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In this 492 page volume Kasparov wins the world title & has three title defenses with Karpov (4 matches of 24 games in 1985-90)--the greatest ever attacking player vs the greatest ever positional player. The book has sturdy hardcover binding, clear print & diagrams, dense notes(computer verified), 100 games/fragments of K vs the world's elite, 24 openings(helpful explanations for understanding) + ECO codes given with each game, workable game index excellent translation, consistently thorough reference information throughout. K uses a chapter layout, usually built around a single event, eg Linares, matches. His ringside prose introduces each game, commenting on the games importance for his status in the particular event. The Everyman editing staff: details each tournaments full results, quality cross references within notes, added concise quotes from people inside the Kasparov circle to elucidate certain points, and provide quality translation. The layout resembles Keres' game collection; the chess-truth tone of writing reminds me of Botvinnik (K's teacher/mentor); the painstaking notes try to cover every variation resembles Fischer (including corrections of previous commentators). Also, like Fischer there are a couple of losses, several draws, and some 'memorable games' included just for the liveliness of the struggle.
The games are outstanding. Kasparov has been described as a "calculating monster", 'an irristable attacking force'(a typical attack features a pawn sac to access key squares around the opponents king & de-stabilise his defensive harmony). His detailed plans are original, clever, often unique (eg.. vs Seirawan, K plays 6 consecutive Queen moves, Qc2-d1-d4-e5-f4-xf3-f4 which totally neutralises all counterplay). The book shows: him developing endgame & positional knowledge, his immense opening research & structural understanding. The book begins with deep descriptions of training matches to prepare for his world title match -Hubner & Timman are annilated!! This sets the book's main theme his struggle to defeat his eternal opponent,(Karpov).
The book is candid: 1)K likes to eat steak with tonic water before a tournament game, 2)reasoning behind opening selections for certain opponents, 3)appreciative remarks re his KGB handler. K consistently points out his own errors (and those of other annotators). He admits a few personal faults, gripes constantly about Karpov, yet speaks respectfully about other GM's. However, K does not comment on his own well-known history of boardside gamesmanship (smirks, glaring looks, rolling eyes, his nervous giggle when opponents make serious errors--eg Seirawan has described a scene where K had been banging the table/clock so hard that the pieces went flying onto the floor). K does describe a time-scramble with Karpov --where K's black pawn reached d1(an extra black-queen was unavailable, while the arbiter went looking for a queen) - K pressed the clock, then Karpov (in deep time trouble)decided to make a capture on d4, K objected that this was illegal as Karpov's king was already in check from the d1(Q), Karpov responded that he assumed K could intend to promote the d1pawn into a bishop (the arbiter eventually returned with the Q-piece and had to arbitrate the K vs Karpov squabble...
This is the 10th book of the Kasparov's project--Predecessor 1-5 explained whom he learned from, Modern Openings, K vs Karpov1&2, and the 1973-85 collection about the development of his genius. These works all have other previous sources (either GM best game collections for Predecessors or K's earlier 1973-85 book (Test of Time & two 1980's world title books. This volume is project's first truely original book.
Autobiographic portions fit a few pages into each chapter, have a genuine literary undertone. FIRST, is the classic conflict with an eternal rival, who never gives ground + fights every game to the death + springs back for more. The young warrior must continually face self-doubt, fear & exhaustion, then find strength for another struggle to stay on the chess summit. K describes how he & Karpov grow professionally as each adapts for their next 24-game match. SECOND, is a political theme-- the new world champion, K takes on the Soviet chess monolith. He organizes & leads young grandmasters to overthrow the 'old guard'. K becomes head of Soviet Chess Federation. Internationally, he tries to replace FIDE with a players association(GMA). THIRD, as the Soviet system collapses (1989-90), Kasparov sets aside his prep for his final Karpov match, to organize his family's escape from revolutionary Azierbajian. THEN, (after Karpov's final match defeat)on the last page of the book, Kasparov reflects, that he can never return to his boyhood homeland, the GMA has collapsed, the Russian 'old guard' have returned to power and FIDE has stripped Kasparov of his world title (and arranged for Karpov to play Timman for the "official" world title). What a finish!!?