The English Opening (Anglais) Relié – 1 septembre 2009
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Non seulement c'est un répertoire pratique, mais aussi: les explications permettent de mieux appréhender la transition ouverture - milieu de partie. De lier les intentions stratégiques et les contraintes tactiques.
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The first book in his trilogy deals solely with 1. c4 e5, and this focus allows him to cover all of Black's responses in exorbitant detail. He doesn't just cover opening ideas - he really digs into the resulting middlegames (and even endgames!) and extracts the important structures and ideas to guide the prospective English student along the way. You aren't just memorizing by rote here - Marin is really instructing you on how to play a whole English game.
Marin's proposed move order also allows White to skip a great deal of the "established" theory on the English. By playing 1. c4 e5 2. g3 (instead of 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3), White is able to skip the massive main slog of the English Four Knights. An early Black bishop to b4 allows White to reach a reversed Rossolimo, with good chances of an edge. It also gives White an easier time of dealing with the Keres - 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 c6! is a well respected equalizer for Black, whereas 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. d4 is much different (no c3 knight to kick around!).
A few very minor caveats:
1) Some players might not appreciate his recommendation of the Botvinnik structure against an early ...g6 from Black. These positions are heavy on strategic maneuvers and light on coherent move orders and tactical calculation - perhaps stodgy wouldn't even be an unkind way to describe it! I appreciated the chess education from Marin by learning this line and I wholeheartedly love the recommendation, but some English players prefer other more "modern" feeling lines.
2) The recommendations versus the Reversed Dragon (length wise, the main chunk of the book) feel a bit...light, at times. Marin is a far stronger player than I will most likely ever be, and he's obviously put months of hard work into this book, but (for instance) his 11...a5 chapter feels a bit dodgy for White. At the very least, Marin didn't analyse Black alternatives extensively enough in a few spots. But perhaps analysing them for myself advanced my chess education far more than being told? :D
These are extremely minor issues though. Marin's achievement here is astounding - you're really getting a full English education (opening, middlegame and endgame) by reading these books. You'll be better both as an English theoretician and a general chess player by buying them.
Don't think you know the English Opening without the analysis in this book!
Have not ordered the other two volumes, to round out this author's work on the English, but this one is so good, I will eventually have them all.