Having you ever been tortured at the chessboard? If so, then you have probably been a victim of pressure play.
Elite players are brilliant exponents of pressure play. In situations where they have either a tiny advantage or no advantage at all they are highly adept at constantly setting problems for their unfortunate opponents. The position on the board may appear lifeless but they can probe and find plans and regroupings that will constantly ask their opponents difficult questions. These can be countered only by continual alert and accurate defence and we all know how difficult and wearing that can be.
The arch exponent of pressure play is world champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is superb in this area of the game and consistently defeats world class opposition from simplified positions where he has no advantage whatsoever. How does he do it?
In this book, the highly experienced author and coach Neil McDonald analyses the finest examples of pressure play. In doing so he teases out the fundamental concepts that enable players like Carlsen to torture their opponents mercilessly.
- Paralyse the enemy pieces.
- Target the weakest squares on the board.
- Increase and exploit a space advantage.
Master pressure play and it will be your opponent on the rack, not you.
Neil McDonald became a grandmaster in 1996 and a FIDE trainer in 2017. He is a regular coach of the England Junior team at international events. Neil has written numerous books on openings, endgames, tactics and strategy as well as biographies of famous players. He lives in Gravesend in Kent, England.