Welcome to the website of Elk and Ruby Publishing House. We specialize in publishing high-quality chess books.

We were founded in 2017 and have so far published 22 great chess books from excellent authors, listed below. We have more exciting books in the pipeline.

All of our books are available on Amazon and some are also available on the Forward Chess app for computers, iOS and Android (www.forwardchess.com) and the Chessable app (www.chessable.com). They can also be ordered online through select book shops, including Barnes & Noble in the United States and Waterstones in the UK. 

Specialist chess shops selling Elk and Ruby books include Chess4Less in the USA (www.chess4less.com), House of Staunton in the USA (www.thehouseofstaunton.com), The US Chess Federation Shop (www.uscfsales.com), Schach Niggemann in Germany (www.schachversand.de), New in Chess in the Netherlands (www.newinchess.com), De Beste Zet in the Netherlands (www.debestezet.nl), Chess & Bridge in the UK (shop.chess.co.uk), Chess Direct in the UK (www.chessdirect.co.uk), Variantes in France (www.variantes.com), Le Due Torri in Italy (www.scacco.it), Norsk Sjakkforlag in Norway (www.sjakkbutikken.no), La Maison des échecs in Belgium (www.marchand.be) and Mat et mots (www.matetmots.be) in Belgium.

We can be contacted at info@elkandruby.com and on twitter @ilan_ruby


Our authors and books

Alexander Nikitin

Alexander Nikitin, born 1935 in Moscow, coached Garry Kasparov from 1973 until 1990. He was Kasparov’s chief second in his candidates and world championship matches from 1983-1987. In 1992 Nikitin seconded Boris Spassky during the latter’s return match against Bobby Fischer, and later in the 1990s he coached the young Etienne Bacrot. Other illustrious former pupils include Grandmaster Dmitry Jakovenko.

At just 17 years of age Nikitin became one of the youngest USSR masters of sport in chess, in 1952. He was awarded the title of International Master in 1992. Nikitin gained the titles of honored trainer of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1980 and of the USSR in 1986. He became FIDE Senior Trainer in 2004. Nikitin participated in several Moscow championships, and his best result was sharing 2nd-5th places in 1954. He also played in the USSR championship in 1959. As a member of the Soviet team he won the student world championship in 1955, 1957 and 1958. Nikitin shared 3rd-4th places together with Razuvaev and ahead of Taimanov at the Botvinnik Memorial veterans tournament, held in Elista in 2002. He was a senior trainer in the Petrosian School from 1977 to 1993, which he ran from 1984 after the ex-world champion’s death. Super grandmasters that Nikitin coached at the school include Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand.

He is the author of a number of chess books in several languages, including on opening theory. In the 2000s, Nikitin assisted Kasparov in producing the latter’s autobiographical works. Living in Moscow, he remains an active chess writer, completing a Russian-language book in 2019 on the games and legacy of his friend Grandmaster Evgeny Vasiukov.


Coaching Kasparov, Year by Year and Move by Move, Volume I: The Whizz-Kid (1973-1981), published in 2019

In Coaching Kasparov, Year by Year and Move by Move Garry Kasparov’s long-term coach, second and mentor Alexander Nikitin tells the story of how he trained Kasparov from a brilliant but raw junior into becoming and then remaining the world champion. Volume I, the present work, covers the period 1973-1981, until Kasparov reached the age of 18. The author goes to great lengths to describe his educational approach during the early period to raise Kasparov’s theoretical knowledge and practical performance, covering both play and psychological training. 

In Nikitin’s blow-by-blow tournament accounts he describes how he handled various unexpected situations to get the best out of Kasparov with detailed recipes. His numerous insights will be of great interest to today’s chess coaches who wish to take a comprehensive approach to improving their pupils’ performances. 

The present volume contains 46 games fully annotated by Nikitin, including all 14 games of a blitz match played between the 15-year old Kasparov and ex-world champion Mikhail Tal on 26 December 1978 in Tbilisi that have never before been published and which are provided specially for the 2019 edition of this book. 

