You are holding the very first book I have ever written! Thanks for your time and attention, and I hope your journey through these pages is going to be at least as exciting as my writing process has been! It all started during early pandemic time in 2020, when Thinkers Publishing reached out to me asking if I would be interested in writing a book for them. I have always liked sharing my experiences one way or another, so I couldn’t resist and grabbed the opportunity.

My love for good and exciting openings – including building nice, harmonious positions I would enjoy playing – dates back to my early career as a kid, therefore the idea of writing an opening book came to me naturally. Why the Modern Arkhangelsk Defence (or as we tend to call it for short, “The Ark”)?

My 1.e4 e5 journey began in 2007, when I finally understood that the French Defence was no longer my cup of tea. I really enjoyed analyzing the classical positions with my trainer, GM Peter Lukacs, and despite starting out with lines such as the Chigorin arising from 5...Be7, in other variations such as the Italian or Scotch I used to like putting my bishop on the active c5-square. During those early days, though, The Ark just felt too distant. Fast-forwarding to 2013, when I had my peak rating of 2661, and I was asked to play on first board for the Hungarian national team for the first time ever! I thought I was in a need of something fresh against the Ruy Lopez, and I finally felt I was ready for the challenge and started preparing The Ark for that very tournament!

This exciting defence, which is characterized by the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5, always amazed me. Quite an aggressive setup, Black is aiming to get very dynamic play (even at the cost of some material in many cases) in order to put a lot of pressure on White players as early as possible! No wonder that great, ambitious players such as Anand, Shirov, and Caruana, just to name of a few, like to employ it regularly. The variation also gained some attention at the Carlsen-Karjakin world championship match from 2016.

The Ark has always been considered one of the theoretically-heaviest defences in meeting the Ruy Lopez, though also the most exciting and definitely the most beautiful of all. It requires tactical vision, good calculation and memory, but not just from us – from the White side too. Let’s not forget that! I also must say that no good lines are absent of theory, so if we’ve decided to learn something “finally”, I argue that it can very well be an ambitious, double-edged line too! :-)k

I should also mention that this book is a complete Black repertoire starting from 3. Bb5 a6, the exchange variation being the first chapter. The publisher and me agreed on offering a full package, one that should prove useful for 
many years to come! My aim with the book was to provide you with a lot of insights into this remarkable variation, The Ark, and to entertain the reader with spectacular, resourceful lines to illustrate the ideas. Thus, I must stress that my book should also be interesting for those who just enjoy chess in general, not just for the fans of this line seeking new ideas! Of course, you don’t need to memorize everything to be able to play the variation successfully. Longer 
lines merely tend to be examples of how the game might develop, which help to enhance your understanding.

I hope my book will attract a lot of chess players of all levels and that we will soon see many more new games in this fascinating variation in practice!
Viktor Erdos, 2022

Acrobat ReaderExcerpt
The Modernized Arkhangelsk Variation

Auteur / Author: Viktor Erdos
Pagina's / Pages: 408
Uitgever / Publisher: Thinkers Publishing
Jaar / Year: 2022
Type: Paperback