Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beating Inferior Openings: 4.Bc4 in the Four Knights Revisited

In his July 2014 review of Or Cohen's A Vigorous Chess Opening Repertoire for Black (2013) Carsten Hansen criticizes this Petroff repertoire book for giving three pages to the Four Knights with 4.Bc4?!, which Hansen considers to be a line that "should have received little or no mention." As I have argued in my first posting on this opening, Hansen is simply wrong when it comes to amateur chess. Amateurs need to learn how to refute such lines, which they will see orders of magnitude more often than the latest theoretical lines played by titled players. More to the point are Hansen's other criticisms of Cohen's book, notably its excessive reliance on long lines of computer analysis and its lack of clarity on its intended audience. Cohen's coverage of the 4.Bc4?! variation of the Four Knights is appropriate for rank amateurs, but its long lines without verbal comment are hardly useful for them. Most amateurs below about 1900 USCF need, I humbly submit, analysis like that offered in this blog's coverage of this line: lots of verbal and visual explanation of the most basic issues in an opening.