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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dreaming repertoire book for the serious the club player
A complete one volume repertoire book for the serious (and agressive) club player. All major black defenses against d4 are covered in 30 complete annotated games and/or helpful side notes. The lines choosen by Dunnington are either agressive - like "e4" against the QGA or the four pawns attack against the King Indian and "5 - Nbd2" against the Albin -...
Published on September 7, 2001 by L. Amaral

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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good News, Bad News
The Good News is that Dunnington is a very good chess writer and excellent annotator. His books that I am personally familiar with,i.e. on the Chigorin, Catalan, Reti and "Pawn Power" are truly first rate. Some of his comments on strategy and planning in this book are quite instructive. The book is very good looking, has nice diagrams and high grade paper...
Published on November 18, 2001 by electra10


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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good News, Bad News, November 18, 2001
By 
"electra10" (HI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
The Good News is that Dunnington is a very good chess writer and excellent annotator. His books that I am personally familiar with,i.e. on the Chigorin, Catalan, Reti and "Pawn Power" are truly first rate. Some of his comments on strategy and planning in this book are quite instructive. The book is very good looking, has nice diagrams and high grade paper. The whole package exudes quality. The price is also right.
Unfortunately the Bad News makes me almost forget the Good News. The advertising and the back cover stress that the book contains an attacking repertoire that is not "bogged down with theory." This point is made twice. It was therefore disappointing to open the book and see oceans of variations and variations within variations. It was then further disconcerting to read the Preface where Dunnington states "I must stress this is not intended to be a watertight repertoire book, rather a tool with which to help the reader open 1 d4 with confidence." Since I already play 1 d4 (with as much confidence as anything else), what's the point of this book?
As a repertoire book this one is very user-unfriendly and disorganized. I read Mr. Alan Hartley's review and was interested in the variation he referred to as "weak" but couldn't find it because the book has no Index of Variations. Want to find the Budapest Gambit? Just look in Chapter 8 "Other Defenses" and leaf through the games until you find it. The Tarrasch and Semi-Slav are not identified but if you know them when you see them they will be found (somewhere) in "Queen's Gambit Dedclined and Slav Defenses" chapter. If you are serious about adopting this repertoire and using the book you will need to at least construct your own Index and Index of Variations.
Since the material looked rather daunting I decided to work through one game to see how long it would take me. I chose game #2 because it seemed to be of about average length (a 46 move draw).
I used my computer with Fritz 6.0 to go through the games to highlight good/bad moves and also to keep the variations in order, i.e., avoiding mistakes in resetting the pieces after a new variation (the only way to study a game in my opinion).
Since I now live on a remote island where there is no organized chess, I play only on the Internet. My ICC Standard rating is 1904 as I write this.
I was unable to complete the game in one sitting due to exhaustion and brain fade. After 64 minutes I was still in a subvariation to White's 6th move. Even at that I felt I was going a bit too fast to really absorb and understand the material. Based on the material covered in 64 minutes, I calculate it would take me 7 hours and 6 minutes to complete this game. I believe this is called "getting bogged down in theory." I hate to think how long it would take if I had been using a real chess set.
So how does one use all this information? I could not even consider going completely through all these games. I should also point out that the Fritz analysis of the variations, sub-variations, game fragments, etc., showed that there were some very bad moves with no (?) or (?!), so you really have your work cut out for you. It's more like doing a series of middlegame problems than learning an opening. The only answer seems to be to just go through the text moves and skip the variations unless there is some compelling reason not to (such as it's an alternative book move or the move you or your opponent made).
How good is the repertoire? I used my Chessbase Program and my Big DataBase 2000 (approx. 1.4 million games) for statistical information. Some of the suggestions are excellent like the Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Variation which scores 64%! for White (it's the reason I gave up ...d5...e6...Nf6 some time ago. It seemed like it scored 100%), the e4 line in the Queen's Gambit Accepted also scores well (played by both Karpov and Kasparov). Unfortunately there are way too many bad recommendations such as the Slav (ld4 d5 2c4 c6 3Nc3 Nf6 4Bg5)which after 4...cxc4 is scoring 60%for Black! I suspect this is the line Mr. Hartley referred to but made a typo of c5 for c6. Dunnington's 1d4 f5 2c4 Nf6 3Nc3 g6 allows the Leningrad Dutch to score 59% for Black! The Stonewall Dutch 1d4 e6 2c4 f5 3Nc3 Bb4 scores 51% for Black! My own favorite defense to 1 d4, the Mexican Defense (Now more commonly referred to as The Black Knight's Tango) is not even covered. But since we know that Dunnington always recommends d4,c4 and Nc3 in order if possible, surely he would recommend ld4 Nf6 2c4 Nc6 3Nc3 and then the repertoire Mexican defense response is 3...e5 which is scoring 52% for Black! In the Four Pawns Attack against the King's Indian Defense, my database indicates that 6...Na6 is Black's best move. Dunnington's recommended 7 e5 allows Black to score 51% Most of the other stuff is less than the best but is at least O.K.

