In this highly-acclaimed series, John Watson helps chess-players achieve a more holistic and insightful view of the openings. He explains not only the ideas and strategies behind specific openings, but also the interconnections of chess openings taken as a whole. By presenting the common threads that underlie opening play, Watson provides a permanent basis for playing openings of any type.
This final volume draws together many themes in a wide-ranging discussion of general opening topics. By looking at familiar situations from new angles, Watson helps us greatly increase our understanding of them. In the process, he covers a wide variety of opening structures and variations not seen in the earlier volumes and presents a great wealth of original analysis.
* Réti and Fianchetto Systems
* Reversed Openings
* Irregular Openings
* Gambits: Primitive or Positional
* Universal Openings
In the final two chapters, Watson presents his views on the importance of opening study and explains how players should best prepare and choose their openings for the level at which they play. He looks at the future of chess openings and explains which skills will be most important as chess evolves in the forthcoming decades.
"In order to appreciate fully the achievement of John Watson, you need to examine the four separate volumes as a unified whole. He himself is fond of stressing that a game of chess is a unified whole and not just a succession of distinct and unrelated parts (opening, middle game, ending) and this is very much to the fore throughout the series. By emphasising the underlying ideas behind the openings, and by showing how apparently different opening systems often have common ideas at their root, he presents the reader with a framework as the basis for handling all opening systems, both familiar and unfamiliar, with confidence." - Alan Sutton, En Passant
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. In 1999, his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy won 'Chess Book of the Year' awards in the USA and the UK. He reviews chess books for The Week in Chess and hosts a weekly radio show on the Internet Chess Club. As a trainer, he has worked with many talented pupils, including Tal Shaked.
"This series is written in such a way that anyone rated from 1500 to 2400 will be able to benefit from it. This particular volume covers openings that are less relevant for stronger players, because they will infrequently encounter them, but to counterbalance this issue Watson sometimes goes into very specific details. Whereas in earlier volumes, the strategic discussions on more popular openings were drawn in more general terms for understanding the ideas and aims for both sides. The collective effort put into all four volumes is truly Herculean and should be praised as an opening book equivalent to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am astounded by the consistently high level of writing in all four volumes." - Carsten Hansen, www.chesscafe.com
"Watson is a lucid and often provocative writer who isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and turn conservative theory on its head." - Cecil Rosner, Winnipeg Free Press
"...a book any chess lover should have a look at - if not for its openings, then surely for its general awesomeness." - Arne Moll, www.chessvibes.com
"...far from being just an opening monograph, Volume 4 is an oracle of practical advice that everyone would benefit from..." - GM Glenn Flear, New-in-Chess Yearbook