“The Ruy Lopez is such a classic opening that never gets old. Regardless of what you already knew about this opening, there are always new ideas to be found and tested over the board. That is why this book is beneficial to chess players and enthusiasts at all levels, including top Grand Masters like myself. Reading the first volume of this book has been inspiring, as I feel that I have broadened my chess knowledge in certain variations. I am eagerly waiting to try Dariusz’s solid recommendations in my future games, and I look forward to the second volume of his series. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Ruy Lopez.” ~ Le Quang Liem
In spite of its long history however, for most of its life the Scotch did not enjoy great popularity. It was a recognized answer to 1...e5, for sure, but it never seriously challenged the Ruy Lopez as the most “objective” way to fight for an opening advantage. The general opinion was that Black had enough resources to achieve equality. The turning point for the fortunes of the Scotch was the world title match between Kasparov and Karpov in 1990, the first time that the opening had been tested at such an elite level. Unsurprisingly, Kasparov’s decision to employ this old opening meant that its appearances in tournaments soared. The popularity of the Scotch generated by this match remains today, and I would say it is perhaps more popular than ever before. That begs the obvious question – why? Well, due to the nature of the positions that tend to arise it is ideal for engine analysis, and so it lends itself perfectly to the tools of the current day. It is a nice paradox that the Romantic foundations of this opening merge so well with the computerized modern era. Credit can mostly be given to Kasparov for reviving this old opening, but there are many others who have contributed to exploring new ideas and forging new paths. A lot of discoveries have been made by some young grandmasters who don’t shy away from analysing deep tactical solutions with the aid of the silicon beast.
The only other book written on the Scotch that I used whilst searching for material is the excellent work by the English GM Peter Wells, The Scotch Game. Wells’ book comes from an older, classical style of opening literature which is helpful in developing the reader’s understanding and certainly still has its merits today. Since its publication in 1998, however, many new lines have been introduced and our general approach to the Scotch has changed dramatically. Nevertheless, it served me well as guidance as I wrote this work. This book is going to be a big one, so my introduction will be a little different to my usual approach. I will try to present the most important features in the book so that readers can immediately see what kind of material they will find.
The Dutch Defense is an old opening. A seriously old opening. So old, in fact, that in large part it currently has the reputation of not really causing a well-prepared White player to fear losing. That is especially the case with the variant of it I am analysing in this book: the Stonewall (in which Black continues with ...e6 and ...d5). I intend to show that that impression is mistaken.
First things first: it’s a very positional opening. In contrast to the King’s Indian (which shares the feature of having few early piece or pawn exchanges) play moves slowly and despite there obviously being some sharp lines, the absolute prerequisite for playing the Stonewall Dutch is that you understand positional chess. The first person to really understand the strategic themes at play here, and develop decent plans for Black was sixth world champion, Mikhail Botvinnik. From which it should be clear that positional doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
There have been many revolutions in how chess players view tactical play or opening strategy. However, for me it is fitting that the resurgence of the Stonewall is coming at the exact time that strategic chess is being redefined by Carlsen. It is an echo of when the opening was first introduced: Botvinnik, the ‘Patriarch’ of the Soviet chess school, with its discipline and its principles, produced a similarly seismic shift in how people viewed positional play at the time.
The positional themes in this opening are incredibly complex. We’ll get into it more later but let me just explain some of the confounding factors. From Black’s perspective, playing with a hole on e5 is very much an ‘acquired taste’, in spite of the ideas that have already been found to counterbalance it, such as a queen (or bishop) transfer to h5, or launching the f-pawn against the enemy king.
The Sveshnikov is undeniably one of the most dynamic and aggressive Sicilians available these days.
Most recently, it was made popular again by World Champion Magnus Carlsen in his match against Fabiano Caruana at the end of 2018.
The main lines lead to complex positions, and a deep knowledge and understanding of the opening is a real necessity for any player who wishes to enter this battlefield.
Our author, Robert Ris, focuses on all the current developments, highlighting the most important and instructive games from recent years, using his own over-the board experiences.
Ris is well known for his theoretical knowledge and overall opening expertise. And we are quite convinced that he provides Sicilian players with an up-to date arsenal for playing the Sveshnikov.
This book is a follow up of The Safest Sicilian. It offers a repertoire based on 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6. It covers both the Taimanov and the Kann
Despite the Najdorf’s great popularity and reputation as a theoretical labyrinth, Bryan Smith believes it is possible to play it “by the light of nature,” with experience providing a guide. The play is concrete and sharp, but original positions can be obtained fairly early.
The twenty-nine annotated games in this book were carefully selected for their instructional value, their theoretical relevance, and – most of all – their esthetic appeal. Designed both for players of the Najdorf and for those facing it, The Najdorf in Black and White is a collection of creative and unique battles that you can use to learn the ins and outs of this opening.
The Nimzo-Indian Defence has been one of the most trusted defences against 1.d4 ever since its conception a century ago. It has been used in World Championship matches by Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand and Carlsen.
A complete black repertoire with 1.e4 e5 against everything except the Ruy Lopez by Igor Lysyj and Roman Ovetchkin
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.
The Pirc is more of a counterattack than a defence: Black allows his opponent to occupy the centre and provokes a confrontation, trusting in the power of the g7-bishop and the dynamic potential in his position. It is the perfect weapon for players who demand to play for a win with the black pieces.
The Polar Bear System starts after 1.f4 (the Bird opening) and then fianchetto of the King’s bishop.The system is for players who like interesting and original positions and want to avoid memorizing a lot of theory..
The Polar Bear System (PBS) is played to leave the mainstream and create new original positions. It starts with a fianchetto of the King’s bishop after 1.f4 d5. The second volume covers all setups after 1.f4 d5 except the mainlines from volume 1.