Vladimir Okhotnik – The modernized Barry attack

Those who like to play 1.d4, but don’t want to face the King’s Indian or Grunfeld, might want to consider the Barry Attack (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3). Played on and off by a number of top players including Levon Aronian, it’s true champion is the English Grandmaster (and KID defense devotee) Mark Hebden who has used it for over three decades with excellent results.

Here, the Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Okhotnik provides a comprehensive and up to date survey of this line which ranges from the hyper aggressive to the overly positional. Those looking to take up 1.d4, but who want to limit the theory they have to master, will find this book helpful.

IM John Donaldson

The Barry Attack is somewhat defensive-looking from the start. It tempts Black forward, provocatively. The Barry Attack is, after all, a little rebellious, flouting, as it does, all those common sense development rules. Perhaps your game needs a good shot of tactics to boost your results – it’s one of the fastest ways to improve and this is true not only for young players. If your opponent plays an early move order that’s not in this book such as 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 or 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 for example, the good news is that Black will be forced to transpose back into the mass of material. The ‘’super repertoire’’ that always keeps Black under pressure in all variations is of course, a total myth. Any reasonable opening set-up can work wonders for White or Black if they know it well. This is always going to outweigh theoretical evolution. Playing strong chess is also very much about your level of self-confidence, emotional and physical health. It’s about who you are and how you feel in many ways at the precise moment of play in addition to your opening knowledge and general technique. Anyone who takes the trouble to play through each model example, move by move, note by note, will be rewarded. Your strategic play will deepen and your tactics will improve along with your assessment skills, and you’ll end up with a great repertoire!