Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector.
Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen's timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. In a lively and engaging historical investigation, Yalom draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts and internal struggles for power.
The Slav is a reliable defence to the Queen's Gambit which has been popular for well over a century. The author, a Slav specialist, attempts to provide a detailed analysis of the opening, variation by variation, suggesting numerous improvements in key lines.
The Sicilian Taimanov (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nc6) is one of Black's most flexible ways of meeting 1 e4. It leads to the kind of tense, dynamic positions that appeal to players with counter-attacking inclinations, such as Judit Polgar, Joel Lautier and Vasily Ivanchuk. Indeed, Bobby Fischer turned to the Taimanov in the decisive game of his famous match with Boris Spassky. In this book Grandmaster James Plaskett explains the strategy and tactics of this popular variation. Through the use of model games for both sides, the author provides a thorough grounding in the key ideas, so that readers can quickly and confidently start to use the Sicilian Taimanov in their own games.
In this book, David Bronstein describes the chess personalities he has met in various countries over the past decade, and annotates 40 of his best games from this period. He also recalls the most significant events from his earlier career; gives his impressions of contemporaries such as Larsen, Spassky, and Korchnoi including a secret training match against the latter played in 1971; and expresses his outspoken views on modern chess.
Since settling in England in 1988, Romanian Grandmaster Mihai Suba has become a popular figure on the British chess scene. Uncompromising and inventive, his play from opening through to ending is characterised by a rare dynamism and flexibility. In this, his first book, Suba wittily recounts his chess career and for the first time explains in detail his own very significant contribution to the battle of chess ideas. Included among 36 illustrative games are the author's victories against Korchnoi, Timman, Miles, Larsen, Portisch and other world class players.