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The Slav : Concise coverage of a dependable and dynamic opening favoured by many top-class players [Paperback]

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Item description for The Slav : Concise coverage of a dependable and dynamic opening favoured by many top-class players by Graham Burgess...

The Slav has been played by 11 of the first 13 World Champions, and has been favored by many stars of modern chess, including Anand, Kramnik, Shirov, Ivanchuk, and Morozevich. Its great popularity is due to its extreme solidity and abundant possibilities for dynamic counterplay. This book provides detailed coverage to help players as both White and Black face the challenges of this tough yet rewarding opening. All lines after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 are discussed, except those that transpose to the Semi-Slav. The sharpest tactical lines of the Slav receive especially detailed coverage. These include the critical piece sacrifice in the main line (5...Bf5 6 Ne5 e6 7 f3 Bb4 8 e4 Bxe4), the Steiner line (5...Bg4) with 6 Ne5 Bh5 7 h3, and the possibly dubious, but highly dangerous Geller Gambit (5 e4), which was a favorite of the young Kasparov. The trendy ...a6 lines are also covered systematically for the first time in chess literature.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 5.78" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.71 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2001
Publisher   Gambit Publications
ISBN  1901983447  
ISBN13  9781901983449  

Availability  0 units.

More About Graham Burgess

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Gambit Publications has been publishing top-quality innovative chess books since 1998, winning numerous awards in several countries. FIDE Master Graham Burgess is Gambit's Editorial Director, and one of the founders of the company. He has written more than twenty books and holds the world record for marathon blitz chess playing. He lives in Minnesota.

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1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Slav : Concise coverage of a dependable and dynamic opening favoured by many top-class players?

An excellent book  Sep 16, 2006
I read realitycheckmate's review and have to say that I completely disagree, after all, look at how many people who gave the book 5 stars? Burgess demonstrates easily that a player does not need to be a GM to write an informative, easy-to-read book that's bursting with new variations.

I've been playing the Slav when I was 1400 and now I'm 2100 and this book has been my best friend in those years (it's only been 4!).

This book provides detailed and easily-sufficient coverage (there are tonnes of alternatives to choose from) to help players as both White and Black (although I would recommend it more for the Black side) face the challenges of this tough yet rewarding opening. All lines after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 are discussed (except the Semi-Slav), which is excellent work considering how much analysis the author had to sift through (this book is definitely not a database dump). The sharpest tactical lines of the Slav like the piece sacrifice in 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6 Ne5 e6 7 f3 Bb4 8 e4 Bxe4.

Burgess is a highly versatile chess writer. I have NCO and The World's Greatest Chess Games and I have to admit that Burgess (though only a co-author) has done a great job on them as well.
reliable coverage of a fighting opening   Mar 23, 2006
I've noticed that the Slav defense is popular amongst many of the top young Russian players, which says a lot about the fighting qualities of this opening. I've been playing it for years.
As a sound, solid defense which you can still use to play for win with, you can't fault it really.
Burgess does a good job of presenting the material; useful variations and sensible commentary, with reliable and checked assessments, standard Gambit fare really.
I guess my main problem with the Slav is that it is no longer such a surprise weapon. I saw a review somewhere (Donaldson perhaps? His reviews are usully good value) that praised the new QGA repertoire book by Rizzitano. So I might test out that one just to keep opponents guessing.
OK for a reference book. Not a good first book on the Slav.  Dec 21, 2004
I been playing the Slav for a couple of years and have worked through Matthew Sadler's excellent book. I purchased this book to continue my studies. I find that it is not well laid out. Actually, if you are trying to learn to play the Slav, the introduction is the best part of the book. I have been able to pick through and study-up on the lines I try to play, but this is more of a reference book, not a text book on the Slav. If you are trying to learn the opening, buy Sadler's book. If you already know what you are doing and just want to go deeper into some variations, (notably the exchange variation and the ...a6 Slav) then you might get some use out of the book. Otherwise, your money is better spent elsewhere.
Explanations thin, layout hard to reference  Jan 25, 2004
There is too much grade inflation in these this site review ratings of chess books, with most getting the maximum 5 stars. 3 stars means average. What does this book have to earn being rated better than other opening books?: nothing.

The moves recommended in this book are fine. But any opening book would achieve that. To be above average, an opening book must explain the ideas and effects of every pre-middlegame move. Burgess' explanations are thin and minimal. Most other opening books have at least this much explanation, though frustratingly few make the effort to give more. Only a textless Informant would have sparser explanations.

Example 1: "5...Bf5!? 6 Qb3 Nxd5 may well be an interesting alternative, but there's no need for this"

Other examples include lines being assessed a simply "pleasant" or "unpleasant" for Black: gotta love that deep middlegame forethought.

Example 2: "b23) 8...e6 9 g4 (9 Qb3 should probably be preferred, even though 9... Nxe5 10 dxe5 Nd7 11 Qxb7 Rb8 12 Qxa6 Rxb2 looks satisfactory for Black)"

Example 3 (showing this book at its rare best, explanatory text writing about 4...a6 at the beginning of a chapter, -- means text bypassed): "This little move has several ideas. Most obviously, Black prepares ...b5, which grabs some space and also forces White to act on the queenside, which often stabilizes that part of the board, or else give Black counterplay. Black also prepares to develop his queen's bishop, since after ...a6 (and possibly ...b5), White's attack on b7 (by Qb3) has less sting. -- Also, by waiting for a move, Black makes it easier for him to determine where to put his queen's bishop: if White plays e3, then ...Bg4 -- One further point is that Black's idea of ...dxc4 is now slightly more of a threat --".

Another reviewer wrote this book gave him a good post-opening position against a GM, but that he proceeded to lose due to flawed middlegame moves. A good opening book discusses the relationship between its particular opening and the middlegame themes likely to arise. This book lacks such depth of discussion, and thus seems terribly average to me.

This book's layout makes it hard/time consuming to find a specific variation. Reading through long pages of text looking for section "f22)" or "b)223" is ridiculous. Scientists and accountants would do not present their data this way, for good reason. Tables of variations are the clearest way to index and organize variations. Plus there are numerous unnumbered variations in the textual analysis - good luck referencing those. Tables and text are not in conflict, they compliment each other.
There is a clunky Index of Variations in the back of the book. But it is incomplete at merely 1 sheet in size, and its layout is a tedious eyesore. It is a poor substitute for proper tables.

Opening books do best when they focus on playing just White or Black. When I am playing as Black in a given position, I do not need 6 moves to choose from, when 2-3 are clearly better than the other 3-4 alternatives. Covering 6 just adds noise when studying to play as Black, and takes space and depth from other discussions.

This book says nothing about the endgames likely to arise from the Slav. No full games are given, so no relationships between the opening and ending are traced or discussed. Nor does this book have any organization around the stable pawn structures likely to arise in the Slav.

A Good, Reliable Opening  Dec 3, 2003
I like this book. The material is pretty up-to-date. Of course, the Slav can get kind of boring if White is unambitious; therefore, some people avoid it as Black. Nevertheless, it is as solid a defense to 1.d4 as one can imagine. It's great to play against stronger opponents, or if you don't mind the drawishness of the Exchange variation.

The author is reliable and a credit to the good name of Gambit Books.


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