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Chess Opening Books

The first phase of a chess game is known as the Chess Opening. It is during this phase of the chess game that the initial moves are made. Similarly, those moves are commonly referred to in the chess world as the “Chess Opening”. While there are literally billions of possible positions after the first 4 moves have been made in a game of chess (288 billion to be exact), only a small number of these chess openings have been studied by chess professionals and chess computers and deemed to be sound for practical play.

To help differentiate one chess opening from another, each chess opening is given a unique name to identify it. While it is common for a chess opening to be named after the player/s that introduced them to popular play, including the Benko Gambit (after Grandmaster Pal Benko), the Sicilian Najdorf (named after Grandmaster Miguel Najdorf) and the Philidor Defense (named after Francois-Andre Danican Philidor), this is not always the case Some chess openings are named after the locations and/or cultures in which they originated, including the London System, the French Defense, the Sicilian Defense, The English Opening and the Vienna Game. While others are named after the pieces that are moved during that opening, including the Queen’s Pawn Gambit and the King’s Indian Defense.

There are 6 basic objectives during the chess opening. They are Piece Development, Control of the Center of the Board, King Safety, Prevention of Pawn Weakness, Piece Coordination and to Create positions in which the player is more comfortable than the opponent.

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  1. A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire - New Edition

    A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire - New Edition

    For here is a repertoire of opening lines based on 1 e4 that are slightly off the beaten track, but full of practical sting and cunning traps for unwary opponents. All are based on rapid, healthy development, central control and play against the enemy king.
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    $22.95
  2. Opening Repertoire - The Queen's Gambit

    Opening Repertoire - The Queen's Gambit

    Grandmaster Damian Lemos presents a repertoire for White in the Queen’s Gambit, one of the most famous chess openings. The Queen’s Gambit enjoys a long and illustrious past. It has been played by virtually all the strongest grandmasters in the history of chess, and today it remains a popular choice for players of all levels. White’s opening moves in the Queen’s Gambit are built on sound strategic principles, and it can lead to positions rich in both tactical and positional play. It’s a perfect opening to use in order to develop your chess understanding.
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    $27.95
  3. The Sicilian Taimanov

    The Sicilian Taimanov

    The Sicilian Taimanov arises after the opening moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6, and is an ideal weapon for Black in the modern era. It is theoretically sound, and strikes a perfect balance between solidity and dynamic counterattacking potential, which makes it a popular choice among club players and top grandmasters alike.
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    $31.95
  4. NIC Yearbook 131 - PAPERBACK EDITION

    NIC Yearbook 131 - PAPERBACK EDITION

    New in Chess Yearbook is the #1 guide to Chess Opening news! It is published four times per year, ensuring the most up-to-date and topic chess opening information. It includes 25-30 surveys per issue, covering all of the fashionable lines, wild gambits and even forgotten variations! If you're serious about chess, you need New in Chess Yearbooks!
    Learn More
    $33.95
  5. NIC Yearbook 131 - HARDCOVER EDITION

    NIC Yearbook 131 - HARDCOVER EDITION

    New in Chess Yearbook is the #1 guide to Chess Opening news! It is published four times per year, ensuring the most up-to-date and topic chess opening information. It includes 25-30 surveys per issue, covering all of the fashionable lines, wild gambits and even forgotten variations! If you're serious about chess, you need New in Chess Yearbooks!
    Learn More
    $39.95
  6. Opening Simulator - King's Indian Defence

    Opening Simulator - King's Indian Defence

    Opening Simulator is a new and innovative approach to studying the opening, based on the Deliberate Practice concept. Rather than presenting moves and variations, the authors offer a 'read, solve and play' approach which is designed to replicate a real game more closely than other opening books. First, a thorough Introduction discusses the main variations, pawn structures and themes. Then, after working through the 400 carefully chosen exercises, the reader will benefit from enhanced tactical and problem-solving ability.
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    $31.95
  7. First Steps - King's Indian Defence

    First Steps - King's Indian Defence

    In this book the highly experienced coach international master Andrew Martin explains the basic ideas behind all the different variations that occur after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6. The focus on strategic elements such as pawn structures, attacking plans and typical piece manouevres allows the reader to quickly gain an excellent feel for this complex opening.
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    $24.95
  8. A Complete Guide to 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4

    A Complete Guide to 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4

    In this book, openings expert Jan Pinski investigates the different strategies and tactics in the Italian Game and Evans Gambit. Using model games for both White and Black, Pinski provides crucial coverage of both the main lines and offbeat variations. This book arms the reader with enough knowledge to play the Italian Game and Evans Gambit with confidence.
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    $27.95
  9. 200 Open Games

    200 Open Games

    200 Open Games centers around the popular 1. P-K4 P-K4 opening (Bobby Fischer, for one, consistently chooses the king's pawn opening). "The author's idea," writes Bronstein, "is to show that quite a large number of similar games are in fact different in the way they have been created in the minds of the players. And although they are different, all these games, with their identical first move, still retain for a considerable time traces of one and the same inherited pattern. ..."
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    $19.95
  10. The Modern Scotch

