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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen (Read 26751 times)
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #71 - 05/08/18 at 03:07:28
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... and 5 ... Nd4 (Fritz) in the two knights.  For some reason adding these three lines as "starters" makes picking up the open games more manageable particularly if you pair it with the Schliemann or Classical Berlin.

gillbod wrote on 05/06/18 at 19:14:30:
I've been enjoying this book more and more too.

One particularly nice touch is the coverage of alternative lines against white's dry attempts. For example, 5...Nxe4 against the Scotch Four Knights and 4...Bd6 against the Spanish Four Knights. Nice to see these lines getting some coverage.

  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #70 - 05/06/18 at 19:14:30
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I've been enjoying this book more and more too.

One particularly nice touch is the coverage of alternative lines against white's dry attempts. For example, 5...Nxe4 against the Scotch Four Knights and 4...Bd6 against the Spanish Four Knights. Nice to see these lines getting some coverage.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #69 - 05/05/18 at 15:33:57
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I picked up this book when visiting the National H.S. Championship, and I am really enjoying the selected variations. I would not always say the same about Bologan’s or Lokander’s selections. As a bonus, I can play these openings against juniors without reproach. Wink
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #68 - 04/28/18 at 13:47:09
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A bit off topic, but I have had an interesting hour or so, comparing a file I made from chunks of Lokander, Ntirlis, Johnsen with the Hypermodern Game of Chess (Tartakower). The analysis is still pretty accurate considering Dr T. didn't have much computing power at hand.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #67 - 04/26/18 at 10:13:03
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/26/18 at 10:01:36:
To this end, it's nice to see Sverre recommending the Nimzowitsch, and similarly Martin Lokander going for 3...Nf6. Meanwhile Bologan offers both 3...g5 and 3...d5, so the reader can choose according to taste.


The common feature on these is that you take on f4 and then support it either with .. g5 or with .. Bd6. The pawn on f4 obstructs White's pieces, getting in the way of both the dark squared Bishop and Rook on f1.

If you play 1. e4 e5, you need a defence to the Kings Gambit, it probably doesn't matter which one. For players of the 1600 level, playing the Kings Gambit could be recommended for the white pieces, for the reason that players with Black of that standard seem to have little knowledge of how to organise a coherent defence. Whilst in the Queens Gambit, Black can allow Bxc4 without undue consequences, allowing Bxf4 in the Kings Gambit is usually a sign that something has gone wrong unless there's serious concession gained elsewhere.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #66 - 04/26/18 at 10:01:36
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MNb wrote on 04/23/18 at 06:43:10:
According to my database White's doing a bit better with the best continuation against the Nimzowitsch than with the best continuation against the Modern, but the difference is marginal. Thus far nobody has challenged my argument: at such an early stage it's not clear yet whether ...c6 is an optimal move, while ...Nf6 is.

Sorry, apart from the standard claim that the Modern is a better defence, I hadn't noticed any argument. But okay, as to the relative merits of ...c6 vs. ...Nf6, it all depends how you intend to set up, doesn't it. Certainly ...Nf6 is more optimal than an early ...c6 in the Modern. But it isn't in the Nimzowitsch, where the g8-knight often goes to e7. Nor in the "delayed Modern" with 3...Ne7.

This is just a bugbear of mine: people recommending the Modern as an antidote to the King's Gambit. Of course the Modern is fine for Black, but whether anyone should play it depends on whether they like the positions arising. It's certainly not a line for everyone universally. (Indeed, I much prefer the White side of these positions.) When you can pretty much play anything against the King's Gambit, I think it's more appropriate to pick a defence you personally like the look of. To this end, it's nice to see Sverre recommending the Nimzowitsch, and similarly Martin Lokander going for 3...Nf6. Meanwhile Bologan offers both 3...g5 and 3...d5, so the reader can choose according to taste.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #65 - 04/23/18 at 20:21:35
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MNb wrote on 04/23/18 at 17:45:04:
ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 15:21:01:
we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?

Wrong. Compare yourself:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.Nc3 exf4 5.Nf3.



I understand your point (see my second paragraph).  But we're still not comparing apples to apples; in the Modern, White does not have to play 5.Nc3?!, and in the Nimzovich Black doesn't have to play 5...Nf6?!, instead he can play 5...Bd6 which protects the f4-pawn.  So I don't see a direct comparison here, though there are similarities.  You seem to suggest that it's self-evident that your first line is better than your second, but it isn't evident to me.
« Last Edit: 04/24/18 at 03:54:50 by ErictheRed »  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #64 - 04/23/18 at 17:45:04
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ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 15:21:01:
we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?

Wrong. Compare yourself:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.Nc3 exf4 5.Nf3.


ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 15:21:01:
we need to find some tabiyas to compare a few moves further down the line.

The relevant tabiyas have been common knowledge in the KG for quite a while.

  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #63 - 04/23/18 at 15:21:01
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I don't think that it's so simple as saying that ...Nf6 is a mroe optimal move than ...c6 in these King's Gambit lines; we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?  3...c6 may have the advantage of making White commit to 4.Nc3, allowing Black to capture on f4 and then place the bishop on d6, where it protects the f4-pawn. 

