International Master and professional chess coach Robert Ris focuses on aspects of play which can significantly stimulate your practical abilities and the decision making process. Crucial Chess Skills for the Club Player, Volume 1 is divided into three parts: Endgame (Chapters 1-4), Tactical Play (Chapters 5-6) and Middlegame Strategy (Chapters 7-9). It is aimed at players rated somewhere between 1500 and 2200 ELO (approx. 107-200 ECF)
The endgame part of the book mostly concentrates on rook endgames. Ris believes that every player needs to possess the knowledge of some elementary positions. This essential knowledge not only enriches your understanding of the game, but also gives confidence playing endgames in general. In the subsequent chapters 2 & 3 attention is paid to more practical examples with an extra passed pawn and the importance of the pawn structures. A recurring theme in endgames is the transition into a pawn ending, so there is an extra chapter on this topic as well.
Chapters 5 & 6 point some key principles concerning tactical play and which elements have to be taken into account when seizing the initiative. Most examples have recently been played and it’s not a big surprise that a number of games from Levon Aronian have been examined. For the author, his games are the greatest source of inspiration on this topic!
The section on Middlegame Strategy aims to make the reader more conscious about some positional aspects of the game. In chapter 7 the theme of trapped pieces has been worked out in depth and you will see some striking examples where even the world's greatest players fail to take care of mobility of their own pieces. In chapter 8 attention has been given to the principle of a weak square. How can you exploit such a weakness and how do you deal with it? In the final chapter 9 Ris presents the reader some examples from his own practice which are both fun and instructive.
Publication due February 2018, softback, 255 pages.