Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Sicilian Dragon Move by Move - Carsten Hansen. Everyman Chess, 2016 - 464 pages!!!

The Sicilian Dragon Move by Move - Carsten Hansen. Everyman Chess, 2016 - 464 pages!!!

One of my desires, written in a hypothetical bucket list, would be to play the Sicilian. From time to time I try, and then give up, because the next tournament is coming, and my preparation is not over, then I forget all of what I studied, because the theoretical material is quite overwhelming.
I must admit I had a bad experience with the Sicilian Dragon. I tried to learn it, using the opening volumes written by GM Alburt et al. many years ago, and I failed, but obviously the fault was mine, because I didn't have a good learning system for the openings.
Recently there has been a revival of the Dragon. It began with two DVDs made by Chessbase, the author was Carlsen's second for the 2016 world championship:
The Sicilian Dragon by GM Nielsen volumes 1 and 2

 Followed by GM Gavain Jones with two volumes on the dragon!

Yes we are speaking of more than 640 pages!! How does someone remember all the material, I honestly don't know. In this book there are only 464 pages, BUT! The font is smaller than in other books of the Move by Move series, so I guess they could be considered 500 or more pages. Plus the author really delve into the material, without any non chess related comments like other authors do. So it is clearly a work of love, where the author gave all he knew on this opening.

Returning to my experience, I remember that before playing it in a tournament, I played it online, and the results were clearly bad. Then learning more about chess, I got traumatized by Fischer who mockingly would refer to the Sicilian dragon as: Sac, Sac and Mate! 

[Event "Portoroz Interzonal"] [Site "Portoroz SVN"] [Date "1958.08.16"] [EventDate "1958.08.05"] [Round "8"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Robert James Fischer"] [Black "Bent Larsen"] [ECO "B77"] [WhiteElo "?"] [BlackElo "?"] [PlyCount "61"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6 11. Bb3 Qa5 12. O-O-O b5 13. Kb1 b4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Rac8 16. Bb3 Rc7 17. h4 Qb5 18. h5 Rfc8 19. hxg6 hxg6 20. g4 a5 21. g5 Nh5 22. Rxh5 gxh5 23. g6 e5 24. gxf7+ Kf8 25. Be3 d5 26. exd5 Rxf7 27. d6 Rf6 28. Bg5 Qb7 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. d7 Rd8 31. Qd6+ 1-0

Now this game is quite old, let's fast forward the movie to nearly 20 years later and watch what happened!
[Event "Nice"] [Site "Nice FRA"] [Date "1974.??.??"] [EventDate "?"] [Round "?"] [Result "1-0"] [White "Boris Spassky"] [Black "David Neil Lawrence Levy"] [ECO "B78"] [WhiteElo "?"] [BlackElo "?"] [PlyCount "37"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Qb8 11. h4 a5 12. Bh6 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Bxd4 14. h5 d5 15. Bxd5 Qe5 16. Bxf8 Qxd5 17. Qh6 Nb4 18. Rxd4 Qxd4 19. Bxe7 1-0
In any case, I didn't give up, because I like to play exciting chess, and I think the Dragon fits my chess personality. Hence the reason I have this volume, because I want to try to learn it, and see if I can use it in my tournament games.
Let's now begin to review this wonderful book published by Everyman Chess. The first thing I do, when I don't know a player is to discover something about him, in this case the author is Carsten Hansen, a FIDE Master from Denmark.
I noticed one thing we have in common, we both wrote book reviews for the now defunct site: Chesscafe.
In Chessbase Megabase 2017 there are only 191 games played by Hansen. He had a peak elo rating of 2313 in 1999, and nowadays is around 2270.

