The Complete Manual of Positional Chess

The Russian Chess School 2.0 - Opening and Middlegame (Volume 1

The Complete Manual of Positional Chess: The Russian Chess School 2.0 - Opening and Middlegame (Volume 1 Author Konstantin Sakaev
Isbn 9789056916824
File size 5MB
Year 2017
Pages 368
Language English
File format PDF
Category Games

Book Description:

As the title suggests, I'm writing this review in direct reponse to the earlier review by "nimzo-karpov." While it's true that all of the concepts covered in this book are covered elsewhere, I don't know of any other book that covers them all in one place. The books by Grooten and Hellsten certainly do not cover all of the topics covered in this book. In fact, this book's preface states that it was originally aimed mainly at Russian 1st Category players (approximately 2000-2200). Such players would obviously have studied the middlegame already.

This wide-ranging book by Sakaev & Landa, mainly Sakaev, also has pedagogical features that will appeal to many readers. The general style IS typically Russian, meaning that large topics (e.g. prophylaxis) are divided into smaller ones treated in separate chapters (e.g. prophylatically strengthening one's own position, limiting the opponent's counterplay, etc.). It also means that there are plenty of examples, each having as much explanation & concrete analysis as necessary to convey the point of the example but not much more. The amount of annotatation for each example in this seems nearly ideal to me. Whether one perefers the concise, example-oriented Russian style of chess instruction or the more verbose, discussion-rich Western style is a matter of taste. A unique feature of this book is that recurring strategic themes, such as the advance of a rook's pawn, are often highlighted with boxed "notes" or "tags" wherever they occur. This draws the reader's attention to important themes that don't necessarily get their own chapter or occur outside of their assigned chapter. It reminds me of the notes a student might scribble in margins, except that it has already been done. This is admittedly a small detail, but I find it very helpful. I don't know if the earlier reviewer somehow expected Sakaev to reinvent the middlegame. He obviously hasn't done that, but has put a lot of of effort into producing a well-written & well-designed textbook.

This is intended to be the first of two volumes, with Volume 2 covering more material about pawns and dynamics in the middlegame.



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