Book Review ‘The Hippopotamus Defence’ – Alessio De Santis

16 Chapters, Bibliography, Explanation of Symbols, Contents, 3 page Index.

This is too detailed a book for what amounts to a very trivial system, an opening pattern obviously popular in bullet or blitz chess.

The Hippopotamus Defence: A Deceptively Dangerous Universal Chess Opening System for Black

A booklet would have done. I don’t give it the thumbs down here because the author has made a sincere and enthusiastic stab at a difficult topic, divided his text into well classified sections and annotated with great guts and gusto. A glance at the Index also shows that he has the courage of his convictions and, by this I mean, lots of games by him. Keene and Botterill wrote about this sort of thing 40+ years ago and I would still refer interested parties to an elderly Batsford rather than this newly issued effort, pleasant and imaginative read though it is.

In case you are wondering, such as  … e6 … d6 … a6 … h6 … Bg7 … Bb7 is the sort of thing this River Horse begins as, labelled on its cover as ‘A Deceptively Dangerous Universal Chess Opening System for Black’. I begin to wonder whether the author may very well have argued his case so well that GMs throughout the known world will sign-up. The cover price of $32.95 looks too expensive to this Old Scrooge.

The author is an FM from Italy.

  • Flexicover : 320 pages
  • Publisher: New in Chess 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN 978-90-5691-831-6
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 17 x 2 cm

James Pratt

Basingstoke