Deal of the Week: Know the Terrain Vol. 1-6

by ChessBase Shop
7/31/2019 – A six volume set for just €39.90, it must be the Deal of the Week! Sam Collins is an International Master from Ireland with two GM norms. He has represented his country at six Olympiads, winning an individual gold medal at Bled in 2002. He is the author of several bestselling opening books. As a coach, he has lectured national junior squads and taught the master class at the renowned Berkeley Chess School. He has been national champion of Ireland and Japan.

Know the Terrain Vol. 1-6 Know the Terrain Vol. 1-6

What gives strong players the edge over their opponents is not some blockbuster novelty, but a deep understanding of the pawn structures to which their openings lead – an understanding that lasts into the middlegame and endgame, and is transferable between different openings with similar structures. IM Sam Collins will enhance your understanding.

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Vol. 1: The Carlsbad

The information explosion has led to a massive increase in opening theory. But how often do you win a game with a prepared line? What gives strong players the edge over their opponents is not some blockbuster novelty, but a deep understanding of the pawn structures to which their openings lead — an understanding that lasts into the middlegame and endgame, and is transferable between different openings with similar structures. On this DVD, Sam Collins examines one of the most important structures in chess, the Carlsbad. Long the playground of the world champions, whether with Karpov’s classical approach of Nf3 or Botvinnik and Kasparov’s incredible results with Nge2 and f3, the Carlsbad has an enormous strategic potential for White (exemplified by the legendary “minority attack”) countered by Black’s deceptively simple kingside counterplay. Video running time: 7 hours.

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Vol. 2: The Capablanca Structure

Collins continued his investigation into the most common and important pawn structures in chess by looking at the “Capablanca Structure” (white pawns on c4 and d4 against black pawns on c6 and e6). White has an undeniable space advantage, but must demonstrate something against Black’s solid structure before the position simplifies. The structure commonly arises from the most important openings including the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Semi-Slav, Rubinstein French and Caro-Kann, and a good understanding of the typical themes is essential. Video running time: 4 hours 30 minutes.

Vol. 3: Central Majority

On this DVD, Collins looks at the Central Majority (white pawns on a2, d4 and e4 against black pawns on a7, b7 and e7) which is characteristic of both the Gruenfeld and Semi-Tarrasch Defences. White’s space advantage gives him good chances to generate a middlegame initiative and a kingside attack, while Black hopes to reach an endgame where his outside passed pawn could be decisive. Collins also investigates the closely related passed d-pawn structure which arises when the e-pawns are exchanged — here White has a highly dangerous passer on the d-file and the key struggle revolves around whether this pawn is a strength or, when attacked or solidly blockaded, a weakness. White’s chances have been repeatedly demonstrated by Kramnik and Carlsen while Black’s cause has been championed by Svidler, Ivanchuk, Van Wely and Gymesi, with Kasparov generating significant ideas for both colours. Video running time: 4 hours 39 minutes.

Vol. 4: The advance French structure

Collins looks at the Advance French Structure (white pawns on d4 and e5 against black pawns on d5 and e6, with an open c-file) which, while characteristic of 3.e5 in the French, is also typical of other French variations, the Advance Caro-Kann, the Queen’s Indian, the Catalan, the Slav and various Anti-Sicilians. The blocked centre forces play to the wings. White will normally concentrate on furthering his kingside ambitions, supported by the space advantage conferred by his pawn on e5, either by piece play or by the typical pawn advances h4-h5 and f4-f5. Black, for his part, seeks queenside counterplay, simplification, or a well-timed break with ...f6 leading to a central battle. The relatively closed nature of the positions leads to strategic play where knowledge of typical plans for both sides is of decisive importance. Video running time: 3 hrs. 36 min.

Vol. 5: The Philidor Structure

In this volume Collins looks at the Philidor Structure (white pawns on d4 and e4 against black pawns on d6 and e5, excluding the King’s Indian/Old Indian positions which arise after White plays his pawn to c4). While formed on the 2nd move in the Philidor, the structure is characteristic of many Open Games, including the Italian Game and, of course, the Closed Ruy Lopez. Perhaps because of the structure’s flexibility (resulting in completely different types of positions depending on whether White takes on e5, Black takes on d4, or the central tension is maintained) little effort has previously been made to define the plans for both sides. The structure is one which arises in a sizable minority of games in all elite tournaments, a fact reflected in the selection of games, featuring impressive efforts by the world’s best players including Carlsen and Caruana who owe some of their most important recent successes to stunning wins in this structure. Video running time: 3 hrs. 31 min.

Vol.6: Isolated Queen's Pawn

To close out the series, Collins examines the Isolated Queen’s Pawn (IQP) and associated structures. Using games almost exclusively from contemporary grandmaster praxis he explains all of the major ideas for playing with and against the IQP, including the d5-advance, kingside attacks (including the rook lift, h4-h5 and Bxh6 sacrifices), central sacrifices (including the Rxe6 exchange sacrifice in various positions from the Petroff), queenside play and simplification, and gives some guidance on how to assess transpositions into related structures. The universality of the IQP is illustrated by the games on this DVD, played in openings as diverse as the Nimzo-Indian, Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Semi-Tarrasch, Caro-Kann, Slav, c3-Sicilian, French Tarrasch, Bogo-Indian and Petroff. A final section of questions and answers (in ChessBase’s interactive format) tests and reinforces the reader’s knowledge of the IQP, one of the most important structures in modern chess.


Know the Terrain Vol. 1-6

What gives strong players the edge over their opponents is not some blockbuster novelty, but a deep understanding of the pawn structures to which their openings lead – an understanding that lasts into the middlegame and endgame, and is transferable between different openings with similar structures. IM Sam Collins will enhance your understanding.

More...


All video series by IM Sam Collins




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