Toggle Nav
Call +49 2501 9288 320

We are pleased to assist you!

Visiting our store in Münster possible again without appointment

Wearing a medical mask covering the mouth and nose is the only obligation. It goes without saying that we have taken the necessary measures to protect from the danger of infection. We are looking forward to your visit.

Shopping Cart Shopping Cart
Article Number

Opening for Amateurs

336 pages, paperback, Mongoose, 1. edition 2014

Incl. Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

Don’t have the time to study opening theory, or to figure out where you’re going wrong with your games? Are you looking for guidance on how to handle the opening so that you can get a playable middlegame?

Openings for Amateurs is written with two kinds of chessplayers in mind: average “club” players who can’t afford to learn variations 30 moves deep; and scholastic players looking to take the next step in their chess development.

This is really two books in one! The Primer covers the most frequent mistakes made in the opening and considers many common misconceptions about this phase of the game. Popular chess author and lecturer Pete Tamburro devotes special attention to the best ways to meet both tricky lines like the Blackmar-Diemer and the Belgrade Gambit, and “system” attacks such as the Colle and the Barry, while discussing such vexing topics as when to chase a bishop and whether to believe openings manuals.

Part II offers a selection of openings that you are invited to consider based on your needs, and presents 53 annotated model games to help you understand the openings’ ideas rather than just memorizing moves. The aim is to help you determine where you are now and then how to pursue your chess goals - while helping you right away to survive the opening in your next tournament!

About the Author

Chess Life and Chess Life for Kids columnist Pete Tamburro hosted the popular Openings for Amateurs lecture series on and the Internet Chess Club. In addition to coaching college basketball and championship high-school chess and cross-country teams, Pete has been voted Chess Journalist of the Year (2006) and named New Jersey’s Outstanding Teacher of History (1990). His chess books include writing Learn Chess from the Greats and editing the Kasparov Foundation’s Teaching Chess Step by Step series.

More Information
Weight 440 g
Manufacturer Mongoose
Width 15,4 cm
Height 23 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2014
Author Pete Tamburro
Language English
Edition 1
ISBN-13 978-1936277506
Pages 336
Binding paperback

011 Introduction


018 1. Allowing the king to give up castling without a good reason

019 2. Allowing early simplification

021 3. Don’t lose time in the opening

026 4. Don’t be an opening robot!

028 5. Don’t help your opponent to do what he wants to do!

029 6. Not all aggressive bishop moves are good

031 7. Don’t panic against unusual moves

034 8. Don’t create weaknesses that your opponent can exploit

035 9. Don’t forget that play in the center is the essential point of all openings

037 10. Be careful to avoid “plodding” development

038 11. Playing an opening (especially a defense) without understanding why certain moves are played and when they are played, is not a good idea

041 12. Know when it’s good to exchange a bishop for a knight and when it is not good. Oh – and vice versa!

045 13. Don’t turn a won game into a draw – or worse!

047 14. Always consider counterattacking in the center

048 15. If your opponent gives you the center, it’s generally a good idea to accept the gift!

050 16. Solid, passive defenses are the waiting rooms for defeat

050 17. Even though you have an opening plan, be alert to good moves in changing circumstances

051 18. Don’t forget, before every move, to look for all checks and captures

053 19. Know when to play g4 or ... g5 against a bishop and know when not to play it

063 20. Don’t make it easy for your opponent to make a freeing move

065 21. Don’t incorrectly use computers

066 22. Don’t be in a hurry to resign

067 23. Don’t sleep in the streets!

069 24. Be ever vigilant for Bxf7+

069 25. Do not be so eager to play so “solidly” that you block in your bishops

071 26. Don’t underestimate exchange variations

072 27. Beware sudden pawn thrusts!

073 28. Gambits are best met by countergambits. The best way to meet a gambit is to accept it. Huh?

095 29. Do not play premature attacks

099 30. Tempi! Tempi! Tempi!

100 31. Don’t go crazy against hedgehog or hippo-type openings

105 32. If you like attacking chess, don’t hesitate to use attacks based on h2-h4-h5 against fianchetto defenses

116 33. Don’t go crazy when facing an offbeat opening, either

123 34. When playing against the Colle System, do not think that simple, planless, developing moves will be sufficient

128 35. When facing some of the “pre-planned” openings, don’t be afraid to have your own plan ready to go

136 36. Speaking of preparation, don’t believe everything you read in opening books or articles (especially if you wrote them!)

141 37. Don’t just concentrate on openings!

143 38. Pete, what should I play in the openings? What do you do?

145 39. Once I’ve picked my openings, how should I study them?

145 40. What if I just want to have fun?


149 1. Sicilian (for White)

149 Hungarian Variation

163 Rossolimo Attack

167 Closed Sicilian

172 c3 Sicilian

177 2. French Defense

177 Tarrasch Variation with ... Nf6

180 Tarrasch Variation with ... c7-c5

183 Guimard Variation

188 3. Caro-Kann Defense

188 Horowitz suggestion

189 Keres suggestion

190 Fantasy Variation

197 4. Systems with ... g7-g6

197 Pirc

203 Modern

204 Gurgenidze

206 5. Alekhine’s Defense, Canal Variation

211 6. Scandinavian/Center Counter

211 3 ... Qa5 line

213 3 ... Qd6 line

215 2 ... Nf6 line

220 7. Four Knights’ Game

221 Classical Attack

229 Rubinstein Variation

231 8. Vienna Opening with g3

231 Black plays ... d7-d5

234 Black plays ... d7-d6

238 9. Two Knights’ Defense

239 Fritz Variation

243 Classical Variation

246 d4 Attack

249 10. Scotch Opening

254 11. If You Don’t Want to Play 1 ... e5 to Meet 1.e4: The Sicilian Dragon

268 12. The English Opening According to Botvinnik

283 13. Nimzo-Indian and Bogo-Indian

297 14. Dutch Defense

309 15. A Plea for the Ruy Ló pez

331 16. Final Thoughts

“There’s a need for a book such as this in today’s work-a-day world: Give it to me neat, no fizz. Cut to the chase. You won’t find reams of analysis, and no data dumps of variations. “You will find good, common-sense advice in the primer section (do’s and don’ts, good and evil), easily digested in nugget-sized morsels, followed by excellent model games. You can dine at your leisure, a chapter at a sitting, and walk away satisfied.” -Glenn Petersen (amateur in search of an opening), Editor, Chess Life for Kids

“Peter Tamburro’s excellent new text, Openings for Amateurs, is everything the recreational player needs to appreciate the opening phase of chess. But the author’s insights don’t stop in the first dozen moves. Glide through it and you can watch your entire game take on greater power and verve. On my list of recommended new chess books, it rises to the top.” -Bruce Pandolfini, renowned chess teacher and author

“When I read it, I felt like I was reading through an old-fashioned primer - easy to digest, even without a chessboard, and plenty of insight. This is my opinion - from the guy who always disliked openings and survived at the highest level by grinding out middlegames and endgames.”-IM Igor Khmelnitsky, award-winning author of Chess Exam and Training Guide

“Thank you Pete. You understand us amateurs better than almost anyone else. Speaking for the rest of us, I appreciate your help, advice, and time.” -A reader of Pete Tamburro’s “Openings for Amateurs” message board

More from Mongoose
  1. More from Mongoose