So if we want to have a serious discussion about the merits of 3...c6 vs 3...exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6, we need to find some tabiyas to compare a few moves further down the line.

Regardless, I'm happy that a new variation was covered in this book, one which I personally was not familiar with, whereas I've known about 3...exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6 since Kaufman's original Chess Advantage in Black and White, which was a long time ago.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #62 - 04/23/18 at 14:36:00
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/23/18 at 08:30:39:
I find this discussion a bit hard to follow. It would help to know what's supposed to be best play in the Modern. I believe 2...d5 3 exd5 exf4 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bc4 Nxd5 6 O-O Be7 7 d4 O-O 8 Bxd5 Qxd5 9 Bxf4 is a position White would be happy to reach, even if it's probably only equal. It's a position where the one who knows the tactics and understands the small strategical imbalances will score well (White scores around 57% after both 9...c6 and 9...c5). The continuation 9...c5 10 Nc3 Qc4 11 Qe1 Bf6 12 Bd6 Bxd4+ 13 Kh1 Rd8 14 Ne4 is interesting but my impression is that White is better. I did check this in Shaw's book some years ago, but it's all gone from my memory now (including where I put that book).



6. .... Be6 is perhaps stronger (best play)  than 6. ... Be7
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #61 - 04/23/18 at 09:49:25
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ErictheRed wrote on 04/22/18 at 15:32:17:
The more time I spend with this book, the more I like it.  I love that Sverre offers two major systems in most cases, so that Black players can mix and match to their taste.  Both 3...Bc5 and 3...Nf6 are covered in the Italian, both 4...Nf6 and 4...Bc5 are covered in the Scotch, etc. 
[...]

A nice review from a reliable source; very useful! By the looks of it I will have to get the book, as I have long-term plans of giving 1.e4 e5 a serious try.
But a bit sad to read you're no longer playing competitive chess.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #60 - 04/23/18 at 09:27:05
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/23/18 at 06:08:09:
That's a common perception. It's often claimed that the Modern is the best/simplest/most practical/whatever defence. Whereas statistically it's actually about the fourth best standard defence behind 3...g5, 3...h6 and... the Nimzowitsch.

Aside from objective value the Nimzowitsch, the Modern, the Falkbeer and 2...Bc5 share one advantage over the other main defences: They do away with the need to learn independent lines for 2...exf4 3.Nf3 and 3.Bc4. If nothing else, that makes them tempting for authors of repertoire books. (Btw. this isn't a veiled criticism of Sverre's choice; I was actually planning to test the Nimzowitsch myself before I knew it was in this book).

After 3.Nf3, isn't Black also doing fine statistically with 3...Nf6 and 3...Ne7? He was last time I checked.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #59 - 04/23/18 at 08:30:39
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I find this discussion a bit hard to follow. It would help to know what's supposed to be best play in the Modern. I believe 2...d5 3 exd5 exf4 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bc4 Nxd5 6 O-O Be7 7 d4 O-O 8 Bxd5 Qxd5 9 Bxf4 is a position White would be happy to reach, even if it's probably only equal. It's a position where the one who knows the tactics and understands the small strategical imbalances will score well (White scores around 57% after both 9...c6 and 9...c5). The continuation 9...c5 10 Nc3 Qc4 11 Qe1 Bf6 12 Bd6 Bxd4+ 13 Kh1 Rd8 14 Ne4 is interesting but my impression is that White is better. I did check this in Shaw's book some years ago, but it's all gone from my memory now (including where I put that book).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #58 - 04/23/18 at 06:43:10
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According to my database White's doing a bit better with the best continuation against the Nimzowitsch than with the best continuation against the Modern, but the difference is marginal. Thus far nobody has challenged my argument: at such an early stage it's not clear yet whether ...c6 is an optimal move, while ...Nf6 is. Merely repeating " I still say all defences to the King's Gambit are good" doesn't change this; it's rather a logical fallacy (if it was intended as a counterargument), especially as I already have made clear that imo the Nimzowitsch Defense is a good defense indeed. I just think the Modern is better (see, that happens - you force me to repeat my statement as well, something I thoroughly dislike - so I'm probably out again).
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #57 - 04/23/18 at 06:08:09
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MNb wrote on 04/20/18 at 16:02:18:
Because some defenses are still better than others, like the Modern being better than the Nimzowitsch.


That's a common perception. It's often claimed that the Modern is the best/simplest/most practical/whatever defence. Whereas statistically it's actually about the fourth best standard defence behind 3...g5, 3...h6 and... the Nimzowitsch.

Not that statistics matter that much. I still say all defences to the King's Gambit are good (even the Falkbeer) — as long as you know what you're doing and like the resulting positions. Well, okay, maybe not 2...f5 Wink
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #56 - 04/22/18 at 15:32:17
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The more time I spend with this book, the more I like it.  I love that Sverre offers two major systems in most cases, so that Black players can mix and match to their taste.  Both 3...Bc5 and 3...Nf6 are covered in the Italian, both 4...Nf6 and 4...Bc5 are covered in the Scotch, etc. 

