Dariusz Swiercz – The Modernized Ruy Lopez – Volume 1: A Complete Repertoire for White

The Modernized Ruy Lopez: A Complete Repertoire for White: Volume 1 by Darius Swiercz is one of the best opening books this reviewer has ever seen. The Polish-American Grandmaster, currently rated in the top 100 in the world at classical, rapid and blitz chess, has the reputation as a top-rate theoretician and his first book does nothing to dispel this. This massive work covers the following lines of the Ruy Lopez, primarily concentrating on non 3…a6 lines: What comes through in this book is the author’s objectivity. Some of the lesser lines are known to be better for White and Swiercz, who successfully played first board for the United States in the 2019 World Team Championship, provides practical solutions (for example 4.d3 instead of 4.Nc3 in the Schliemann). On the other hand the Berlin (3…Nf6) and the Open Ruy (3…a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5) have excellent reputations, and along with a few lines in the Sicilian (the Najdorf and Sveshnikov come immediately to mind) are among Black’s very best answers to 1.e4. Here one cannot speak of a clear path to a White advantage and Swiercz does not pretend to, but he does offer challenging lines with new ideas and analysis. He also offers two lines against both the Berlin and Open Ruy, letting the reader choose depending on their tournament situation.A book like this undoubtedly has to have a lot of theory, and The Modernized Ruy Lopez does, but Swiercz does provide prose to guide the reader when needed. More importantly he provides the judgement of a world class grandmaster. Everyone can turn on their computer and check the computer evaluation but to actually understand the assessment is something altogether different and that is what you are getting with this book.

The Modernized Ruy Lopez is must reading for a wide number of chess players. Everyone who plays the Ruy needs this book and those who defend it with non3…a6 systems and the Open variation would be well advised to buy a copy. Opening books (especially now) have always had a short shelf life, but I expect Swiercz’s book to be the standard for some time.”Highly Recommended ~ IM JOHN DONALDSON JANUARY 2021.

The Ruy Lopez is one of the most popular openings of all time. It is a frequent guest in the games of players around the world from novice to Grandmaster. As a result of the increased power of analysis engines the theory of the Ruy Lopez has greatly expanded. Lines that did not exist years ago have been fully developed, supported with extensive analysis, and incorporated into the repertories of top players. Despite this exponential growth in theory, I believe that when armed with sound knowledge it is possible to pose certain practical problems for Black. The purpose of this book is to provide you with detailed and clear explanations of the intricacies of the Ruy Lopez.