Title: Winning Chess Strategies
Author: Yasser Seirawan
The answers lie in strategy. If one can understand the basics of strategy, and when to apply which appropriately, one can win the middle game. Fortunately, Syrian-born American chess champion Yasser Seirawan is ready to help. In Winning Chess Strategies, Seirawan builds on the force, time, space and pawn structure concepts he introduced in Play Winning Chess (reflection here). New and expanded principles include making the most of a material advantage, stopping enemy counterplay and the creation of targets. In general, positional play requires paying attention, formulating clear objectives and limiting the opportunities available to your opponent.
It struck me that winning a chess game is all about controlling the narrative. After all, if your opponent is always forced to react to what you're doing, s/he stands no chance at furthering his/her own cause. We see the same game played politically all the time. Of course, it's one thing to know this, quite another to understand how to do it.
Seirawan, a positional player himself, includes a lot more of examples from his own games than he did in previous books. While this could come across as arrogance, he humbly includes a couple of his games where his strategic errors led to his downfall and also admits when he failed to capitalize on early-won advantages. Once again, I thoroughly enjoy the personality he projects as a writer.
I have to admit that I have not played much chess over the past several months. With the school year about to begin, it's difficult to imagine that changing but I'd certainly like to get back to playing more. Reading baseball books makes me want to watch more baseball. Reading chess books makes me want to play more chess. In the end, all I really wish for is more time to read. Alas, summer is nearly over.