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Win with the London System Paperback – September 15, 2005
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About the Author
Sverre Johnsen is a FIDE-rated player from Norway. He is an enthusiastic chess analyst, researcher and writer. Vlatko Kovacevic is a grandmaster from Croatia, and arguably the world's leading authority on the London System. However, he is probably best known for a convincing victory against Bobby Fischer in 1970. He has represented Croatia, and previously Yugoslavia, in many international team events.
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Top Customer Reviews
This past weekend, I took my lowly 1511 rating into a tournament with strong Class-A and even some Masters. I had white twice, and twice I used the London. My first opponent was rated in the mid-1900s, and he responded with the Leningrad Dutch. This does nothing to refute the opening, leaving me to establish my basic London structure. Before long, I won a rook with a fork, and proceeded to chop his pieces off the board, getting to a winning endgame. Fast-forward to the last round, and I was paired up against a master (rating in the mid-2200s.) Once again, I brought out the London, and thanks to some inaccurate play on his part with the King's Indian Defense, I once again traded off a knight for a rook, fought off his attacks and reached a won endgame. After the game, he admitted he'd never played against the London before, and had no idea how to respond to it. I have little doubt that if he'd known the opening, the result would have gone the other way. But that's the beauty of the London: to the unsuspecting opponent, it is a devastating attack.
I give this book a lot of credit. Most opening books I read are full of analysis and lines, but little discussion of themes and ideas. By starting with the example games, annotated to point things out, I quickly became aware of the themes and ideas behind the opening system. It allowed me to play the opening with confidence that I not only knew which moves to make, but typically why they were good moves to make. And getting into the middle-game with both a solid position and a clear idea of how to proceed is worth its weight in gold against stronger opponents. After the example games, it moves on to lines but now you have the background to grasp the ideas, and it's not such tough sledding.
The London does have drawbacks. There is no perfect opening for either side. Against an informed opponent, you'll end up equal in the middle-game, having lost your advantage of the first move as white (initiative.) However, no opening is going to provide you with a won endgame every time, and at some point your book is empty and you'll have to use your chess brain. But if you're like me and you just want to survive the opening without being at a disadvantage, and won't mind picking up the easy wins against unsuspecting opponents, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Get it, study it, and just maybe you, too, will be able to beat a master with it.
Put it this way.....my teacher is a famous Chess Master and I literally had him beat with this opening until I made a "rookie mistake". This book is a great addition to Soltis's book and other authors on the London.
The autor (s) divided the book in two sections, and that made the whole
study much more agreable and instructive.
The first part presents games, almost all with White victories, with a
small lesson at the end of each. Besides that the games are grouped
with specific references about Black systems.
The second part, dedicated to more specific theory, is for those who have time and pacience to reproduce variations.
I enjoyed very much the book and it is already helping me in blitz games and I am sure it will improve my overtheboard
Is was very good to discover a new autor (Sverre) and quite a new method of teaching chess openings, usually very boring
with thousands variations for each move.