Note to the Reader

I already played checkers at the age of 3, and when I became quite good at it, my father decided to teach me a more complicated game. Chess was the most natural choice.  

The first lessons were very tough for me, but I adopted the most important principles of the chess game.  At the age 10 I was going to join a football section until appendix surgery put an end to that idea.

With no better choice I joined the “Avangard “chess club in my town Voroshilovgrad (Lugansk -nowadays) one of the largest towns on the East of the Ukraine.Master of Sport Vitally Appolonovich Marchenko was my first professional chess coach.  He had taught me to play aggressively and energetically, not fear to sacrifice material for an attack.His lessons were so instructive and interesting that I didn’t want to miss the sessions even when I was sick with fever.It was no surprise that as a young player I loved to play Gambit systems.

 Why I do recommend you to study aggressive and attacking openings? The reason could be easy explained.  When you play gambit openings – you learn the most important principles of opening strategy quickly: the importance of development, timing for the combination, the meaning of initiative, utilizing development advantage and other important issues.

For successful results you should develop your tactical skills. What’s more to say: Chess is 99 % tactics. You may come up with a deep strategic idea, but your opponent could punish you after just one tactical slip.  You may try to remember the best examples of playing the Sicilian by Kasparov, Anand or Topalov, but it will be just waste of time and energy for that unsuccessful task.After a first move that wasn’t in your home preparation – you will lose your way and probably the game.

Once when I was already a strong Grandmaster I wanted to study some new opening before the Chess Olympiad 98 in Elista.  I was short of time, nevertheless my plan was to learn the main line and some side moves and variations in the opening I have chosen. So just in a few weeks I had a chance to show my good preparation to everyone.  Playing the new (for me) line in the King Indian defense I had just mixed up the moves order and found myself in the tough position  already after 15 moves and lost almost without any fight! That was a very unpleasant lesson for me.  The conclusion from this interesting story – when you study any chess opening, you do not study moves but ideas!  

There is a reason I’d like to show you the most important ideas behind the opening moves and explain you the purpose of playing this or that move.

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