Sicilian Warfare & an Elephant – Excerpts

Two new books are at the printer, and expected to be published on November 25th.

Sicilian Warfare by Ilya Smirin is a follow-up to the author’s warmly-received King’s Indian Warfare. Brilliant games and world-class insight into 1.e4 c5. You can read an excerpt here.

The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit by Jakob Aabling-Thomsen and Michael Agermose Jensen. Lively, detailed and enthusiastic coverage of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5!?. You can read an excerpt here.

92 thoughts on “Sicilian Warfare & an Elephant – Excerpts”

  1. The elephant book does look fun. Note: The capitalization in a few of the chapter titles needs editing. They’re mostly title case (“Transpositions, transpositions” being a possibly intentional exception), so it should be “Two Bishops or Not Two Bishops” (adverbs are capitalized in title case regardless of length). “It might be Mate” is a mix of title case (“Mate”) and sentence case (“might be”, which would be capitalized in title case because it’s a two-word verb).

  2. Yes, we could have been a bit more precise with the capitalization but the book is away being printed now so we’ll live with it.

    Thanks everyone for the other positive comments. Both books have great content although I’m personally more familiar with the Elephant. I’m sure readers will enjoy learning this gambit – which, as we all know, is a forced win for Black.

    Jason did a superb job with the covers as well.

  3. Interesting stuff, but I don’t agree the capitalization is imprecise. It’s exactly the way I wanted it!

    “so it should be “Two Bishops or Not Two Bishops” (adverbs are capitalized in title case regardless of length). “It might be Mate” is a mix of title case (“Mate”) and sentence case (“might be”, which would be capitalized in title case because it’s a two-word verb).”

    I am not sure who is making these fixed rules (and that’s not an adverb) but I prefer what looks better to me. So we have “Two Bishops or not Two Bishops” and “Check – It might be Mate”. And that looks best to me. Obviously, opinions vary, but I don’t accept there are any iron laws of what must be capitalized. I also like to split infinitives.

  4. How dit it go from Electrifying to Exhilarating ? (of course, assuming Excruciating was not an option).
    Also, there’s a Polish politician, former leader of the European Council, called Donald Tusk. He could have made an impressive (if perhaps counter-productive) statement “I am Donald Tusk and I approve this book”.

  5. @Cowe

    We liked “Electrifying” but then we learned there was once a horrible experiment involving electrocuting elephants. And that spoiled the feeling of that “Electrifying” title for us. So we went for “Exhilarating”.

  6. @John Shaw
    “Not” is indeed an adverb. Anyway, the “rules” aren’t laws, but they’re accepted standards in various style guides commonly used for British and American English in publishing generally. You’re certainly free to go with what you think “looks best”. To me (as a technical writer), it just looks a bit unprofessional. But obviously the chess content is more important.

  7. @Benjamin Fitch

    I agree “not” is often an adverb, but I see the one in that title as a conjunction. An internet search tells me that: “Not can be an adverb, a conjunction, an interjection or a noun.” Which was news to me.

    Anyway, I do appreciate you taking the time to offer feedback. I can’t promise we will change (I like things my way!) but I’ll at least have it in mind.

  8. John Shaw :
    We liked “Electrifying” but then we learned there was once a horrible experiment involving electrocuting elephants. And that spoiled the feeling of that “Electrifying” title for us. So we went for “Exhilarating”.

    Ooooo, yeah….that would do it, wouldn’t it? 🙁

  9. A question here about Smirin’s book. I noticed that Smirin is mostly an e6-Sicilian player. Does the book cover mostly his own games with Black in those type of variations? Or does he also cover other people’s games in other lines, such as the Sveshnikov? Thanks!

  10. @John

    As The Doctor says, the plan would be for “Sicilian Warfare” and “The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit” to be on Forward Chess, published a week before QC.


    One difference between “King’s Indian Warfare” and “Sicilian Warfare” is that Smirin is a 1.e4 player, so when Smirin covers his own games in “Sicilian Warfare” it is not just his Black games, but also White ones.

    So a very wide variety of variations are shown in Sicilian Warfare (Kan, Dragon, Najdorf, Classical, Hedgehog and many more) but certainly …e6-lines are heavily featured. Smirin tends to favour the Rossolimo with White against 2…Nc6, so I don’t recall any Sveshnikov variations in the book. Two games against Sveshnikov father-and-son but not the Sveshnikov variation.

