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A Simple Chess Opening Repertoire for White - Collins NZD $15

By carefully choosing variations that lead to similar structures, IM Sam Collins has put together a powerful repertoire book ideal for players with limited study time. White opens with 1 e4 and develops his pieces to natural squares, seeking open lines and the initiative. The dominant theme of this sound and active repertoire is that – where reasonable – White seeks out Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) positions: i.e. with the c3 Sicilian, Panov Caro-Kann, Tarrasch French, and the Italian Game with early c3 and d4.

There are no speculative gambits here, just plenty of healthy aggression and new ideas. Because so many of Collins’s recommendations lead to familiar structures, ideas can easily be transplanted from one opening to another. He gives illustrative games that emphasize the key themes, including White’s many opportunities to forcibly weaken and attack the black king. The specific analysis is up-to-the-minute and features ideas that have proven their worth in grandmaster practice. Throughout there is attention to move-order subtleties, with clever nuances in ‘sidelines’ that your opponents are unlikely to have examined in detail.

Irish international master Sam Collins won the championship of his home country in 2002 and 2014. He has represented Ireland in numerous Olympiads, winning an individual gold medal at Bled in 2002. He is also an experienced chess teacher who has lectured at the Berkeley Chess School in California. His previous books for Gambit were Chess Explained: The c3 Sicilian and the highly successful general opening work Understanding the Chess Openings.

Learn Chess - Nunn NZD $10

Starting with the very basics, this book tells you everything you need to know to become a successful chess-player. No prior knowledge is assumed. The reader learns step-by-step, with each new point illustrated by clear examples. By the end of the book, the reader will be fully ready to take on opponents across the board, or on the Internet, and start winning. Dr John Nunn has built up a world-wide reputation for the outstanding clarity of his writings on a wide range of chess topics. This is his first book to tackle the fundamentals of chess.

Understanding Chess Move by Move - Nunn NZD $20

John Nunn has carefully selected thirty modern games to help the reader understand the most important aspects of chess and to illustrate modern chess principles in action. Virtually every move is explained using words that everyone can understand. Jargon is avoided as far as possible. Almost all the examples are taken from the 1990s and show how key ideas are handled by the grandmasters of today. The emphasis is on general principles that readers will be able to use in their own games, and detailed analysis is only given where it is necessary. Each game contains many lessons, but to guide the reader through the most important ideas in each phase of the game, the thirty games are grouped thematically into those highlighting opening, middlegame and endgame themes.

The Seven Deadly Chess Sins - Rowson NZD $20

Everyone loses chess games occasionally, but all too often we lose a game due to moves that, deep down, we knew were flawed. Why do we commit these chess-board sins? Are they the result of general misconceptions about chess and how it should be played? And how can we recognize the warning signs better? In this thought-provoking and entertaining book, Jonathan Rowson investigates, in his inimitable style, the main reasons why chess-players sometimes go horribly astray, focusing on the underlying psychological pitfalls: thinking (unnecessary or erroneous); blinking (missing opportunities; lack of resolution); wanting (too much concern with the result of the game); materialism (lack of attention to non-material factors); egoism (insufficient awareness of the opponent and his ideas); perfectionism (running short of time, trying too hard); looseness ("losing the plot", drifting, poor concentration).

Chess for Zebras - Rowson NZD $20

Jonathan Rowson, author of the highly acclaimed Seven Deadly Chess Sins, investigates three questions important to all chess-players:
1) Why is it so difficult, especially for adult players, to improve?
2) What kinds of mental attitudes are needed to find good moves in different phases of the game?
3) Is White's alleged first-move advantage a myth, and does it make a difference whether you are playing Black or White?
In a strikingly original work, Rowson makes use of his academic background in philosophy and psychology to answer these questions in an entertaining and instructive way. This book assists all players in their efforts to improve, and provides fresh insights into the opening and early middlegame.

Rowson presents many new ideas on how Black should best combat White's early initiative, and make use of the extra information that he gains as a result of moving second. For instance, he shows that in some cases a situation he calls 'Zugzwang Lite' can arise, where White finds himself lacking any constructive moves. He also takes a close look at the theories of two players who, in differing styles, have specialized in championing Black's cause: Mihai Suba and Andras Adorjan. Readers are also equipped with a 'mental toolkit' that will enable them to handle many typical over-the-board situations with greater success, and avoid a variety of psychological pitfalls.

Chess for Zebras offers fresh insights into human idiosyncrasies in all phases of the game. The depth and breadth of this book will therefore help players to appreciate chess at a more profound level, and make steps towards sustained and significant improvement.

The Art of Attacking Chess - Franco - NZD $20

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.

Zenon Franco is a grandmaster from Paraguay who now lives in Spain. He is an experienced chess trainer, his most notable former pupil being Paco Vallejo, now one of the world's top grandmasters.

Improve Your Positional Chess - Hansen - NZD $20

Throughout a game of chess, the players must constantly make judgements and decisions that cannot be determined simply by calculation. They must then rely on their positional judgement. Good positional skills are primarily developed by experience, but they can also be learnt. In this book, Carsten Hansen provides a wealth of advice and ideas that will help give readers a helping hand up to new levels of positional understanding. Paramount in this discussion is the player's need to weigh up positional elements at the board, and decide which are most important for the situation at hand. Topics include: the quest for weaknesses, "what is the initiative?", understanding imbalances, the relative value of the pieces, decisions regarding pawn-structures, structural weaknesses, and where and how to attack.

Carsten Hansen is a FIDE Master from Denmark who currently lives in the USA. He has a reputation for writing well-researched books on major chess topics, and is known to many through his painstaking book reviews on the Internet.

Modern Instructive Chess Masterpieces - Stohl - NZD $20

Igor Stohl has selected 62 outstanding games from recent years and analysed them in painstaking depth. Here he presents his findings to chess enthusiasts, who will find the games entertaining and the annotations both instructive and illuminating. Stohl is an outstanding theoretical expert, so the opening phase of each game reads like a lesson in the key strategic aspects of the opening chosen, with a critical survey of modern trends. The middlegame is dissected and the critical decisions subjected to keen scrutiny - we are invited inside Stohl's laboratory to join him in the quest for the truth. The endgame phase, if reached, is handled with similar erudition, with insights into the grandmaster's approach to questions of technique. Following each game there is a discussion of the most important lessons to be learned.

The expanded and revised new edition of this award-winning work features 12 new top-level games from the period 2000-2007 annotated in great depth - about 40% new material. There are also corrections to the existing notes and a revised Introduction.

Igor Stohl is a well-known grandmaster from Slovakia. He plays in several national leagues and is a noted opening theoretician. His thorough annotations frequently appear in Ceskoslovensky Sach, Informator and ChessBase Magazine. The first edition of Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces won the United States Chess Federation Cramer Award for Best Book.


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