Bibliography

This page provides a list of useful books relating to particular topics discussed on this website, along with some hopefully useful commentary on them.

1 Nf3 Repertoire

In my 1 Nf3 Repertoire series of posts, I discussed how to create a repertoire based on the move 1 Nf3 that exploits to the full the possibilities offered by the move (see this post for an overview). This section contains the books I have found most useful in working out such a repertoire.

The primary resource for building a repertoire based on 1 Nf3 is Alexander Khalifman’s series of books “Opening for White according to Kramnik”. This set out a repertoire based on Vladimir Kramnik’s treatment of 1 Nf3, and mostly sticks to the systems that Kramnik himself has employed.

The first edition of the series consisted of the following five volumes:

  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 1 (Chess Stars 2000). This deals with the King’s Indian (Classical), Anti-Gruenfeld, and Old Indian.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 2 (Chess Stars 2001). This deals with the Anti-Nimzo-Indian, Anti-Queen’s Indian, Hedgehog, Double Fianchetto, Symmetrical English without …Nc6, Symmetrical English with …Nc6, and Black Knight’s Tango.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 3 (Chess Stars 2001). This deals with the Maroczy Bind, Symmetrical English via 1…c5, Modern, Dutch, and miscellaneous systems.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 4 (Chess Stars 2002). This deals with the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Slav, Semi-Slav, and miscellaneous lines of the Queen’s Gambit.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 5 (Chess Stars 2002). This deals with the Queen’s Gambit Declined.

The second edition of the series was aborted half way through. The volumes that have been published are:

  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 1a (Chess Stars 2006). This deals with the Old Indian, Anti-Gruenfeld, and the less important King’s Indian (Classical) lines.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 1b (Chess Stars 2006). This deals with the more important King’s Indian (Classical) lines.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 2 (Chess Stars 2008). This deals with the Black Knight’s Tango, Romanishin System, Anti-Queen’s Indian, Hedgehog, Double Fianchetto, Symmetrical English without …Nc6, and Semi-Tarrasch with g3.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 3 (Chess Stars 2011). Symmetrical English with …Nc6, and Symmetrical English via 1…c5.
  • Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White according to Kramnik – Book 4 (Chess Stars 2011). Maroczy Bind, Modern Defence (1…g6) and Wade Defence (1..d6).

The second edition generally supersedes the coverage in the first. However, there are a couple of places that Khalifman has analysed different systems, so the first edition may still be of interest for some systems. These changes are:

  • Khalifman has switched from advocating the Queen’s Gambit to the Catalan Opening. However, given that the series was aborted before he covered it, the reader will need to look for material on this opening elsewhere.
  • As a consequence of this, he now advocates 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 rather than 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3. Therefore, the section in book 2 of the first edition that covers 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 (and others) is still of interest for people who opt for an approach based on the Queen’s Gambit.
  • Khalifman has switched from 1 Nf3 c5 2 c4 Nc6 3 d4 to 1 Nf3 c5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nc3. Book 3 of the first edition contains coverage of 1 Nf3 c5 2 c4 Nc6 3 d4.
  • Khalifman has switched from 1 Nf3 g6 2 c4 to 1 Nf3 g6 2 e4. Apparently he now believes that 1 Nf3 g6 2 c4 Bg7 3 e4 e5 is fine for Black.

The other main series advocating 1 Nf3 for White in this style is “Wojo’s Weapons”, by Jonathan Hilton and Dean Ippolito. This repertoire is based on the systems employed by the late Alexander Wojtkiewicz (“Wojo”). As he was grandmaster who played in many open tournaments, his openings were much more geared towards the practicalities of scoring heavily against weaker opposition, than the purist approach of Kramnik. As a result, it offers some useful alternative systems that may be more attractive to many players.

Three volumes have been published in this series:

  • Hilton,Jonathan and Ippolito,Dean. Wojo’s Weapons – Winning with White: Volume 1 (Mongoose Press 2010). This deals with the Catalan Opening, and the Queen’s Gambit.
  • Hilton,Jonathan and Ippolito,Dean. Wojo’s Weapons – Winning with White: Volume 2 (Mongoose Press 2011). This deals with the King’s Indian (Fianchetto).
  • Hilton,Jonathan and Ippolito,Dean. Wojo’s Weapons – Winning with White: Volume 3 (Mongoose Press 2013): This deals with the rest of the repertoire, including the Gruenfeld (Fianchetto), Maroczy Bind, Symmetrical English and Dutch.

As White quite often transposes to 1 d4 openings following 1 Nf3, there are a number of books that deal with these 1 d4 openings that are as a result useful.

For instance, Boris Avrukh wrote a two volume series “Grandmaster Repertoire 1 d4”, which contains coverage of a number of series that might be reached via 1 Nf3:

  • Avrukh,Boris. Grandmaster Repertoire 1: 1.d4 Volume One (Quality Chess 2008). This contains coverage of the Catalan Opening and Queen’s Gambit that is largely compatible with 1 Nf3.
  • Avrukh,Boris. Grandmaster Repertoire 2: 1.d4 Volume Two (Quality Chess 2010). This is more of a mixed bag for the 1 Nf3 practitioner. The coverage of the Dutch Defence and the King’s Indian (Fianchetto) is definitely useful.

