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Bundesliga Arkadij Naiditsch

Chess Evolution July edition is coming hot this month to the online shop. With authors like Jobava, Naiditsch, Bacrot, Sokolov, Predojevic, Maze, and Meier, this month’s edition is going to be even better.

It includes strategies and opening keys of the recent Candidates matches, games of Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Nisipeanu and the others from Bazna, secret repertoire by Wesley So, Karjakin, Sasikiran, Le Quang Liem, Wojtaszek, Shirov, Caruana, Milton, all of these as a basis for what we can expect to unfold on the upcoming World Cup 2011 or Bilbao. There is also a special endgame section, while the games themselves are explained in a very human and understandable nature (see FREE example from July edition below).

lord of chess

If chess is your game then
Lord of Chess is your fashion line

Special offer

To celebrate the coming July edition, GM Naiditsch has joined Chessdom for live commentary of Biel and is making a special offer for the Chessdom audience:

If you get the March, May, and July edition there is a special discount price of 90 eur for the books, plus free shipping, and a free T-shirt from the Lord of Chess!

If you want the July edition only, then only during this week you can use a discount as well, both for CE and Lord of Chess.

For both promotions and free shipping send your request here

Example from July edition

Here is an example from the July edition, it is an annotation by GM Predojevic. To replay it in your own viewer, download the pgn here

Chess Informant 110 – Firebird Edition

World Champion Vishy Anand and 70 GMs annotating

Chess Informant 110

The current World Champion Vishy Anand in this volume joins a force of more than seventy prominent grandmasters, citizens from thirty-two countries, who analyze a total of 321 games and 387 game fragments.

Israeli grandmaster Michael Roiz, who analyzes six of his games for Chess Informant 110, called Informant “the last human chess book on earth.” Meaning that the focus is on good old human logic – on those moves that chess players consider as possible options during the game – rather than on computer generated variations.

We dare to say that Informant is closest to the idea of an “open source project” among similar publications. It goes without saying that chess players utilize contemporary technology to check their calculations; however, it is the players who sign their names to the game.

Chess Informant 110 also introduces the following new content:

• A selection of chess problems prepared by International Solving Grandmaster and Grandmaster of Chess Compositions Milan Velimirovic. This column is meant to offer more than just problems for solving, but to bring insights from the professional point of view into the secrets of the chess problem world.

• The section “The Excellent Move” presents aesthetically pleasing and charming positions that do not fit the strict definition of beginning with a sacrifice for inclusion in our Combinations section.

• In “Chess Informant Laboratory,” five selected grandmasters give their personal take on the latest trends in opening theory. In Chess Informant 110 the following lines are presented: B48 Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation; B81 Sicilian Defense, Keres Attack; B94 Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation; D07 Queen’s Gambit, Chigorin Defense; and D85 Grünfeld Defense, Exchange Variation.

Beyond the collection of annotated games and standard columns – which includes the best games and most important theoretical novelties from the previous volume, and sections of chess studies, combinations, and endings – the “Modern Chess Theory” column, presented in encyclopedic style, presents surveys of three variations: B66 Sicilian Defense, Richter-Rauzer Attack; C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense; and C95 Ruy Lopez, Breyer Variation. The best creation of Sergey Karjakin is presented in this volume as well.

The Safest Grunfeld by Alexander Delchev and Evgenij Agrest

Sample from the new book, part one

The Safest Grunfeld by Alexander Delchev and Evgenij Agrest offers a complete repertoire for Black against 1.d4 and various Anti-Grunfeld systems as 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3, 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b4, 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3.

The book follows Chess Stars trademark structure with 3 chapters in every part. “Main Ideas” aim to give you a succinct review of the theory and the basic knowledge that should you allow to start playing the opening without much study. They also give examples of middlegame plans and typical tactical motifs, to complement the “Step by Step” and “Complete Games” chapters.

In most main lines, the authors offer at least two alternative setups for Black – one solid system, and a more challenging approach. The material is up to date to April first. Here is the link to the Index of Variations and a sample of the book.


In this part, I deal with systems
where White develops his bishop to
g5. Line A is devoted to 4.Bg5 while
line B considers its “improved” version
4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5.

The first test of this system was
the game Alekhine-Grünfeld, Vienna
1922. It saw 4.Bg5 Ne4! and the
future World champion unexpectedly
answered with 5.cxd5. This
probably took the godfather of the
opening, Grünfeld, unaware as he
failed to find the best continuation.
(nevertheless he won the game)

It was demonstrated a year later:
5…Nxg5 6.h4 Ne4! 7.Nxe4 Qxd5
8.Nc3 Qa5 9.h5 Bg7 10.h6 Bf6 11.e4

Safest Grunfeld 1

Euwe-Von Hoorn, Amsterdam 1923

12.e5 cxd4!, with a big advantage.

For half a century White did not
come up with any fresh ideas until
the year 1970. Then the Bg5 system
enjoyed a burst of popularity, connected
with the novel move 5.Bh4.
Black reacted with the thematic
…c5, but Taimanov won a number
of games which put the whole
Black’s setup under question. The
turn of the tide was the game Mecking-Fischer, Buenos Aires 1970

Bobby Fischer played here 5…
Nxc3! 6.bxc3 dxc4! 7.e3 Be6!. His
idea marked the beginning of a new
era in the development of the Bg5
system. It is the foundation of our
proposed repertoire, although we
also provide a more solid and safe
setup as a backup line.

