Cyrus Lakdawala is an IM and former US Open Champion who teaches chess and has written over 25 books on chess openings.
This book is a comprehensive review of all the main continuations after White has played d4 and c4 as his first two moves. It covers the Nimzo-Indian Defence, King’s Indian Defence, Benko Gambit, Grunfeld Defence , Slav Defence , Semi-Slav Defence and so on. The book is highly instructive and contains detailed reviews of 72 games including many modern examples from Carlsen, Kramnik and Mamedyarov as well as classics from the likes of Kasparov and Korchnoi. It also includes a handful of the author’s games.
A notable feature of the book is the author’s writing style which is often effusive, sardonic and humorous. The purists may find this annoying but I quite enjoyed it. Take this example from the Introduction as he explains why he switched to d4, c4. ‘… my openings lacked arable land in which to be creative. For decades my choices had been kissing simplicity’s butt, in a naked display of sycophancy, not seen in the world since Henry VIII’s wives.’
The book is clear and easy to read. Despite its 448 pages, some of the lines are not covered in great depth. The Dutch Defence gets four illustrative games and just 18 pages. So there is probably not enough detail for the GM preparing for his or her next tournament. However if you are a club player this book is an invaluable and enjoyable resource which will definitely improve your handling of all Black’s main responses to this opening.
BCN sends best wishes to IM John Cox on his birthday, this day, in 1962.
From Wikipedia :
John J Cox (22 May 1962) is a British chess player who holds the title of International Master which he earned in 2005. His peak Elo rating of 2423 was achieved in January 2006.
Cox was among the strong juniors in the 1970s and 1980s and finished tied for first in a British U18 championship. The need to earn a living made Cox leave the chess scene for several years. During this time he also played bridge. He eventually returned to chess after the hiatus.
Cox has written a number of well-received chess books, and he has contributed to the New in Chess yearbooks.
Four of his books were published by Everyman Chess, three of them introductory level books in the Starting Out series. His 2004 book on the Alekhine’s Defence, Starting Out: Alekhine’s Defence was credited by Watson as his main source on the Alekhine, and Carsten Hansen’s review for the Chess Cafe credited the book for readability, an easy-going tone, and excellent annotations. Since the book was written, Cox has largely abandoned the Alekhine because of perceived trouble for Black in the Four Pawns Attack variation. Cox has since taken up 1.e4 e5.
A manual for Black on Queen’s Pawn Game sidelines such as the Colle System and Trompowsky Attack was published in 2005 under the title Dealing with 1 d4 deviations. The idea of this book was proposed by Cox who believed there was a niche for a book on how to deal with these openings which are common at the club level.
The 2006 White opening repertoire book Starting Out: 1 d4! also received high marks in reviews by Hansen and Watson, despite some skepticism of Cox’s opening selections which included highly theoretical and complex variations. Cox recommended playing to use mainline openings and to avoid deliberately playing inferior sidelines. Watson also remarked the recommendation of such difficult lines for an amateur audience, but Cox notes that the complex mainlines may well appeal to players of club level strength.
The 2007 book Starting Out: Sicilian Sveshnikov also received top marks from Hansen, who praised Cox’s communication of the difficult lines which are a feature of the Sveshnikov line.
Cox’s book for Quality Chess, The Berlin Wall which is about the solid Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez got top marks for its writing and thoroughness.
BCN wishes IM Andrew Martin many happy returns on his birthday.
From ChessBase :
Andrew David Martin (born 18th May 1957 in West Ham, London) is an English chess player with the title of international master. Martin has won various national and international tournaments. He has been playing for years in the Four Nations Chess League, at present (July 2009) for Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher, previously for the Camberley Chess Club. Martin received his title as international master in1984. He earned his first grandmaster norm in the British Championship of 1997 in Brighton. Martin was a commentator on the chess world championship between Kasparov and Kramnik in 2000.
On the 21st February 2004 Martin set a new world record for simultaneous chess. He faced 321 chess players at the same time. His result was: 294 wins, 26 draws and only one loss. Martin is known as a professional chess teacher and head trainer of the English youth team. He trains eight schools (Yateley Manor, Aldro, Millfield, Sunningdale, Waverley School, St Michael’s Sandhurst, Wellington College, Salesian College). Martin is a chess columnist, an author of chess books and the author of various instructional videos. He was the publisher of the series Trends Publications. Martin lives in Sandhurst, England, is married and the father of two daughters and two sons. His present Elo rating is 2423 (as of July 2009).
BCN wishes GM James Clifford Howell best wishes on his birthday, this day (May 17th) in 1967.
From Wikipedia :
James Clifford Howell (born May 17, 1967) is an English chess grandmaster and author. He earned his international master title in 1985 and his grandmaster title ten years later, in 1995. He reached his peak rating in July 1995, at 2525. He became inactive in 1996.
BCN wishes TWIC founder, Mark Crowther, all the best on his birthday.
From Wikipedia :
The Week in Chess (TWIC) is one of the first, if not the first, Internet-based chess news services. It is based in the United Kingdom.
TWIC has been edited by Mark Crowther since its inception in 1994. It began as a weekly Usenet posting, with “TWIC 1” being posted to Usenet group rec.games.chess on 17 September 1994. Later it moved to Crowther’s personal web site, then to chesscenter.com in 1997, and in 2012 it moved to theweekinchess.com.
It contains both chess news, and all the game scores from major events.
TWIC quickly became popular with professional chess players, because it allowed them to quickly get results and game scores, where previously they had relied on print publications.
TWIC still exists as a weekly newsletter, although for important events the TWIC website is updated daily. It remains a popular site for up-to-date chess news.
BCN wishes GM Matthew Sadler all the best on his birthday, this day, in 1974.
From Wikipedia :
Sadler won the British Championship in 1995 at the age of 21 and again in 1997 (jointly with Michael Adams). He represented England in the 1996 Chess Olympiad, scoring 10½/13 and winning a gold medal for the best score on board four (England finished fourth), and also played in 1998 scoring 7½/12. He made 7/9 on board four for England at the European Team Chess Championship in Pula in 1997. His was the best individual score of the five-man English team and so contributed significantly to England’s first (and to date only) gold medal in a major competition.
For several years, he was the book reviewer for New in Chess magazine and also wrote books and articles for other chess magazines. In 2000, his book Queen’s Gambit Declined (published by Everyman) was awarded the British Chess Federation’s book of the year award.
Latterly a resident of Amersfoort, Sadler returned to chess in 2010 to play in a rapidplay tournament held in nearby Wageningen. He won the event with a perfect score of 7/7, finishing ahead of grandmasters Jan Timman, Friso Nijboer and Daniel Fridman. In August 2011, Sadler continued his resurgence by winning the XIII Open Internacional D’Escacs de Sants, scoring 8½/10, ahead of several grandmasters including Jan Smeets. Right thereafter, in October 2011, he went on to compete in the Oslo Chess International; participants included ten other grandmasters, among them Sergei Tiviakov, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Sergey Volkov, all being 2600+ rated. Sadler won convincingly, with 8/9 points and a performance rating of 2849. Going into 2012, the gain in rating points elevated him to fourth rank amongst active English players and also lifted him back into the World Top 100.
In a January 2012 interview, Sadler stated that chess was now primarily a “hobby” for him. While relishing his return to tournament play, Sadler noted that he was now an amateur, and would not be coming back as a professional. He contrasts his present lighthearted attitude with his demeanor during his time as a professional, when he was “working ten hours a day and incredibly intensively”.
Coming soon to your sixty four squares !
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