U Cannot Be Serious - Avant-Garde Strategy in Chess
IM’s Gerard Welling & Michael Basman
This book is written with the intention to introduce the reader to the creative chess ideas of Michael Basman. He gave up more intense regular tournament chess around the turn of the millennium, to concentrate his energy on the development of school chess. And that is what he is mainly known for in recent times, as the motor who made the UK Chess Challenge blossom. Nowadays the yearly nation-wide school competition still attracts around 40,000 children, and that is not even the record. […]
What will this book present you? First of all a more elaborate picture of Michael Basman’s chess, based on my experiences with this creative master. We played together in two early tournaments around 1980, and (especially in the second one) we discussed the ideas which has given me a clearer idea of the man’s way of chess thinking than before – because the multiple outright rejections in the past and on the net are clear proof that it is not so easy to understand new and creative ideas. These two tournaments, the Biel Masters in 1979 and the Liege Open in 1981 will be presented in separate reports of the events, focusing on the games of the hero of this book, from my point of view.
Gerard Welling : Gerard Welling was born on the 3rd of April 1959 in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. Graduated as a historian at Utrecht University he has spent his professional life as a business analyst on banking- reporting. Practising chess as a major hobby he completed the requirement for the International Master title in 1992. Gerard has been a regular participant in Dutch, Belgian and German leagues but his focus of activity has been mainly on international opens during holidays. Chess career peaks have been first places (some shared) in a couple of opens, such as the Biel Major open 1979, Amstelveen open 1983, Noteboom open Leiden 1984, Lyngby open 1989, Dresden open 2001 etc. and a few dozen IM-norms. In his junior days he has been Dutch U-20 blitz champion in 1978 but has given up speed chess a long time ago.
Michael Basman : Michael James Basman was born on the 16th of March 1946 in London, England. Studied history at Leeds university and continued his academic career in Yerevan around 1970. Mike spent some part of his professional life in the 1970ties as a public servant at the Chessington computer center. But soon his restless mind led him to other directions, such as the creation of 'Audio Chess' , a method he devised to tutor chess by means of audio-tapes. There have been many chess career peaks like the shared first place in the British chess championship 1973 but it makes little sense to list them all due to space considerations ;-) . Most telling for Mike's potential were perhaps that he drew games – from a position of strength – with former World champions Michael Botvinnik and Michael Tal. The only reason that he does not hold a 50% score against former world champions is that he declined a draw by perpetual check against Smyslov, and was duly punished for it. In the 1990-ties, Michael Basman started the UK Chess challenge, and from that day on has more or less focused on junior chess and chess tuïtion.
Co-author Michael Basman has been reputed to be an original and independent chess player and thinker for the whole of his chess career. However, around 1978 he mobilised his creativity to develop new ways in chess strategy, based on a personal set of avant-garde opening systems such as the St.George (early b4.. of ..b5) and Grob (early g4.. or ..g5). Consistently employing his new ideas, a whole new system of chess playing gained recognition amongst his colleagues, and generated a cult following among chess amateurs. Around 1990 Mike took the next step by creating the Global opening and it's pincer movements from the flanks. This constituted the final stage in the ultra-hypermodern school of flank-strategy that he started 12 years earlier. Pressed by popular demand, Mike Basman has written several popular works on his ideas such as 'St. George's opening', 'The Killer Grob' and 'The Global opening' but these bestsellers have gone out of print a long time ago. So both authors felt it was about time to revive interest in the “Basmanic” school of chess. Mike has supplied most of the material, and co-author Gerard has accepted the task (as a former cult-follower in his younger days) to do a critical selection and examination of everything available. We hope that 2021, the year that Mike Basman turns 75, will see a revival of Basman's avant garde ideas in chess among players of the new generations.
- Casa editrice Thinkers Publishing
- Code 7667
- Pagine p. 304
- Anno 2021
- Isbn 9789464201147