book cover davorin kuljasevic

Book Club: Beyond Material

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Our first book club book is Beyond Material, by Davorin Kuljasevic!  We'll be working through it over the course of the summer on Thursdays, talking about ideas and practicing positions.  Each week will also have suggested reading.  This is the paperback book - you can also get an e-book from New in Chess or a Chessable course version.

To join the book club, join the online academy!

Giving up material is one of the most difficult decisions a chess player has to take. But the reality is that winning a game very often requires you to make that choice. The nagging question is always: what about my compensation? The old school used to relate compensation to ‘correctness'. A sacrifice was correct if the material was swiftly returned, if possible with interest. Generations of chess players spent lots of time counting, quantifying the static value of their pieces almost by reflex.

In this book, Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic teaches you how to look beyond the material balance when you evaluate positions. With many instructive fragments he shows how the actual value of your pieces fluctuates during the game, depending on many non-material factors. Some of those factors are space-related, such as mobility, harmony, outposts, weaknesses, structures, squares, files and diagonals. Other factors are related to time, and to the way the moves unfold: tempo, initiative, a threat, an attack.