  11. To semi-answer my own question, I see you have updated the coming soon section with expected release dates for a few more books.

  12. I was hoping to give myself Marin’s Dutch books as a Christmas present, but it looks like that is not going to happen…

  13. @Paul H

    Precise publication dates are not possible right now, but Marin’s Dutch books in January is my plan. For Christmas is not possible.
    Mihail Marin knows and loves the Dutch, so his writing is worth waiting for (I am editing it, so I get the first chance to read it).

  14. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    John Shaw wrote: “I am not sure who is making these fixed rules (and that’s not an adverb) but I prefer what looks better to me.”

    Good to know I am not the only one who works this way. I know about the style guides, but I never consult them for mere capitalization. Instead I just uppercase and lowercase willy-nilly until it “looks right”, and consider it done. Isn’t that how the style guides were codified in the first place? Just a record of what looks rightest to the mostest. Anyway I bet if I consulted multiple style guides I might find out there is not just one correct answer! The horror.

    On the subject of Electrifying, it’s good to avoid unnecessary controversy. But if the experiment alluded to involved a famous inventor demonstrating the dangers of alternating current, I heard a rumour this story might not be completely correct.

    Anyway, I have been waiting for this book for a long time, regardless of title, so it’s Exhilarating to feel the approaching temblor.

  15. Michael Agermose Jensen

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer
    Edison and his associates electrocuted a number of animals during the “war of currents” to make a business case for their own direct current. A decade later in 1903, his company made a film of an elephant being electrocuted, the title of the film is “Electrocuting an Elephant”. I guess, wired magazine got the details slightly wrong.
    I like Nikola Tesla and the new title of our book. I hope you will like the book too.

  16. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    I’m not an historian, but I did and do agree with the title change. This might be my first book on Forward Chess since 2013. I hope you guys didn’t overdo the quality at the expense of the entertainment.

  17. I’m also looking forward to the Elephant gambit and hoping that it will be entertaining & will inspire me to try it. Somehow some books just get it right (for me) and it’s sometimes hard to know why – but I have the feeling it’s about conveying ideas, concepts and enthusiams with just the right level of analysis (which is usually less than one thinks). Someone second editions with extra analysis vs. the first edition never seem to be quite as good as the first edition (but perhaps that’s also the reduced novelty).

  18. I have been reading Negi 5, and his explanations and notes in his analysis are a joy to read. He is a superb author.

    It got me to thinking, after he completes his white series on 1 e4, are there any plans for a Negi black repertoire?

    Thank you.


  19. Topnotch – it’s funny, I know you are half joking but when I first saw the simple lines in Shaw’s book I was a tad concerned that this line might amount to something like a refutation. However, the authors did excellent work on it and I no longer have any particular fear of it.

    James – I appreciate the positive comments but, like Lurker said, we will be happy to get the white repertoire finished and are not planning for anything with Negi beyond that.

  20. I think that’s true about a lot of “dubious” lines. There is a “simple” refutation that ends up with a +/= position, but it ends up that Black will be far more familiar with the position which more than compensates.

    Andrew Greet :
    Topnotch – it’s funny, I know you are half joking but when I first saw the simple lines in Shaw’s book I was a tad concerned that this line might amount to something like a refutation. However, the authors did excellent work on it and I no longer have any particular fear of it.

  21. Just looking ahead, we know now of no opening books that will be published by QC in 2021?

    Ones that have been SERIOUSLY neglected by pretty much all publishing houses are.

    Classical Sicilian – played a bit by Firouzja and other top GM’s, so Jacob its not that bad.
    Scheveningen Sicilian – again Carlsen ahs played this a bit recently as well as Svidler and MVL, so due to lack of recent works must be another one in the pipeline.
    QGD – Cambridge Springs – gain I’ve seen Carlsen and MVL play this recently.
    QGA – seems to be neglected a lot.
    A Ruy Lopez Repertoire for Black based on the Moller/Archangel.

  22. @Andrew Greet
    As you pointed earlier about the elephant. You play this openning against weeker opponent trying to get active & unbalanced positions. So even in case white just get a safe, dry dead play,it is not enough for black.
    Anyway, congrats to QC for trying something different….

  23. It’s not so simple for White to just get a dry/boring position. I play in a weekly blitz against the same group of opponents, and by now they all know to expect the Elephant, but many of them continue to get into trouble against it.
    Thanks for the congrats; hopefully the book will reach a wide audience who enjoy it.

