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Grandmaster Preparation - Calculation is ACP Book of the Year

Author:

ACP, Board

Date:

16 April 2013


Jacob Aagaard's Grandmaster Preparation - Calculation is the ACP Book of the Year for 2013.

The book, published by Quality Chess, received the highest number of votes from the ACP members, who could choose out of 15 books nominated by the leading chess publishing houses of the world. The contest took place between March 15 and April 12 on the ACP website.

The final results were a close call, as Grandmaster Preparation - Calculation edged out Judit Polgar's How I Beat Fischer’s Record (Quality Chess) by only one vote and Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Oleg Stetsko (Olms) by five votes. A total of 167 votes were cast.

The 2013 Book of the Year award followed on the success of its first edition, jointly won by Mark Dvoretsky and John Nunn. The ACP Board wishes to congratulate author Jacob Aagaard and publisher Quality Chess on their success against such an exquisite field of contenders.

 

Nominees:

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A Gnat May Drink

Author: Jonathan Hinton
Publisher: London Chess Centre Publishing
More info: Website

This unique collection of games – one from each year of the twentieth century – is more than a look back at the games themselves. It is a welcome return to the way chess game anthologies were lovingly crafted in the middle years of the century. There is no bewildering morass of variations, as in all too many 21st century works. It is as readable as it is well-written, with verbal descriptions which enhance the aesthetic quality of the games, penned by a true enthusiast with insight into the prevailing chess culture as well as the ideas behind the moves. 
 
Jonathan Hinton’s A Gnat May Drink struck a chord with chess lovers when released in 1999: the print run sold out almost instantly and it is not hard to see why. It features some of the most famous games of chess ever played as well as some little-known but delightful gems. It will appeal to a new generation of readers as well as those whose memories
go back to the classic chess anthologies of the 1950s and 1960s.

A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White

Author: John Watson
Publisher: Gambit
More info: Website

It is the chess-player's holy grail: a flexible repertoire that gives opponents real problems but doesn't require masses of memorization or continual study of ever-changing grandmaster theory. While this book can't quite promise all of that, Watson offers an intriguing selection of lines that give vast scope for over-the-board creativity and should never lead to a dull draw.
 
The repertoire is based on 1 d4 and 2 c4, following up with methodical play in the centre. Watson uses his vast opening knowledge to pick cunning move-orders and poisonous sequences that will force opponents to think for themselves, providing a true test of chess understanding. Throughout, he discusses strategies for both sides, so readers will be fully ready to pounce on any inaccuracies, and have all the tools to decide on the most appropriate plans for White.
 
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REPERTOIRE
 
White avoids an early Nf3 in most lines, to give maximum flexibility, especially vs the QGD, Nimzo, KID and Grünfeld. Move-order issues are given great prominence, even potentially awkward sequences that as yet have not been tried much in practice. In most cases, more than one option is presented for White, and there are a great many additional suggestions that the reader may wish to investigate. Material is scrupulously researched and up-to-date. Many ideas for Black are discussed, and remedies proposed, even when they have not yet caught on in practice as yet, thus future-proofing the repertoire to some degree. Dangerous gambits and sharp counterattacking lines are dealt with, as far as possible, in ways that avoid excessive complications. The overall aim in each opening is to reach an interesting position (ideally with some advantage, of course) where there is scope to outplay the opponent, while avoiding getting embroiled in a do-or-die tactical battle.
 
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected chess authors. In 1999, his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy won 'Chess Book of the Year' awards in the USA and the UK. He reviews chess books for The Week in Chess and hosts a weekly radio show on the Internet Chess Club. His bestselling four-volume work Mastering the Chess Openings has reaffirmed his reputation as a perceptive and authoritative chess opening writer.
 

 

Amateur to IM

Author: Jonathan Hawkins
Publisher: Mongoose Press
More info: Website

How did Jonathan Hawkins manage to go from being an average tournament competitor to a player on the brink of clinching the Grandmaster title? 
 
The secret was knowing what to study and how to learn as efficiently as possible. Focusing his attention firmly on the endgame, Jonathan devised a number of building blocks and identified a number of very important areas of study. The result of his hard work was a meteoric rise through the ranks, as he became firmly established as a prominent GM killer on the English tournament circuit.
 
These pages reveal the secrets of his notebooks for the first time. IM Hawkins presents special material aimed to help you become a much better practical player, one armed with a deeper understanding of key aspects of chess.
 