Most of the other games are well known, but Nikitin explains many of Kasparov’s decisions in those games from the point of view of the future world champion’s coach, providing the context of his young pupil's thought process and mistakes and tracing his progress. He also uses these games to illustrate and expand upon his coaching advice. This makes his commentary quite unique and instructive, of formidable practical use to budding players, coaches and parents.

Genna Sosonko

Genna Sosonko (born 1943, Troitsk, Russia) is a Soviet-born Dutch Grandmaster who is widely recognized as the number one writer on the history of Soviet chess.

Playing career

Once ranked among the world’s top twenty chess players, Genna acted as second to ex-Word Champion Mikhail Tal and to ex-World Championship Challenger Viktor Korchnoi during world championship candidates matches. He emigrated from the Soviet Union to the Netherlands in 1972, where he continues to live.

He won the Dutch Championship in 1973 and 1978 (jointly). His tournament record includes 1st at the Barcelona Zonal Tournament 1975, 1st at Lugano 1976, 1st at Wijk aan Zee 1977, 1st at Nijmegen 1978, 3rd at Amsterdam 1980, 1st at Wijk aan Zee 1981, 3rd at Tilburg 1982 and 4th at Haninge 1988. He also drew a match with Jan Timman (+1 =0 −1) in 1984.

Genna played for the Dutch team at the Chess Olympiads eleven times, in 1974-84, and 1988-96. He won two individual medals: gold at Haifa 1976 and bronze at Nice 1974, and two team medals: silver at Haifa 1976 and bronze at Thessaloniki 1988.

FIDE, the World Chess Federation, awarded Sosonko the International Master (IM) title in 1974, the GM title in 1976 and the FIDE Senior Trainer title in 2004.

Literary career

Sosonko has authored seven non-technical chess books in English centering heavily on his chess life in the Soviet Union and his relationships with and memories of both leading Soviet players and lesser-known characters in chess history.

Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi (2018)

Viktor Korchnoi was one of the leading grandmasters of the 20th century, coming within one game of winning the world championship in 1978. His battles with Karpov for the world crown were among the most important chess matches ever played. A man with a unique – and in many ways tragic – life and career, Korchnoi’s defection to the West in 1976 was a major event in Cold War politics. 

Grandmaster Genna Sosonko was Korchnoi’s coach and second during tournaments and candidates matches in 1970-71 and then a close friend of Korchnoi for decades. Indeed, Sosonko’s emigration to the West in 1972, which is described in detail in this memoir, had a key impact on Korchnoi’s decision to defect four years later. They would meet up at tournaments and at home and discuss chess, politics, and just about everything else. Their conversations constitute an important part of this book, in which Sosonko tackles difficult questions about Korchnoi’s personality and places much of his often challenging behavior into its historical context. This book, like Sosonko’s previous masterpiece The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, contains no games but focuses on Korchnoi’s life, from his early childhood to his final years. Further, it includes many previously unpublished photos from the private collections of Sosonko and the Korchnoi family.

Smyslov on the Couch (2018)

In his third full-length memoir about one of the world's greatest ever chess players Genna Sosonko portrays a warm picture of the seventh world champion Vasily Smyslov, with whom he spent considerable time over the board, during tournaments and while meeting at each other's homes. Smyslov the man was far more balanced and spiritual than most of his contemporaries, capable of a relaxed and yet principled approach to life. Unlike most top players he was able to reach a very high standard in his chosen hobby - in his case, classical singing - even while playing chess at the very top. His natural inclination to see the best in people was, however, challenged as the world around him underwent fundamental changes late in his life.

The new freedoms of the post-Soviet era also engendered one of the most extraordinary polemics in chess history - David Bronstein's article 'Thrown' Games in Zurich (2001) - bringing accusations against Smyslov that forced him to defend himself at the age of eighty, by which time many witnesses to the events in Zurich were already deceased. In this book, Genna focuses in particular on that polemic, places it in the wider context of the so-called Soviet Chess School, and asks whether Bronstein's hurt and accusations were justified.

The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein (2017)

First published in Russian in 2014 and written by Genna Sosonko – widely recognized as the number one writer on the history of Soviet chess – this is a truly unique book about the life and destiny of the great chess player David Bronstein (1924-2006).

