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Review: Chess Secrets: The Giants of Power Play



The author differentiates between what he terms strategists and power players. Strategists are players such as Capablanca, Karpov, and Kramnik, who are more positional players and work gradually to obtain and increase small advantages. On the other hand, power players tend to be more aggressive, more tolerant of risk, and seeking imbalances and tactical possibilities at every turn. McDonald describes it as “a blend of preparation, psychology and dynamism.”

This book explores five such power players: Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine, David Bronstein, Efim Geller, and Veselin Topalov. The author demonstrates a bit of dynamism himself in that he doesn’t, as one might expect, isolate each of these players within their own chapter or two. Instead, he looks at different aspects of power play, and presents illustrative games from any or all of these players as appropriate...

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