This series is now in the process of being updated. There will now be four volumes (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B). Although the numbering suggests that the original volumes have simply been split in two, in fact there has been some further rearrangement to achieve a more logical grouping. The volumes that have been published so far are:

  • Avrukh,Boris. Grandmaster Repertoire 1A: 1.d4 The Catalan (Quality Chess 2015). This contains coverage of the main defences that can arise after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3. As the title suggests, the book covers the Catalan (3…d5), but there is also coverage of the Bogo-Indian (3…Bb4+) and Modern Benoni (3…c5). Note that the latter two defence were original in volume 2.
  • Avrukh,Boris. Grandmaster Repertoire 1B: 1.d4 The Queen’s Gambit (Quality Chess 2016). This contains coverage of all the lines after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 except the Catalan (2…e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 g3), which is covered in volume 1A.
  • Avrukh,Boris. Grandmaster Repertoire 2A: 1.d4 King’s Indian and Grünfeld (Quality Chess 2018). This contains coverage of the main defences that can arise after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 g3. As the title suggests, the main systems covered are the King’s Indian and Grünfeld.

The following other 1 d4 books may also be useful:

  • Burgess,Graham. A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White (Gambit 2013). This offers a repertoire based on 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 and 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3. The position after 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 can also be reached via 1 Nf3 d5 2 d4, so that part of the repertoire can be used in its entirity. The other lines are not really of interest, as after 1 Nf3 Nf6 White’s main move is 2 c4, while Burgess recommends lines after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 where White holds back or ommits c4.
  • Cox,John. Starting Out: 1 d4 (Everyman Chess 2006). The coverage of the King’s Indian (Classical), Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Slav, and Semi-Slav is of interest as the lines involve an early Nf3.
  • Kaufman,Larry. The Kaufman Repertoire for Black & White (New In Chess 2012). While Kaufman’s main recommendation for White is 1 d4, he also discusses an alternative repertoire based on 1 Nf3, although not in great detail. Some of the lines he recommends are compatible with 1 Nf3. The main sections of interest are those dealing with the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, the Slav/Semi-Slav and the King’s Indian Defence.
  • Schandorff,Lars. Playing 1.d4: The Queen’s Gambit (Quality Chess 2012). Schandorff’s general approach in this and the companion “Indian Defences” volume is to avoid an early Nf3, so most of the lines are not of interest to the 1 Nf3 player. However, he does recommend the main lines against the Slav/Semi-Slav and Tarrasch defences, where White does play Nf3, so those sections are of interest.
  • Watson,John. A Strategic Opening Repertoire for White (Gambit 2012). Watson’s coverage of the Tarrasch, Queen’s Gambit Accepted and Semi-Slav is of interest as he recommends lines with Nf3.

Playing the Semi-Slav

In my Playing the Semi-Slav series of posts, I discuss how to build a repertoire based around the Semi-Slav Defence.

The following books provide complete repertoire based on the Semi-Slav:

  • Kaufman,Larry. The Chess Advantage in Black and White (McKay Chess Library 2004). This complete repertoire for White and Black advocates reaching the Semi-Slav via the 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 Nf6 move order.
  • Vigorito,David. Play the Semi-Slav (Quality Chess 2008). This book offers a Semi-Slav repertoire based on the traditional 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 move order. Vigorito covers both the Botvinnik Variation and the Moscow Variation against 5 Bg5.
  • Schandorff, Lars. The Semi-Slav (Quality Chess 2015). This book offers a Semi-Slav from the traditional starting position after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6. Schandorff mentions the three main move orders and the basic pros and cons, but does not analyse any of the White deviations. Schandorff covers both the Botvinnik Variation and the Moscow Variation against 5 Bg5.

The following books by Alexey Dreev provide excellent coverage of the Moscow Variation and the main lines of the Meran:

  • Dreev,Alexey. The Moscow & Anti-Moscow Variations (Chess Stars 2010)
  • Dreev,Alexey. The Meran & Anti-Meran Variations (Chess Stars 2011)

Ruslan Scherbakov wrote a book on the Triangle Variation (1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 followed by 3 Nc3 c6 or 3 Nf3 c6). This can be used as a move order to reach the Semi-Slav as well as a route to independent systems. The coverage of the Marshall Gambit (3 Nc3 c6 4 e4) is of particular interest to people who wish to use this move order. Some of the other systems may be useful as alternative lines.

  • Scherbakov, Ruslan. The Triangle System (Everyman 2012)

Players who use either the Triangle mover order (1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 Nf6) or Nimzo-Indian move order need to be ready (after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 or 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5) for both the Catalan (4 g3) and the tricky 4 Bg5. Although the Black repertoires in the books by Pert (on the Ragozin) and Ntirlis (on the Q.G.D.) are not based on the Semi-Slav, both offer solutions against the Catalan that may be of interest, while Pert’s coverage of 4 Bg5 offers a way of playing against that move by transposing into a line of the Vienna Variation.

  • Pert. Playing the Ragozin (Quality Chess 2016)
  • Ntirlis. Playing 1.d4 d5 (Quality Chess 2017)