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Batsford's Modern Chess Openings - 15th edition

de Firmian Nick

A brand new edition of this perennial chess favourite. This book has been the standard reference work on chess openings for more than half a century, and has been called `the chess player`s bible`.

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A brand new edition of this perennial chess favourite. This book has been the standard reference work on chess openings for more than half a century, and has been called `the chess player`s bible`. It is the most comprehensive single-volume work on the openings. Covering every standard line of play, it provides the distilled essence of contemporary opening theory. This latest updated edition is an indispensable reference work for club and tournament players.


Modern Chess Openings (MCO) is a one-volume reference book covering all the chess openings. It has been the standard English language work on openings for almost a century - the first edition came out in 1911, written by Griffith and White. Subsequent editions were written or edited by others as the tradition passed down. Notable were the sixth and tenth editions, excellent works by Fine and Evans (respectively) which helped earn this book the nickname ``The Chess Player`s Bible.`` The first edition was a much smaller book, with shorter chess variations. Chess theory has developed immensely since then and continues to change every year as the world`s best players constantly find new strategies.

This book endeavours to give the reader a clear and concise presentation of whichever chess opening he or she chooses. It is divided into six sections of major openings groups, each section containing chapters on the specific openings (or major variations of the openings). The chapter introductions give an overview of the strategic concepts and some historical information. The major content of the book is the tables and notes of chess variations. The best play (in the light of present knowledge) is usually the main variation, and sidelines are either clever traps and tricks that are useful to know, interesting but little tested plans, or enticing mistaken strategies along with their refutations. Some pages are densely packed and reflect the current focus on these openings, while others are less dense and more suitable for beginners.

The previous edition, MCO-14, was written in 1999. This first edition of the twenty-first century reflects the advances that have been made in the openings along with the fundamental change brought on by the great progress of computer chess programs. The best programs are on a par with the world`s best players. Human players are better at strategic thinking, planning, and imagination in chess. Computers well surpass their human counterparts in raw calculation and have the advantage that they never overlook a tactical opportunity. Established theory of chess openings is often the result of collaborative work between humans and computers. The human grandmasters provide the plan, while the computer checks the variations for tactical accuracy.

MCO 15 was compiled from many source materials - the most important of which were the raw games of the top players from many, many tournaments around the world. These were analyzed (sometimes by the players themselves) and checked with a computer program. Other important sources were the many books on specific chess openings along with magazines, especially Chess Life and New in Chess. Lastly, commentary on the Internet Chess Club was also a source of ideas.

Nick de Firmian

3-time U.S. Chess Champion

August 2008

  • Casa editrice Batsford
  • Code 5873
  • Anno 2009
  • Pagine p. 750
  • Isbn 9781906388294