    The Modern Scotch

    The Scotch Game is the most “open” of all the Open Games. In fact this is the only really Open Game, in its essence, which matches the traditional terminology.
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    $33.95
  11. Testbook of Opening Traps

    Testbook of Opening Traps

    In this book, which is aimed at advanced amateurs and club players of a lower or medium level, the author (FIDE Master Gerd Treppner; 1956 – 2009) has compiled 120 instructive test tasks.
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    $15.95
  12. Openings Semi-Open Games

    Openings Semi-Open Games

    The ideas and plans behind each line are explained in detail to ensure that the reader understands them properly instead of just playing moves that he has learned by heart. Even the sense and purpose of single moves are ex- plained, if they are not quite obvious.
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    $24.95
  13. The Safest Grunfeld Reloaded

    The Safest Grunfeld Reloaded

    This book is a completely new edition of the original The Safest Grünfeld of 2011. I rechecked all the lines and changed my recommendations according to latest developments of theory and my new understanding.
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    $31.95
  14. The Elshad for White

    The Elshad for White

    In The Elshad System for White, FM Igor Nemtsev surveys Black's most common responses to this creative opening, including the King's Indian, Dutch, and big-center setups. Conventional approaches are hazardous for Black: unexpected tactics abound, and White is not afraid to sacrifice material for a sudden attack. Not even grandmasters tread safely in the Elshad minefield.
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    $19.95
  15. An Attacking Repertoire for White with 1.d4

    An Attacking Repertoire for White with 1.d4

    Moskalenko’s previous and highly popular chess opening books were mainly written for the Black pieces. Now he presents an extremely powerful set of lines for White. The guiding principle of his 1.d4 repertoire is: be bold and put pressure on your opponent as early as possible.
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    $32.95
  16. The Hippopotamus Defence

    The Hippopotamus Defence

    The Hippopotamus Defence is just what a club player needs. It’s a straightforward and clear-cut chess opening that avoids the ever growing body of mainline theory. It’s universal: Black can use the Hippo against virtually all of White’s choices (1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.f4, the Colle, London, Trompowsky, Réti and others). It’s not very well known and will surprise many opponents.
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    $32.95
  17. The Modernized Dutch Defense

    The Modernized Dutch Defense

    The Dutch Defense leads to unbalanced structures and dynamic play. White must be well prepared to understand this most aggressive defense which we might even call n 'attack'! Adrien delivered a fighting repertoire for Black from move one.
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    $34.95
  18. NIC Yearbook 130 - HARDCOVER EDITION

    NIC Yearbook 130 - HARDCOVER EDITION

    New in Chess Yearbook is the #1 guide to Chess Opening news! It is published four times per year, ensuring the most up-to-date and topic chess opening information. It includes 25-30 surveys per issue, covering all of the fashionable lines, wild gambits and even forgotten variations! If you're serious about chess, you need New in Chess Yearbooks!
    Learn More
    $39.95
  19. A Complete Guide to Systems Where Black Meets 1 e4 by Supporting a Pawn on d5

    A Complete Guide to Systems Where Black Meets 1 e4 by Supporting a Pawn on d5

    Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, Starting Out: The French by Byron Jacobs and Starting Out: The Caro-Kann by Joe Gallagher, brought together in one volume.
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    $26.95
  20. Grandmaster Opening Preparation

    Grandmaster Opening Preparation

    Grandmaster Opening Preparation addresses such questions as how to balance computer preparation with human considerations, along with a wealth of practical advice on how to go about building the opening repertoire which is right for you.
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    $29.95
  21. A Complete Guide to Countering Offbeat Openings

    A Complete Guide to Countering Offbeat Openings

    Two compelling titles now brought together in one volume!
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    $29.95
  22. Counterattacking Systems Versus 1 e4 and 1 d4

    Counterattacking Systems Versus 1 e4 and 1 d4

    Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, Play The Accelerated Dragon by Peter Lalic and Play the Benko Gambit by Nicolai Pedersen , brought together in one volume.
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    $29.95
  23. A Complete Guide to Flank Openings

    A Complete Guide to Flank Openings

    In this groundbreaking book, Grandmaster Neil McDonald revisits the basic principles behind the English and its many variations. Throughout this easy-to-read guide the reader is aided by a wealth of notes, tips and warnings from the author, while key strategies, ideas and tactics for both sides are clearly illustrated. This book is ideal for the improving player.
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    $29.95
  24. A Complete Repertoire based on Nc3 and Nc6

    A Complete Repertoire based on Nc3 and Nc6

    Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, A Ferocious Opening Repertoire, by Cyrus Lakdawala and Play …1Nc6! by Christof Scheerer, brought together in one volume.
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    $29.95
  25. A Complete Repertoire based on 1 b3 and 1 b6

