Gambit Books

101 CHESS ENDGAME TIPS (Steve Giddins)
112 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Popular chess author Steve Giddins presents 101 ideas that are vital to successful endgame play. By absorbing and understanding these concepts and methods, you will ensure that you will spot them when they are possible in your own games. This is an ideal book to read without using a chess set, as the abundant diagrams guide you through the analysis and illustrate the key points. All types of endings are covered, including both simple technical situations and more complex strategic battles. The tips include both pithy rules of thumb and general thinking methods. The examples are drawn from an immense variety of sources and based on Giddins's experiences as a player, coach and pupil.

Steve Giddins is a FIDE Master from England who plays regularly in international events and has frequently contributed to the British Chess Magazine. This is his fourth book for Gambit. He has gained a reputation as a writer who provides useful, no-nonsense advice on topics of genuine practical importance.

Gambit books by Steve Giddins: 101 Chess Opening Traps, 101 Chess Endgame Tips, How to Build Your Chess Opening Repertoire, 50 Essential Chess Lessons, 50 Ways to Win at Chess.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Instructive for players of all levels" - GM Michael Adams, Daily Telegraph

"Steve Giddins' no-nonsense advice is dispensed with his trademark wry humour and easy readability." - John Saunders, BCM

"What I found particularly good in this book was the clear, concise explanatory text that accompanies each position. So many endgame books simply give lists of moves without explaining their purpose. The reasons behind them may be obvious to GMs but ordinary mortals, at whom the book is clearly aimed, need to be spoon fed this information, and Giddins does this particularly well." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"...this book by Steve Giddins is an excellent place to start your quest to have a better endgame understanding. As the title says, it contains 101 Endgame themes and strategems, (among them: 'defying euclid', 'knights hate rooks pawns', 'good bishop versus bad', 'the minority attack'), which are all explained in simple language, and with illustrative examples. These are sub-divided into relevant sections: Kings and Pawns, Knights, Bishops, Knight vs Bishop, Rooks, Queens, Strategy and Technique. The author does not waffle, but cuts to the chase, stating the points and strategies of each theme and position so that you can confidently approach them in your play. What I like about this book, also, is that it does not just deal with attack and winning, but also how to defend and not miss theoretical draws. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and found it very instructive and practical. I recommend it because I am sure that players of all ages and levels will benefit from reading it." - John Lee Shaw,

"...seldom I have seen such a entertaining read on endgames as this one from Steve Giddins! ... Buy it for the super instructive endgame notes!" - John Elburg,

"Extremely instructive. Steve Giddins writes with a clarity that serves the subject well." - Michael Blake,

112 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The c3 Sicilian is one of White's most popular and poisonous ways to avoid the main lines of the Sicilian. White denies his opponent the chance to demonstrate his preparation in some chaotic system; instead he will have to fight carefully for equality in a more rational position of White's choosing. There are plenty of tricks and traps in the c3 Sicilian, and the open piece-play that often results can lead to quick attacks and means that careless play will rarely go unpunished.

Sam Collins is a young International Master from Ireland who won the Irish Championship in 2002. He competed in several World and European junior championships and has represented Ireland in four Olympiads, winning a gold medal at Bled in 2002. He is also an experienced chess teacher who has lectured at the Berkeley Chess School in California. His previous book for Gambit was the highly successful general opening work Understanding the Chess Openings.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"He/she who does not have enough time to study the endless variations of the Open Sicilian would be well advised to consult this book. Also players of the Sicilian can, with Sam Collins' work, prepare themselves for unpleasant surprises." - Martin Rieger,

112 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The English Opening is a flexible and dynamic choice for White, which avoids a great deal of sharp and well-mapped opening theory. It is popular with all levels of chess-players, and has been used to good effect at world championship level by Kasparov, Korchnoi, Botvinnik and other greats of the game. The English gives rise to an immense variety of structures, ranging from reversed Sicilians to Hedgehogs and fluid or locked central structures. It is an opening where strategic mastery of typical positions is of immense benefit, and where Black needs to combine circumspection and vigour to obtain a viable game.

Zenon Franco is a grandmaster from Paraguay who now lives in Spain. He is an experienced chess trainer, his most notable pupil being Paco Vallejo, now one of the world's top grandmasters, whom he taught from 1995 to 1999.