  24. @The Doctor
    We have some ideas and plans and so on. The first opening books of 2021 will be the ones going to the printer November/December, as shipping ends on the 11th December from the printer. But there are some other good books coming right thereafter.

  25. @Topnotch

    It is interestingm but my analysis indicate same line. Probably not exactly +- in human games (because there is still lot of space for error, e. black has some ideas connected with b6-b5 to damage white pawn chain), but still serious advantage for white.

    Mark Hebden faced it in 3 games with great result 2,5:05 for black…


    Dear Jacob,

    On chessable I saw recent course “Lifetime Repertoires: Sethuraman’s 1. e4 e5” – a new Black repertoire against 1.e4 based on Two Knights and Arkhangelsk against Spanish, written by Indian GM S.P. Sethuraman (Elo 2644).

    It’s seems to me that this is a very high profile course, in comparison by most courses which are very coarse when you compare it with book standards. Latest book “A Complete Repertoire for Black after 1.e4-e5!” saw flaws about which I’m talking about.

    Jacob, could you publish Sethuraman’s course under your publishing house flag? Certainly will be a good book. Besides, today is a new trend to play open and sharp lines as Black, and to avoid long and passive lines in Ruy Lopez as CHigoren and Breyer.


  27. Will this book be available to order and be shipped by the 25th? Think of the holiday shipping schedule coming up is what I’m wondering about.

  28. @David

    The two new books (“The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit” and “Sicilian Warfare”) are available to order now. And all is on schedule to publish as planned on November 25th. When exactly websale customers receive their books depends a lot on where you are. We print in Europe of course, so that’s the starting point for the books’ journeys.

  29. @Jacob Aagaard
    How is your progress on “A Matter of Technique”?

    It is also thanks to your excellent opening books that I get many good or winning positions, typically also feeling comfortable with them. Still I do not get close to the amount of points I should get from these. So I sense I need such a book more than additional opening theory. 🙂

    I will still get the Elephant one. At least for some online blitz fun, or maybe for more, who knows.

  30. Benjamin Fitch :
    The elephant book does look fun. Note: The capitalization in a few of the chapter titles needs editing. They’re mostly title case (“Transpositions, transpositions” being a possibly intentional exception), so it should be “Two Bishops or Not Two Bishops” (adverbs are capitalized in title case regardless of length). “It might be Mate” is a mix of title case (“Mate”) and sentence case (“might be”, which would be capitalized in title case because it’s a two-word verb).

    My (unfinished) degree was in linguistics and I would absolutely argue that anyone who comes with hard and fast rules like these have a different philosophy towards language than I and most of the professors I studied under. The prevailing attitude I found was not one of issuing commandments, but one of studying how meaning is conveyed in the best possible way.
    For this reason I also entirely agree with John. The important words are capitalised. Not is not an important word in this context. It carries meaning, but so do all words. It is however the Two Bishops that stand out as heavily loaded with meaning.

  31. @Gery
    Slow going. I just finished writing two books with Boris Gelfand as you may have realised. I am happy the opening books are working for you.

  32. @Jacob Aagaard
    The idea isn’t “commandments”, nor is it philosophy. It’s consistency. Do you spell words any way you feel like to convey shades of meaning? Of course not. Studies (at least in software documentation) have shown that when writing conventions are implemented in a haphazard way, readers tend to have less confidence in the actual content. So in publishing, there are style guides. Some publishers follow one, some another. The result, in any case, is consistency (and as a bonus, a more professional appearance).

  33. @Benjamin, Jacob,
    Surely, your conceptions on how and when letters may be capitalised can live in the same world.
    as for me, IMNLFNt !

  34. Cowe :
    Surely, your conceptions on how and when letters may be capitalised can live in the same world.

    Indeed! Here, no one’s calling each other names, spreading false information about each other, or soliciting the help of any powerful entities to influence the discussion subversively through social media. (As far as I’m aware.)

  35. Topnotch :
    @The Lurker
    I’d be happy if I’m still alive.

    I hope it doesn’t come down to that. I’m a lot older than Negi is, so my chances wouldn’t be so good. Investing in 5 hardcovers and never being able to get the 6th would really reduce my confidence in investing in another series by QC.

