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Grandmaster Repertoire 3 - The English Opening vol. 1 Paperback – September 9, 2009
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“Beautifully written and inspirational... Marin’s deep experience and passion for the English Opening is clear throughout the book.”
GM Luke McShane, New in Chess
“A typically lucid and thorough exposition from perhaps the most insightful and reliable chess author writing today.”
GM Jonathan Rowson, New in Chess
About the Author
Mihail Marin is a grandmaster from Romania. His books for Quality Chess have established him as one of the world’s finest chess authors.
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I would also highly recommend Mr. Marin's "Beating the Open Games" and "A Spanish Repetoire for Black." They have served me well.
Comparing the reviews of both the 1. c4 and 1. d4 reportires, I noticed one big difference. Grandmaster Reportire 1. d4 Vol. 1 seemed to clearly be written for players 1900+ which is fine, the target audience for this series is definitely for advanced players and Boris (the author of Grandmaster Reportoire 1. d4) assumes one has been playing 1. d4 or skilled enough to know what to do in the positions. Not a whole lot of plan discussions in that book. BTW the 1. d4 book is excellent. It has totally revolutionized 1. d4 theory and has given the black side maximum difficulties to work out. You just can't beat superb anaylisis of a super theoretical opening. Now on to Marin's book Grandmaster Reportoire 1. c4 Vol. 1 (AKA The English Opening).
This book is unfathomable. Marin's anaylisis is completely new and original, he has also busted theoretical variations that were previously thought to have been good for black. Do you want an example that will give you chills? Take a look at this:
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bc5 5. Nf3 d6 6. d3 0-0 7. 0-0 a6 8. a3 Ba7 9. b4 Bg4
ok so far this is standard theory, its called the Karpov Variation for black... the tactics that follow will require the use of a chess board, unless you can do it in your head (yeah right!)
10. Bg5!- a theoretical novelty the author discovered, the old move was 10. h3
10...h6 11. Bh4 Nd4 12. Ne4 g5 13. Nfxg5!! (a queen sacrifice!)
I don't want to spoil the rest of the analysis for you but white will build a devastating attack. And there's fresh, original, and bone chilling analysis like that all over the book. The analysis in here has not only shattered concepts about the english opening, but completely redefined its theory.
Not only that but the author takes his time to deeply explain the position, including plans, tactics, issues, key maneuvers, and imbalances. The author also states why a psoiton is +/= or vice versa. This is a godsend to the average club player.
All in all, what more can you ask for? A Grandmaster's reportire has been made available to us mere mortals. A deep study of this book while not only improve your rating, but your understanding of chess will skyrocket.
Reccommended for players 1500 all the way to GM
The 1. d4 reportoire is on equal grounds with this book but with a little less emphasis on explanations.
Cannot wait for Vol. 2 which will include everything except 1...e5 which is the subject of Vol. 1
Please rate if this review was helpful.
Let me start with some notes about the opening system that is the focus of Marin's book. I play the English with g3 regularly, and I am quite satisfied with this opening. This approach to the English is rather positional, with most lines achieving small but long-term pressure on the Black position. In general, there is a lack of early contact, which avoids simplification and results in rich middlegames where both sides have a wide range of possible plans. Given the lack of tactical melee in the opening, the play normally relies on understanding typical structures, avoiding the memorization of variations to a large degree. This same claim is often made by the authors of opening manuals to lure club players, but I can guarantee that it is true in this case. My main source for this opening so far has been Kosten's The Dynamic English : The aggresive player's guide to a traditional chess opening, which has aged remarkably well.
It is also critical to point out that the English with g3 as interpreted by Kosten and Marin is a strategically ambitious system, that strives to achieve a significant positional advantage against every Black reply. As a result, the White player must master a large number of pawn structures and associated plans, with plenty of examples of subtle play and hypermodern counterattacks against the Black center. To be frank, I have found this difficult to digest, despite some hard work looking for related games and multiple readings Kosten's book. I cannot recommend the English with g3 as a quick fix of your repertoire with White, as Black has many choices and White has to avoid many positional pitfalls to reach a good position. I learnt to play the Colle/Stonewall Attack much faster for example, and I sometimes miss all those rapid King side attacks against unprepared opponents.
Here is where Marin's book reveals itself as a phenomenal contribution. There are two things that really shine in Marin's writing. First, he bothers to explain with words many moves that are difficult to understand for the average club player. Second, he often examines every legal (and sensible) reply by Black, which gives me great confidence in his choices and makes it very clear how to utilize the general ideas to obtain a concrete advantage. Given the subject matter, such a presentation is priceless. My heavy use in the last two weeks since I received this volume has lead me to many new insights in difficult variations that I could never understand from Kosten alone.
