Five out of five

by ChessBase
11/9/2007 – Repertoire DVDs go fast. Especially when they cover a wide range of variations. Nigel Davies' new course '1...d6 Universal' along with his previous Pirc DVD is a powerful prototype learning instrument, for with only these two DVDs you can let White play just everything. FM Carsten Hansen in his monthly Chess Cafe column gave it his top evaluation. Buy it now or read more.

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Nigel Davies: 1...d6 Universal

Review by Carsten Hansen (

One can assume that this is the companion volume to Davies’ previous DVD on the Pirc, which I reviewed in June 2007. I found the contents to be very informative and the ideas well-presented. Davies appears very confident in front of the camera. He doesn’t hesitate or lose his train of thought and this in turn bolsters the viewer’s faith that Davies believes in the ideas he is presenting.

The material spans five hours and is divided as follows:

  •  Intro:
  • 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Ng5 f5 (3 segments)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Nfd2: (1 segment)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Ng1: (1 segment)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nc3 exd4 4.Qxd4 (3 segments)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.others (3 segments)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Bg4 (5 segments)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3: (1 segment)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3rd Move Alternatives (1 segment)
  • 1.d4 d6 2.Others: (3 segments)
  • 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 f5 4.d4 e4 5.Bg5 (1 segment)
  • 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 f5 4.g3 (1 segment)
  • 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 (1 segment)
  • 1.Nf3 d6 2.g3 (1 segment)
  • First Move Alternatives (1 segment)


Davies explains things in a way that makes it easy to understand. He discusses the aims for both sides and he gives you the impression that playing Black is almost easy. Not surprisingly, I found the coverage in some lines to be less than forthcoming in regards to the mischief that White can make, and as to the exact evaluations of certain positions, but only those who are very familiar with the English Opening as white or whose rating puts them beyond the target audience of this DVD will notice.

As with its sister volume, I really enjoyed this DVD. I am certain that a great variety of players will be able to benefit from the material and I am happy to recommend it. Now I will have to inspect the material even more closely, so as to still be able to win as white in the English Opening or with 1 d4.

My assessment of this DVD:  Full five out of five stars

Original review at

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