The improved branch of the Bg5
system – 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5, had similar
development. In the beginning,
White linked it with the idea
to grab the d5-pawn after 5…Ne4

Safest Grunfeld 3

6.cxd5, using the fact that the
g5-bishop was defended. Of course,
Black could easily regain the pawn,
but not without concessions:
6…Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Qd2 exd5
9.Qe3+ Kf8, losing the right to castle.
So Black should play first 8…h6
9.Nf3 and only then recapture the

The resulting Carlsbad pawn
structure with …h6 on the kingside
was assessed as slightly better for
White. However, Black gradually
learned how to cope with this approach.
He found a good manoeuvre
– before castling, the g7-bishop
returned to f8 and then went to d6
to support play on both flanks.

it turned out that Black
was not even obliged to level the
pawns. Firstly Korchnoi tried 7…
c6?!, and then 7…0-0!? was discovered.
Thus about 1970, White had
to borrow the retreat to h4 from the
4.Bg5 variation. As a result, after
6.Bh4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4, instead of
having an extra pawn, White was
playing a real gambit.

A. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5

Objectives and Move Orders

Similarly to the previous part,
White leads out his bishop, intending
to complete development with
e3. The big difference is that instead
of targeting the c7-pawn, which is a
remote threat, he now simply wants
to snatch the central pawn on d5.

Black has not a convenient way to
defend it so he will have to take on
c4. However, he should first exchange
his f6-knight to reduce the
number of minor pieces which is
important in a cramped position.
The immediate 4…dc?! 5.e4 Bg7
6.Bxc4 0-0 7.Ne2! would be horrible
for Black so he answers with:


This is by no means the only
move. Svidler’s efforts in the early
1990s popularised the amazing
move 4…Bg7!?. Practice has confirmed
that Black gets good compensation
for the central pawn.
Still, I advocate the opposite approach
- instead of sacrificing a
pawn, to pocket one. It gives more
chances to win.


5.Nxe4 deprives White of the f3-
square. Black can use this to attack
the central dark squares, e.g.: 5…
dxe4 6.e3 Bg7 7.Ne2 c5 8.Qd2 h6!
9.Bf4. Now simplest is 9…e5! 10.Bxe5
Bxe5 11.dxe5 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2 Nc6
13.Nc3 Bf5 14.Be2 0-0-0+ 15.Kc2
Nxe5 16.Rad1 Be6 17.b3 f5=.

5…Nxc3! 6.bxc3 dxc4 7.e3

Safest Grunfeld 2

Our plan is to finish development
with …Nd7-b6, …Bg7, and
…0-0. Then we’ll wait for an opportunity
to push …c7-c5. If White
played e3-e4, we should be ready
to stop his central expansion with
…f7-f5 or …e7-e5. Whenever White
plays a4, we blockade the pawn
with …a5 and attack the target on
a4 with …Bd7, possibly …Qe8.

A1. 8.Be2 Nd7!? 9.d5?! Bf5
10.Qd4 Rg8

Black has the initiative. For instance,
11.e4? Bg7 12.Qxc4 would
fail to 12…Bxe4.

A2. 8.Qb1?! c5!

9.Qxb7 Bd5 10.Qb5+ Qd7!
11.Rb1 Qxb5 12.Rxb5 Nd7 13.Ne2
e5 14.f3 Bg7
Black has completed development with a roughly equal position.

A3. 8.Rb1 c5! An idea of Agrest.

9.Rxb7 Qa5 10.Ne2 Bd5

Black has full compensation for
the pawn and an easy game, for instance: 11.Qb1 (11.Rb2 Nd7) 11…
Nd7 12.Rb5 Qa3.

A4. 8.Nf3 Nd7!?

9.Be2 (9.d5 Bg4 10.Qd4 Bxf3 is fine for Black.)

9…Nb6 10.0-0 Bg7

Safest Grunfeld 4

Here White can try to build up
play on the kingside with e3-e4,
or on the opposite flank with Qc2,
Nd2, Bf3.

B. 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4

I chose this move for our repertoire
because it offers Black active pieces
and clear plans. Alternatives are 5…
dxc4 and 5…0-0!?.

B1. 6.Bf4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5
8.e3 0-0 9.cxd5 cxd4! 10.cxd4
Qxd5 11.Be2 Nc6 12.0-0 Bf5=

Had White’s bishop been on h4,
White would have been better due
to the pressure on e7 and the d8-
h4 diagonal. From f4, the bishop
is hitting void. Even more, in many
variations, when the d5-queen had
retreated to a5, …e7-e5 will be with

B2. 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5

Safest Grunfeld 5

I prefer this move to 7…e6 or 7…
c6?!. Now we threaten to regain the
pawn with 8…e6 or even meet 8.e3
with the sharp 8…c6 9.dxc6 e5!? so
White retreats with:

8.Nf3 c6 9.dxc6 Nxc6 10.e3

Black has full compensation for
the pawn:
11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Be2 Nxf3+
13.Bxf3 Be6 14.0-0 Qa5 15.Qc2
Rab8, Smyslov-De la Villa, Barcelona
1990, or:
11.d5 e4 12.Nxe4 Bf5 13.Nc3
Nb4 14.Rc1 Qa5.

B3. 6.Bh4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4!

