Boroljub Zlatanovic – The Essence of Chess Strategy – Volume 1 – Strategic Elements – 528 pages – ISBN 9789464201482.
Mostly basing my chess work on this statement of the great Chinese military theoretician, I have managed throughout my chess coaching career to implement many of his principles, and even establish them as being valid for the game of chess. I think the statement above should be taken as an axiom. Thus, strategy must be the leading chess topic, and definitely based on logic. Moreover, strategy must tower over all other chess topics and sub-topics; strategy is the ultimate chess idea and it sublimates and determines other principles.
How to learn strategy? Can it be learned? It can be, of course. And these volumes are the perfect guide to learn (or, more precisely, to learn to understand) strategy.
My idea is to throw light on all the strategic concepts in these volumes. To help you navigate more simply, I have divided all the material into two volumes. This first one is exploring the elements of strategy, explaining typical and essential principles in detail. The second one is about pawn structures. Of course, structures themselves actually mean nothing without recognizing patterns and principles from the elements (because pawn structures are used to determine the values of pieces, for instance). That is why volume two can be considered as an advanced level of strategy. Generally, examples will be based on material adopted from volume one and upgraded.
~ Boroljub Zlatanovic
I have known Boroljub since the childhood. When I think of him, the first word that comes to my mind is PASSION. Be it chess or football, Dunst Opening or Nimzovich Defense, he always seemed to be able to reach hights due to his devotion and dedication to whatever he was currently busy with. It doesn’t surprise that this finally results in encyclopedic knowledge of whatever area he chooses to focus on. I will mention an interesting episode.
At some point in his life, Boroljub developed an affection for game shows. It didn’t take too long before he became a TV celebrity, giving correct answers to incredibly difficult questions in super diverse areas. I vividly remember almost falling off my chair while I was watching him in “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire“, thinking, how can this guy know EVERYTHING?? Quiz producers simple stop inviting him under the threat of bancrupcy! When he started teaching, he continued doing it with the same enthusiasm. This sentiment can be felt throughout the book, and together with great material, it gives the reader that little extra something, that can’t be described by words, but only felt.
I really hope that you will enjoy the book, and I recommend you to read through the chapter about the Bad Pieces attentively, it will bring you quite a few points in the future!
GM Solak Dragan, 2022.