Emerging from a challenging background – he narrowly escaped the holocaust in WWII, during which he starved, and his father spent seven years in a gulag – Bronstein faced Botvinnik in the world championship match in 1951 and nearly defeated him. But this ‘nearly’ inflicted a wound on David so deep that it would not heal for the rest of his life.

Sosonko knew Bronstein well. Their conversations – many of which have made it into this book – not only portray the thoughts and character of one of history’s most original grandmasters but also take us back to a time unlike any other in world history. This is not a biography in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, Sosonko’s fascinating book asks eternal questions which don’t have neat and simple answers.

With a foreword to the English edition by Garry Kasparov.




Sally Landau

Sally Landau, born in 1938, Vitebsk, Soviet Union, was Mikhail Tal’s first wife, a highly talented actress and singer. Sally and Misha were married from 1959 to 1970 in a period that encompassed Tal’s two world championship matches with Botvinnik as well as many of his greatest tournament performances. Sally has lived in Antwerp, Belgium, since 1981.

Checkmate! The Love Story of Mikhail Tal and Sally Landau (2019)

*** SHORT-LISTED FOR THE ENGLISH CHESS FEDERATION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019 *** 

Sally’s breathtaking story, first published in Russia in 1998 and which has been reprinted multiple times, is a memoir of her time with Tal, with whom she remained friends long after they divorced right up until his death in 1992. Full of detail about Tal and their life together, it is a tale of triumph and tragedy, love, parenthood, sorrow, jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Colored by a historical and social background including the Second World War, the Soviet chess scene, Rigan high society, the shadow economy in the Soviet Union, and Jewish emigration, it contains a fascinating portrait of Misha’s mysterious family and is illustrated with photos from Sally’s private archive. And it all just happens to be true…



Maxim Chetverik

Maxim Chetverik, born in Voronezh in 1963, is one of Russia's biggest chess writers. He has written books published in Russian, English, French and German on chess strategy, the Queen's Indian Defense, Catalan Opening, English Opening, Benoni System, Queen's Gambit Accepted, Sicilian Defense, Petroff Defense, Dutch Defense, Alekhine Defense and Albin Counter Gambit, as well as more general opening books and books on the games of Alekhine, Tal and Spassky.

He became an International Master in 2003 and is a regular tournament player to this day, as well as being a coach in his native Voronezh. His best tournament results include Budapest Open, 1st place, 1996, Open championship of Slovan Club, Bratislava, 1st place, 1998, Prague Open, 2nd equal, 2002, Kecskemet (Hungary) round robin tournament, 1st place, 2003, Stuttgart Open, 2nd place, 2009, Yaroslavl Open, 3rd place, 2015, and Olomouc (Czech Republic), 2nd place, 2017.  

Strategic Plans: 75 Modern Battles (2019)

Russian International Master Maxim Chetverik has written a strategy textbook containing 75 deeply annotated positional games that show players how to devise plans to handle a number of key strategic themes, such as when to open up the game, how to activate the pawn chain, how to carry out positional sacrifices and many others. Unlike most other textbooks, the strategic plans are viewed as battles where the plans of each player clash, and Maxim analyzes why one plan comes out on top.

Also unlike most other textbooks, all example games are drawn from grandmaster play in the 21st century, some played in 2018, and consider the plans right out of the opening stage. This makes the book of particular value to players wishing to better understand the strategies that the openings they play may lead to, bearing in mind the author is an openings expert with ten openings books published. The majority of games are played by elite grandmasters, including Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin, Giri, So, Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Leko, J. Polgar, Topalov, Kamsky, Morozevich, Korchnoi and Spassky.

Chetverik introduces and illustrates the concepts of macroplan and microplan, which provide a simple structural framework for players seeking to devise plans in their own games. The macroplan is the specific way to achieve the required result (usually, a win), for example, the successful exploitation of a queenside pawn majority. The microplan is a way of solving a local problem that involves several moves, such as transferring a knight from a bad square to a good one. Ideally, a macroplan is a chain of sequential and carefully calculated microplans.

