Reviewed by P.P.O. Kane
Techniken des Positionsspiels im Schach
By Valeri Bronznik and Anatoli Terekhin
Schachverlag Kania, 2007
One of the best books on positional play you’re ever likely to read.
There are 10 chapters covering a diverse range of topics, including domination, the open file, the bad bishop and (an unusual topic) play with the king. A final eleventh chapter has 40 exercises, followed by very full and detailed solutions.
What’s special about the book is that it goes into the nitty-gritty of positional play; it focuses on 45 techniques (you might also call them stratagems or devices) which have been deployed successfully in past games. To illustrate by way of example, the chapter on the king looks at situations where one side castles by hand or voluntarily gives up the right to castle, because it is in their best interests to do so. (The classic game Matulovic-Fischer, Vinkovci 1968 would have fitted in here well.) Also, it looks at those situations where the king departs from a castled position, either for defensive purposes (e.g. the opposing forces are about to batter on the door and the king does a runner) or as a preparation for attack (e.g. both players have castled on the kingside and one marches their king out of harm’s way, before advancing the kingside pawns and opening lines on that side).
Topics covered in other sections include the principle of two weaknesses; restriction of the minor pieces; positional pawn sacrifices; prophylaxis; exchanging operations; Reti’s battery of Qa1 and Bb2, as introduced in his game against Yates at New York 1924; the question of the wrong (or right rook). And, yes, Fischer’s famous game against Robert Byrne from the 1963 USA Championship is discussed in this section.
It is a richly rewarding book that looks in depth at certain specific aspects of positional play, and I wholly recommend it.
A sample from the book can be read here:
About the reviewer: P.P.O. Kane lives and works in Manchester, England. He welcomes responses to his reviews and you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org