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I like MCO--it lists all of the major openings and explains the basic ideas of each opening.
You're probably beyond even needing an opening encyclopedia, but if you seriously think MCO explains the ideas behind the openings, you really owe it to yourself to at least check out a copy of FCO.
It is not that but i have looked at all kinds of books in the book store in which case i stayed so long they thought i might try to steal a book or two.
I have visited my share of sites that sell books. And spent hours taking notes on books sugested and checking the review of these books and then i verify with members here and cross check.
Take for example traps that are well known in openings or not so well known. They will not be found in FCO for the most part. I had to find these things by exiperiences players at chess.com, Vote Chess and master games. All which helped my game improve faster than my books. Which lead to me buying a book on Opening Traps.
I found lines of play could from players at chess.com i did not find in my books. Immediately i started winning games with those examples which i can not say about the books as it took longer.
FCO sounds like a great reference book. But when you start playing more games at chess.com your opponent has a chance to look at your games and become famaliar with the lines you will use. Then they go out to the public forums and ask how to beat that opening(Which it seems like it is an infinite amount of threads how to beat several openings or help beat them /make it difficult for the user of the opening). I say once you have 500+ games of a certain opening you start to see various variations that you never saw before unless your a titled player or 1900+.
I have been playing a couple openings for over 2 years. And for the most part i see something new about once a week and after the game when i went to research it i could not find it at first. But found it similiar to some other opening which gave me comfort zone on how to maximize my attack chances against it.
I am currently studing 2 openings seriously. My book just show 1 line. Well that one line is very much explored here at chess.com and very good. It has several variations that make it tought for my opponents. Now when i consulted with some other players and their rank was lower than mine. But i am the beginer and from my perspective they are the expert. They know what works and have experience with it so i ask them to save time studing it also. They showed me some tricks which may have taken me days to study to consider and determine if worthy to use in a game. I say in 2 days i must have recieved 2 weeks of info on those openings if i did it by reading the book. I figure by another month i will as comfortable as i am with any opening i am currently using in a game.
I have been told that players below 2000 need not study openings beyond the basic lines. We should concentrate on tactics, strategy, pawn structure and so forth. I do go over master games from the databases in which my favorite openings are played and in that way I see what the best lines for each opening is and how to play them, what strategy to follow, what pawn structure to look for and what end games results. And I use MCO as a reference. But I will check out FCO and other opening books, just to see if they are any better than MCO. BTW if you have a Barnes and Nobles bookstore near where you live, you need not worry about spending time looking through their chessbooks, you can take your time, no problemo. They even have tables and chairs to sit down in whilst you do so.
That is the store i was in. I was looking over all the books so long. Security kept going past me back and forth. The staff kept looking at me every 10 minutes. I even cleverly showed off my 400 dollars i had in my pocket to show i was not going to steal anything. purchased the discount and they still looking at me like a thief. I think i try to look more like a nerd next time i stay that long. Either that or they never saw a chess player serious about getting the right book as it really was not about the money.
I don't know what city you live in. In New York City they have tables and chairs, almost like a public library, and you're allowed to take a book off the shelves and read it. You can take your time with it and nobody bothers you even if you don't buy it. I've done it myself.
But i was in the store for hours and was taking books off mult shelves. And looking at chess books at multiple columns. I sit down nearby skim some books and look deeper into others. Seperating the trash books that were said to be so good from the books that were the real deal.
Lately I have not even bothered to go to bookstores. I have downloaded hundreds of chess books off the internet. Google Bit Torrent and you will see what I mean.
sorry about the sicilian i looked in my book and there is to many and do not feel to do what you ask me , and like i said if you want to challenge me to a friendly game of chess 960 or normal chess your welcome to do it anytime i never refuse a challenge and i like playing against high rated player thats the best way to learn
books like these are pretty much pointless these days. with access to youtube / wikipedia you can get a brief overview of any opening you want. back this up with a free database program and millions of master games and you can then look into games played in lines you are interested in. this already gives you a lot more information on any opening than fco or mco or bco.
if you want to look more deeply at a specific opening, get a book on it.
i agree molokombo but for an old school guy like me books are much more interesting
i'm not knocking books. i think i think books are fantastic. i just think there is no point what-so-ever in these big encyclopedic tomes covering every opening any more. like i said, if you want to learn an opening, buy a book on it, if you just want some general information and a few lines then use the many free resources that are available.
Yeah the Sicilian is a handfull.
Things started coming a bit clear when i joined a Vote Chess group that played the Sicilian. They played the Najdorf mainly so i became famaliar with it. Before that i studied the Dragon Variation and was great at first until i went up against a 2000 rated player and at the time i was around 1400. lol.
He beat me from all angles of the board and never the same way. The one thing i quickly learned is that if i am going to get beat it is going to be on my terms and you going to have to do it consistantly one way. The Najdorf hid some of my weak points in opening play at the moment on black. I was way better not using the Sicilian at the moment.
I think the Najdorf is great for a new player that is tired of 1. ...e5. As black you have a good idea what the next couple of moves white will play. Some might even say it is a little boring in a game.
I suggest join the Bobby Fisher Group and play Vote Chess. Or use their games as a good reference as they have an awesome winning percentage.