A careful study of the lessons presented in this book should enable the chess student to gain significant improvement.

Fighting Chess with Hikaru Nakamura

Author: Karsten Müller and Raymund Stolze
Publisher: Edition Olms AG
More info: Website

This is the very first book to focus exclusively on Hikaru Nakamura, the greatest American chess player since the legendary Robert James Fischer. The book features a prologue penned by Lubomir Kavalek, who was none other than „Bobby’s“ insider and supporter at the „match of the century“ against Boris Spasski in 1972.
In this book, grandmaster Karsten Müller from Hamburg and chess journalist Raymund Stolze from Berlin document the 24-year-old’s fascinating journey to the top of world chess. Interestingly, Hikaru was not a typical child prodigy, and at his first Junior World Championships didn’t even make it onto the winners’ podium. Although he won a World Cup medal aged just 13, today he creates true miracles.

Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen

Author: Adrian Mikhalchishin and Oleg Stetsko
Publisher: Edition Olms AG
More info: Website

Now firmly established among the world’s elite, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has been setting records ever since he embarked on his chess career. He became a grandmaster at the age of just 13, and in 2010 he became the youngest player to be ranked No.1 in the world.
This book presents detailed annotations to 64 of Carlsen’s best games, together with a description of his career. Also examined are the deficiencies from which he suffered as a young player, and how he overcame these on his way to the top.
Now firmly established among the world’s elite, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has been setting records ever since he embarked on his chess career. He became a grandmaster at the age of just 13, and in 2010 he became the youngest player to be ranked No.1 in the world.
According to his mentor, Garry Kasparov, Carlsen has a positional style similar to previous world champions such as José Raúl Capablanca, Vasily Smyslov and Anatoly Karpov. The comparison with the Cuban genius Capablanca seems especially apt, as Carlsen also comes from a small country with no particularly strong chess traditions.
This book presents detailed annotations to 64 of Carlsen’s best games, together with a description of his career. Also examined are the deficiencies from which he suffered as a young player, and how he overcame these on his way to the top.
The authors are both well known to the chess world, with numerous previous books to their credit. Adrian Mikhalchishin is a Ukrainian grandmaster with extensive training experience, while Oleg Stetsko is a national master and a former senior trainer of the USSR team.

Grandmaster Preparation - Calculation

Author: Jacob Aagaard
Publisher: Quality Chess
More info: Website

Have there been times during a game when you have calculated a position for half an hour, only to find out that most of what you were thinking about was of little use? If you have not, maybe the only way to improve your calculation is to upgrade your processor. But if you are human, then this book will offer you practical advice and an effective training plan to think differently and make decisions far more efficiently.
 
In Calculation thinking methods such as Candidates, Combinations, Prophylaxis, Comparison, Elimination, Intermediate Moves, Imagination and Traps are explained to the reader, and ownership of them is offered through a carefully selected series of exercises.
 
“There is no shortcut to the grandmaster title, but there is a well-known route that many people have walked over the years. Jacob offers to guide you on part of this journey and I hope you will take him up on the offer.”
From the foreword by Boris Gelfand
 
Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard won the British Championship at his first and only attempt. He has received the Guardian, ECF and ChessCafe Book of the Year awards and the FIDE Senior Trainer title. His training material is used by amateurs and grandmasters alike.

How I Beat Fischer’s Record

Author: Judit Polgar
Publisher: Quality Chess
More info: Website

"Notions of chess have been shattered by a teen-age Hungarian girl - some call her modest and soft-spoken, but many opponents know her as a ferocious tiger over the board - who after years of steady progress began breathing down the necks of the top men and now has broken the barrier of one of the world's most exclusive clubs: she has earned the rank of grandmaster at 15 years, 5 months, one month younger than Bobby Fischer when he did it 34 years ago."
New York Times, 1992
 
Great achievements often take a lifetime of preparation, but when these achievements are becoming the World Number 1 at the age of 12 and the youngest ever grandmaster at the age of 15 you have to start early! In this very personal book Judit Polgar describes her early moments of success and the chess ideas she needed to master to achieve them.
 
This exceptional book is the beginning of a unique project where one of the greatest players of our time transforms her personal journey to the top into a roadmap for everyone who ever wanted to better themselves in the game of chess.
 