Since I didn't see games the author played in the book, I looked in the database if he played the Sicilian Dragon, based on the lines he gives in the book.
And out of 191 there are 10 games with the Sicilian Dragon, based on the following opening moves: 1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.d4,cxd4; 4.Nxd4,Nf6; 5. Nc3,g6;
These are a couple of his games with the Dragon.
[Event "Gausdal Int"] [Site "Gausdal"] [Date "1990.??.??"] [Round "6"] [White "Maus, Soenke"] [Black "Hansen, Carsten"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2440"] [BlackElo "2310"] [ECO "B78"] [EventDate "1990.08.??"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [SourceTitle "TD"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1994.03.01"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "1994.03.01"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Qc7 11.Bb3 Na5 12.h4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.Kb1 Rfc8 15.Bh6 b5 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.h5 Be6 18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Nxe6+ Qxe6 20.Nxb5 Rab8 21.Nd4 Qf7 22.g4 a5 23.Ne2 a4 24.g5 Nd7 25.Rh3 Ne5 26.Qd5 Qxd5 27.exd5 Nc4 28.Nd4 Nxb2 29.Ne6+ Kg8 30.Rdh1 Nd3+ 31.Ka1 Nf2 0-1
[Event "Politiken Cup 13th"] [Site "Copenhagen"] [Date "1991.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Motwani, Paul"] [Black "Hansen, Carsten"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2425"] [BlackElo "2300"] [ECO "B70"] [EventDate "1991.06.??"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "DEN"] [SourceTitle "EXT 1997"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1996.11.15"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "1996.11.15"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2 Bg7 8.Bg2 Bd7 9.b3 O-O 10.Bb2 Qc8 11.h3 Rb8 12.Rb1 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bxb2 15. Rxb2 Nd8 16.Qd2 Rb6 17.h4 e5 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.O-O Qc5 20.Nf4 Nc6 21.Re1 Ne5 22.Re3 Ng4 23.Rc3 Qe5 24.Rb1 d5 25.Re1 Qb8 26.Bh3 Nf6 27.Bxe6+ Bxe6 28. Rxe6 Rxe6 29.Nxe6 Qe5 30.Nxf8 Ne4 31.Nd7 1-0

As we can see it is a sharp opening, in which one can win or lose quite easily. That's why I began this article talking about chess personality, because I think we should learn openings which most fit our personality. If inside we have a burning fire, then the Dragon is surely the right way to express it. If instead we are like water, then maybe the French is better.
Speaking of the book, it is divided in 3 parts:
Part 1 is the Non-Yugoslav attack, based on 4 different chapters which examine all White's possibilities.
Chapter 1 is entitled Classical Dragon early deviations, and based on the following line: 1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.d4,cxd4; 4.Nxd4,Nf6; 5. Nc3,g6; 6. Be2,Bg7; 7. Be3,
  Now let me tell you one thing I don't like of the book. This book is clearly a repertoire for Black. The Sicilian Dragon is played by Black. Still all the diagrams in the book are from White's side. This doesn't make sense, because obviously a reader could try some visual exercises reading the book without chess board. But with the diagrams from White's perspective that becomes difficult.