This book is largely aimed at strong club players wishing to improve, or their coaches. The recommended Elo range is approximately 1,800 – 2,200, although it may of course be of interest to players a bit lower and a bit higher than this range.

The Queen's Indian Defense Main Line 4.g3 System (2018)

International Master Maxim Chetverik has written an in-depth study of one of the most popular choices by white in the Queen's Indian Defense - the main line with 4.g3, where white fianchettoes his bishop. This line is often seen at top-level chess.

A key focus of this work is an examination of new lines that have recently appeared in the arsenal of grandmasters. The full range of continuations for both white and black are covered in this textbook, including hybrids with the Bogo-Indian Defense and certain Catalan, Dutch, Benoni and Hedgehog-type set-ups, as well as key themes such as hanging pawns, the isolated queen's pawn, white's four versus three ranks advantage, the closed center with the pawn structure being c4­-d5-­e4 against c5(c7)-­d6­-e5 and structures with semi-open files, making it an essential and comprehensive guide for players on both sides of the board in this variation.

Maxim makes this book particularly user-friendly by his focus on learning the key ideas through practical games, as well as his use of "land-mines," transposition alerts and key tips.

This book contains 181 full games in this line and several hundred fragments with detailed and original commentary by the author focused throughout on giving a balanced evaluation in what are complicated positions. Many of these games feature the world's greatest players, including world champions Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik, Kasparov, Karpov, Spassky, Petrosian, Tal, Smyslov, Botvinnik and Alekhine, and other top players including Caruana, Shankland, Nakamura, So, Mamedyarov, Aronian, Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Harikrishna, Adams, Shirov, Gelfand, Topalov, Korchnoi and Timman.

Maxim himself has played over 100 official games in this line, making him a leading expert in the Queen's Indian Defense in general and the 4.g3 line in particular. Four of his games are in included in full in this volume, as well as a number of fragments.

Valentin Kirillov

Valentin Kirillov (1938-2017) was a Latvian chess master, coach, and journalist. He took part in numerous Latvian and Baltic states championships, as well as the 1967 USSR championship in Kharkov, the USSR team championships, international tournaments in Hungary, Poland, Finland, France, and the Czech Republic, and the German team championships, playing for Godesburg (Bonn) and Brakel (Dortmund).

Mikhail Tal’s second (1968-1976), coach and captain of Latvia’s national teams at Soviet championships, Deputy Director of the Latvian Chess Club, head coach of the Latvian Republic and of the Latvian members of the USSR National Team. Executive Secretary and Executive Director of the Latvian Chess Federation. He worked as a chess coach in several countries abroad.

Kirillov wrote and edited chess columns for various Soviet and Latvian publications. He authored a seven-volume treatise considered to be the definitive Russian-language work analyzing Tal’s games, among other books.

Team Tal: An Inside Story (2017)

First published in Russian in 2016, this book of memoirs describes key events from Tal’s life, portrays his mentors and opponents, and reveals previously unknown facts and funny stories about the Magician of Riga.

A real collectors’ item for all true Tal fans, it provides color on Janis Kruzkops, who was Tal’s first coach and who died tragically young, Tal’s mentor Alexander Koblencs, and the chess masters to whom Tal was close, including Genna Sosonko, Aivars Gipslis, Janis Klovans, Alvis Vitolins, the young Alexei Shirov, and Kirillov himself, as well as the mysterious doctor Joseph Geikhman. It also traces the efforts of the Latvian chess community to preserve and build on Tal’s memory after his death, in particular with the attempt to establish a Tal museum and hold regular tournaments in his honour.

With a foreword to the English edition by Alexei Shirov.


Sergei Tkachenko 

Sergei Tkachenko (born in 1963, near Odessa, Ukraine) is a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017. He has won the studies section of the Ukrainian Chess Composition Championship six times and has won prizes, many of them for first place, in over 100 international chess composition tournaments.

Sergei coaches the Ukrainian chess composition team. He is also the press secretary of the Chess Composition Committee of the Ukrainian Chess Federation.

