Paperback, 352 pages, Russell Pubishing 2020
The Breyer and Zaitsev Variations of the Ruy Lopez are two of the most
dynamic lines played today. Examining them from both White and Black’s
point of view, Greek grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias discusses their
strengths, weaknesses and presents suggested improvements where necessary.
The Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez is the brainchild of Hungarian
hypermodern Gyula Breyer. He suggested the paradoxical knight retreat
9...Nb8 early in the 20th century. Although its soundness has been
confirmed in many grandmaster games for over a century, there is
surprisingly little which has been written about it. This book has just
changed all that.
The Zaitsev Variation was one of Anatoly Karpov’s workhorses in his title
matches against Garry Kasparov. Formulated by the brilliant theoretician
Igor Zaitsev, it can be found in the repertoires of some of the leading
grandmasters of our era.As the author notes in his introduction, this is an
objective presentation of two excellent opening variations for Black, from
which players sitting on either side of the board may profit. The play is
strategically complex, tactically rich and will improve you as both a
player and connoisseur of the game.
Kotronias’ clear writing style, coupled with in depth analysis, makes for a
splendid opening manual on two of the most topical – and solid – variations
of the Ruy Lopez.
Vasilios Kotronias has managed to not only teach us (myself included) some
important theory and practice of the Breyer and Zaitsev Systems, but also
broaden our horizons to our approach to chess in general. His explanations
are quite clear and the lines he provides are logical and concrete. This
new book is aimed for all ages and chess levels. Welcome to the fascinating
world of Breyer and Zaitsev! – Alexei Shirov, from his Foreword