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FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings

FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings [Kindle Edition]

Paul Van der Sterren
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

"A modern-day version of Reuben Fine's Ideas Behind the Chess Openings, Fundamental Chess Openings primarily uses words to describe the ideas and motivations behind different opening systems. The emphasis is on understanding rather than memorization with van der Sterren rarely going beyond move ten." - IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain

* The perfect survival guide to the chess openings
* All openings covered
* Detailed verbal explanations of plans for both sides
* Up-to-date and featuring many tips and recommendations
* Insights into the 'character' of each opening
* Written by one of the world's foremost opening experts
* More than 1600 chess diagrams

The first moves of a chess game define the nature of the whole struggle, as both players stake their claim to the critical squares and start to develop their plans. It is essential to play purposefully and to avoid falling into traps or reaching a position that you don't understand.

This is not a book that provides masses of variations to memorize. Paul van der Sterren instead offers a wealth of ideas and explanation, together with the basic variations of each and every opening. This knowledge will equip players to succeed in the opening up to good club level, and provide a superb grounding in opening play on which to build a more sophisticated repertoire. The strategies he explains will, unlike ever-changing chess opening theory, remain valid as long as chess is played, and so the time spent studying this book will be rewarded many times over.

"I picked up some tips in openings which I had never fully understood" - GM Ian Rogers, The Byron Shire Echo

Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren has won the Dutch Championship on two occasions, and in 1993 reached the Candidates stage of the World Chess Championship. He is an internationally renowned chess writer and editor: he was one of the founding editors of New in Chess, for whose Yearbooks he has contributed more than 150 opening surveys.

"...because of the focus on textual explanation rather than detailed analysis it is very readable. It is clearly aimed at less experienced players who wish to acquire an overview of chess opening theory, and gives a good general grounding for those wanting to launch off into more detailed study of a particular opening. A further point in its favour is that because it sticks to general principles rather than concentrating on the latest theory it will not become outdated almost before it has reached the shelves." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"The format of the book is very friendly, openings very clearly set out and identified, with the variations touched upon in short and sweet sections. It is nicely written, does not bombard the reader with theory or lengthy variations (which I think is wonderful as one should not try to run before one can walk) yet it informs and guides at base level. A nice feature is the opening key at the back, classified under the name of the opening, and indexed with the covered variations. I am also impressed by the neutral approach of Paul van der Sterren, an experienced chess writer, who steers away from leading the reader in preference for objective guidance. ... should you wish to gain a fundamental overview of the vast array of chess openings at base level, this book just might be the best investment you could make currently. This is precisely what it was intended to do" - John Lee Shaw, Chess Check E-zine

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 19908 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gambit Publications (26 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YOM2L8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best openings compendium 20 April 2010
I agree with the other reviewer that this is by far the best introductory openings book. I also understand his point about Watson's uneven coverage in his otherwise impressive series, as I play the Petroff myself and can't understand its omission in Watson's book when there is a chapter devoted to the Philidor, for example. Back to the work at hand - it really is the best of these types of books (and I own Watson, Collins, Djuric series, NCO etc) and is a reprinted version of Sterrens 3 volume work originally published a few years back in Dutch, I believe. The quality of explanation is truly excellent, the depth of most variations' coverage is about right (although we will all have our pet openings that aren't covered as well as we'd hope for due to the inevitable space constraints - for example, I would like to have seen a little more on the Slav, especially the Chebanenko ...a6 variation) given the overall size of the project and the production values are typical Gambit, i.e. a step above Everyman but not necessarily in the same league as a typical Quality Chess title.
I have about 200 chess books and often find myself returning to openings compediums for a browse - this one has had a lot of use already and has rapidly become one of my favourites. For club players there is often enough to get up and running with an opening using this book alone - you can supplement it with the appropriate monographs once you've used it for a while and need more information, something that can rarely be said about NCO or MCO, for example.
An essential purchase, in my opinion.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Say goodbye to shelves of chess books 2 Dec 2009
By revbd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is outstanding in every way (apart from the awful 'FCO' title) and provides substantial coverage of ALL chess openings. It addresses both understanding and specific moves and gives lots of unusually well written explanation. In addition it is, I think, superior to comparable alternatives. For example: Watson is far less comprehensive (despite 4 vols), has big gaps e.g. Petroff, and his coverage is both uneven and less practical; Djuric et al is far less deep (despite 4 vols); Collins, though good and comprehensive, is considerably shorter and less focused on understanding; Kallai, though good, is focused primarily on moves; Fine is hopelessly out of date and, in addition, not good. Sterren's opening book is a marvel which makes shelves of my introductory opening titles redundant.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's good - buy it! 31 Aug 2010
Well laid out and well explained. As chess opening books go, it's easy to read with plenty of diagrams. I think it doesn't contain details of every little variation going, but it's a good guide to the openings, explaining the history and theories of the various openings, and the major variations within each opening. And I haven't found any obvious mistakes yet. And at around 475 large pages, it's got to be good value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great chess book 7 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this book does not explore the lines of the openings to the depth of some other works I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The main reason I liked it was that the book does not only set out the openings but also puts a lot of emphasis of explaining the options and why certain lines are useful and where they lead. I feel it has certainly helped me improve my game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chess opening for Kindle 4 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good introctution for someone starting ot develop an opening repertoire, but this is probably better as a paper book rather than an electronic one: much as I love my Kindle, it's not quite so easy to nip around from place to place in a reference work such as this.
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