I'm very far from an expert on the Open Games, having only played a few serious games with 1...e5 as Black (and only when I outrated my opponent by a fair bit), but I've been studying them a lot casually over the last couple of years.  If I return to competitive chess, my plan is to drop 1...c5 and pick up 1...e5. 

I have both Lokander's and Ntirlis's recent books, but I do not own either of Bologan's.  Bologan's content looked quite good, but I recall not enjoying some of his recommendations in the Exchange Spanish when I browsed in the bookstore, and most importantly, I thought that the layout and organization was nearly unreadable.  It all seemed very cluttered to me (admittedly I only browsed for a few minutes) and I couldn't imagine actually using his books much if I bought them, so I went with Lokander and then Ntirlis for my own studies, and now I have Johnsen's book.  Maybe I'll give Bologan another chance in the future. 

Obviously Johnsen has the advantage of having written the most recent book, and I like how he's treated his recommendations with respect to the literature.  He often recommends slight tweaks, if not large deviations, from previous books, which gives the reader a lot of choice in constructing a repertoire.  Personally, I never use all of the lines that an author recommends, but if I can incorporate, perhaps, 20% of a book's proposals into my own repertoire, I feel that's a fantastic value. 

The book seems more dense than Ntirlis' book; there are more little sidelines covered, and in more detail.  Of course, Ntirlis was also covering the Spanish in his, so had space limitations.  I feel that you get a ton of content from Johnsen's book in one volume, more than either of Lokander's or Ntirlis's coverage of the non-Spanish lines. 

I have always felt that while Ntirlis offers excellent analysis (I own four of his books), it's often geared more towards correspondence players, at least in my mind.  I find more unnatural lines, or ones more difficult for humans to understand, in his books than in others.  At least, more lines that are difficult for me to understand.  Lokander's book is much more of a "human" book, and I love the personal feel that runs through it.  Ntirlis can be personal, but somehow feels a bit clinical to me. 

Johnsen's book feels very human and personal, which I favor.  I especially like the little explanations for why he chose a particular variation over another one, and I feel that his reasoning makes more sense for a practical over-the-board player, such as recommending 4...g6 in the Center Game.  At least, I find myself agreeing with his recommendations a lot, but not in all cases.  For instance, I would have liked coverage of the ...d7-d5 lines in the ...Be7 Italian, but that's fine. 

There are pros and cons to the layout in this book.  On the one hand it's pretty highly organized and I always know where to go to find a particular line.  I bought Cornette's book on the Ragozin, for instance, and find it almost completely unreadable.  I'm not exaggerating; I recall trying to make a serious study of 5.Bg5 h6, meeting a bunch of sidelines in Cornette's text, and then not being able to figure out where the main line picked up (I still haven't been able to) or what position a particular note is starting from.  It seemed like there is good content in there, but I honestly couldn't get much out of the book.  Johnsen's book is the opposite of that, thankfully.  My one annoyance is that often I'm studying a particular line, and then if I want to look at deviations, I have to jump around a lot in the text.  I'd have preferred somehow to have the deviations in closer proximity to what I'm studying, but perhaps I'm thinking more of an illustrative games format, and Johnsen has done the best he can with his particular format.  Like I said, I always know where to go to find something, I never get lost in the variations, thankfully. 

I don't have much to offer regarding the analysis as I'm not an expert on these lines, but overall I think that the book is excellent and I'm very happy with my purchase.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #55 - 04/21/18 at 09:52:16
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MNb wrote on 04/20/18 at 12:20:54:
Then I wonder why Black should play an inferior version of the Modern Defense. 
                   


If that was my impression, I'd probably have given the Modern main line.

However, my impression is that the King's gambit's main weakness is that it's an impractical opening. It's too risky for professionals who prefer to play for two results as White. And for the amateurs it's too demanding as Black has a huge number of sound lines, leading to positions of an enormous variety. Therefore I picked a line that hadn't received much attention for some years (actually I didn't pick it for this book but for my own repertoire some years ago).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #54 - 04/20/18 at 18:53:58
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MNb wrote on 04/20/18 at 12:20:54:
Then I wonder why Black should play an inferior version of the Modern Defense.

Having played three (*) defenses to the King's Gambit, I can say that:
  • The classical 3...g5 gives me an advantage, and I lose.
  • The Modern 3...d5 gives me equality, and I draw.
  • The Nimzowitsch 2...d5 + 3...c6 gives me a disadvantage, and I win.

Edited:
Three defenses counting serious games only.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #53 - 04/20/18 at 17:54:50
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/15/18 at 08:14:34:
Regarding a reply to the RL "in the open spirit", a line with ...Bc5 seems the obvious option. Maybe 3...Bc5 and the variation pair 4 c3 f5!? (Cordel) and 4 0-0 Qf6!? (nameless?) is worth investigating. I believe there must exist a DVD/Video recommending it, but my googling has been fruitless.

There is a DVD by Sam Collins which recommends 3.Bb5 Bc5:
https://shop.chessbase.com/en/products/collins_open_games_with_bc5#

Though he continues with different lines than those you mention: 4.c3 Nf6 and 4.0-0 Nd4. Besides, it's an entire 1.e4 e5 repertoire for Black in just above 5 hours, so it may not be very detailed.

