Grandmaster Alexey Kuzmin’s Together with the Candidates has been picked as the winner of the the 2018 FIDE Book of the Year, also known as the Averbakh/Boleslavsky Award, in respect of two giants of chess literature.
It was picked ahead of The Complete Manual of Positional Chess by Konstantin Sakaev and Konstantin Landa and Applying Logic in Chess by Erik Kislik
The selection was made by a three-man
independent jury comprising of GM Artur
Jussupow, GM Nigel Short and the World’s oldest living grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh.
“The quality of the entire competition was very high. All three books in the final were so good that each book was the favourite of a juror! Nonetheless, we have a clear winner with one first and two-second preferences.”
“On behalf of FIDE and the Trainers’ Commission, I would like to thank the jurors for giving up their time to go through the nominated books and select the shortlist and the winners”, said GM Jacob Aagaard, Chairman of FIDE’s Trainer’s Commission.
Kuzmin, book takes a close look of at the Candidates Tournaments from Budapest in 1950 until Berlin in 2018.
The author has been has been working as a professional coach more than 30 year. He was the second of former world champion Anatoly Karpov during the latter’s struggle against Garry Kasparov between 1987 and 1991.
Since 1992 he was the appraised coach of the Qatar national team. Between 2006 and 2015, he worked as a second of GM Alexander Morozevich, the candidate to the World Championship’s title.
The winning book is his third on chess – The Zaitsez System and Together with Morezevich.
Together with the Candidates In Kuzmin’s own words:
The book Together with the Candidates that you are holding is firstly a book of tests with their solutions, given in the format of game fragments with detailed comments. All the tasks in this book have been taken from games of the Candidates competitions. They differ very much in their degree of complexity. I hope this will allow a wide circle of readers to find the tests corresponding to their own chess level here.
The first chapter is a presentation of the history of all the Candidates tournaments and matches. The chapters “Tests for Grandmasters” and “When the Opponent Attacks” have collected the most difficult tests, each one being a hard nut to crack. The tests of the fourth and the fifth chapters are considerably simpler, and the tests from the sixth and final chapter, “The Primary School”, could be a walk in the park for experienced players. The third and the fourth chapters, “When the Opponent Attacks” and “Strategy in Action”, are characterized by a thematic selection of the tests. In the third chapter you have to try to discover the opponent’s threats and plans, to refute them or at least to disarm them. This is one of the most difficult practical tasks that a chess player faces in a game. The title of the fourth one speaks for itself. Relatively easy tests where you should make correct strategic decisions have been gathered here.
Together with the Candidates you should think over the crucial positions, feel the fighting tension and, the most important thing, try to make the right decisions. However if the first component of this book is definitely training, the second one is likely to be called aesthetic or even nostalgic. I remind readers of the great tournaments and matches of yesteryear, dramatic turns of fighting and key moments from the brightest games played there. Of course not all the famous combinations have been included in the book. Some of them, realized already in the initial stage of a game, became a part of opening theory, and some of them were simply not convenient for the tests’ format. That is why the book Together with the Candidates is not a book of the best games of the Candidates tournaments.