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U Cannot Be Serious – Avant-Garde Strategy in Chess


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U Cannot Be Serious – Avant-Garde Strategy in Chess

This book is written with the intention to introduce the reader to the creative chess ideas of

Michael Basman. He gave up more intense regular tournament chess around the turn of the

millennium, to concentrate his energy on the development of school chess. And that is what he is

mainly known for in recent times, as the motor who made the UK Chess Challenge blossom.

Nowadays the yearly nation-wide school competition still attracts around 40,000 children, and

that is not even the record. […] IM’s Gerard Welling & Michael Basman.

– 9789464201147

– 304 pages.

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U Cannot Be Serious – Avant-Garde Strategy in Chess

Modern chess is getting to be more and more a young man’s game. Over the last decades, with the

growth of internet and the development of chess engines, high quality chess material has become readily

available. And the young generation knows how to put these opportunities into effect, the result being a

much larger pool of strong players than the aged authors have ever witnessed in their respective primes.

Openings are researched and tested with the strongest computer programs; this has led to a revival of

concrete evaluation of positions and the good old intuition being pushed towards the background.

Contemporary chess is lively and we see experimental approaches, but in general backed up with

accurate calculation.


What will this book present you? First of all a more elaborate picture of Michael Basman’s chess, based

on my experiences with this creative master. We played together in two early tournaments around 1980,

and (especially in the second one) we discussed the ideas which has given me a clearer idea of the man’s

way of chess thinking than before – because the multiple outright rejections in the past and on the net

are clear proof that it is not so easy to understand new and creative ideas. These two tournaments, the

Biel Masters in 1979 and the Liege Open in 1981 will be presented in separate reports of the events,

focusing on the games of the hero of this book, from my point of view.



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