How often have you seen a game like this?
The hero has no advantage whatsoever but somehow manages to keep setting the opponent problems. Their opponent goes slightly astray and suddenly hero has a tiny advantage. It’s not much but now that they have a little something to work with, they are in their element. They play accurately and remorselessly and make life incredibly difficult for their opponent. Suddenly, and almost imperceptibly, their advantage increases. Further tiny inaccuracies follow, hero turns the screw and bags the full point. Their opponent is left shaking their head, wondering where on earth they went wrong.
This is the squeeze and the great champions have been capable of squeezing opponents to death. José Capablanca, Tigran Petrosian, Anatoly Karpov and, in the current era, Magnus Carlsen are legendary in this respect.
How do they do it? How do they set problems in apparently sterile positions? How can they continuously manage to defeat world class opposition from positions that others would simply give up as drawn?
In this book, Cyrus Lakdawala explains the mechanisms commonly used in squeeze plays. Using examples from the world’s greatest strategic masters he unpicks the secrets of the squeeze.
Cyrus Lakdawala is an International Master, a former National Open and American Open Champion, and a six-time State Champion. He has been teaching chess for over 40 years, and coaches some of the top junior players in the U.S.
1 Blood from a Stone: How Magnus Squeezes Wins Out of Nothing 9
2 The Squeeze: Exploiting a Territorial Advantage 25
3 Exploiting Weakness on a Single Colour 79
4 Exploiting a Superior Minor Piece 108
5 Initiative and Superior Piece Activity 145
6 Exploiting a Superior Pawn Structure 220
7 Exploiting Imbalances 278
8 Accumulating Advantages 320
9 Converting Extra Material 372
10 Winning From Less than Nothing 440
Index of Complete Games 463