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by John WatsonPaperback: 304 pagesPublisher: Gambit PublicationsISBN: 1904600697For most chess-players, opening study is sheer hard work. It is hard to know what is important and what is not, and when specific knowledge is vital, or when a more general understanding is sufficient. Tragically often, once the opening is over, a player won't know what plan to follow, or even understand why his pieces are on the squares on which they sit. John Watson seeks to help chess-players achieve a more holistic and insightful view of the openings. In his previous books on chess strategy, he explained vital concepts that had previously been the domain only of top-class players. Here he does likewise for the openings, explaining how flexible thinking and notions such as 'rule-independence' can apply to the opening too. Watson presents a wide-ranging view of the way in which top-class players really handle the opening, rather than an idealized and simplified model. This volume, focusing on queen's pawn openings, is a book that will make chess-players think hard about how they begin their games. It also offers both entertainment and challenging study material in openings such as the Nimzo-Indian, King's Indian and the entire Queen's Gambit complex.