Play 1 b4!: Shock your opponents with the Sokolsky - Lapshun / Conticello

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About The Play 1 b4!: Shock your opponents with the Sokolsky - Lapshun / Conticello

Do you wish to surprise your opponent on the first move? Do you enjoy playing creatively from the beginning of the game? Look no further than 1 b4! With this aggressive pawn lunge White takes the game into relatively unknown territory and forces Black players onto their own devices. In this landmark book, Yury Lapshun and Nick Conticello take an in-depth look at 1 b4. The authors provide a practical and fun-to-play repertoire for White, offering options against all of Black's main possibilities. Read this book and confound your opponents with 1 b4!

  • 176 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Everyman
  • Published: May 2008
  • I recommend the book to players who want to try out an unusual opening, although they also should have a look at more detailed sources. It is a fine introduction to this opening. - FreeChess
  • ...I can highly recommend it to anyone looking for an offbeat, but sound alternative to mainstream opening theory. To use a metaphor I have employed before, if your opening repertoire is smelling a bit stale, the Sokolsky is an excellent and under-rated deodorant. - Steve Giddins: British Chess Magazine
  • IM Yury Lapshun and his companion US master Nick Conticello have managed to create, in this latest Everyman Chess book, an impressive written reference book on the Sokolsky opening. Every important line, so as for example the famous line 1 b4 e5 2 Bb2 Bxb4, gets a important in-depth turn. - John Elburg: Chess Mail
  • The book is often conversational, and Lapshun's love for this system is both obvious and motivational. I feel that 1.b4 is ideal for players who are sick of opening theory and want a line that will confound most opponents, while offering real chances to get positions they both know and, with practice, excel at. Recommended for players under 2200, or anyone that just wants to get off the beaten path and play some original chess. - Jeremy Silman:
  • I must say that players who adopt 1.b4 as their main weapon aren't really trying to 'avoid' theory as much as they are trying to force the game into 'their' lines of theory. The cost is likely going to be that Black isn't pressed to find forced moves early in the game. Therein lies the advantage of an opening like 1.b4: the first player is just a bit better acquainted with the terrain and will know what sorts of mistakes to be on the lookout for, while the Black player is looking for moves. 'Play 1 b4!' does an excellent job of getting a reader into that position as White. - Bill McGeary:
  • There is no illusion of grandiose White advantages; in fact, in the introduction co-author Conticello says "If you want to guarantee yourself a small advantage with no risk, the Sokolsky is not for you!". So right from the start the book is looking to provide a platform for the player of the White pieces to "get a game." No more, no less. For any player looking for just such a platform, I recommend this book without hesitation. -
  • One thing I learned from Play 1.b4! is that 1...c6 is not as great as I thought it to be when I was a kid. Then I dreamed of the trap 1.b4 c6 2.Bb2 a5 3.a3 axb4 4.axb4 Rxa1 5.Bxa1 Qb6 6.c3 d5 7.e3 Bf5 8.Nf3 e6 9.Be2?? Qa7 10.Bb2 Qa2 snaring a piece and thought that 2.e3 was best to meet 2...Qb6 with 3.a3 a5 4.b5 cxb5 5.Nc3 b4 6.axb4 Qxb4 7.Ba3 with interesting compensation for the pawn. Play 1.b4! points out that 2.Bb2 is in fact quite playable and 2...a5 should not be met by 3.a3 but 3.b5. White has a good vers ion of the Wing Gambit in the Sicilian after 4.e4 b4 5.a3 . Play 1.b4! is not the definitive work on the Sokolsky but if you play this opening regularly you will want this book. - John Donaldson

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