Ivan Sokolov – Chess Middlegame Strategies, Vol. 1
The ‘work database’ collection for this book which I started about two years ago meant the initial plan was for just one volume on Chess Middlegame Strategies. However, the way my work and material built up and progressed, it soon became obvious that this ‘one volume’ would be approximately 500 pages long – so, the decision was taken to split the material into two volumes.
In modern chess practice, the theory of the opening often stretches into the middlegame, sometimes quite deeply. When players choose particular opening variations, they are in essence deciding on the type of middlegame in which they would like to fight their opponents.
Ivan Sokolov – Chess Middlegame Strategies 3 – Strategy Meets Dynamics – ISBN 9789492510600
In this book I have taken strategic themes from specific openings and combined these with standard strategies such as the open file, space or flexibility. Indeed, the subtitle for this book is “Strategy Meets
Dynamics” and that is a good definition of what this book is about.
The book contains 43 annotated games divided among seven chapters. Within these pages you will find strategic plans related to typical pawn structures arising from the Geller/Tolush Gambit or the Anti-Moscow Gambit. By taking the time to study those chapters you should come away with a deeper understanding of the subtle nuances in pawn structures and the dynamics that arise. In addition, you will learn different strategic/dynamic ideas and this will strengthen your practical play in such positions.
The chapter on ‘Karpov’s King in the Center’ is where you will be surprised at how often the 12th World Champion, playing Black no less, deliberately gave up the right to castle. Not only will you gain perspective on when you might wish to leave your king uncastled you will also see how Karpov arranges his pieces so that each move is in harmony with those before and after the king move. Lastly you will improve your knowledge, from both sides of the board, of this particular variation of the Caro-Kann.
The open file theme is one that has been written on extensively. What I have tried to do here is show some modern approaches to this concept.
Perhaps the one dynamic theme that often amazes players is the exchange sacrifice. I have included no less than 11 annotated games in this chapter sorted by the different objectives that the player is trying to accomplish. There is plenty of knowledge to be absorbed by studying these games.
Finally, the work concludes with the daring, some may even say swashbuckling, aggressive g-pawn push! Th is aggressive move is used as a means to seize the initiative. I have laid this chapter out based upon opening variations and you may find it useful as opening preparation as well as ideas for dynamic play.
My aim in this book, as well as its two predecessors, is not only to help you improve your middlegame understanding but to give you new and different ideas/concepts to employ in your own play. In addition to the chess improvement that is offered I also hope that you will simply enjoy playing over the selected games.
**Available from 29.9.2019**