We all read great books; chess players can read great chess books. But which one to read in January 2023? By the way did you know that if you read book passively you lose 90% of all information inside? So, bring the pen or pencil and start to read actively underlining the important statements, replaying the games, learning. Practice makes perfect.

Reading just these 5 books on chess openings has certainly been a valuable experience for me. I have learned a great deal about the various ways to start a chess game and the strategies behind each opening. Here are the 5 books that I read and what they taught me:

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The Sicilian Defense

"The Sicilian Defense" by Grandmaster Boris Avrukh - This book introduced me to the Sicilian Defense, which is a popular choice for black pieces. It taught me about the various variations of the Sicilian Defense, such as the Najdorf, the Dragon, and the Scheveningen. It also provided insights into the psychological aspect of playing the Sicilian Defense, as it can be intimidating for white players.

The Sicilian Defense is a chess opening played by Black. It is the most popular and best-scoring response to White's first move of 1.e4. The Sicilian Defense is a flexible and solid defense that allows Black to fight for the initiative from the very beginning of the game. The Sicilian Defense begins with the moves 1.e4 c5. The Sicilian Defense is a very tactical opening and requires a good understanding of chess strategy. It is often used by aggressive players who are looking to take the initiative and play for a win, but it can also be used as a solid and defensive opening.

The King's Indian Defense

"The King's Indian Defense" by Grandmaster Alexander Beliavsky and Grandmaster Adrian Mikhalchishin – Very nice introduction to the King's Indian Defense, which is a popular choice for black pieces. You will learn various variations of the King's Indian Defense, such as the Classical, the Fianchetto, and the Averbakh. It also provided insights into how to counter the King's Indian Defense as white.

The King's Indian Defense is a chess opening played by Black. It is a very dynamic and flexible opening that allows Black to fight for the initiative from the very beginning of the game. The King's Indian Defense is a popular choice among aggressive and tactical players who are looking to take control of the game and play for a win. It is characterized by the moves 1.e4 followed by g6, Bg7, and d6. The King's Indian Defense is a complex and tactical opening that requires a good understanding of chess strategy and a willingness to take risks. It is not for the faint of heart, but it can lead to exciting and unpredictable games.

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The Grunfeld Defense

"The Grunfeld Defense" by Grandmaster Victor Bologan - This defence is a popular choice for black pieces Variations such as the Exchange, the Russian, and the Classical can be very well understood. The Grunfeld Defense is characterized by the moves 1.d4 followed by Nf6, g6, and Bg7 and it can lead to sharp and complex positions. Victor Bologan is a Moldovan chess grandmaster and coach. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1993. Bologan has won several international chess tournaments and has represented Moldova in the Chess Olympiad. He is also a prolific chess author, having written several books on chess strategy and tactics. Bologan is known for his aggressive and tactical style of play, and has been described as a "great attacking player."

The Modern Defense

"The Modern Defense" by Grandmaster Jan Pinski - This book introduced me to the Modern Defense, which is a popular choice for black pieces. It taught me about the various variations of the Modern Defense, such as the Classical, the Averbakh, and the Symmetrical. It also provided insights into how to counter the Modern Defense as white.

The Modern Defense is characterized by the moves 1.e4 followed by g6, Bg7, and d6. The Modern Defense is a solid and flexible opening that can be used to defend against a wide range of White's attacking systems. It is often used by players who are looking for a solid and flexible defense that allows them to fight for the initiative. The Modern Defense is a good choice for players who want to play a solid and positional game.

Play the French

"Play the French" by Grandmaster Andrew Martin - This book is a comprehensive guide to the French Defense, and it covers a wide range of variations. It is written by a highly experienced player and coach, and it provides detailed explanations and a wealth of illustrative games.

The French Defense is characterized by the moves 1.e4 followed by e6. There are many variations of the French Defense, including the Tarrasch Variation, the Advance Variation, and the Winawer Variation. The French Defense is a solid and flexible opening that can be used to defend against a wide range of White's attacking systems. It is often used by players who are looking for a solid and flexible defense that allows them to fight for the initiative.

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