    Negi said in the intro to the latest volume that the openings covered were the ones he had always procrastinated on. Perhaps now that these openings are out of the way, he will dig into the Petroff and Ruy Lopez with some gusto.

    If not, hopefully QC is not shy about pushing Negi to meet his obligation, or about replacing him with another player of comparable skill to finish the series. I’d rather have a Richard Jordan/Brandon Sanderson series (finished by another author) than a George R. R. Martin series (never finished). If they have trouble filling Negi’s boots, they could always choose somebody who is not so good all-around, but very good with 1.e4 e5.

    Another lesson learned for QC could be that next time they take on a multi-volume series by a guest author (if there is a next time), lead with the good stuff and leave the rest for later. Since this is supposed to be a GM series, lead with what GMs prefer. According to ChessTempo, that would mean lead with …e5, and only after that’s finished…

  36. It’s been well over six years since the first Negi book so my memory is a little hazy, but I suspect a big part of starting with the French and Caro was that Negi’s files were already in relatively good shape against those defences, so it made sense to start there. Those two are popular defences at all levels, so it’s not like we were leading off with cheap stuff.

    We are as keen as anyone to get this series finished and further updates about this will be forthcoming.

  37. In a way, it would have been quite unfortunate if Negi had started with [all of] 1.e4 e5, because he would have had no opportunity to see either the new Elephant book or the new Petroff book. With players of White hesitant to play 2.Nf3 at all in such a case, much of Negi’s work would have ended up being moot. It’s better that Negi will be writing at a time when these latest, definitive books from Black’s point of view are already out.

  38. Indeed – Negi now has the chance to see the error of his ways and avoid the blunder 2.Nf3?? which loses by force to 2…d5, and convert to 2.Nc3/2.Bc4 to restrain Black’s d-pawn and obtain equal chances; or try the King’s Gambit if he is determined to fight for an advantage.

  39. Yes, and I’m sure that developments in the Latvian Gambit and Damiano’s Defense kept Negi up at night as well. Possibly why he switched to math.

    No, the French and Caro-Kann are not “cheap stuff”. It’s just that the Ruy is more my cup of tea, and there seem to be a dearth of recent Ruy main line books for white. The latest seem to be Kuzmin’s Zaitsev (which starts at move 12!), and before that Flear’s 2004 Everyman book (which starts at move 9). I guess there’s also Kaufman’s latest, which tries for the Breyer. At any rate, I would love to see a high level Ruy repertoire that 1) starts off on move 3, and 2) tries for a main line, not d3 or Qe2. Not that I need such a book for my level of play, but I would just love to see what such a repertoire might look like.

    I realize it’s easy for me to be an armchair quarterback equipped with 20/20 hindsight. Starting off with the strong points in Negi’s files would have seemed reasonable to me, too. And I can imagine that in 2014, you at QC didn’t think you’d still be working on this series in 2021.

    I’m glad to hear you haven’t given up on getting the final volume out.

  40. Kuzmin is for black too. Flear is more general, for black or white. I’m should not post while half asleep.

    But that goes to show the dearth of Ruy main line books for white.

  41. @The Lurker: I don’t see your point. Even if the final volumes of Negi would never be published it would not reduce the quality of the existing books. Because of the amount of theory it is not possible to write a book with a Ruy Lopez repertoire from White’s point of view. Chessbase give it a try with the Caruana DVDs. Just imagine the two complex branches Marshall Attack and Berlin Wall. Therefore I do understand that the task of Negi is not that easy. For the same reason Shaw recommends the Scotch in his 1.e4 repertoire book.

  42. @Kulio

    Shaw’s series was not a GM Rep series; it aimed lower. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

    A GM Rep series for white should cover the the main line GM response to 1.e4 e5. That’s the Ruy. Even Kasparov didn’t like to allow the Marshall, so there’s no shame in an anti-Marshall. And even Kasparov had trouble against the Berlin proper, so I don’t see any shame in 4. d3 (against the Berlin) either. But no Scotches, no Italians, and no cheap sidelines for white. Try the main lines! If it has to be 7 volumes instead of 6, so be it!

    No, the task will not be easy. But they have taken it on, and they should finish it. Or I will be finished buying QC books. I’m no Magnus Carlson, but my money spends just as easy as his does.

  43. Well, considering that 400 pages are needed to barely scratch the Elephant’s mighty skin, taking on all Spanish mainlines in a single volume looks a bit out of reach. d3 systems maybe?

