In what way is this book special? How can it make someone a better player? These are perfectly legitimate questions and whenever I buy a new chess book, I essentially ask the same ones.
The short answer is that this book will give you a comprehensive understanding of the chosen openings. Unlike many other books with a similar profile, it goes beyond pure theory and in addition to giving a great deal of practical advice, it touches on issues such as sample games, typical tactical strikes and, in the last chapter, endgames. On top of all this, a homework section enables you to immerse yourself in a given topic and achieve an in-depth understanding of it in your own time.
We follow this structure because as a coach, I know how important it is to receive as much guidance as possible on a new opening. Only this can lead to true mastery.
Let me recommend this book to any player who wants to learn more about closed openings, adopt a new approach to chess and build up a thorough and sophisticated repertoire. I have tested these openings with my students with good results, so I believe this book is suitable for anyone with an Elo rating from 1600-2500.
This book aims to provide a complete overview of a 1.d4 repertoire against five main openings (King’s Indian Defense, Grünfeld Defense, Slav Defense, Benoni Defense, and Catalan systems after 1.d4 d5), offering analysis of classical games and typical tactical motifs to provide an in-depth understanding of the associated middlegames. A concluding chapter explores typical endgames that are likely to arise from 1.d4.
Each chapter includes a thorough discussion of a particular opening, answering questions such as what types of players choose it, which world champions played it, or how games typically proceed afterwards.
I have chosen 1.e4 for various reasons. First and foremost, it is the move I have played for the entirety of my chess-playing life. In the database, I have recorded approximately 400 white games, of which 350 began with 1.e4! I have also heavily researched the openings covered in this volume, through my column ‘1.e4’ for ChessPublishing.
Secondly, I believe that Black has a wider margin of error in the closed games than in the open games. Even if they do not know all the details of a certain line in the former case, they will end up with only a slight disadvantage in the majority of cases. The same cannot be said about the defenses to 1.e4. In this book you will find that Black must tread carefully if they play an offbeat system, as I have discovered several refutations to the most popular and widely accepted lines within them.
For every opening, I have adopted the same method of research. Firstly I undertake a detailed examination of human games, alongside correspondence/email games, with particular regard to the highest percentage of White wins and the number of games played. The human games allowed me to gain a natural feelings for the practical elements of the opening in question, while the correspondence games (essentially human-assisted engine games) covered the necessary element of objectivity.
The next stage consisted of my own engine analysis, using the Chessbase Engine Cloud to examine critical but unexplored positions. Finally, I engage as critically as possible with the existing literature, as I hope others will do with my work in the future.
At the beginning of every chapter is an overview of the opening, which serves to give the reader some basic foundations and highlights the general concepts, extracted from the analysis section. If the reader is in need of a brief summary of a particular opening, I suggest you focus on the overviews.
The analysis section contains the main body of work. The reader is not expected to memorize everything by heart; in fact, that is probably not a productive exercise. When going through a variation, it is best to stop at a point you think is appropriate, and that should always be the point at which you find that you have fully understood the position.
Each subchapter ends with a model game, which gives the reader a simplified picture of the variation at hand. Similar to the overview chapter, this section is largely illustrative.
What is the best way to improve your opening knowledge? Memorizing variations? Not really.
In the first volume of the two-volume set, Dariusz helps you to understand the instructive patterns that arise from the immensely popular Nimzo-Indian Defense. Packed with plenty new ideas, his methods consider the different ways White has at his disposal. His unique approach shows Black has nothing to fear, on the contrary! Thinkers is convinced you will enjoy the read!
For many chess-players, opening study is pure hard work. It is difficult to know what is important and what is not, and when specific knowledge is vital, or when a more general understanding is sufficient. Tragically once the opening is over, a player is puzzled what plan to follow, or even understand why his pieces are on the squares on which they sit.
Our author GM Dariusz Swiercz, continued in the second Volume of his series, and explains in a methodological way how to solve these issues when White proceeds with 3.Nf3 and g3.
He picked some aggressive options with the Ragozin and brings the ever popular Catalan to a stand still. Any chess player being Black would be much interested to find out how Dariusz decided on his final choices. We are convinced you won’t be disappointed with his second and final volume of this series.
