Strategy - it's the ultimate secret weapon for championship players from around the world. If you love chess but hate the idea of memorizing highly detailed sequences, this book is for you!
Drawing on his countless hours of tournament play and teaching experience, International Grand Master Yasser Seirawan shows you how to apply flexible strategic principles to every part of your game. You'll learn to play more forcefully and intelligently in any situation. And using Seirawan's simple and effective planning and analysis techniques, you'll enter each game with the confidence and energy you need to win every time!
- Knock your opponent off balance with bold opening moves
- Formulate an overall game strategy before the middle game
- Understand the motivation behind your opponent's every move
- Position yourself for a winning endgame
The numerous diagrams throughout the book illustrate game positions, and a special section features actual games of history's greatest chess strategists - follow them move by move!
For ready reference during actual practice games, or for reading from start to finish without a chessboard, 'Winning Chess Strategies' is an imaginative and information-packed resource you'll turn to again and again.
I have now written three books about "winning chess." All the rules and basic information were covered in my first book, Play Winning Chess; tactical themes were explored in my second book, Winning Chess Tactics; and now, in Winning Chess Strategies, I take you on a journey to a whole different level of chess understanding. On this level, you no longer spend entire games reacting to your opponent; instead, you are proactive. You think through a position, set a goal, and methodically find ways to reach it.
Hundreds of thousands of books have been written about chess. What can you hope to learn from this one? With all modesty, a lot. The aim of this book is simple: to make you think about chess in a different way. In my two previous books, I showed you chess as an art and a sport. In this book, I show you chess as a science. My goal in this book is to make you realize that behind the pushing of little wooden men around a checkered board lies a lot of thought. Some of the ideas that make up the science of chess have been used for centuries -millennia, in fact. They have been researched, recreated, and refined to suit our purposes and are used by today's Grandmasters to reach the perennial goal: to win that next game of chess.
To be able to understand the techniques I teach in the next eleven chapters, you should already know the following:
" You must know the rules of the game -how the pieces move, how to castle, what enpassant is, and so on. (You'll find all these rules explained in Play Winning Chess.)
" You must know the relative values of the pieces.
" You should be familiar with basic chess terminology. For those of you who don't know luft from a fork and counterplay from a blockade, I have added a glossary at the end of this book. If you come across a word or phrase you don't know, look it up in the glossary before continuing on; otherwise, you might miss a crucial bit of information in the explanation of a strategy or description of a game.
" You must be able to read algebraic chess notation. If you can't, the sample games will appear to be nothing but gibberish! (Algebraic chess notation is explained briefly in the glossary and more completely in P.lay Winning Chess.)
" Though not absolutely necessary, you will find it useful to know the four elements of chess-force (material), time, space, and pawn structure -and their associated principles, as described in Play Winning Chess.
With these humble building blocks, I will teach you how to understand what is happening in any given chess position and how to formulate a plan for success based on the clues you can find in the position. By focusing on the positional features rather than the tactical features of the game, you will learn to build your strategy slowly and confidently, secure in the knowledge that the fundamental principles you are following can't lead you astray.
But isn't positional chess boring? Isn't it more exciting to sacrifice a few pieces and hack your enemy's King to death? Yes, a sacrificial attack is enormous fun, but just as a skilled counter-punching boxer can eventually knock out a pure slugger, a skilled positional chess player can usually take the force out of an attack and grind his opponent into the dust. You will learn that haymaker blows must come from positionally superior situations, which means that even the finest attackers in history have had to master planning and strategy. Few amateur players work at developing their strategic skills, so the fact that you are reading this book should give you an enormous advantage over your competition. Imagine your opponents' positions falling apart again and again, and imagine their frustration when they can't figure out why they keep losing to you! As a player who earns his living on the strength of his strategic skills, I can attest to the fact that it's no fun being squeezed to death by a positionally savvy opponent. But it's oh-so satisfying to be the one who is doing the squeezing!
As in my previous books, I refer to all chess players as he. Boys and men continue to make up the vast majority of the chess playing public, though there are some encouraging indications that girls are becoming more interested in the sport. (For instance, a few girls now enroll in my chess camp for children in Wisconsin each summer.) Hopefully, some of them will read this book, and some of them will go on to tournament competition armed with the strategic skills they will learn here. Watch out men! They will be formidable opponents!
Yasser Seirawan Seattle, Washington, introduction