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An Explosive Chess Opening Repertoire for Black Paperback – February 1, 2002

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From the Publisher

Gambit Publications specialises in chess and has an unrivalled reputation for originality and editorial excellence. The company is owned and staffed entirely by leading chess masters and grandmasters.

About the Author

Jouni Yrjölä is a grandmaster from Finland. He has won the Finnish Championship twice, and regards Sochi 1984, where he shared third place with the legendary Mikhail Tal, as his best tournament result. He was awarded his grandmaster title in 1990.

Jussi Tella is also from Finland. He is an international master and an experienced chess trainer.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gambit Publications (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901983501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901983500
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,251,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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90 of 90 people found the following review helpful By "electra10" on March 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a typical high quality GAMBIT book. It has the sort of things I like in an opening book, i.e., a discussion of the strategical ideas for both sides and a conclusion about each variation. The authors have even included some statistics from their databases which includes number of games, scoring %, elo and performance elo for white for many of the chapters. I checked the results with my Big DataBase 2002 (over 2 million games) and found essentially the same numbers.
The repertoire consists of playing 1...d6 after any white first move. The material is divided among 33 chapters covering various variations. Interestingly 1 d4 d6 2 c4 e5 is scoring 56% for Black! That got my attention. 1.d4 d6 2. Nf3 is met with Bg4, the Hodgson Variation, which appears to be scoring averagely for Black.
Against 1 e4, the main line is the Pirc Defense. My guess is that you will also play a lot of Pircs from 1 d4 d6 2 e4 as well. Recognizing that many players won't want to play the Pirc, the authors offer a couple of alternatives. One is the Czech system 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 c6 which does quite well unless White plays 4 f4, the current main line where white is scoring 59%. Finally, and more promising, is the so-called endgame variation 1 e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 (or f3) e5 4 dxe5 dxe5 5 Qxd8 Kxd8. This endgame is actually quite favorable for Black who wins a slight majority of the games. I should also point out that if the earlier mentioned 1 d4 d6 2 c4 e5 (which got my attention) is continued with 3 dxe5 dxe5 4 Qxd8+ Kxd8 then Black is scoring 67%! Of course White doesn't have to play 3 dxe5, but probably many players will because they erroneously think that forcing Black to forego castling is to their advantage.
All other openings (except 1 f4) are met with 1...d6 2...e5 and 3...f5.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By mrbishope on February 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
It has been a year since I wrote my initial review for this book and during this time I have continued to be impressed by the repertoire. Having grown accustomed to the lines stemming from 1.d4 d6 I find them now to be very effective - players of the white pieces seem to be totally unprepared for this system. However the major revelation for me has been the 'endgame system' against 1.e4, found in chapter 33 of the book. This system is presented as an alternative to the pirc for those seeking to avoid having to learn lots of pirc theory. I have found it very useful to use this system while learning the main lines against 1.d4, 1.c4 etc, as it is very easy to learn and solid. What this means is that you can quickly adopt this defence to 1.e4, then work through the rest of the book, then decide whether you wish to adopt the pirc or something else. Another really practical benefit of this repertoire is that it seems to cross so many typical white repertoires, and white players quickly lose their way. Take a look at an average white repertoire book and see how scanty the coverage of 1 ...d6 is. All the more reason to play d6 as black!
For the average chessplayer choosing a dependable opening repertoire presents a difficult task. We know that in order to play the opening well we need a sensible set of variations - but which to choose? The main openings entail so much theory that it seems impossible to absorb them without devoting huge amounts of time to the task. Well in this book two masters propose an interesting and dynamic set of interlocked variations against any white opening that won't take years to learn. Of course this is nothing new - many repertoire books for the black pieces exist.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chess amateur on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book claims to give everything a reader needs to play a chess game as black, by simply playing 1..d6 against every first move by white.
"This book equips the reader with everything he or she needs to know to play Black in a game of chess. Two experienced Finnish players have described an exciting repertoire based on the move 1...d6 in reply to whatever White's first move happens to be.", Gambitbook says.

There are a lot of positive things to say about this book, but it also has its drawbacks.

First if you want to meet 1.d4 with 1..d6 this book is rather unique and detailed. Some variants are missing for instance 1.d4 d6 2.d5, but at all there is a lot of interesting and unknown stuff for the ambitious player.
Second, the Pirc coverage in this book is quite good. Pirc is a rather complex opening, but the two authors have managed to give the reader a good and solid Pirc repertoire for black within only 50 pages.
Third, the endgame discussion occurring after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 dxe6 5.Qxd8 Kxd8 and also 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 dxe5 4.Qxd8 Kxd8 is very interesting and could be used by black as a drawing weapon against stronger opponents.

The main drawback with this book is the coverage of the second move alternative after 1.e4 d6, which is incomplete and chaotic. There are no structured explanations of other second move alternative by white than 2.d4, heading for the Pirc or Philidor. . After 1.e4 d6, white has many other alternatives; he could play 2.f4 and try to go for a closed Sicilian, King's Gambit declined, etc, or he could play 2.c4!? hoping to play English and the Botvinnik setup or King's Indian. There are some information given when white plays 1.f4 d6 2.
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