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If you don’t buy Sam’s book, you may suffer the consequences!

Blogpost by Kallia Kleisarchaki


During the Batumi Olympiad 2018, Sam Shankland met across the board Rauf Mamedov, Azerbaijani GM. Rauf didn’t buy Sam’s book and I know! How? Well, he did exactly the kind of mistake Sam warned about in his book, Small Steps to Giant Improvement, proving once again that every chess player, regardless titles, can make simple mistakes that cost dearly.












As Sam explains in page 232 of his book, “…Black has advanced a7-a5, so White will not be able to play b3-b4. As such, white is condemned to have a pair of doubled pawns where the further-advanced one cannot be protected from another pawn.”


What kind of simple mistakes have you made and you still remember them?

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  1. Seth
    October 12th, 2018 at 20:35 | #1

    That being said, it’s still pretty shocking that Rauf resigned after …Bxb3.

  2. Michael
    October 13th, 2018 at 19:01 | #2

    When will the soft cover of this book be available….I prefer the soft covers


  3. Arjen
    October 14th, 2018 at 19:02 | #3

    Qxb3 and position is still equal? Where is the mistake?

  4. Fer
    October 15th, 2018 at 11:51 | #4

    And why Samuel didn’t played 9…, Bxb3 and instead prefered to play 9…,h6?
    He gave the chance to Mamedov to play 10. Bxe6.

  5. Andrew Greet
    October 15th, 2018 at 14:28 | #5

    Michael – as with most of our non-opening books, we published in hardcover first and will announce the paperback when we are ready.

    Fer – 9…Bxb3 looks like an interesting possibility, intending 10.Qxb3 a4! when taking on b7 would be too dangerous; and if 10.axb3 Black has the structure he wants. On the other hand, the fact that Sam allowed 10.Bxe6 and Mamedov rejected it indicates that the …fxe6 structure is healthy enough for Black.
    I can think of reasons for both 9…Bxb3 and Sam’s 9…h6; I guess the decision comes down to personal taste and weighing up some small nuances. I’ll ask Sam to see if he wishes to add anything.

  6. Fer
    October 16th, 2018 at 09:15 | #6

    @Andrew Greet

    Thanks for you answer Andrew! also any thought of Samuel would be very interesting.

  7. Andrew Greet
    October 16th, 2018 at 10:14 | #7

    White should recapture with the queen, when the position is equal. Instead Mamedov played axb3 which was a positional error, for reasons explained by Sam in the book.

  8. Mbapa
    October 30th, 2018 at 07:27 | #8

    @Andrew Greet

    It seems Shankland is not going to clarify his reason…

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