Yorkshire Chess Association





New Book by Gawain Jones


As those who are on the mailing list of Chess & Bridge will know, Gawain Jones, the only Yorkshire-born and Yorkshire-resident OTB chess grandmaster, has produced a book of the “opening repertoire” genre.


What has recently been published is the first of two volumes aimed at the devotee of 1. e4, aiming to offer challenging (hence “coffeehouse”) but nevertheless sound lines against Black’s defences.


The cover title, 1.e4 – Coffeehouse Repertoire – Volume 1, suggests that the “Coffeehouse Repertoire” is meant to address purely 1.e4, so that, as the Chess & Bridge write-up suggests, volume 2 will be the end of it.


However, if you look at the sample text to which the Chess & Bridge e-mail gives a link, the elements of the title are there subtly re-arranged giving Coffeehouse Repertoire 1.e4 Volume 1, which might suggest to some that Volume 2 might in time be followed by Coffeehouse Repertoire 1.d4 Volume 1!  The author’s Coffeehouse Preface, which is what the “sample text” consists of, seems to imply that addressing 1.e4 is all that was initially envisaged.


So, if you are a devotee of 1.d4, then you can go back to sleep; if you are a devotee of 1.c4 then you are probably asleep already; and if you are a devotee of 1.g4 then “Well done!” – and keep taking the pills.


This volume 1 covers the Sicilian, Caro-Kann, Scandinavian (i.e. Centre Counter) and Alekhine’s Defences.  Volume two is to cover 1...e5, and the French, Pirc, Modern, and other Defences.


One wonders whether Volume 2 will cover 1.e4 f6, as in the casual game Paul Morphy 0-1 Thomas Wilson Barnes, London, 1858!  Of the English players who played Morphy while he was in London hoping to play a match against Howard Staunton, he was perhaps the most successful.  His wins over Morphy were, of course, somewhat in the nature of skittles games.)


As one who cannot remember ever playing 1.e4, preferring 1.d4, though being happy to vary with 1.f4 or even 1.c3, I am not getting that excited about this new book.  However, if I see a copy on a bookstall or bookshop, I shall take a free peek at what is suggested against my own defence to 1.e4!


Although I am not an e4-player, having played through a number of Gawain Jones’s games with interest, and despite not having read any more of the book than the preface, I have every confidence that this will prove a “must” for e4-playing opening-book junkies.


Meanwhile, if 1.d4 – Coffeehouse Repertoire – Volume 1 comes out, then put me down for a copy!



The preface mentioned can be seen on the publisher’s website at http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/CoffeehouseRepertoireVol1-excerpt.pdf?mc_cid=3ebbee8cd4&mc_eid=dc99f8fd95.



The book is being advertised by both Chess Direct (http://www.chessdirect.co.uk/) and Chess & Bridge (http://www.chess.co.uk/).