Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Silman’s ”Complete Endgame Course” is a great leap forward in Chess Teaching. The fantastic idea to present the material on a need-to-know basis is just great. When will there be opening books using the same trick? It is somewhat amusing to glance through basic books on specific openings and see how the author presents lines 15-20 moves deep! Basic books!

Casually surfing the Internet for inspiration on how to face “d4”, I found the stamp sized introduction to a few openings. This basic website presented a few versions of the Dutch as follows: “This is the position Black is hoping for and here are the first eight moves black would like to play”

That is pure poetry! What else would you like to be presented to have a taste of the opening?
So, the next opening book I buy will probably be written as a single Haiku.


  1. I have to agree, I like the simplicity, directness and honesty of the f4 pawn you give, and agree that it would be good to see more of the same. In terms of books, I have the "Mammoth Book of Chess", which covers everything well, including brief assessments and guides to "all" openings. Sample games, both strategic & tactical, as well as opening traps. Really quite good, but not excessive.
    I've heard good things of a Michael Basman Opening book, and one from Sam Collins as well, but I don't have them nor have I seen them.

    I'll dig out the titles if you are interested.

    Fine's "Basic chess openings" is often recommended, but like his "Instructive games of chess" ( or whatever the exact title is ) many consider that it is not 'modern' enough, ie doesn't cover openings as seen from the 1980's onward, ie virtually no Sicilians !. I suppose that decision is up to you !

  2. Buddy, The book, "Mammoth Book of Chess", is a gem! Buying chess books is the addiction of my life. I own both the Basman and the Collins book but the Mammoth book is the one I have used the most.

    Mednis "How to Play Good Opening Moves"(?) is also very good and has been on sale online. The book contains an amazing number of typos but I really like it.

  3. Hey Fabror!

    I agree that the Mednis book is one of the best chess books I have ever read! And yest the typos are ridiculous but still a truly great book.

    I have heard good things about the new Fundamental Chess Openings book from Gambit but have not checked it out.

  4. Tommyg,

    Yes, Fundamental Chess Openings (FCO) is a great book. I have only looked up a few weird openings in FCO and the presentations were good but almost as thin as the presentation in the "Mammoth Book".

  5. You found f-pawn's site, it is a great introduction to the Dutch and should serve you well.

    I tried the Dutch but I just don't play it well, so I'm sticking to other openings for now.

    It is a little difficult to make basic opening books as when you consider play at the patzer level the author would have to consider many moves that are simply not played at the highest level. Another thing to consider is where should you stop coverage? If you only give until move 8 will the purchaser feel upset? Perhaps this is why so many teachers/coaches tell us not to worry too much about the opening.

    I agree something needs to be done about "basic" opening books but its a bit more difficult than an endgame book to accomplish.

  6. Good Points!

    I somehow would like to see a measure of the importance of the mainlines in the different openings.

    Huh? What Index? Well, some measure of the superiority of the mainline compared to the variants. Maybe that would be counterproductive for books sales?