"A modern-day version of Reuben Fine's Ideas Behind the Chess Openings, Fundamental Chess Openings primarily uses words to describe the ideas and motivations behind different opening systems. The emphasis is on understanding rather than memorization with van der Sterren rarely going beyond move ten." - IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain
* The perfect survival guide to the chess openings
* All openings covered
* Detailed verbal explanations of plans for both sides
* Up-to-date and featuring many tips and recommendations
* Insights into the 'character' of each opening
* Written by one of the world's foremost opening experts
* More than 1600 chess diagrams
The first moves of a chess game define the nature of the whole struggle, as both players stake their claim to the critical squares and start to develop their plans. It is essential to play purposefully and to avoid falling into traps or reaching a position that you don't understand.
This is not a book that provides masses of variations to memorize. Paul van der Sterren instead offers a wealth of ideas and explanation, together with the basic variations of each and every opening. This knowledge will equip players to succeed in the opening up to good club level, and provide a superb grounding in opening play on which to build a more sophisticated repertoire. The strategies he explains will, unlike ever-changing chess opening theory, remain valid as long as chess is played, and so the time spent studying this book will be rewarded many times over.
"I picked up some tips in openings which I had never fully understood" - GM Ian Rogers, The Byron Shire Echo
Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren has won the Dutch Championship on two occasions, and in 1993 reached the Candidates stage of the World Chess Championship. He is an internationally renowned chess writer and editor: he was one of the founding editors of New in Chess, for whose Yearbooks he has contributed more than 150 opening surveys.
"...because of the focus on textual explanation rather than detailed analysis it is very readable. It is clearly aimed at less experienced players who wish to acquire an overview of chess opening theory, and gives a good general grounding for those wanting to launch off into more detailed study of a particular opening. A further point in its favour is that because it sticks to general principles rather than concentrating on the latest theory it will not become outdated almost before it has reached the shelves." - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"The format of the book is very friendly, openings very clearly set out and identified, with the variations touched upon in short and sweet sections. It is nicely written, does not bombard the reader with theory or lengthy variations (which I think is wonderful as one should not try to run before one can walk) yet it informs and guides at base level. A nice feature is the opening key at the back, classified under the name of the opening, and indexed with the covered variations. I am also impressed by the neutral approach of Paul van der Sterren, an experienced chess writer, who steers away from leading the reader in preference for objective guidance. ... should you wish to gain a fundamental overview of the vast array of chess openings at base level, this book just might be the best investment you could make currently. This is precisely what it was intended to do" - John Lee Shaw, Chess Check E-zine