8.e3 b5! 9.a4 c6 does not give
White substantial compensation so
he commonly answers in Catalan

8.Qa4+ Qd7! 9.Qxc4 b6!
10.e3 Ba6 11.Qb3 Bxf1 12.Kxf1
0-0 13.Ke2

It is obvious that Black’s only
reasonable plan is connected with
…c7-c5, but I prefer to execute it
when we’ll be better mobilised.

Safest Grunfeld 6

13…Nc6!? 14.Rhd1 Na5
15.Qb4 e6! 16.Rac1 Rfc8 17.c4

Now 18.dxc5 Qb7 19.cxb6 axb6
would give Black excellent compensation
while 18.Qb5 is also sharp
and unbalanced: 18…Qb7 19.d5
exd5 20.cxd5.

Commentary on the Laws of Chess

Second expanded edition of the book by IA, FM and IO Mihajlo Savic

Mihajlo Savic

Mihajlo Savic

The second expanded edition of the book “Commentary on the Laws of Chess” by IA, FM and IO Mihajlo Savic is out of print. With 304 pages, this edition is almost three times larger than the previous one, as it includes comments on many practical examples.

As extra content, the book includes FIDE Title Regulations and FIDE Rating Regulations. Hard cover. More information and orders on the author’s website.

The Reference Book of Chess Laws (Foreword to the first edition)

Chess is a game which, throughout its history, changed its rules a number of times. With the introduction of the chess clock, time was automatically accepted as a decisive factor in the outcome of a chess game. Thus, we developed new disciplines such as rapid and blitz chess which, by all odds, cannot be subject to the same rules applied in standard chess.

Such factors affected the constant evolvement and elaboration of the Laws of Chess, laid down by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The chess reference books previously written in our language are not sufficient for proper interpretation of all changes, hence the need for publishing something new.

The main role of this book is to provide chess arbiters, as well as all players and chess-related workers, with not only a translation of FIDE Chess Laws, but also their interpretation – in one place. The author of this book, FIDE Master Mihajlo Savic, as an international chess arbiter, is certainly fully qualified to offer a translation and such explanations which will be acceptable to all.

We have witnessed in many chess tournaments how players, and even chess arbiters, can misinterpret certain rules, and this book will undoubtedly help them to clear up some disputable situations. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I recommend this book, which will, I believe, very much have influence in avoiding some of the quandaries in our tournaments, since, in my opinion, the result of a chess game can only be just if achieved over a chess board.

Zlatko Ilincic, Grandmaster


Svetozar Gligoric, Instead of Review – 5

Nikola Karaklajic, The Book Necessary to Any Chess Player – 6

Zlatko Ilincic, The Reference Book of Chess Laws – 7

Word From the Author – 8

Comments on the Laws of Chess – 19

The FIDE Laws of Chess – 21

Basic Rules of Chess – 28

Competition Rules – 87

Appendices – 165

International Title Regulations of FIDE – 203

Regulation for the Titles of Arbiters – 251

Regulations for the Classifications of the Chess Arbiters – 260

List of the Lecturers for the FIDE Arbiters Seminars – 265

FIDE Rating Regulations – 267

Forms – 291

About the Author – 302

Jouez la Scandinave by GM Christian Bauer

New book by the respected author will cover the Scandinavian defence (expected in June 2010)

The new book by GM Christian Bauer “Jouez la Scandinave” (“Play the Scandinavian” is the working English title, not fixed yet) will cover the opening moves 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 and then 3…Qa5 in case of the most frequent 3.Nc3. The book is intended to provide solutions for both playing sides, but perhaps a tad more from the black point of view.

The publisher is the respected house “Quality Chess”, and the book should be out of print in June 2010. Index bellow.


Brief Introduction by GM Christian Bauer

From Chapter 1 I will discuss the different possible deviations from the main theoretical path, for one side or the other, starting with the insipid 2.d3 or the dubious 2.d4, for instance (Chapter 1). More serious attempts of getting an opening edge for White will be examined throughout this work, in the later Chapters, such as 3.d4 or 3.Nf3, or else 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4.

Instead of the common …Bf5/…c6 system, I will also deal with lines including a quick …Nc6 and/or …Bg4. The last Chapter of the book will cover the current main line, 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 c6 7.Bd2 e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ gxf6.

All in all, the book is designed to treat the whole 3…Qa5 approach, point the critical lines and ideas, and provide the reader with the latest theoretical development.

I hope the reader will enjoy this work and find the answers to all questions!


Chapter 1: 1.e4 d5 others than 2.exd5 and 2.Nc3 i.e. Tennisson 2.Nf3 & Blackmar-Diemer Gambits, 2.e5 & 2.d3

Chapter 2: 1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 d4 and 2…dxe4

Chapter 3: 2…Qxd5 3.Nc3, Nf3 or d4 i.e. : 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.d4 & 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 (with possible transpositions after 3…Nc6/Bg4 4.Nf3/Be2 Bg4/Nc6 5.d4/Be2

Chapter 4: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4. others than 4.Bc4, 4.d4 and 4.Nf3 namely 4.b4, and 4.g3 with the idea Nge2/Nf3

Chapter 5: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Nf3 followed by Be2, h3/Bd3 or Bc4

Chapter 6: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Short’s System (4…Bg4!)

Chapter 7: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Dxd5 3.Cc3 Da5 4.d4 Cf6 5.Bc4 (4…Bg4!)

