Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"1...Nc6" or "The Kevitz System" Bibliography

The Black repertoire that can follow from an early ....Nc6 is wide and varied and includes the traditional Nimzovich Defense (1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5), the Kevitz System or Nimzovich with ...e5 (1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5), the Two Knights Tango or Kevitz-Trajkovich (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6), the Chigorin Defense (1.d4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5 or 2.c4 d5), the Bozo-Indian or Lundin or Mikenas or Kevitz-Trajkovich (1.d4 Nc6 2.d5 Ne5), and several others. Recent publications continue to group some of these lines under "1....Nc6," but I suggest that we return to Walter Korn's idea of calling it all the Kevitz System (Chess Review, August-September 1954) after the New York master who first experimented with these lines over 50 years ago.

I have tried to make this bibliography as complete as possible and would appreciate any additions you can recommend. I may also dig a few up in the coming weeks and will revisit this list if I do.

Books and Articles

Gary Lane. Ideas Behind the Modern Chess Openings: Black (Batsford 2005)
This book has a very misleading title, since it is really a repertoire book focused on the Chigorin (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6), the ...e5 English (1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6), and the Scandinavian (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6). The coverage features well-annotated, recent GM games and is a great introduction to the Chigorin and anti-English lines with an early ...Nc6 for Black.

Richard Palliser, Tango! A Dynamic Answer to 1.d4 (Everyman 2005)
An excellent book on the Two Knight's Tango (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6) that makes significant additions to Orlov and does a better job of presenting a repetoire that is not completely focused around building up a dark-square structure around ...d6 and ...e5 but occasionally heads toward ...e6 and ...d5 structures.

Alex Raetsky and Maxim Chetverik, English ...e5 (Everyman 2003)
Offers good coverage of lines with an early 1.c4 e5 and 2...Nc6 for Black (which you could play 1.c4 Nc6 and 2...e5, of course).

Chris Ward, Unusual Queens Gambit Declined (Everyman 2002)
Covers the Chigorin, the Albin, and Keres's ...Bf5 in response to 1.d4 d5 2.c4. The basic coverage of the Chigorin is solid and while none of the coverage is very much in depth it is quality stuff. Especially if you would like to experiment with the Albin (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5) as an occasional gambit alternative to the Chigorin (which you would still need to know to meet 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 etc.) then this is a must-have book.

Igor Berdichevsky, Modern Practice 1....Nc6!? (Russian Chess House 2004)
An excellent repertoire book written in Informator notation and multiple languages. The basic repertoire is good, with several different variations and options. It focuses on 1.e4 and 1.d4 and after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 it discusses both 2...d5 and 2...e5 lines. There is even coverage of the Scotch (1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.Nf3 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6!?). The book includes 331 annotated games (plus more in the notes) and 50 training positions.

Tibor Fograss, "Morozevich's Favorite!" New in Chess Yearbook 66 (2003)
Covers the Chigorin Defense focusing on Morozevich's recent games.

Valeri Bronznik, Die Tschigorin-Verteidigung 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Sc6 (Kania 2001)
This incredibly good analysis only recently (and briefly) became available in the US, so it seems much more recent than its 2001 copyright might suggest. I think this is pretty much the definitive work on the Chigorin, so it is a shame it is written in German and with a lot of textual commentaries that seem very worthwhile! Well, there is always Babelfish. See John Watson's excellent review for details. There are also excerpts online.

Jeroen Bosch, "Is the Chigorin Playable?" New in Chess Yearbook 58 (2001)

Georgi Orlov, The Black Knights' Tango (Basford 1998)
This book is suddenly more available in the U.S. and very much worth having before the latest edition runs out. Though Palliser's book above has absorbed much of its analysis, he often does not cover all of the lines that Orlov does and he occasionally diverges from Orlov's repertoire following 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6. See the review at Chess Cafe.

Reynaldo Vera, "The Incisive 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.d5" New in Chess Yearbook 42 (1997)
This line is why some players avoid 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 and instead only play the Chigorin when White commits to 1.d4 Nc6! 2.Nf3 d5! 3.c4 Bg4 etc.

Raymond Keene and Byron Jacobs, A Complete Defense for Black (Batsford and International Chess Enterprises 1996)
This is one of my favorite opening books. It has a nice historical introduction and good coverage for a repertoire book. It suggests the Chigorin and 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 lines. It also discusses 1....Nc6 against other openings. Though an older book, its coverage is surprisingly good. Should be available used and may be available somewhere, though I had trouble tracking down new copies online.

