Yaroslav Zherebukh – The Modernized Grünfeld Defense

“This new book on the Grünfeld, a welcome addition to Thinkers Publishing’s “Modernized” series, is written by a 2600+ GM who plays the defence himself. It is a repertoire book, with the author recommending which variation (and sometimes a choice of variations) to play against each system that White may employ. The book is very up-to-date (one chapter is devoted to 5.h4) and includes much of Zherebukh’s own analysis and many of his novelties. He typically recommends combative lines which have been much tested in practice. When he does recommend an ambitious sideline (such as 5…dxc4 in the 5.Bg5 variation)he also provides analysis of the less ambitious “main” line (5…Ne4 in that example). The material is well-presented and the repertoire suggestions are both aggressive and sound. The book has some interesting features which I believe add value to the actual chess content. Also, Zherebukh give some tips on how to learn openings and how to memorise them, including some specifics on how to use software or web sites to achieve this and how he himself prepares to use a newly-learnt opening. As someone who has been playing the Grünfled recently, I very much like this book and I can recommend it to anyone who is seeking to take up the Grünfeld, or who is already playing it.” ~ Colin Purdy – British Chess News 08.2020.

“Zherebukh, 2600 plus rated and a GM at 15, in many cases advocates for lesser or unknown systems. He believes in playing the Grünfeld aggressively and that often means sacrificing material in the lines he recommends. The Grünfeld has a well-deserved reputation as one of Black’s best answers to 1.d4, with no clear route to a White advantage. However, it does require a significant amount of theoretical knowledge. The author suggests memorizing the first fifteen moves of each major line as the bare minimum and offers various tips on how to do so. Zherebukh has done major pioneering work with novelties sprinkled throughout his book. Zherebukh’s perceptive comments, in such a theoretical opening as the Grünfeld, are helpful in orienting the reader through the unavoidable maze of variations. The Modernized Grünfeld Defense doesn’t have an index but it does offer over 40 pages on Anti-Grunfeld lines (1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 and 4.Qa4+).” ~ IM John Donaldson, September 2020.

The Modernized Grünfeld Defense will be extremely helpful for any chess player looking for a reliable lifetime repertoire against White’s 1.d4. It will benefit current Grünfeld players as Yaro unveils his analysis and numerous novelties waiting to be played over the board.