Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nonreview of "The Modern Tiger"

The Modern Tiger is an update of Tiger's Modern by Tiger Hillarp Persson. I have borrowed a copy of Tiger's Modern, and not yet purchased The Modern Tiger. So this review will mainly talk about Persson's writing style and my general reaction to his ideas.

I have resolved not to buy any more dead tree chess books.  I need to trim my library down as we downsize for retirement, and I can store a lot more ebooks than I can paper books. The Modern Tiger is not available in Kindle or Epub.

The Modern Tiger claims to be an extensive rewrite of  Tiger's Modern. I have looked at a lot of Persson's games from 2016 and 2017 to get some idea of the changes to the repertoire, but these books are not properly repertoire books. The Modern Defense gives white a lot of freedom in his move choices both in placement of his pieces and in the order of that placement, so Persson puts more emphasis on ideas and plans than lines and tabiyas.

He does not explicity focus on the idea of paired moves that has helped me with the transpositional nature of my white repertoire, but paired moves are easy to pick out of Persson's text. The most obvious one is that most postions from 3.Nc3 allow good results from 4...a6

His style is light and easy to read. He does not take himself too seriously.  He does believe in the opening and that might color his judgement. He also likes the wild complexity that arises from many Modern lines.

I think his focus on the ideas and various plans is the right way to write opening books in general, and almost imperative for openings that give white such a wide set of options.

The main thrust of how Persson plays the Modern is to get a better Sicilian Dragondorf. These lines look very convincing to me, and I have begun trying some of them. The major problem with the Modern compared to the Pirc is that white is free to play c2-c4 (King's Indian), or c2-c3 (the Barry). I am comfortable with the King's Indian, and the Barry.

In positions where the Dragondorf is unwise to attempt, he uses the Hippopotamus or tailored setups (often transpositions to the Pirc). The hippo rises from the river, when white has made moves like a2-a4 to prevent b7-b5. The key to avoiding cramped hippos is to time the pawn breaks well and not to lock the center.

Like it's sister the Pirc and cousin the King's Indian, the Modern is prone to unusual positions that come from the necessary dynamic play of black. The Modern is even wilder than the Pirc (which is wilder than the KID).

I have tried to put a recent game of mine below, but I am having trouble getting a game viewer to work.

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