For the longest time, the works of Czech grandmaster and chess theorist Ludĕk Pachman were inaccessible to English-speakers. The recent translation of one of his best books, Modern Chess Strategy, seeks to rectify that.
Considered to be a modern classic, the book details Pachman’s theories and ideas. The book begins by discussing basic concepts such as the roles of both the major and minor chess pieces from the active King to the various types of Pawns. Here he also covers strategies such as the various ways to attack, defend and look for weak squares. He then elaborates on each one and demonstrates how they can lead to strategic opportunities in an actual game.
One of the most noted sections of his book is the one on the Rook, which is an important piece in both endgames and middlegames, making it an essential read for any serious chess player.
Pachman’s technique is effective because he draws examples from real life great games to demonstrate his points and theories. Included in his book are games played by modern masters and his contemporaries such as Alekhine, Bronstein, Rubinstein, Capablanca, Spasski and Dr. Lasker among others.
The book is well-received by English-speaking readers who found it to be an effortless read despite the nature of its topic and the depth the author went to discuss it. They particularly like how each concept presented in the book is backed up and demonstrated with practical examples as well.
Modern Chess Strategy is recommended for intermediate to advanced chess players looking to improve on their strategies and tactical playing skills as the book primarily discusses every chess piece and how to effectively position them in detail. The final part of the book then serves as a sort of synthesis of the per piece techniques discussed in the earlier chapters.
About the Author
Luděk Pachman was a Czechoslovak-German chess grandmaster and a prolific chess writer. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1954, 14 years after his first chess championship. However, he only reach the peak of his career as a chess player in 1959 when he went on a chess tournament tour in South America where he beat the prodigy Bobby Fischer twice and tied against other greats.
Pachman is also known for being a prolific author having written and published 80 books. He became an expert in chess openings with the publication of his magnum opus, Theory of Modern Chess. Despite this, he considers Modern Chess Strategy, reviewed above, to be his best book.