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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) QGA books help (Read 15441 times)
GabrielGale
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #23 - 06/19/08 at 03:25:16
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Thanks slates. Will keep your points in mind.
  

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IMJohnCox
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #22 - 06/10/08 at 13:23:13
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How are you going to do a repertoire with the Vienna, Semko? Doesn't that only occur if White plays 4 Nf3 instead of 4 Bg5? Or are we having nomenclature differences?
  
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slates
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #21 - 06/10/08 at 11:37:50
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Hi Gabriel,

The one thing I might question about your thinking would be that you say the QGD is much more theory intensive;  as a rank beginner I started with the QGD as I was advised (and still believe) that it's easier to learn and apply than the QGA.  The QGD pretty much plays itself against most White players, although you run the risk of being left in passive positions.  You also have the other side of that argument in your favour though, in that White players will often overpress against you when trying to break through.  I suppose the Catalan might be a deterrant to playing the QGD, but not many 'lower rated players' will use it (in my experience), whilst personally I never liked facing 5Bf4 in the QGD, a line I saw about three times as often as the Catalan.  

However, the Tartakower is great if you can get it.  One more potential issue with the QGD is the Exchange, which, if you aren't comfortable facing it with White's knight on e2, can be avoided by using the Alatortsev move order 3...Be7.  This in itself can lead to a different set of lines but thats another story.  All things considered, i rarely got troubled by these deviations in my own games as a beginner, and most of the time got my Tartakower or something that I was comfortable with.  I don't think as Black you are likely to get creamed using the QGD, you may suffer against stronger players in some slightly passive positions and their knowledge of theory may kill you off (as in most openings if they know lots more of it than you) but generally it's a safe and educational way to play chess.  

However, my feelings about the QGA are slightly different - I think with the QGA you have to play more actively, and I also think you can get killed off much more quickly if you misstep or don't find a good plan.  To echo some other posters on here, White can develop reasonably naturally and suddenly be on top of you, soemthing that isn't as likely in the QGD.  But I do like the QGA as it can also catch unprepared Whites off guard;  I just think that as Black you really need to learn some lines in it (as I'm trying to do currently) to be able to deal with some of White options.

One other point about it - if you look in Raetsky's book (it's also buried in Ward's book on page 136) there's an explanation of the helpful move order  used by Rublevsky - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 e6 - this limits what you need to know as Black by avoiding the Furman variation and the aggressive Two Knights variation.....

Finally I would suggest that if you intend to use the QGA as a stepping stone to the QGD (and again I would stress that i think this would be better done the other way around!) you make careful preparation for the English and Reti lines etc., stuff that's used to avoid a QGA but which you can often still play a QGD against.  Good luck!
  
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GabrielGale
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #20 - 06/10/08 at 02:40:48
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@slates, Thanks for the review. I don't own any of the other books you mentioned. So it is good to be able to put Ward's book in context. I read somewhere that QGA is a nice introd to the QG games and once learned, a player can then move on to QGD games (which I understand are infinitely more theory-intensive). I picked up Ward's book also on impulse since it was heavily discounted and I needed a book on QGA. I am a novice beginner myself and at this stage needs enough to know the general ideas and early moves. learning from other postings in the Forum, I was also attracted by the annotated games in Ward's. This will help in the middlegame and tactics and also the endgame. I think you are also correct in that QGA is not played often at club level and therefore may have a "surprise" value.
I think about getting the Rizzitano's and Sakaev/Semkov much later when I need those theory.
  

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slates
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #19 - 06/07/08 at 13:34:48
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GabrielGale wrote on 05/14/08 at 01:50:47:
Back to the topic of books on QGA. Does anyone have a considered opinion on Ward's 1998 QGA book? Putting aside its age, is/was it any good? Does it provide an adequate introd to QGA which can be updated with games?


OK, I'll offer a few of my thoughts on the various QGA books I own, in the hope they may be of use to you or anyone else looking to buy a book on this opening, but please check the caveat later in the post....

Yes, I think the Ward book does provide a decent enough intro to the QGA.  I'm constantly wrestling with the problem of which defence to employ against 1.d4, and have recently been trying out both the Slav and the QGA again, so I've picked up Ward's book from my shelf where it was unjustly gathering dust.  The theory will need updating, certainly (I've just ordered Semkov's 3rd edition QGA book today), but it provides a nice collection of annotated QGA games at the very least and some good basic instruction to boot.  

Having also bought Rizzitano's excellent  QGA (and other White 2nd moves) repertoire book a while ago, and also Raetsky's QGA Starting Out guide, I'm glad I have Ward as well. His text is clear and the 90 games cover the QGA well for both sides, although there is perhaps some bias for White, particularly in the 3.e4 section, which he obviously feels is critical.  (He also explores this in his later 'Play the Queens Gambit', in a chapter which seemed disproportionately large in the context of some other chapters therein. Still, that's good for anyone thinking of using the QGA or meeting it with 3.e4, and I'd say that alone merits investigation of that book as well as his QGA specific one from 1999.) 