Chapter 8: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bd2

Chapter 9: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 miscellaneous 6.Be2, 6. 6.Bd2, 6.Bd3

Chapter 10: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 c6 7.g4, 7.Bd3 7.Bc4

Chapter 11: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 e6 others than 7.Bd2 and 7.Bd2 c6 others than 8.Qe2 or 8.Nd5/e4

Chapter 12: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bd2 c6 8.Qe2 Bb4

Chapter 13: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bd2 c6 8.Ne4 & 8.Nd5

Christian Bauer square

GM Christian Bauer

Grandmaster Secrets – The Caro-Kann

Written by GM Peter Wells, book review

A friend asked me to bring him this book from Greece, and so I did, but it somehow ended up in my possession again. The last time I played Caro-Kann was in junior tournaments, when my “brilliant” plan was to go with 3…dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6 gxf6(!) and then harass the opposing castle along the semi-open g-file. As soon as other kids started rebuffing my attacks, I lost the interest in this opening and switched to French defence.

I hugely enjoy books with large blocks of text explanations, and GM Peter Wells surely provided lots of it. Even if I told myself that learning a new opening from the scratch is not worth the needed time and energy, I was all the same curious as to what can be said about such a seemingly simple opening.

Peter Wells

GM Peter Wells (photo by Helen Milligan)

In the Introduction – The Nature of the Caro-Kann, GM Wells immediately tackles on the common descriptions of the opening – ‘solid’, ‘passive’, ‘drawish’. He starts by saying that – “the prospect of obtaining a sound position from which it is simply possible to ‘play chess’ is an important part of this opening’s appeal”. Further, he argues that most of the theoretical material in the book, most notably chapters on the Advance Variation, presents plenty of sharp, double-edged positions where Black obtains a solid base to play for a win.

Finally, the evolution of the modern chess, when more and more players are seeking to exploit the dynamic potential in any given position, has helped raising the profile of previously under-estimated openings, including the Chebanenko Slav and Caro-Kann.

The book is titled “Grandmaster Secrets: The Caro-Kann”, but it is actually organized as other editions from the Gambit’s successful “Chess Explained” series, although in larger 172-page format. This means 25 recent games, played by Grandmasters, are thoroughly annotated, with special attention given to theoretical explanations and analysis, and divided into appropriate chapters:

1. Main Line with 4…Bf5

2. Main Line with 4…Nd7

3. Main Line with 4…Nf6

4. Advance Variation: Sharp Lines and Black’s Early Alternatives

5. Advance Variation: Short System and Other Modern Treatments

6. Panov-Botvinnik Attack and 2.c4

7. Miscellaneous Systems for White

I will just briefly reflect on the first chapter. In the lead up, Peter Wells explains why is 4…Bf5 a “leveling” system and how White most likely has to push his pawn to h5 and trade Bishops on d3 if he wants to fight for the opening advantage. The first game, K.Georgiev – Nisipeanu, features the move order 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Bf5 5 Ng3 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nf3 Nd7 8 h5 Bh7 9 Bd3 Bxd3 10 Qxd3 e6 11 Bf4 Qa5+ 12 Bd2 Qc7, where Black is also preparing to castle queenside. The play will most likely proceed to a typical ending, for which the author splendidly explains all the fine detail, like when to exchange and when to keep the Queens or the Rooks. The pros and cons of other, earlier exchanges, are also elaborated, as well as all the nuances behind White’s Ne4 and Ne5 jumps.

The second game, Haba – Gyimesi, deals with the much sharper position where Black castles short and allows White Bishop to remain on f4. In addition to guiding us how to fend off White’s dangerous attack, GM Wells touches upon the recently popularised “disruptive” options for Black, namely 11. Bf4 Bb4+!? and 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Bb4!? Final bonus to this game are the subtle points that turn the immediate 11. Bd2 into an unsatisfactory option.

This, and much more, awaits you in the complete guide written by an acclaimed theoretician. Peter Wells will tickle your imagination and encourage you to expand your horizons. After reading this book, you will be armed with knowledge and boosted in confidence to take up the Caro-Kann irrespectively of opponent’s name or rating. Enjoy the journey.

Goran Urosevic

More on chess books

Featured Chess Author – GM Mikhail Golubev

Mikhail is author of three highly acclaimed books

As the still young and already very informative website Chessdom requested, I will try to introduce myself as a chess books author. I wrote three opening books and also one chapter for the book Experts versus the Sicilian. Subjects of all these works were openings / systems that I played for something like 20 years, so perhaps it would be correct to say that I try to choose topics which are familiar to me. From other point of view, even 30 (already) years of playing experience in some other openings, for example 3.Nc3 against French Defence with White, do not give me impression that I am ready to prepare reference work about them: I still do not know and feel the topic for that adventure.

My books can be of interest to chess players who are at least a bit serious about their openings. Every of these three books required quite serious efforts from my part (and, it is necessary to add, considerable editorial efforts by the publishers). Some 50-60 articles on various topics can be compared with a book by overall size of material (and maybe by size of the fee?) – but in case of book, the amount of required time and energy per page is several times higher. Partly it is because every book needs a consistency in presentation and reasonable balance between all its parts.


Mikhail Golubev against Anatoly Karpov

In all my books, references to games with assessments and analysis occupied most of the space. Maybe it is important to be entertaining, but when there was a choice between putting some joke and additional chess stuff (which may be of help to a reader to win a game or avoid a loss), almost always I decided in favour of the second option. And these side notes can be really useful. If, for example, the undoubtedly best King’s Indian player of the present, Teimour Radjabov, who as I know owns a copy of my book Understanding the King’s Indian, would read or re-read a relevant part of this book before his 2008 game versus Shirov, he would have avoided the unnecessary opening catastrophe in the old and seemingly unpopular line: he just forgot the order of moves.

