Saturday, August 24, 2013

See twelve moves ahead at a glance

Kreitchik-Laitgeb, Vienna 1951
White to play and win

One move wins, everything else loses.

 I cannot give enough praise to the book I found this example from, Artur Yusupov's Boost Your Chess 1: The Fundamentals.  It's the second book in a nine-book (!) series of training manuals.  If you read them in order, the first volume is Build Up Your Chess 1: The Fundamentals, and the third volume is Chess Evolution 1: The Fundamentals.  Forget the confusing names, and run out and buy these three orange books.  Each book consists of twenty-four tightly focused lessons with a related test.

Roughly, Yusupov's goal is in these first three books is to give the under-1500 ELO player the knowledge needed to make it to 1800.

The three-book "Beyond the Basics" series (all with blue cover) is intended to bring our knowledge up to 2100...

Build Up Your Chess 2: Beyond the Basics
Boost Your Chess 2: Beyond the Basics
Chess Evolution 2: Beyond the Basics

...and the three-book "Mastery" series (green covers) gets even harder.

Build Up Your Chess with Artur Yusupov: Mastery
Boost Your Chess 3: Mastery
Chess Evolution 3: Mastery

My peak USCF rating (so far!) is 2172, and I'm still slowly working my way through the orange books!  As Yusupov argues in the introduction, "The reader will benefit from the methodical build-up in this book, even if some of the material is familiar, as it will close any possible gaps in his chess knowledge and thus construct solid foundations for future success."  So in a given chapter, I might be able to solve 80% to 90% of the problems easily, but I'm finding some chapters surprisingly difficult.  (We chess autodidacts can fill gaps in our education, and these books are an amazing teaching resource.)

Yusupov studied with Dvoretsky, but these books are far more accessible than any Dvoretsky book I've ever picked up.

Just buy the darn things!


Frederick Rhine said...

A rude awakening for Black, who is two pieces up and must have thought he was winning: 1.Qxg5! hxg5 (1...Qxg2+ 2.Qxg2 Bxg2 3.Rxg6+ Kh7 4.Rxg2#) 2.Rxg6+ Kh7 3.Rxd6+ Kg7 (3...Be4 4.Bxe4+ Kg7 5.Rg6+ is no better) 4.Rg6+ Kh7 5.Rxc6+ Kg7 6.Rg6+ Kh7 7.Rxb6+ Kg7 8.Rg6+ Kh7 9.Ra6+ Kg7 10.Rxa2 and White is up a rook and two pawns. But why do you say twelve moves ahead?

Bill Brock said...

Ah, I left out a pawn on e6!