Choosing the subject wasn’t easy at all, since the topic of defense requires a comprehensive analysis from
different angles in order to give the chess player under pressure useful guidelines during a game. Of
course, the technical part is a matter of finding challenging, new and interesting positions. I was
struggling with describing the emotions that we have during the game, how they influence our decision-
making process and what we can do about that. Hence, I tried the best I could to define the issues the
defender encounters during a stressful game. Finally I am confidently sharing with you the lessons that I
learned from sport psychologists and literature, and my experience as a player over 30 years.
Fortunately I was not alone in the writing process and I am very grateful for all the support I received. In
special, I would like to thank Iozefina and my friend Erwin l’Ami, who gave me the essential moral and
technical support throughout the writing process. On top of that I would like to thank all of the
photographers, and especially Erwin’s wife Alina for the beautiful portraits which I could use for my
book. Though being one of a kind, I am thankful for my ‘nemesis’ Loek van Wely for his professional
insights in his preface and in chapter 4.
Hopefully this first Volume of ‘Unbeatable!’ will be enjoyable for you dear reader, and simultaneously,
serves you well in practice how to stand firm in using your defensive resources as a last resort. But at the
same time this is a book with a smile and a tear.
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