In this highly original book, Grandmaster Alexander Ipatov shares the chess philosophy that helped him become a top Grandmaster. Contrary to the generally accepted norms that permeate the modern chess world, he argues that spending most of one's training time on studying opening theory and memorizing trending lines until move 30 is wrong. However, this is exactly how most beginners start learning chess nowadays.
Some strong Grandmasters also fall into this trap when they prioritize opening theory ahead of other aspects of the game. this often leads to fundamental gaps in one's chess understanding, a deficit that is really hard to fix, especially for young players. Ipatov's ideology is based on the belief that one should work on enhancing one's general chess understanding and take a surprise-first approach when it comes to playing openings. The aim is to avoid opponents' preparation in the mainstream theory and take them out of book in the early stages of the game.
Most of the book is comprised of Ipatov's original analyses covering a variety of offbeat opening lines from Black's perspective. His recent game against the 2018 US Chess Champion Sam Shankland, where Ipatov implemented a novelty on move two - something unheard of in the modern era - serves as a good illustration that the philosophy deserves more attention and research than it currently receives. This book serves to fill this gap and stimulate more debate on the subject. Volume 2, covering offbeat opening ideas for White, will be published later in 2019.
Alexander Ipatov is a Ukrainian-born Turkish chess Grandmaster. He won the national championship twice (2014, 2015) and played in the Turkish national team in three World Chess Olympiads (2012, 2014, 2016), two European Team Chess Championships (2013, 2015) and one World Team Chess Championships (2013). He also contested two World Cups (2013, 2015). Alexander won the World U-20 Junior Chess Championship in 2012 and claimed the silver medal in the same competition the following year. Currently he resides in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he captains one of the strongest collegiate chess teams in the United States and pursues his second master's degree.
ISBN: 978-94-9251-048-8, Paperback (Softcover) 360 pages, Thinkers Publishing
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