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nemesis1010 50 ( +1 | -1 )
Books on Openings Can anyone recommend a good book on openings that you've used and has genuinely improved your game? A quick search on Amazon produces far too many and very similar looking results, so I don't really know where to begin :). Basically I'd like one or two books that demonstrate the pros and cons of all popular openings and defences, so that I can hopefully expand my game beyond my current staple of Queen's pawn and English openings, and French defence.

Cheers in advance
tag1153 73 ( +1 | -1 )
fwiw I have about 100 chess books....probably 95 were impulse buys at tourneys, and they sre doing a wonderful job of collecting dust on the bookshelf. The one book that any serious student needs imho is an MCO (or other encyclopedic style opening manual). My MCO is about 20 years old now, and practically falling apart - but it has 20 years of my handwritten notes on the "trees" of just about every opening you've ever heard is the one tool that helped me to be able identify openings better. But keep this mind - this "advice" is coming from a lifelong class C patzer, so it is probably best to disregard it:)

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chessisvanity 8 ( +1 | -1 )
MCO no thanks. MCO covers lines but no explanation.

I suggest "Understanding the chess openings" by Collins.

bogg 21 ( +1 | -1 )
nemesis1010 It is hard to go wrong with books written by John Watson. Although I haven't read them, his two volume set 'Mastering the Chess Openings' has been spoken highly of by friends.

CTCampbell (Bogg)
mathemagician_ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
I would recommend 'Chess Openings' by Mike Basman, it's quite an old book - first published in 1987 - but inside it describes some general principles etc. then goes onto give insight into The Guico Piano, Sicilian, Nimzo-Indian and Morra-gambit. So if those openings interest you, and you can find a copy (I found my copy in a second-hand-book store), it has my seal of approval - quite an honour if i do say so myself.
mathemagician_ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
*Giuoco Piano, of course.
doctor_knight 57 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm not sure how advanced a book you're looking for, but if you're not looking for an advanced book, Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess Openings is quite good. I've also got a big book by Graham Burgess (I believe it was my first real chess book) that has a fairly comprehensive overview of openings. He usually shows the main line with some commentary and depending on the importance of the opening, he may show and comment on all the major variations and show a game or two for each. I believe the book was called "Chess Strategy" or something similar and it is big and red. It has lots of other interesting/useful information too.
thunker 6 ( +1 | -1 )
"Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" by Reuben Fine
ccmcacollister 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Just dropping in .... to say I certainly second BOGG's recommendation of IM John Watson. (Of Course ... BOGG's
always right on Chess, in case you haven't noticed yet :)
Great books and author. I especially liked Play The French #1. The info there was enough to
boost several adherents from Iowa alone, into Sr. Master Postal Performances in the French at
that time. Of course there was something of a French Conspiracy here at the time :)
Very popular.
nemesis1010 84 ( +1 | -1 )
Cheers everyone Though I'm still undecided, lol :)

I will probably start doctor_knight's Yasser Seirawan recommendation and then move onto John Watson's series (I note on Amazon there's a third volume due for release in October).

mathemagician_'s Mike Basman book does sounds interesting. But also appears to be a bit of a rarity - can't see it at all on Amazon or Ebay.

I actually find this link useful as an encyclopaedia of all openings, although the strategy and thinking behind them is very minimal: