Understanding before Moving 152: Chess history in a nutshell (34)

by ChessBase
11/19/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 152nd episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to look at the legacy of Max Euwe. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Max Euwe (5)

As a Dutchman I am a bit of a chauvinist, which is why I devote an additional episode to the only Dutch World Champion ever, Max Euwe. Another reason is the enormous influence Euwe had on the chess education in the Netherlands. The huge number of chess books available - many of them in Dutch - allows everyone from beginner to very experienced player to become more proficient.

This is partly due to the many good chess authors in our country, e.g. former World Championship candidate Jan Timman, who has a large number of publications to his name. The patriarch, of course, is Max Euwe, who published a huge number of books and articles.

Many chess lovers in the Netherlands grew up with the book "Oom Jan leert zijn neefje schaken" (which means in English: "Uncle John teaches his nephew to play chess"). It would obviously go too far to highlight all of Euwe's books (here's an impression), but I would like to highlight one that has had a great influence on the strategic thinking of many players.

The book "Judgment and Plan" from the series "Practical Chess Lessons" has been worked through many times by advanced chess players. As Euwe was a teacher (later a professor of mathematics and computer science) he was able to put his didactic skills to good use in writing.

When I was improving my game as an aspiring player, I was struck by a wonderful example where Euwe describes how a 'stationary knight' on the strong square e4 exerts influence both in the centre and on the queen's and king's sides. That a knight can be so strong was something I wanted to show in my book "Chess Strategy for Club Players", and I gratefully used Euwe's example by publishing the position with a further elaboration of the strategic thinking on how this knight can lead to concrete advantages. It was almost inevitable that this knight on e4 would play an important role in several games I played later.

I have selected two nice fragments from these. In Euwe's position it is up to White to build on his strategic advantages. How would you go about it?

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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