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Chess Opening Essentials: The Ideas & Plans Behind ALL Chess Openings - Volume 1: The Complete 1. e4 [Paperback]

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Item description for Chess Opening Essentials: The Ideas & Plans Behind ALL Chess Openings - Volume 1: The Complete 1. e4 by Stefan Djuric, Dimitri Komarov & Claudio Pantaleoni...

Winner of the Italian Chess Federations Golden Award! An accessible primer and opening reference book, providing es sential knowledge on all chess openings. It explains the basic plans and ideas for both black and white. It gives beginners the ability to choose the openings that suit their style and taste, and gives club players the opportunity to test and review their opening repertoire. Chess Opening Essentials gives a flavour of how a particular opening works, with pointers in the right direction if you wish to explore further.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: New In Chess
Pages   358
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 25, 2007
Publisher   New in Chess
ISBN  9056912038  
ISBN13  9789056912031  

Availability  0 units.

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2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
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Reviews - What do customers think about Chess Opening Essentials: The Ideas & Plans Behind ALL Chess Openings - Volume 1: The Complete 1. e4?

Good...but so close to being GREAT.  Jul 16, 2008
This NIC publication is the best attempt I have yet seen to mix lots of variations with opening ideas. In my view, it does pass for an encyclopedia.

I would only recommend this book to players ~1500 and under however, as there just isn't enough depth for players beyond this level. That said, it is the ONLY "encyclopedia-style" opening book I would ever recommend to my students. The others are too dense and lack explanatory material to justify the variations. I'm a strong Class A player, and I do not own any encyclopedias (MCO, ECO, NCO, etc.), rather I buy specialized opening books and subscribe to ChessPub to learn openings.

For beginners, this is the choice. I would have been a lot better off if I started my career back in 1996 with this book instead of other encyclopedias.

Why four stars and not five as the other reviewers have given it? Because this could have been a truly GREAT book, useful for players up to 2200+. The authors/editors were so close! If only they would have included more supplementary games to illuminate critical variations, and ANNOTATED the supplementary games with words at critical junctures of the game (from a planning standpoint), so that the reader could understand the flow of the opening through the middlegame and to the endgame...If they do this for a second edition, the book would be worth almost any price.

Of course, this would have increased the book in size from 358 pages to 500+ pages, but they really would have succeeded in writing the greatest (reference) opening book ever. The quality of its competitors is such that for the majority of players, it may STILL be the best anyway.
the modern opening book that finally replaces Reuben Fine's excellent last century effort   Jun 28, 2008
Chess Opening Essentials: The Complete 1.e4 )
Finally: the book I've been waiting for! A modern replacement for Reuben Fine's and I.A. Horowitz's books on openings pitched to the Beginner / Intermediate improving player as well as a manual for the improving Club / Tournament player. Not as complicated as BCO or MCO or NCO nor as the rich opening material in Fritz, ChessBase or Bookup (now ChessOpeningsWizard) nor as other net resources -- from which a diligent and very sophisticated surfer might assemble much of the material in the book.
I emphatically agree with the positive reviews of others;and in this case the publisher's hype seems extraordinarily (and refreshingly) accurate.

It is volume 1: The Complete 1.e4, which I hope means that it will soon be followed by 1: The Complete 1.d4 (and perhaps at least one more "The Complete 1. something in addition" volume. Not as theoretical / philosophical (and purposefully 'incomplete') as John Watson's two wonderful "Mastering . . ." volumes.
Not as nearly uselessly elementary as Alberston's "51 Openings".

I am not expert enough to evaluate its shortcomings . . .
The one shortfall (which the book shares with many other chess materials) is lack of a bibliography (or reference to anything outside (or even inside) itself. One would have to know already where to find many of the important variations and 'subvariations' mentioned in the text (for example, the Berlin Defense (p.73) is not referenced in the `Contents' as it is a 'subvariation of the Ruy Lopez). The sole index is of player's last names (not actually of `games' as the Contents lists it). But these are faults variously common to chess books in general and do not make me hesitate at all in recommending it. It is unique for our time and needs.
Basic but great  Jun 14, 2008
This book is great. There are plenty of diagrams, the layout is pleasing, and there are supplementary games to futher enhance your understanding of what "flavour" the opening might provide. Also, and you might think this is trivial, but it even has little arrows and colour emphasizing key squares, providing an effective visual of where to put your pieces, strategical aims, etc. Although this book deals with openings relating to 1.e4 and is best suited for class A players and below, it truly is an outstanding book. Keep in mind though that the analysis is brief, it's just a quick reference guide, or "refresher" for strong players, and a great learning tool for beginners/novices. Highly recommended.
very good for intermediate players  Nov 24, 2007
Before reading the works of Watson's opening manuals (Vol 1 and 2)one must read this work only you have to wait and see for its completion with closed games in a later volume.This book is easily explained and contains all the openings popular in open or semiopen games.But with less variations like MCO or NCO and still exellent study materials incorporated in one volume.For club players with ELO ratings of about 1500-1800 or more this is indespensible in the sense that you can have a very good idea about all the king pawn openings.What are their meanings etc.I love this book.
real winner  Nov 8, 2007
Chess Opening Essentials is a real winner and it is easy to see why it was voted Best Chess Book of the Year by the Italian Chess Federation.

The book is beautifully produced, with a very pleasant looking easy-to-read layout and graphics; the dual-colour printing makes it much easier to find information that I am searching for and further enhances the look of the book.

I have purchased many opening books in the past and I have found most of them to be disappointing and incomplete. I have had to use them together - selecting the best aspects of each one and ignoring their frequent weaknesses; a little like piling up slices of Swiss cheese - the slice on top covering the holes in the slice below. At last, in one volume I have found all the information and advice that I have been looking for.

The book has a lot of text that explains the concepts and ideas behind the openings in easy-to-understand language. Not just in the introductory passages before each opening, but also for the moves that follow. So often with these sort of books I find myself wondering why such and such a move is good or bad, and I end up more confused at the end than I was when I started. The authors of this book explain everything very clearly step by step, and I really felt I was learning something

I particularly appreciated the realistic assessment of lines that may not be played regularly at the very highest levels, but that are highly effective and dangerous against the sort of players that most of us encounter in club tournaments. Particularly useful are the conclusions at the end of each entry, which gave me a clear idea of what to expect in the middle and endgame phases of the game. There are also several example games at the end of each section which I also liked for the same reason

In my opinion a book like Chess Opening Essentials is long overdue and it comes highly-recommended.

Hamish Stuart


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