I went through Grandmaster Aaron Summerscale's book "A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire" (also a 1 d4 repertoire)in the same fashion and it passed with flying colors. My recollection is that every single line he recommends is very strong for White. I strongly recommend that book and the repertoire. I have been using it with some success for some time and it is very nice to never have to face a King's Indian, Grunfeld, Nimzo-Indian, Benko, etc.
My advice is forget about embarking upon the Herculean task of putting this material in some usable form because this repertoire isn't strong enough to make even a very small effort to learn it. Whatever you're playing now is probably better.
Admittedly my database only goes through 1999 but in reviewing it I found that International Master Dunnington plays mostly 1 Nf3 and a fairly large number of 1 d4 games but does not play any of the "Attacking with 1 d4" lines himself. I don't blame him, neither will I.
I hope this has been helpful to someone. Aloha.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Odds and Ends for your Repertoire, November 17, 2004
This review is from: Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
I think I should start first with the strengths of this book. First of all, there are some unifying principles here that most of the variations share in common: attacking and aggressive openings. There is no question that some of these variations are going to win you games, if you do the follow-up research.

I'm especially keen on the Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange variation. I think this variation is very appealing to players seeking a simple way to pursue a positionally based initiative. Although I believe another book, The Queen's Gambit for the Attacking Player, recommended it as well. Looking at the variations I see that Dunnington does indeed have White play that way for the very reason I like it. By playing the exchange White can put his king's knight on e2, play e3 to back up the d4 pawn, play f3 to guard e4 and drop his dark squared bishop back to f2 (after pawn to f3 and after h6 kicks the bishop to h4) to bolster his kingside defense and his pawn structure. At the right time he may even be able to play e4.

You see, the king's knight not only over-protects d4 it also can go to f4 in certain cases and it gets out of the way of the fpawn. That is why White can often dominate e4. This is what White gets an exchange for cxd5, when Black can liberate his otherwise bad light squared bishop with exd5.

So the theme here is kingside space with hopefully prospects against the king later on, maquerading as a positional opening.

Another good one is the variation recommended against the Grunfeld. Okay, I'm not that strong of a player but Irina Krush and others have tried playing this way (4.Bf4)and it appears to have real poison behind it. Of course, the Grunfeld isn't bust by it but other ways of playing would take up 40 pages. Looking at the relevant passage from Jonathan Rowson's book on the Grunfeld he says about this variation (7.Rc1 dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-0 9.Nge2! [are you seeing a pattern?]) "...I think most sources have massively underestimated[it]." Dunnington gives 11.Nb5 as his mainline so I won't go further except to say that Rowson does not analyse this on the 11th move so I can't really compare. He does give 11.Qb3 as an alternative with some analysis but does not tackle Rowson's suggested answer to it, but I can say that both ways of playing are very tricky and if Black doesn't know what he is doing he will probably lose material.

Of course, it's a good idea to research this with a database and other books bfore playing it. In other words, do the follow-up.

