GM Damian Lemos (FIDE : 2479) was born in 1990 and hails from Argentina. He is a former Pan-American Junior Champion and he achieved the FIDE Master title at 14 years old, International Master at 15, and Grandmaster at 18 and is well known on many chess web sites for providing recorded and real time instructional videos on all aspects (but mainly opening theory) of chess. This is his second book for Everyman Chess.
The book is divided into seven main chapters as follows :
- The Queen’s Gambit Declined (55 pages, 15 games)
- The Tarrasch Defence (24 pages, 6 games)
- The Slav Defence (45 pages, 9 games)
- The Queen’s Gambit Accepted (56 pages, 13 games)
- The Chigorin Defence (17 pages 3 games)
- The Albin Counter Gambit (19 pages, 4 games)
- Other Defences (17 pages, 4 games)
Damian Lemos presents a repertoire for White based around the best regarded flavour of the QGD, Exchange Variation or QGE : this is the version in which White delays Nf3 allowing the central push f3 followed by e4 and the typical resultant structure is :
The alternative version of the QGE in which White plays an early Nf3 and follows with a minority attack on the queenside is not treated in this book.
Strong grandmasters generally do not like being on the Black side of the QGE since counter-play is minimal so by selecting the QGE you should have a small edge that can be worked with.
White’s move order in most lines therefore is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 something and then 3.Nc3 so if you already play the Queen’s Gambit but with a 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 something 3.c4 move order then this repertoire will be a substantial change for you.
Chapter 1 is presented via the now familiar and reliable method of a number (15) of high quality and recent instructive games analysed in depth.
Taking on the Tarrasch Defence Lemos goes down the road of the classical Rubinstein (fianchetto) approach showing how White can retain a nagging edge against the Black IQP.
The Slav Defence is approached using an active piece placement strategy based around the seemingly innocuous Exchange Variation : underestimate this line at your peril if you play the Slav !
The Queen’s Gambit Accepted is faced with the direct 3.e4 with in-depth coverage including all of Black ideas especially the most combative of 3…e5. The QGA receives the most comprehensive treatment in terms of pages (56) and with thirteen games analysed in detail.
The Chigorin Defence merits only three games reflecting its rarity at club and more exalted levels. Again, ignore the Chigorin at your peril !
Club players favourite, the Albin Counter-Gambit is examined via four games.
Rounding off in the “Other Defences” bargain basement section we find lines for White to deal with The (solid) Stonewall Variation of the Dutch, The somewhat discredited Marshall Defence, The (early) Tarrasch with 2…c5 and finally, The Baltic Defence which is common at club level.
A couple of small gripes with the production are : the diagrams do not have a “to move” indicator. secondly, some Everyman books (but not this one) have an extra folding part to the front and rear covers. These we find protect the book from damage and also can be used as an emergency book mark ! Also, chapters 3-5 all have the same page heading of the Chigorin Defence which confused us! We suspect that this error will be fixed.
Overall, this book provides a welcome repertoire based on exchanging on d5 that is fairly easy to learn and sound with decent winning chances for White. The QGE chapter is possibly the most interesting from the strategic perspective and gives White a clear plan to follow.
It is also fair to say that players of the Black pieces who employ the Chigorin, Tarrasch and particularly the QGA will also benefit from this book : they can see the authors suggested lines for the White and Black’s corresponding ideas.
John Upham, Cove, Hampshire, 12th November, 2019
Book Details :
- Paperback : 256 pages
- Publisher: Everyman Chess (1 Aug. 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781942609
- ISBN-13: 978-1781942604
- Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 1.5 x 23.9 cm
The book is available as a physical book and as a Kindle version.
Official web site of Everyman Chess