- Gambit Publications, LTD
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Understanding the Chess Openings based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Want a great balance between the ideas behind the openings yet have enough opening variations within one text? If you are a novice or player of average ability then look no further. This book is well put together, nicely organized and up to date. I would recommend learning the tactics that fall within each opening by supplimenting this book with 'Winning Chess Traps' (another one of my top picks!).
When it comes to a book that tries to balance covering important (up to date) opening lines along with the ideas behind the moves this book wins hands down! It covers all of the important openings and offers explains the concepts behind the moves.
International Master Sam Collins provides a wonderful guide that skillfully introduces openings to an advanced beginner or player of intermediate ability (perfect for anyone age 11 on up). This is an ideal book to learn the general concepts and ideas behind the various openings. The most difficult aspect of writing such a book is to have a proper balance between the ideas yet still providing enough lines to make it useful. The 224 pages are well packed with material and explanations of exactly what is important to know about each opening (there is very little white space!). I like the use of the (D) right next to the move to point out that this move has a diagram. Most pages have 2 or 3 diagrams at important points. Diagrams are nicely used with extreme graphics pointing out the plans/ideas that include piece movements and pawn breaks. The table of contents will help you locate an opening, with openings that have major variations also broken down into sub-variations in the table of contents. However, if you want a further break-down by actual moves, the index at the back of the book will really help you zero in. What would I recommend to supplement this book? Two other books, 1) ¿Nunn¿s Chess Openings¿ for the intermediate player to get more extensive lines in a reference book, and 2) ¿Winning Chess Traps for Juniors: Tactics in the Opening¿ to learn typical tactics and pitfalls to avoid (or use) in the openings. Since ¿Understanding the Chess Openings¿ was published in 2005, it is very up to date! As a first book on the openings I cannot recommend another book more highly.
Where has this book been all my life!! In one medium-sized volume Collins has managed to write about all important chess openings. Yep, every one. And unlike some other attempts in the past, this book is more than a reference work. It explains the key ideas to each variation, and tells you other information, such as how reliable certain systems are. It is remarkable that a book which is able to give moves running 15 or 16 moves deeps on all openings can also impart quality general instruction. I find myself referring to this book after each game I play now. Almost always it has something instructive to contribute to the opening I have just encountered. Brilliant book.