Collins also has DVDs on the Schliemann and the Spanish Fianchetto. Looks like sidelines in the Ruy Lopez are his second speciality! (Behind IQP-based lines, obviously).
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #52 - 04/20/18 at 16:02:18
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/20/18 at 13:06:23:
I think all defences to the King's Gambit are good,

All is an exaggeration (2...f5) but not a big one. Let's say lots.


Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/20/18 at 13:06:23:
in which case why would anyone choose to play the Modern? Wink

Because some defenses are still better than others, like the Modern being better than the Nimzowitsch. Playing ....Nf6 at an early stage is a smaller concession than an early ...c6.

Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/20/18 at 13:06:23:
Personally, I'm far more interested in Sverre's original thoughts on 2...d5/3...c6.

OK and I'm not saying the Nimzowitsch is uninteresting - but this doesn't answer my question of course.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #51 - 04/20/18 at 13:06:23
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MNb wrote on 04/20/18 at 12:20:54:
Then I wonder why Black should play an inferior version of the Modern Defense.


I think all defences to the King's Gambit are good, in which case why would anyone choose to play the Modern? Wink

Personally, I'm far more interested in Sverre's original thoughts on 2...d5/3...c6.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #50 - 04/20/18 at 12:20:54
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Then I wonder why Black should play an inferior version of the Modern Defense.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #49 - 04/19/18 at 20:42:35
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grandpatzer wrote on 04/19/18 at 18:50:19:
Is it possible to know what the suggested line vs the King's Gambit is?  Cool Thx.

I think its the Nimzowitch line with d5 and c6?
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #48 - 04/19/18 at 18:50:19
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Is it possible to know what the suggested line vs the King's Gambit is?  Cool Thx.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #47 - 04/15/18 at 08:31:29
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Quote:
Anyway, my main question about Johnsen's book was how it distinguishes itself from Bologan, Lokander, and Ntirlis.  On scanning this thread, i did not see any reason to favor Johnsen's work over its rivals.  It may be that all 4 bear such quality that the choice matters little.


Probably I'm not the one who should answer this. But let me acknowledge that Bologan's, Lokander's and Ntirlis' books are are all excellent in analytical content.

My ambition was to write a book of similar analytical quality (after all I had access to their works) but in a format that aids memory and is easier to follow for an inexperienced reader. Whether I succeeded or not, others must judge.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #46 - 04/15/18 at 08:14:34
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There are some questions/comments about a follow-up book on the Ruy Lopez. I don't have any plans for that but won't rule it out either. Now my main ambition is to make "Win with..." into a trilogy by adding a defence against 1 e4. Nothing is decided yet, but the Caro Kann seems a likely candidate.

Regarding a reply to the RL "in the open spirit", a line with ...Bc5 seems the obvious option. Maybe 3...Bc5 and the variation pair 4 c3 f5!? (Cordel) and 4 0-0 Qf6!? (nameless?) is worth investigating. I believe there must exist a DVD/Video recommending it, but my googling has been fruitless.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #45 - 04/14/18 at 13:55:09
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I just received my copy Thursday evening, and my initial impressions are very positive.  It's much more dense and thick than I'd expected given the page count, and I'm happy to see that the book strongly reflects the author's opinion (it is a repertoire book, after all), even when I might have wished that a different way of handling the Black pieces had been proposed in a couple of places.  I buy opening books like this to get the real opinions of experts (not just fashionable lines), and I feel like that's what I got. 
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #44 - 04/14/18 at 00:21:05
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mn wrote on 04/11/18 at 03:08:33:
katar wrote on 04/11/18 at 01:08:51:
I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.


QC have been doing that for years, no?

I would not join you in crediting QC, since i have found that most QC books are dense trees though Ntirlis is a good counterexample.
Chris Ward's Play the QG (Everyman, 2006) brilliantly executed the games/tree format - as well as any book I've ever seen.  I would say Chess-Stars deserves credit for popularizing the "Quick Repertoire / Theory / Complete Games" format which is a reliable way to do things although the Complete Games sections suffer in Chess-Stars books in my opinion.

Anyway, my main question about Johnsen's book was how it distinguishes itself from Bologan, Lokander, and Ntirlis.  On scanning this thread, i did not see any reason to favor Johnsen's work over its rivals.  It may be that all 4 bear such quality that the choice matters little.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #43 - 04/13/18 at 12:47:48
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/13/18 at 09:33:13:
he reason was that I found the line 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 O-O Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 e5 d5 7 exf6 dxc4 8 fxg7! Rg8 9 Bg5! Be7 10 Bxe7 Kxe7 11 Re1+ Be6 12 Re4 objectively better for White.

What about 11...Kf6 though?
                   


