1……d6 — Move by Move

Cyrus Lakdawala

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Everyman Chess
400 pages

1……d6 is a universal defense for Black that can be employed against any White opening move. While 1……d6 might be seen as an invitation to a Pirc, Modern, King’s Indian, or even potentially a Dutch, that is not Lakdawala’s intention. Note that 1.e4 d6 can lead to a Philidor, but that is not the case here. Nor do Black players have to accept 1.e4 d6 2.d4 e5, which is playable but not to everyone’s taste.

Instead what the affable San Diego International Master proposes is a repertoire based on 1.e4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6, 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 and 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Bg4. All these lines are quite playable, if not mainstream theory, and the move-by-move format, using a question and answer format works especially well here.

The repertoire Lakdawala proposes is flexible. Normally Black plays …d6 and …e5 but after 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Bg4 Black shifts gears and places his pawns on light squares, aiming for a good French with the light-squared bishop outside the pawn chain. The 59 heavily annotated model games, with lots of instructive prose, are more than sufficient to satisfy the requirements of all but professional players.

This is a good introductory guide to a lesser-known but completely viable system of Black defenses that work well together.

Recommended for players 1800 to 2400.