While my favourite book is Lev Polugaevsky’s Rozhdenie Varianta, among books that I like very much are also Encyclopaedia Volume B (1984) and Sergei Tiviakov’s book B75-B76 (1995). Until recently, I easily could have imagined myself, doing something similar: a book without any textual explanations at all. Still, the trend (which can be seen in my books too) is such that text becomes to be more and more important part of an opening book: one who needs just games and analysis has more and more reasons to limit him/herself to databases and engines. What I suspect most of people do. Still, I am sure that for the ultimate majority of beginners it is not possible to learn an opening properly without this or that book (and the Encyclopaedia should not be one’s first opening book, too).


Between rounds at the Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup

If I will ever write any more books, most likely my next book would be about the Sicilian Dragon. It is very possible that in the future I could be involved in the non-opening book projects: in any case, this is more likely prospect for me than writing an opening book on any topic other that the Dragon, the Fischer/Sozin Attack and the King’s Indian. Outside of these three topics, I can call myself an expert only in some specific, very thin opening directions: nothing that deserves to be covered in a whole book.

I am following games from events of various levels, played in ‘my’ openings and, based on all what I see, I do not feel that I led people astray in my books. Also, in my games I am trying to follow suggestions from my books, and as a rule it brings good results. For example, in 2006 I used a (unused by anyone until then) novelty from my 2001 book, and defeated GM Kovchan with a surprising ease. Or 20-moves win against GM Lupulescu in 2002, which even changed slightly the fashion in the B57 Benko Variation. But I can now recall at least one case when such approach led me to a direct opening catastrophe, a +/- assessment: it was in the game against Almasi in 2003 (in my book I trusted too much a suggestion of another player). In several other cases, as rapid games against Lautier in 2006 and Karpov in 2008, my lines (novelties) were maybe not too bad as such, but were prepared not thoroughly enough. These were lessons to learn, and I see that something certainly can be improved (if not my play, about which I am uncertain, but my work on the opening books is considered).


Former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov and Mikhail Golubev

My brief chess biography is available at the web page www.geocities.com/mikhail_golubev. Winning the Ukrainian championship in Yalta, 1996 was my most notable chess success. There I also scored my third and final GM norm, after Lucerne 1994 and Biel 1995. The best ELO performances that I showed were, perhaps, at Karvina open 1992/93 and at Bethune open 2002 (around 2700 both times) and only then goes Berlin 1993 and Yalta, etc. If quality/sensibility of play in considered, I rather prefer my games from Chemnitz 1998 or, partly, from Biel 1992.

Starting from the year 2000 my main occupation is chess journalism – though I continue to play and even did it quite a lot in the year 2006. Since a lot of useful information is still available in the print form only (book, magazines, ‘old notebooks’), my home in Odessa, Ukraine, is the usual place for my work on the chess books. But I did some parts of work in other places, too. In Bucharest 2001 I was working on the very final corrections to the Sicilian Sozin book in the internet cafe for 14 straight hours. The man from the internet cafe staff told me ‘I am working for 12 straight hours, and you sat here even longer’. I sent all the stuff to the Gambit Publications tireless editor Graham Burgess – and (I also played in a tournament!) few days later I won in Bucharest one of my most curious games ever in the Fischer/Sozin Attack, against IM Gergely Szabo. It was already too late to make any additions to the book. But this is how it goes.

Mikhail Golubev

Gloubev Dragon

Easy Guide to the Dragon (Everyman 1999)

The Dragon is in many ways the most logical way for Black to play the Sicilian. He develops his pieces quickly and aggressively, challenging White to attack before Black consolidates his positional pluses, or turns them into a devastating counterattack. The Easy Guide to the Dragon shows Black’s best responses to all lines, focusing particularly on the critical Yugoslav Attack. It shows up-to-date, detailed coverage by a leading Dragon specialist and includes recommendations for White. Golubev has devoted particular attention to the Yugoslav Attack with 9-0-0-0, a fashionable system which is his recommendation for White.

Gloubev Sozin

The Sicilian Sozin (Gambit 2001)

A life-long Sozin devotee explains the subtleties of this aggressive system for White. The Sozin Attack is White’s most overtly aggressive counter to the Sicilian. White puts his bishop on c4, and often follows up with direct play against the black king. Unless Black defends with the utmost precision, the bishop’s influence often fuels a deadly attack leading to a cascade of sacrifices and a brutal king-hunt. The Sozin set-up can be employed against the Classical Sicilian, the Najdorf and even the Scheveningen. This book presents in detail the theory of the Sozin in all its forms, including the razor-sharp Velimirovic Attack.

Golubev kid

Understanding The King’s Indian (Gambit 2006)

Despite its sharp and aggressive nature, the King’s Indian is an opening that lends itself well to discussion in terms of plans, ideas and pawn-structures. Those who are familiar with these underlying themes will enjoy an enormous practical advantage when facing those who lack this understanding, even if they are theoretically well-prepared. Golubev is ideally qualified to provide a realistic and informative guide to the King’s Indian: he has played it for the whole of his chess career, scoring many devastating victories. He draws upon this extensive experience to choose the most instructive games and positions, and to provide a wealth of insightful tips.

