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 "The Nimzovich" or "1....Nc6," but I suggest that we return to Walter Korn's idea of calling at least the dark-square e5-focused approach 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 the following 1...Nc6 bibliography as complete as possible and would appreciate any additions you can recommend. I may also dig a few up in the future and will revisit this list if I do.

Books and Articles
James Schuyler, The Dark Knight System: A Repertoire with 1...Nc6 (Everyman 2013) Reviewed here shortly after its publication, this book offers a very coherent and solid repertoire built around a Kevitz-inspired dark-square approach to the Nimzovich with an early e5 by Black. I also link to some of my own analysis of lines considered in the book.  
Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Barsky, The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich (New in Chess 2007)  Who better to tell us about the Chigorin than the GM responsible for its revival, and someone who generally preferred an approach that strove for an eventual ...e5 push to fight for the dark squares.  Though the games are mostly those of Morozevich, the analysis offers up-to-date theory for the time.  I would call this indispensable.
Christoph Wisnewski, Play 1....Nc6! A Complete Chess Opening Repertoire for Black  (Everyman 2007) Though this book has a light-squared approach to the opening, with a focus on 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 lines (including 3.Nc3 e6) and the Chigorin (via 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6), it is still an interesting book with some fascinating sidelines (including the surprising 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 Nf6!?) and very detailed coverage of early divergences by White, which you will not find as deeply treated elsewhere.
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, generally looking for an eventual ...e5 push (including the interesting line against 3.Bf4 with 3...Bg4 4.e3 f6!? followed by e5). 
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.  
Valery Bronznik , The Chigorin Defence (Schachverlag Kania 2005)  An excellently translated and significantly updated version of the same book in German, offering some of the most complete coverage of the Chigorin Defense available, with great consideration of many sidelines ignored by other analysts.  Table of contents and excerpt.
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 via 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) 
Nikolai Vlasov, 1.e4 Nc6, and Black Wins!  Originally published online at the now defunct Kasparov site.  There is a good video at Chess.com by Charles Galofre that basically covers the article with some additional comments.
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) 
Leon Pliester, "Theory -- Mirror Image" New in Chess Yearbook 16 (1990)  
Thomas Kapitaniak, Nimzovich Defence (The Chess Player 1981)  A 71-page pamphlet in Informator- (or The-Chess-Player) style wordless text, covering all lines and many sidelines, offering some forgotten games.
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.  Tends toward a white-square approach with ...e6, which is more positional but very solid. 
Tim Harding, The Nimzowitsch Defense, 1.e4 Nc6 (Batsford 1981)
This one has not held up so well.... Many new ideas have appeared since.  But good coverage of all lines. 
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
Simon Williams, The Tactical Chigorin (ChessBase DVD 2017) 
Andrew Martin, Nimzowitsch Defence (ChessBase DVD)
CJ Chess Repertoire Against 1.e4 (see also some links below)  A super collection of videos, by the maker of the Dirty Chess Tricks series.  Really great stuff -- and he may even convince you to give the Colorado Gambit a try. 

Alexander Kalinin and Igo Berdichesky, Modern Chess Openings 1...Nc6!? (Convekta 2005)  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. 
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.  Fortunately, Wisnewski's book on 1...Nc6 was eventually published in English and contains his analysis.
Play the Chigorin by Leopold Lacrimosa
A nice analysis with java view board (no longer usable) of 3.Nc3 Nf6. 
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 - No longer available. 
Rememberance of Chess Times Past by Tim Harding
Discusses a game of his that began 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3. 
Opening Lanes #01 by Gary Lane
Discusses 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5!?


Jens said...

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


Anonymous 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.

Anonymous 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!

Anonymous said...

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

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.

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.

Anonymous 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.

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.

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.

Arif said...

You might be interested in the new Everyman book "The Dark Knight System" which covers the Kevitz System.

Anonymous said...

You have completely ignored American GM Ben Finegold's fine videos on the Chigorin, which fits your interest in ...e5 breaks. Here are some:


Michael Goeller said...

Yes, I seem to have overlooked a lot of stuff on 1...Nc6 -- including my stuff on The Panther:

But I can't keep updating this forever..... :-) . Thanks for the input.

Michael Goeller said...

I left out an article by Abby Marshall at ChessCafe:
The Chigorin vs. the London System 27

I actually went looking for her article on "The Nimzovich Defense [B00]" but could not track it down. I think it was published in 2014 or 2015.

Michael Goeller said...

I recently picked up Christian Bauer's The Modernized Nimzovich Defense 1.e4 Nc6! (Thinkers Publishing 2020), which is very good and an excellent companion to Schuyler's "Dark Knight." Bauer also has a ChessBase DVD on the system called "The Nasty Nimzowitsch Defence."