Review Of The Yusupov Series

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Table of Contents

In this article, I’ll share some insights into a series of chess books that I firmly believe may be the perfect fit for those striving to advance from 1400 levels, all the way up to a FIDE master ranking. 

We’ll be delving deep into the Yusupov Series of Chess Books.

Who is Artur Yusupov?

For the uninitiated, Artur Yusupov, the author of this series, was an incredibly accomplished grandmaster, even gracing the position of number three in the world rankings at one point, only straddling behind the stalwarts – Kasparov and Karpov. 

Moreover, Yusupov wasn’t just a grandmaster in playing the game, he was a remarkable teacher as well who had the privilege of being trained by Mark Dvoretsky, arguably one of the best chess teachers in the world, until his unfortunate demise.

Yusupov and Dvoretsky together have authored multiple chess books, thus revealing Yusupov’s solid background in chess teaching. 

The Yusupov series encompasses nine books that aim to elevate a beginner-level player to a rating of 2200-2400.

Understanding the Organization of the Yusupov Series

The series can appear to be slightly complex due to the way they are arranged. 

The books from the series can be classified into three levels that are color-coded – Orange, Blue, and Green representing the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels respectively.

As a player, you start with the orange books moving on to the blue ones, and finally, the green books. 

The first book from the orange series is “Build Up Your Chess” followed by “Boost Your Chess”, then “Chess Evolution”.

A Deep Dive into the First Book – “Build Up Your Chess”

The book comes with a series of 24 chapters along with a final exam. 

The beginner-level chapters shed light on basic topics, such as ‘mating motifs,’ ‘basic opening principles,’ ‘open files,’ ‘combinations,’ ‘stalemate motifs’, and more. 

These chapters provide a solid grounding into tactics, openings, positional chess, and end-games.

One of the biggest strengths of the series is that it provides a holistic understanding of chess. 

Even if you’re above the level of these books, they serve as a great resource for keeping check on any potential gaps in your knowledge.

It also offers an insightful collection of puzzles to solve that are much superior to random puzzles on tactics trainers. 

The logic is simple. Certain patterns repeat themselves in chess, thus making it beneficial to solve puzzles involving these patterns.

The best way to learn chess is by doing chess and having those patterns stored in your brain.

Specific chapters, like the one on the opposition (simple king and pawn end games), could be challenging but would eventually bequeath you invaluable learning about the scenarios where a king and pawn against king is winning or drawing.

The final exam at the end of the book provides a great revision of everything you’ve learned so far. 

For instance, you might find positional puzzles a tad difficult compared to other kinds of puzzles, which would then highlight your weaknesses and offer a chance for improvement.

Who Should Read the Yusupov Series?

While Yusupov suggests that the orange series is for complete beginners aimed at taking you to a 1500 level, this might not be entirely accurate. 

The books include a lot of examples with variations, little text, and tons of puzzles, making them more suitable for a minimum of 1400 USCF level.

Yusupov’s books demand a lot of rigorous practice and shed light on increased in-game patterns, making them ideal for players around the 1400 to 1800 level. 

However, these books are worth a read for those above these levels and even up to the FM level to fill in any unseen gaps in their knowledge.

Ultimately, if you are positioned anywhere between the 1400 and 2300 levels and are exploring ways to enhance your chess strategies, the Yusupov series comes highly recommended. 

Committing time and effort to these books can prove tremendously fruitful for your chess journey.

Let me know if you found this review valuable.

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