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Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition Paperback


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Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition + Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master + How to Reassess Your Chess, Fourth edition
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Series: Chess
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Puzzles & Games; 15 edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812936825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812936827
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Anyway I needed a book on opeings ASAP so I ran to Borders and found MCO.
Voltron
The book also does a poor job on providing the names of the more obscure openings.
moosehead
I very much support the review by Gina Kruml that this edition is under-revised.
Sindbad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Gina Kruml on May 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Regrettably, MCO 15 is not what it should be. First, like MCO 14, there are countless typographical errors. Experienced players will no doubt suffer through this, but the editors are the ones who should have suffered so that readers do not have to. Secondly, most of the material is in lifted from MCO 14. Mr. De Firmian has his favorite openings and updates those better, but for non-topical lines developments go unmentioned. Thirdly, in spite of the claim that variations have been checked by computers, I have found serval cases where computer evaluations refute those given. So while computers must have been involved in the production of the volume, it would be interesting to know what percentage of the lines were actually checked. For an author who is sensitive enough to never fail to use the he/she convention, perhaps more thought could have been given to the environmental impact that this book would have given its limited use. More could be said, but I think that this suffices for those who are looking to spend thier money wisely.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By moosehead on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The review by Gina Kruml is right on. I had waited for years for the new edition....what a disappointment. The number of typographical errors is staggering. It's hard to find an opening free of typos. In a chessbook, this is particularly bad and I tend to fault De Firmian, the author. Doesn't he have any responsibility to read his own work? Kruml blames the editors, but I think Kruml is too kind.

The book also does a poor job on providing the names of the more obscure openings. Although they may be covered, no names are attached and they are not indexed. How does this help the chess student? Blame the editors, but it seems as if De Firmian detached himself from any supervision. As for the number of he/she's puffing up the text (and slowing down the reader), well Kruml did nicely mention the environmental impact. This must be the fault of the knee-jerk editors.

Of course any decent chessplayer has to buy this book...it's a classic. But it's so sad to see chess computers getting better and MCO editions getting worse.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By DS on April 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As advertised, this book is for the serious chess player at intermediate level and above. It contains extensive tables for all the main and most commonly played lines in openings played at higher level competition.

The introductions for each opening are informative and interesting. It is easy (for advanced players) to then follow the tables to learn the main lines and the major variations of the openings. I'm sure that MCO will continue to be a great resource for intermediate and higher level players who need to have a reference book handy to look up an opening that is new to them, or to study a variation.

A word of caution: This book may have very limited value for low level players, and virtually none for beginners. I think the back cover is very misleading, saying "Whether you are a beginner interested in learning the fundamentals, an intermediate player ready to elevate your game, or an International Grandmaster who wants to stay on top of all recent chess innovations..." That is completely dishonest. This book has NO instruction on rules of the game for beginners, zero information on basic strategy and tactics for novices, and very little analysis on why certain moves are better or worse than others. Do NOT buy this book for novices.

And this book does not address openings commonly encountered at lower levels of competition. For example, there is no section on the Smith-Morra Gambit (I recommend Bob Ciaffone's bookSmith-Morra Gambit Finegold Defense), and nothing that I can find on the many-named opening 1.e4,e5 2.qh5!? which can terrorize less experienced players on the black side of the board.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sindbad on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I very much support the review by Gina Kruml that this edition is under-revised.
I have used the 14th edition of MCO to play through Grandmaster Games for the last 9 years and have penciled in those lines and novelties played by my favorite players like Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Aronian and recently Carlsen as well. When I got the new 15th edition I checked if these lines were incorporated into the book, but to my disappointment even these novelties by the best players weren't to find in the book. I rather found out that the 15th and 14 edition don't differ very much in their contents and very minor contributions have been made to the new edition.
If you open up the book the first thing that will strike you is, that the appearance of the pages are very 'white'; that is to say, there is not too much printed on the pages and the free space between the printed lines is quite big. Maybe that's intentionally made so the reader can write updates with pencil in between...
That said, MCO doesn't give a lot of variations, but rather always one single sideline, that's it. But this will not suffice to play the openings with confidence yourself...
My advice: if you really want to have a single volume reference book on chess openings, get the old 1999 Nunn's Chess Openings NCO book, it's still the best of it's kind.
But if you prefer to write updates with pencil into the book yourself, then maybe buy MCO 15th edition, simply because it has lots of free white space on the pages to write on...
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