It appears to be mostly the same. Probably a little better for White, harder to handle for Black in practice and a good chance that White is better prepared. Nothing I'd be happy to play myself and not easy to recommend to my target readers.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #42 - 04/13/18 at 11:27:52
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I'm now looking at the other line where my book meets the Shaw book, which is in the Scotch Mieses variation. After the moves 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nxc6 bxc6 6 e5 Qe7 7 Qe2 Nd5 8 c4 Ba6 9 Nd2 (instead of the more common 9 b3) 9...O-O-O 10 b3 g5 11 Bb2 Bg7, Shaw suggests 12 Qe4 which isn't covered in my book. Now, after the moves 12...Nf4 13 O-O-O (12 O-O-O Nf4 13 Qe4 is another move-order) 13...Bb7 14 Qf5 c5 15 Ne4 h6 16 h4 Qe6 17 Qxe6 Nxe6 18 Re1 what surprises me, is how completely harmless this seems to be. Stockfish 9 at a search depth of 35 gives Black's top 10 moves an evaluation in the range -0.08 to 0.08 (and the next handfull of moves aren't much worse). The game Sethuraman-Bosiocic, Philadelphia 2012 continued 18...Rhe8 19 hxg5 hxg5 20 Rh7 and Shaw claims that Black was still struggling to equalize. That may have been the case but according to Stockfish, Black is perfectly fine (if not better) after 20...Bxe4 21 Rxe4 Rh8 22 Rxh8 Rxh8. This may of course all be a case of the GM evaluating the position more accurately than the engine but that isn't very helpful without any strategic guidance.

Any opinions?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #41 - 04/13/18 at 10:56:26
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RL: 3.Bb5 f5
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #40 - 04/13/18 at 10:54:27
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In the spirit of the first book, a couple of lines for Black vs. the Ruy, too, would be great. How about, for example, Open, Arkhanglesk and / or Neo Arkhanglesk!?!?

For now, congratulations for the book!
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #39 - 04/13/18 at 10:37:20
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Firstly my congratulations for outstanding book Sverre  Smiley

I'm strongly supporting view of other members who would like to see a sequel in Open Games - dealing with a perennial and for most folks the dreadful Spanish Game  Cool

Please consider lines where Black doesn't have to navigate trough myriad of variations to come to desired variation suited for professionals like Zaitsev (you wrote a book on it), passive Chigorin or demanding Breyer.

Do consider Modern or Old Steinitz, or even better - THE OPEN Spanish  Smiley

Thanks for your contribution to chess fans happiness all around the world  Cheesy
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #38 - 04/13/18 at 10:01:06
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@author
Are you going to follow this book with one vs. the Ruy?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #37 - 04/13/18 at 09:33:13
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/12/18 at 18:31:37:
The reason was that I found the line 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 O-O Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 e5 d5 7 exf6 dxc4 8 fxg7! Rg8 9 Bg5! Be7 10 Bxe7 Kxe7 11 Re1+ Be6 12 Re4 objectively better for White.


What about 11...Kf6 though?
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #36 - 04/13/18 at 07:49:03
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Well, it isn't exactly new, in Megabase there's Fahrni-Tartakower, 1914, and there may be even older examples. Anyway, until quite recently I assumed it to be a sideline which Black could handle and maybe even refute if well prepared. If Bücker was the first to demonstrate its viability, it's no surprise.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #35 - 04/12/18 at 19:56:27
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Ah, I think that was analyzed Stefan Bücker if I'm remembering right, and probably others.  It does seem to be pretty widely known these days--the sequence leading up to 12.Re4, I mean.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #34 - 04/12/18 at 18:31:37
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The reason was that I found the line 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 O-O Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 e5 d5 7 exf6 dxc4 8 fxg7! Rg8 9 Bg5! Be7 10 Bxe7 Kxe7 11 Re1+ Be6 12 Re4 objectively better for White. That isn't necessarily a big problem, as it may be no more than +=. However, when you add that this frequently will be White's pet line which he has studied deeply and that it seems harder for Black to handle (with his exposed king), it adds up to something that's hard to recommend to somebody inexperienced in the Open Games. I used to play the Max Lange as Black myself, but that was when 8 Re1+ was the main line and I believed that correct play would reward me with full equality or perhaps more.

That being said, it's an old and important line, and I wouldn't exclude the possibility that there are improvements for Black.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #33 - 04/12/18 at 18:01:41
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/12/18 at 06:59:16:
My explanation for why I currently don't recommend Black to enter the Max Lange Attack had to be deleted for space reasons. That's a pity because I used to think of the Max Lange as required knowledge in the Open Games.


Perhaps you could share your thoughts here?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #32 - 04/12/18 at 17:52:25
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I did not find much in the line given by Shaw in his Playing 1.e4 book. I was quite shocked that the book is not listed in the bibliography (which explains why the line recommended there was not attended to) as it is the main book for White in the Scotch in the last couple of years.
The line is addressed in a note with simple '=' sign, but it's in a position where Shaw is just beginning to analyse (Anand-Aronian).


I must plead guilty. The book wasn't available when I started writing the book but Quality Chess is a major chess publisher so I should have noticed when it was published. When I shortly before completing my work checked for recent books from White's side I found one on the the Scotch gambit and one on the quiet Italian that seemed worth investigating. Maybe the Caro Kann in the title fooled me?

