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The Secret Ingredient by Jan Markos and David Navara

Hardcover edition

The Secret Ingredient is a grandmaster guide to maximizing your chess results, focusing on key elements of practical play which have received little to no attention in previous chess literature.

How exactly can we best make use of computers? What’s the ideal, step-by-step way to prepare against a specific opponent? How can we optimize our time management at the board? And what’s the one key skill that separates the best players from those who have yet to reach their full potential? GM Jan Markos sheds light on these topics and many more, helped by the world-class insights of his good friend GM David Navara.

Jan Markos is a Slovakian grandmaster and trainer. His previous book, Under the Surface, was the English Chess Federation’s 2018 Book of the Year.

David Navara is a ten-time Czech Champion and a world-class grandmaster. He is noted for combining fighting spirit with outstanding sportsmanship.

224 pages - Published (hardcover) 9 June 2021

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-78483-143-1

Praise for Jan Markos’s previous work:

"5/5 Stars. An incredibly creative book… Markos has a host of original ideas about all sorts of chess topics and a wonderfully witty and enthusiastic way of bringing them across… another fantastic book from Quality Chess!”

GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess

"A really original and creative work!"

GM Karsten Müller

Reviews

"I have just received this excellent new work by Jan Markos and David Navara. Really deep insights into the world of a professional chess player of practical value!"

GM Karsten Müller

"I was struck throughout by the accessibility of this book, and therefore its potential to benefit a large range of playing strengths... Throughout the examples are of a bitesize nature, with maximum explanatory text, minimal variations and key points highlighted in bold."

"Quite simply, I have not enjoyed and gained so much from reading a chess book since "Under the Surface". That book won the ECF Book of the Year award, and it would not surprise me if this one did too. So many books I have read seek to improve your knowledge. This book will help you to make significantly more of what you already possess."

Paul Hopwood, CHESS magazine

"Jan Markos is an excellent writer, who uses metaphors to draw you into his world. Each chapter starts a long way from chess, discussing anything from Aesop’s Fables, via Andy Warhol, to initiation rites in Vanuatu, and concludes with Markos asking his co-author three questions about the topic in question."

"If you’re a strong, ambitious player aiming towards IM or GM level I’m sure you’ll find this book invaluable. But lower rated players will also find much to enjoy, from Markos’s engaging style of writing to a host of fascinating positions taken from grandmaster play, and pick up some helpful tips for general improvement along the way. Best of all, you also get a genuine understanding of what grandmaster chess is all about, taking you beyond the familiar brilliancies and sacrifices into the minds and brains of elite players."

Richard James, British Chess News (full review)

Hardcover edition

The Secret Ingredient is a grandmaster guide to maximizing your chess results, focusing on key elements of practical play which have received little to no attention in previous chess literature.

How exactly can we best make use of computers? What’s the ideal, step-by-step way to prepare against a specific opponent? How can we optimize our time management at the board? And what’s the one key skill that separates the best players from those who have yet to reach their full potential? GM Jan Markos sheds light on these topics and many more, helped by the world-class insights of his good friend GM David Navara.

Jan Markos is a Slovakian grandmaster and trainer. His previous book, Under the Surface, was the English Chess Federation’s 2018 Book of the Year.

David Navara is a ten-time Czech Champion and a world-class grandmaster. He is noted for combining fighting spirit with outstanding sportsmanship.

224 pages - Published (hardcover) 9 June 2021

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-78483-143-1

Praise for Jan Markos’s previous work:

"5/5 Stars. An incredibly creative book… Markos has a host of original ideas about all sorts of chess topics and a wonderfully witty and enthusiastic way of bringing them across… another fantastic book from Quality Chess!”

GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess

"A really original and creative work!"

GM Karsten Müller

Reviews

"I have just received this excellent new work by Jan Markos and David Navara. Really deep insights into the world of a professional chess player of practical value!"

GM Karsten Müller

"I was struck throughout by the accessibility of this book, and therefore its potential to benefit a large range of playing strengths... Throughout the examples are of a bitesize nature, with maximum explanatory text, minimal variations and key points highlighted in bold."

"Quite simply, I have not enjoyed and gained so much from reading a chess book since "Under the Surface". That book won the ECF Book of the Year award, and it would not surprise me if this one did too. So many books I have read seek to improve your knowledge. This book will help you to make significantly more of what you already possess."

Paul Hopwood, CHESS magazine

"Jan Markos is an excellent writer, who uses metaphors to draw you into his world. Each chapter starts a long way from chess, discussing anything from Aesop’s Fables, via Andy Warhol, to initiation rites in Vanuatu, and concludes with Markos asking his co-author three questions about the topic in question."

"If you’re a strong, ambitious player aiming towards IM or GM level I’m sure you’ll find this book invaluable. But lower rated players will also find much to enjoy, from Markos’s engaging style of writing to a host of fascinating positions taken from grandmaster play, and pick up some helpful tips for general improvement along the way. Best of all, you also get a genuine understanding of what grandmaster chess is all about, taking you beyond the familiar brilliancies and sacrifices into the minds and brains of elite players."

Richard James, British Chess News (full review)



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