In this highly-acclaimed and popular series, John Watson helps chess-players achieve a more holistic and insightful view of the openings. He explains not only the ideas and strategies behind specific openings, but also the interconnections of chess openings taken as a whole. By presenting the common threads that underlie opening play, Watson provides a permanent basis for playing openings of any type.
"Those interested in the English opening, should consult John Watson's new book Mastering the Chess Openings, Volume 3. Watson expertly guides the reader through the tricky English roads, scattering some pretty gems along the way." - GM Lubomir Kavalek, Washington Post
This third volume focuses on the English Opening while also drawing together many threads from the first two books in a wide-ranging discussion of general opening topics. Particularly in the context of reversed and analogous forms of standard structures, we understand why certain ideas work and others don't, and experience the concept of 'Cross-Pollination' at work in even more varied forms than seen in the first two volumes.
"This volume can be read separate from the other two in this series; however, I recommend reading all three books. They will truly take your game to the next level and help you understand the opening phase so much better, as well as help minimize the risk of starting the game out from an inferior position. Those who play the English Opening should buy this book without out any hesitation. This book is a modern classic. It is genuinely instructive and provides numerous examples of original analysis and improvements over existing theory." - Carsten Hansen, ChessCafe.com
For many chess-players, opening study is sheer hard work. It is difficult to know what is important and what is not, and when specific knowledge is vital, or when a more general understanding is sufficient. Tragically often, once the opening is over, a player won't know what plan to follow, or even understand why his pieces are on the squares on which they sit.
"The publication of this series is a bellwether event in chess publishing, and all players should avail themselves of the opportunity to read these books." - Mark Donlan, Chess Horizons
International Master John Watson is one of the world's most respected writers on chess. His groundbreaking four-volume work on the English Opening firmly established his reputation in the 1980s, and he has produced a string of top-quality works since. In 1999, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", Watson's first book for Gambit, won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award and the United States Chess Federation Fred Cramer Award for Best Book. His former pupils include the 1997 World Junior Champion, Tal Shaked.
"Reading IM Watson's prose reveals one of his great writing strengths; getting the reader to think, and often rethink, even for positions and variations in which one's knowledge seemed complete. His works are never dry and always inspiring. ... There's a very good index of variations, complete with way marking diagrams, which needs to be thorough for the English Opening due to the large number of early transpositions. ... this fine overview will appeal to anyone looking to discover the inside story of a powerful and important opening. Those who already play the English will enjoy this new book too. Mastering an opening can take a long time; this book will provide a plethora of help and inspiration along the way. In my opinion, this is the best volume in the series (so far)." - Sean Marsh, Marsh Towers