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Mastering the Chess Openings: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Modern Chess Openings, Volume 1 [Paperback]

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Item description for Mastering the Chess Openings: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Modern Chess Openings, Volume 1 by John Watson...

Presents information on the ideas and strategies for chess openings.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   334
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.75" Height: 10"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2006
Publisher   Gambit Publications
ISBN  1904600603  
ISBN13  9781904600602  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Watson

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International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. In 1999, his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy won 'Chess Book of the Year' awards in the USA and the UK. He reviews chess books for The Week in Chess and hosts a weekly radio show on the Internet Chess Club. As a trainer, he has worked with many talented pupils, including Tal Shaked.

John Watson was born in 1930.

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Product Categories

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

Reviews - What do customers think about Mastering the Chess Openings: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Modern Chess Openings, Volume 1?

Very good chess openings book  Sep 19, 2008
This is a must have book along with volume 2. It begins with fundamentals and goes into details carefully. Notation is clear and it is easy to read.
Something for everyone  Sep 12, 2008
Watson has done another fantastic job with this addition to the chess world. I am rated 2100 and my son is 1400 yet I found there was much to be learned for both of us. I found the chapter on structure significance to be most enlightening. Of course anything in this book will be helpful for class B players and below, but there is enough breadth of information to allow even A players and above to gain more knowledge as well. I would have liked to have seen a chapter on the Scandanavian, but the explanations of similar structures with regards to other openings somewhat covers this. Watson does not skimp on providing the reader with basic ideas and plans, an important part of any book with regards to openings. Watson makes no claim as to knowing all the opening variations and their subsequent evaluations. He equips the reader with a basic and general understanding of the main plans and structures, and advises the reader to pick up "specialized" opening books for those openings that you are drawn to. 4 stars for leaving out a couple of basic e4 responses, otherwise its a perfect piece of literature...well thought out and well written.
Difficult to follow  Aug 1, 2008
I have two problems with this book, first, the author flies from one topic to another, sometimes in mid sentence. There are frequent digressions into tedium, such as "This is all theory, that is, published knowledge. The centre has been cleared out and there's no way to make a simple assessment. Only a lot of brainpower, computer analysis and correspondence chess can solve this sort of thing; in fact, only those things got chess researchers this far!" At one point the author gives a brief history of openings that would challenge an advanced player, but at other times he puts forward the most elementary concepts, such as the slight advantage of a bishop over a knight, or the importance of not developing the queen prematurely. The second problem is not with the author, but with the notational printing. The moves are not separated visually and white piece symbols are used to denote even black's moves. The experience is akin to reading James Joyce, and I gave up in frustration in the middle of the second chapter.
Good opening overview  May 18, 2008
This volume covers the KP openings.

Like Volume 2 it explains the concepts concerning pawn structure and piece placement, rather than give variations to memorize.

If you want to understand WHAT to do in an opening, rather than HOW to do it, these are the books for you.
Best opening book for the amateur player  Mar 11, 2008
Watson has succeeded in producing a great book that introduces the opening and the correct approach to developing an understanding of the various openings. He first gives three chapters on the elements underlying the openings for the weaker player. Then follows the openings themselves; they are fully explained with words and not just analysis (as is contained in reference works such as Modern Chess Openings). The analysis follows the ideas and does not just substitute for it. There are many complete games to show how the ideas work out to their logical conclusion.
The book does not cover all the openings, but it does cover all the main openings used in current top level chess. Watson concentrates on sound openings that will give the player good competitive chances. He avoids the marginally sound and bizarre openings that some players use in an attempt to confuse an opponent. Such tactics usually end in the player of those openings getting a disadvantage.
By concentrating on ideas, analysis, and games Watson shows how to prepare for using an opening in competition and how to continue adding to and improving the opening for future use.
This book puts the old Ideas Behind the Chess Openings by Fine to shame. Before he died Fine had the chance to update his book; instead, he choose to leave it a half-century out of date and woefully incomplete.
Players should applaud Watson for finally providing the work needed to really understand and master the opening.

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