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Practical Chess Defence [Paperback]

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Item description for Practical Chess Defence by Jacob Aagaard...

Chess is developing faster now than ever before in history, and the appearance of strong chess computers has changed the way players think. In the past many positions would have been rejected on principle as impossible to defend, and even the best players would shy away from capturing material if it meant that they would have to face a difficult defense. This attitude has changed, and todays top players are not afraid of walking a very fine line in defense. Here's practical advice on various methods of defense, offering readers the chance to test and train with 200 challenging examples. While not for the fainthearted, this book will help the reader greatly improve in this vital part of the game.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Quality Chess
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 30, 2006
Publisher   Quality Chess
ISBN  9197524441  
ISBN13  9789197524445  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jacob Aagaard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacob Aagaard is an International Master from Denmark who has earned himself a deserved reputation as an industrious and no-nonsense chess author.

Jacob Aagaard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Grandmaster Guides

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Practical Chess Defence?

Practical Chess defence  Dec 22, 2007
Firstly I am an ICC Chess master with an ICC rating of >2095 with one draw against an International master.
Chess defence is an underrated subject. One of the key issues of the end of the attacking chess era was the better defensive skills of players from about the 1920s onwards. There are very few books on this important subject, one from GM Soltis and a hand full from the Russian GMs. Therefore it's great that the excellent author Aagaard has finally turned his attention to this area. What I like about Aagaard is credability, he's written quite a few well known books on the middlegame and recently won the British Championship and earned his GM title. That implies to me that he practices what he preaches and its good enough against GM opposition. Aagaard can now write what he wants, without being restricted by the number of pages, his publisher specifies as Quality books the publisher is now co owned by him!
OK down to the book specifics
For $27.95 less discount you get 295 pages. 66 pages of defensive methods are given with about 1 diagram per page. Tactics, calculation , elimination,preparing for the onslaught etc are some of the methods explained in highly readable and understandable style.
There follows three levels of exercises totaling 200 exercises in all, with very detailed explanations/solutions.
The style is very good, for instance Aagaard in exercise 17 Manca v Stohl 2003, Aagaard gives an overview of both players, brief overview of the position, then proceeds to give several relevant variations, explaining why black failed to spot the defensive resources. Finally he explains for this and all the exercises, how the exercise could have been solved (solution spotted).
The book pros are readable style, entertaining,very interesting exercises that you will remember and a probable gain of 50 to 100 FIDE rating points. Its the best book with exercises ever written on defensive play. The cons are high price, (If like me you got 25% off its ok), paper is sensitive to humidity, the tops of some of my pages are beginning to warp and in my opinion the author could have given another 100 exercises to round out this topic, perhaps Practical Chess Defence II is coming out! Overall highly recommended
Good, but not quite what I expected  Jan 8, 2007
My background in chess:
2107 FIDE, been playing a little over 4 years

I'm not sure what I expected from this from this book, it sounded like an interesting work and Aagaard hasn't disappointed me with his other titles so I figured I'd give this book a read. There is a relatively short section (less than 50 pages I believe) at the beginning of this book with a section of "defensive techniques" which covers a decent amount of ground. I thought a possible improvement upon this might be taking a few more examples from his own games where he was defending for a long time and explain his thoughts during a few of the critical moments (where he either defended successfully or failed to defend) and how he came to his choices. It seems very often when I'm defending I have to make choices where I believe one is better than the other for various reasons although I'm not quite sure that either is completely satisfactory. Also it seems strange that he doesn't cover stirring up complications directly. Sometimes you might make your position objectively worse, but increase your chances of defending in practice this way.

The bulk of the book is a series of defensive puzzles. These are mostly examples from real games where strong players either found nice defenses or failed to defend (sometimes the examples are from side-variations that were either rejected by the attacker due to a stunning defense or rejected by the defender due to missing a stunning defense). These do compromise a somewhat unique class of chess puzzle that aren't so much "black to play and draw" but more like "black to play and equalize" or "black to play and reach a defensible position", sometimes they're even "black to play and win" in the sense that one side is materially up and needs to stave off mate and sometimes manages to hold onto his material to achieve a winning position. My one criticism to the solutions section which almost seems unfair is that his "How you should have solved it" section with each solution could be expanded upon a little bit in some cases, especially fleshing out the thought process a little more.

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