Best books to learn the "classical" approach for Black against the flank openings

dannyhume

I see Mikhaelevsky's Beating Minor Openings and Attacking the Reti and English by Delchev/Semkov, but these are more advanced books (though with some good verbiage it seems).  Would appreciate any more suggestions to round out a developing player's classical repertoire against not-1.d4 and not-1.e4, thanks!

Yigor

dannyhume is a bookworm. openings.pngpeshka.png

werechessplayer

The "Classical" answer to flank openings is taking direct control of the centre via "e5" or "d5", save the english and the reti, flank openings are inferior to the try and tested queen and king openings.

Larsen's opening might also be considered worthwhile but again, occupy the centre and build from there.

SeniorPatzer

I'm guessing a possible repertoire would be to adopt a QGD setup against the English/Reti.  Perhaps a c6/d5 repertoire?  A Caro/Slav setup perhaps?

IMBacon

Against the English I play: 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4

dannyhume
Yeah, was wondering whether to place a pawn in the center right away or whether it depends on the particular QGD lines that one chooses to play because of the many possible transpositions.
Brixed

Since you mention a preference for QGD in another thread, you can make it simple: you can open in QGD fashion (Nf6+e6+d5) against pretty much every flank opening.

The main exception that comes to mind is the Grob (1.g4), which I recommend responding to in Caro fashion (c6+d5).

SmyslovFan

Mastering the Chess Openings by Watson is a good place to start. 

 

Ok, the best place to start is a good book on chess strategy, followed by several good, well-annotated game collections. But barring that, check out Watson's books.

kindaspongey
dannyhume wrote:
Yeah, was wondering whether to place a pawn in the center right away or whether it depends on the particular QGD lines that one chooses to play because of the many possible transpositions.

I think that it is because of that sort of issue that it might be hard to find a helpful book that is not at least somewhat advanced. Maybe it would be helpful to look at:

Beating Unusual Openings

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627072813/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen107.pdf

If I remember correctly, the Ntirlis book has some flank discussion for the QGD player.

https://www.chess.com/blog/pfren/playing-1-d5-d5-a-classical-repertoire

https://www.qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/Playing1d4d5-excerpt.pdf

kindaspongey
SmyslovFan wrote:

Mastering the Chess Openings by Watson ...

http://dev.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Mastering-the-Chess-Openings-Volume-1-p3569.htm

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Mastering_the_Chess_Openings_volume_1.pdf

http://dev.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Mastering-the-Chess-Openings-Volume-2-76p3570.htm

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Mastering_the_Chess_Openings_volume_2.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627115737/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen99.pdf

http://dev.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Mastering-the-Chess-Openings-Volume-3-76p3571.htm

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626220240/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen117.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Mastering_the_Chess_Openings_volume_3.pdf

http://dev.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Mastering-the-Chess-Openings-Volume-4-76p3572.htm

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627070808/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen137.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Mastering_the_Chess_Openings_volume_4.pdf

SmyslovFan

Good point. Don't take the word of random players here, take a look at the reviews, especially for volume 4. Of course, you don't need the links, you can look up the reviews for yourself. 

darkunorthodox88

BORING

RussBell

I agree with the recommendations of KindaSpongey and SmyslovFan....i.e., 

 

Beating Unusual Chess Openings by Richard Palliser

Mastering the Chess Openings by John Watson

 

Palliser's book is a Black repertoire covering myriad unusual openings by White including 1.c4, 1.Nf3, 1.Nc3, 1.b3, 1.b4, 1.f4.  Get this if a single volume reference is desired.

 

Watson's is a four-volume series where Volume 3 is devoted primarily to 1.c4 - the English Opening, while Volume 4 deals with (among many others) the Reti (1.nf3/2.c4), 1.b3, 1.f4, a chapter on "Irregular" openings including 1.b4 and 1.Nc3.  It also covers some additional move orders of the English Opening.

