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Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy


It is now seventy years since Nimzowitsch wrote his monumental work My System. While it remains a fundamental work on chess strategy, the way chess positions are handled has changed greatly since Nimzowitsch’s time – both refinements to existing ideas, and completely new concepts. John Watson’s book fulfils the need for a thorough, profound work on the modern handling of chess positions, and how Nimzowitsch’s theories – still controversial and revolutionary at the time My System was written – have been refined and used alongside classical concepts.The first section of the book discusses how the understanding of classical themes, such as pawn majorities, the centre, and structural weaknesses, have been refined. Watson then moves on to discuss new concepts, including the willingness of modern players to accept backward pawns in return for dynamic play, the idea of a good ‘bad’ bishop, knights finding useful roles at the edge of the board and the exchange sacrifice idea that became prevalent with the post-war Soviet champions. This profound yet thoroughly practical work is rounded off with sections on prophylactic thinking, dynamism, modern concepts as they apply to the critical contemporary opening systems, and some thoughts on the future of chess.This book is an absolutely essential middlegame manual – John Walker, OXFORD TIMES…may have as much influence on our future understanding of chess as Nimzowitschs My System had – Simen Agdestein, VERDENS GANGSecrets of Modern Chess Strategy has the kind of staying power and relevance that will bear reading and re-reading in decades to come… belongs on the shelf of any serious chess student – Randy Bauer, RANDYS REVIEWSWe took copies to the Warren Stenburg Memorial in Minneapolis… we sold every one of them. Word of mouth spread like crazy. Highly recommended – Bob Long, THE CHESS GAZETTE

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