Of course, chess is just a game. True, unlike most games, it also includes elements of logic and art, hut for many people in our modern world everything that is not related to development is a waste of time. My parents held the same opinion until 1981, when I first earned decent money, by Soviet standards, working as a coach for Maya Chiburdanidze in the World Championship match. But, putting aside my engineering diploma, I chose this path and decided to devote my whole life to chess. Returning to the traditional question: if I had to start life anew ... I answer myself- I would become a chess player again!
In recent years, chess has increasingly become a testing ground for the latest electronic technologies. The chess computer has become so strong that the application on your mobile phone can surpass the best grandmasters. The Internet and the emergence of powerful chess engines have changed our game, and computer preparation for the game has led players to play stronger already at a younger age. The computer has become a powerful learning tool in our time. Of course, such new trends did not pass by the author of this book. I started working with computer engines in the late 90s. At first it was an attempt to find new ideas in the opening. Later, when I worked on writing two volumes (2002-2008) of the "CARPATHIAN WARRIOR", I analyzed thousands of games and unearthed many discoveries. In those years I had to help the computer engines, I had to indicate the direction of the search. Tactically, the programs were by then well-prepared, of course, hut they still did not provide a convincing assessment of the position. Over the past few years, much has changed, and the programs already dictate the direction of chess fashion ...
Since 1963, I have played about 4,500 games in various tournaments and for my book I chose those encounters most memorable to me. I chose the games mainly following three criteria:
1. The presence of combinations with material sacrifice.
2. An important novelty in the opening.
3. An interesting endgame.
Por this book, I specially analyzed my games and took on one of the latest versions of STOCKFISH as an assistant. Analyzing my old games again, I was often unpleasantly surprised that what I considered a plus often turned out to be a bluff. There were also pleasant moments in this work when it turned out that in some games I performed more than 80% of moves along the first line of the modern computer engine. In many notes on the initial stage of games, the reader will find options that are poorly covered in chess literature, and I hope that my respected reader will include these options in his repertoire (perhaps not only for blitz or rapid chess). Let the reader not be embarrassed by the length of some comments. Firstly, chess is tactics and accurate calculation of options, and secondly, I tried to comment on the games so that the notes would be interesting to chess players of different levels.
Well, perhaps that's all, and let my dear reader judge everything himself.
April 2021, Vladimir Okhotnik