  44. They allotted three volumes to the Sicilian, after all, so wouldn’t 1.e4 e5 simply take as many volumes (and years) as it requires?

  45. @The Lurker: your argumentation feels a little bit shaky. You like to have covered the Main lines, but against certain lines you are happy with sidelines (although even in the d3 Ruy Lopez a lot of development took place). I understand you dislike certain openings. But for example the Khalifman book about the Scotch I would regard on the GM repertoire level. The same goes for the Italian Renaissance books.

  46. I guess three volumes for the Ruy Lopez sounds realistic. One volume you need for the rare birds like 3…f5, Nd4, g6, d6. Not to forget the Open Ruy Lopez, Möller, Archangelsk….And then you still have to cover the Main systems Marshall, Breyer, Chigorin, Zaitsev, Smyslow, Keres…An emergency exit would be the Exchange. But that fits neither with the style of playing of Negi nor the expectations of some readers.

  47. Thomas :
    And I will be finished buying QC books if they don’t finally publish a book how to win with the Grob.

    How to win with the Grob:

    1. Induce opponent to play the Grob.
    2. Win.

  48. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    “Induce opponent to play the Grob.”

    In a Friday night team match, before shaking hands my opponent asked “Why don’t you play f3 and g4 as your first two moves, and we can go home early?”. In reply I asked “Does it matter what order I play them?”. Of course he said no, so 1.g4! (my first Grob, although I did play _against_ it just one month prior to this game, so in fact I had been analyzing it) 1…d5!? 2.h3 e5 3.Bg2 c6 4.d4 exd4 5.Qxd4 Qf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Nc3 and I won a short game. So many years ago… I have a bunch of Grob stories, have ordered the Elephant book from chess4less, and looking forward to some Elephant stories.

  49. Yusupov’s Chess Course

    Will there ever be “Revision and Exam” parts 2 and 3? It is a pitty that the course is not finished yet

  50. Without any doubts I can say, that The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit is the candidate for opening book of Year!
    Authors put lot of energy to make this opening playable – even If there can be some doubts about “correctness” (which was not authors idea) some positions or lines, still it is very original and etraordinary book.

  51. The Elephant Gambit book is great fun, but the chapter titles – although fun and creative – make the book hard to navigate. It’s hard to guess from the chapter titles which chapter covers a particular line. The lack of an index of variations at the end of the book makes it even more difficult.

  52. I blame the authors for offering such witty and charming chapter titles which made it impossible for us to replace them with the more navigation-friendly chess moves!!

    Point taken though. For what it’s worth, during the editing process it became second nature for me to know which line was in which chapter, so I hope the same will be true for you and the rest of the readers once you’ve got used to the book.

  53. @Oreb
    I think the lack of index is the last attempt to keep the Elephant alive and kicking to stop it being easy for readers to navigate to a clear plus. Having had it since the weekend its clear that there are a few options you can take that lead to the holy grail of a simple plus and that your main weapon if you play it is as Andrew has discovered that
    1.your opponent doesn’t know it,
    2. cannot find a reputable source if they did want to or
    3. thinks it not worth learning as its so unlikely.
    Sadly I feel that this excellently researched book has undermined all three of these and may be the primary cause of the Scottish/Danish Elephant moving from ‘endangered’ like its African and Indian brethren to extinction.?
    Feel I know where to head as white now but as play 1…e5 as black too I’m going to give it a try as black as well though and see if my experience is the same as Andrew’s while it’s mostly still too new for others to have read it…by 2021 it may be too dangerous for a serious game. The definitive source for now for sure and I guess unfortunately for ever as well.

  54. Has anyone else noticed that the Elephant Gambit book is longer than Nikos’s 1.e4 e5 Classical Repertoire? And has 2020 been the only year since Morphy’s time crazy enough for this to have happened?

  55. That’s just the way of things – when you play the best move to refute 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, it takes a lot of pages to prove that Black is winning in all variations!!

  56. While in the past I appreciated some digressions from main theory (i.e. Mahyem in the Morra), I really don’t understand why QC has spent so many pages on a variation that could be refuted in half hour. Chapter 10, variation B2, 7 Be2 b5 8 cxb5 a6 9 Nc3 axb5 and now 10 0-0 is omitted when I see one pawn deficit, two other pawns en prise and no fun for Black. Of course Black can always try some Bxh2+ desperado but any decent player should be able to manage that single threat in a tournament game. And you don’t need hundreds of pages of theory to do that!

