An authoritative series: John Watson's systematic coverage of all variations of the English Opening.
U.S. International Master John Watson's classic work on the English Opening is still the only comprehensive treatment of this dependable opening, one which has always had a large following among the world's best players. Some of the finest games of modern chess, both positional and tactical, have begun with 1 P-QB4. By virtue of its extraordinary flexibility, the English can lead to unique and original positions at an early stage of the game.
Volume 1 covers all lines after 1 P-QB4 P-K4, Black's most popular reply to the English Opening. It often leads to sharp, tactical play with attacking chances for both sides. The book is logically organised and unlike some works on this opening includes transpositional possibilities at all stages by cross-reference to other lines.
Volume 2 deals with all variations after 1 P-QB4 N-KB3 in which Black refrains from playing ...P-K4 or ...P-QB4 early on. In most books on the English, authors have ignored or only briefly discussed lines related to the Grünfeld and King's Indian Defences; but here Watson sets out this material at great length. Popular systems involving the move ...P-K3 are deeply researched and analysed, including the 'Queen's English', 'Nimzo-English', and Mikenas-Flohr Attack. Understanding the ideas behind these variations is essential for club and tournament players who wish to play the English or have to meet it with Black.
Volume 3 (1 P-QB4 P-QB4) accounts for a high percentage of master games. The author shows that its former reputation as a dull system hasn't held up as modern players have found increasingly sharp and unbalanced methods of conducting the play. Attention to detail has been maintained and a particular effort has been made to deal thoroughly with transpositions.
Volume 4 covers the wide variety of defences to 1.P-QB4 not dealt with in the previous three volumes. A good many of these are 'Flank Defences', favouring fianchetto systems or wing attacks. Black also has the choice of a number of moves that can transpose into a standard Queen's Pawn (1.d4) or King's Pawn (1.e4) opening. This book shows that White can go his own way instead and create fascinating play in which both sides have their chances.
Volume 5 (1...c5) covers Black's most solid reply to the English Opening. This volume is the first comprehensive coverage of the Symmetrical Variation in algebraic notation and contains all significant developments since the author's earlier work English 1...P-QB4.
Watson's aim throughout has been to provide a practical balance of theory, discussion and examples. With encyclopaedic coverage and many original suggestions, this series gives the reader the ability to understand the complexities of the English Opening and to play it with confidence.
International Master John Watson is widely known as a player, author, and chess trainer. His books have won numerous awards including Book-of-the-Year awards for "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy" and "Chess Strategy in Action".
Please click on the title for further information.