All book descriptions by Gambit Publications and Everyman Chess

Featured Chess Author – GM Efstratios Grivas

Grandmaster, Writer, Organizer and FIDE Senior Trainer

Efstratios Grivas was born in Egio, Achaia, on March 30th 1966. He grew up in Athens, in the neighbourhood of Kallithea, as his family moved to the Greek capital in 1970. His registration at the Kallithea Chess Club in 1979 was his first contact with chess. His chess evolution was immediate and rapid, as only two years later he won the Greek Cadet Championship, under the coaching guidance of FM Panagiotis Drepaniotis (1979-1981). It immediately became clear that he was a very talented young chessplayer, capable of great achievements in his chosen sport.

Efstratios Grivas in his own words

“I used to play chess a lot in my younger years achieving my piece of success in the chess community. Nowadays it is not the same anymore as I have stopped playing professionally for about 10 years already. In this past period I worked for about three years in the stock market and then I decided that I could start a carrier in the chess training and writing field.”

“I cooperated with many players of various strengths and with the Greek and Turkish Chess Federations. At this moment I occupy the position of the Head Trainer of the National Men Team of Turkey and I am spending about a weak per month in this country.”


Efstratios with his children Katerina and Michalis

“Of course I am writing a lot, having already published 7 books in the English language and I am cooperating in a regular base with the most important world chess publications. All the above means that I am still spending at least half of my life around chess and that’s probably the best I can do as the other half is already dedicated to my wife and my two beautiful children!”

More about his competitive chess career

The course of Efstratios Grivas’ chess career fulfilled expectations as, under the guidance of his trainers IM Dr.Nikolai Minev (1981-1982), FM Michalis Kaloskambis (1984-1986), GM Efim Geller (1987-1988) and IM Nikolai Andrianov (1990-1996), he conquered all (Greek and International) titles awarded by the Greek Chess Federation and the International Chess Federation (FIDE). A significant role in his development was played by the training he received in Moscow in 1984 by outstanding members of the chess world.

Up to this day Efstratios Grivas has played in Greece for the following clubs: Kallithea Chess Club (1979-1994), OAA “Iraklion” (1995-1998), Kavala Chess Club (1999), AO “Kydon” Khania (2000-2005) and A.E.K. (2006-). One has to mention his rich contribution to the Greek National Teams, as from 1982 until 1999 (when he retired) he represented the country 186 times (12 in the National Junior Team and 174 in the National Men’s Team), having participated in eight Olympiads (1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998), three European Team Championships (1989, 1992, 1997), twelve Balkaniads (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994) and various other events.


Efstratios Grivas and World Champion Viswanathan Anand

During his competitive activity Efstratios Grivas emerged victorious at least once in each of the categories of the Greek Championships in which he participated, and also won several individual and team medals in Balkaniads, Acropolis international tournaments etc. His greatest success was winning the Silver Individual Medal (on the 3rd board) in the 33rd Chess Olympiad in 1998; this remains the only Olympic medal Greece has ever won to this day. Other important successes were the Gold Individual Medal (on the 3rd board) in the European Team Championship in 1989, 4th place in the World Junior Championship in 1985, 1st place in the 1987 Munich international tournament (320 participants), 11th individual place (on the 4th board) in the 32nd Chess Olympiad in 1996, qualification of his club (OAA “Iraklion”) to Europe’s best 16 clubs in 1997 (European Club Cup) and several good placements in international tournaments: 3rd in Paris 1982, 1st in Cap d’Agde 1983, 2nd in Karditsa 1984, 3rd in Bucharest 1984, 2nd in Strasbourg 1985, 2nd in Munich 1986, 3rd in Xanthi 1991, 2nd in Gausdal 1993, 3rd in Reykjavik 1994, 2nd in Limassol 1997, 1st in Hellexpo-Sportexpo 2001, 1st in the inaugural Greek Internet Championship in 2002 (chess.gr) and others. In 1996 he was voted chessplayer of the year in the first Greek Chess Media poll.

Efstratios Grivas has also pursued a multitude of other activities:

Author: From 1982 on he successfully worked as a journalist in newspapers and magazines (in Greek and in English). Between January 1992 and September 1999 he was editor-in-chief and main contributor of the monthly magazine of the Greek Chess Federation, Greek Chess. Moreover, from 1984 to this day he has written 42 chess books, essays and studies (in Greek and in English), that are used as the basis for the chess improvement of hundreds of young chessplayers.

Administrator – Organizer: He was a founding member of the Association of Top Greek Chessplayers (1995) and has since been a member of its Policy Board (Executive Secretary 1996-1997 and Vice-President since 1998). From 1996 until 1999 he held the position of Greek Chess Federation Technical Advisor, his main duties including the Competition Calendar (scheduling – application), the organization of chess events of any kind and the promotion of chess all over Greece in general. Finally, he served as a member of FIDE’s Players’ Council (1998-2002). He holds the titles of FIDE International Organizer (was a co-organizer of the 1999 European Youth Championships in Litochoro Pierias with more than 1000 participants), FIDE International Arbiter and FIDE Senior Trainer, titles that are awarded according to specific requirements and are not honorary.


