Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy Paperback – March 1, 1999
|New from||Used from|
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. In 1999, his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy won 'Chess Book of the Year' awards in the USA and the UK. He reviews chess books for The Week in Chess and hosts a weekly radio show on the Internet Chess Club. As a trainer, he has worked with many talented pupils, including Tal Shaked.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy Gambit Publications, 1999, 272pp. by IM John Watson Review by Randy Bauer
Randy's Rating: 9.5/10
While reviewing books, I often wonder if any of them will still be considered worth reading in another fifty years. I'm relieved to report that Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy has the kind of staying power and relevance that will bear reading and re-reading in the decades to come. International Master John Watson is a serious chess theorist and author with a bevy of good books to his credit. His books exhibit a care and attention to detail that is often lacking from other popular authors. This book surpasses even Watson's previous high standards.
Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy seeks to take up where Nimzowitsch's My System left off. Nimzowitsch's book is often considered to be a seminal work that charted a new course in chess thought. Watson, who believes that modern chess thought is radically different than that of the best players of an earlier era, discusses the various issues raised by Nimzowitsch in the first part of his book, while the second explores modern methods and praxis.
The first part is particularly useful for those who are not familiar with Nimzowitsch's original work. While Watson also seeks to "update" various concepts explored by Nimzowitsch in this section, the coverage isn't nearly as deep as in the second part of the book. Indeed, the first section covers just 91 pages. It is useful, however, for laying the foundation for the balance of the book.
The second part of the book covers a variety of topics.Read more ›
Alex Yermolinsky in "Road to Chess Improvement" also acknowledges that the old instructional classics found it easier to instruct with clear strategical plans, while strong players know what to avoid and try to cross the plans, so necessitating flexibility.
In general, Watson makes an excellent case, e.g. with the Ivanchuk-Anand game, I think Watson's right and Anand wrong that normal pawn structure and bad bishop rules would not have helped at all, because one active rook outweighed everything else. Watson also shows some shortcomings of Nimzovich's tempo counting, and refutes Nimzo's quaint advance French lines with the move ...f6, attacking the HEAD of the pawn chain.
The sections on the minor pieces are superb. He astutely points out that opposition to "dogmatic" love of the bishop pair has itself become a dogma. E.g. Flesch claims that the bishop and knight have precisely equal value, but this is a dogmatic claim about two pieces with completely different moves (p. 148). It's also clear that the B-pair does constitute an advantage in very many cases, including one dismissed by Nimzo (p. 67).
A definite advance on the conventional strategy books is the advice on BvN in the opening. Most players learn that Bs like open games and Ns like closed ones.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm about 120 pages in and really enjoying the detail of this book. I chose to read this book versus My System since I thought I could kill two birds with one stone, being that the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Watson’s “rule independence” thesis is seriously flawed. To frame it as if you have to choose between either “rules” or “analysis” - one or the other - is obviously a false... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mr. Get Real
A little difficult to work through but I know it will up my game!Published 14 months ago by open-minded
The first book I read by this author was on French Defense, so I was aware of his penchant for details. Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Sameer Reader
I had put off reading this book for 2 years because of all the hype that surrounded this book, but the curiosity got the better of me & I have finally read this book. Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by SilverMalthusian
The book is extremely difficult to read, most of the moves get lengthy and difficult to keep up with. Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by Godfrey Mangenje
I've not finished this book and will reconsider if I find it gets better. John Watson is my favorite modern chess author and this book won a number of awards. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Broadmeadow