Petrosian's Legacy

EPUB EBook by Tigran Petrosian

EBook Description

(tl; download; dr: the book is awesome, is very readable, and has tremendous practical value)

I'm shocked at how much I love this book. Petrosian's Legacy EPUB EBook I pretty much bought it on a whim. Lesson learned: I need to trust my whims more often. Here are the salient points:

The quality of the games is excellent. Even without the annotations, the book is full of inherently interesting games, the kind that are a very nice rejoinder to the line that "Petrosian is a boring player"

The book is a wonderful blend of biography, psychology, and technical lessons. The chapters are plentiful and short, and they generally follow the format of chess lessons, where Petrosian presents games that serve to illustrate a theme. Some chapters are psychological - EPUB e.g., "Rely but Verify" , others more technical, e.g., "The Positional Exchange Sacrifice". Yet Petrosian suffuses all of the chapters with his personality, either in the form of biography or on the form of clear, but wry comments. To take one example out of many: "The next part of the game is rather boring, consisting mainly of positional maneuvering. If you do not fall asleep, keep in mind the following when you play over moves 21-23. Hanging pawns are good when they control important central squares, or take an aggressive stance and threaten to advance and disrupt the opponent's army. It is therefore necessary to know that the main positional method of fighting against hanging pawns is by attacking them directly. Such attacks are often designed just to provoke one of the pawns to advance, leaving a hole where the attacker may comfortably lodge his pieces."

By far the best use of diagrams I have ever seen in a chess book. Many chessbooks seem to put diagrams seemingly at random, or right before a "fun" move. This book does it right: diagrams immediately precede lengthy variations. This lets you play through the variation and then easily set up the position again so that you can play through the main line.

Judicious use of variations. The vast majority of variations are short, can be followed without moving pieces by intermediate players, and are very well explained. Intermediate players and above will almost never wonder why Petrosian came up with a given assessment. Everything is pertinent.

Excellent set of examples that illustrate what you may have learned in other strategy-oriented books. If you're a serious enough chess player to care about Petrosian and a serious enough book reader to be checking out Goodreads reviews, then you probably have read at least part of a strategy book (e.g.: Amateur's Mind, How to Reassess Your Chess, Winning Chess Strategies, Chess Strategies for the Tournament Player, etc.). What this book does is bash those concepts into your head by practical example after practical example. The best part of it is that Petrosian doesn't just play strategically; he basically flat-out tells you "Here is the think that I'm doing to get that square ready to serve as a knight outpost."

Clarity of explanations. As I mentioned above, each chapter in the book has a central theme. That's fine, but even if that were not the case, Petrosian's comments are some of the most lucid I have ever seen. He manages to explain the plans and ideas behind the moves in ordinary language, and does so persuasively. Petrosian's methodical playing style helps here. Actually, it's difficult (for me) to explain. Unlike a Tal or a Nezhmetdinov, Petrosian doesn't go for intuitive, speculative attacks. So far so good. So is he a Botvinnik? There are affinities there, but taking their respective explanations of their playing styles at their word, Petrosian seems more concerned with how concrete variations inform the harmony of the position. I don't want to overstate the point, though and I think that the case could be made that Botvinnik and Petrosian have the same basic approach. Certainly, they are both able to express their plans in terms of practical objectives that yield more general results.

"Sergei, you're getting off topic." Darn right I am! That's what exciting books do to me, and hopefully to you too! Seriously, this is a great book. I could go on and on and on but I won't. I'll end by saying that this was a page-turner for me, and I have tremendous admiration for Petrosian as a player, teacher, and person. Like this book? Read online this: The Salt-Stained Book (Strong Winds, #1), The Wyndham Legacy (Legacy, #1).

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