Leon Pliester, "Nimzovich Defense 1...Nc6" New in Chess Yearbook 40 (1996)

Adrian Mikhalchishin, "Chigorin Defense" New in Chess Yearbook 39 (1996)

Angus Dunington, The Chigorin Queen's Gambit (Batsford 1996) Fairly good coverage but overly optimistic in its assessments for Black, in my view--especially in its analysis of 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c4 e5!? which was a favorite method of Weaver Adams's to transpose to the Albin.

Georgy Orlov, "Declaration of Independence: Black Knight's Tango" New in Chess Yearbook 41 (1996)

Hugh Myers, Nimzovich Defense to 1.e4 (Caissa 1995)
There are many original ideas and analyses in this book, but it is a rather confusing coverage and mostly focused on 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5. It's also tough to get all of a sudden and therefore expensive where available. I don't think you need it, especially if you buy the Myers CD.

Harald Keilhack and Rainer Schlenker, 1...Sc6 ...aus allen Lagen (Kania 1995)
I have not seen this and cannot comment. But it does seem to cover the more unusual lines, including the Colorado Gambit (1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5?!)

Paul Van der Steren, "Chigorin Defense" New in Chess Yearbook 34 (1994)

Lenon Pliester, "Theory -- Mirror Image" New in Chess Yearbook 16 (1990)

John Watson, Queen's Gambit, Chigorin Defense (Batsford 1981)
An older book but surprisingly durable. Some of its assessments and analyses are still worth reading.

Tim Harding, The Nimzowitsch Defense, 1.e4 Nc6 (Batsford 1981)
This one has not held up so well.... Many new ideas have appeared since.

Georg Deppe, Die Fischer-Nimzowitsch-Verteidigung (1979)
Offers nicely organized coverage with older games, mostly of Nimzowitsch himself. Focuses a lot of attention on 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 e6.

Hugh E. Myers, The Nimzovich Defense (CHESSCO 1973)
A small, 87 page pamphlet that was one of the first publications to suggest that 1.e4 Nc6 was playable.

Andrew Soltis, Queen's Gambit Declined: Tchigorin Defense (Chess Digest 1972)
This was one of the first American opening books on the Tchigorin alone and is still cited in other sources.

Walter Korn, "The Kevitz System," Chess Review, Part One August 1954, pp. 240-241, and Part Two September 1954, pp. 274-275.
Korn attributes both the Black Knight's Tango and the Nimzovich with ...e5 to Kevitz and discusses a number of related lines.

There is also various periodical publications by Hugh Myers.

CDs, E-books, and Videos

Alexander Kalinin and Igo Berdichesky, Modern Chess Openings 1...Nc6!? (Convekta 2005)--also at USCF
From Convekta (the people who bring us Chess Assistant and CT-ART) and featuring the same basic analysis offered in the author's book version but with many additional games. This is a great package and I have only scratched the surface of what is there. I find it a valuable supplement to the book version above, and would recommend both if you can afford it.

FM Martin Breutigam, Chigorin Defense CD from ChessBase
ChessBase makes great CDs and the reviews suggest that this is no exception. I have not yet gotten around to picking this one up or I'd tell you more about it. The ad copy says: "In a small but good database with 100 entries - 7 texts and 93 sample games - the long time player in the German Bundesliga has compiled all his knowledge on the Chigorin Defence. Another database includes 54 training questions enabling the user to test his freshly acquired knowledge. Furthermore, the CD features a big database of more than 4,000 games as a reference database plus a big tree of all games."

Hugh Myers, The Nimzovich Defense Ultimate CD
A very nicely organized CD with lots of games and many annotated. I do not always trust Myers's analysis, but I do trust his research and he has done an impressive job of putting these materials together. The game collections also include speed games, which I think are sometimes useful for revealing the participants' opening preparation.

Sid Pickard, The Bozo-Indian e-book download from Chess Central
Though a poorly chosen name for those who remember Bozo the Clown (model for The Simpson's "Crusty"), this looks like a good game collection. I have not yet downloaded a copy. It covers 1.d4 Nc6 2.d5 Ne5 lines, which both Bogoljubov and Nimzovich tried (hence "Bozo" rather than "Bogo").