I inserted the above moves in my main database, Megabase 2017, and I got as result more than 7000 games. The first one is from 1905, I watched it because it was played by a player I care: Blackburne. Unfortunately for Blackburne things didn't go well. I'd like to share some of the games I saw, because they can give you an impression of the sharp play one could find himself in.
[Event "Ostend Masters"] [Site "Ostend"] [Date "1905.??.??"] [Round "14"] [White "Taubenhaus, Jean"] [Black "Blackburne, Joseph Henry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B73"] [EventDate "1905.??.??"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "26"] [EventCountry "BEL"] [SourceTitle "HCL"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 Nc6 8.O-O h5 9.h3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Rc8 11.f4 h4 12.Bf3 Nh5 13.Nde2 Na5 14.Qe1 Nc4 15.Bc1 Ng3 16.Nxg3 hxg3 17.Qxg3 Bf6 18.Be2 Nxb2 19.e5 dxe5 20.fxe5 Bh4 21.Qf4 Qb6+ 22.Be3 Qe6 23.Ne4 g5 24.Nxg5 Bxg5 25.Qxg5 Qg6 26.e6 Qxe6 27.Bg4 Qc6 28.Qg7 Rf8 29.Bxd7+ Kxd7 30.Qxb2 Rg8 31.Rf2 b6 32.Qe5 Qg6 33.Rd1+ Ke8 34. Rdd2 f6 35.Qe6 Rc7 36.Rxf6 Qh7 37.Rff2 b5 38.Bf4 1-0
For a serious study of this opening one should watch 60-80 games per line. This will give an idea of where to develop the pieces, and the main tactical ideas, as well as the plans for both sides. 
[Event "Match Chekhover-Lisitsin +1-1=10"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "1936.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Chekhover, Vitaly"] [Black "Lisitsin, Georgy"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B73"] [EventDate "1936.??.??"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventType "match"] [EventRounds "12"] [EventCountry "URS"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2004"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2003.11.25"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2003.11.25"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.O-O Bd7 9.f3 O-O 10.Nd5 Rc8 11.c4 Nxd5 12.exd5 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 14.Qxd4 Qa5 15.Rfe1 e5 16.dxe6 Bxe6 17.Bf1 d5 18.Re5 Qb4 19.a3 Qa4 20.b3 Qxb3 21.cxd5 Rfd8 22.Rd1 Qxa3 23.h4 Bd7 24.Qf4 Re8 25.h5 Rxe5 26.Qxe5 Re8 27.Qc7 Qe3+ 28.Kh1 Re5 29.g4 Qxf3+ 30.Bg2 Qxd1+ 31.Kh2 Qe1 32.h6 Qh4+ 33.Kg1 Re1+ 34. Bf1 Qxg4+ 35.Kf2 Qh4+ 36.Kg1 Qd4+ 37.Kh2 Qf2+ 0-1

In the beginning of my chess learning, I didn't know I had to watch a lot of games. But they are essential for learning an opening. In order to avoid to get bored, I watch games with names of players I know, or who are famous champions like the following:
[Event "Moscow International-03"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "1936.06.02"] [Round "14"] [White "Kan, Ilia Abramovich"] [Black "Botvinnik, Mikhail"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B72"] [EventDate "1936.05.14"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "18"] [EventCountry "URS"] [SourceTitle "HCL"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nb3 Be6 9.f4 O-O 10.g4 Na5 11.g5 Ne8 12.Qd2 Rc8 13.Bd4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15. O-O-O Qd7 16.Qd3 Rc8 17.h4 Bg4 18.Rd2 b6 19.Nd5 e5 20.Bc3 f5 21.gxf6 Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Rxf6 23.Qd5+ Rf7 24.h5 gxh5 25.Rg1 Qc6 26.fxe5 dxe5 27.Qxc6 Rxc6 28.Rd5 Rcf6 29.Nd2 Bh6 30.b3 Rf2 31.Kb2 Re2 32.Nc4 Rff2 33.Rd8+ Bf8 34.b4 Rxc2+ 35.Kb3 Rg2 36.Rf1 Rcf2 37.Rxf2 Rxf2 38.Nxe5 Be6+ 39.Ka4 Rxa2+ 40.Kb5 Rc2 41.Rd3 h4 42.Bd4 Bg7 43.Ra3 h3 44.Rxa7 h2 45.Ra8+ Bc8 46.Ra1 Bh3 47. Nf3 Bxd4 48.Nxd4 Rf2 0-1
Notice the result is not really important. The game teaches us no matter the result. If White won, we learn why Black lost. If Black won, we need to find the reason, especially if we plan to play the Dragon in tournament, because our opponents with White will have analyzed the reasons Black won, and likely found a way to neutralize it, or better understood the position.