Sergei is an award-winning author who has written 18 chess books (in Russian), including compositions and on historical themes. He is deputy chief editor of a Ukrainian chess composition magazine called Problemist of Ukraine and has a regular studies column on the ChessPro website. Sergei is a member of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists. He is a historian and archivist, a mechanical engineering graduate, and additionally spent five years studying theater production.

Yakov Vilner, First Ukrainian Chess Champion and First USSR Chess Composition Champion: A World Champion's Favorite Composers (2019)

Yakov Vilner (1899-1931) was one of the leading Soviet chess masters in the 1920s. He won the Ukrainian championship three times (1924, 1925 and 1928), the Odessa championship five times (1918, 1923, 1925, 1926 and 1928) and competed in five USSR championships, his highest position being sixth equal in 1924. His attacking, combinational style delivered many memorable games and he regularly played against strong contemporaries such as Bogoljubov, Romanovsky, Bogatyrchuk, Verlinsky and an upcoming teenager called Botvinnik.

Vilner was also a leading chess composer. He won the USSR composition championship for three-move problems in 1929 and in total he won prizes at 30 chess composition competitions.

In this historical work illustrated with rare archival photos from the period, Sergei Tkachenko tells the story of a man who, despite suffering constantly from the respiratory illness that would eventually end his life at the age of just 31, was a leading chess organizer and journalist in Ukraine as well as a player and composer, against a background of major social and political upheaval that significantly impacted the chess world. It was Vilner who, in 1919 as a member of the Revolutionary Tribunal in Odessa, managed to save Alexander Alekhine from the firing squad, which Tkachenko wrote about in his book Alekhine's Odessa Secrets: Chess, War and Revolution. The latter work was short-listed for the 2018 English Chess Federation Book of the Year.

Tkachenko has selected 49 full games and another six fragments, annotated in detail by Vilner himself, Tkachenko, Romanovsky, Bogatyrchuk, and other leading players of the 1920s. The author has also included all 95 of Vilner’s known problems and studies, some of which are fairy problems, as well as many earlier versions and related compositions. Like in Tkachenko’s other collections, all 95 compositions are set on the right-hand side of the page with the solution overleaf.

This book will be of great interest to fans of Soviet chess history, exciting games collections and problem solving.

Bishop and Knight Save the Day: A World Champion's Favorite Studies (2019)

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just a bishop and knight in the finale, yet manages to win or draw. There are no more than six moves in almost all solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams.Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a bishop and knight in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of how the bishop and knight pair combine.Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. This is the seventh book in the World Champion’s Favorite Studies series by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

Oleg Pervakov's Industrial Strength Endgame Studies: A World Champion's Favorite Composers (2018)

Oleg Pervakov (born in 1960 in the city of Kirov) is widely recognized as Russia’s greatest living chess composer. He has composed nearly 500 studies and he has won the individual chess composition world championship three times: in 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2013-2015.

In this book, Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 of Oleg Pervakov’s best studies. The selection is quite varied – from elegant short studies with six moves to romantic grotesques with many pieces on board and over 30 moves to the solution. Yet what all of these studies have in common is spectacular play by both sides. And watch out: they are tough! That said, Oleg’s compositions are never boring. You may buy this collection of studies to test your endgame tactical abilities, to improve your endgame understanding, or simply to appreciate chess in all its beauty.

Unlike previous studies books compiled by Sergei Tkachenko this book is not pocket-sized due to its longer solutions.

Alekhine's Odessa Secrets: Chess, War and Revolution (2018)

*** SHORT-LISTED FOR THE ENGLISH CHESS FEDERATION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018 *** 

Sergei Tkachenko has written a fascinating account of Alexander Alekhine’s time spent in Odessa during World War I, the Russian Revolution and Civil War, as well as of the impact of Odessa on his later life. Sergei, an Odessa native and ex-world chess composition champion, has carried out original research drawing from Odessa, Voronezh, Cheka and KGB archives among others, as well as local newspapers from the time. His research, together with a review of Russian-language secondary materials, has dug up lots of new information and analysis on Alekhine, including on his trips to Odessa and their reasons, his service during World War I, his interrogations by the Cheka and his ties to the White Movement. Sergei portrays Alekhine’s Odessa relatives and the Odessite chess masters against whom he played a number of friendly and simultaneous games during his three trips to the Ukrainian city.

