Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors: Part 1
by Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors: Part 1


"Perhaps the most important reason for my success is that I enjoy reading about chess theory and chess history - and I remember what I read. (...) Obviously I read chess books – in terms of favorites, Kasparov’s ‘My Great Predecessors’ is pretty good." - Magnus Carlsen

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors: Volume 1.


It is well known that studying the classics is a highly effective method of chess improvement. Modern GM ideas build on ideas of the past while adding layers of complexity. How can one properly understand modern ideas unless you have familiarized yourself with at least some of the older (and easier to understand) ideas that modern chess built on?

The primary value in Kasparov's series is that he teaches the most important classics (volume 1 covers Greko through Alekhine). As a student of the Botvinnik school, you can expect Kasparov to know his classics very well and remember what the most important games were. As a former World Champion, you can expect Kasparov to provide top-notch analysis. My Great Predecessors is designed to be an enjoyable read, as Kasparov supplements his game analysis with stories about the players and matches. This book is both approachable for club players (highly instructive examples and comments) and useful for masters (comprehensive analysis). Both children (who will get a lot out of the examples even without all the variations) and adults (who will benefit a lot from the analysis) can get a lot out of this book. Here is a sample from Kasparov's book.

Genius of Combinations:

The development of international links in the mid-19th century was immediately reflected in chess too. The indefatigable Staunton, who had long dreamed of organizing a tournament of the leading players in the world, decided to make use of a convenient occasion - the Great Industrial Exhibition in London (right from the moment that Prince Albert proposed it in 1849). Having enlisted the support of the St George's Chess Club, he set up an organizing committee and sent out invitations over the whole of Europe (at that time America was not yet very conspicuous). --- Among those invited were the strongest masters of all the countries: Saint-Amant and Kieseritzky (France), Löwenthal and Szén (Hungary), Petroff, Jaenisch and Schumoff (Russia), and Lasa, Horwitz and Mayet (Germany). And although for various reasons Saint-Amant was unable to participate, nor the Russian players, nor the German 'No.1' Lasa (by a decision of the Berlin Chess Society, he was replaced by the comparatively little-known Anderssen), this hardly minimizes the importance of the first international tournament in the history of chess.

Why choose the Forward Chess edition? It is cheaper than the physical version and the variations are more efficient to play through on a digital board. Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors: Volume 1 can normally be purchased on our website for $17.99 but with our coupon KASPAROV you can buy it for only $13.49 through January 15, 2020.

"My Great Predecessors (part 1) by Garry Kasparov – stood out like a beacon. It is probably the most enjoyable chess book I have ever read. Here is a master artist deftly painting the giant canvas of chess history with broad and powerful brush-strokes." - GM Nigel Short

"The enthusiasm that Garry has for chess jumps from the pages - the whole book reads like a fast-moving thriller. If you haven't got the message already - this is a fantastic book. The sort of book that I will have to lock away for fear of spending too much time reading and re-reading it!" - GM Matthew Saddler

"...the most important chess book ever to appear since Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games, three decades or so ago." - GM Raymond Keene

"...the broad sweep of the book is majestic and Kasparov's chess genius is apparent in his critical review of the games given in the book and, in particular, his appreciation of the ebb and flow of the world championship matches." - British Chess Federation

"If I could change one thing about how I studied chess when I was younger, I would start with Kasparov's My Great Predecessors." - David Milliern (adult beginner, 1952 USCF peak)