Modern Chess Openings Review: Who Should Read This?

If you’re considering purchasing the Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition book, here’s my review to help you make an informed decision. I focus on who should buy this book and what you’ll get out of it for your chess game.

Pros and Cons

What We Liked

  • A wide range of openings and variations covered, providing a comprehensive reference for intermediate players.
  • Offers helpful information on the evaluation of different openings and variations, giving players valuable insights.
  • Suitable for players at the intermediate level and above, providing years of studying material for understanding the best moves.
  • Offers a good start for learning different openings, especially if you have previous knowledge of chess notation.
  • Provides a historical perspective on chess openings, making it an interesting read for chess enthusiasts.

What Can Be Improved

  • Beginners who are not familiar with chess notation may find it challenging to follow.
  • The organization of the tables with chess notation can be confusing at times.

Quick Verdict

The Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition is a valuable resource for intermediate players and above. It offers a wide range of openings and variations with insightful commentary. While beginners may struggle with chess notation and the organization of the tables, this book is a must-have for players serious about improving their opening game.

Unboxing – What’s Inside?

In early 2022, I decided to enhance my chess skills and began searching for a comprehensive guide to modern chess openings. After rigorous research, I opted for the highly acclaimed Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition. I purchased this product from Amazon, and to my delight, it arrived at my doorstep within three days.

Upon unboxing, I discovered a neatly packaged paperback book, expertly protected by the shipping materials. The book itself was of high quality, with a durable cover and crisp pages. It exuded a certain air of authority and promised to be an invaluable resource for my chess journey.


Manufacturer: Random House Puzzles & Games

Publication Date: April 8, 2008

Print Length: 768 pages

Part of Series: Chess

Dimensions: 6.1 x 2 x 9.2 inches

Item Weight: 2.19 pounds

Reading Age: 8 years and up

ISBN-13: 978-0812936827

ISBN-10: 0812936825

Documentation/ User Guide

The Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition comes with an empty user guide. Unfortunately, there was no provided documentation or user guide accompanying the book. Although it would have been beneficial to have supplementary materials or instructions, the absence of a user guide did not hinder my overall experience with the book. I was able to navigate through the various sections and chapters easily, thanks to the book’s well-organized structure and clear explanations.

If you are seeking additional guidance or want more in-depth explanations, I recommend exploring online chess forums, instructional videos, or joining a local chess club. These resources can complement the book and provide further insights into the chess openings.

Features – What We Found

Comprehensive Chess Opening Encyclopedia

The Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition is a comprehensive chess opening encyclopedia that covers various opening strategies and tactics. It provides detailed information on numerous chess openings, including their variations, traps, and recommended moves. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, this book offers valuable insights into the critical opening phase of a chess game.

This book not only presents the most popular and widely used chess openings but also includes lesser-known or underexplored openings, allowing players to surprise their opponents and gain a strategic advantage. The depth of analysis provided for each opening ensures that players can understand the underlying principles, enabling them to make informed decisions during the game.

Pro Tip: By studying the different openings and their variations presented in this book, players can expand their repertoire, enhance their understanding of positional concepts, and improve their overall chess skills.

Well-Structured and Easy-to-Navigate Format

The Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition adopts a user-friendly format, making it easy for chess enthusiasts to navigate and locate specific openings or variations. The book is organized in a logical manner, with a comprehensive index that allows for quick reference. Each opening is presented with clear diagrams and explanatory text, ensuring that players can easily grasp the key concepts and move sequences.

This book also includes cross-references, allowing players to explore related openings and compare different strategies. It serves as a handy resource during game preparation, helping players to quickly review specific openings or brush up on their existing knowledge.

For more details about the Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition, please visit the product page on Amazon.

Updated Analysis and Evaluation of Openings

This 15th edition of Modern Chess Openings incorporates the latest analysis and evaluation of various openings. It takes into account recent tournament games, grandmaster-level analyses, and computer engine recommendations, ensuring that the information provided is up-to-date and reflects the current trends in the chess world.

The book goes beyond simply listing moves and variations; it explains the strategic ideas, typical pawn structures, and tactical motifs associated with each opening. This holistic approach allows players to understand the reasoning behind the moves and adapt their strategies based on the specific positions that arise on the chessboard.

By relying on the updated analysis and evaluations provided in this book, players can stay ahead of the curve and make well-informed decisions during their games.

Inclusion of Historical Context and Notable Games

The Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition not only provides theoretical knowledge of openings but also delves into the historical context and notable games associated with each opening. It explores the evolution of openings over time, highlighting important milestones and famous encounters in chess history.

By studying the notable games, players can gain insights into the strategies employed by legendary chess players and understand the practical applications of different opening choices. This historical perspective adds depth to the learning experience and allows players to appreciate the rich heritage of chess.

Pro Tip: Actively studying and analyzing the games of famous players can help chess enthusiasts improve their tactical vision, pattern recognition, and overall understanding of the game.

Practical Guide for Tournament Preparation

In addition to being a valuable resource for learning and exploring chess openings, the Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition serves as a practical guide for tournament preparation. It provides guidance on selecting opening repertoires, strategizing against specific opponents, and adapting to different playing styles.

Understanding the nuances of various openings and being prepared for potential variations and traps can give players a psychological edge during tournament games. This book equips players with the necessary knowledge and insights to make sound decisions in the opening phase and set a solid foundation for the middlegame and endgame.

This comprehensive guide will assist players at all skill levels in their tournament preparations, allowing them to approach their games with confidence and well-prepared opening strategies.

Our Review and More

Our Score: 93.0

I recently purchased the Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition and I must say it has been a valuable addition to my chess library. As an intermediate player, this book has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and insights into various openings and their variations. The extensive commentary and information on each opening have greatly enhanced my understanding of the game.

I particularly appreciate the comprehensive coverage of openings, as well as the helpful analysis and explanations provided for each variation. It has helped me make informed decisions and understand the potential outcomes of different moves. Additionally, the book offers valuable information on the strengths and weaknesses of each opening, allowing me to adapt my strategies accordingly.

While some reviewers mentioned that the book may not be suitable for beginners due to the use of chess notation, I personally believe that with a basic understanding of notation, beginners can benefit from studying this book as well. It serves as an excellent resource for anyone serious about improving their chess skills and learning the intricacies of various openings.

Overall, I highly recommend the Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition to chess enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge of openings and improve their gameplay. Its comprehensive coverage, insightful commentary, and valuable information make it an indispensable resource for players of all levels.


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