Gambit books by Franco: Chess Explained: the English Opening, Chess Explained: the Modern Benoni, Chess Self-Improvement, Winning Chess Explained.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Many of these games come from the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 so besides the instructive explanations from the Paraguay born chess grandmaster the reader is insured with a wealth of latest developments! ... Conclusion: An impressive work on the English opening!" - John Elburg,

"Zenon Franco presents an enjoyable and instructive analysis of twenty five games from the last four years, players featured include Kasparov, Anand, Bareev and Topalov." - Michael Blake,

"The 25 games are presented in three parts: the Symmetrical (1.c4 c5), the Reversed Sicilian (1.c4 e5) and the Nimzo-English (1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6). Inside of these groupings lines covered include the Hedgehog, Double Fianchetto and Rubinstein systems after 1.c4 c5; the reversed Sicilian with ...d5 and ...Bb4 and the Mikenas Attack ( 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 and 3.Nf3 Bb4). Each of these lines is covered at length and quite well..." - IM John Donaldson,

"The author faced a formidable task in trying to reduce the mass of material available to manageable proportions. Overall, he has acquitted himself well. He has provided a solid basis for tackling this extremely complex opening system" - Alan Sutton, En Passant

112 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The Taimanov Sicilian is one of the most flexible options for Black in the Open Sicilian. Black avoids committing himself to a rigid set-up, and tailors his response once White has shown his hand. This can lead to a great variety of central structures, and the player with the better understanding of typical Sicilian themes will often emerge victorious - Taimanov positions need to be understood well in order to be played well. Many of the post-war World Champions have used the Taimanov, and amongst the current world elite, Anand has played it most frequently. This book covers the Paulsen set-up with ...Qc7 in addition to the 'pure' Taimanov with ...Nge7.

James Rizzitano is a strong international master who dominated chess in the New England region during a 14-year period from 1976 to 1989 - he won 157 out of 336 events in which he competed. His career highlights include victories over Alburt, Benjamin, Benko, Christiansen, Dlugy, I.Gurevich, and Wolff, and exciting draws with de Firmian, Larsen, Speelman, and the legendary former world champion Tal. Rizzitano has recently made a return to competitive chess.

Gambit books by Rizzitano: Understanding Your Chess, How to Beat 1 d4, Chess Explained: the Taimanov Sicilian, Chess Explained: the Queen's Gambit Declined.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Rizzitano's goal, as in the other 'Chess Explained' books is: 'to enable the club and tournament player to handle both the White and Black sides of the Taimanov Sicilian with confidence. The emphasis in this volume is on describing the typical plans and strategies for each side within the context of 25 high-level annotated games - there is less focus on detailed sub-variations. The games have been selected to illustrate distinctive Taimanov Sicilian middlegame and endgame themes across a wide variety of lines.' He succeeds in this and also manages to find the space to verbally describe strategies throughout the book, while even tossing in some chess philosophy. Unlike most authors, Rizzitano indeed pays some attention to the endgame, presenting instructive and thematic examples." - IM John Watson, TWIC

"I'm really impressed with how thorough and helpful the explanations are. I'm quite sure that anyone interesting in taking up the Taimanov would learn a lot from this book - in fact, the average club player would probably be able to make do with this as his or her one and only Taimanov book." - S Evan Kreider,

" is something that impressed me straight off. I can tell you, as a Taimanov player myself, (it is my main weapon against 1.e4), one of the biggest questions you face is whether to play 5...Qc7 or 5...a6. Rizzitano deals with this issue straight away, explaining why a player might prefer one to the other, and its features, benefits, and drawbacks. This is a very useful approach for the player who is new to the Taimanov, and one is aready being well equipped to begin playing it in an educated and considered manner. This really did get me very enthusiastic about this book straight away. ... Care is taken not to plough in to great amounts of theory, but in saying that, alternatives and variations are given where appropriate, as well as some new ideas which I found extremely thought provoking having played the opening for probably about 6 years or so, and having made detailed studies of its games." - John Lee Shaw,

"Once again [Rizzitano] has a winner." - IM John Donaldson,

"The games are well chosen and nicely annotated, and there are numerous references in the notes to other games which the diligent reader can consult if he so wishes." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"A very impressive effort!" - John Elburg,

"I think Rizzitano was a good choice for this particular book not only because he played the system again upon his return to chess, but because he is a lucid writer who can say the right things and you don't feel choked with information that, at this stage, isn't all that useful." - Bob Long,

160 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

Grandmaster Eingorn is an chess opening trendsetter. Throughout his career, he has introduced many novel concepts in the openings, and some of the systems he has introduced have gone on to become absolute main lines, such as the Rb1 Exchange Grünfeld. Here he explains the methods by which he prepares his openings and works out new systems from scratch, and how readers can do the same.

