential addition to the library of every serious chess-player." ***** - Phil Adams,
"Those who enjoyed Watson's ground breaking Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy are in for another treat." - IM John Donaldson, on Silman's website
"Some authors are excellent authors because everything they write pleases the reader. Whatever is under discussion seems to dovetail perfectly with our expectations. They set us up, lift us up, and keep us on the high way. When we finish such an author or such a book, we shut the book and realize how deep and true the game of chess is. These are good, maybe great, writers. Then there is the writer we can only swear at. The reader disagrees with what he has written. He squirms and challenges and tries to refute what he has read.. There is no truth, only confrontation. There is no depth, only a layer of analysis more. These mutants make us think. Curse them! These are good, maybe great writers. They are scarcer than the first kind of good writer. ... I realize that if I say Buy this book! It will not be understandable by all who read it. Besides the old fogies such as myself who might find the ideas repugnant (The earth is the center of the universe, after all!) The information is too difficult for most players under 1600. But since this really is a very good book, Buy this book!" - Alex Dunne, ICCF Amici
" John Watson's particular talent lies in his ability to sift material to show distinct patterns and demonstrate trends in the way the modern game is played. Like the conductor of an orchestra, he brings together the work of virtuoso players and commentators to illustrate a common theme." - John Saunders, British Chess Magazine