"...promises to unlock the mysteries of modern opening play and as usual Watson is great in explaining the fundamentals and the basic ideas." - GM Lubomir Kavalek, Washington Post
For many chess-players, opening study is sheer hard work. It is difficult to know what is important and what is not, and when specific knowledge is vital, or when a more general understanding is sufficient. Tragically often, once the opening is over, a player won't know what plan to follow, or even understand why his pieces are on the squares on which they sit.
John Watson seeks to help chess-players achieve a more holistic and insightful view of the openings. In his previous books on chess strategy, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy" and "Chess Strategy in Action", he explained vital concepts that characterize modern chess. Moreover, he did so in ways that have enabled these ideas to be understood by club players. Here he does likewise for the openings, proceeding from the fundamental ideas that apply to all openings to more advanced concepts that are essential for substantial improvement.
"If you are a young chess player who wishes to learn the openings in a proper way, you will give yourself a big boost toward developing into the strong player you want to be by studying this book." - Pete Tamburro, Chess Life
In this major four-volume work, Watson explains not only the ideas and strategies behind specific openings, but also the interconnections of chess openings taken as a whole. By presenting the common threads that underlie opening play, Watson provides a permanent basis for playing openings of any type.
"The publication of this series is a bellwether event in chess publishing, and all players should avail themselves of the opportunity to read these books." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. His groundbreaking four-volume work on the English Opening firmly established his reputation in the 1980s, and he has produced a string of top-quality works since. In 1999, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", Watson's first book for Gambit, won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award and the United States Chess Federation Fred Cramer Award for Best Book. His former pupils include the 1997 World Junior Champion, Tal Shaked.
"This is a book that belongs in every chess library. Highly Recommended." - IM John Donaldson, US Team Captain
"To say that these books are about opening strategies or opening theory would be a disservice to the importance of the material covered in them. ... I found his chosen examples excellent and his commentary instructive and very enlightening. ... His discussions of pawn structures and their interconnected strategies are worth the price of both books. ... The books convey an understanding of the opening that even specialized opening works do not provide." - Carsten Hansen, www.chesscafe.com