The author does a great job in outlining which deviations are dangerous, and who are the main exponents. For example at page 10 after the moves: 1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.d4,cxd4; 4.Nxd4,Nf6; 5.Nc3,g6; 6.Be2,Bg7; 7.Be3,0-0; 8.0-0,Nc6; the author mentions that Kamsky's favourite is 9.Qd2.

Now once more becomes important the study of the classics, because maybe Kamsky found such deviation thanks to the use of the database, and the good results against the Black players at the end of the 1800, like in the following game, where one of the best players in the world loses quite easily.
[Event "International Masters"] [Site "London"] [Date "1883.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Mackenzie, George Henry"] [Black "Bird, Henry Edward"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B73"] [EventDate "1883.04.26"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "26"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "HCL"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "1999.07.01"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Rad1 Qa5 11.Nb3 Qd8 12.h3 Be6 13.Nc1 Rc8 14.f4 Ne8 15.f5 Bd7 16.Bd3 e6 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.N1e2 Qa5 19.Rf2 Qh5 20.Rdf1 a6 21.Nf4 Qh8 22.Be2 Ne5 23.Kh1 Nc4 24.Bxc4 Rxc4 25.e5 Bc6 26.Qd3 Rxc3 27.bxc3 dxe5 28. Nxg6 fxg6 29.Rxf8+ Bxf8 30.Qxg6+ Qg7 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Bh6 Kg8 33.Bxg7 Nxg7 34.Kg1 1-0

And then we can see how Kamsky used such deviation, to bring despair to his opponents! 
[Event "Dia De Internet op"] [Site " INT"] [Date "2005.10.22"] [Round "1"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "Hayrapetyan, Arman"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2700"] [BlackElo "2310"] [ECO "B73"] [EventDate "2005.10.22"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventType "swiss (blitz)"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2007"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2006.11.23"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2006.11.23"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Bxg4 Bxg4 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bh6 Bxh6 13.Qxh6 Qb6 14.Rab1 Rab8 15.Qh4 Be6 16.Qxe7 Rfd8 17.Qf6 Qc5 18.Kh1 Qe5 19.Qh4 Bc4 20.f4 Qa5 21.Rf3 Rd7 22.b3 Ba6 23.a4 Qd8 24.Qf2 d5 25.e5 d4 26.Ne4 Kh8 27.Nc5 Rd5 28.Nxa6 Rb6 29.f5 1-0
[Event "USA-ch GpB"] [Site "San Diego"] [Date "2006.03.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "Shabalov, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2686"] [BlackElo "2595"] [ECO "B73"] [EventDate "2006.03.02"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "CBM 112"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2006.06.07"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2006.06.07"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.f3 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.Rfd1 Qd7 13.a4 Rfc8 14.a5 Qe6 15. Ra3 Nd7 16.Bf2 a6 17.Rb3 Rc7 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Qe5 20.Bf1 Rac8 21.c3 Qf5 22.Rb4 Bf6 23.g4 Qg5 24.Be3 Qh4 25.g5 Qh5 26.gxf6 Ne5 27.Bg2 exf6 28.Qf2 Re7 29.Rh4 Qf5 30.Rf4 Qh5 31.Bd4 f5 32.Rh4 Qg5 33.Qg3 1-0
Obviously I'm not doing all the homework for the readers of this review. Since it would become boring, and too long. But if one reads the book, he will know how to avoid the problems which afflicted Black in the previous two games. In reality, and here comes handy the Megabase 2017, the last game Kamsky vs Shabalov was deeply annotated also by GM Rogozenco, so there are multiple sources to teach us how to play, and why.
Let me now lightly detail the two other parts of the book.  
Part 2, also based on 4 chapters is dedicated to the Yugoslav attack lines without Bc4.
1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.d4,cxd4; 4.Nxd4,Nf6; 5.Nc3,g6; 6.Be3,Bg7; 7.f3,0-0; 8.Qd2,Nc6; 9.0-0-0,

The author warns us this is one of the most critical lines. And of course the author outlines what Black needs to do, and what will find. He is honest, and says one will have to sacrifice pawns, or play some exchange sacrifice in order to generate activity and counter-play. This is why I say an opening must fit our personality, we cannot play it just because a champion did, or our best friend did. But at the same time the book becomes an indispensable tool of self-discovery, because going over the games, deeply annotated, one can decide if he likes it or not. Then like in all the series of books Move by Move, the author intersperses the annotations to the game, with questions we should answer, like in a training exercise.

