The first book of the series "Opening for White according to Anand - 1.e4" is finally in your hands. This publication is a logical sequel of the 5 volume study "Opening for White according to Kramnik -1.Nf3". However I am fully aware that my current undertaking requires even more effort and responsibility than the previous one.
Let me explain my standpoint - when the first player opens the game with 1.Nf3 (or 1.c4 and even 1.d4), he certainly can, and must, aim at obtaining an opening edge. However a direct clash in closed systems occurs generally in somewhat later stage of the game, thus leaving of prime importance the better understanding of the arising middlegame positions. Conversely, open systems usually feature an early head-on collision when encyclopedical knowledge and precise calculations could often decide the battle. In fact every move of both sides involves taking far-going decisions. That is one more reason to account for the popularity of the king's pawn move on all levels, ranging from an amateur blitz to super-tournaments and world title competitions.
I tried to explain in depth the general concept of the series "Opening for ...according to ..." in the introduction of the first book "Opening for White according to Kramnik - 1.Nf3":
"Here is one way to deal with this problem - take as your ideal model someone of today's leading grandmasters, whose style is akin to yourself and whose successes you admire. Then try to build your opening repertoire according to his one. But there still remain a few problems though: whom to select as the prototype, on one hand, and, on the other, how to begin playing oneself the opening of one's hero? Of course, one can extract the latter's games from the database and take particular care to study them thoroughly. But this is also not quite simple in itself: your future opponent may not know the latest theoretical developments employed ęat the highest levelĽ at all, and, furthermore, he can at any time make a rather mediocre move or side-step the theory, and you will have to decide on your own: what to do next, what plan to select, how to obtain an advantage."
Perhaps there is a relevant question - why namely Anand? Indeed nowadays a great number of top players use 1.e4 as an exclusive weapon in their repertoire. I think that Anand's treatment of the opening is best suited for the vast chess audience, including players of very different calibre. If you tried to imitate hyper-aggressive blade runners as Kasparov or Shirov, for instance, without their talent and erudition you would most likely encounter soon insurmountable difficulties. I would be the least to understate the natural gift and good home preparation of the Indian prodigy. I just consider his active positional Capablanca-like style to be the best model for studying without excessive risk of crashes.
The first book comprises the "open" systems, i.e. openings that feature the moves 1.e4 e5, without the main lines of the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6). The most frequently played variations of the Ruy Lopez are so deep and complicated that certainly deserve a separate volume, but I am sure that the present book will be very useful to you too. In the first place you will find in such topical systems as the Petroff Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6) as well as the Berlin Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6) which are hot news in tournaments of all categories lately.
I would like to believe that the composite of my own innovative analyses and the cream of modern theory would help the Reader in his quest for an opening advantage (and not only in the two above-mentioned systems!).
So play like Anand - 1.e2-e4!. White begins and ... !?
A. Khalifman, 14th World Chess Champion, Preface
Part 1. Rare System; Latvian Gambit; Philidor's Defence
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 without 2...Nf6 and 2...Nc6
010 1 various without 2...f5, 2...d6, 2...Nf6, 2...Nc6
020 2 2... f5 3.Nxe5
024 3 2... d6 3.d4 Bg4; 3...f5; 3...Nd7
030 4 2...d6 3.d4 ed
041 5 2... d6 3.d4 Nf6
Part 2. Petroff Defence
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Ne5 d6 4.Nf3 Ne4 5.d4
048 6 5...Be7
051 7 5... d5 6.Bd3 Nc6
056 8 5... d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6 (8...Bg4; 8...Nf6; 8...Be6) 9.Qc2 Nf6; 9... f5; 9... Re8
059 9 5... d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6 9.Qc2 Na6
064 10 5... d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 various
067 11 5... d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 (8...Nf6) 9. Be2 0-0 (9...dc) 10.Nc3 various
076 12 5... d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5
082 13 5... d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Be6
Part 3. Ruy Lopez without 3... a6
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
091 14 3... Bb4; 3...Nge7; 3... f5
098 15 3... g6
103 16 3... Nd4
108 17 3... d6
112 18 3... Bc5
119 19 3... f5 4.Nc3 various without 4... fe
128 20 3... f5 4.Nc3 fe 5.Ne4 various without 5... d5
138 21 3... f5 4.Nc3 fe 5.Ne4 d5 6.Ne5 de 7.Nc6 various
144 22 3... f5 4.Nc3 fe 5.Ne4 d5 6.Ne5 de 7.Nc6 Qg5
153 23 3... Nf6 4.0-0 various; 4...Bc5
166 24 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 various; 5...Be7
178 25 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bc6 dc (6...bc) 7.de Ne4
184 26 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bc6 dc 7.de Nf5 8.Qd8 Kd8 9.Nc3 Be7; 9...a5; 9...Ne7
192 27 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Nc6 dc 7.de Nf5 8.Qd8 Kd8 9.Nc3 Be6
200 28 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Nc6 dc 7.de Nf5 8.Qd8 Kd8 9.Nc3 Ke8
221 29 3... Nf6 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Nc6 dc 7.de Nf5 8.Qd8 Kd8 9.Nc3 Bd7
229 Index of Variations