If you've already absorbed the material from a basic book on positional chess, I can't think of a better way to grow your chess ability than to master these 45 lessons. As a strong club player (currently rated ~1980 on FICS) I was already familiar with many of the techniques, such as rook lifts and artificial castling, but Bronznik and Terekhin's explanations and analysis strengthened my understanding. Many of the techniques, such as bishop zigzags (to challenge an opponent's superior bishop) and the "Rubinstein's cxd5 after ....Nbd7" (to seize control of the c-file that can no longer be blocked by ...Nc6) were new to me, too.
Each lesson begins with a brief introduction of a technique and how you use it, using simplified explanatory diagrams where appropriate. The authors then provide game fragments (or occasionally whole games) that illustrate how grandmasters such as Capablanca, Botvinnik, or Kasparov used it to good advantage. Many books provide just one or two examples and move on, but Bronznik and Terekhin present a wealth of chess material: on average, 7 illustrative game fragments per technique. They are generous with diagrams; a single diagram suffices on the shorter game fragments, but when action continues 8 or more moves they almost always include an extra diagram or two. They do a good job explaining why grandmasters use the technique, but they do not hesitate to note other tactics and ideas in a position. They illustrate the zig-zag maneuver with Capablanca v. Alekhine (Game 25 of championship match, 1927), for example, but they also point out Alekhine's prophylactic ...Rc7, note a tactical shot that Capablanca had to avoid, and explain Alekhine's refusal to trade queens (it suppressed white's e4 pawn break). My head practically explodes every time I open the book!
While the abundant game fragments provide an excellent learning experience, the authors enhance the book's value by grouping similar techniques into chapters. For example, "Some Aspects of Piece Exchanges" contain the following techniques:
* Botvinnik's prescription: exchange those pieces which are protecting entry squares
* Exchanging bishops in order to weaken a complex of squares
* The bishop zigzag: neutralising the good bishop
* Capablanca's set-up in the Karlsbad structure
* Leave the opponent with his superfluous pieces
The book concludes with a detailed table of contents and indexes by player and opening. As always with New in Chess books, the production values (clarity, margins, paper, binding) are high quality. I enthusiastically recommend this book for club players rated 1500 and up; it is the best book on positional chess I have read since I studied Nimzovich's "My System" almost 40 years ago.
The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me in exchange for my honest review. My ratings of the publisher's books have ranged from 3 stars to 5 stars.