How to improve your chess game?

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Mihail Marin
Mihail Marin (GMBartek)

When you train yourself, alone or with help, the key question is how to improve you chess game? What should be your focus? Mihail Marin has made a great help for us to be stronger with taking together excellent material to do it.

He has looked closely to the chess career of 8 chess legends. Then he focus on one of the strongest parts of chess skills of each of them and write an excellent book about it.

Key points before we go to details:

Middle- and endgame book: Learning from the Legends – Chess Champions at their best

Profit after it: Very good training and understanding in 8 important chess skills.

Author: Very good chess writer GM Mihail Marin with proving high-quality performance in chess writing.

Rating: 8 of 10.

What we are talking about!

We are talking about the magnificent book of GM Mihail Marin, Learn from the Legends – Chess Champions at their best. This is six years work of Marion where he examines and explain the contribution from the chess legends who influence him strongly in his development.

Personally I can say that this book made a strong influence on me because how well and systematically he explain how each of the legends use the particular skill, Marin focuses on, in his games. For example is the rook chapter on of the best material I have seen writing about rook endgame, but more of that later.

But the profit of focus on the separate part from 8 players is huge in your training because you are taken import skill from 8 persons and trying to put that to one person, you!

Grandmaster Mihail Marin

But first, who is Grandmaster Mihail Marin? He is born 1965 and is one of the strongest chess players from Romania.  His chess skills are very versatile. Strong in endgame, positional and defense and all over an excellent player.

But he is even stronger chess writer. To name few of popular books from him we can say Secrets of Chess Defence, Secrets of Attacking Chess and Reggio Emilia 2007/2008, and we can keep going.

All of the is excellent work of an ambitious writer with great knowledge of what he is doing.

 The history of the book.

Marin had written very goods articles through the years of well-chosen part of playing skills of players that had influence him strongly in his development. He had published parts in few chess medias, but here he set it together in one book.

What will we focus on?

This book discusses following in separate chapters:

– Rubinstein´s excellent rook endgame technique

– Alekhine´s expertise with heavy pieces

– Botvinnik´s ability for deep analysis

– Tal´s handling of heavy pieces vs. minor pieces

– Petrosian´s positional exchange sacrifices

– Ficher´s strength with the king´s bishop

– Karpov´s sublime handling on bishops with opposite colours

– Korchnoi the fierce rebel

Method to use in this book for training.

Use quality time. Meaning, give you time to work through it. You will not finish it quickly, but it will let you be a much stronger chess player. Because this book come in so many aspects, you need as a chess player. Both middlegames and endgame. Learn as much as you can in this book and you will have the profit all your chess career. Because this is not like an openings studying when it come new move regularly which change everything! Here it is a question to learn, understanding and use in the future with the self-confidence people have when they have given them time to understand, and that way know the methods very well.

I recommend;

  1. A) using the method to move always pieces on the board, not in the computer because using this method you get the feeling in your hands and it´s are important.
  1. B) give you time to think first, after you have set up the start diagram position, to think about the position. Remember that you which of the players you are learning of in each chapter. So have his pieces in front of him end thinks in the direction that you are this player.
  1. C) find out where is the weakness and strongness in the position. Is white or black better? What is the plan in this position?
  1. D) Think what would you play in next move. And when you have seen the move and the move of the opponent, think again what you would do. Have the plan in mind and have paper over next move so you can´t see it before you have thought about what you want to do.


My experience of the book.

This is simply one of the most outstanding chess books I have used for training. All chapters are great but I need to mention 2 what influence me a lot.

First to mention is the Rubinstein chapter about his excellent rook endgame technique. Sometimes endgames chapter are a little bit dry to read, even so endgame is great fun to analysed when it´s well set up. But how Marin write and development this chapter made so much life and fun in it that it´s awesome! And most important, this is the best material I have seen about how to use rooks in the endgame. Use the method I talked about and you will be much stronger player. Rook in endgames is so important technique to know. And have in mind that the difference between queens less middlegame and endgame are not so much. So the importance to know it, feel self-confidence to use it (have in mind the new time controls with shorter starting time plus 30 seconds on move meaning that the understanding are much more important than before because usual on that time in the chess you don´t have time to think as much as in the old 2 hours on 40 movies time control) mean that you will get much better performance.

And then is the chapter of the excellence Tal´s handling of heavy pieces vs minor pieces. A lot of new ideas come in the mind when studying this chapter. Again, like of the chapters, very important tool to use on game.

So in short, this book are highly recommend. Honest, this book need to be in all chess players library! Have a better look on the book here.

If you have any question or want to tell us from your experience, use the comment system and I will reply no later than 48 hours.

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