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What the Chess Openings Look Like
Chess openings are the most important part of every novice's journey and the most fun. The most common and important openings are presented in an easy-to-use format with large, frequent diagrams showing every position along with clear explanations of the goals, objectives, and concepts behind the moves.
51 Chess Openings for Beginners
An Active Opening Repertorie for White
An active opening repertoire for White! The English is a sophisticated opening which is very popular at all levels of chess: from up-and-coming players to World Champions such as Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. It has many attractions, including flexibility and diversity: White can play either aggressively or quietly, and positions are rich in both strategy and tactics.
Play the English
An Expert Repertoire for Black
In this book the reader will find an opening repertoire for Black against 1. e4, based on the Petroff Defence and designed to be used up to the highest level. For many years this opening has served as the main black weapon for chess giants as Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand.
A Dynamic and Flexible Repertoire for Black
A Dynamic and Flexible Repertoire for Black! The Kan is an ideal choice as an opening weapon against 1. e4, as it is one of the easiest variations of the Sicilian to learn and play. This is because, unlike some variations of the Sicilian, you don't need to memorize loads of opening theory in order to be successful.
Play the Sicilian Kan
A New Concept
Nowadays the French Defence 1...e6 is one of the most popular openings in response to 1.e4. I'd like to suggest a new concept of combating it. White plays 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 and then deploys his pieces according to the scheme Ngf3, Bd3, c3, 0-0, against almost anything that Black may play. This will usually lead to exchanges in the centre and the appearance of an isolated queen's pawn for White.
Fighting the French
This is one of the most interesting, most unusual and most instructive chess books ever written. Seven of the World's Strongest Chess Grandmasters were each asked to write down their thoughts about how a serious chess amateur might best approach the problem of, very simply, "opening" a chess game?
How to Open a Chess Game
Shock Your Opponents with the Sokolsky
Do you wish to surprise your opponents on the first move? Do you enjoy playing creatively from the beginning of the game? Look no further than 1 b4! With this aggressive pawn lunge White takes the game into relatively unknown territory and forces Black players onto their own devices. Those facing 1 b4 are not allowed to fall into the comfort zone of established theory; instead they have to think for themselves from very early on.
Play 1. b4
A Complete Black Repertoire
The King's Indian Defence is probably the most romantic response to 1.d4. It has survived the test of time and has been played at the highest level even to the present day. Black gives his opponent complete freedom of choice in how to control the center and just develops quietly within his King's Indian household, relying on his powerful fianchettoed bishop.
The King's Indian
Detailed Coverage of this Kasparov Favourite
The Grunfeld is an exciting and dynamic answer to 1. d4, and has become very popular at all levels of chess. A major reason for this is that it has been a long-time favorite of the World's strongest-ever chess player, Garry Kasparov, who used it many times in his numerous World Championship battles. The Grunfeld very much relies on the principles of the hyper-modern school of chess: Black allows White to erect an impressive-looking center on the assumption that in the long run it could prove to be more of a liability than an asset.
Play the Grunfeld
Comprehensive Coverage of the Long-Established Main Line of the Nimzo
Ever since Nimzowitsch introduced his flexible, dynamic defence to the queen's pawn, debate has raged over White's best reply. Many variations have been in and out of fashion, but one line in particular has proved an enduring weapon - the sound and solid 4 e3 line, known as the Rubinstein Variation. The 4 e3 Nimzo is extraordinarily rich in strategy. All manner of different central pawn-structures can arise, such as the blocked centre characteristic of the Hübner Variation and a variety of IQP positions.
The Nimzo-Indian - 4. e3
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Traditional chess openings emphasize control of the center. Flank Openings are opening systems first developed by such players as Reti and Nimzowitsch in which the player of the white pieces concedes control of the center to Black, but then seeks to undermine the center and cause it to collapse with attacks from the sides. Grandmaster Raymond Keene explains the concepts and ideas behind these chess opening systems.
This modern variation goes 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 a6. It deals with all of the plans that both White and Black can choose. The author gives many suggestions for new lines of exploration, and gives exceptionally clear explanations of the basic strategies of the system. There are a number of illustratives games which show how the Taimanov strategies carry through to the middlegame and which will give you a genuine understanding of the system.
Sicilian - Taimanov
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What are the greatest opening ideas in chess history? This is a fascinating question that would undoubtedly spark endless debate and discussion amongst all the experts and enthusiasts of the game. From the invention and development of openings which are now considered to be mainline, to the wealth of stunning one-move novelties which have convincingly overturned previous expert assessments, there is certainly a plethora of brilliant ideas to choose from - everyone will have their own opinion on this subject!
