The Problem With Openings Books

What’s the problem openings books? Basically that they’re all pretty much wrong about everything!

It’s not the fault of the authors, it’s more the culture of ‘theory’ that has arisen and the story line that the best moves are there and the route to excellence is to discover and then repeat them. The authors simply serve this false idea which is what is required of them by the chess playing public.

The game below is a good example as it has been used as a model example of White’s play against the Steinitz Variation of the Spanish, and by several different books. One book that I have mentions 33.Rc1 as an improvement for White, but haven’t we gone rather far? And how inconvenient it would be to find improvements for BLACK rather than White when what we really want to do is show a safe and simple edge for White!

So does Black have improvements in this line? Maybe! Of course I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you by indicating what they are, though I can say that if someone doesn’t play any bad moves they won’t end up with a poor position…


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: