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2/29/2008 – The best guarantee to know more opening theory than your opponent is to put him out of his opening book straight away, with moves like 2.Na3 against the Sicilian or 3.f3 in the Caro-Kann. That is, as GM Davies puts it, to play a real chess game rather than to just replay a latest grandmasters' game upto move 25. Buy his DVD '1.e4 for the Creative Attacker' now or read more.

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GM Nigel Davies: 1.e4 for the Creative Attacker

Review by William Frost

Like many other chessplayers before you, you have probably stood up from the board having just lost a game and thought to yourself, "How the devil did I lose that game?  At the very least I should have drawn and at the best, won."   When you examine the game, after the emotion has evaporated, you discover that your opponent had been playing a theoretical line and that at a critical point you were unable to decide what you needed to do next - and failed miserably.  What do you do?  There is a decision to be made.  Do you study the theory even deeper and get immersed in a labyrinth of variations that you need to remember when next this situation occurs in your games (if it ever does!), or do you change your opening repertoire?  If you decide on the latter and you are an attacking player, then this is the DVD for you. 

Nigel Davies suggests the idea of playing rather uniquely as White after 1.e4 and channelling the game into lines that will take your opponent out of the book and throw him on his own resources.  The basic premise of his suggested repertoire rests in the pawn formation that he christens as the "Big Clamp".

This was a White pawn structure propounded by the Canadians, Lawrence Durrell and Duncan Suttles.  The white pawn chain on the kingside is a powerful basis for attacking play.   The advantages to White are rather evident.  He has a greater command of space on the kingside and as Black is likely to choose this flank to  house his monarch, White's successful attacking potential will very likely succeed.  In addition, White has the flexibility to reply to any counter moves that Black may adopt.  Having used the "Big Clamp" himself, Nigel Davies has set about studying the methods that can be used in 1.e4 openings to achieve this or similar formations.  To embark on such a task is an ambitious undertaking, but he has succeeded in providing a full repertoire against any reply that Black may choose.

Thus, when facing the Sicilian Defence, he recommends 2.Na3.  This is a system that Vadim Zvjaginsev used to surprise his opponents in the Russian Championship, Super-Final of 2005 and his game against Khalifman from this tournament is featured in the second of Nigel Davies' video presentations on this DVD.  It turns out that the knight is eventually actively placed on c2 from where it can support the centre or transfer to the king side.

In dealing with the French Defence, Davies suggest the moves 1.e4 e6 2.f4 again heading towards the "Big Clamp".  Once again he illustrates this system with another game by Zvjaginsev and once again the knight gets into play via c2.  A subtle point in this system is that White rarely plays an early d4 and thus denies Black a target that is a frequent source of anxiety to White in the more traditional variations against the French.

The Pirc is quite simply answered by 1.e4 d6 2.f4 which can develop into a unique system or transpose to more traditional opening possibilities.   

Click here for replay of a Pirc sampler with 2.f4.

Facing the Caro-Kann, the recommendation is 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3.  This is a system that has been known for quite some time and for some reason Davies christens as the "Fantasy Variation."

Having dealt with the half-open variations, Davies turns his attention to symmetrical king pawn openings.  Here he has to struggle to find an esoteric response and goes for the Glek Variation, which is based on the Four Knights and can arise from the many by-ways that Black can wander down. 

The Alekhine is dealt with by 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 with chances of transposing to the Glek Variation and against the Scandinavian, Davies puts forward the suggestion 1.e4 d5, 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 and if Qd6 4.g3.

The essential message of this DVD is that it is a repertoire for an attacking player and Davies uses over four hours of video to get this message over with some fine penetrative analysis of 21 major games with others sprinkled throughout the notes.  If you are an attacking player and want to avoid your opponent regurgitating the latest grandmaster analysis for 15-20 moves, then this DVD is for you.  Following Nigel Davies' suggestions will enable you to play an original game of chess that will throw your opponent onto his own resources.

Davies'  video delivery is performed in a business-like manner that is very clearly expressed and is very thought provoking.  The amount of material that he presents is quite staggering when you consider the size of the subject. This DVD can be thoroughly recommended not only for its contents but as a source of ideas from which you can creatively re-examine your repertoire 

Once again, the ChessBase video format is impeccable and is self supporting as the interface is included.



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