How can one determine if a piece is weak or strong? Or if a square is weak or strong? These are the principal questions that grandmaster and trainer Dražen Marović addresses in this important book. By discussing carefully-chosen games and positions, Marović explains how to recognize good and bad features of positions, and how to make use of one's advantages and exploit the opponent's weaknesses. One repeatedly sees 'weaknesses' that are unexploitable (and therefore are not weaknesses at all), possibilities of surrendering certain squares in order to gain more important ones, and material sacrifices to exploit major weaknesses. Topics include: outposts; strength and weakness on files and diagonals; vulnerabilities on the first and second ranks; static weakness and attack; and characteristics of the pieces.
Dražen Marović is a grandmaster from Croatia, who has won medals as both player and trainer for various national teams. His pupils include Bojan Kurajica, World Under-20 Champion in 1965, and Al Modiahki of Qatar, the first Arabian grandmaster. Marović has a wealth of experience as a writer, editor and television commentator on chess. He is currently the trainer of the Croatian national team. This is his third book for Gambit. His two previous books discussed various aspects of pawn play, and have been warmly received by the chess-playing public: see Understanding Pawn Play in Chess and Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess.
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"...excellent for anyone who wishes to improve their chess or who just enjoys playing over great games." - John Pugh, Chess Post
"Publication quality is excellent. Clear annotations and analysis help ensure the reader understands the material with minimal confusion. Oversize, frequent diagrams and 224 opaque pages and make this book a pleasure to read. This material in the book is of value to a broad audience and wide rating range, adding value to any chess library. Highly recommended with a rating of 4 peaches." - Mark Hoshor, Georgia Chess
"As in his previous works, Marović's deep knowledge shines through and he makes welcome use of classics and not just recent games. This work looks at many important positional principles, such as the weakness of the second rank or the use of rooks on semi-open files, but it is a rather old fashioned form of primer. However, the club player who takes time to study its many themes, and hundreds of well-explained examples, should significantly boost the depth of their positional understanding memory bank, which can but help in their own games." - Richard Palliser
"Secrets of Positional Chess is one those chess books that may very well be destined to become a mainstay on the shelf of any novice to intermediate player looking to improve his game." - Chess Country
"Secrets of Positional Chess is an excellent book that is well written, clear and full of instructive examples of play at the highest levels." - Michael Blake, IECG
"Verdict: a very interesting and instructive read, and a fantastic resource for players and coaches. Good value for money. Highly recommended." ***** - Phil Adams, 3Cs website
"... for a feast of further instructive examples including demonstrations of power and co-ordination among pieces and pawns, I can recommend GM Dražen Marović's Secrets of Positional Chess." - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman
"The publisher Gambit again has expanded its list of esteemed books-for-learning with a convincing work. Secrets of Positional Chess is highly recommended for every ambitious player." - Schachmarkt
" I really recommend this book. It is also terrific for chess trainers. A great book for players with positional weaknesses." - Jürgen Brustkern, Rochade
"If you play through the games Marović writes about, your positional feel and understanding will be much better." - Thomas Schian, Rochade
"Marović is the author of a few highly praised books on the soul of chess... but here he seeks to show how players deal with positional strengths and weakness. Numerous games and game fragments are used to provide insights... there is also an excellent section dealing with the good and bad points of the various pieces" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad
"The book is recommended for everyone who wants to improve their chess strategy. The book is very suitable for all standards of player. I also recommend the book for trainers of chess." - Jerzy Konikowski, Fernschach International
"The text demonstrates the great experience of the writer as a chess trainer, and the learner can without reservation follow his well-founded knowledge and insight into positional play." - Dr. W. Schweizer, Rochade
"The Croatian GM explains well 'How to exploit strengths and weaknesses on the chessboard', as the subtitle says; therefore the book is recommended." - Dr Erik Rausch, Rochade