Declining the Queen's Gambit (Everyman Chess) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/8/16
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*A repertoire for Black against the Queens Gambit
*Provides answers to all of Whites main options
*Ideal for improvers, club players and tournament players
...This all makes for a book that offers a Black repertoire that should be attractive to many players. After reading this book, I feel compelled to study the opening in more depth and try it out for myself. ****** (out of 6) - MAXIMUM rating! Carsten Hansen ChessCafe.com商品の説明をすべて表示する
So what does this have to do with this book? Because John Cox's repertoire is at it's best if you play the Nimzo move-order. In fact, this repertoire is centered around the Tartakower which you will be able to see far more often with the Nimzo move order than the 3. ... Be7 move order (which will take you to the Exchange variation far more often than the Nimzo move order). But let's say you start crashing into players who answer 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 with 3. Nc3! If you play 3. ... d5 you will have to play the Exchange variation with Nf6 which Cox covers, but this move order proposed by Mr. Cox should encourage you to start playing the Nimzo Indian in the near future.
As far as content, after reading the book, I would feel very comfortable playing all of John Cox's recommendations. Against the Exchange variation John Cox makes an attempt to revive a variation of the QGD which has been considered by modern theory to be "refuted." Cox annotates Kasparov vs. Andersson Reykjavik 1988 in detail and proposes many improvements for the Black side. Though the game between Kasparov and Andersson was a one-sided slaughter, Cox's confidence in his analysis should give the reader hope. Otherwise the reader could take up Nigel Short's "cheeky move order" and play a Queenless middle game in which Black has the Bishop pair and doubled f-pawns.
Against the Classical set-up, Cox only covers the Tartakower and the Lasker. No Orthodox Defense here. I personally find that the Tartakower is a very good choice for a repertoire but it might be too positionally demanding for an inexperienced player. The positions that arise in the Tartakower gives Black a lot of piece play but also a very loose pawn structure prone to attack. However, the Tartakower is still very logical and is still a good way to teach a beginner the hows and whys of both sides and their struggle over the e4 and d5 squares. In order to play the Tartakower properly, beginners and players who are taking up the QGD for the first time should consult Matthew Sadler's fantastic "Queen's Gambit Declined."
The Lasker Defence is another choice I like quite a lot. I have always felt that the Lasker is an evolutionary improvement over the Orthodox Defence. However, like my advice above, in order to understand these systems one should consult Matthew Sadler's book for a strategic overview.
And have I stressed about the importance of Matthew Sadler's book on the Queen's Gambit Declined? Indeed I have. Understanding how to use a gun is important, but what good is a gun without ammunition? You should consider reading Matthew Sadler's book first before even getting a repertoire book or a theoretical tome on the QGD. And when you get Matthew Sadler's book, I would recommend you start reading the section on the Orthodox right away before choosing whether you wish to start up playing the Tartakower or Lasker. Understanding the Orthodox helps the player on the Black side appreciate the nuances, strategic improvements and weaknesses of the Tartakower and Lasker. Of course, with Sadler's book, if you're already an experienced player and makes frequent use of a database, this book might be all that you would need.
And another line I would like to comment on is John Cox's theoretical update on the Bf4 line in the Three Knights QGD. He brings the Black player up to speed with new games and analysis in this "hot amongst the elite" line.
John Cox as a chess author has produced nothing but good books in the past and has became a must-buy for me whenever any of his books come out. Fortunately, I use all of his books except his Starting Out: 1. d4 which I do not have seeing as I am not interested in his repertoire for White. The books I do use are his 1. d4 Deviations, Berlin Wall and this book. And like the other mentioned books, John Cox has a sense of humor in which he willingly shares with his readers. For example, John Cox shows you many variations where Black gets good play but ends up in slightly unbalanced but still sterile positions. John Cox likes to believe that his primary audience would be what he also happens to call them, "nihilists." As I go through this book and his book on the Berlin I can't help but chuckle to myself whenever he eerily gives variations that lead to sterility.
Overall, I think this book is worth your money and is easily a labor of love. And for $20 (retail is $26-28 I think), I find this book to be quite a steal. Also, unlike the other Everyman books, the binding on this book will not fall apart on you.
Here are the negatives:
1. No index of variations (book is organized in chapters, like Lasker's Defense, and full games from GM practice are represented - good like finding a specific variation among 50-60 pages of annotated games).
2. Weird mix of a ton of variations with full games - in my opinion if you are going to represent mainly variations (which author himself claims) than they should be very easy to find and clearly defined.
1. There are full games from grandmaster practice, so you can see how the game transitions from opening to middle game, and sometimes the ending.
I think an opening book should present you with clear ideas on what the opening is about (or a specific variation). Either that, or provide an exhaustive list of variations (like encyclopedia of chess openings for example). This book unfortunately doesn't do either. Most players have access to game databases and can find all of the games covered, so what value does the author provide? For me that would have been clear plans and ideas in key positions - that is lacking completely in this book. Again, to be fair the author states that in the introduction, but then the variations should be at least easy to find and exhaustive. They are certainly anything but easy to find, and because of that it is sometimes hard to tell if everything (that matters) is covered. For example move order issues are not touched upon at all - anyone who plays d4 or defends against d4 knows how important that is.
Maybe the book was written for someone much stronger than myself (about 2100 USCF) and therein lies my dislike for it, but I doubt that.
Anyway, just my 2 cents.