Play the Benko Gambit (Everyman Chess 2011) by Nikolai Pederson
I really like the Everyman series of chess books and I was especially interested in “play the Benko Gambit” as I have essayed it a few times with some success. This is a nicely produced and well laid out book. However I do have one major criticism. Already in game 4, move 10 there are nearly two pages of analysis. How many club players and aspiring juniors will bother to read all this I wonder? I once asked a very strong IM this question and he replied, “I never bother!”
Too much analysis by most GMs and IMs writing instructive books seems, sadly, to be the norm. Why? Would it not be better to put all this in an extra chapter, properly referenced, possibly with full games – most analysis refers to a number of games played in the past. I’m sure that this way many more club players and aspiring juniors would then make the effort to read their chess books fully.
We all get interested in some brand new tome on a favourite opening or on a book that we think may suddenly add 20 or more points to our rating, but unless we make the effort to read all the information thoroughly, it won’t! But it would if writers made the information easier to follow.
Having said all that I would still recommend this book. It covers many aspects of this interesting gambit that I didn’t know about and will certainly help my playing and coaching.