With all the many books and articles on the Sicilian Defense, there is surprisingly little about the Four Knights Variation. Its starting position is reached after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6. It may also be reached after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6. Some prefer 2...e6 to 2...Nc6 because it avoids 3.Bb5.
The fundamentals of the Sicilian Four Knights are not hard to learn. Black reaches the middlegame quickly and safely, with lively piece play in the dynamic positions which arise. There is no easy ride for White here, and, in particular, if he gets over-ambitious, he can find himself on the receiving end of a powerful attack very quickly.
The material is very well structured, and the assessments are objective and backed with accurate analysis which will not cause the reader fatigue by becoming exceedingly elaborate … But, above all, this is an opening that is definitely sound and this work proves it. It will improve your ability to score against both weaker and stronger opposition, offering clear-cut and occasionally bold play.
Author David Willis has done a fine job of clearly presenting the analysis, providing us with comprehensive explanations and sound lines in an opening that deserves more attention and popularity. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Four Knights to all levels of players.
– From the Foreword by Vassilios Kotronias