Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White, A

Graham Burgess

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Gambit Chess
192 pages

A CUNNING CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR WHITE by FM Graham Burgess is a complete system for White based on 1.d4 and 2.Nf3 (2.g3 versus 1…d6, 1…g6 and 1…f5). Burgess bases his system on three pillars: The Queen’s Gambit (d4 and c4) versus 1…d5, the Torre (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5) and Counter Fianchetto (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3).

The book is organized as follows:

1 Queen’s Gambit: Introduction 11
2 QGD: Main Line with 5 Bf4 19
3 QGD without 4…Be7 40
4 Ragozin QGD 53
5 Queen’s Gambit Accepted 60
6 Slav 74
7 Semi-Slav and Triangle QGD 99
8 1.d4 d5 2 Nf3: Tarrasch et al. 107
9 Torre Attack: Introduction 117
10 Torre Poisoned Pawn 119
11 Torre with …d5 127
12 Torre without …d5 134
13 Counter-Fianchetto: Introduction 153
14 King’s Indian 158
15 Grünfeld 189
16 Anti-Benoni 210
17 Dutch and Other 1st Moves 235

This includes some currently popular lines (5.Bf4 in the Queen’s Gambit Declined) and ones currently not in favor but sound (4.Qa4+ in the Queen’s Gambit Accepted). Burgess does not promise an opening advantage for White but rather a solid and dependable repertoire with some punch where theory isn’t constantly changing.

One difference between the repertoire offered by Burgess and in some other books, is there no attempt to get all the lines to match. All the transpositions are covered but instead of 1.d4, 2.Nf3 and 3.Bg5 against everything, A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White offers a much more nuanced approach. This includes Romanishin’s favorite 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.a4 as well as 5.g3 versus the Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4) and Semi-Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.g3). This approach requires more work but the payoffs are better chances for an opening advantage and fresher play.