Mastering Chess - A Course in 25 Lessons - Danny Kopec, Geoff Chandler, Chris Morrison, Ian Mullen

Mastering Chess is a unique book in that it covers the essentials which every aspiring chess player must know well (from Novice to Expert) to reach the chess Master level. The first edition was popular for some 20 years (from 1985 - 2005) while in print with four different publishers (including Pergamon/Oxford, Cadogan and Everyman/London, Dover / Mineola, NY).

It has been rated one of the five best chess books of its kind. Each Chapter of this new edition has new material added and the book has essentially doubled in size. Each Chapter includes new Exercise positions with solutions.

Besides being a self-study self help book, it was designed for chess teachers and chess courses. First there is a spritely written 1st Chapter on Tactics and Combinations by Geoff Chandler of Edinburgh Scotland. Mr. Chandler has updated his popular work with observations of play and missed opportunities from Internet play.

The 2nd Chapter introduces a new author (Life Master Ian Harris) and a new approach to how openings can be learned. It presents Dr. Kopec's idea that openings can be learned from the perspective of the following five goals: 1) Development 2) Center Control 3) King Safety 4) Space and 5) Material Balance.

Dr. Kopec has been expousing this idea for a number of years in his lectures and chess camps. If effective, it is a novel way of teaching a subject that entails volumes and volumes of books over a number of centuries! Mr. Harris has developed this Chapter spanning some 50 pages in conjunction with Dr. Kopec.

Dr. Kopec has added new material to his Chapter 3: How To Analyze a Position including lessons on the topics: The Point Count Method, Grand Central Station, and Don't Believe Everything Your Computer Tells You.

New exercises have also been added at the end of this Chapter. Chapter 4 (by Chris Morrison) has also been extended with an additional lesson entitled "Good and Bad Pieces" and number of additional exercises. Chapter 5 (by the late Ian Mullen) has been extended with a lesson entitled "More Advanced Endings".

This Chapter has always proven very useful for teachers and courses on the endgame. The material is suitable for players from Novice to Master!

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Our Purpose and Suggested Learning Methods -- Dr. Danny Kopec

Chapter 1: Tactics and Combinations (Lessons 1-4) -- Geoff Chandler

Lesson 1: Combination
Lesson 2: Mating Attacks
Lesson 3: Material Gain Combinations
Lesson 4: Instructive Positions and Constructive Advice
Exercises Chapter 1
Solutions to Exercises Chapter 1
Tactics and Combinations 30 Years Later
New Exercises Chapter 1
Solutions to New Exercises Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Opening Principles and Ideas (Lessons 5-9) -- Ian Harris

Lesson 5: Development
Lesson 6: Control of The Center
Lesson 7: King Safety
Lesson 8: Space
Lesson 9: Material Balance
Exercises Chapter 2
Solutions to Exercises Chapter 2

Chapter 3: How To Analyze a Position (Lessons 10-16) -- Danny Kopec

Lesson 10: An Introduction to Positional Analysis
Lesson 11: What Are The Threats in the Position
Lesson 11.5: The Four Golden Rules of Analysis
Lesson 12: What Are The Essential Features of a Position
Lesson 13: Inability to Draw on Previous Experience to Form a Plan
Lesson 14: The Point Count Method
Lesson 15: Grand Central Station
Lesson 16: Don’t Always Believe The Computer
Exercises Chapter 3
Solutions to Exercises Chapter 3
New Exercises Chapter 3
Solutions to New Exercises Chapter 3

Chapter 4: How To Formulate A Plan (Lessons 17-21) -- Chris Morrison

Lesson 17: Basic Pawn Structures
Lesson 18: Pawn Islands, Outposts and Color Complexes
Lesson 19: Open Lines – Part I
Lesson 20: Half-Open Files
Lesson 21: Good and Bad Pieces (Danny Kopec)
Exercises Chapter 4
Solutions Chapter 4
New Exercises Chapter 4 (Danny Kopec)
Solutions to New Exercises Chapter 4 (Danny Kopec)

Chapter 5: Essential Endgame Knowledge (Lessons 22-25) -- Ian Mullen

Lesson 22: King and Pawn Endings
Lesson 23: Minor Piece Endings
Lesson 24: Rook and Pawn Endings
Lesson 25: More Advanced Endings (Danny Kopec)
Exercises Chapter 5
Solutions Chapter 5
New Exercises Chapter 5 (Danny Kopec)
Solutions to New Exercises Chapter 5 (Danny Kopec)

Appendix A: Practical Tournament Tips and Advice – Ian Mullen et. al

Appendix B: World Champion’s Mastery Lessons – Danny Kopec


Index of Games by Chapter

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