Planning: Move by Move: First the idea and then the move!

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“First the idea and then the move!” Miguel Najdorf used to say in his habitually enthusiastic fashion; that statement is the perfect summary of planning in chess. 

Planning is of crucial importance in chess and yet this is an area that has not been well discussed or explained to ambitious players who wish to improve. A very well known saying in chess is “Better a bad plan than no plan at all”. Playing without a plan – effectively staggering from one move to the next – is a recipe for disaster. It is essential to have some kind of idea of what you are trying to achieve and how to go about it.

However, planning is not a straightforward matter. A good plan might be very short, lasting just two or three moves. Another plan might require almost an entire game to implement. A plan can be highly ambitious and complex or somewhat modest and simple. In chess, as in life, circumstances can change quickly and when they do, new plans are needed. How is a player expected to juggle all these different concepts while dealing with the immediate problems posed by the opponent’s most recent move?

In this book, grandmaster and experienced author Zenón Franco explains planning in detail. He organises material in terms of: typical structures, advantage in space, manoeuvring play, simplification and, finally attack and defence. Using games played by elite players he explains how plans are formed and carried out in these different scenarios.

If you want to take your game to the next level, then Planning Move by Move will enable you to do this.


Zenón Franco is a Grandmaster from Paraguay, now living in Spain. He represented Paraguay, on top board, in seven Chess Olympiads, and won individual gold medals at Lucerne 1982 and Novi Sad 1990. He’s an experienced trainer and has written numerous books on chess.

More Information
Edition : Paperback
Publication date : September 29, 2019
Number of pages : 416
Publisher : Everyman
Weight : 702 gram
ISBN : 9781781945377