Here's the caveat to all this - I'm not a very strong player at all, and I have the bad habits of both flitting from opening to opening (against 1.d4, anyway) and buying too many chess books, so you should be aware that I haven't read it cover to cover yet, and my opinion (if I gave one) on the theoretical merits of any given lines would be of minimal value in comparison to some of the contributors here.  I've read posts in threads on the QGA by the likes of Semko himself, Inn2, MarinFan, Geoff Strayer and many others which are all very useful and worth tracking down if you're interested in more 'considered' opinions on the defence and/or books about it.  

Meanwhile I would simply say that it's worth getting the Ward book if you can still find it - depending upon your level it will probably serve you well in many of the lines.  At my own level I don't imagine White will be prepared to the extent that that he will beat me with more recent theory very often; it seems the QGA catches many White players by surprise, oddly enough, whilst my attempts at various Slavs are usually met rather more convincingly  Sad
 
Still, as I said earlier I'm a chess book junkie so having the Sakaev/Semkov book to hand will make me comfortable Smiley in the theory corner, too - plus, it will give me some more coverage on 3.e4 Nc6, a line I'd like to investigate more.  
To make a comparison here, using 3.e4 Nc6, there's very skimpy coverage in the Raetsky book with three complete games compared to the ten games in Ward - this is an example of how Ward's book is still worth getting and although the target audience of Raetsky's Starting Out book may be a little lower than Ward's, the page count of 172 versus Ward's 160 is deceptive; the Ward book has double column spacing, the Raetsky doesn't, Ward has 90 games, Raetsky 51.  However, Raetsky does have more basic introductions to the lines and more handholding. I'm glad I have them both.

Rizzitano, meanwhile, is repertoire and so only gives certain lines for Black, but has a great deal more theory than either Ward or Raetsky. 
His book is also extremely well organised, as you might expect from a Gambit title, and uses the variation tree approach rather than the complete game approach of Ward and the Starting Out title. 

As mentioned previously, you shouldn't really be without the Rizzitano title if you want to know how to meet any of White's second move alternatives to c4 - he covers pretty much everything, but is a little short on 2.Bf4 in the London system, if you really had to find any fault at all.  Again, I suppose it depends upon your level - this hasn't troubled me much as I rarely face this line and besides, most of my games will be decided by my tactical mistakes rather than move order issues  Embarrassed 

It seems that Semko's book is similarly dense but aimed at a higher rated player, although in a review of it in NIC Glenn Flear wrote that he felt it was a very good practical guide for players of all levels, if I recall correctly, so maybe all are worth having  Wink

Anyway, owning all these books and talking about them has reminded me that I need to get down to some hard study of them, so I'll try to do just that now.  Good luck!
  
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GabrielGale
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #18 - 05/14/08 at 01:50:47
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Back to the topic of books on QGA. Does anyone have a considered opinion on Ward's 1998 QGA book? Putting aside its age, is/was it any good? Does it provide an adequate introd to QGA which can be updated with games?
  

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A Year With Nessie ...... aka GM John Shaw's The King's Gambit (http://thekinggambit.blogspot.com.au/)
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #17 - 05/09/08 at 19:56:59
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Semko wrote on 05/09/08 at 15:13:52:
Chess Stars is planning a repertoire book, based on the Vienna variation (and a repertoire against the Catalan). That would be a sharper choice for Black. However there is not a single line written yet... only variations.


This is very exciting news!  I'll be looking out for this...
  

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slates
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #16 - 05/09/08 at 17:48:06
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@ Semko - 

Many thanks for your reply.  I may well end up ordering your QGA book. 

  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #15 - 05/09/08 at 15:13:52
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My personal feeling is that 3...e5 is objectively the best answer, but I have never played it as Black. For a club level 3...Nc6 seems more promising. Well, Baburin, who plays it regularly, admits that positionally it is a bit dubious, and I agree. But we are not playing against Karpov or Smyslov (at least not every day...), do we?! I think that Black has a fair amount of counterplay there.
As for a pdf with updates, I'm afraid, it is not possible. Most pages are changed, except some totally off-topic lines.
I definitely do not plan a 4th edition, but instead Chess Stars is planning a repertoire book, based on the Vienna variation (and a repertoire against the Catalan). That would be a sharper choice for Black. However there is not a single line written yet... only variations.
  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #14 - 05/02/08 at 10:32:00
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MarinFan wrote on 04/12/08 at 09:11:33:
Hello,

Clearly the best book on the market now is the third edition chess star's book by Semkov.  There is new analysis with TN's in many lines. For example, the game Beliavsky-Sermek with the plan of a3/b4 whicretch has been discussed quite a bit on this forum, is fully covered.
       Compared to early editions his opinion has changed in many lines, for example now seems to prefer 7..b5 against 7.Bb3. This is because of the highly concrete nature of the opening, which is maybe why the opening is not so popular with club players.

