Grandmaster Insides takes you into the inner world of Max Dlugy, as he recounts and analyzes what a young player has to go through to become a champion and what areas of development are important for self-improvement. As the highest rated player in the world in the age group of 15 and the World Junior Champion at 20, MaxIm has an ideal vantage point from which to recount the exploits of a talented young player. Dlugy covers such important topics as preparation for your opponent, match play and the search for objective truth in chess. Taking examples from his own career, he gives the reader a deeper look at some of the best players in the history of chess, including Tal, Smyslov, Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik and even Magnus Carlsen.
The name Dlugy was an integral part of the American chess scene in the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s but then it seemed to disappear without trace. That was a shame for US chess players because he was an enterprising player who cultivated many interesting ideas in the openings, such as his development of 5.£a4 into a mainstream weapon against the 4...¥a6 line in the Fianchetto Variation of the Queen’s Indian.
Despite growing up in Europe I was well–acquainted with him as a player from reading international chess magazines. In brief, he won the Junior World Championship, gained the grandmaster title, and then developed into one of the world’s strongest blitz and rapid chess players.
For quite some time now, Dlugy has not played actively in mainstream tournaments, but instead focused his attention on instruction, commentating and enjoying himself by playing blitz online. Nevertheless he had previously enjoyed a rich chess career and played many attention–grabbing games, as this book amply shows. It is a hefty volume of more than 400 pages, jampacked with games, annotated in great detail and accompanied by stories of his encounters with some of chess’s greatest names and characters.
I absolutely love this book and I know that I will be returning to it again and again. It is undoubtedly the biggest surprise package out of all the new titles covered in the present column. I really do hope it will find a broad audience.