    A Complete Repertoire based on 1 b3 and 1 b6

    Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, play 1…b6! a dynamic and hypermodern opening system for Black by Christian Bauer and Nimzo Larsen Attack by Byron Jacobs and Jonathan Tait, brought together in one volume.
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    $29.95
  26. A Complete Guide to Defending Against 1 d4

    A Complete Guide to Defending Against 1 d4

    Two great books from the Everyman Chess Library, Starting Out: The Nimzo Indian by Chris Ward and Starting Out: The Queen's Indian by John Emms, brought together in one volume.
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    $26.95
  27. The Knight - The Cunning Cavalry

    The Knight - The Cunning Cavalry

    In his ground-breaking series, The Power of the Pieces, Belorussian grandmaster Sergey Kasparov examines the strengths, weaknesses and overall characteristics of each piece on the chessboard. This second volume in the series is about the knight. Its role in the opening, middlegame and endgame is discussed in detail, amply supported by almost 140 complete games from tournament praxis.
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    $24.95
  28. Grandmaster Repertoire 2B - 1. d4 Dynamic Systems

    Grandmaster Repertoire 2B - 1. d4 Dynamic Systems

    Volume 2B completes the series by providing cutting-edge antidotes to tricky defenses such as the Dutch, various Benoni set-ups, Benko and Budapest Gambits, and anything else not covered in volumes 1A, 1B & 2A. With innumerable updates and improvements to the author's previous work, this book is essential reading for any ambitious 1.d4 player.
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    $34.95
  29. The Reti Opening - Properly Played

    The Reti Opening - Properly Played

    The 'Reti Opening' 1.Ng1-f3 d7-d5 2.c2-c4 is quiet and solid and usually leads to the middle game without greater tactical complications. Therefore, the arising positions require more positional understanding than tactical skills. The book is primarily intended for amateurs looking to expand their opening repertoire with a solid, yet easy-to-learn opening.
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    $24.95
  30. The Sicilian Accelerated Dragon

    The Sicilian Accelerated Dragon

    The 20th Anniversary Edition and international bestseller! In 1998, the authors set out to demonstrate the viability of the Accelerated Dragon as a weapon for Black, not fearing the Maroczy Bind or any other set-up White can come up with. This book contains all the original material of the first edition with some additional main games as well a couple of entirely new segments.
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    $19.95
  31. Opening Repertoire - 1 d4 with 2 c4

    Opening Repertoire - 1 d4 with 2 c4

    In this book the highly experienced chess author and coach Cyrus Lakdawala goes back to basics, outlining an aggressive repertoire for White based on 1 d4, following up with the traditional 2 c4. The emphasis of the repertoire is to gain space as quickly as possible and set Black the task of finding quick counterplay or face the risk of being overrun. Lakdawala recommends lines with f2-f3 against the Nimzo-Indian, the Petrosian System against the King’s Indian and the Flick Knife (f4 with Bb5+) against the Benoni.
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    $29.95
  32. Opening Repertoire - The Petroff Defence

    Opening Repertoire - The Petroff Defence

    Opening Repertoire: The Petroff Defence examines all aspects of this highly complex opening and provides the reader with well-researched, fresh, and innovative analysis. Each annotated game has valuable lessons on how to play the opening and contains instructive commentary on typical middlegame plans. The suggested lines for Black are based around the very latest games and analysis.
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    $27.95
  33. The King's Indian According to Tigran Petrosian

    The King's Indian According to Tigran Petrosian

    The author’s objective was, first of all, to reveal the richness of Petrosian’s chess world and to follow the strategic development of the King’s Indian Defense through the prism of Petrosian’s creative work. He does this with the presentation of almost 300 deeply annotated, complete games.
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    $34.95
  34. Understanding Maroczy Structures

    Understanding Maroczy Structures

    Using carefully selected examples, the authors want to make you familiar with the strategic ideas behind the famous Maroczy bind. These plans arising from both colors, are a must for your arsenal of chess knowledge and understanding.
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    $34.95
  35. The Modernized Colle-Zukertort Attack

    The Modernized Colle-Zukertort Attack

    In this book, Milos Pavlovic takes a fresh look at the relatively unexplored but most dangerous Colle-Zukertort attack. Drawing upon his considerable opening experience and using plenty of illustrative games, he reveal the secrets how to pose Black serious problems using different subtle move orders. Milos created a comprehensive repertoire for White and highlighting the many tactical and positional themes this dynamic opening contains.

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    $29.95
  36. The Modern English - Vol. 2

    The Modern English - Vol. 2

    This volume completes the coverage of the Modern English with a repertoire against 1...c5, 1...Nf6, and 1...e6. It is based on active fight for the centre by e3 and d4. It is written from White's point of view, but it should also serve Black players since the authors often discuss several alternatives to the main lines.
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    $29.95

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