Modern Chess Openings

Modern Chess Openings

Modern Chess Openings

Modern Chess Openings


Modern Chess Openings is the only English book of its kind which has regularly been kept fully up to date since its first publication almost half a century ago. It has now reached its thoroughly revised and completely rewritten eighth edition.

The first edition was by R. C. Griffith and the late J. H. White. Although some co-editors changed with time, R. C. Griffith always remained the chief editor, till, after the seventh edition which was revised by me and appeared in 1946, he relinquished also his editorial rights in my favour. But in tribute to him and the splendid tradition of M.C.O., the original authors are still mentioned on the title page.

The compilation of this volume, as it stands now, is for an enthusiast a very absorbing occupation. But it is an arduous, even a burdensome responsibility for an individual, and by no means lucrative in relation to the time and reading required. The bibliographical task, as presented here, is rather one for a team of collaborators.

Being aware of this at a time when a new edition became due, and seeing also the necessity of both changing the obsolete, overwrought structure of the openings and rewriting the whole substance, I accepted at the end of 1948 the assistance offered by international master R. G. Wade. Without his help and judgment in sifting the piles of accumulated material, many parts of the book would not have been dealt with so effectively. We based our selections on lasting values, and on the profound changes, in recent years, in chess strategy.

Unfortunately, frequent travel and other pressing demands upon R. G. Wade prevented what was intended to be a constant companionship. He completed the Alekhine and the French early in 1949 and subsequently drafted the Caro-Kann, the Dutch, the English, and the Sicilian. The layout of the main parts of the Queen's Gambit and the breakdown of the Indian Defences are also due to his co-operation. As time dragged on, however, and the eighth edition had to come out or else fail to appear after the customary interval, I had to attend to the completion of the many remaining openings and introductory matter; in the light of great chess activity during the past two years, large parts of all the prepared openings had again to be rewritten and revised during the time from the inception of this work in 1949 till the time when the final proofs were corrected.

There still remained to be done the most difficult and essential task in writing a book: the checking and editing of manuscript matter, the typing in several copies, the rechecking of notation and substance, the indexing, and, finally, the proof-reading of over 300 packed pages. This most important, and highly exacting, task of reading the final . . .

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