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Giddins: 101 Chess Questions Answered

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Steve Giddins is an author acclaimed for his ability to write in down-to-earth style on fundamental chess topics. In this book he answers the questions that really matter to chess-players. His topics include many basic ideas, including some that have rarely been addressed so directly in chess literature, and thus are often misunderstood by club players. Where appropriate, the answers also address highly sophisticated concepts, providing insights gleaned from many years of experience and discussions with players and trainers of the highest level.
\r\nSubjects include: * Playing Chess in General * The Opening * Tactics and Combinations * Planning and Strategy * Positional Play * The Endgame * Competitive Play * Training and Computers *
\r\nThroughout, the ideas are backed up with examples from practical play and thought-provoking quotes from the great chess legends, thinkers and writers.
\r\nSteve Giddins is a FIDE Master from England who has frequently contributed to the British Chess Magazine and the ChessBase website. He has gained a reputation as a writer who provides useful, no-nonsense advice on topics of genuine practical importance, drawing especially upon his familiarity with Russian chess literature and training methods. This is his sixth book for Gambit.
\r\nIntroduction 6
\r\nSymbols 6
\r\nPart 1: General
\r\nQuestion 1: Currently, I only play against friends and my computer. Should I join a club? 7
\r\nQuestion 2: How should I go about finding and choosing a club? 8
\r\nQuestion 3: Where can I play chess on the Internet? 9
\r\nQuestion 4: What is the best place to get chess news and information? 10
\r\nQuestion 5: How is national and international chess organized? 11\r\n
\r\nQuestion 6: Who is the current world champion and who were his predecessors? 12
\r\nQuestion 7: What is chess composition? 14
\r\nPart 2: The Opening
\r\nQuestion 8: What should I be aiming to do in the opening? 16
\r\nQuestion 9: Why is it bad to neglect the centre in the opening? 17
\r\nQuestion 10: Why is it bad to make too many pawn moves in the opening? 18
\r\nQuestion 11: Why shouldn’t the queen be developed early on? 19
\r\nQuestion 12: What are the main king’s pawn openings? 20
\r\nQuestion 13: What are the main queen’s pawn openings? 22
\r\nQuestion 14: How much do I need to know about the openings I play? 24
\r\nQuestion 15: Should I specialize in one or two openings, or develop a broad repertoire? 25
\r\nQuestion 16: How should I go about choosing which openings to play? 26
\r\nQuestion 17: What is the best way to introduce a new opening into my repertoire? 28
\r\nQuestion 18: How can I keep my opening knowledge up to date? 29
\r\nQuestion 19: Will playing offbeat lines and gambits give me more chances of winning quickly? 30
\r\nQuestion 20: Aren’t there some masters who play crazy, offbeat openings? 32
\r\nPart 3: Tactics and Combinations
\r\nQuestion 21: What are the most important tactical themes? 34
\r\nQuestion 22: OK, that is a pin. So what is a fork? 36
\r\nQuestion 23: So what is the third device you mentioned, a skewer? 37
\r\nQuestion 24: Are there other tactical devices, besides pins, forks and skewers? 38
\r\nQuestion 25: What is the best way to improve my tactical skill? 40
\r\nQuestion 26: How do you know if there is a tactical possibility available in the position? 42
\r\nQuestion 27: How can I make my position less vulnerable to tactical strikes? 43
\r\nQuestion 28: Are tactics important in the endgame? 44
\r\nQuestion 29: What is a combination? 45
\r\nQuestion 30: Are all combinations fully calculated? 47
\r\nQuestion 31: Why would a player sacrifice material without being able to\r\ncalculate a definite win? 48
\r\nQuestion 32: Some players, such as Tal, were famous for making very\r\nspeculative sacrifices. Why did they do this? 49
\r\nPart 4: Planning and Strategy
\r\nQuestion 33: What sort of plans should I be trying to make? 50
\r\nQuestion 34: How does one form a plan? 51
\r\nQuestion 35: What if I can’t see any plan? 52
\r\nQuestion 36: How should I meet the opponent’s plans? 53
\r\nQuestion 37: How does the central pawn-structure affect the plan? 55
\r\nQuestion 38: What happens if the central pawn-structure is blocked? 56
