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Techniques of Positional Play: 45 Practical Methods to Gain the Upper Hand in Chess Paperback – Oct 16 2013


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Amazon.com: 17 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
45 Master Classes that Grow Your Chess Ability Oct. 9 2013
By Christopher J. Falter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Studying the classics Oct. 18 2013
By A. Ali - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just wanted to add my voice to that of the previous reviewer. We're told to study the classics, study the games of Rubinstein, Capablanca, and others -- but we're not taught what to look for. We don't understand the superior positional insight of those masters. This book -- the first to my knowledge -- makes it explicit. Even 2200 and 2300 players can learn from this book.

The book seems to have been published in Russian several years back and then translated into German in 2005. Only now in 2013 is it available in English. One wonders as to what other masterpieces they have available that haven't been translated.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book for Expanding Positional Technique Nov. 5 2013
By Glenn E. Mitchell II - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's still early November. Yet I'll be surprised if a better chess book is released in 2013 for the advance club player than Techniques of Positional Play by Valeri Bronznik and Anatoli Terekhin.

This is not a book for novices. Nor is it an introduction to the principles of positional chess. This is instead an excellent primer on the development of positional chess technique.

The very first technique is an excellent example: how to use a duo of wing pawns to paralyze the enemy knight. Ten examples follow. The next technique explores other ways of dominating knights with another eight examples.

This book is an English translation and adaptation of a Russian classic from FM Anatoli Terekhin. IM Bronznik has done a very effective job of organizing the book. The forty-five techniques are presented in ten chapters:
1.Restricting the enemy pieces
2.Creating breathing space for your pieces!
3.The clash between pawn formations
4.The rook pawn - an underrated fighter
5.Techniques in the fight for an open file
6.Some aspects of piece exchanges
7.Working with the king
8.Developing and activating the pieces
9.Along the diagonals
10.Other methods

There's also a small collection of practical exercises.

There is a brief introduction to each technique. Most are priyomes, so many also include an introductory diagram. A priyome, you ask? It's a Russian word for essential positional patterns.

For club players to improve, middlegame and endgame understanding is essential. If you work through the examples in this book with a chessboard in front of you, your chess technique is sure to be enhanced.

Strongly recommended for all advanced club and tournament players!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Great book about positional snapshots Oct. 28 2013
By Neiman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a book about little positional tricks, whose value should be very high for the club player. Some books deal with "Grand Strategy", (like the excellent "The Giants of Strategy" ,Mc Donald, at Everyman chess, or "Strategy for the club player", from Grooten,NIC).This books deals with many little ideas. For example,i n a symetrical position,white is pushing his a pawn all the way through from a2 to a6 (black has a pawn on a7). What does the first player want to achieve ? This is the trick the authors called "potential passed pawn" (technique n°14). Or how to restrict the enemy's bishop by putting our pawns on its colour (technique N°3 and followings). Or the "pendulum manoeuver" : in the Queen's Indian defense for example, the f8 bishop before to go the e7, first gives a check on b4,in order to disrupt the opponent's piece placing (technique n°36). The book will be of great use for trainers (like me), because to explain positional subtilities, it is nice to have several examples to show the pupils, and being able to name a specific trick is a big plus, especially as kids are involved. I believe that this book is an ideal guide for the player rated between 1300 to 2100, and also a precious tool for the trainer.
Emmanuel Neiman,from Paris.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of the Finest Chess Books Ever Dec 20 2013
By james sirotnik - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The other reviewers of this book have done a good job of describing just how great it is. The book is intended for advanced chess players. It has just enough diagrams so that on a first read you can get the ideas the author is trying to present without bothering to set up a board. The diagrams are ultra clear-very easy to work from. On a second read you could set up a board and follow some of the longer lines of play. The ideas presented provide a wealth of ways to conduct a chess game in that critical stage of going from the opening into the middle game. Many of the ideas persist even into the ending. The book helps explain just why great chess players made the moves they did in famous games. It has been like a Rosetta Stone for me as it unlocks the wealth of chess history and makes playing over the games of the great chess players of the past easier to understand. The author provides what I think is original material on topics like placing your pawns depending of what bishops are still on the board-as he repeats the rules given by others in the past but adds on the exceptions to those rules to watch out for. The book is a feast of ideas for any serious chess player who wishes to arm him/her self with positional weapons which are truly world class. This is a book which will launch a new crop of players who will make their mark on the chess world. An instant classic. In many ways it is a continuation of the ideas presented in John Love's Positional Ideas in Chess as it fleshes out those ideas with practical examples and adds many new ideas also. I feel this book will make it onto many lists of the best chess books ever written. It is so rich in content that you come away from it feeling that you have indeed been fortunate to have had access to it. Anyone reading this will experience a quantum leap in their chess playing strength.


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