Item description for Play The Open Games As Black by John Emms...
This book fills a gaping chasm in chess literature. For years, those who wish to take on the black side of the Ruy Lopez have had to muddle their way through against the variety of alternative openings at White's disposal. This book gives a choice of systems for Black, to counter anything White might try in order to avoid the Ruy Lopez - the Scotch, King's Gambit, Italian Game, Four Knights, etc. Grandmaster Emms is ideally qualified to deal with this subject, having faced them as Black, but also having played many of them as White before graduating to the Ruy Lopez.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2000
Publisher Gambit Publications
ISBN 1901983277 ISBN13 9781901983272
Availability 0 units.
More About John Emms
John Emms is one of the UK's leading Grandmasters and has captained the English Team at two Chess Olympiads. He's a highly respected author of over 20 books as well as an experienced coach who has worked with many top players. Glenn Flear is one of the most popular Grandmasters on the international tournament circuit. He is an experienced trainer and has coached some of the UK's leading junior players. He is resident in France. Andrew Greet is a young International Master and one of the UK's most rapidly improving players. In 2005 he scored a perfect 11/11 in the British National League, the first time any player had achieved this remarkable feat.
Reviews - What do customers think about Play The Open Games As Black?
Highly Recommended Apr 25, 2006
I love to play the Marshall against the Ruy Lopez, but even at my level (USCF Expert), most players don't allow it. I find myself using the repertoire from this book in my games about ten times as often as what I use against the Ruy. I haven't found any junk in the book yet, although I prefer quieter lines against the Scotch.
Another great thing about this book is that it is not just for players of the black pieces; I find the lines useful for White as well.
Great for the serious player, not for the novice May 24, 2002
As any player who responds to 1. e4 with 1. . . e5 will tell you, its really irritating to hope for an Italian Game and instead find yourself in a strange variation of the King's Gambit with no prior experience. Wandering around on a clifftop while blindfolded is a godd analogy. Emms' book is very useful in preparing a player for every white opening following 1 e4 e5 except for the Ruy Lopez. While a short book (only 224 pages) it is well worth the purchase price for the sheer density of its analysis. SImply put, this book consists of 200 pages of analysis with the occaisional sentence interspersed between moves (I exaggerate, but this is close to the truth). For an experienced player willing to spend hours poring over analysis and memoriing lines, this book is ideal. For a novice or a player with limited time for study, it should probably be avoided.
extremely useful and interesting book Mar 9, 2001
This book provides a repetoire for black after 1.e4 e5 (excluding the Ruy Lopez, the addition of which would add at least 200 pages). The coverage is very good and recomendations are top of the line.
The recommendation against the King's Gambit is: 1.e5 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 (3.Bc4 --coverage is of ...Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4!? and 4. ...c6. The first is a reversed Schliemann Attack in the Ruy Lopez. After 5.e5 d5! a position is reached in which it is favorable for white to have played with an extre tempo as in the regular version, there would not be a bishop available to attack. 4. ...c6 is the trusted main line where black plans d5.) g5! 4.h4 (against 4.d4 and 4.Bc4, Emms gives the option of Bg7! holding on to the pawn.) g4 5.Ne5 (5.Ng5?! h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 is recommended) Nf6 (the Berlin Defense! This would definitely be my choice for black. I have played the white side of the King's Gambit before and studied it using Neil McDonald's "The King's Gambit." This move appears to be stronger than 5. ...d6!?) 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 (also the move I would choose over Bg7.) Emms goes on to cover the rest of the lines and even covers a line not in McDonald's book, the Rice Gambit. I was very pleased to see such good recommendations made here. For those who enjoy treading off the beaten path, the Becker defense (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 h6!?) is also given as another defense(!) to the King's Gambit.
The Two Knights Defence is the recommendation against the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6). At first I was put off by the combativeness of this opening and wished Emms had recommended the positional Guioco Piano instead (3. ...Bc5). However, I soon realized that I was learning how to play the open games and one should fight for any advantage one can get when playing this type of opening. Developement is important and one should be ready to sacrifice a pawn or two to accelerate it. A complete repetoire for the Two Knights Defence is given. Against 4.Ng5 the recommendation is 4. ...d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bc6 c6 7.dxc6 bxc6. The Traxler (Wilkes-Barre) variation is not covered, i.e., instead of 4. ...d5 one plays 4. ...Bc5. For 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Emms gives both the more simple Nxe4 and the more complicated Bc5. The latter can lead to the Max Lange Attack. If you have heard of this opening and wondered what it was, here is your chance to play it.
I have just realized that if I don't stop talking about the specifics with this book I will never shutup. Here is some more general information about the book: In almost every major variation, more than one option is given to black. Both declining and accepting various gambits is covered. Generally, one option is given for the adventurous player and one is given for the positional player. Emms does a great deal of home analysis and provides good background information on each opening. He really does cover every option available to white from second move alternatives to move 30 and beyond of the Max Lange Attack.
If you are interested in playing the black side of 1.e4 e5, you really do need this book to have a coherent repetoire. Besides, it is one of the best openings repetoire books you will ever find.
Don't know much about art but I know what I like. Feb 20, 2001
Some time ago I decided to change to playing 1. e4,e5 2. Nf3,Nc6 with black - mainly to get into the two knights that I'd been fascinated by. Seeing this book appearing was too good to be true. I bought it instantly and started reading it thinking he couldn't really cover everything. In truth he doesn't. He doesn't cover the Ruy. But after going through this book, you should be prepared for everything else white throws at you. He covers a lot of lines very lightly, but sufficiently that you can sit down in front of the board and play them with confidence. On some lines you may want additional stuff - e.g. KG and scotch, but he is all around the white repertoire. Bottom line: The best opening book I have read. If you want to play 2.Nc6, you want this book on the shelf.