A detailed guide, from Black's viewpoint, to facing such openings as the King's Gambit, Vienna, Scotch, Four Knights, Italian Game, Bishop's Opening and the variety of oddball gambits White can try.
This book fills a gaping chasm in chess literature. For years, those who wish to take on the black side of the Ruy Lopez have had to muddle their way through against the variety of alternative openings at White's disposal, as there have been no good books to assist them.
Grandmaster John Emms is ideally qualified to deal with this subject. Not only does he face these openings as Black, but he also used to play many of them as White before he graduated to the Lopez. He provides no-nonsense answers to such openings as the King's Gambit, Vienna, Scotch, Four Knights, Italian Game, Bishop's Opening and the variety of oddball gambits White can try.
Play the Open Games as Black by John Emms is a typically solid and professional offering from this author. Two lines are suggested against each unusual 1.e4 system, usually one equalising line and one riskier continuation. Apart from the fact that the Two Knights section seems rather short and superficial considering its theoretical importance, there are no other weak points. Recommended.
Matthew Sadler, New in Chess Magazine 2/2000