An instructive book covering a wide range of topics – and one sure to make you a better player.
In 100 Chess Master Trade Secrets: From Sacrifices to Endgames Andrew Soltis sets out 100 key items of information, the kinds of things it is necessary or at least highly useful to know, if you want to progress as a chessplayer. The first chapter presents 25 middle-game stratagems, one such being the minority attack; the second examines 25 aspects of good endgame play (e.g. domination, building a fortress). Next, there’s a chapter covering standard sacrifices like …Rx(N)c3 in the Sicilian. Finally, a chapter devoted to theoretical endings (e.g. the Lucena and Philidor positions). Each chapter closes with a short set of exercises.
What holds your attention, even when presented with quite familiar fare, is Soltis’s knack of annotating a chess position. He does it in such a way that he tells a story, making each player’s intentions clear. Triumph and disappointment is there for all to see. This is his main strength as a writer, in my opinion: he is adept at bringing out the drama inherent in a chess game.
Most of the positions, where appropriate, are fairly recent. As no-nonsense handbooks go, this is an excellent example of the genre. An essential arsenal of chess concepts and techniques.
By Andrew Soltis
There is an interesting interview with Andrew Soltis at the US Chess Trust website, here.
The publisher’s description of 100 Chess Master Trade Secrets: From Sacrifices to Endgames by Andrew Soltis can be read here.