Dangerous Weapons — 1.e4 e5

Andrew Greet, Glenn Flear, John Emms

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Everyman Chess
335 pages

Following on the heels of successful books on the Sicilian, Nimzo-Indian, French, and Queen’s Gambit, the publishers at Everyman have just put out Dangerous Weapons: 1.e4 e5. As in previous books in the series the emphasis is on lesser-known but reputable lines that haven’t been well covered in the chess literature. In Dangerous Weapons: 1.e4 e5 the lines examined are:

The Max Lange Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d4)
Reviving the Max Lange Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.fxg7)
Calming the Romantics (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nxe4 and 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5)
L’Oiseau (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4)
Twenty Years of Obscurity (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Bc5)
Facing Up to the Exchange Variation (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Be7!?)
Denying Black His Fun (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.O-O)
Livening Up the Three Knights and Scotch (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 and 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6)
Don’t Be Boring against the Goring! (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 Nf6 5.e5 Ne4 and 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 Ne4)
Fighting the Pseudo King’s Gambiteers (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 O-O)
The Vienna Poisoned Pawn (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Qg4 Nd4!?)
Play Like a Victorian: The King’s Bishop Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4)
The Centre Game Revealed: Part I (1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 main line)
The Centre Game Revealed: Part II (1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 others)
The Centre Game Revealed: Part III (1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 others)

I was particularly impressed by IM Andrew Greet’s coverage of the Centre Game (over 100 pages!), which is to my knowledge the first real modern examination of this old relic. Greet shows that it is not only practical as it circumvents the Petroff and Philidor, but definitely has some punch. That he practices what he preaches is shown by the following recent victory over a highly rated Bulgarian Grandmaster.

A. Greet (2441) – Vl. Georgiev (2576), Hastings 2008
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 0–-0 7.0–-0–-0 Re8 8.Qg3 Rxe4 9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 d5 11.f3 Re8 12.Ne2 Bf5 13.Qf4 Bg6 14.g4 d4 15.Nxd4 Nd5 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Qd4 Nxc3 18.Qxc3 Qg5+ 19.Kb1 Qe3 20.Qxc6 Rab8 21.Bd3 Rb6 22.Qxc7 Reb8 23.b4 Qe8 24.Rhe1 Qf8 25.Qe7 Qc8 26.Bxg6 hxg6 27.Rd7 Rf6 28.Red1 Kh7 29.Rd8 Qb7 30.Qe8, 1–-0.

One thing I particularly like about the Dangerous Weapons series is that the books are well researched, in particular they are especially diligent about examining lines advocated by other authors and have antidotes ready.

Dangerous Weapons: 1.e4 e5 can be recommend to all who play 1.e4 or meet it with 1…e5.