Are you constantly struggling with the black pieces?
Can't make up your mind which openings to play?
Are you looking for something new: an all-in-one solution to your problems?
Look no further!
In this original book, Christoph Wisnewski, who is renowned for his innovative and adventurous opening ideas, provides the reader with an ambitious and all-encompassing repertoire for Black against every main line opening that White can play, based on the initial move ...Nc6. The principal components of this black repertoire are the uncompromising Chigorin Defence, a long-time favourite of the brilliant Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich, and the equally tricky Nimzowitsch Defence, advocated by Britain's first ever Grandmaster, Tony Miles.
Drawing upon his wealth of practical experience in these openings, which have produced a remarkable success rate and some notable Grandmaster scalps, Wisnewski uncovers the secrets behind 1...Nc6 and divulges his findings to the reader. He examines both the critical main lines and the tricky sidelines, and provides a thorough grounding in the crucial tactical and positional concepts for both White and Black. Reading this book will provide you with enough information and know-how to confidently play these openings in your own games.
Preface: Why 1...Nc6?
Young players expose themselves to grave risks when they blindly imitate the innovations of masters without themselves first checking all the details and consequences of these innovations. - Alexander Alekhine
I have come across many quotes during my sixteen-year chess career, but I have never seen a quote more to the point than the one mentioned above. Don't get me wrong, losing a game without really knowing why happens more than you would expect. But if such a game goes like "hey, I am ± according to blah-blah-blah" (Move 16) followed by "hmm, what exactly is happening here" (Move 20) and "I resign, good game" (Move 25), there is hardly anything that is more frustrating. Luckily, I was spared that kind of experience in my youth, but if I told you that this was due to my superior opening skills, if questioned I would have to admit that I was overstating it a little. In fact, my opening skills were virtually nonexistent, and while playing intuitively is OK if you are a kid looking for fun at the chess board, an ambitious player actually needs a different approach.
That said, I gladly caught at the offer of my club mates to lend one or two of their books, in order to build up a suitable opening repertoire for Black where I would actually understand what I was doing. But as soon as I took a look at their libraries, my head started to spin: which opening system to choose? More than 350 pages on just one line in a book written by Kindermann & Dirr about the French Winawer, a wide range of different Sicilians, not to mention the various Open Games. And what to play against 1 d4 ? To cut a long story short, I felt lost - until l...Nc6! stepped to the plate.
What this book has to offer
I know that many players were looking forward to reading this book, and it is likely that I will disappoint at least a few with my compilation of recommended lines and ideas. But I hope that you will eventually reconcile with my ideas, as they are the result of more than six years of refining in thousands of games on and off the internet and thus are fondly covered. And to commend my findings to you some more, I have also tried to explain my choices, where appropriate, giving reasons why I neglected certain lines.
Following my recommendations will provide you with a coherent repertoire against all the main openings White can play. But before getting too excited, there are a few things I want you to keep in mind: the opening repertoire presented in this book is no panacea; neither will you learn it by just skimming over the pages; nor will you then exclusively give your opponents an easy wipeout. There will be a great deal of work involved, but once you have mastered the ideas your score vith Black should considerably improve. How I can guarantee that? I can't. But looking at my tremendous improvement after picking up 1...Nc6, I certainly like your chances. And who knows... if you are still looking for an opening system for White, you could adopt the ideas from this book by playing 1 a3!?.
How this book is organized
Avid readers will notice that, while I do my best to keep up the 1...Nc6 spirit, some lines I recommend actually transpose into different opening systems, the ...e5 English in Part 3 (Chapters 12-14) of this book probably being the most prominent example. It contradicts the predominant unorthodox flavour of 1...Nc6, but this is exactly what I want. While the Chigorin Defence, which I will be covering in Part 2 (Chapters 6-11), may already be acknowledged as a viable opening system, the Nimzowitsch Defence still struggles with a shadowy existence. It's time to change that, and this is where our journey begins...
006 Preface: Why 1...Nc6?
008Part One: Black vs. 1 e4 - Nimzowitsch Defence
010 1 1 e4 Nc6: Rare Second Moves for White
024 2 1 e4 Nc6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 Qxd5
052 3 1 e4 Nc6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 f6
061 4 1 e4 Nc6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 e6
074 5 1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 Nf6
094Part Two: Black vs. 1 d4 - Chigorin Defence
096 6 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nc6 and other Rare Second Moves
127 7 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 (4 Bg5; 4 cxd5)
240 8 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 dxc4
259 9 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nf3 Bg4 (4 Qa4; 4 e3; 4 Nc3)
274 10 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nf3 Bg4 4 cxd5 Bxf3
286 11 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6 3 e3 and 3 cxd5
213Part Three: Black vs. 1 c4 - 1...Nc6
214 12 1 c4 Nc6 - Rare White Second Moves
224 13 1 c4 Nc6 2 Nc3 e5 (3 e3; 3 g3)
236 14 1 c4 Nc6 2 Nc3 e5 3 Nf3 Nf6
257Part Four: Black vs. 1 Nf3 - 1...Nc6
258 15 1 Nf3 Nc6
264 Index of Complete Games