Winner of the ECF Book of the Year 2020
‘What lifts the book above the ordinary is Smerdon’s quality of writing and his enthusiasm for chess, its players, and the chess world. An outstanding Book of the Year 2020, which combines insightful discussion of a previously unexplored subject with good writing and great entertainment throughout. Ideal for these difficult times.’ — Ray Edwards & Sean Marsh, 29th September 2020, ECF Book of the Year Jury
Chess is a cruel game. We all know that feeling when your position has gone awry and everything seems hopeless. You feel like resigning. But don’t give up! This is precisely the moment to switch to swindle mode. Master the art of provoking errors and you will be able to turn the tables and escape with a draw – or sometimes even steal the full point!
Swindling is a skill that can be trained. In this book, David Smerdon shows how you can use tricks from psychology to marshal hidden resources and exploit your opponent’s biases. In a lost position, your best practical chance often lies not in what the computer recommends, but in playing your opponent.
With an abundance of eye-popping examples and training exercises, Smerdon identifies the four best friends of every chess swindler: your opponent’s impatience, their hubris, their fear, and their need to stay in control. You’ll also learn about such cunning swindling motifs as the Trojan Horse, the Decoy Trap, the Berserk Attack, and ‘Window-Ledging’.
So, come and join the Swindlers’ Club, become a great escape artist and dramatically improve your results. In this instructive and highly entertaining guide, Smerdon shows you how.
David Smerdon is an Australian chess grandmaster and behavioural economist. In 2015 he published the highly successful chess opening book Smerdon’s Scandinavian.