Vladimir TukmakovSample pages (pdf)
From the author's introduction:
The arrival of computers has dramatically changed chess. Furthermore, the fateful question of who is stronger, man or machine, has long been answered. Far from being a foe or rival the computer has become an invaluable helper, consultant and the highest of authorities.
The task before each player is to use this dominant and universally accessible power to their particular advantage.
How does modern chess compare to the game of the same name that was quite popular in the days of the former Soviet Union? In the past few decades it has changed far less than the successor of that country, known as Russia. The same 8x8 board, the same pieces and even the rules remain practically the same.
If one were to look behind the scenes there are significant changes. A typical scene of preparation for a tournament or individual game, involving a bona fide chess professional of the 70s, or 80s, looked something like this: mountains of disorganized literature, random notebooks, notes on scraps of paper and the pieces themselves. Nowadays some professionals don't even have a board, never mind books. The computer replaced everything.
This isn't good or bad but rather just the reality of modern times. Together with yesterday's training relics, practically gone are the explorers. Those who were ready to check over and sharpen new ideas endlessly, sometimes absolutely fantastic - and sometimes unquestionably insane.
At present the process still grinds on day and night. One, and sometimes more, engines toil without rationing electricity, sometimes checking on their master's ideas or more often showing their own evaluations on screen with each conclusion supplemented by an exact numeric equivalent. There is no arguing with such an expert. The almighty judge knows all and can answer any question. All that is needed is patience.
Intuition and improvisation are gradually phased out by exact knowledge and calculation. So far this has only become fully evident in the opening. More than anything else it has become opening preparation which has made the biggest fundamental change to professional chess. So now let us peer behind the curtain.
Vladimir Tukmakov was a strong Grandmaster in the "golden era" of the Soviet Union's chess dominance. In the 1970s and 1980s he won gold medals at the Chess Olympiad and European Team Championships. Later he captained the Ukranian team to victory in the 2004 Olympiad.
Published 2020, softback, 496 pages.