Now I'm reviewing this book because a friend of mine gave it to me because I told him I was thinking of playing d4 in tournament. And as you can see there's some good qualities in the book.

Now before I get to the parts I didn't like, I should say that this book is at least consistent in favoring Nc3 over Nf3 on the third move. This is important because the other way of playing d4, emphasizing Nf3 (as in Palliser's book) is more passive and puts let's pressure on the Black and his d5 square. If you're going to want to attack this is the way to do it. Otherwise just play e4. In fact, in various Kasparov-Karpov encounters Karpov relied on the NimzoIndian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4)as an answer to 3.Nc3. Previously he had been using 3...d5 or playing that on the first move and going for the QGD. Kasparov, the King of Attackers would go for, you guessed it, the exchange variation with the King's Knight on e2. Karpov couldn't really get winning chances against this. Now if White avoids the Nimzo and plays 3.Nf3 black plays d5 with a much better game as White has commited his Knight to f3. This is what is called move order finesse. Therefore White MUST not be a girlyman and be prepared for the Nimzo! In this book Dunnington presents the f3 system which really just transposes to something called the Samisch. It involves playing f3. The recommended variation against the Benko gambit here also involves an early f3 by the way. I'm lukewarm on the variation, but Yakovich just wrote a whole book (f3 NimzoIndian) on it so who knows? Here Black has much less to worry about, his development is very smooth and White must be more imaginative. Sorry, that's just the way it goes, the Nimzo is a great defense. Kasparov, by the way, chose 4.Nf3 as his solution. 4.Qc2 is also a good choice because White gets the bishop pair without bad pawns, but the Samisch is alright considering you're going to have to work hard anyway.

I also think that giving 8.Ne2 in the Marshall Gambit in response to the Semi-Slav is consistent and aggressive as well as tricky!

Now for the bad stuff. Before I go on to some specifics it is worth mentioning that this is one of those Everyman Chess books that is pretty thin. That means I think some of the analysis is skimpy, or just not satisfying. In particular I thought his work on the Schara Gambit was weak. OK maybe you won't face it for years, but it is troublesome. I happen to think from a practical perspective Black gets play there and Dunnington does't stop to explain his evaluations.

My biggest problem with this book is that it recommends 4.Bg5 against the Slav. This goes against consistency, because it's not an exchange variation of the QGD, and it has virtually no Grandmater adherents. It also scores very low for White and gives him no advantage unless Black stupidly plays 4.e6. In short, it's insipid. Yes, Dunnington has a seperate chapter for the QGA, but all the QGD stuff gets slammed into one chapter! I think this book should have been twenty pages longer with the Slav and the Benko getting their own chapters. And a seperate illustrative game on the Schara Gambit, thanks! But Bg5 in the Slav is garbage with Black winning more than White!

I don't have much confidence in the line given for the Benko (King exposure), and the odds and ends chaper is a Frankenstein's monster of inadequacy. He just doesn't have enough room to make it all work. Still, he could have done a slightly better job even with the strict space limits. His given responses to dark squared Modern and Old Indian systems is leaving a lot to be desired. If he had more to work with he could have presented the fianchetto variation of the Benko, which at the time of writing was a virtual refutation. Some of the variations are off the wall and involve needlessly exposing the King. Why get so sharp in minor openings?