The broad topics he discusses include Experiments in the Opening, Disturbing the Equilibrium, Strategic Planning, and Opening Formations. He follows this up with a section of examples from modern practice, and theoretical articles on several of the opening lines that he has pioneered, taking us through the creative process, and the highs and lows of the practical testing and refinement of the ideas.

Viacheslav Eingorn is an extremely experienced grandmaster from Ukraine. He played regularly and successfully in the Top League of the USSR Championship in the 1980s. He has represented Ukraine many times in team events and plays frequently in the German Bundesliga and open tournaments across Europe. See also: Decision-Making at the Chessboard.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"The author is a renowned opening innovator, who has introduced many systems that have become main line theory, including the Rbl Exchange Grünfeld and Qc2 in the Queen's Gambit Declined. Here he 'explains the methods by which he prepares his openings,' and the creative process in general, and how small nuances can have a great impact on the strategic overview of a particular line. Topics include Experiments in the Opening, Disturbing the Equilibrium, Strategic Planning, and Opening Structures. All in all, this is a high-level treatise that requires more than a cursory understanding of the game." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons

"A study of this book will be most rewarding. It will make one aware of the rich possibilities that still exist in the opening phase of the game, even in this computer age." - Bill Frost,

"A highly interesting and thought-provoking work" - Steve Giddins, BCM

"GM Viacheslav Eingorn may have written one of the most worthwhile openings' books ever." - Bob Long,

"There is considerable distilled wisdom in this well-crafted book." - Cecil Rosner, Winnipeg Free Press

"This book is especially good in this day, when so many people rely on memorizing hundreds of book moves without any idea why those moves are played. Here players can learn the ideas behind the moves and how to correctly approach the opening. This book contains a wealth of information, and I would greatly encourage anyone wanting to improve their opening, to get this book!" - Andy May,

"Buy this book for its incredible ideas!" - John Elburg,

"Creative Chess Opening Preparation" will best be enjoyed by players from 2000 on up who want to increase their understanding of opening strategy and their ability to think outside the box." - IM John Donaldson, on Silman's website

336 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

For many chess-players, opening study is sheer hard work. It is difficult to know what is important and what is not, and when specific knowledge is vital, or when a more general understanding is sufficient. Tragically often, once the opening is over, a player won't know what plan to follow, or even understand why his pieces are on the squares on which they sit. John Watson seeks to help chess-players achieve a more holistic and insightful view of the openings. In his previous books on chess strategy, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy and Chess Strategy in Action, he explained vital concepts that had previously been the domain only of top-class players. Moreover, he did so in ways that have enabled them to enter the general chess consciousness of club players. Here he does likewise for the openings, explaining how flexible thinking and notions such as 'rule-independence' can apply to the opening.

In this major two-volume work, Watson presents a wide-ranging view of the way in which top-class players really handle the opening, rather than an idealized and simplified model. This volume, focusing on king's pawn openings, is a book that will make chess-players think hard about how they begin their games, while offering both entertainment and challenging material for study in openings such as the Sicilian and Ruy Lopez.

International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. His groundbreaking four-volume work on the English firmly established his reputation in the 1980s, and he has produced a string of top-quality works since. In 1999, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Watson's first book for Gambit, won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award and the United States Chess Federation Fred Cramer Award for Best Book. His former pupils include the 1997 World Junior Champion, Tal Shaked.

Gambit books by Watson: The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Chess Strategy in Action, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 1 and Mastering the Chess Openings volume 2.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"International Master John Watson of Lincoln, Nebraska, is widely regarded as one of the most influential chess writers in the world. His thoughtful masterpieces Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy and Chess Strategy in Action gave contemporary players an updated Nimzowitsch's My System and Euwe and Kramer's books on the Middlegame combined. His latest venture is no less bold. ... Mastering the Chess Openings Volume 1 is a first class production from a physical as well as chessic perspective.The two-column format is easy to read, the type-setting first rate, the paper of a good quality and the binding sturdy and ready for hard use. This is a book that belongs in every chess library. Highly Recommended." - IM John Donaldson,

"I would like to make special mention of Mastering the Chess Openings, an important new Gambit book by IM John Watson. The renowned American author previously won prestigious awards for earlier works ... and his new book will also be very well received. You'll find interesting analysis, ideas, and strategies relating to numerous popular openings, and many mysteries will be unravelled with the help of Watson's choice of instructive illustrative games that he has annotated with characteristic crystal-clear clarity." - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman

