Review of King Power in Chess by Edgar Mednis

Chess is a game that has been enjoyed for years, and which covers many different strategies. With each of the pieces comes its own brand of strategy, with some of them (queens, rooks, bishops, knights) being more powerful than the others. Pawns even have their key places for strategy, but it is rare where you will find a player that is willing to bring their king into the main gameplay.

The importance of the King of course, is that it is the only piece a player cannot afford to lose in the game, and thus a lot of the defensive aspects of the game revolve around protecting that king. Knowing it can only move one space at any time, but in any direction, shows just how handcuffed you are with that particular piece, but that does not mean that it cannot be drawn into key strategies.

A New Strategy to Chess

A New Strategy to Chess

What International Chess Grandmaster Edmar Mednis has done, is compile a book discussing strategies that give power to the king. It’s really a great play on words, since the real power of the game relies completely on protecting your own king while taking out your opponents. One of the points that he works with, is allowing the opponent to come on the offensive, and even enabling a check that opens up the king momentarily.

Mednis gives tips on how you give up that “check” in order to chase pieces back to the other side of the board, thus taking more control of the center of the board. Controlling the center squares can be the key to advantage later on in the game, and the “chase” brings out more pieces with which to build an attack later on in the match. The strategy of involving the king as a decoy can also be used in a fashion with castling that brings the rook out in a threatening gesture.

Breaking down King Power in Chess

The duration of the 384 pages of this book all involve game strategy using the king. The differing strategies that Mednis uses to approach using the King are spread through the 30 chapters split up into 3 sections. Part I covers the Openings, Part II covers the Middlegame, and Part III covers the Endgame. Some of the more interesting chapters include ones on Castling, Coping with Sacrifices, King Moves to Mark Time, Correct/Incorrect King Moves, and Kings involved in the End Game.

All of the chapters have relevance, and the book is written in a way that allows you to skip around, and play with some of the strategies that Mednis has set out for his readers. He also goes through step-by-step explanations of the moves that have led to some of the in-game situations, and provides a board of what the pieces look like at that point of the game.

King Power as a Strategy

King Power as a Strategy

This is a book geared entirely towards people interested in learning more advanced strategy in the chess games. There is an assumption that players already know the basics, and at times it seems like he assumes that you know many of the openings as well. It is relatively easy to follow, and even if you don’t know the openings, the strategies will ring true. The book really provides a whole new outlook on how the king can be brought into play early on in the game; at times used as a decoy, and at other times used as a lure to set a trap, the king can become a valuable piece to those who follow some of his strategies.

Bill Sutton
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