Anyway, I have the book now, and must say that Shaw's choice appears relatively harmless and that my "=" seems a reasonable assessment. Possibly "+= tending towards equality" would be more precise (I haven't run any deep computer analysis on it) but when writing it I obviously didn't find it to deserve more than a simplified assessment. Obviously, starting your analysis at this point (rather than concluding it) gives you an edge but that edge could have been greater had the position been more complex.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #31 - 04/12/18 at 15:08:52
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I just got the book and at a glance it looks nice. But the first line I checked was in the Scotch, and I did not find much in the line given by Shaw in his Playing 1.e4 book. I was quite shocked that the book is not listed in the bibliography (which explains why the line recommended there was not attended to) as it is the main book for White in the Scotch in the last couple of years.
The line is addressed in a note with simple '=' sign, but it's in a position where Shaw is just beginning to analyse (Anand-Aronian).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #30 - 04/12/18 at 07:26:16
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Sverre, one thing I'm simply curious about is that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 is there a reason you don't recommend, or even mention, 7...Nxe4? (for those curious, the book recommends 7...Bxd2+ and covers 10...Na5 as well as 10...Nce7 if you want to avoid the repetition).


The reason I instead recommend 7...Bxd2+ is simply that that's what I've played myself for almost 40 years now, and I felt confident that it was an equalizing line with some possibilities for Black to play for a win.

Anyway, 7...Nxe4 should have been mentioned at least briefly as it seems an excellent alternative. Back in the pre-computer days it always felt risky (at least at my level) to play with your king in the centre. So when I saw Bologan recommend the move, I didn't really study his analysis but just had a look at the diagram position after 8 Bxb4 Nxb4 9 Bxf7+ Kxf7 10 Qb3 d5 11 Ne5+ Ke6! 12 Qxb4 c5! 13 Qa3 cxd4 14 Nf3 Qb6 15 0-0 Rd8 and decided that this wasn't something I'd like to play myself. What Bologan doesn't mention, and I only discovered later, is that instead 12...Qf8 is equal and quite easy for Black to play (so 12...c5 is an attempt to increase Black's winning chances). How Bologan's other suggestion, 10...Kf8!? works out, I've still no idea, as I haven't had that position on my computer screen. It looks safer but 11 Qxb4+ Qe7 12 Qxe7+ Kxe7 13 0-0 Kd8!? is a move I probably wouldn't have considered unless I knew it was 'theory'.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #29 - 04/12/18 at 06:59:16
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I have the book and I think it is excellent. But I was trying to find the Scotch Gambit line 1. e4 e5 2. Cf3 Cc6 3. Ac4 Ac5 4. d4 exd4 instead of 3...Cf6. Does it transpose somewhere, or am I missing something?


On page 83 (8A: 4 Nc3 and rare 4th moves), you will find it as variation c, mostly transposing to 9B: Max Lange's 5 d4!? and Rare 5th moves.

My explanation for why I currently don't recommend Black to enter the Max Lange Attack had to be deleted for space reasons. That's a pity because I used to think of the Max Lange as required knowledge in the Open Games.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #28 - 04/12/18 at 06:10:10
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 04/12/18 at 05:11:32:
But I was trying to find the Scotch Gambit line 1. e4 e5 2. Cf3 Cc6 3. Ac4 Ac5 4. d4 exd4 instead of 3...Cf6.


The usual point is that it transposes to the line 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 . If instead 4. .. Nf6 is recommended, then indeed 4. d4 takes Black out of his book.

There are other transposition tricks available. For example on 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4, it's possible to play 6. 0-0 which switches into Scotch territory. You can go the other way round. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. c3 Nf6 6. cxd4 to get the 4. c3 Italian.

I wouldn't be convinced that playing as White in this manner leads anywhere in particular, but it sets some problems to Black in what needs to be known about 1. e4 e5 positions.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #27 - 04/12/18 at 05:11:32
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I have the book and I think it is excellent. But I was trying to find the Scotch Gambit line 1. e4 e5 2. Cf3 Cc6 3. Ac4 Ac5 4. d4 exd4 instead of 3...Cf6. Does it transpose somewhere, or am I missing something?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #26 - 04/11/18 at 22:09:35
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I got this book about a week and a half ago and, while I haven't had the chance to look at it in great detail yet, my initial impression is that the book is excellent.

Sverre, one thing I'm simply curious about is that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 is there a reason you don't recommend, or even mention, 7...Nxe4? (for those curious, the book recommends 7...Bxd2+ and covers 10...Na5 as well as 10...Nce7 if you want to avoid the repetition).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #25 - 04/11/18 at 09:59:17
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/11/18 at 07:18:32:
mn wrote on 04/11/18 at 03:08:33:
katar wrote on 04/11/18 at 01:08:51:
I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.


QC have been doing that for years, no?


When I in Win with the London System (Gambit 2005) started the book with 30 annotated illustrative games and only then began the theoretical discussion, that was a relatively new concept. Combining a tree structure with complete games had of course been done before, but mostly the theory had been presented first and then the games were given as further study material.