"In this book Yuriy does not overwhelm you with variations, but instead he focuses a lot on the verbal explanations and understanding of the typical positions. At the same time, you can be confident that his recommendations are quite sound and have been thoroughly checked with extensive databases, strong engines as well as critically looked upon from the human perspective. I am entirely sure that studying the materials presented in this work will benefit players of all levels, from some relatively inexperienced club players to even strong players." ~ Susan Polgar
When I decided to write The Modernized Sveshnikov (June 2020) I knew that I was basically committing myself to covering the Anti–Sicilians in a separate book as well. After all, what’s a book on the Sveshnikov alone worth when your opponents decide to avoid the Open Sicilian? Especially since the Sveshnikov is nowadays considered to be one of the most reliable options for Black in the Sicilian, White players have been investigating new territories within the Anti–Sicilians. The book you are holding in your hands, Beat the Anti–Sicilians, aims to provide a complete Black repertoire against all the critical sidelines after 1.e4 c5. The biggest part of the book covers the Rossolimo and Alapin, but also the popular lines at club player’s level like the Grand Prix Attack and the Morra Gambit, and other alternatives on White’s 2nd move are also worked out in detail.
Welcome to an aggressive but sound gambit system against the Dutch Defense! Who would not want to play a system against an opening that is theoretically sound, promises good attacking chances and avoids learning reams of theory about the Leningrad Dutch, the Stonewall or the Classical Dutch, opening set-ups our opponent knows everything about? This book explores such a system for White with a complete repertoire based on the Staunton Gambit. A repertoire for White, with attention for various alternatives White may choose from along the way, and an in-depth analysis of all of Black's responses.
The Staunton Gambit is a very rewarding opening. White’s piece development follows the classical principles of gambit play. White is ahead in development and obtains a fine initiative. Even without the theoretical knowledge of certain variations, White should be able to find his way. Best of all, White determines the direction of the game already on move two, without the risk of having to play the maneuvering games we know from the Leningrad Dutch, the Stonewall Dutch or the Classical Dutch.
Good luck with this opening. With the rigorous and engine-assisted analysis of old and new theory and over 160 years of practice, this book presents an aggressive, interesting and robust repertoire for White against the Dutch. Despite its long history there are still many opportunities for White to improve on well-known theory and grandmaster games. Recent developments and insights have considerably strengthened White’s theoretical case.
This all has once again made the Staunton Gambit a challenging variation for Black to meet when playing the Dutch. In games with a shorter time limit, the gambit has already made its comeback and has become a regular guest. I trust that this book will provide you with the basis for many victories against the Dutch!
From the first moment (about a year ago) when Mr. Daniel Vanheirzeele from Thinkers Publishing contacted me about the possibility of writing an opening book, I was really excited about the prospect. Writing a chess book was a completely new direction for me, and anything new excites me and gives me a high. Then after some discussion we narrowed the topic down to 1.e4 (‘Best by test’) and I found myself with a contract to cover two major variations within the Sicilian: the sharp Najdorf and the trendy Taimanov.
I actually already had a decent reputation as a dangerous theoretician on the white side of 1.e4, and in particular against these two openings. I had shown some interesting ideas in my games over the years which were the result of my real passion for opening knowledge, a trait which has stayed with me throughout my chess career.
The material is divided into four chapters, and two parts, depending if we have an endgame with queens or rooks on the board. I have decided to keep the focus on endgames because in middlegames, some other factors may simply prevail. In endgames, the importance of having a knight against a bishop just increases! For easier understanding, I suggest that before studying any example, you should determine which side will prevail and you can find the solutions yourself. Of course, you can work directly from the book and even skip some examples, and you can analyze them in random order.
In the book, you will find Capablanca’s famous postulate about the queen and knight cooperating better than the queen and bishop, and some exceptions as well. For first time, you will hear of my audacious “postulate” that a rook and knight will “more often” prevail over a rook and bishop combination. I know this may sound absurd. I know Tal and Fischer would have disagreed and probably would have been indignant to hear this. I know many strong players would rather have a rook and bishop combination, basing their approach on the past masterpieces of these giants. But what about Rubinstein, and especially Karpov and Andersson – these masters had a great influence on my style and my coaching methods. Furthermore, I have based my “postulate” on statistics that I obtained after deeply searching for examples for this book. I hope it will reopen a debate about this material balance. My opinion is made, and I would like to apologize to all “bishop fans”.
I have decided to use actual words instead of symbols to explain my ideas, methods and plans. I think that it should be right in this computer era that is full of numbers, digits, etc. that words and sentences from the coach are simply irreplaceable to explain strategy and endgames.
I am sure that this book will demystify that “eternal battle” and help you to broaden your horizons. I am sure you will find a lot for yourself in this book.
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