Sergei provides a detailed description of chess in Odessa from the beginning of the nineteenth century and through the upheavals of the early twentieth century, including the city’s leading chess organizers, the main and university chess clubs, and even high society’s chess-themed ballroom parties. He goes on to describe the chaos under Bolshevik rule during the Civil War, during which Alekhine was arrested by the Reds and very nearly executed. The author reviews the backdrop to Alekhine’s arrest and investigates the circumstances of his last-minute release. His heart-rending account of terror by the Cheka brings home to the reader how near the chess world was to losing its greatest player of the first half of the twentieth century.

This book then goes on to review the strong Odessa links with key events surrounding Alekhine later – his exile, failing marriages, plans for a match with Botvinnik, murky death and eventual burial ten years later.

Alekhine’s Odessa Secrets: Chess, War and Revolution includes 24 complete games (some handicapped) with annotations from Alekhine, Sergei Tkachenko and Sergei Voronkov (co-author with David Bronstein of Secret Notes), as well as five puzzles and one fragment. Alekhine played in 22 of these games and the fragment and set three of the puzzles.

Furthermore, the book contains around 100 photos, mostly of Alekhine’s Odessa contemporaries among chess masters and politicians, as well as of the places he frequented in Odessa and key publication clippings and memorabilia.

With an introduction to the English edition by Boris Gelfand.

Tigran Gorgiev, Maestro of Practical Studies: A World Champion’s Favorite Composers (2018)

Tigran Gorgiev (1910-1976) was one of the Soviet Union’s best endgame study composers. In his lifetime he produced around 400 studies and wrote three books and 101 articles with chess compositions. The vast majority of his endgame studies are of a practical nature, meaning that the positions presented could have arisen in over-the-board play. This makes them particularly useful to study for practical players as well as study fans. 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected his 100 favorite Tigran Gorgiev studies, revising some of them and providing explanations suitable for less experienced solvers. There are no more than six moves in most solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams.

This is the third book in a series of studies and problems compiled by Sergei Tkachenko, in which each book focuses on a particular composer, published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

Mikhail Zinar's Difficult Pawn Endings: A World Champion's Favorite Composers (2018)

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 pawn endings composed by the leading Ukrainian problemist Mikhail Zinar. 

Zinar is a prolific endgame expert who has produced several hundred studies since the 1970s, with a focus on pawn endings. His works have appeared in many leading Russian-language chess publications, including Chess in the USSR, 64 – Chess Review, and Chess Bulletin. He collaborated with Yuri Averbakh on the second edition of Averbakh’s Chess Endings (1983), in which he revised the theory of “corresponding squares”. In the foreword, Averbakh wrote: “Chapter ten, devoted to corresponding square systems, was written by chess composer M.A. Zinar – a big specialist in pawn endings. Otherwise, this chapter would have looked out of date.”

Zinar co-authored a Russian-language manual for creating pawn studies with Vladimir Archakov in 1990 called Harmony of the Pawn Study. He collaborated with Tkachenko in compiling this book.

This is the first book in a new series of endgame studies compiled by Sergei Tkachenko, in which each book focuses on a particular composer, published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

Nikolai Rezvov, from Child Burglar to Grandmaster: A World Champion's Favorite Composers (2018)

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has selected 100 studies and problems by Odessite chess master Nikolai Vasilevich Rezvov (1921–2013), which will help you to appreciate the splendor and depth of the royal game. 

Rezvov lived a long and tragic life: it was at the age of nearly 90 that he was awarded the titles of Ukrainian chess composition grandmaster and FIDE chess composition international master, and his love of chess kept him going through life as a child laborer, WWII solder, prisoner of war and later prisoner in the Soviet Union. His compositions appeared in leading chess magazines such as Chess in the USSR, 64 – Chess Review and The Problemist, and he won many prizes. Several of these compositions were produced jointly with Sergei Tkachenko.