"The author explains it best when he writes that his goals are to explain the 'ideas, strategies, and interconnections of chess openings' as a whole, and to give a feel for 'the common threads that underlie opening play or the reasons why opening strategies can differ so radically,' so that 'regardless of the uncertainties of theory, you should be able to find your way through many of the problems posed by unfamiliar moves.' The first of two volumes, this focuses on king's pawn openings and should help to teach chessplayers how to think for themselves by examining openings 'from the ground up.' As individual variations are explored, special attention is given to move-order issues and how 'openings and their variations fit into the general contours of a chess game.' (Highly Recommended)" - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons

"Put it on the Christmas list!" - John Lee Shaw,

"A major release providing a powerful but easily read insight into modern opening theory. It may finally be time to ditch that old openings book and start to use this modern coverage of the openings and strategies behind them. Watson offers an opportunity to take your play to the next level. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" - Michael Blake,

"...seems to have what it takes to become another Watson classic!" - New-in-Chess,

"...promises to unlock the mysteries of modern opening play and as usual Watson is great in explaining the fundamentals and the basic ideas." - GM Lubomir Kavalek, Washington Post

"All openings are characterised by distinctive moves, but what Watson points out so cogently is that there are many inter-connecting ideas that apply to all these openings. The realisation of this fact by the average club player marks a tremendous leap forward in his understanding of the game. This, ultimately, is what the book is all about, and it should be high on the essential reading list of all aspiring players." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"A book that is overloaded with a unbelievable amount of instructive text." - John Elburg,


(Sverre Johnsen & Leif Johannessen)
208 pages (248 mm by 172 mm).

The Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Opening) is one of the critical chess battlegrounds. It has long been recommended as an excellent chess opening for training purposes, as it leads to a wide variety of structures and strategies. This book is a complete guide to handling the black side of the Lopez, based principally around the Zaitsev Variation, upon which Anatoly Karpov relied during much of his career. This line leads to sharp play, often in open battles where Black gains active counterplay and challenges White to seize the initiative on the kingside. The authors explain in detail how Black can weather the storm. They also explain how Black can handle the practical problem of the Ng5 repetition, and recommend reliable procedures against White's other options in the Lopez, starting off with the Exchange Variation, and moving on to a variety of closed systems. Throughout, the emphasis is on what readers actually need to know and understand in order to play the opening successfully in practice. There is a great deal of explanation of important ideas, and the authors take pains to guide their readers away from potential pitfalls.

Sverre Johnsen is a FIDE-rated player from Norway. He is an enthusiastic chess analyst, researcher and writer, and co-author of Win with the London System, one of the most popular openings books of recent years. Leif Johannessen is a young grandmaster, also from Norway. He plays in several national leagues and has represented his country in many team events. The quality of his opening preparation is shown by the fact that he won the prize for most important theoretical novelty in Informator 92.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Visit Sverre Johnsen's website, Sverre's Chess Corner.

"The book is amazingly thorough, with ample amounts of properly referenced analysis, suggestions, and improvements over existing theory, loads of original analysis, and plenty of explanatory prose to support the variations. The author provides detailed descriptions of the strategies and long-term plans for both sides. Moreover, the illustrative games are expertly annotated and provide further material for the student to gain an understanding of the opening. I highly recommend this book to players who are serious about their opening repertoires and about improving their overall game." - Carsten Hansen,

"The main body of the book is a repertoire book based on the Closed Ruy Lopez, offering Black some alternative lines from move nine onwards, and of course providing coverage of lines where White diverges first (e.g. the Exchange Lopez). The two authors provide plenty of textual material, delivered with style and humour. ... these two authors are engaging chess writers with a style of their own. The book is excellent and deserves to sell well." - John Saunders, BCM

"We are told that Johannessen was far from being an expert in playing the black side of the Lopez, but was planning to take it up! Furthermore he has tried to turn this negative into a positive, writing in his own Preface: 'In order to use my lack of experience with the Ruy Lopez in a constructive way, I would like to share with the readers how I prepared the opening while writing the book. The process was quite similar to what I would have done if I were to prepare the Closed Ruy Lopez only for myself.' I notice that he has been practising what he preached - in the database there are now some games of his on the black side of the Spanish. Johannessen's preface actually covers 15 pages and, if not quite 'worth the price of the book alone', as they say, it is certainly a very useful essay on how to choose and prepare an opening for serious use, in twelve steps. ... A very good opening book. Readers will learn a lot about the Closed Lopez, and therefore about chess, even if they never play the Zaitsev! Highly recommended." - Phil Adams, 3Cs website

"The two Norwegian chess cracks GM Leif Johannessen and the openings theoretician Sverre Johnsen concentrate in this latest Gambit repertoire book on the black side of the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez. ... A very important reference book on the Zaitsev variation!" - John Elburg,