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Risk & Bluff in Chess: The Art of Taking Calculated Risks
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Shortlisted for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year Award 2016!
You cannot win in chess without taking risks. Winning requires courage and psychology. No matter how deep you calculate, there always comes a point where you have to deal with uncertainties and take a decision.
What is carefully calculated risk, and what is bluff? And why were famous players like Lasker and Tal so successful with both? They realized that chess is not a science. Emotions also play a role behind the board. If you can guess what your opponent is feeling and thinking, you are ahead of him.
When your main aim is to derail your opponent’s calculation by weaving a web of deception, you engage in the highest form of risk: bluff.
Renowned chess coach Vladimir Tukmakov has played against, and worked with, quite a few chess greats. Many of them told him frankly about their thoughts and feelings during crucial games.
These stories became the foundation of a collection of more than 100 practical ways that masters and grandmasters have used to push beyond the limits of calculation and take a deliberate risk. It works – even at the highest level! Tukmakov shows how to trick your opponent into believing your bluff.
After studying this book, with its many fascinating and often funny examples, you will think twice before wasting an opportunity to do what even the greatest players do: bluff your way to victory!
Grandmaster Vladimir Tukmakov (born 1946 in Odessa) had a rich career as a chess player. He finished second in three Soviet championships and won the Ukrainian championship. After his active career he became an esteemed chess coach. He was the non-playing captain of the Ukrainian team that won gold at the 36th Chess Olympiad and currently he coaching Dutch chess star Anish Giri.
IM Jeremy Silman, author of 'How to Reassess Your Chess’:
„’Risk & Bluff’ is fantastic! Vladimir Tukmakov has turned out to be an extraordinary chess writer. 'Profession Chessplayer’ is top notch stuff and I really enjoyed his 'Modern Chess Preparation’. But 'Risk & Bluff’ is perhaps the best of the three. I hope people appreciate it. Please make sure Mr. Tukmakov keeps writing!”
British Chess Magazine:
„Probably the most recommendable middlegame book of the year.”
Johan Hut, Noord Hollands Dagblad:
„Tukmakov shows many examples where players don’t win by playing the best move, but by chosing a risky move. Why are players doing so? Tukmakov endeavours to explain this case by case.”
John Hartmann, Chess Life Magazine (US):
„A fascinating study of two misunderstood themes in chess (..) It might inspire readers to add a bit of spice to their play.”
IM John Donaldson:
„Tukmakov’s newest book deals with a topic seldom discussed in chess literature (..) [He] not only provides top-rate instructional material but also insights into the styles and preference of top-players (..) A book that should appeal to a wide range of players. Highly recommended.”
Max Euwe Centre, Amsterdam:
„Quite often games are decided by emotional choices, aren’t they? Vladimir Tukmakov, former top player and now top trainer, explores that emotional factor with lots of examples.”
GM Matthew Sadler, former British Champion:
„An excellent book, great fun to read!”
GM Robin Swinkels, Schaaksite.nl:
„In general, Tukmakov’s examples are excellent, from classic as well as modern games. The beauty is that there are lots of useful tips and suggestions, some of which I subconsciously was aware of, but never had seen explicitly expressed.”
CHESS Magazine (UK):
„The emphasis is on practical play and when one should take risks. Even famous positional players have been known to roll the dice on occasion and win after tangling their opponent up in the resulting web of complications.”
British Chess Magazine:
„A wonderful publication, stripping much of the cant, mystique and unnecessary verbiage that is often associated with textbooks.”
GM Raymond Keene, The Sunday Times:
„One of the most entertaining books I have ever encountered (..)Tukmakov’s book is packed with the most outrageous decisions and his engaging, chatty yet instructive writing style makes the whole thing a delight to read. A common theme can be seen in the extraordinary gantlets players run in terms of exposing their kings in the middlegame.”
„A welcome book for every chess player on every level.”
Praise for 'Modern Chess Preparation’, by Vladimir Tukmakov:
Martin Rieger, Rochade Europa Magazine:
„Tukmakov has created a unique symbiosis: a training book with stories. Qualifications such as 'brilliant’ or 'wonderful’ are really far too stale for this work (..) This book will most probably become a classic in chess literature.”
Carsten Hansen, ChessCafe:
„The last chapter, 'Deciding Games’, makes for fascinating reading. It is clearly a subject that has not been covered in great detail in any book that I can think of. It discusses how to approach those key games that can be last-round deciders, but even crucial games earlier in the tournament against key opponents.”