Judit Polgar has been ranked 1st on the Women's rating list from 1988 to this day. In 2005 she became the only woman in chess history to participate in the World Championship final.

Lessons with a Grandmaster 2

Author: Boris Gulko and Joel R. Sneed
Publisher: Everyman Chess
More info: Website

Imagine you are a club player who has been given the opportunity to talk at length with a famous Grandmaster. How would you make the most of this opportunity? This book is the much anticipated follow-up to the highly acclaimed and award-nominated Lessons with a Grandmaster. It bridges the gap between great player and amateur through a series of conversations between teacher, the renowned Grandmaster Boris Gulko, and student Dr. Joel R. Sneed, a professor of psychology and amateur chess player. The lessons are based on Gulko's own battles against fellow Grandmasters.
 
This second volume focuses on dynamic chess, developing chess imagination, the capacity to take risks, the ability to simultaneously attack and defend, and perhaps above all, the ability to visualize the chess board and calculate combinations in sharp positions.
 
Learn from the chess games of Boris Gulko
Typical questions you would ask a Grandmaster – answered!
Improve your tactical play and visualization

Modern Chess Preparation

Author: Vladimir Tukmakov
Publisher: New in Chess
More info: Website

Winning starts with planning before the game, teaches legendary chess coach Vladimir Tukmakov. In this ground-breaking book he shows how chess preparation has become a systematic process and how today’s top players make their game plans.
 
The most important aim of modern preparation, both for professionals and for ambitious amateurs, is to get a playable position that you understand better than your opponent.
 
The role of the computer in preparation has grown tremendously and Tukmakov explains how top grandmasters use their ‘Metal Friend’. He warns that professionals should not put too much trust in chess engines and should analyse more deeply themselves. 
 
Club players, on the other hand, should reduce their time in front of the machine to a minimum. Tukmakov explains what amateurs should do in order to arrive at the board well-armed: study the classics, analyse your own games without a computer, and know yourself.
 
A special chapter is devoted to must-win situations: when the outcome of a tournament, a match or even a whole life depends on a single game. With lots of brilliant examples, inside information and amusing anecdotes, Modern Chess Preparation is not only highly instructive, but also a joy to read.
 
“Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent, and having a sober awareness of your own shortcomings, will pay dividends at any level, from beginners up to World Champions.”
 
A former Ukrainian champion, Grandmaster Vladimir Tukmakov (born 1946 in Odessa) won many tournaments and came second in three Soviet championships. After his active career he became an esteemed chess coach. He was non-playing captain of the Ukraine team that won gold at the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvia, 2004.

Study Chess with Matthew Sadler

Author: Matthew Sadler
Publisher: Everyman Chess
More info: Website

Matthew Sadler is one of the UK’s strongest ever players. He became a grandmaster at 19, won the British Championship twice and, amongst other amazing achievements, made a gold medal winning score of 10½/13 on board four for England in the 1996 chess Olympiad.
 
In 2000 Matthew quit full-time chess. However, he re-emerged ten years later in 2010 to play a rapidplay tournament in Wageningen, Holland which he promptly won with 7/7. In 2011 he played in strong international events at Barcelona and Oslo and won them with the Fischer-like scores of 8½/10 and 8/9 respectively. After a decade away from the game, these results are simply astounding.
 
Matthew's extraordinary ability at chess stems not simply from natural talent but is based on a brilliant aptitude for preparing to play. He understands exactly what needs to be studied and how to go about it. In this book he recounts how he organised the preparation for his ‘comeback’ and from his results the success of this method is self-evident. In this book Matthew shares his secrets and reveals how to:
 
Incorporate unorthodox openings into your repertoire
Study middlegame situations
Understand what is important in the endgame

The Chess Puzzle Book 4

Author: Karsten Mueller and Alexander Markgraf
Publisher: Russell Enterprises
More info: Website

Congratulations!
You Have the Advantage!
Now What??
 
Welcome to The Chess Puzzle Book 4! – It mostly deals with the important technical question of how to convert a static advantage.
 
As noted by Mark Dvoretsky in his Foreword: "I cannot think of any books with high-quality exercises regarding such topics as domination, the 'do not hurry' principle, the principle of two weaknesses, etc., all of which are discussed by Mueller and his co-author Alexander Markgraf ... I hope that you enjoy this new book by Müller and Markgraf and I encourage you to seriously study the positions discussed in the book. As a result, you will significantly progress in your understanding of chess and improve your results."
 
