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Article Number

Best Play (pb)

401 pages, paperback, Mongoose, 1. edition 2013

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Have you ever wished for a “formula” to help you decide what move to make in any given chess position? In this ambitious and groundbreaking work, physicist and chess master Alexander Shashin presents the fruit of three decades of research into the elements of the game. He breaks down the position into mathematical ratios that compare the fundamental factors of material, mobility, safety, and space for each side, leading you to the proper plan and the mental attitude to adopt in light of what’s happening on the board.

Relying on the games of three world champions with distinctive playing styles - Tal, Capablanca, and Petrosian - and backed up by personal and computer-aided analysis, Best Play explains how Shashin’s approach works in practice to guide your decisions in all kinds of situations, including those too wild and murky to provide clear-cut conclusions. Some 125 high-level examples are followed by 125 exercises with solutions to help you learn the method.

Not just a textbook for the chess scientist to ponder in the lab, Best Play offers a fully formed philosophy of the game to prepare the chess warrior for any kind of battle.


Alexander Shashin is a chess theoretician and author in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he trains young international players.

More Information
Weight 520 g
Manufacturer Mongoose
Width 16 cm
Height 23,5 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2013
Author Alexander Shashin
Language English
Edition 1
ISBN-13 978-1936277469
Pages 401
Binding paperback

Table of Contents:

005 Foreword by GM Alexander Morozevich

007 Introduction


009 A Universal Method for Discovering the Strongest Move

011 Chapter 1:

An Overview of Part I

015 Chapter 2:

Tal’s Algorithm, or the Algorithm for Attacking Material Chess Targets

045 Chapter 3:

Capablanca’s Algorithm, or the Algorithm for the Strongest Strategic Move

079 Chapter 4:

Petrosian’s Algorithm, or the Defensive Algorithm

118 Chapter 5:

Mixed Algorithms, or the TC, CP, and TCP Algorithms for Discovering the Strongest Move

160 Chapter 6:

The Algorithm Drift Chart and the Search for the Strongest Move


169 A Universal Method for Discovering the Strongest Move, in Practice

171 Chapter 1. Simple Examples

206 Chapter 2. Medium-Difficulty Examples

258 Chapter 3. Complex Examples

323 Chapter 4. The Second-Pass Evaluation

338 Chapter 5. Selected Examples

350 Chapter 6. Positions for Self-Study