Most chess games of beginners and post-beginners are decided by fairly straightforward tactics. Anyone who wants to progress beyond this level and become a strong club player or a candidate master, needs to understand that somewhat mysterious-looking resource, the positional sacrifice.
International Master Merijn van Delft has studied and loved positional sacrifices for as long as he can remember. This non-forcing tool is not just a surprising and highly effective way of creating a decisive advantage during a game. Positional sacrifices are also instruments of superior beauty.
Van Delft has created a unique thematic structure for all types of positional sacrifices. He shows the early historical examples, explains which long-term goals are typical for each fundamental theme and presents lots of instructive modern examples. He then concentrates on those sacrifices that have become standard features of positional play. Solving the exercises he has added will further enhance your skills.
Playing a positional sacrifice will always require courage. Merijn van Delft takes you by the hand and not only teaches the essential technical know-how, he also helps you to recognize the opportunities when to take the plunge. Mastering Positional Sacrifices is bound to become a modern-day classic.
Merijn van Delft is an International Master from the Netherlands. He has been a chess trainer for more than two decades and created instructional material both online and offline.
Editorial Reviews of Mastering Postional Sacrifices:
“Most chess players are too materialistic. So Merijn van Delft masterfully discusses a vital topic to bring your chess to the next level. It is very valuable that he has included exercises to test your new skills directly.”
GM Karsten Müller
“The question of when to sacrifice material is never easy but here is a practical guide. The intended audience is above beginner and I would say any club player would benefit from the author’s passion for the subject. The themes that are covered involves things like exchange sacrifices where the aim to not to win material but dominate certain squares, boost an attack and other positional ideas. Van Delft expertly expands on the subject to make it sound extremely interesting and as a potential way to improve your rating overnight. I really like the book because it offers insight with excellent examples and enough explanation to enable the reader to improve. This will have a major impact on your positional progress.”
IM Gary Lane, Chess Moves Magazine
“The material has been carefully selected and structured, with conclusions at the end of each part. There are many fascinating games, and I saw examples I was familiar with as well as a lot of new and unknown material. This book is a testimony to the author’s enthusiasm, his professionalism and his passion for chess.”
IM Herman Grooten, Schaaksite
“One gem of a book. The book is broken down into four parts, Fundamental themes, Typical positional sacrifices, Testing the limits, and Training material. Each of these sections is further broken down into chapters covering items such as opening files, pawn structure, color complexes, pawn and exchange sacs which arise from particular openings, etc. One nice thing about this book is that it’s new enough to include examples from Leela and AlphaZero. Another excellent feature is the inclusion of 48 positions used as exercises.”
Chris Wainscott, On the Road to Chess Master
“It’s a grandmaster-level skill explained in a comprehensible and readable fashion. I liked this book very much. The ideas are logically structured, the text is clear and light on long vari-ations, which makes it easy to read without a board, and the theme is an interesting one, which inevitably means that the selection of games is very entertaining.“
GM Matthew Sadler, co-author of ‘Game Changer’
“There’s a lot of great chess in this book. The author has also achieved his aim of treating a difficult subject in a logical and well-structured way. But what really appeals to me is Van Delft’s style of writing. There are many strong players who excel at writing or talking about chess, but not all of them understand how their readers or viewers might learn. He is at pains to differentiate between material which provides specific lessons you can employ in your own games and more difficult material which might serve as an inspiration. Although the intent is serious, his approach is warm, friendly and encouraging. He comes across to me as, above all, an excellent teacher. I look forward to reading whatever he writes about in future.”
Richard James, British Chess News