In the last of three volumes on 1.e4, GM John Shaw completes his state-of-the-art White repertoire by tackling the biggest challenge of all: the main lines of the Sicilian Defence.
Including the Dragon, Taimanov, Sveshnikov and concluding with the nefarious Najdorf, this book provides everything you need to face all the major Sicilian systems with confidence.
The French Defence is one of the most solid and strategically rich responses to 1.e4.
The Grünfeld Defence is well known to be one of Black’s best and most challenging responses to 1.d4, and has long been a favourite choice of elite players including Kasparov, Svidler, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave and many more. As with many openings, however, it can be difficult to navigate the ever-expanding jungle of games and theory.
Playing the Grünfeld offers an ideal solution for practical players. Alexey Kovalchuk is a young Russian talent with expert knowledge of the Grünfeld, and in this book he shares his best ideas to form a complete, coherent and combative repertoire for Black. In addition to theoretical soundness, efforts have been made to avoid variations leading to early forced draws, as well as those in which Black allows his king to be attacked at an early stage.
The Sicilian Najdorf is one of Black’s best and most combative responses to 1.e4. The Najdorf was championed by Fischer and Kasparov during their respective periods of dominance over the world chess scene, and has been used extensively by many other World Champions and elite GMs, including Anand, Gelfand, Topalov and Vachier-Lagrave to name but a few.
Despite the Najdorf’s obvious pedigree, many players are intimidated by the highly tactical and theoretical nature of some of its main lines. In Playing the Najdorf, IM David Vigorito shows that this need not be a problem, as he offers a complete repertoire for Black based on positional principles, offering sound recommendations which lead to a fighting game without turning the battle into a memory contest.
The Petroff Defence is well known to be one of Black’s soundest and theoretically robust responses to 1.e4, having been tried and tested by a host of World Champions and other elite players. This book shows how you too can harness the power of this top-class opening.
Playing the Petroff offers an ideal solution for practical players. Swapnil Dhopade is a young Indian GM and theoretician, who presents a compact yet bulletproof repertoire for Black, drawing on the games of leading Petroff specialists such as Gelfand, Caruana and Kramnik. This book also provides plenty of guidance on how to deal with 1.e4 e5 games where White avoids 2.Nf3, with particular focus on ‘Anti-Petroff’ lines such as 2.Bc4.
In this book, IM Richard Pert shares his own complete repertoire for Black after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6. The main subject is the Ragozin, which occurs after 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4, but the author also provides thoughtful recommendations in the related 3.Nc3 Bb4 variation, as well as against the Catalan (3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3) and all other popular White options.
The Dutch Defence is one of Black’s most combative responses to 1.d4, and the Stonewall is the boldest version of this opening. Black immediately seizes space in the centre and clamps down on the e4-square, laying the foundations for a complicated strategic battle.
Many players believe the Stonewall to be a substandard opening, naively assuming that the e5-outpost and bad light-squared bishop must give White the advantage. GM Nikola Sedlak disagrees, and in Playing the Stonewall Dutch he shares the insights that have helped him to rack up a healthy plus score from Black’s side. In addition to providing a complete repertoire in the main lines of the Stonewall, this book also offers useful guidance on dealing with Anti-Dutch variations and various move-order subtleties.
Richard Pert is an English international master.
We have analysed the most straightforward possibilities for White
The Vienna variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined is a complex and fascinating system arising after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Bg5 dxc4.
This counterattacking weapon has become increasingly popular over the last decade and is frequently seen in games played at the highest level. Many games featuring elite players such as Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand and Lev Aronian have started out in this variation.
In this QGD/Nimzo-Indian hybrid play can become extremely sharp very quickly and an in-depth knowledge of the theory is essential. Black will often grab material, but will suffer from a lack of development and an exposed king. This variation will suit well-prepared players who have good tactical awareness and relish hand-to-hand combat.
If you play chess for blood, it makes sense to learn the violent tactics that feature in the openings that you play.