In the second part, the line I found interesting, treated in chapter 8, is the one with 9.g4, because clearly shows how fast an attack can be, and Black must be definitely ready.
The third part is the biggest in the book with 8 chapters! It treats the Yugoslav attack with Bc4. Many of the chapters bear the names of the GMs that have contributed to the theory, like the Soltis variation: 1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.d4,cxd4; 4.Nxd4,Nf6; 5.Nc3,g6; 6.Be3,Bg7; 7.f3,0-0; 8.Qd2,Nc6; 9.Bc4,Bd7; 10.0-0-0,Rc8; 11.Bb3,Ne5; 12.h4,h5;
Now, the good thing to have the best database in the world, is that allows me to satisfy my curiosity, for example: when Soltis played it for the first time, and if he was successful.
I inserted the position above, and the name Soltis, and the result was 6 games, in which Soltis was Black, and the result was amazing! Out of 6 games Soltis won 5, and drew 1!
I'd like to share two of them, because I love Soltis' books, but I must admit, I never saw his games. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to see he was a tactical monster!
[Event "WchT U26 17th"] [Site "Haifa"] [Date "1970.08.20"] [Round "11.2"] [White "Pritchett, Craig William"] [Black "Soltis, Andrew E"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B78"] [EventDate "1970.08.04"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "ISR"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2001"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2000.11.22"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2000.11.22"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 h5 11.O-O-O Rc8 12.Bb3 Ne5 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Rxc3 15.bxc3 Qa5 16.Qe3 Rc8 17.Kb2 Qb6 18.Ka1 Qc5 19.g4 a5 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.Qh6 a4 22.Bxf7+ Kxf7 23.Qh7+ Ng7 24.Ne2 Qc4 25.h5 Be6 26.hxg6+ Nxg6 27.Kb1 Rh8 28.Qxg6+ Kxg6 29.Rdg1+ Kf7 30.Rxh8 Qb5+ 31.Kc1 Qxe2 0-1
[Event "Reggio Emilia 7071 13th"] [Site "Reggio Emilia"] [Date "1970.??.??"] [Round "15"] [White "Barczay, Laszlo"] [Black "Soltis, Andrew E"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B78"] [EventDate "1970.12.??"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "15"] [EventCountry "ITA"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2000"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.11.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "1999.11.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f3 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.h4 h5 12.O-O-O Ne5 13.Bg5 Nh7 14.Bh6 Bxh6 15. Qxh6 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Qa5 17.Kb1 Qxc3 18.Qd2 Qc5 19.Ne2 a5 20.Qd4 Qc7 21.Nc3 Nf6 22.a4 Rc8 23.Kb2 Be6 24.Rhe1 Kg7 25.f4 Nc6 26.Qd2 Nb4 27.Re3 Qb6 28. Qd4 Rc5 29.e5 dxe5 30.fxe5 Ng4 0-1

One last thing, the book has a total of 80 deeply annotated games, which I think is really a lot of material, and shows Carsten Hansen really worked hard!

At the end of the book, as customary, there are the index of the variations, quite handy if one must locate a certain chapter for reference, and the index of the games in alphabetical order.
I'm sure I didn't cover enough, but the topic is huge, and it doesn't make sense to write something bigger than the book as review! I believe Carsten Hansen did a good job in explaining the ideas behind many moves, but once again, this opening is huge, and the book should come with some memory pills, or a memory card to insert in our brains!

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