Bye John S


Hi all, 

Can anyone who owns the new third edition of the Sakaev/Semko QGA book tell us if the authors indicate that he feels Black is ok now in lines following 3.e4, as I seem to recall a previous post by Semko where he agreed with many posters here that in the line played in Beliavsky-Sermek Black was under considerable pressure?

(I think he also felt that the Two Knights variation was a good bet for White players looking for fertile ground, but I think many Black players would use move orders - Rublevsky's 3...e6 - to try to avoid facing the Two Knights at club level - I know I would.) 

I'm tempted to buy the Sakaev/Semkov book, but I've been experimenting with the Slav lately due to 3.e4 in the QGA, with which I'm a little uncomfortable. Not sure that Rizzitano's recommended 3...e5 suits me - maybe 3...Nc6 would be better, in which case Sakaev's book might well be a necessity for me, but I wonder what the book 'recommends' as Black's best versus 3.e4.  I know it isn't a repertoire book, but unless the assessment is that Black's choice of third move is purely down to individual taste I'd be interested to know which way they lean on this before committing to buy.

Many thanks
  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #13 - 05/02/08 at 03:59:34
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[/quote]

Hey, why not try then the relatively new book on this opening by GM Konstantin Sakaev titled  "The Queen's Gambit Accepted", 3rd edition sold at London Chess Centre and priced at around 20 GBP. Why, it's still a good deal! The book seems to have been positively acclaimed with chess reviewers.
http://www.ukgamesshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=chnew...
[/quote]
Why, because I upgraded from the 1st ed to the 2nd only to learn there is a 3rd ed. I think I will wait for the 4th or 5th ed. Smiley

I was looking for a pdf of the changes (a la the Sharpest Sicilian) but did not see any. Perhaps Semko can indicate if there such a thing.
  
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Gavin Metcalf
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #12 - 04/29/08 at 17:59:17
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JonHecht wrote on 11/03/07 at 15:54:46:
Ello, I'm currently a Benko player, and have been for a while. I just keep encountering problems with the Re1 and moreso with Rb1 lines, not to mention all these declined variations that I have to know well (though I did get to do that Q sac once... that was awesome). Uhhh, anyway, QGA is the only somewhat sound reply to d4 that I haven't played, so I figure it is time to check it out. Any suggestions?

I was thinking How to Beat d4 by Rizzitano, but if there is anything better then I would very grateful.

Oh, and there being an online version of the games in PGN (much quicker to go through the book) then that would be a plus.

Thanks.


Hey, why not try then the relatively new book on this opening by GM Konstantin Sakaev titled  "The Queen's Gambit Accepted", 3rd edition sold at London Chess Centre and priced at around 20 GBP. Why, it's still a good deal! The book seems to have been positively acclaimed with chess reviewers.
http://www.ukgamesshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=chnew...
  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #11 - 04/13/08 at 02:38:03
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I've often thought that the QGA would be an excellent choice for a club player to specialize in.  I hardly ever face it; it seems to lag behind the KID, Grunfeld, QGD, Slav, Semi-Slav, Benoni, and Dutch in popularity!  I probably see the Chigorin, Albin, and Budapest more often (or about as often) as the QGA.  Anyone else have similar experiences?
  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #10 - 04/12/08 at 21:58:19
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It is interesting to note that Dangerous Weapons: Queen's Gambit did not cover any QGA variations...still, that shouldn't stop you from playing the opening as long as it suits you. As Sakaev/Semkov show in the third edition of their QGA book, Black has good chances of eventually equalising in all lines. 

Although I don't play the QGA at the moment, I still bought the book to improve my White lines against it. I happen to score very well against the QGA Smiley.
  
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Re: QGA books help
Reply #9 - 04/12/08 at 14:26:12
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MarinFan wrote on 04/12/08 at 09:11:33:
Hello,

Clearly the best book on the market now is the third edition chess star's book by Semkov.  There is new analysis with TN's in many lines. For example, the game Beliavsky-Sermek with the plan of a3/b4 whicretch has been discussed quite a bit on this forum, is fully covered.
       Compared to early editions his opinion has changed in many lines, for example now seems to prefer 7..b5 against 7.Bb3. This is because of the highly concrete nature of the opening, which is maybe why the opening is not so popular with club players.

Bye John S


Good grief, there's a third edition?!  I already bought the first two.  They should sell subscriptions, for crying out loud.  Or print it on ring binder sheets.  Or offer an upgrade discount for owners of version 1.2.
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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