To go over the contents more in detail, this volume focuses on 1...e5. It is divided in 8 main parts and 33 chapters. The first two parts explore the early Bishop developments Bc5 and Bb4. In the former, I was pleasantly surprised by the delay of e3 and a3, which I never found fully convincing in Kosten's. Marin's d3 favors faster development and it is probably easier to play. The next part focuses on the Botvinnik, and Marin does an excellent job explaining this system. The Botvinnik is the cornerstone of the repertoire, being the primary way to tackle King's Indian structures with e5, and it is far more difficult to play than most players think. Next comes the Reserve Sicilian, where Marin chooses 5. Nc3. My results with Kosten's Nf3 are so good that I haven't examined this part yet. The remaining material looks at the Keres, the accelerated Keres and some minor lines. I was eagerly waiting for Marin's take on the accelerated Keres, which featured as a refutation of the English with g3 in Palliser's Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings: Dazzle Your Opponents!. Marin's logical and incredibly thorough analysis of these lines is well worth the price of the whole book.
I also would like to mention the production qualities of this outstanding book. It is simply a pleasure to stare at the pages, which employ a very readable two-column layout in a pleasant serif font. Main lines and variations are always easy to distinguish, and no page feels crammed or underutilized. Almost every page has two or three diagrams, and the use of slightly smaller variation diagrams is a very nice touch. Overall, Quality Chess fully honors its own name with this edition.
Top international reviews
[this one of 1c4..e5 variations]
It deals with the Botvinnik System c4,g3,e4 , ,the Reversed Dragon [...e5...d5,] Keres Variation [.....e5.c6]
the Karpov [...e5....Nc6...Nf6... Bc5].
and reversed Rossolimo [e5..Nc6...Nf6...Bb4] and some minor lines
I have not finished this book ,it is over 400 pages.
The ideas and moves are clearly explained and I would recommend it to any 1c4 player over 160 ECF
For a shorter introduction I would recomend Kosten's Dynamic English
Sehr ausführliche Darstellung mit Varianten bis tief in das Mittelspiel oder gar Endspiel. Der Schwerpunkt des Buches liegt aber nicht in den konkreten Zugfolgen selber, sondern in der Vermittlung der typischen strategischen und taktischen Ideen der Eröffnung (erfolgt in Textform). Besonders wertvoll ist, dass auch in den Nebenvarianten zu jeder Zugfolge ausführliche Erklärungen in Textform gegeben werden. Reihenweise gibt der Autor Neuerungen an, die bisher nicht in der Turnierpraxis vorkamen. Ich habe mal ein paar Varianten mit Houdini geprüft, ich habe nur einen Fehler gefunden, wo der Autor eine andere Analyse zitiert.
Ich habe die englische Ausgabe gelesen, Schulenglisch reicht dafür, ansonsten kann man ja mal ein Wort nachschlagen.
Das Buch ist ein Repertoire-Buch, es werden nicht alle weißen Aufbauformen behandelt. An einigen Stellen gibt der Autor Alternativen an und man kann nach Geschmack wählen. Der Autor erklärt warum seine Wahl auf diesen oder jenen Aufbau gefallen ist und was er als kritische Erwiderung auf die anderen weißen Aufbaumöglichkeiten ansieht. Auf den gewählten weißen Aufbau werden aber so ziemlich alle schwarzen Aufbaumöglichkeiten dargestellt.
Englisch ist sicher keine Eröffnung für Anfänger, die Eröffnung ist reich an strategischen und taktischen Ideen, der erste Figurenkontakt tritt manchmal erst ab dem Zug 15 oder später ein. Daher würde ich als Adressatenkreis Spieler ab DWZ 1800 ansetzen. Man kann das Buch wohl auch mit geringerer Spielstärke lesen und die Einschätzung des Autors nachvollziehen, aber die Frage ist, ob man die Ideen dann auch in der Praxis so umsetzen kann. Dass einige Großmeister behaupten sie würden das Buch benutzen klingt mir glaubhaft, da die Darstellungstiefe der Varianten sehr detailliert ist und jede Menge Neuerungen angegeben werden.
Non seulement c'est un répertoire pratique, mais aussi: les explications permettent de mieux appréhender la transition ouverture - milieu de partie. De lier les intentions stratégiques et les contraintes tactiques.