Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Chess Reviews: 203

Attack With Black
By Valery Aveskulov
224 pages

The aim of Attack With Black is to arm Black with a full repertoire against 1 d4 players, with the Benko Gambit acting as the cornerstone.

The material is presented in three main parts:

White Avoids the Benko

This part covers all of the annoying Queen's Pawn system, such as the Veresov, Trompowsky and the Torre Attack. There's also coverage of the Blumenfeld Gambit (to be played against 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 specialists after 2 ...c5 3 d5 e6 4 c4 b5) and other non-compliant responses to 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 (3 dxc5, 3 e3 and 3 Nf3). It takes just under 100 pages to cover all of these variations, so there's plenty of information to help Black players combat these popular Benko dodgers.

The Benko Gambit

The main meat of the book presents the author's coverage on all lines of the Benko Gambit (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5). Still Black doesn't always obtain exactly the sort of game he would like, as White has numerous ways - of varying popularity - to decline the gambit. We finally get on to the Benko Gambit Accepted - hooray! - and Black seems to be in pretty good shape, according to this book.

Understanding the Benko

The final part is a much shorter one (24 pages), dealing with some Dream Positions for Black, Positions to Avoid and then some exercises and solutions.

All in all, this is a very well presented repertoire book, which shows how Black can reach lively (but sound) positions against 1 d4, whether White players simply try to avoid the issue or try to grab the Benko bull firmly by the horns.

Weekend tournament players should find this book suitable if they are looking to prepare a new set of anti-1 d4 openings.

 A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire For Black
Viacheslav Eingorn
192 pages

In this book, Eingorn 'recommends ideas and move-orders that are a little off the beaten track, but which he has very carefully worked out over many years of his own practice.'

The repertoire in question involves playing 1 ...e6 against virtually everything (although 1 ...d5 is preferred in response to 1 Nf3).

Approximately half of the book covers the French Defence. The early deviations are covered (unlike in The Modern French, reviewed yesterday) in the chapter French Satellites. There are some similarities with the lines recommended in The Modern French against the King's Indian Attack (an early ...b6) and the Exchange Variation (4 Bd3 c5) but against the Advance Variation Eingorn sticks with the traditional ...Qb6 plan, albeit via a slightly unusual move order - 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Qb6 and 5 ...Nc6, which has the merit of ruling out the occasionally trendy 5 Be3 lines (after 4 ...Nc6).

3 ...c5 is given against the Tarrasch, with both 4 exd5 Qxd5 and 4 ...exd5 receiving attention. 3 Nc3 is met by the old Classical with 3 ...Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7, making a change from the more popular Winawer and MacCutcheon lines recommended elsewhere.

Against 1 d4, Black plays 1 ...e6 and crosses his fingers. if White persists with 2 c4, the recommendation is 2 ...Bb4+, leading to slightly unusual positions in which Black refuses to play ball and enter the main line Nimzo or Bogo Indian defences.

There are sections dealing with transpositions to other openings (such as 1 d4 e6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d4 - the Sicilian, by an unusual order of moves) and the other Queen's Pawn systems. The English Opening is given basic coverage too.

I'd recommend this book as a template to club players, who want to get up and running with an all-embracing, comparatively easy to absorb repertoire. Serious tournament players will require a little more flesh on the bones before testing the recommended openings against tough opposition.

Both books are published by Gambit and further details can be found on their official website.

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