English Attack - Nick de Firmian and John Fedorowicz

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Paperback, 256 pages, Batsford Publishing 2004

Two American GMs provide a practical yet thorough survey of one of the hottest opening variations around today. In response to Black's ever popular Najdorf Sicilian, White plays 6 f3, which not only supports the centre e-pawn but more importantly prepares to launch a kingside pawn storm against Black's castled king, starting with g4-g5. However, Garry Kasparov, a champion of the Sicilian Defence, has shown that Black can postpone castling in favour of queenside expansion and regrouping the knight pair at b6 and d7, ready for a swift counter-punch when White castles long.

But, then again, White in turn can also delay castling to keep Black guessing - in which case both kings remain in the centre! Not surprisingly tactics and sharp play abound in this most modern of chess openings, where precise knowledge of variations is vital. 

Nick de Firmian is a former US Champion and author of the Modern Chess Openings.

John Fedorowicz is a US Olympic team player and author of the highly acclaimed monograph on the Benko Gambit.

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