The Art of Chess

The Art of Chess

by James Mason

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Overview

This is a completely unabridged reprinting of the last revised edition of the most famous general study of chess ever written. Prepared by an early twentieth-century master, it was designed to teach the beginner and the intermediate player just about everything he needed to know about openings, middle game, and end game. It has never been superseded as the most practical and easily followed book of its sort. It is unusual in presenting both ideas and actual moves (taken from master play) in the most easily assimilated form.
Revised and brought up to date by Fred Reinfeld and Sidney Bernstein, this book explains and makes easy for you more than 90 different openings, ranging from the classical Ruy Lopez up to the work of Alekhine, Reti, Nimzovich, and others. Combinations are analyzed and presented so clearly (yet without sacrificing depth) that you will soon find yourself seeing moves ahead more clearly than you did before. You will learn how to plan your game with a purpose, how to attack, sacrifice, defend, exchange, and govern your general strategy. Endings are also thoroughly covered. All in all, there is not an aspect of practical chess that is not treated, and there is hardly a player living below the rank of grandmaster who could not profit form Mason's work. If you follow Mason's exposition thoroughly, you will probably obtain as much knowledge of chess as you could short of making chess a full-time study for years.
Bound in with Mason's Art of Chess is an entirely new booklet by Fred Reinfeld, How Do You Play Chess? In this booklet, Mr. Reinfeld uses lively questions and answers to tell novices of the basic fundamentals of the game.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486144535
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 06/19/2012
Series: Dover Chess
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 378
File size: 29 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

The Art of Chess


By JAMES MASON, FRED REINFELD, Sidney Bernstein

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1958 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14453-5



CHAPTER 1

PAWNS


White wins because he has the opposition on the enemy's ground; and power over it, in the variation of movement possible to his Pawns. If Black checks, then, after K—B5 and advancing his Rook Pawn, blocking, White will gain the Pawn by playing to Kt6 with King, an easy process. Hence Black moves Pawn only when forced, e.g.:—

1 .... K—Kt1

2 K—R6 K—R1

3 P—Kt4 K—Kt1

4 P—R4 K—R1

5 P—Kt5 K—Kt1

6 P—R5 K—R1

7 P—Kt6 P × P

8 P × P K—Kt1

9 P—Kt7 K—B2

10 K—R7 winning.


If White begins, then any move will do—like result.

A drawn game. White has no power in reserve over the move, such as in the foregoing example; or as he would have if either of his Pawns now held its original square, or if his Rook Pawn were yet nearer home. For, that being so, he could win; as in the previous position.

1 .... K—B2!

2 K—R6 K—Kt1 and draws.


White cannot vary his movements so as to arrive at the seventh without checking. But 1 ... K—Kt1 would lose for Black.

If, in the diagram, 1 ... K —B2 !; 2 K—B4, K—Kt2; 3 K—B5, K—B2; 4 P—Kt4, P—R3 ! and White cannot win. His Pawns are in diagonal, with the foremost one blocked, and Black has the opposition. Otherwise he would lose. But, as it is, he can face his opponent, drawing. For if White King goes away, then ... K—B3 and perhaps ... K—Kt4 etc., and the White Pawns can do nothing.

To win here Black must "lose a move," thus making it his antagonist's turn to play, from this same position:—1 ... K—B4; 2 K—Kt1, K—Q4; 3 K—B1, K—Q5! Now, anything but K—B2, and ... K—Q6 wins forthwith. 4 K—B2, K—B5; 5 K—B1, K—Kt6; 6 K—Kt1, K × P(6); 7 K—B2, K—Kt5; and will take the remaining Pawn, if necessary, winning. With the White Pawn at QR2, instead of R3, the position would be an easy draw. Finish of tournament game by Dr. S. Tarrasch.

