Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Wojo's Weapons Volume 3

I am preparing a ebook periodical on "Wojo's Weapons" like my series on "The Kaufman Repertoire". In the process, I am constructing a set of Tabiya that are good for searching a database for games. I thought it was time for a review on WW III.

The strength of this series is the well annotated complete games with lots of text descriptions. The one small weakness of Volume I was I had a little difficulty in constructing a complete repertoire for the closed Catalan. Volume II was a massive treatment of the fianchetto lines of the King's Indian Defense (KID) and I think it was excellent in every way. Volume III has the complete games well annotated with lots of text, but it has more of the weakness of incomplete coverage of some lines.

I started to use a 1.Nf3  Catalan based repertoire before the third volume of Wojo's Weapons came out. I had to work on Gruenfeld and Symmetric English lines without this resource.

Volume 2 was an extensive treatment of the fianchetto KID, and was in some ways more dense than Volume 1 treatment of 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4. I was able to create a set of Tabiya to search databases to look for informative games from Vol 1,2. The rest of the repertoire I had worked out was illuminated by the Gruenfeld section of Vol 3, which is very similar to the first two volumes. Similarly, the Dutch and others chapters at the end seem fine for the amount of games played with these defenses.

The Symmetric English part of Vol 3 is much different. It seems to me that too much ground is covered for the amount of annotated games, with the exception of chapter 11. Chapter 11 is interesting and may be a good way to cover a very transpositional and highly theoretical area of chess for class players.

Wojo transposed to the Maroczy Bind variation of the Accelerated Dragon when possible, and chapter 10 has 4 games to cover a broad swath of territory. If you want to do this, then you will need a good book on the Maroczy Bind. Perhaps this deficiency will be addressed when Wojo's Weapons turns to the black side of the board, as Wojo played the Accelerated Dragon; however, I do not see any Accelerated Dragon games from Hilton or Ippolito in the database.

There are two games on the Queens Indian, and two on the English Hedgehog variation. Suba's books are very popular with class players. We may not fully understand his "dynamic" chess, but he is very entertaining.
The English Hedgehog is fairly common in class play, because it is similar to many popular open Sicilian lines. The Queen's Indian works well as a Catalan avoidance, so we see lots of them, also. More material here would have been good. (Because I am well known as a king's fianchetto player, I am seeing Orangutan, Larsen's and 1.c4 Nf6 2.b4 openings from white)

Overall, I think this is a very good series. It will be the core of my opening repertoire for white as I go forward. I may shift to more dynamic lines if I achieve the endgame knowledge and success I am hoping to obtain from using this repertoire.

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