Greatest Ever Chess Opening Ideas
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A Challenging Repertoire Versus Five King's Fianchetto Defences
Grivas provides a full and detailed repertoire for White against five important openings: the Grunfeld, King's Indian, Benoni, Benko and Modern. In each case, he has recommended a line in which he has a wealth of experience, and has played a significant personal role in developing over many years. The recommendations are geared towards posing Black unconventional problems: your opponents will not be able to churn out lengthy memorized variations, but will need to solve problems at the board in positions that are somewhat different in character from those normally reached in these openings.
Beating the Fianchetto Defences
The Paulsen System of the Sicilian challenges one of the common perceptions of the Sicilian Defense: That there is no safe way to play the Sicilian. The Paulsen System is generally regarded as one of the most solid, safe ways to play the Sicilian against 1.e4, while also giving plenty of opportunities for counter-attack. This flexible system can allow Black to arrange his pieces in several different ways. Taimanov shows us how to handle each variation that White can throw at you, and gives many fragments of important games.
Sicilian - Paulsen
An Easy-To-Learn Opening System with Real Practical Sting
The Torre Attack is a very attractive system for White as it allows him/her to set the agenda from the outset, preventing many counterattacking systems. It has quick-strike potential if Black is careless or unfamiliar with the subtleties.
Gambit Guide to the Torre Attack
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The Smyslov Variation was developed by World Chess Champion Vasily Smyslov and used in top level competitions by him and by other World Champions. One advantage is that it can be used frequently. If White plays 1. d4 and Black responds with 1. ...d5, White will almost always play 2. c4. Then after the natural moves 2. ...dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3, Black can play 4. ...g6 which is the Smyslov Variation. The Smyslov Variation is a form of the Queen's Gambit Accepted.
Queen's Gambit Accepted - Smyslov Variation
A Hard-Hitting Chess Opening Repertoire for White
Are you fearless in your approach to chess openings? Do you like to attack your opponents from the very beginning? Are you happy to take calculated risks? Do you loathe trivial positional chess? Do you feel the need to sacrifice pawns early in the game? Are you a Gambiteer? If the answer to these questions is 'yes!', then this is the book for you!
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Updated in 2011 with New, Improved Lines of Play
The Spanish Chess Opening, also known as the Ruy Lopez, named a Spanish clergyman who made it popular, is one of the oldest and most heavily analyzed of openings, with many variations having been analyzed up to move 20. Yet, there are still new things being discovered about it. This book covers early attempts by either side to wrest the initiative from the other by means of an early pawn sacrifice.
Spanish Gambits - UPDATED
Offbeat Weapons & Unexplored Resources
The Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Opening) is one of the oldest and most important chess openings, popular with amateurs as well as professional players. Grandmaster Ivan Sokolov presents bold, but very playable, off-beat weapons for Black, as well as dynamic new ideas and refutations in many main-line variations, for both Black and White. An accessible and inspirational book book by world-famous Ivan Sokolov who, in his rich career, has beaten world champions Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand. Much useful material for aspiring club players, said British Chess Magazine about Sokolov's previous book - 'Winning 132,'.
Ruy Lopez Revisited
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A Hard-Hitting Chess Opening Repertoire for Black
A Hard-hitting Chess Opening Repertoire for Black based on the Schliemann Gambit and Albin Counter-Gambit. Are you fearless in your approach to chess openings? Do you like to attack your opponents from the very beginning? Are you happy to take calculated risks? Are you a Gambiteer? If the answer to these questions is 'yes' then this is the book for you!
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The Ryder Gambit is a fun opening, one which gives rise to spectacular combinational possibilities. Even a player with limited experience can create a magnificent mating attack which can be shown to friends and kibbitzers and even published in local chess magazines. The fans of this opening are true lovers of this royal game and even if their enthusiasm is unjustified by objective analysis, it is nevertheless one of the joys of chess.
The Ryder Gambit Accepted - UPDATED EDITION
Since his surprise choice of the Grunfeld Defence in the 1986 World Championship match, Garry Kasparov has regularly adopted the Grunfeld in tournaments and matches around the world. Against Karpov, however, this opening has proved an unfortunate choice and Karpov has won more World Championship games against Kasparov in this opening than in any other.
Beating the Grunfeld
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The English Opening is currently enjoying an increase in popularity and was featured regularly in the last World Championship match. 1..c5 is Black's most solid reply and theory has developed rapidly over the modern times. This is the first comprehensive coverage of the symmetrical variation in Algebraic notation and contains all significant developments since the author's earlier work "English .. P-QB4".
