John WatsonSample pages (pdf)
In the seventy years since Nimzowitsch wrote his revolutionary book "My System" our understanding of positional play has changed radically. Players often accept positional weaknesses (e.g. a backward pawn) in exchange for dynamic piece play. Here Watson discusses how classical concepts are interpreted today before more modern positional ideas of which Nimzowitsch and his contemporaries were unaware.
The first section of the book discusses how the understanding of classical themes, such as pawn majorities, the centre, and structural weaknesses, have been refined. Watson then moves on to discuss new concepts, including the willingness of modern players to accept backward pawns in return for dynamic play, the idea of a good "bad" bishop, knights finding useful roles at the edge of the board and the exchange sacrifice idea that became prevalent with the post-war Soviet champions. This profound yet thoroughly practical work is rounded off with sections on prophylactic thinking, dynamism, modern concepts as they apply to the critical contemporary opening systems, and some thoughts on the future of chess.
This thought provoking masterpiece was voted both USCF and BCF "Book of the Year" in 1999.
Published 1999, softback, 272 pages.