384 pages, hardback, 1st edition 2010, Beosing Publishing.
The book presented here by G. Kasparian is one of the books that deserve to be greatly appreciated. Its technical value can be useful for all studies lovers and especially for practical chess players, in preparation. Not once it was proved that studies can be extremely useful for chess players, because they not only develop their imagination and creativity, but face them with unusual situations that may appear on the chess board, sometimes seemingly impossible to be solved.
Compared to the first version of this wonderful work, this edition brings additions that grow, not only numerically, but especially its quality. As a coach, who commonly used the first edition of this work, "555 miniature studies", I can appreciate, without the fear to be wrong, that we are dealing with a complex material, very useful for coaches who want to put "to work" their students, in preparing them for high performance. For these reasons I consider that such a book must have its place in every coach's library and, probably, in any chess lover's library. Especially I would like to take this opportunity to thank to the son of the great Genrich Kasparian, Mr. Sergei Kasparian who, by his kindness, provided us his father's manuscript and without whose goodwill is not known when this book might see the daylight. Sergei Kasparian is also a chess composition lover, which is why, at the end of this book, I introduced some of his most interesting studies.
International Master Neboisa Illijin
From the Author
There are lots of incomparable spiritual values in the world. These values are accumulated also in chess and they form an essential part of the culture of the human civilization.
Chess composition, also known as “chess poetry”, created its values and its knowledge offers not only an esthetic satisfaction but it can be very useful to everybody who wants to learn chess.
Chess composition appeared long time ago and it has its own history. The author does not want to present all the stages of its development. He only wants to emphasize how much chess composition is inculcated to the game itself, being a useful guide for the chess player.
Chess composition may be divided into two chapters: studies and problems. The studies are more close to the practical game, because the ideas are better explained in this case. They help the development of the analytical abilities, deepen the knowledge in end-games and contribute with numerous ideas and combinations.
The number of ideas in the studies is inexhaustible, enriching the art of chess and making it more attractive. It is known that, seldom, the studies help the discovery of some “theoretical positions” widening our knowledge in end-game theories. Many times in chess we find expressions such as “draw study” or “win study”, thing that means that we are facing an ingenious idea, a beautiful combination or an interesting action that permits one of the opponents to achieve his aim. A player that cannot use a win or draw of study is considered to be a weak chess player. Besides the fact that he looses a point or half a point, loosing this possibility has negative influence upon his psyche and self-confidence. That’s why the chess players must have study knowledge’s in order to widen their perspectives.
A special attention was attributed to the works of the founders of the modern studies A. Troitski, G. Rinck, V. & M. Platov, L. Kubbel, and it is not to be understood that others are less important in this school of composers.
Lots of times I tried to show the relation between various studies in order to help the reader to follow the development of an idea. The majority of the studies comprised in the first book “555 miniature studies” in 1975 as well as the ones presented in this book are related to their artistic characteristic. This explains the reduced number of pawn studies. The author payed special attention to the comments, especially when the study was more complex. I found necessary to make detailed explanations when a variant analyses was needed, but I consider that the grater attention had to be given to the most important factors that influence directly or indirectly in main variant.
Generally, the study comments have a specific character. If in the case of an analysis of a chess game the analyzer is not obliged to present concrete variants of win or draw, in the case of the studies this thing is completely different. The expressions “chance to win” or “chance to draw” are not accepted in this case. The studies, as well as the end-game positions, need exact and categorical interpretations.
This book is different from the previous one not only due to the fact that it comprises a great number of studies, but also due to the updating of the interpretation of the previous positions. This was 18 years ago! A series of studies were excluded and new studies were introduced, in order to improve the quality of the book. This thing was not easy at all. Besides this, the new work was organically limited in order to fit into what remained from the first edition. I also preferred not to change the essence and form of the book written in 1975, because I consider that it passed the exam of time.
The author thinks that this book is interesting not only for the followers of the chess composition, but it will be also very pleasant for all the readers who love chess.
The idea of realizing a miniature studies guide (studies with no more than seven pieces) came to my mind in 1970. Until than there was no book of this kind, and therefore I had to investigate an unknown world.
There are know very few miniature studies of chess composition. It is obvious that it is impossible to comprise them all, and it is not necessary. We could speak only about the best and the most interesting ones. But, due to the fact that the interpretations could be subjective, the studies were chosen according to the writer’s wishes.
Among these studies we can find various stiles and dimensions. I tried to present in this collection several studies having in mind their content and feature.