In HtBtOG (like in Win with the Stonewall Dutch), the games have been split, so that there is one "Memorable game" at the start of each chapter. This I did mostly because the positions that can arise after 1 e4 e5 are so diverse that it's hard to say anything useful that applies to all. Another reason is the fact that I leave it more to the reader to pick his repertoire with some major choices like 3...Nf6 or 3...Bc5 against the Italian (but with the advice for the inexperienced student to have at least a brief look at all of Black's major options).


Despite my concerns around the layout of gambit books, i have several of yours because i find the explanations you give to be really easy to understand for a player of my limited ability.

For example I have considered playing the london as my regular opening several times over the last few years and I found your book really helpful in getting me confident enough to play it so quickly through those introductory games at the start of the book. I wish it was a structure more widely found across chess books.

I've ordered this one now and am really looking forward to it. Like many players i have an urge to return to play 1...e5 as i did when i first started playing the game (but never had a clue on openings back then) in order to improve ala Markovic's doctrine (and because Katar's enthusiasm can be somewhat infectious  Wink) but have never been confident enough to pull the trigger...
  

"As Mikhail Tal would say ' Let's have a bit of hooliganism! '"

Victor Bologan.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #24 - 04/11/18 at 07:18:32
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mn wrote on 04/11/18 at 03:08:33:
katar wrote on 04/11/18 at 01:08:51:
I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.


QC have been doing that for years, no?


When I in Win with the London System (Gambit 2005) started the book with 30 annotated illustrative games and only then began the theoretical discussion, that was a relatively new concept. Combining a tree structure with complete games had of course been done before, but mostly the theory had been presented first and then the games were given as further study material.

In HtBtOG (like in Win with the Stonewall Dutch), the games have been split, so that there is one "Memorable game" at the start of each chapter. This I did mostly because the positions that can arise after 1 e4 e5 are so diverse that it's hard to say anything useful that applies to all. Another reason is the fact that I leave it more to the reader to pick his repertoire with some major choices like 3...Nf6 or 3...Bc5 against the Italian (but with the advice for the inexperienced student to have at least a brief look at all of Black's major options).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #23 - 04/11/18 at 07:02:08
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It is too bad the author's introduction is not part of the PDF sample.  I was wondering how the new Johnsen book distinguishes itself from other good books on the same subject by Bologan, Lokander, and Ntirlis.   I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.


If you go to the book's Amazon page and click on the book cover on the left hand side, you will find considerably more of the book content than what's in the publishers' pdf-sample. (I still cannot post links).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #22 - 04/11/18 at 03:08:33
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katar wrote on 04/11/18 at 01:08:51:
I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.


QC have been doing that for years, no?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #21 - 04/11/18 at 01:08:51
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The Carlsplanet review says:

The author makes a fair point at the very beginning of the book. He is well aware that there have been many books written about 1.e4 e5 and questioned if there was anything new to add. Based on his 30 years of teaching student 1...e5 he felt that there was and I agree with him.

It is too bad the author's introduction is not part of the PDF sample.  I was wondering how the new Johnsen book distinguishes itself from other good books on the same subject by Bologan, Lokander, and Ntirlis.   I noted the book includes both illustrative games and a tree regarding precise move orders.  That is a great idea.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #20 - 04/10/18 at 14:15:37
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I just ordered my copy and am looking forward to getting my hands on it!  I'll share my thoughts in a week or two.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #19 - 04/07/18 at 20:15:34
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Congratulations on the book, Sverre!
The excerpt looks very promising
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #18 - 04/07/18 at 17:09:56
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/07/18 at 17:03:50:
What I found slightly disappointing is that he hadn't noticed that with Tari winning the Junior World Championship, Norway now has two World Champions!  Grin
Three actually, if you include the current (and probably last ever) postal chess world champion.  Smiley
« Last Edit: 04/07/18 at 20:04:33 by Stigma »  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #17 - 04/07/18 at 17:03:50
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Quote:
I find it a bit peculiar that the reviewer at one hand recognizes that the book is written from Black's perspective and still expresses his wish to have the Scotch with 4...Qh4 included


Well, maybe not that peculiar, because against quite a few of White's major options I offer an additional surprise weapon for Black (e.g. 2...c6 against the King's Gambit). I don't do this against the Scotch - mainly because I instead cover the two big moves 4...Nf6 and 4...Bc5.

As a parenthesis I'd like to point out that if you look really closely, you will find a few references to the Steinitz line:
* On page 136 (on my surprise weapon 5...Nxe4 against the Scotch Four Knights), I write: "Compared to Steinitz's line 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Qh4?! 5 Nb5 Qxe4+ 6 Be2, Black's position is considerably eased by the exchange of knights.
* On page 203 (on 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 a3), I write "White is hoping for the reversed Scotch line 3...d5 4 exd5 Nxd5, when 5 Qh5 is probably very good for White with any ...Nb4 options ruled out."

What I found slightly disappointing is that he hadn't noticed that with Tari winning the Junior World Championship, Norway now has two World Champions!  Grin
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #16 - 04/07/18 at 14:03:06
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Fortunately I am allowed to give links. Here's the review.

http://www.carlsplanet.co.uk/chess/more/index.htm#How to Beat the Open Games

I find it a bit peculiar that the reviewer at one hand recognizes that the book is written from Black's perspective and still expresses his wish to have the Scotch with 4...Qh4 included.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #15 - 04/07/18 at 12:40:07
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Hi Gilbo,

I'm glad to see you gave in to the temptation, and even more so that you had a positive first impression.

