Play the Open Games as Black Kindle Edition
|Length: 224 pages|
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The recommendation against the King's Gambit is: 1.e5 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 (3.Bc4 --coverage is of ...Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4!? and 4. ...c6. The first is a reversed Schliemann Attack in the Ruy Lopez. After 5.e5 d5! a position is reached in which it is favorable for white to have played with an extre tempo as in the regular version, there would not be a bishop available to attack. 4. ...c6 is the trusted main line where black plans d5.) g5! 4.h4 (against 4.d4 and 4.Bc4, Emms gives the option of Bg7! holding on to the pawn.) g4 5.Ne5 (5.Ng5?! h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 is recommended) Nf6 (the Berlin Defense! This would definitely be my choice for black. I have played the white side of the King's Gambit before and studied it using Neil McDonald's "The King's Gambit." This move appears to be stronger than 5. ...d6!?) 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 (also the move I would choose over Bg7.) Emms goes on to cover the rest of the lines and even covers a line not in McDonald's book, the Rice Gambit. I was very pleased to see such good recommendations made here. For those who enjoy treading off the beaten path, the Becker defense (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 h6!?) is also given as another defense(!) to the King's Gambit.
The Two Knights Defence is the recommendation against the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6). At first I was put off by the combativeness of this opening and wished Emms had recommended the positional Guioco Piano instead (3. ...Bc5). However, I soon realized that I was learning how to play the open games and one should fight for any advantage one can get when playing this type of opening. Developement is important and one should be ready to sacrifice a pawn or two to accelerate it. A complete repetoire for the Two Knights Defence is given. Against 4.Ng5 the recommendation is 4. ...d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bc6 c6 7.dxc6 bxc6. The Traxler (Wilkes-Barre) variation is not covered, i.e., instead of 4. ...d5 one plays 4. ...Bc5. For 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Emms gives both the more simple Nxe4 and the more complicated Bc5. The latter can lead to the Max Lange Attack. If you have heard of this opening and wondered what it was, here is your chance to play it.
I have just realized that if I don't stop talking about the specifics with this book I will never shutup. Here is some more general information about the book: In almost every major variation, more than one option is given to black. Both declining and accepting various gambits is covered. Generally, one option is given for the adventurous player and one is given for the positional player. Emms does a great deal of home analysis and provides good background information on each opening. He really does cover every option available to white from second move alternatives to move 30 and beyond of the Max Lange Attack.
If you are interested in playing the black side of 1.e4 e5, you really do need this book to have a coherent repetoire. Besides, it is one of the best openings repetoire books you will ever find.
Another great thing about this book is that it is not just for players of the black pieces; I find the lines useful for White as well.