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John Nunn's Chess Course

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Post  ChessCaissa on Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:07 pm

PDF (26.7 mb):

Thanks to the original uploader at Chess India! sunny

Following on from his successful books Understanding Chess Endgames and Understanding Chess Middlegames, John Nunn fleshes out the theory by showing how World Champion Emanuel Lasker handled a wide variety of practical situations. We see how Lasker’s play, which his opponents found so unfathomable, was based on logic, extreme pragmatism and a deep understanding of how chess-players think.
• Covers topics not usually considered, such as queenless middlegames and manoeuvring
• Dissects strategic issues including piece activity, pawn-structure and bishop vs knight
• Looks at psychological aspects of chess, such as choosing lines which are most uncomfortable for the opponent
• Discusses how to handle inferior positions
• Explanations focus on general ideas rather than detailed analysis
• Features more than 100 of the most instructive examples from Lasker’s career
• Concludes with a selection of exercises, with full commentary and explanation

Emanuel Lasker from Germany – chess player, mathematician and philosopher – held the world title for 27 years, longer than any other champion. His victories against many of the all-time greats were based on an ahead-of-his-time understanding and had a subtle but profound influence on modern chess thinking.

Product details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Gambit Publications (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1906454825
ISBN-13: 978-1906454821

From a review on the web:

There is much debate these days about whether Magnus Carlsen has already surpassed Garry Kasparov as the best player of all time - have these people forgotten that Carlsen has only been World Champion for less than a year now? Kasparov reigned for fifteen years while Lasker, on the other hand, was World Champion for twenty seven years. The Norwegian youngster still has a long way to go.

John Nunn has recently published a very interesting chess improvement book based on the games of Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941): John Nunn's Chess Course, published by Gambit. The reasons should be obvious. In Nunn's own words:

"His chess credentials are impeccable, as he was World Champion for 27 years, longer than any other person. Moreover, he had what is often termed a 'universal' style, in that he could handle all types of position well, and therefore a study of his games would benefit all aspects of the reader's style. His style tended towards straightforward plans, which he executed precisely. Such clear-cut play is especially instructive, because it's possible to understand what he was trying to do and transfer the learning to one's own games. I certainly gained a great deal from looking at his games in detail, and felt that my own understanding of chess had become broader as a result."

Nunn's book, however, is not a biography of Lasker, and the focus is very much on Lasker's games and their instructive qualities. In fact, "the Doctor" has clear ambitions to "cover the most important chess themes", with a "strong emphasis on thought-processes and decision-making". Nor is it the kind of book that only shows fragments where the hero plays exclamation mark moves and mercilessly crushes his inferior opponents.

(The analysis) is vintage Nunn. He is always critical and looking for improvements on both sides. He uses examples from very different situations to explain characteristics of a position. And he always gives alternatives and elaborates on their respective merits. Most of all, he is objective and tries to treat any game of chess as a neutral battle, without prejudice.

This becomes particularly clear in the chapter 'Misunderstood Genius' in which Nunn discusses Lasker's reputation and how chess commentators have dealt with his games. It appears to me that much of what he says can also be said of Magnus Carlsen, and serves as a good antidote to those who, despite his successes, still criticize the current World Champion's play.

"The general perception of Lasker is that he was an extremely lucky player and regularly swindled his opponents. It's true that he was skilfull at turning round inferior positions, but these reversals owed less to swindling than to his general chess skill and in particular his ability to create deceptive situations on the chessboard."

Nunn then goes on to discuss well-estabilished narratives of Lasker's games, and how annotators "just repeat the same story again and again":

"In the case of Lasker's games it was often very wrong. (...) One problem with faulty assessments is not that they are misleading or just plain wrong, but they also obscure the instructive qualities of the games. For example, annotators, believing Black to be better in a particular position, often come up with all sorts of ingenious and superficially convincing explanations as to why this should be so. However, if the position is in fact equal, then these explanations cannot possibly be correct, and the principles which are supposed to be illustrated by the example are in fact irrelevant to the given position."


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Post  jnabri01 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:13 pm

Thank you very much


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Post  tanvirrahman on Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:43 pm

Link is dead. Please reupload


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Post  The Rook on Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:49 pm

New Link...

Thanks to the original uploader.
The Rook
The Rook

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Post  Vaterachess on Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:24 pm

Thanks, great author, great topic! Lasker has always been one of my favourites!


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Post  Guest on Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:25 am

Much Thanks ChessCaissa (+1) and The Rook (+1)!!    Very Happy


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