Play 1……b6

Christian Bauer

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Everyman Chess
224 pages

For something decidedly less classical, try French 2600+ GM Christian Bauer’s Play 1…b6. This book, which fills a gap in the chess literature, covers 1…b6 via all of White’s first moves except of course 1.g3! Bauer, in his first book, packs a wealth of information into eighty-two annotated games in 224 pages.

Bauer is quite thorough, but one point I wish he could have addressed occurs after 1.Nf3 b6 2.e4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 d6 10.Nd2 e5 11.f4 Qe7 12.fxe5 dxe5. Here, after Khalifman in his Opening For White According To Kramnik series, in volume 3, gives the critical line as 13.Bb5+ c6 14.Bd3 0-0 15.Qh5 Nd7 16.Rae1. It would be interesting to know how White should continue after a normal move like 16…Rad8.

If you play 1…b6, you must have this book.