Andrew Martin, Nimzovich Defense Foxy Openings Video
Though there is something about Martin's accent that tends to put me to sleep, he presents well and is very likable on tape. The repertoire he offers focuses on lines with ...e5 for Black and he offers good suggestions and some original ideas

Web Sources

Repertoire Suggestions by IM Andrew Martin from ChessPublishing.com
Martin recommends a system built around 1...Nc6! with the Black pieces. Worth reading for the PGN files alone.

Nimzowitsch Defense (also archived at Nimzowitsch Defense) by Marek Soszynski
A good basic overview for club players of 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 lines.

Recent Developments in a Critical Variation of the Nimzowitsch by Soren Jensen
Focuses on the sharp 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.d5 Ne5. Another version covering the same lines with additional analysis is posted at this Nimzowitsch site.

Black Knights Tango, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four by GM Joel Benjamin at Jeremy Silman's site. This is a very thorough coverage of the Tango (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6) using the author's own games.

About IM Georgi Orlov at ChessMate
A quick kill with the Black Knights Tango from the master himself is annotated here.

Wesley "Ted" Brandhorst by Ralph Marconi
Includes a nice Brandhorst kill with the Black Knights Tango (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6) and well annotated.

Robert Miklos Reviews Valeri Bronznik's Tschigorin
A German review with accompanying games to play online. You can also find excerpts from Broznik's book online.

Die Tschigorin-Verteidigung by FM Christoph Wisnewski
An ambitious but ultimately abandoned effort. Only the section on 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bf4 is complete. If the rest of the site were finished and as good, this would be an amazing resource. As it is, it is only an amazing resource on one line--though a line that does not receive adequate coverage elsewhere. Wisnewski also contributed to a long thread at ChessPublishing.com's forum on the Chigorin.

Play the Chigorin by Leopold Lacrimosa
A nice analysis with java view board.

Opening Lanes #56 by Gary Lane
Discusses 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.h3!?

Smerdon-Laird, Australia 1999 annotated by John-Paul Wallace
Scroll down (though all the games are great and well-annotated). Features 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 transposing into a Pirc. See also Opening Lanes #10 by Gary Lane for a discussion of this line.

Opening Lanes #42 by Gary Lane
Discusses 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5?! which White should handle more positionally than tactically.

Borovikov-Mikhaletz, Ukraine Ch 2001 annotated by Boris Schipkov
Transposes to the line 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d5 Nb8!?

Anthony Miles at Chessgames.com
Tony Miles was one of the chief proponents of the Nimzovich lines with ...e5 and so his games are worth playing over and knowing.

Nimzowitsch Defense at Sudbury Chess

Rememberance of Chess Times Past by Tim Harding
Discusses a game of his that began 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3.

Nimzo file at Pitt (download PGN)

Opening Lanes #01 by Gary Lane
Discusses 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5!?


Blogger Jens said...

Amazing! Great public service post, you obviously spend quite some time compiling this commented list of references.


Tue Aug 23, 10:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous mrcowsy said...

Fantastic Reference Site!
If it must be called something then I agree with your 'Kevitz System'.
Will be back soon to see if you have found more.

Mon Nov 07, 07:28:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Harry Sadeghi said...

I like the idea of "New York System" considering the service that Dunst and Hoffman also did to the Queen's Knight on the white side with 1.Nc3!

Mon Nov 14, 08:02:00 PM EST  
Anonymous mrcowsy said...

an interesting post that relates to
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5 lines

Mon Dec 26, 06:54:00 PM EST  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

The Jeremy Silman website offers a free Chigorin Defense e-book for download. I have checked it out and it is really great.

Fri Sep 29, 09:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

The Jeremy Silman website offers a free Chigorin Defense e-book for download. I have checked it out and it is really great.

Sat Sep 30, 09:06:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Marc Lacrosse said...

IM Valery Bronznik's excellent "Die Tschigorin-Verteidigung 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Sc6" has been fully revised and translated in English ("The Chigorin Defence" Kania ed 2005).
And now there is the most interesting opus by A Morozevich and V Barsky : "The Chigorin Defence according to Morozevich" (NewInChess 2007).
Together these books will be the bible of the Chigorin for many years IMHO.

Wed May 30, 03:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger lukemcgook said...

Outstanding resource. Thanks. I've recently begun fooling with 1...Nc6 and gotten results much better than expected. Now, with your bibliography, I should be unbeatable as Black. Yes, unbeatable.

Sun Dec 14, 05:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dave Whitcombe said...

I have the Ray Keene book and I can absolutely recommend it.
Thanks for the added info on everything else, I will be using it. Regards.

Sun Jan 24, 03:48:00 PM EST  

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