\r\nQuestion 39: What is ‘Hypermodern’ strategy? 57
\r\nQuestion 40: What is the value of a pawn-majority? 58
\r\nQuestion 41: What is a ‘minority attack’? 59
\r\nQuestion 42: How does castling affect the choice of plan? 60
\r\nQuestion 43: So what happens in positions where the players have castled on opposite sides? 61
\r\nQuestion 44: Is there anything more to the strategy in opposite-castling positions? 62
\r\nPart 5: Positional Play
\r\nQuestion 45: What is a positional advantage? 63
\r\nQuestion 46: Which pawn-structures are weak? 64
\r\nQuestion 47: Why exactly are weak pawns a disadvantage? 65
\r\nQuestion 48: What is a space advantage, and why does it matter? 66
\r\nQuestion 49: Which is better, bishop or knight? 67
\r\nQuestion 50: So when are bishops better than knights? 68
\r\nQuestion 51: What other weakness does the bishop have? 69
\r\nQuestion 52: Why are two bishops so strong? 70
\r\nQuestion 53: Are two bishops strong in the middlegame too? 71
\r\nQuestion 54: How does a misplaced piece affect the position? 72
\r\nQuestion 55: Are opposite-coloured bishops a drawish factor? 73
\r\nQuestion 56: Which combinations of major and minor pieces work best? 74
\r\nQuestion 57: Which minor piece works best with a rook? 75
\r\nQuestion 58: When are pieces stronger than a queen? 76
\r\nQuestion 59: Which is stronger, two pieces or a rook and pawn? 77
\r\nQuestion 60: What are ‘positional exchange sacrifices’ and when should I play them? 78
\r\nQuestion 61: How does one judge exchanges of pieces of equal value? 79
\r\nQuestion 62: Is there a ‘golden rule’ about such exchanges? 80
\r\nQuestion 63: What are the main principles of defence? 81
\r\nQuestion 64: What are the typical plans in positions with an\r\nisolated queen’s pawn (IQP)? 82
\r\nQuestion 65: So what plan should the IQP holder adopt? 83
\r\nQuestion 66: What are the two sides’ plans with ‘hanging pawns’? 84
\r\nQuestion 67: So when are hanging pawns strong? 85
\r\nQuestion 68: Can we see an example of the importance of open lines? 86
\r\nQuestion 69: What other strategies are there? 87
\r\nPart 6: The Endgame
\r\nQuestion 70: What are the most important endgame principles? 88
\r\nQuestion 71: What is ‘the opposition’? 89
\r\nQuestion 72: What other geometrical motifs appear in king and pawn endings? 90
\r\nQuestion 73: What is ‘zugzwang’? 91
\r\nQuestion 74: Which endings are most drawish? 92
\r\nQuestion 75: So how does one win opposite-coloured bishop endings? 93
\r\nQuestion 76: Which endings are the most important to know? 94
\r\nQuestion 77: What are the most important rook ending positions? 95
\r\nQuestion 78: What about more complicated rook endings? 96
\r\nQuestion 79: Does the same rule apply to the defence? 97
\r\nQuestion 80: What are the main principles of queen endings? 98
\r\nQuestion 81: What is the role of pawns in the endgame? 99
\r\nQuestion 82: What are the other principles of good endgame technique? \r\n100
\r\nPart 7: Competitive Play
\r\nQuestion 83: How does one deal with losses? 102
\r\nQuestion 84: If I need to draw or win a particular game, what is the best approach? 104
\r\nQuestion 85: How should I prepare for a tournament? 105
\r\nQuestion 86: Should I vary my openings to catch out my opponent? 106
\r\nPart 8: Training and Computers et al.
\r\nQuestion 87: What is the best way to train? 107
\r\nQuestion 88: Where can I find good material for study? 109
\r\nQuestion 89: How do I get to understand my strengths and weaknesses? 110
\r\nQuestion 90: Is it worth buying a computer program? 111
\r\nQuestion 91: Which program should I choose? 112
\r\nQuestion 92: How can I use my computer to help me train? 113
\r\nQuestion 93: What is the best game of chess ever played? 114
\r\nQuestion 94: How has chess style changed over the years? 116
\r\nQuestion 95: Is it true that there is no luck in chess? 117
\r\nQuestion 96: Is there a link between chess and mathematics ability? 118
\r\nQuestion 97: How did chess originate, and how similar are other variants of chess? 119
\r\nQuestion 98: Can you recommend a small selection of the best chess books? 121
\r\nQuestion 99: What is the current situation in the chess world? 123
\r\nQuestion 100: Do computers mean the end of chess? 124
\r\nQuestion 101: What is the future of chess? 125
\r\nIndex of Players 126
\r\nIndex of Composers and Analysts 127
\r\n127 Seiten, 2008, kartoniert, englisch.