While there are plenty of books dealing with chess openings, and no shortage of helpful volumes on the endgame, there are far fewer available on the all-important middle game. And yet, the middle game is one of the most challenging parts of the contest. It is then that the player has the chance to initiate long-range attacks and create defensive systems.
In this excellent study, two great grandmasters combine their talents in a masterly analysis of attack and defense in the middle game. Kotov was one of the great attacking players of the century, and in this book he has written an entire chapter devoted to the strategy and tactics of attacking the king. Conversely, Keres has contributed an outstanding and unconventional treatment of defense, showing how one can defend any position given the right spirit and understanding, no matter how hopeless it may seem.
The truth of Philidor's statement that "pawns are the soul of chess" is reflected in a helpful chapter in which Kotov demonstrates that the shape and configuration of pawns in the center have a vital bearing on the way one has to play the middle game. Finally, Keres takes up the difficult but rewarding topic of analysis, offering a practical and extremely thorough analysis of adjourned games, to reveal how a master's mind works and how one should analyze any given position.
In addition, there is an authoritative introduction by International Master and chess authority Harry Golombek, who has translated the volume. Brimming with insights and valuable strategic hints, The Art of the MiddleGame belongs in the library of every serious chess player.
Reprint of the Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England. Paperback, 256 pages.