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Fighting Chess move by move

Learn from the world's best players
Nivå B-D
Utgivelsesdato Februar 2013
Pris 235 NOK
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Det lærerike og grundige Move-by-move-konseptet fungerer fint også på 30 superpartier spilt i 2012, presentert av den glimrende kommentatoren IM Colin Crouch.

Gjennomgang av godt kommenterte mesterpartier er anerkjent som nyttig læring for å bli bedre i sjakk, og da gjelder det å finne kommentarer som virkelig er forklarende og ikke bare går over hodet på leserne. Både Colin Crouch og denne bokserien er gode kandidater! Dette er kommentarer som er fine å lese sammen med en rolig gjennomgang av disse partiene, for spillere med ratingstyrke fra omlag 1000-1100 og langt oppover.


This book is based on the idea that every move is important, any mistake by either player is significant, and any mistake by the opponent should be pounced upon. The theme in this book is based on what can loosely be described as “positional chess”, on giving nothing away to the opponent, and on being alert to opportunity given by the opponent.

I am fascinated that the strongest players avoid losses to a remarkable extent, even when play appears sharp and double-edged. How, I wondered, do these top grandmasters keep their balance? The statistics are awe-inspiring. In six games against Kramnik, Aronian lost only once. In six games against Aronian, Kramnik lost only once. In twelve games against Anand, Gelfand lost only once. In twelve games against Gelfand, Anand lost only once. Four losses out of 36. Few club players, playing against opponents of their own strength, could achieve such a low percentage of losses. What is the secret of the top players? Personally, in my own games, I find I have wins and losses, very rarely draws, and even more rarely do I achieve solidly played draws. I would love to know how to turn these losses into draws, except I suspect that the answer is relatively simple. I am usually good enough to find wins against players up to about IM strength, but quite often, in declining health, I get tired, and cannot think clearly enough, and so I lose.

I was also startled, when going through recent games, that players somewhat younger than me (I am in my mid fifties) can occasionally lose their sharpness, and sometimes make uninspired mistakes. Just before the World Championship, Anand handled the opening dreadfully against Tiviakov, in the German Bundesliga, and was straightforwardly ground down in a Sicilian, where Anand played ...e7-e5, and lost control of the d5-square and the files and diagonals nearby. Kramnik, too, in his first game against Aronian, played almost unrecognisably. Could they, on bad days, play almost as badly as me? One bad loss happens, but it is important, if at all possible, not to start a string of bad losses. It is a question of match survival. In the two matches being examined, all four players lost a game, but they did not lose any further games. The problem is, if anything, more the opposite, an excess of “animal spirits”, a belief that if you have won one game, you can play whatever you like, and you are immune to mistakes. Both Aronian and Gelfand suffered from this. I felt slightly disappointed with the World Championship match, not because it was “boring”, but rather because there seem to have been several opportunities for both sides to try for an edge in many lines. Too often, the initiative tended to fizzle out much too quickly. If your position is clearly level throughout, then you have every right to offer or accept a fairly quick draw. If, on the other hand, one of the players had even the slightest of edges, that player should try to make the opponent suffer. A win plus four draws is better than five draws.

If the reader feels slightly disconcerted that there is such a switch between the first person and the third person, the second person – you – can have your point of view in the analysis. Imagine that I am sitting in my room, with the computer, trying to make sense of what is going on in a series of difficult positions, while being aware that the two players involved are vastly stronger than me. I know, however, that they occasionally make mistakes, as they do occasionally lose games. I am trying to assess, perhaps with the help of the computer, what is going on in a string of moves; to decide whether the player is seeing things more clearly than me, and finds a much better move than I was thinking of; or whether the player has made a mistake in a critical position, which I noticed; or whether, if the player and I chose different moves, both moves might be equally valid. Watching live chess games is one of the best ways of sharpening a player’s thinking. There is an immediacy which cannot be achieved just by going through games which have already been played, recorded and analysed. For a writer, maybe it is a useful prod for the reader to invite him, or her, to be asked what the player should be thinking, in a new position, in a book. Hence plenty of questions and answers.

After the live game, I try to analyse further, and I have been blogging it up. All the games in the Aronian-Kramnik match and the Anand-Gelfand match are written up in my blog, shakthinking, usually a day or two after the game. I though about deleting my comments in these games, before publication, but I decided against it. The shakthinking notes were merely an earlier draft, with, I have to admit, many typos (it’s difficult with only half of one eye working), and if I am able to find mistakes in my earlier annotations, then of course I can try to correct these mistakes for a later draft. It might still be useful for some readers to compare before and after notes.

Which leaves this to the more detailed questions of the reader. I am asking you, in effect, the same questions as I asked myself in playing through the games live. If I felt that a player has pushed a pawn too early, for example, I want to re-analyse the position. If I find that the player’s move was, after all, correct, that is fine, and I have learned something. If I find that the player has got it wrong, and I cannot see any way to disprove the argument I have made, then this is also knowledge. What I am asking you, the reader, is to go through the same exercises yourself.

Many of the exercise are open-ended. Remember that most of the games in this book end up in draws, and so there is no clear-cut winning line, or winning plan, that needs to be found. Instead, we are dealing far more with positional uncertainty. If there are apparently four reasonable moves in a given position (and the reader can check out these moves on the computer), which of these is the safe equalizing line? Or on a different set of four possible moves, one might give a fractional edge; another might be about equal; another might end up, after some tactics, with a repetition; while another, apparently equally promising, might end up with a slight disadvantage.

These exercises are based mainly on positional chess, on giving nothing away to the opponent. More specifically, they are based on fighting positional chess, on recognizing that your opponent will want to give nothing away, while you yourself do not want to give anything away. There is no assumption, in fighting positional chess, that everything will end up with a quick handshake after around a dozen moves; nor even in a quick win after a blunder by the opponent. No, these games are played out to the end, and well contested.


  • Preface 7
  • Introduction 9

  • Vladimir Kramnik-Levon Aronian, Zurich, April 2012 13

  • Game One: Kramnik-Aronian 13
  • Game Two: Aronian-Kramnik 27
  • Game Three: Kramnik-Aronian 34
  • Game Four: Aronian-Kramnik 47
  • Game Five: Kramnik-Aronian 56
  • Game Six: Aronian-Kramnik 67

  • World Championship, Anand-Gelfand, Moscow, May 2012 87

  • Game One: Anand-Gelfand 88
  • Game Two: Gelfand-Anand 96
  • Game Three: Anand-Gelfand 104
  • Game Four: Gelfand-Anand 122
  • Game Five: Anand-Gelfand 130
  • Game Six: Gelfand-Anand 138
  • Game Seven: Gelfand-Anand 147
  • Game Eight: Anand-Gelfand 157
  • Game Nine: Gelfand-Anand 165
  • Game Ten: Anand-Gelfand 180
  • Game Eleven: Gelfand-Anand 187
  • Game Twelve: Anand-Gelfand 195

The Sequel: Tie-Break Games 206

  • Seventh Tal Memorial, Moscow, June 2012 215
  • Round One: Carlsen-Kramnik 219
  • Round One: Radjabov-Tomashevsky 239
  • Round One: Morozevich-Caruana 247
  • Round Five: Radjabov-Carlsen 261
  • Round Six: Morozevich-Nakamura 275
  • Round Eight: Caruana-Kramnik 284
  • Final Notes 293

  • Index of Openings 295

  • Index of Games 296
Detaljert info
Innbundet? Nei
Type Bok
Språk Engelsk
Antall sider 296