Training session in Antalya

Trainer: His work in this field includes more than 5000 hours of training in many clubs, especially with younger players. From 1986 to 1991 he was the Federal Trainer of the National Juniors Team, while he has developed or greatly assisted several Greek chessplayers that today are members of the Greek National Teams, with the titles of GM and IM (and Greek Champions in their respective categories), such as Hristos Banikas, Anna-Maria Botsari, Spyridon Kapnisis, Konstantinos Moutousis, Anastasios Michailidis, Ioulia and Evanthia Makka, Andreas Tzermiadianos and others. During the period 1989-1990 he was the Trainer of the DEI Macedonia-Thrace Chess Academy, while during 1996-1998 and 2002-2004 he held the same position in Pnevmatiki Stegi Peristeriou Chess Club and finally during 2002-2005 he worked with Koropi Sports and Chess Club as well. In 2001-2002 he worked as a professor at the Institute of Professional Education in Peristeri and as External Contributor with O.E.E.K. (Sports Department – Chess Trainer Faculty) while from 2001-2004 he also offered his chess services to the Military Officers’ Academy. Since 2003 he cooperates with the Greek Chess Federation as a Federal Trainer in multiple training programs. Finally, since 2006 he also cooperates with the Turkish Chess Federation as a Federal Trainer.

Business activities: At a very young age (Thessaloniki, 1988-1990) he practiced business development and management. During 1999-2002 he was active in financial services, as he is trained and certified in subjects related to Mutual Funds, Stock Market Options and Futures and Company Internal Auditing.

Books written by GM Efstratios Grivas (English editions)


A Complete Guide to the Grivas Sicilian (Gambit 2005)

This book is in every way a definitive guide: Efstratios Grivas provides the inside story on a variation of the Sicilian Defence that he has worked for more than 20 years to perfect, and which rightly bears his name. The Grivas Sicilian (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Qb6) has proved itself sound and reliable in practice, but is also far less well investigated than most Sicilian systems. This gives it an extra sting in practice, which readers will be able to use to their advantage over the board – it is most unlikely that their opponents will have a well-worked-out response ready. The Grivas Sicilian generally leads to positions akin to the Scheveningen, but with some subtle differences. Grivas explains these subtleties at length, helping readers to exploit all their chances to seize the initiative.


Beating the Fianchetto Defences (Gambit 2006)

Grivas provides a full and detailed repertoire for White against five important openings: the Grünfeld, King’s Indian, Benoni, Benko and Modern. In each case, he has recommended a line in which he has a wealth of experience, and has played a significant personal role in developing over many years. The recommendations are geared towards posing Black unconventional problems: your opponents will not be able to churn out lengthy memorized variations, but will need to solve problems at the board in positions that are somewhat different in character from those normally reached in these openings. Grivas has also chosen the repertoire so that it forms a seamless whole, and will fit alongside an English or Réti move-order, in addition to a standard 1 d4 repertoire.


Chess College 1: Strategy (Gambit 2006)

Chess College is a new series of books to take intermediate players to new levels of chess understanding. New ideas are introduced and immediately illustrated by a number of entertaining and instructive examples, many drawn from the author’s own practice. Volume 1: Strategy introduces a variety of topics, including: “Why do we lose?”, Attack on the King, Two Bishops, Passed Pawn, Exchange Sacrifice, Positional Sacrifice, and Outpost. By drawing extensively upon his own games, Grivas is able to explain exactly what was going on over the board, and avoids the pitfall of providing overfamiliar, clichéd examples. This is part of a three-volume series that provides a wealth of instruction on many aspects of chess middlegames.


Chess College 2: Pawn Play (Gambit 2006)

Chess College is a new series of books to take intermediate players to new levels of chess understanding. New ideas are introduced and immediately illustrated by a number of entertaining and instructive examples, many drawn from the author’s own practice. Volume 2: Pawn Play discusses aspects of pawn play that are vital to successful chess, such as: Semi-open File, Isolated Pawn, Doubled Pawns, Backward Pawn, Hanging Pawns, Pawn Majority, Pawn Minority, Central Break. By drawing extensively upon his own games, Grivas is able to explain exactly what was going on over the board, and avoids the pitfall of providing overfamiliar, clichéd examples. This is part of a three-volume series that provides a wealth of instruction on many aspects of chess middlegames.


Chess College 3: Technique (Gambit 2006)

Chess College is an exciting new series of chess books to take intermediate players to new levels of chess understanding. New ideas are introduced and immediately illustrated by a number of entertaining and instructive examples, many drawn from the author’s own practice. Volume 3: Technique features topics including the central break, bishop vs. knight, standard sacrifices against the castled position, opposite-coloured bishops, and immobilization, and discussions on topics such as how to handle won positions and lost positions, and positions with small advantages, together with a wealth of training tips. This book completes a three-volume series that provides a wealth of instruction on many aspects of chess middlegames.


Modern Chess Planning (Gambit 2007)

Good planning is central to good chess. A plan gives meaning to manoeuvres and tactical devices, forming a coherent whole that brings us closer to our goals. The modern understanding of chess planning has evolved considerably since the days of the “grand plan”, whereby a player might even try to map out the whole course of the game. Nowadays, top-class players appreciate that the opponent’s ideas also deserve respect, and our own plans must take them into account too. Modern grandmasters plan with great purpose but also flexibly, ready to adjust or even change direction completely when the situation demands it.

Grivas provides 75 superb practical examples where it is important to make the right plan. Once the critical position is reached, he guides you through the options and challenges you to find the right path.


Practical Endgame Play – Mastering the Basics: The essential guide to endgame fundamentals (Everyman 2008)

How can you improve your chess? It’s not by chance that the top players say: ‘Study the endgame!’ This is because a great number of encounters reach the endgame, and studying these positions will teach you how to convert winning positions, and how to save or even overturn inferior ones. Moreover, it’s a well-known fact that studying endgames undoubtedly enhances other aspects of your play.

