Efstratios Grivas – The Anti-Sicilian Bible – A Complete Repertoire for Black – 520 pages. ISBN 9789464201611,
Not all chess players are ready to face a dangerous opening like the Grivas Sicilian, or any other open form of the Sicilian Defense of course, so an alternative set-up is on the quest. White has plenty of choices after 1.e4 c5; these choices sometimes are quite sound, and some others are simply crap!
Well, shorter time-controls (blitz & rapid) ‘favors’ safer, not forced and not very deep and long theoretical continuations, so White has a fair point for avoiding the open versions of the Sicilian Defense. Especially in the ‘cholera years’ as I call the 2020–2021 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, chess players had to stay home, avoiding travelling and exercise instead via the internet form of our royal game.
This general fear demanded as ‘compensation’ a lighter approach to the game and some weird and unsound opening choices were on the daily menu. That’s fine of course, for the well-trained and ambitious chess player sitting behind the black pieces!
It is also quite true that this book is quite ‘heavy’ and contains many, many lines which are almost impossible to remember in totality. But chess is learned sub-consciously, so repeated motifs and ideas guide our choices and help us to recall important lines.
We must be trained not only in concrete opening moves, but on the middlegame, the endgame and the tactical part of the opening in question. And this is exactly what this book offers: a complete structural think-tank on the non-open form of the Sicilian Defense.
There are no good or bad openings – there are openings you understand and openings that you do not understand. And understanding comes by studying and applying the absorbed Knowledge!
Efstratios Grivas (1966) is a highly experienced chess trainer and author. He has been awarded by FIDE the titles of IGM, Senior Trainer, International Chess Arbiter and International Chess Organiser. His main successes over the board are the Silver Medal Olympiad 1988 (3rd board), the Gold Medal European Team Championship 1989 (3rd board) and the 4th place World Junior Championship U20 1985.