Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev ranks as one of the most creative chess minds ever in the history of the royal game. This is his book of secrets and methods, his remarkable life’s work.
Zaitsev unearthed astonishing ideas which even giants of the game had overlooked. World champions Tigran Petrosian and Anatoly Karpov insisted on Zaitsev’s analytical help in their matches, wanting to be first to play his profound discoveries, such as the famous Zaitsev Variation of the Ruy Lopez.
Zaitsev was himself a tournament champion. With his sharp, combinative style, he won dozens of "Most Beautiful Game" awards. Many of these games provide context for his lessons.
But Zaitsev is even more than a renowned coach and competitor. Part analyst, part champion, part chess philosopher, and part chess poet, he reveals the underlying logic and beauty of chess in a way no one else has ever done.
In his eye-opening title chapter, “Attacking the Strongpoint,” Zaitsev makes explicitly clear a common strategic element never formalized until this book. Often overlooked by amateurs and even GMs, the idea can lead to winning tactics in many games!
Backed up by top-level games, Zaitsev also provides deep-level explanations about:
- Combinations and Piece Harmony
- Strategy and Structure
- Learning from the Cycle of Chess Epochs
- The Role of Reason and Judgement
- The Chess Law of Conservation of Energy
- Strategy: Evolution vs. Revolution, Recognizing a Favorable Structure
As you read Zaitsev, you’ll often find yourself thinking, "Ah, now I get it!"
The volume is topped off by supplemental games, a complete autobiography by Zaitsev, a special foreword by world champion Garry Kasparov, as well as tributes and memories from world champion Anatoly Karpov and famed coach Mark Dvoretsky.