Are you afraid of the unknown?
Do you fall to pieces if your opponent plays something strange in the opening?
Here's some good news...
Beating Unusual Chess Openings is a godsend to those chess players fed up with struggling against all of White's opening moves other than the main two: 1 e4 and 1 d4. From the respectable (English Opening, Reti and King's Indian Attack) through to the offbeat (Nimzo-Larsen Attack, Bird's Opening) and the totally bizarre (Orang-Utan, Grob); everything Black needs to know about facing unusual openings is covered within these pages. Richard Palliser gets to grips with all of White's possibilities, organizing a reliable and practical repertoire for Black. He discusses the key strategies, tactics and move-order tricks for both sides, arming the reader with enough know-how to face this assortment of chess openings with renewed confidence.
- Everything black needs to know about facing unusual openings
- Written by an opening expert
- Ideal for improvers, club players and tournament players
Chess, like life, isn't a fair game. Not only can we blow a brilliancy with a one-move howler, but our opponents can be rather 'unsporting' in the opening. We might want White to allow us to wheel out our favourite Sicilian Dragon or main line King's Indian, but in reality he often won't. That doesn't, however, stop the majority of players from only preparing as Black the sharper and more theoretical parts of their repertoire. Quite simply, such an approach is illogical. Being pre≠pared for the flank openings is more work than learning the latest twist in the Najdorf, but it is still work that needs to be done.
Most readers will have struggled at some point against one or both of 1 c4 and Nf3; two rather tricky moves to meet if one has never really studied them. I can't guarantee that my recommendations against them will suit everyone, but at the very least they should get the reader to think about these openings and to map out a repertoire against them. As we face the English somewhat less often than 1 e4 or 1 d4, the emphasis is on supplying Black with some fairly solid but still quite dy≠namic set-ups against it. For those who prefer something more lively, there's usu≠ally also a tricky secondary option designed to get the White player away from the sort of positions they tend to dwell successfully in.
This work is by no means solely devoted to the English and to that favourite transpositional device of the grandmaster, 1 Nf3. We all know players who fre≠quently wheel out something even more offbeat, and usually score pretty well with their choice of the Bird's (1 f4), 1 Nc3 or whatever. Against us it will not be so easy for them to rack up another win since we will either respond solidly and avoid falling for their positional traps, or surprise them with something quite rare and complex. It would indeed be scandalous here not to consider openings like the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack (1 b3); such openings fully deserve to exist and we must treat them with respect. Furthermore, they are no less 'interesting' than 1 e4 or 1 d4; just less explored and of a different character. After all, two of the best (in terms of both thorough coverage and independent analysis) openings books of the past decade have been devoted to these flank openings, namely Keilhack's Knight on the Left: 1.Nc3 , and Jacobs and Tait's Nimzo-Larsen Attack .
I hope that this work will help readers to never again flounder helplessly when White doesn't begin 1 d4 or 1 e4, and that they will also gain an appreciation of the rich subtleties which lie beneath many of these flank openings. Finally, I am indebted to both John Emms and James Vigus for their kind help with this work, as well as to the ever-helpful staff of both the Cedars Library, Middlesbrough, and the Dewar Hogan Library, London.
Part 1: The Symmetrical English
009 1 White Fianchettoes and Plays Nf3
035 2 White Fianchettoes without Nf3
065 3 The Three Knights Variation
085 4 White Plays an Early d4
Part 2: Unusual First Moves
108 5 Two Advances of the g-pawn
216 6 Bird's Opening
128 7 The Nimzo-Larsen Attack
141 8 Der Linksspringer: 1 Nc3
158 9 The Sokolsky
Part 3: 1 Nf3
267 10 The 1 Nf3 Problem and a Possible Solution
177 11 Black Meets 1 Nf3 with 1...d5
199 12 Black Meets 1 Nf3 with 1...Nf6
222 Index of Variations