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The Symmetrical English [Paperback]

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Item description for The Symmetrical English by Carsten Hansen...

The Symmetrical systems of the English Opening constitute a large and important area of modern chess opening theory. The strategic variety to be found within this book is staggering: from the sedate Symmetrical Variation to the wild gambit lines of the Anti-Benoni, and almost everything in between! This book provides detailed coverage of the theory of all lines stemming from 1 c4 c5. It includes many variations that often arise from different openings entirely, such as the Semi-Tarrasch, or when White avoids a Benko or Benoni. A particular highlight is the discussion of the Hedgehog, which a popular workhorse for many tournament players, as it enables Black to play for a win without taking undue risks. Throughout the book, though, Hansen shows that in many lines regarded by a lot of players as boring or uninteresting, there is plenty of scope to liven the game up, if one is familiar with the subtleties.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.72" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.83 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 22, 2001
Publisher   Gambit Publications
ISBN  1901983404  
ISBN13  9781901983401  

Availability  0 units.

More About Carsten Hansen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Danish FIDE Master Carsten Hansen is a well-known chess writer with six well-received books on chess openings and positional play to his credit. He is a regular columnist at, where he sp

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Symmetrical English?

Detailed and Intelligent Coverage  Mar 31, 2007
Criticism of this book and subsequent downgrading of it because it is not a beginner's book is illogical. Not every book need cater to beginners, this book does not portend to serve itself to that audience, and what it does purport to do -- provide solid analysis and repertoire theory against various lines of the Symmetrical English -- it does very well.

The Chapters are broken apart, arranged, and layed outin logical fashion according to associated Pawn formations and move orders, and the tree-branch system of laying out variations is still the undisputable champ when it comes to laying out theory.

The book may lean a bit more favorably to the Black side of many variations, but his choices are backed by lengthy, detailed, and accurate analysis. Mostly solid bibliography. Aimed at 1800+ players and it will serve them well.

The Anti-Benoni Chapters are particulary good and alone are worth the purchase price.

5 Stars.
Not for beginners of English opening  Mar 29, 2003
After two weeks of study I have found that this book is great disappointment). After reading Hansen's impressive book: Dynamic english I found that Hansen's book of symmetrical english lacks essentially most basic element of good opening book: study of basic strategys and tactical tricks. Unfortunately Hansen's book is totally concentrated on chess theory.
The Symmetrical English is defenetily meanted for appr. +1800 ELO players with previous experience with Symmetrical English. For those who do not belong to this group: this book is not for you.
Besides I found one telling example about level of analysis in this book: after moves: 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4
e6 5. g3 Qb6 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. e3 Nc6 8. Nb3 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Ne5 '10. Qc2 d5 11. cxd5, here Qa6!? is not mentioned (despite for instance NCO mentions it) at all leading to either to 12. Bf1 Nf3+ 13. Kd1 Qb6 with compensation (according to Nunns Chess Opening) or to 12. Bxb4! Nd3 13. Kd2 Nb4...(Sosonko-Suba, Tunis 1985) with rougly equal position.
This omission is serious chess theoretical mistake and one only hopes that there are not many of such mistakes in this book. However IMHO such error tells something about quality of the analysis, since Qa6!? is widely known and important option for black to play.
average off the mill opening guide  Nov 7, 2002
Millions variations with out explaining basic ideas behind them.
It's more of less guide with out any directions for an average
player. You better off buying Nunn's Chess Openings.
I kind of threw away money by buying this book.
Symmetrical but not dull  Jun 24, 2002
A book like I like!
The different systems are well separated with enough comments to choose your lines without having to read all the book. The author doesn't try to sell you miracles; if a system is often drawish Mr.Hansen won't try to hide it.

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