In fact, I would recommend the entire four volume series - Mastering the Chess Openings - by John Watson.  There is no better road map to, and overview of the vast majority of the openings in general, specifically from the perspective of the generalized theory of opening play - i.e., the themes, plans and strategy.  If you are interested in a detailed analysis and lucid explication of the theory of the openings, this series is an invaluable resource.  You will not regret owning it.

 

kindaspongey

"… Note that Watson's series does not attempt to provide coverage of every opening, although it does treat the vast majority, in varying degrees. And of the openings it does deal with, there is no attempt to provide complete or comprehensive coverage. This series is more concerned with explicating ideas, themes and plans of the openings in general, and the analysis is impressive (IMO) for its depth and clarity. The author's point is not to cover the same ground that is detailed adequately and ad nauseum in the hundreds of other openings books which are concerned primarily with the 'theory' (i.e., the variations and lines) of specific openings. ..."

(~1 day ago)

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-openings/best-books-resources-to-learn-the-black-side-of-the-open-games?page=3

dannyhume
RussBell wrote:

Mastering the Chess Openings by John Watson

Watson's is a four-volume series where Volume 3 is devoted primarily to 1.c4 - the English Opening, while Volume 4 deals with (among many others) the Reti (1.nf3/2.c4), 1.b3, 1.f4, a chapter on "Irregular" openings including 1.b4 and 1.Nc3.  It also covers some additional move orders of the English Opening.

In fact, I would recommend the entire four volume series - Mastering the Chess Openings - by John Watson.  There is no better road map to, and overview of the vast majority of the openings in general, specifically from the perspective of the generalized theory of opening play - i.e., the themes, plans and strategy.  If you are interested in a detailed analysis and lucid explication of the theory of the openings, this series is an invaluable resource.  You will not regret owning it.

 

 

I have heard much about this openings series ... 4 volumes instead of 1 like FCO or Sam Collins' Understanding the Chess Openings.  Now I am wondering where these types of books would lie on a "structured curriculum" of chess learning.  For instance, in trying to figure out an appropriate pecking order of reading, in what order would you recommend reading books like FCO, Collins, or Watsons' series compared to books on pawn play, pawn structure, and strategy in general?

SmyslovFan

Watson's book describes the basic plans and pawn structures of the various openings, FCO is mostly just a traditional opening book. It's very well written, but not in the same category as Watson's book.  I'm not very familiar with Sam Collins' book, but I'd definitely start with Watson. 

By the way, you can make an informed decision about the books by going to Amazon.com and looking inside each of them.

kindaspongey

"... [Mastering the Chess Openings: Volume 3] is definitely must reading for anyone rated 2000 on up who has any interest in the English or modern chess. ..."
http://dev.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc/Mastering-the-Chess-Openings-Volume-3-76p3571.htm

kindaspongey

"... [Fundamental Chess Openings by Paul van der Sterren] is not particularly suited for players who are just starting out. I would imagine players rated at least 1400-1500 would get the most benefit from this volume. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2009)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140626173432/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen128.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/FCO_Fundamental_Chess_Openings.pdf

kindaspongey
dannyhume wrote:

... Collins, ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627031504/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen76.pdf
http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Understanding_the_Chess_Openings.pdf

kindaspongey
dannyhume wrote:

... I have heard much about this openings series ... 4 volumes instead of 1 like FCO or Sam Collins' Understanding the Chess Openings.  Now I am wondering where these types of books would lie on a "structured curriculum" of chess learning.  For instance, in trying to figure out an appropriate pecking order of reading, in what order would you recommend reading books like FCO, Collins, or Watsons' series compared to books on pawn play, pawn structure, and strategy in general?

I don't know that there is any general agreement on this. As it happens, the Sterren, Collins, and Watson books are all published by Gambit and it is possible to view samples at their site. Before spending money on any of them, I would strongly recommend that one examine the samples and try to judge whether one feels oneself to be at a stage where one would be likely to read hundreds of pages of that sort of thing.