Here White wins by first limiting the action of the hostile King, and then maneuvering so as to attack the Pawn:—

1 P—B6! K—Q1

2 K—Kt4! K—B1

3 K—Kt5 K—Kt1

4 K—B5 K—R2

5 K—Q4 K—R3

6 K—K5 K—Kt3

7 K—Q5


And will reach Q7, with results obvious.

If 1 ... K—Kt1, then either 2 K—Kt4, or 2 K—Q4, leads to a win; but if 1 ... K—Q1 as above, White King should play to Kt4, or on the opposite side. If Black had more room—if all the forces stood on one of the two center flies—or if it were his move, White could not win by playing King on the same file with his adversary. He could then be effectively opposed and could be kept away from the Pawn. Let the reader test this claim by experiment.

The rule is that two Pawns win against one, the single Pawn opposed not being on the Rook file; but, of course, there are exceptions, as where the united Pawns are formed in diagonal, with the foremost one blocked, and the Kings in strict opposition. In situations analogous to the above, however, the stronger party wins, playing first or not: —1 ... K—B3; 2 K—Kt1, K —B4; 3 K—B2, K—B5; 4 K—K2, K—K5; 5 P—Kt3, P—Kt4; 6 P—R3, K—B4; 7 K—Q3, K—K4; 8 K—K3, K—B4; 9 K—Q4, K—B3; 10 K—K4, K—K3; 11 P—Kt4 etc., White being able to cross and take the Pawn.

Let Black Pawn not stir, King keeps to its support, in or about the corner. White attacks at B7, forwards Pawns, and one goes through—queening. See how this may be done, and how otherwise all defense fails. Five very important positions—to be thoroughly studied. They are basic King and Pawn endings.

The above occurred in play to the Anglo-American master, W. E. Napier, and was continued:—

1 K—Kt1 K—Kt6

2 K—R1 K—B7?

3 P—Kt4 P × P e.p.

Stalemate.


It seems White could have moved 2 K—B1 and drawn. Also, that 2 ... K—B5 !, to Queen his Bishop Pawn, would win for Black, both parties queening. A curiosity. Black was careless.

In this, and all cases similar to it, the player whose King is nearest the fixed Pawns, after the necessary exchange of the free ones, has the advantage. Black wins:—

1 .... P—B3

2 K—Q4 P—B4 etc.


If White moves first the result is the same; he must lose. He is compelled, sooner or later, to take the Pawn. Black takes also, and is then able to reach the remaining ones, and queen, before his opponent can effectively arrive at the scene of action. In the present instance, nevertheless, White's doubled Pawns are comparatively strong; so that it is important that he should not be allowed to take the free Pawn wherever he chooses. If, e.g., 1 ... P—B4ch, he could take it on his own side of the board, and still draw the game—2 K—Q4 !, P—B5; 3 K—K4, P—B6; 4 K × P, K × P: 5 K—K3, and, with the help of his Pawn commanding B4, he can hold Black at drawing distance.

Black being a Pawn ahead, White's task is to draw the game.

1 K—Kt3 P—R4

2 P—K4 K—Kt8

3 P—K5 P × P


And White is stalemated.

Black has to capture the KP, otherwise White queens the Pawn and wins.

1 K—K4 K—Kt5

2 P—R4 K—R4

3 K—B4 K—R3

4 P—Kt4 K—Kt3

5 P—R5ch K—R3

6 K—K4 K—Kt4

7 K—B3 K—R3

8 K—B4 K—R2

9 P—Kt5 K—Kt2

10 P—Kt6 K—R3

11 K—Kt4 K—Kt2

12 K—Kt5! P—Q6

13 P—R6ch K—R1

14 K—B6 P—Q7

15 K—B7 P—Q8(Q)

16 P—Kt7ch K—R2

17 P—Kt8(Q)ch K × P

18 Q—Kt6 mate.


The winning method is evident. Opportunities for its application in every-day play often occur, and are sometimes neglected. The next two positions are won in like manner. In all cases, the King's advance must be well-timed!

