Good defensive abilities earn players a great many half-points and full-points. The climax of the defense is the launching of a devastating counter-attack, a skill at which all the great chess champions have been adept. Of particular interest to club players is Marin's discussion of how to defend against unsound attacks, and the problem of how to parry the attack while retaining winning chances. Other topics include attack and defence in equal positions, where both sides must judge carefully how much of their resources to devote to the attack and the counter-attack. The main subject, though, is the case where the defender is fighting for his life, and must decide how to maximise his chances of survival. Marin considers psychological issues and explains the main options available to the defender: simplification, cold-blooded defence, a positional sacrifice, 'blackmailing' the attacker, or a counter-attack.
Mihail Marin is a strong grandmaster from Romania. He achieved his first major success in international chess by qualifying for the interzonals in 1987. He has won the Romanian Championship on two occasions and has played in seven Olympiads. For several years he was editor of the magazine Chess Extrapress.