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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.