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MACA Book Review
School of Future Champions 4: Secrets of Positional Play School of Future Champions 4: Secrets of Positional Play
by: Mark Dvoretsky & Arthur Yusupov

Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-3-283-00518-4
Format: Book 240pp.
Publisher: Edition Olms

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

This is the fourth volume in the School of Future Champions series. It is an updated edition of Positional Play, first published by Batsford in 1996. This edition features a new translation, a more spacious layout with a greater amount of diagrams, and analytical corrections. The material is based on lessons presented at the Dvoretsky & Yusupov chess school and is divided into five main sections.

Part I: Methods of Improving in Positional Play
The Improvement of Positional Mastery (Mark Dvoretsky)
Prophylactic Thinking (Mark Dvoretsky)
A Novelty is born (Max Dlugy)
Positional Exercises (Mark Dvoretsky)
Part II: Ways of Looking for Positional Solutions
Manoeuvring (Artur Yusupov)
How to draw up a Plan (Alexey Kosikov)
Sensing the Tempo (Alexey Kosikov)
Transformation of a Position (Mark Dvoretsky)
Part III: Typical Positions
Opposite-Colour Bishops in the Middlegame (Mark Dvoretsky)
You can't get by without a Combination! (Mark Dvoretsky)
Modern Interpretation of the Dutch Defence (Igor Khenkin, Vladimir Kramnik)
Part IV: Complicated Strategy in Practice
Crux of the Position (Artur Yusupov)
Strategy in Grandmaster Games (Evgeny Bareev)
Whose Strategy will triumph? (Mark Dvoretsky)
Part V
From Games by Pupils of the School (Artur Yusupov)
One of the main goals of this book is to teach “prophylactic thinking.” This is described as “the habit of constantly asking yourself what the opponent wants to do, what he would play if it were him to move, the ability to find an answer to this question and to take account of it in the process of coming to a decision.” Dvoretsky proclaims that “developing the skill of prophylactic thinking enables a player to make an enormous step forward, and to greatly raise his standard of play.”


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