The readers will find these studies and problems highly educational, illustrating many theoretical and combinational ideas that can be used in the readers’ own games. Some of them are simply breathtaking in their beauty and originality.

This is the second book in a series of studies and problems compiled by Sergei Tkachenko, in which each book focuses on a particular composer, published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

One Pawn Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2017)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws and draws into wins! 

Sergei Tkachenko has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one pawn in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.

With the exception of three studies, there are no more than six moves in any solution, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams.

Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a single pawn in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the pawn's resourcefulness.

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union.

One Knight Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2017)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws and draws into wins! 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one knight in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.

There are no more than six moves in most solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams. Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a single knight in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the knight’s resourcefulness.

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. Several are Sergei’s own compositions.

This is the second book in a series of endgame studies by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

One Bishop Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2017)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws and draws into wins! 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one bishop in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.

There are no more than six moves in any solution, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams. Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a single bishop in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the bishop’s resourcefulness.

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. Several are Sergei’s own compositions.

This is the third book in a series of endgame studies by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

One Rook Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2017)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws and draws into wins! 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one rook in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.

There are no more than six moves in almost all solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams. Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a single rook in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the rook’s resourcefulness.

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. Several are Sergei’s own compositions.

This is the fourth book in a series of endgame studies by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

The Queen Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2018)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws and draws into wins! 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just the queen in the finale, yet manages to win or draw.

There are no more than six moves in almost all solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams. Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving a single queen in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the queen’s resourcefulness.

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. Several are Sergei’s own compositions.

This is the fifth book in a series of endgame studies by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.

The King Saves the Day: A World Champion’s Favorite Studies (2018)

Learn great traps, turn losses into draws! 

Sergei Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian team that won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997 and which came second in 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017, has collected 100 studies whose common theme is that white ends up with just one king in the finale, yet manages to draw. 

There are no more than six moves in almost all solutions, so experienced chess players can analyze the positions directly from the diagrams. Newbies to chess problems will also find analyzing these studies useful. The diverse set of tactical ideas involving the king in the finale will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the king's resourcefulness. 

Some of these studies are classics from bygone ages. Others were originally published in the Soviet Union or ex-Soviet countries. Several are Sergei’s own compositions. 

This is the sixth book in a series of endgame studies by Sergei Tkachenko to be published by Elk and Ruby Publishing House.


Alexander Bakin, Vladimir Barsky, Dmitry Kryakvin, Dmitry Kurnosov, Svetlana Kurnosova, Igor Lysy, Pavel Ponkratov and Alexander Riazantsev (editors)

The Chelyabinsk Meteorite: Selected Games of Igor Kurnosov (2018)

This book contains fifty illustrative games and a career overview of Chelyabinsk grandmaster Igor Kurnosov, who was tragically hit and killed by a car in 2013 at the age of just 28. At his last tournament prior to his death, Igor attained a super-grandmaster tournament performance rating in excess of 2700.

Kurnosov left an indelible mark on the chess world—he was a Russian youth champion, a member of the Russian national team that won the world student team championship and the Tomsk-400 team that finished first at the Russian championship. He won or placed highly at dozens of international tournaments.

The games in this book, with highly instructional commentary by Kurnosov’s friends and colleagues, or sometimes by Kurnosov himself, are filled with blistering attacks and subtle endgame play. They have been selected in part to demonstrate the progression of his career, rather than being his absolute best games. Igor had several signature openings, but he undoubtedly is best known in the chess world as a master of the Grunfeld Defense. According to Grandmaster Dmitry Bocharov in this book, Igor was one of the world’s leading experts in the Grunfeld. Igor was a sophisticated analyst, and many of his opening ideas are still relevant to this day. This book will be useful for both beginners and highly-rated players to improve.

Commentators in this book include such well-known grandmasters as Ernesto Inarkiev, Roman Ovechkin, Dmitry Kryakvin, Sergei Rublevsky, and Kateryna Lahno, while his opponents in these games include such names as Boris Gelfand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Dmitry Andreikin.

Published in association with the Russian Chess Federation.