A good opening repertoire need not require an enormous amount of study to be highly effective. A cunning choice of lines and move-orders can steer the game to positions that we like and deny the opponent his preferred strategies.
In this book, highly experienced chess opening writer Graham Burgess presents a repertoire based on 1 d4 and Nf3 with precisely those aims. Black's possibilities for counterplay - and sharp gambit play - are kept to a minimum. Our aim is to give Black exactly the type of position he doesn't want. If he is seeking blocked positions with pawn-chains, we'll keep the game fluid. If he wants complex strategy, we'll attack him with simple piece-play. Simplifications? No thanks, we'll keep the pieces on and intensify the battle. Gambits? Hardly, as we simply prevent most of them!
The main cornerstones of the repertoire are carefully chosen Queen's Gambit lines, the Torre Attack (vs ...e6), and a variety of fianchetto options against the King's Indian and related set-ups. White's position is kept highly flexible, with many possible transpositions to a wide variety of systems that the reader can use to extend and vary the repertoire. The book features a wealth of new ideas and original analysis.
FIDE Master Graham Burgess is Gambit's Editorial Director, and one of the founders of the company. He holds the world record for marathon blitz chess playing, and lives in Minnesota. This is his 23rd chess book, his earlier works including well-regarded opening guides and best-selling general texts.
"The repertoire is definitely sound and will certainly make opponents think for themselves more frequently than they do when following longer theoretical lines. By generally avoiding an early crisis in the tactical department (due to dodging gambit lines) a player adopting this repertoire should be able to improve their positional middlegame skills too, based on a good understanding of what each line is trying to achieve" – Sean Marsh, marshtowers.blogspot.co.uk
"Crucially, this repertoire requires only moderate levels preparation compared to the main lines so many books tout. Due to the non-critical nature of the play, a player who employs it won't need to constantly keep up with new moves and changes in the theory, because those are unlikely to influence the assessment, or at any rate won't create a life-or-death situation. ... for the practical student who doesn't have time to keep up with the latest nuances, the anti-King's Indian/Grünfeld systems with g3 and openings like the Torre will get White to an interesting middlegame while insulating him from dramatic surprises. I'm already teaching a couple of these systems to students of mine, and it has served to expand their frontiers while also succeeding in terms of results. For that reason alone, I can recommend Burgess's book; with luck, we'll have the fortune to get A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for Black from the same author!" – John Watson, The Week in Chess