The Secret Ingredient is a grandmaster guide to maximizing your chess results, focusing on key
elements of practical play which have received little to no attention in previous chess literature.
How exactly can we best make use of computers? What’s the ideal, step-by-step way to prepare
against a specific opponent? How can we optimize our time management at the board? And what’s
the one key skill that separates the best players from those who have yet to reach their full
potential? GM Jan Markos sheds light on these topics and many more, helped by the world-class
insights of his good-class insights of his good friend GM David Navara.
The Secret Ingredient
“I learned, sometimes rediscovered, a lot of excellent practical advice from this quirky and original
book. One I really liked in particular was Navara’s comment when asked to what extent it is possible
to employ a tailored preparation against a specific opponent. Navara responds that “a player who is
familiar with many openings and is comfortable in all types of positions will be able to apply a
specific preparation for an opponent much more efficiently than someone with a more limited
repertoire. Versatility and psychology go hand in hand in chess. If you want to use psychology, first
improve the versatility of your own style.” For me, that is the best thing that has been said on this topic
Jan Markos is a Slovakian grandmaster and trainer. His previous book, Under the Surface, was the
English Chess Federation’s 2018 Book of the Year.
David Navara is a ten-time Czech Champion and a world-class grandmaster. He is noted for
combining fighting spirit with outstanding sportsmanship.