  57. @Lorenzo
    In your given line after 10….Qe7 the game is still going on. Look at the resulting position and compare it with structures from the Italian game or the Ruy Lopez with d3. In these structures White can try here and there. I guess most players feel at home in such slightly chaotic positions – especially when the big plan was to play a positional game. The book shows many interesting ideas for Black. Perhaps not an opening you should play against Stockfish, but in blitz or rapid you can give it a try.

  58. @Kulio
    Thanks for your reply. I agree the book shows many interesting ideas but IMO in such a dubious opening the authors should make clear
    – the most challenging option for the opponent (not relegate it in a sub-sub-variation)
    – the aim of the book (blitz-rapid repertoire for low-intermediate players)
    I’m anyway happy to have bought and read it, as my aim was to increase my general understanding of the game, but some customer could be disappointed (especially considering that others books like Mayhem in the Morra stood the test of time even at the highest levels).

  59. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    “I really don’t understand why QC has spent so many pages on a variation that could be refuted in half hour.” This kind of thinking is precisely why black gets any chances in this opening. Without question the Elephant Gambit is _theoretically_ bad for black. The problems come in applying that theory in practice. The first real interest is it’s _not_ as bad as it looks. (There is a genuine theoretical reason for that, which I won’t delve into here.) The second real interest is the style of game arising is _highly_ entertaining. (Knowing your engine dismisses the whole thing with +1.25 is not much consolation when your king starts feeling some pressure in a practical game.) The third real interest is that “XYZ is a straighforward refutation” has been _claimed_ many times, but has so far proved to be a mirage. So long as different strong white players try different approaches, the question remains open! Finally and related to that last one, the book is not the length of a pamphlet or an article in New in Chess because it’s written for _black_.

    Also, the authors present original analysis in an untested variation and you complain that they “relegate it in a sub-sub-variation”. Hey, that’s a problem with _opening theory_, not a problem with the book. The main lines _must_ be the ones most played by strong players. If you find 7.Be2 so strong, play it as white. When other strong players start following the trail you blaze, that would be the time to promote it to a main line. Not before.

  60. @Andrew Greet
    Very nice game – and according to the book with 7…Bg4 there would be a second way to handle the position! 🙂

    The game confirms my statement. You have good chances to seize the initiative as Black.

  61. @Andrew Greet
    Your opponent is a candidate master, an intermediate player. And of course you won because you are at least 200 Fide rating points above him, not because of the merit of the opening. Nakamura beats other GMs with the Bongcloud but I hope QC won’t publish a book on it!

  62. @Lorenzo
    I may be the stronger classical player but online blitz is a different game: my opponent outrated me by 300 points so he’s clearly a blitz specialist, and should have been the heavy favourite for that game.
    Of course I’ve also beaten GMs and IMs with the Elephant, and will continue to do so.

  63. @Lorenzo
    I think the point is about the opening…..Andrew was worse never lost but was clearly winning by move 13….what happens after the opening is irrelevant to the argument. That’s all the Elephant promises (accept you are worse for good practical chances) so if anything this game is a good promotion for the book. Whether Andrew is hiding a bundle of other games where he got mercilessly crushed is another thing ?

  64. My games can be viewed under the above chess dot com account, or the Lichess one with the same ID. I wouldn’t hide my defeats even if I knew how to. So if anyone cares enough to stalk my games, go right ahead. To save you the trouble though, of course there have been some Elephant games that didn’t go my way. Only rarely have I been much worse out of the opening – generally this has only happened when I’ve forgotten the book recommendation in a critical line or carelessly played an incorrect move order and allowed something bad, as can happen in blitz sometimes.
    Anyway, the point of posting the link was just to refute the suggestion that the Elephant can only be used successfully against weak opposition.

  65. @Andrew Greet
    I think I just need to bite the bullet and give it a try even though I’ve got the book and play 1…e5 but I’m still feart ?. Any sign your opponents are more wise to theory after the book was published Andrew?

  66. @JB
    Good use of “feart”! (Scottish slang for afraid, for those who are interested.)

    No particular sign of opponents being wise to theory. Some repeat opponents have switched between different lines, but without proving anything special. Just give it a try in some blitz games! It’s fun and liberating.

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