Controversial Saemisch King’s Indian, The

Chris Ward

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Batsford Chess
224 pages

The Controversial Saemisch King’s Indian by GM Chris Ward is the second tremendous book on this variation by an Englishmen, following Joe Gallagher’s work from almost ten years ago. Ward, who has been a 1.d4 player since his youth, has used the Saemisch (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3) throughout his career and his experience shows as original ideas abound.

Ward not only looks at all major answers to the Saemisch in 35 deeply annotated model games, he even considers 1…d6 (2.e4 Nf6 3.f3!?). The Controversial Saemisch King’s Indian is not a pure theoretical work. This book is distinctly written from White’s point of view (where Gallagher was writing more for Black), but Ward manages to maintain his objectivity.

Like his books on the Dragon, the Chess Challenge series and work for, the English GM does an excellent job of communicating with his readers, making a tough subject much more accessible. Readers from 1800 to Grandmaster will find the The Controversial Saemisch King’s Indian interesting reading. If you play the Saemisch you must have this book.