For the last couple of weeks I’ve been involved in a project that I couldn’t write about here, but I am now at liberty to talk about it. Daniel Naroditsky, the world under-12 champion in 2007 (whom I wrote about in this postÂ from December 2007) has now, believe, it or not, written a chess book. His father, Vladimir, asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could read over the manuscript and make suggestions on the exposition. I have now finished reading the whole book (except for the introduction and epilog, which are coming), and I can tell you that it’s going to be sensational.
First, the details:Â Danya’s bookÂ is now under contract to be published by New in Chess, and it should come out next spring. I think that the biggest questionÂ for the publisher,Â as it would be for anyoneÂ who doesn’t know Danya, is: Can a 13-year-old kid really write a book that adults can read and learn from? My answer is, can he ever!
As I noted in my post two years ago, what is most remarkable about Danya is his very serious approach to chess. He keeps notebooks of the games he has gone over, and this book has grown in part out of those notebooks. His manuscript is full of references to other chess literature, so he has obviously learned a lot from other chess writers and teachers. Most impressively, he doesn’t just read and accept whatÂ other mastersÂ write. He reads them and thinks about them and then forms his own opinions, sometimes contradicting the published analysis of grandmasters. (In fact, I think he quite enjoys poking holes in their analysis!)
So even though the book is written by a 13-year-old, I can only describe it as erudite. It demonstrates the phenomenal knowledge and sophistication that was already obvious two years ago,Â plus two things I didn’t know about before: theÂ ability to write and the ability to organize and follow through on a large project.Â Vladimir told me that Danya has always been interested in writing.
The subject of the book is positional chess. Again, this is amazing. A 13-year-old writing about positional chess? Aren’t kids usually all about tactics and calculation? Well, yes, but not Danya.
This is only the first of what I am sure will be many books by Daniel Naroditsky.Â It will be your chance to see a future world-class chess player and writer at an early stage in his development, when both his chess and his writing style are still maturing. (Yes, even though he is already very polished, I am sure that he will continue to improve.) It will be, I believe, an absolutely unique addition to the chess literature. I can’t wait to see it in print!