The French Defence is coming back to fashion again! One of the leaders in the 2020 Candidates tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi, successfully staked on it. Lately World champion himself also embraced the French several times. A great expert of this opening is the last challenger for the world title Fabiano Caruana. The French became a real arena of the battle of the engines – neural network genius Leela was confidently repelling the attacks of its powerful rivals.
The author’s view on the French allows Black to obtain fresh creative positions without having to compete with deep knowledge in well trodden paths.
The theoretical material is based on the author’s tournament practice, and passed the test at a GM level during the writing of the book.
The Modern Philidor Defence consists of seven chapters, dealing with different move-orders. Each chapter comprises of a “Quick Repertoire” then a thorough theoretical study in the part “Step by Step”and “Complete Games”.
This book presents a repertoire against 1…d5, based on the Reti
The Scotch Game is the most “open” of all the Open Games. In fact this is the only really Open Game, in its essence, which matches the traditional terminology.
The move 3.d2-d4 breaks immediately the symmetry. White tries to occupy the centre and gain additional space. Rapid contact between the opposing forces takes place, in fact much quicker than in the other open (and not only open...) games, which increases the value of every move and requires from both sides tremendous accuracy at a very early stage of the game. Positions with opposite castles arise much more often in the Scotch than in all the other Open Games put together.
The Breyer and Zaitsev Variations of the Ruy Lopez are two of the most dynamic lines played today. Examining them from both White and Black’s point of view, Greek grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias discusses their strengths, weaknesses and presents suggested improvements where necessary.
The Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez is the brainchild of Hungarian hypermodern Gyula Breyer. He suggested the paradoxical knight retreat 9...Nb8 early in the 20th century. Although its soundness has been confirmed in many grandmaster games for over a century, there is surprisingly little which has been written about it. This book has just changed all that.
The Zaitsev Variation was one of Anatoly Karpov’s workhorses in his title matches against Garry Kasparov. Formulated by the brilliant theoretician Igor Zaitsev, it can be found in the repertoires of some of the leading grandmasters of our era. As the author notes in his introduction, this is an objective presentation of two excellent opening variations for Black, from which players sitting on either side of the board may profit. The play is strategically complex, tactically rich and will improve you as both a player and connoisseur of the game.
Kotronias’ clear writing style, coupled with in depth analysis, makes for a splendid opening manual on two of the most topical – and solid – variations of the Ruy Lopez.
The Modern Tiger offers an enterprising repertoire for Black using the Modern Defence.
This book presents the Triangle set-up, which arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3/Nf3 c6.
This move order avoids many unpleasant systems for White, notably the Catalan, the Exchange Slav and the Botvinnik Variation. It leads to sharp strategically unbalanced play and brings Black excellent practical results.
Semko Semkov is a chess journalist and theoretician. He has co-authored the famous books The Modern English, The Most Flexible Sicilian, Attacking the English/Reti, Attacking the Flexible Sicilian and Understanding the Queen’s Gambit Accepted.
The Vienna set-up aims for very aggressive play, which often includes sacrifices, but White prefers to be on the safe side, without burning all the bridges and to try to justify his actions from the point of view of positional play as well. This is how this usually happens. At first, he deploys his minor pieces to active positions, then he advances the thematic move f4, castles (usually on the kingside) and begins an attack only after all this.
The ‘Anti-Sicilians’ have invariably been a popular choice at all levels of the game. Analysis of this opening in previous literature has rarely been extensive due to the misconception that Anti-Sicilians are simplistic and thus, easy to play ‘by hand’. While maintaining the ideals of straightforward plans and digestible variations, this series of volumes will attempt to integrate ‘Anti-Sicilians’ into mainstream theory – with a particular focus on negating Black’s attempts to achieve any significant activity.
This first volume provides significant coverage of the Rossolimo variation – perhaps the most pertinent example of how an ‘Anti-Sicilian’ has emerged to become arguably even more popular than its counterpart, 3.d4 after 2...Nc6. With a particular emphasis on analysing multiple alternatives within each critical variation, this book should appeal to anyone wishing to update and expand their knowledge and understanding of the fashionable Rossolimo.
A complete manual on how to play the Benko
When I set out to write this book, I was clear on certain aspects, like keeping the moves simple and giving as much explanation as possible at the critical moments, as I wanted to ensure that someone interested in learning the intricacies of the Berlin doesn’t get swamped by long theoretical lines, but acquires a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the positions. If you manage to grasp the dynamics of these lines, then you can play not just the systems recommended in the book, but also other popular Berlin variations that have not been covered in this book for the Black side.