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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars

on 25 September 2007
The title should be taking literal; the book is written from the black side who wants to combat 1 e4 with 1 - e5. Many refrain from this move because there are so many variants that white may choose from, and instead they focus their energy on lesser well known openings such as for instance the Scandinavian defence. If you already have 1 - e5 in your arsenal this is the book for you.

The book is written by Mihail Marin and is co-authored by Valentin Stoica. Marin should be familiar to you - if not I can only recommend that you purchase "Learn from the Legends" - which is more of a middle - and endgame book.

It is a repertoire book meaning that Marin will show you the best move for black (or at least HIS idea of the best move!) and how you should respond to whatever white comes up with. That means that he may not play the move you usually do - but it also means that he has time and space to show you the ideas behind the opening moves. And this is really where Marin is best. There is a romantic notion in the way he writes, which means you almost feel his presence in the room showing you the variations. And he is very good at explaining general ideas that you may benefit from, even if you are not completely following the right path.

The book starts out with the Kings Gambit and ends off with the Ruy Lopez Exchange System. In between the following systems are being analyzed: The Vienna game, The Centre game, The Ponziani Opening, The Four Knights, The Glek System, The Giuoco Piano, The Evans Gambit, The Two Knights Defence, The Max Lange Attack, Giuoco Piano (classical main line), Giuoco Pianissimo, and The Scotch Game (Four Knights and Mieses Variation).

Each chapter starts out with Marin showing you game excerpts while explaining the general ideas, and ends with variation notes. Many of these variations cannot be found in ordinary openings books as they are from Marin and Stoicas home lab.

Even if Marin had not written the book I would have purchased it as it fits neatly into my repertoire. But I thank the lord that he has written it, because he adds to it his own clear voice - and I can almost feel him looking over my shoulder when I sit in front of my chess board and move the pieces around...
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on 19 April 2010
This book is, probably, the best chess-openings book I have ever read.Although designed as a repertoire for black, it cannot fail to help white players as well. The material is so well-written that it is perfectly understandable( and more importantly enjoyable) to me, an average club player. As the blurb on the back says" anyone who is considering answering e4 with e5 should read this book." Furthermore this book is a bargain on Amazon and the edition they send out is the updated 2nd edition from 2008 which has an additional 46 pages compared with the first edition.
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on 11 April 2010
This book is fantastic Marin gives you his anti E4 repertoire on a plate (Along with his companion Ruy Lopez book). He also explains strategical ideas and motivates one to study by putting the openings in their historical context, but he has reacted to the most modern ideas in the open games.
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