Topics include: Prophylaxis, The Principle of Two Weaknesses, The Right Exchange, Domination, Do Not Rush, and Converting an Advantage. There are also many well-chosen exercises with comprehensive solutions to help guide and instruct the reader.
 
The Chess Puzzle Book 4 is the fourth volume in the series formerly known as the ChessCafe Puzzle Books.

The Strategic Nimzo-Indian

Author: Ivan Sokolov
Publisher: New in Chess
More info: Website

The Nimzo-Indian Defence continues to be one of the most important chess openings, both at club level and with top players. In recent years it has undergone a number of significant changes and it’s high time for a thorough look at the current state of affairs.
 
Top grandmaster Ivan Sokolov is the perfect authority to do so.
 
The Strategic Nimzo-Indian: A Complete Guide to the Rubinstein Variation is the first of a two-part series. In this ground-breaking and clearly structured first volume, Sokolov investigates all lines after the move 4.e3. Volume 2 will be about 4.a3, the Sämisch Variation. 
 
Inspired by great masters like Mikhail Botvinnik, Ivan Sokolov has played the Rubinstein Variation all his life, and he has even beaten World Champion Garry Kasparov with it.
 
Although play can become very sharp, the Nimzo-Indian requires a profound positional understanding. Ivan Sokolov does not simply give variations, but provides clear explanations of the structures and plans in the various branches, and presents new ideas and resources for both Black and White. 
 
Each chapter ends with a summary containing key strategic and tactical advice.
 
Ivan Sokolov is a top grandmaster who was born in Bosnia in 1968. He was Yugoslav champion in 1988 and Dutch champion in 1995 and 1998. He rose to the number 12 spot in the FIDE world rankings. In his rich career Sokolov has beaten world chess champions like Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand.

Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion

Author: Vishy Anand and John Nunn
Publisher: Gambit
More info: Website

This new expanded edition of the award-winning Vishy Anand: My Best Games of Chess (New Edition) features 30 extra games from the period of Anand's greatest successes.
 
Anand has been one of the world's top players for more than two decades, and cemented his place in the all-time hall of fame by winning the unified World Championship in 2007, and successfully defending his title against Kramnik and Topalov. But it's not just his results that make Anand special. His style of play leads to highly spectacular games, and his speed of thought is the stuff of legends. He is also a great explainer of ideas, as his annotations for this book demonstrate. Anand is renowned as 'Mr Nice Guy', popular with both the public and his fellow supergrandmasters.
 
John Nunn, who collaborated with Anand on the original book, has annotated 30 games selected by Anand himself from the period 2001-2011. This new edition also features biographical information and a career record.
 
Viswanathan (Vishy) Anand comes from southern India and is the greatest chess-player of his generation. Having shot to fame as a child, playing master-standard chess at lightning speed, he became a grandmaster in 1987. Anand contested his first world championship match in 1995, and won the FIDE Championship in 2000. He has been World Champion since 2007, and has won many elite-level tournaments throughout his long career. Grandmaster John Nunn is a three-time World Chess Solving Champion, and is famous for the quality of his chess writing.

Василий Иванчук. 100 побед гения шахмат

Author: Nikolay Kalinichenko
Publisher: Russian Chess House
More info: Website

Новая книга теоретика и литератора, автора свыше 40 книг, гроссмейстера Николая Калиниченко посвящена творчеству выдающегося шахматиста Василия Иванчука. Яркая самобытная игра, огромный талант и фанатичная преданность шахматному искусству давно снискали одному из сильнейших шахматистов нашего времени многочисленную армию поклонников во всем мире.
 

Идея в шахматной партии

Author: S Guliyev
Publisher: Russian Chess House
More info: Website

Шахматы - это борьба идей. И побеждает тот, у кого запас идей больше.
Внимательно проштудировав книгу, Вы серьезно повысите понимание стратегии,
научитесь применять в определенных позициях методы, изобретенные
великими шахматистами, получите необходимую базу знаний шахматных идей.
Кстати, Нимцович писал, что «в шахматах, в конце концов, интересен только мир идей».
"Сархан Гулиев написал умную, тонкую книгу. Остается пожелать, чтобы
она нашла своего читателя", - пишет в предисловии многократный чемпион мира Анатолий Карпов.