Symmetrical English 1... c5
A New Approach to Understanding the Chess Openings
Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.
Chess Explained - The Modern Benoni
The Boden-Kieseritzky-Morphy Gambit is lightly regarded and is never played by grandmasters, but it has one of the best records for White of any opening played below the master level. It scores a phenomenal 62% in all games in the chess databases. This book examines an opening which can be quite useful for beginners and amateur chess players. The gambit we will examine (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3!? or 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4!?) has been used by Paul Morphy among other strong players. In my view it is as good a gambit as most others.
Attack with the Boden-Kieseritzky-Morphy Gambit
Powerful Charges & Topical Tactics
Against most Sicilian variations, White's sharpest and often best weapon is queenside castling, a strategy that frequently leads to spectacular fireworks. Regrettably, these powerful charges have never been properly categorized. Until this book.In Sicilian Attacks, Grandmaster Yuri Yakovich, who has more than thirty years of experience with complex Sicilian systems, analyses the Najdorf, the Scheveningen, the Dragon, the Taimanov and the Richter-Rauzer Variations.
Strategic Ideas & Surprise Weapons for Dynamic Chess Players
The widely-played Winawer Variation has been called 'the jewel in the crown of the French Defence'. It is easy to see why. This is an opening for players who love a real fight. Black immediately attacks White's centre and the resulting positional dynamics offer chances to both sides.
The Wonderful Winawer
Hypermodern chess strategy was the single most devastating innovation of the 20th century chess thought. Fueled by such towering figures as Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Reti, hypermodern ideas forced their way into prominence and blazed the trail for the dynamic adoption by the Soviet chess school of defences such as the King's Indian and the Grunfeld. With both of these championed by Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player of all time, it is clear that hypermodern openings and defences are still setting the agenda in the 21st century.
Winning with the Hypermodern
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The Alapin Variation by it's Greatest Expert
It is not difficult to understand why the Alapin Sicilian is such a popular opening with amateur and professional chess players all over the world. Against Black’s most dangerous reply to 1.e4 it simply offers everything you need if you are looking for a reliable scheme that does not take much time to learn.
The Complete c3 Sicilian
Themes, Structures and Plans in an Increasingly Popular Chess Opening
The Modern Scandinavian is an updated and expanded translation of "Modernes Skandinavisch 2", which appeared in 2006 and also became a bestseller. This second book focuses not on theoretical lines but on the structural ideas after the moves 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5.
The Modern Scandinavian
The FrankensteinDracula Variation (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4!?) of the Vienna Game is a monstrous thicket of complications which still have not been fully explored. The opening leads to fascinating positions which will bring enjoyment both in tournament and correspondence play. Although some theorists have treated the variation as dead and buried, experiments have managed to bring the monster variation back to life for Black, and it can now be considered fully playable.
The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation in the Vienna Game of Chess
Updated in 2011 with New Games and Analysis
The popularity of the French Defense has surged to the point where it rivals the Sicilian and the Spanish in the chess international tournament arenas. Always known for its solid character, the French offers Black excellent winning chances in the main lines of the Winawer and in many side variations.
Tarrasch French Guimard Variation with 3...Nc6
A Powerful Anti-Sicilian that Avoids Tons of Theory
Play real chess instead of trying to memorize endless database lines! That is what the Rossolimo Sicilian offers and why this opening has become so popular with chess players all over the world. If you play 3.Bb5 in the Sicilian, you do not need to keep up-to-date with the dazzling theoretical developments in all kinds of Open Sicilians.
The Rossolimo Sicilian
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A Guide for White and Black
The Ragozin Complex is a flexible and versatile chess opening system that, despite its popularity, rarely has been a subject of serious study in chess literature. A hybrid of the Queen's Gambit and the Nimzo-Indian Defence, the Ragozin featured in a famous book by Soviet theoretician Lipnitsky in the 1950s. Bobby Fischer decided to learn Russian to be able to read that work and immediately afterwards started playing the Ragozin.
The Ragozin Complex
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Henry Bird's 1.f4 has become the choice of many players who wish to avoid the voluminous theory surrounding 1.e4, 1.d4 and even 1.c4. If Black plays passively then he is likely to find himself in an inferior line, especially if he allows a reversed Dutch defense. But there is an exciting alternative to the main lines - the From Gambit! With l...e5 Black makes it clear that he is willing to fight. The lines which arise often involve forced piece sacrifices for both sides, and knowledge of the middlegame ideas is critical.
How to Play the From Gambit