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Modern Chess Openings

Modern Chess Openings

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by Nick De Firmian

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Modern Chess Openings is the best and most trusted tool for serious chess players on the market. First published over a half-century ago, this is a completely revised and updated edition of the book that has been the standard English language reference on chess openings. An invaluable resource for club and tournament players, it now includes information on


Modern Chess Openings is the best and most trusted tool for serious chess players on the market. First published over a half-century ago, this is a completely revised and updated edition of the book that has been the standard English language reference on chess openings. An invaluable resource for club and tournament players, it now includes information on recent matches and the most up-to-date theory on chess openings.

Modern Chess Openings is ideal for intermediate players ready to elevate their game to the next level or International Grandmasters who want to stay on top of recent chess innovations.

Product Details

Diversified Publishing
Publication date:
Chess Series
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Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

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Meet the Author

NICK DE FIRMIAN is acclaimed as the world's leading expert on chess openings. He "taught" the supercomputer Deep Blue the opening moves it used to defeat World Champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. As this book goes to press, de Firmian reigns as the current United States Chess Champion---making him a three-time winner of the top American title. He has also represented the United States in seven Chess Olympiads and three World Championship cycles. His previous written works include the 13th edition of Modern Chess Openings, San Francisco 1995, which detailed that year's Grandmaster Invitational, and articles for Chess Life magazine.

A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in physics, de Firmian is a native Californian who now resides in Copenhagen, Denmark with his wife and son.

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Modern Chess Openings 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally, MCO 15 has arrived! It has gone through 15 editions beginning about 90 years ago! The current edition has some of the errors corrected from MCO 14, a moderate number of opening updates and still retains the same format used from the beginning.
If you are a novice you will not find the ideas behind the moves here (consider, "Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" and "Winning Chess Traps" before getting a general opening reference book). However, some good opening reference books belong in every serious players chess library and MCO 15 is one of them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a recently revised and updated edition of the MODERN CHESS OPENING series of books which has been around for almost 100 years! If you are looking for the ideas behind the moves then get IDEAS BEHIND THE CHESS OPENINGS, UNBEATABLE CHESS LESSONS or WINNING CHESS TRAPS as the purpose of MODERN CHESS OPENINGS is to give you the important lines in the openings (without the ideas). I don't recommend this book for the novice as it is written for more advanced players and is a must for the non-master tournament player. This new edition contains some corrections in errors found in the earlier edition. If you have the previous edition, then getting this newest edition is a must!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This volume does not have much for the ideas behind the openings, nor should it, so it is not of much use to the occasional player. However, it accomplishes well what it is designed to do, mostly for the more intermediate/advanced audience, in that it helps you manage your opening repertoire. It also gives you a good basis for database research. I would recommend it highly to the serious student.
The_Chess_Doctor More than 1 year ago
In a world of silicon giants, computer programs that give line after line of so-called "correct" variations, MCO-15 is, as one of my chess club mates say, "still relevant." Chess programs will give you the openings that they like to play, and most have databases, but MCO-15 makes learning the opening so much easier, and it gives example positions and games in a much more "user-friendly" way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
MODERN CHESS OPENINGS is a one volume general reference book on opening variations. It provides a coded assessment of who stands better at the end of the variations and since actual players games are used up to the end of the variation the name of the players, etc. is provided. This is not a book for beginners in the least. It is a book for experienced players to look up lines who already have an understanding of the ideas behind the opening moves. A beginner or advanced beginner should start of with a book that covers the ideas behind the moves with a survey of the openings (several decent choices) and a book that covers typical tactics that are likely to be encountered in each opening (chess traps books do this well).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modern Chess Openings has reached it's 14th edition. Not a great deal has changed from MCO 13. This is an okay book if you don't get carried away with it. You should only be studying openings about 20% of the time. Another 20% should be spent on Position Play (aka Strategy). The remaining 60% should be equally divided between the Endgame and Tactics. That said, let's look at some possibilities. MCO 14 is more user friendly than Nunn's Chess Openings but lacks the depth that Nunn has. Standard Chess Openings by Schiller is okay but is well below the standard of these two. Then there is The Small Encyclopedia of Chess Openings published by Chess Informant (and, unfortunately, not available on Barnes and Noble.com.)is a condensed version of all five Opening Encyclopedias of Chess Openings. Various other books try to include a comprehensive coverage of all chess openings but fall short of the goal. The question you have to ask yourself is, 'What do I want out of chess?' If you're on a mission to become an International Grandmaster then you need all the above plus many specialized books on various openings. But first you need to learn the Endgame and Tactics. Completely. This is where the payoff is. Don't count on that 'special variation in the Sicilian Defence'. If you don't know how to play the Endgame and Tactics at about USCF 1900-2100 then it won't do you much good. If you're looking for a good comprehensive opening book maybe you should look at the specific openings you play. Do you really need all that analysis on the French Defence? Not if you don't play it or play against it. On the Queenside, do you really need all that analysis on the Slav Defence? Not if you don't play it or play against it. What you really need are specific books on the openings you play. I'm always amused to see most of the opening books way down on Barnes and Noble.com's best selling list. These are the books you need. You need one good White opening system and two good Black defensive systems. Or you can opt to play the Modern Defence, English Defence, or Owen's Defence and you'll only have to deal with one Black opening system. MCO 14 and books similar to them are written and compiled for stronger players. It's over rated as an all purpose opening compilation, as are Nunn, Schiller, and the Informant book. But if you're just playing for enjoyment of the game, MCO 14 and it's counterparts might be just the thing for you. If you're not a heavy tournament player then, by all means, buy this book. If you're going to play in USCF tournaments you need the specialized books. Even then you're going to have to contend with people who learn openings using a chess database program such as ChessBase, Chess Assistant, and NewInChess. So, all in all, MCO 14 is okay but certainly isn't a five star book. Ssomewhat recommended with many reservations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Top-notch Grandmaster analysis by several world-renowned players updates a classic work! Solid research, computer-checked variations, plus interesting one-page prose introductions to each opening. Unlike Nunn's Chess Openings (also a gem), MCO-14 gives verbal evaluations and reasons for declaring a variation as unclear, better for White, better for Black, etc.. Also, MCO-14 arranges the openings in a more user-friendly fashion by arranging them under double king pawn openings, double queen pawn openings, etc., while giving the first moves in the opening (this helps you quickly identify an unfamiliar opening). Still, be advised, this is not a tutorial book, but a reference tool. For opening principles, themes, etc., try elsewhere.