Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review--Flank Openings by R.D. Keene

I think this is a book for advanced players. There are lots of variations and important games, but annotations are sparse after the main game for each section. The book could be a little dated (Fourth edition was first published 1988), so Expert and beyond would need to supplement with games from modern databases.

I do not think this is a good book for lower class players, there are too many unannotated games.

It may be a good book for me, for where I am right now--A low class A/high class B player needing to improve his flank openings for white, or a player looking for unusual lines against flank openings.

It is a little hard to follow. The supplemental games for each section start from their deviations from the previous game. For instance, the next game after Tringov-Lee (see replayer below) starts on move 20 and goes:
 Lee-Hartson, 'Varsity Match 1966 -- 20.Ng4? Kh8! 21.Ng5 Nxc2! 22.Nxf7+ Qxf7 23.Qxc2 Nb4 24.Qe2 and not 24...Bf3 should have been played. Instead there occurred 24...Bxg2? advantage black but 1-0 38
I find I am copying each section into a game in Fritz (and saving it in a database) as I go through them.

The book uses a modern font using figurine algebraic notation.

Here is an example of the first game of the King's Indian Attack vs the French mainline section with Keene's annotations, copied into a pgn format and using the replayer. Before this game, Keene uses a column of text and a diagram (after White's 8th move) to talk about the variation.

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