Your First Move – Sokolsky

In this post, we will see the book Your First Move by Alexei Sokolsky.

About the book

A book that introduces chess to beginners and is deep enough to offer a lot to the experienced players as well. The book starts with the rules of the game and basic setup of the board and the three stages of chess play — opening game, middle game and end game. The next chapters covers the strategies for these three stages. The book also explains general strategies and discusses various scenarios with different pieces on board. Several chess problems are included for the readers to solve.

The book was translated from Russian by Arthur Krivovyaz, with assistance from  Yuri Shteinsapir, and the book was edited by Paul Kotsubinsky. The book was designed by Vladimir Noskov. The book was published in 1987 by Raduga Publishers, and by Progress in 1981.

All credits to gnv64 for the book.

You can get the book here and here.

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Contents

 

I. RULES OF THE GAME. 7

The Board and Notation. 7
Initial Position. 9
Moves. 11
Capture. 16
Pawns. 17
Notation. 21
The King’s Special Features. Check. 24
Checkmate . 28
Castling. 29
Stalemate. 31
Other Kinds of Draws. Perpetual Check. 33
The Method of Notation . 35
Comparative Value of the Pieces. 38
Additional Rules. 40

II. THE SIMPLEST ENDINGS. 42

Three Stages in Chess Play . 42
Mating a Lone King. 43
Queen Mates. 43
Mate by Two Rooks. 45
Mate by Rook . 46
Mate by Two Bishops. 48
Mate by Bishop and Knight. 50
Mate by Two Knights. 51
King and Bishop (or Knight) Versus King. 52
King and Pawn Versus King. 52
Conclusions. 58
A Remote Passed Pawn. 59
Positional Advantage. 60

III. SOME BASIC CONCEPTS 62

The Pin. 62
Discovered Attack. 65
Discovered Check . 67
Double Check. 68
Variation. Combination. 70

IV. HOW TO START A GAME. 73

The Centre. 73
Fast Development of Pieces. 76
Setting Up a Good Pawn Structure. 82
Mistakes in the Opening. 83

V. SHORT GAMES AND TRAPS. 88

The Perfidious Pin. 88
Attention: Square f7!. 89
An Ill-Starred Queen. 90
A Sudden Encirclement. 91
A Mistaken Raid. 91
The Exultant Knight. 93
Opening Finesse. 93
A Poisoned Pawn. 95
A Knight Better Than a Queen. 96
“Modernised Legal Mate ”. 97
Pseudosacrifice. 98
The Queen as a Spectator. 99
Roaming King. 101
Unpleasant Surprise. 102

VI. MIDDLE GAME.105

Typical Combinations. 105
Mate on the First Two and Last Two Ranks. 106
Smothered Mate.110
The “Wheel”. 111
Trapping Combinations. 112
Diversion. 114
Blocking Combinations. 116
Obstruction. 118
Combinations to Destroy Defence Forces. 119
Square Clearance Combinations. 121
Line Clearance Combinations. 122
Pawn Promotion Combinations. 123
Combinations for a Draw. 125
Several Ideas Combined. 129
Attacking the King in the Centre. 130
Attacks Against the Castling Side. 134
Mate by a Major Piece Supported by a Pawn or Piece. 134
Combinations for Destruction. 138
Sacrifice on h7 (h2). 138
Sacrifice of Two Bishops. 143
The Attack After Castling on Opposite Sides. 145
Elements of Positional Play. 146
The Battle for an Open File and the Seventh Rank. 147
Pressure Along a Semi-Open File. 149
Distribution of Pawns. 150
Weak Square. 153
“Good” and “Bad” Bishops. 156
How to Exploit Material Advantage. 158

VII. ENDGAME. 160

King and Pawn Versus King and Pawn. 160
Endings with Several Pawns. 163
King and Queen Versus King and Pawn. 167
Queen and Pawn Versus Queen. 171
Queen Endings with Many Pawns. 173
Rook and Pawn Versus Rook. 175
Rook and Two Pawns Versus Rook. 179
Rook Endings with Many Pawns. 180
Queen Versus Rook. 183
Rook Versus Minor Piece. 184
Bishop and Pawn Versus Bishop. 186
Endings with Bishops and Several Pawns. 187
Endings with White and Black Bishops. 189
King, Bishop and R-Pawn Versus King. 190
Knight Endings. 191
Intricate Endings. 193

VIII. CHESS COMPOSITION. 195

Problems .196
Endgame Studies. 200

IX. THE OPENING. 206

Open Openings. 207
Philidor’s Defence. 207
Petroff’s Defence. 208
Scotch Game. 209
Giuoco Piano. 211
The Greco Analysis. 212
Two Knights’ Defence 216
Ruy Lopez. 219
King’s Gambit. 232
Semi-Open Openings. 237
French Defence. 237
Sicilian Defence. 241
Caro-Kann Defence. 248
Alekhine Defence. 252
Ufimtsev Defence. 255
Closed Openings. 256
Queen’s Gambit. 256
Veresov Opening. 261
Group of Indian Defences. 262
Dutch Defence. 269
English Opening. 269
Reti Opening. 272
Sokolsky Opening.272

X. CHESS: PAST AND PRESENT. 276

XI. SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES. 293

 

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