Old Indian, The: Move by Move

Junior Tay

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Everyman Chess
496 pages

Junior Tay’s The Old Indian: Move by Move examines an opening that is not well-covered in the chess literature. This massive book examines the position reached after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 through 56 deeply annotated games. The bulk of the book studies positions reached after 4.e4 followed by White developing with Nf3 and Be2, fianchettoing the king’s bishop or Saemisch style setups. There is also a section on 4.Bg5 followed by followed by twenty positions for the student to solve with detailed solutions.

The Old Indian is not seen often in the games of today’s top players, the strong Armenian Grandmasters Akopian and Movesesian using it primarily as a way to head for the King’s Indian by side-stepping the Saemisch and Four Pawns Attack (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e5 5.Nf3 g6), a move-order favored by Eastern GMs in the 1980s for similar reasons.

That said it is still quite playable and requires less theoretical knowledge than many other answers to 1.d4. Like its 1.e4 cousin, Philidor’s Defense, it relies more on understanding typical plans.

The Old Indian: Move by Move is recommended for players 1800-2200.