This book is dedicated to an opening with a century of history. It so happens that exactly one hundred years ago (1922) one of the founders of hypermodernism in chess, Savielly Tartakover, used this opening in a tournament in London. Several years passed, and the strongest players of the time (José Raúl Capablanca, Frank Marshall) began to include this opening in their repertoire. Tartakover played it throughout his career, practically till his death. In the post-war period this opening was noticed and played by Soviet chess players, first of all by the long-term coach of Boris Spassky and a chess player of strict positional style, Igor Bondarevsky. But it really took off at the beginning of the 1980’s when a number of chess players, primarily the master from Bangladesh Niaz Murshed, but also Ian Rogers and the Czech master Josef Pribyl, found new ways of developing the initiative for White.
A few years passed and a whole group of young English masters, mainly Julian Hodgson, Mark Hebden and others, began to explore the theory behind this variation. Around 1990, I too became a fan of this discovery. While Hodgson, having become a grandmaster, ended his playing practice early, Mark Hebden still plays the Barry Attack as White and has hundreds of interesting games and excellent ideas to his credit.
This opening would probably have remained an active choice for the second tier, but Covid then suddenly appeared and chess moved to the internet, which oddly enough, spurred its use by top-ranking chess players, led by the world champion Magnus Carlsen. Interesting ideas in blitz and rapid play in the Barry Attack can now be found in the games of Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, and several other players rated over 2700. To understand the real popularity of this opening these days, it is worth looking at the MegaBase, which contains more than 5000 games
played in the Barry Attack. Furthermore if you include the thousands of blitz and rapid chess games that are not included in the database, then it becomes clear that this variation deserves the most serious attention. I hope that this book will be useful to chess players of different levels who work in this direction..