Today I noted a review of the book at Carl's Planet. This site was new to me, but is by the author of "Chess behind Bars" (Quality Chess 2017) and contains a lot of interesting chess stuff, including quite a number of chess book reviews.

The review is quite positive, and I'm especially pleased that Carl too finds that the presentation of the material is among the book's strong points.

I'd be happy to give some links, but it seems that as a newbie at the forum, I'm not allowed to do so.

  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #14 - 03/30/18 at 16:12:39
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I got the ebook from the Gambit app. Happy to answer any general questions.

For those starting out with ...e5 (including strong players in this bracket), I really like the layout. Explanation of key ideas and key moves comes first, and then specific details consolidated in a separate section.

Coverage is over a reasonable range of lines. E.g. both ...Bc5 and ...Be7 against the Italian, and both ...Bc5 and ...Nf6 against the Scotch.

By necessity, this wide coverage means the coverage can't be as detailed as other repertoire books, but certainly seems sufficient for untitled players.

All in all, I wish this was the book I had when I was starting out my adventure in ...e5. It seems there is less there for experienced ...e5 practitioners compared to other comparable tomes (say, Ntirlis's repertoire). Even so, I will go through it closely to fill out gaps in my education.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #13 - 03/25/18 at 08:46:28
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Hi Micah,

Yes, I remember you. I tried to find our old email exchange to refresh my memory but it proved difficult.

Anyway, in my document archive I found your London analysis/suggestions. I don't remember how much of it was included in the revised edition - there were time and space issues - but the notes were excellent. Thanks!
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #12 - 03/25/18 at 02:12:08
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Hi Sverre, remember me?

I'm looking forward to your new book and have already ordered it on Amazon!
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #11 - 03/23/18 at 09:01:49
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The paper version has now been published.

I've had the app version of the book for some time now, and really like the functionality. However, a 'real' book is something different.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #10 - 03/10/18 at 07:23:35
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"How to Beat the Open Games" is to some extent a repertoire combo with "The Ruy Lopez - a Guide for Black". Unfortunately, that book had rather modest sales compared to the "Win with ..." books. One contributing factor may have been the fact that most reviewers recommended the Ruy Lopez book mostly for 2200+ players.

The HtBtOG tries to reach a broader group of players by giving "Memorable games" for those new to the Open Games. Then more encyclopaedic information is provided in (mostly) small chapters of the type "White's 6th move alternatives". I hope this makes the information digestible. Anyway, there is no way to deny that a lot of information had to crammed in, and at places there are some rather dense variation trees.

Some day there will be a third "Win with..." book, but this is not it.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #9 - 03/10/18 at 06:34:30
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Excellent, we going to get the missing piece of the "I'd Sverre by it" repertoire combo!

Smiley
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #8 - 03/09/18 at 22:20:52
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Is this book available yet? Gambit page says March, but no news about if you can get it in the store yet.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #7 - 03/09/18 at 18:11:02
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Hi Brabo,

It was a quick fix. Not only did I forget my password but more importantly I don't have that email anymore (and was there really a user ID at that time?).

Besides, with limited time available it seemed nice to have a fresh start, not having to follow up any of my old messages.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #6 - 03/09/18 at 17:30:37
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Hi Sverre,

Did you forget your password as you still have the account tafl?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #5 - 03/09/18 at 16:49:13
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Hi Sverre, thank you for joining our little community.  I'm looking forward to seeing the book, as I think very highly of the Stonewall and Ruy Lopez books that you worked on.  On the other hand, I assume that you're partly to blame for the increasing popularity of the London system, which I don't think that I could ever forgive!  But it's nice to have you here.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #4 - 03/09/18 at 16:14:38
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Hello forum,

The author here. I'll be happy to answer some questions but cannot promise to reply to all.

For starters I'll point out that this is my first book for Gambit without a titled co-author. I'm curious how the reviewers will react.

Then I must confess that it's mostly my fault (and not the Gambit editors') that my books usually end up with a rather squashed layout. This is due to the fact that I always struggle to keep the manuscripts down to the agreed number of pages. This time my contract said 208 to 240 pages, and it ended at 256.

Regards,
Sverre Johnsen
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #3 - 02/04/18 at 09:24:41
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The book is now available via Gambit's app.

I'm fighting the urge to buy new books. Does anyone know what his primary recommendations are in the two knights ...Ng5 (particularly against Qf3 and Bd3 if he goes down the mainline)? Also against the King's Gambit?
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #2 - 01/12/18 at 19:14:48
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I like his work, shame Gambit's layout on his earlier books is a bit squashed as per their style.
  

"As Mikhail Tal would say ' Let's have a bit of hooliganism! '"

Victor Bologan.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #1 - 01/12/18 at 02:30:53
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I like some of the things he has written. At the least it should be worth a look.
  
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How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
12/13/17 at 03:01:25
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