3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The extraordinary depth of chess,
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This review is from: Batsford's Modern Chess Openings (Paperback)
Chess has been a hobby of mine, on and off, for many years, and I recently went back to it with enthusiasm. There are, of course, thousands of books on the subject, but I decided that I really needed a comprehensive opening book, so that I can play through some of the main lines in the main openings, and thereby improve my opening repertoire.
This book is a veritable chess library, all in one book! All of the openings are covered, and I do mean ALL of them, apart from ridiculous losing lines obviously. It is certainly not a book to be read from end to end, like a novel. It's a reference book, so that you can quite logically start on page 523 if you want to, should you wish to study a particular opening.
It is a large book, over 700 pages, but that is the sheer depth of the subject. There are, after all, far more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe, and I do mean FAR more. There are variations of openings, sub-variations, sub-sub-variations, transpositions, gambits, counter-gambits, and so on. Additionally, chess openings go in and out of fashion. This book has a chapter for all of the main openings, with analysis and references given in exquisite detail.
The only slight criticism I have is that I would have liked to have seen a page or two entitled "How to use this book". Maybe grandmasters, IMs and strong club players will be laughing at this, if they read it, but I am a novice player, and it is a bit difficult for me to follow the system of columns, each giving a line of play. However, I am sure I will figure this out.
I think when studying this book, it would be flat-out essential to have a chess board and set by your side, so as to play through the opening you are studying. Luckily this is no problem.
If anyone desires to be a strong chess player, as I do, I really think this book is a must. Understanding the openings is so very important in chess. I am sure there are years' worth of study within its pages, and I cannot give it less than five stars.