So, I've been reading opening books lately. Yes, I know heresy, but I've paid my debt to society, so I'm moving on. My theory is that if one learns one opening really well one will be introduced to all the major themes in chess strategy. Sort of like great literature. It is said that you if you read the whole body of work of any one great author -- Shakespeare, Dante, Proust, Faulkner, or Spider Robinson -- you will introduced to all the major themes of literature.
I started a topic on Chessninja
a few months back to come up with the opening to study. My main criterion was that the opening have an excellent resource for study, presumably a book. I had three recommendations.
1) Trompowsky (1d4 Nf6 2. Bg5) -- Winning with the Trompowsky
by Peter Wells
2) French Defense (1e4 e6 2d4 d5) -- Play the French
by John watson
3) Queen's Gambit Declined (1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Be7 4Nf3 Nf6) -- Queen's Gambit Declined
by Mathew Saddler
It was hard to reach a decision without studying the books ... so ... I bought all of them. This may seem wasteful, but you must recall that the second criterion for admittance into Heaven is possesion of chess books. (First being completion of the MdlM training program). I took a look at the first two chapters of each. Winning with the Trompowsky
is a wonderful book that I will enjoy reading in 3 years. Undoubtedly a trenchant and incisive treatement of the opening, it left me a little lost. Statements like "This leads to a Benoni structure unless black plays c6 in which case we have a Siclian Robatch chocolate flavored structure". When I know all the pawn structures and their meanings, then I'll pick this lovely book back up. Lots of people love Play the French
. I don't get it. It seems to be one of those repetoire books that lists variantions without explanations. "d6 can be played here but one must consider e3. The h pawn lends itself to Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 Nxe5 Bxe5 Qxd8 RXd4 with a postional advantage. Of course, Karpov once played d6 in a blitz in Minsk in 1992, but he was drunk and not wearing pants. The game proceeded ..." Again perhaps in a few years.
I was going to toss in the towel and just go straight to Alex Baburin's Winnig Pawn Structures
when Queen's Gambit Declined
arrived. This is exactly what I was looking for. Simple. Basic. Explanation of the ideas and plans involved. So there it is. I'm a QGD player until further notice.
PS Thanks to Fussy Lizzard
who recommended Mr. Sadler's book