A short note on the use of chess opening books

I just reported on a chess game I played that featured the Veresov Opening.

Nigel Davies: The Veresov

Back when I was playing the Veresov as White, I studied it using GM Nigel Davies’ book from 2003, “The Veresov”.

On page 48 of the book, Davies claimed that f5 “is quite weakening” and recommended against it. The computer engines disagree. I will continue, as Black, to happily play f5 against anyone who wants to play White in the Veresov Gambit against me.

At some point, I will write about the question of human expertise and judgment versus that of computers. Let’s just say that using computers, I have in the past come up with significant improvements or alternative ideas over the advice in chess books, and used these novelties in games I have played; however, I also believe that the wisdom and creativity of human experts, such as Davies, will never be completely replaced by computers.

Chess Improver blog

By the way, I really recommend the “Chess Improver” blog that Nigel Davies and others write for. This blog is a direct inspiration for my having started to write about my chess games and experiences.

And go friend him on Facebook if you are interested in engaging in discussions of the posts on his blog.


If you want to really understand a chess position, use a chess computer engine and explore. Don’t rely entirely on books.

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