Overall, a mixed bag and hardly anytime for verbal explanations. But worth getting if you don't mind or can afford combining it with other books and materials.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of loopholes, December 10, 2001
This review is from: Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
This book is "OK" at best. There appear to be a good number of loopholes in the book (many of them minor, but loopholes all the same).
The major ones really stand out in the chapter on the Nimzo-Indian Defense with 4.f3.
The first of the 3 games covers 4...c5 (or does it??????). It gives 5.d5 Nh5 like 5...Nh5 is the only move Black ever makes here. I referred back to Tony Kosten's "New Ideas in the Nimzo-Indian Defense" from 1994 (Excellent book by the way), and it shows that Black has at least 4 different options, if not more. Since I have started playing 4.f3 about 2 months ago, I've faced nothing but 4...d5 Over the Board so far (which is the most common response anyway, and at the moment, I've only played roughly 5 games against the Nimzo with 4.f3), but on the internet, I get a good bit of 4...c5, and I still have yet to have an opponent play 5...Nh5 (the most common response seems to be 5...b5 with my experience).
Also, some offbeat lines seem to be missing too.
Lastly, in the King's Indian, they give the 4-pawns attack, which I have played now for over 3 years, and while this book is supposed to be giving "attacking" lines, as the author seems to advertise, he then starts shying away from the "attacking lines". For example, after d4 Nf6 c4 g6 Nc3 Bg7 e4 d6 f4 0-0 Nf3 c5 d5 e6 Be2 exd5 cxd5 (which is a transposition to the Benoni), after 9...Re8, he gives the more passive approach, 10.Nd2. If this is supposed to be a book on attacking lines, why not have the reader play "attacking lines"...quit wimping out, and play 10.e5 (I've played it the entire time I've played the 4-pawns, and have had decent results with it.
A WORD ABOUT DUNNINGTON (The Author himself)
Based on Dunnington's book on the Catalan (also supposedly a reportoire book for White) having only 2 losses for White out of 25, he doesn't seem to like to show anything to his readers that might scare the reader away, but reality shows that the only way to learn what's right is also to learn what's wrong. I'm curious if he leaves out these lines because of perhaps bad results recently. Take a game that Black wins, and point out the moves that are wrong, and then explain why they are wrong, and a better solution. Don't cover it up by not including it.
He also did basically the same thing with his King's Indian Attack book. I agree there are many books that are written for one side or the other (like the one this review applies to, and the 2 mentioned here), but that doesn't mean give the side you are showing ideas for a score of 80+%. It's unrealistic, and starts giving the reader false ideas that the openings show are the most all-mighty, all-powerful, impossible-to-lose-with openings. They AREN'T!!!!
I can't give this book more than 3 stars, and some Advice I have for Dunnington is to perhaps work on a NON-BIASED book. Maybe he'd do a better job of making his book more complete. His book on the Chigorin Queens Gambit is excellent, but otherwise, none of his books have hit the mark because they aren't even complete for the one side he is writing for (which he seems to specialize in books for White more than Black). If he's going to write a book for White, like this one, it should be COMPLETE from the White player's point of view, and it's NOT!!!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dreaming repertoire book for the serious the club player, September 7, 2001
By 
L. Amaral (Sao Paulo, Brazil.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
A complete one volume repertoire book for the serious (and agressive) club player. All major black defenses against d4 are covered in 30 complete annotated games and/or helpful side notes. The lines choosen by Dunnington are either agressive - like "e4" against the QGA or the four pawns attack against the King Indian and "5 - Nbd2" against the Albin - or provocative - like the "4 -f3" against the Ninzo or the Benko - or literally wining - against some favourites of the average club players like the Baltic, Marshall, Budapest or Chigorin Defenses.
No Slav exchange. No Colle, Torre or London.
Nothing that may bore you.
I do recomend this book for club players - from intermediates to class A players - that are willing to invest a comparatively small amount of time in return for considerable rating returns.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., October 20, 2001
By 
Ghost Writer "Ghost Writer" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) (Paperback)
Although I've bought several of his books, I've only recently got around to noticing that Dunnington's work is above average--thorough and thoughtful (unlike certain authors who tend toward skipping crucial variations altogether and making frequent uncommented references to unconvincing games--but I won't mention Gary Lane's name . . .oops).
This one, too, is well-organized, quite complete (in spite of a disclaimer to the contrary) and has plenty of lines that I'll be trying soon. My only complaint is that (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nf6) 4.Bg5?! is weak. . .I've tried to make 4. . .dxc4 5.a4 Qa5! 6.Bd2!? work, but I just don't believe it.
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Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess)
Attacking with 1d4 (Everyman Chess) by Angus Dunnington (Paperback - August 1, 2001)
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