"There has most certainly been a need for an updating of Fine's Ideas Behind the Chess Openings and this volume is the first book of the modern era to do this." - Lou Mercuri, Chess Horizons
This major work surveys all chess openings, providing a guide to every critical main line and featuring descriptions of the typical strategies for both sides. These commentaries will be welcomed by all club and tournament players, as they will help them to handle the middlegame positions arising from each opening better, and will equip them to find the best continuation when their opponents deviate from the standard paths.
As it covers all openings, Understanding the Chess Openings will also prove invaluable to those who are seeking to create a repertoire. At a glance, readers will get a feel for the character of an opening, and an idea of whether it might suit their style. Potential theoretical problem areas and move-order issues, so critical when creating a repertoire, are also highlighted.
* Main lines explained move by move
* Guidance against rare but dangerous sidelines
* Special emphasis on lines popular at club level
* Brief description of both sides’ aims at the end of each main line
* General introduction to each major opening
* Nearly 600 diagrams
Sam Collins is an International Master from Ireland who won the Irish Championship in 2002. He competed in several World and European junior championships and has represented Ireland in seven olympiads, winning a gold medal at Bled in 2002. He is also an experienced chess teacher who has lectured at the Berkeley Chess School in California.
"Anyone rated under 1700 should own this book and even higher rated players who are looking to fill in the blanks in their repertoire can benefit. It arms you with the knowledge of where to focus your resources when investing money on other opening books." - Carsten Hansen, Chesscafe.com
"Collins writes and explains well throughout, aided by a generous allocation of diagrams, and indeed this is quite an enjoyable read with the author also always happy to supply his frank viewpoint. Critical lines are well-highlighted, while the samples of play supplied are generally well selected and explained. Understanding the Chess Openings should thus serve as an ideal reference work for the aspiring junior or lowly-graded club player, keen to learn many new openings and to fully understand their concepts, while those who frequently coach or help children and weaker club players may well find much good material within." - Richard Palliser, www.yorkshirechess.org.uk
" ... here the openings are arranged by the main variations. Always, well-written explanations of opening principles and assessments of the position predominate over listing of variations. ... The strengths of Collins' book are its compact presentation of theory, topicality, and critical basis." - Schachmarkt