Practical Endgame Play is a comprehensive guide to all fundamental chess endings, and a godsend for those looking to improve their endgame play. Crucially, the emphasis is just as much on practical play as it is on theoretical understanding. Whenever an idea is introduced, Grandmaster Efstratios Grivas immediately illustrates it with a number of entertaining and instructive examples, a considerable number of which are drawn from his own over-the-board experiences.

This is a companion volume to Everyman’s earlier book Practical Endgame Play – Beyond the Basics, a work which specializes in more complex positions.

All book descriptions by Gambit Publications and Everyman Chess

Featured Chess Author – GM Zenon Franco

Zenon is esteemed columnist and author of five books

Zenon Franco is an experienced Grandmaster and hard-working writer. He was 1976 Paraguay Champion, at age of 20, and 1981 Pan American Champion. His Olympic achievements are impressive – 7 times first board of Paraguay, with gold medals for best individual score in 1982 Lucerne, Switzerland, and 1990 Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, and once representative of Spain at the 1998 Elista Olympiad.

Zenon started his career of specialized chess journalist with weekly column in Hoy Asuncion, Paraguay on 1985-1986, and the same year he started cooperation with Jaque, Spain, which continues to the present day. He also has regular columns in Torre and Cavallo, Italy, since 1995, and with newspaper ABC Color, Paraguay, since 2002.

Franco Anand Topalov

Zenon Franco has been Magistral Ciudad de Leon chief press officer since 1984. Here on the photo with Anand and Topalov

After the establishment of Gambit Publications, and with his wealth writing experience, Zenon became their exclusive author, having published five instructional books already. When Chessdom asked him about the sources of inspiration, Zenon said: “I always liked to read books and guess the best moves on my own. Therefore when I became master, I tried to do the same, to write. I annotate games for Spanish magazines and I have regular chess columns, so there is plenty or work, that is why I’m literally out from playing scene. But I always have good material for the books at my hand.”

Books written by GM Zenon Franco

Chess Self-Improvement

Zenon Franco guides readers through 50 top-level games, challenges them to guess key moves correctly, and poses questions at critical moments. Points are awarded for good answers, and at the end of each game, a score-chart rates the reader’s performance. This material has never appeared in the English language before, and represents the pick of monthly articles that Franco has written for a quarter of a century in Spanish-language magazines, revised and rechecked for this book. Translated by Manuel Perez Carballo.

Winning Chess Explained

Zenon Franco has regularly annotated top-level games for more than a quarter of a century. He has drawn upon this vast experience to present 50 hugely instructive games illustrating a wide variety of chess ideas. Key themes are illustrated by several games, so that we gain a well-rounded appreciation of the relevant ideas, and develop foresight that will enable us to make the right decisions at the board by anticipating problems before they arise. Topics include: Pawn Sacrifice, Exchange Sacrifice, The Art of Manoeuvring, The Second Weakness, Permanent vs. Temporary Advantages, Regrouping, ‘Strange’ Exchanges, Denying the Opponent Squares, and The Central Breakthrough. Translated by Manuel Perez Carballo.

Chess Explained: The English Opening

The English Opening is a flexible and dynamic choice for White, which avoids a great deal of sharp and well-mapped opening theory. It is popular with all levels of chess-players, and has been used to good effect at world championship level by Kasparov, Korchnoi, Botvinnik and other greats of the game. The English gives rise to an immense variety of structures, ranging from reversed Sicilians to Hedgehogs and fluid or locked central structures. It is an opening where strategic mastery of typical positions is of immense benefit, and where Black needs to combine circumspection and vigour to obtain a viable game.

Chess Explained: The Modern Benoni

Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

* 25 recent and highly instructive games discussed in detail

* Chapter introductions and conclusions emphasize the key points

* Full indexes of games and variations

* Extensive verbal explanations of plans and manoeuvres

The Modern Benoni is a perennial favourite among players looking to create winning chances with Black. It is one of the few openings where White has no easy way to force drawish simplifications or deny Black any dynamic counterplay. Both players need to understand the imbalances in the position and pursue their plans with great vigour. In this book Franco shows how Black can seek to create the kind of mayhem that has attracted champions such as Tal, Kasparov and Topalov to the Benoni, and also demonstrates how White can seek either to put a positional clamp on the game, or else to storm Black’s position before his development is complete. A special section deals with the vital question of move-orders. Translated by Manuel Perez Carballo.

The Art of Attacking Chess

All chess-players love to play a smooth attacking game, flowing from start to finish, and sprinkled with spectacular ideas and sacrifices. However, few can do so regularly, and for most players, their collection of brilliancies missed far outweighs their creative successes.

Innate talent plays an important role, but many of the skills needed for attacking chess can be learnt by study and practice. Here, one of the world’s most experienced annotators has selected 33 superb examples, and explained them in a way that strips away the mystery. We see how the decision to attack is made, and which positional factors led to that decision being justified. We observe either a gradual build-up, or a lightning-fast storm, and understand why one approach or the other was necessary. Finally, we witness the final execution of the tactical blows.

To check that we have truly grasped the ideas, Franco presents us with plentiful exercises, where it is we who have to perform the heroics.
(Due to be out of print on July 2008)

All book descriptions by Gambit Publications