White wins:—

1 K—B4 K—B3

2 P—Kt5ch K—Kt2

3 P—Kt6 K—B3

4 K—Kt4 K—Kt2

5 K—Kt5! P—Q6

6 P—R6ch K—Kt1

7 K—B6 P—Q7

8 P—R7ch K—R1

9 K—B7


And mates in three moves.

In this and positions immediately preceding and following, the modes of winning are strikingly similar, if not identical.

As in the two examples just previously cited, Black loses. Whether or not he moves first makes no difference in the outcome:—

1 K—K2 K—Kt2

2 K—Q3 K—R1

3 K—B4 K—Kt2

4 K—B5! P—B6

5 K—Q6 P—B7

6 P—R8(Q)ch K × Q

7 K—B7


And mates in three more moves.

That the player attempting to win in this way should be sure of his distances goes without saying, and it is obvious that he cannot succeed if his opponent's free Pawn goes to queen on a Knight file, thus commanding Kt3, or the square on which the mate is to be effected.

A position easily arising in actual play. At first sight, it looks as though Black should win. But the game is drawn:—

1 K—K4! K × P

2 K—Q5! K—Kt5

3 K—B6 P—R5

4 K × P P—R6

5 K—R7! P—R7

6 P—Kt6 P—R8(Q)

7 P—Kt7 Q—R2

8 K—R8 Q—K5

9 K—R7 Q—Q5ch

1O K—R8 Q—Q4

11 K—R7 Q—B4ch

12 K—R8 Q—B3

13 K—R7 Q—B2

14 K—R8


And Black is unable to win in the usual way, by forcing the King to Kt8, because of his own Pawn. Other lines of play lose for White. As, for instance, 2 K—B3 etc. Also, if 5 K × P? the Queen wins against the two Pawns with little difficulty. Try the experiment. The position requires unusual methods by White.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Art of Chess by JAMES MASON, FRED REINFELD, Sidney Bernstein. Copyright © 1958 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Page,
PREFACE,
A NOTE ON THIS EDITION,
Introductory - METHOD,
Part One - ENDINGS,
1. - PAWNS,
2. - MINOR PIECES,
3. - ROOKS,
4. - QUEENS,
Part Two - COMBINATIONS,
Part Three - OPENINGS,
1. - CENTER GAME,
2. - DANISH GAMBIT,
3. - BISHOP'S OPENING,
4. - VIENNA GAME,
5. - KING'S GAMBIT,
6. - KING'S GAMBIT DECLINED,
7. - FALKBEER COUNTER GAMBIT,
8. - GRECO COUNTER GAMBIT,
9. - PHILIDOR DEFENSE,
10. - PETROFF DEFENSE,
11. - SCOTCH GAMBIT,
12. - SCOTCH GAME,
13. - PONZIANI OPENING,
14. - HUNGARIAN DEFENSE,
15. - GIUOCO PIANO,
16. - MAX LANGE ATTACK,
17. - EVANS GAMBIT,
18. - EVANS GAMBIT DECLINED,
19. - TWO KNIGHTS' DEFENSE,
20. - FOUR KNIGHTS' GAME,
21. - RUY LOPEZ,
22. - FRENCH DEFENSE,
23. - SICILIAN DEFENSE,
24. - CARO-KANN DEFENSE,
25. - ALEKHINE'S DEFENSE,
26. - CENTER COUNTER GAME,
27. - QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED,
28. - QUEEN'S GAMBIT ACCEPTED,
29. - COLLE SYSTEM,
30. - NIMZOINDIAN DEFENSE,
31. - QUEEN'S INDIAN DEFENSE,
32. - KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE,
33. - GRUENFELD DEFENSE,
34. - BUDAPEST DEFENSE,
35. - DUTCH DEFENSE,
36. - RETI OPENING,
37. - CATALAN OPENING,
38. - ENGLISH OPENING,
39. - BIRD'S OPENING,
HOW DO YOU PLAY CHESS?,
BIBLIOGRAPHY,

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