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1.d4! The Chess Bible

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""A fully theoretically updated new work on how to play these most important Queen's Pawn Structures."

"All beginnings are difficult" is an old saying, and this is true as well from my review of this book. I am reminded of the story where an elderly woman says to her surgeon, "Doctor, I am so afraid as this is my first operation." The doctor winks and says, "Don't worry it will be my first operation as well!" So you and I have this book in front of us as the surgery and the work of my young friend and former student IM Armin Juhász is the surgeon.

I remember vividly the founding of Géza Maróczy Chess School in Budapest in 2006. The School was especially successful during its first years. Following the examples of such outstanding Hungarian players as László Szabó, Gedeon Barcza or Géza Maróczy himself, a number of excellent young players including Benjamin Gledura and Richard Rapport (currently ranked 13th in the world) have debuted their talents at the school. It was also at the Maróczy school where Ármin Juhász studied as well. Was it easy for these students? Was it easy for us coaches? I think the answer is a clear yes. We had the privilege to invite as guest lecturers such internationally known Hungarian chess greats as Pál Benkő, Lajos Portisch, Zoltán Ribli,  Gyula Sax, István Csom, (members of the gold medalist team at the 1978 Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires), and JuditPolgár, Zsuzsa Polgár, Zsuzsa Verőci and Mária Ivánka. Our young students had the opportunity to learn chess from no lesser names than these. And yes, IM ÁrminJuhász, who became the youngest FIDE Trainer in Europe in 2018, was among these students.

In his first book (we anticipate many more), the young Hungarian author makes a worthy attempt to walk his readers through a complete 1.d4 opening repertoire. Yet while he is taking you thru the opening he never forgets the other phases of the game. As a result, the subsequent middlegame and endgame elements are remarkably well organized benefitting  both beginner and advanced players to acquire powerful skills with 1.d4. In addition, Ármin pays adequate attention to those tactical motifs that are quite significant in the dynamic games of many contemporary players. Clearly he keeps in mind the German master Richard Teichmann's observation that “Chess is 99% tactics”. This complex book follows a clear structure with a large number of games and positions from outstanding players and various historical eras. Then he spices all this up in the analyses sections with tricks and insights mainly associated with the so-called Hungarian chess school tradition.

I heartily recommend this book not only to those who are eager to boost their ELO rating (Did you know that Dr. Árpád Élő was an American professor of Hungarian birth?) but also to coaching colleagues (including my fellow GMs), because 1.d4! The Chess Bible is an excellent source of great examples and useful drills. I will certainly use it in my own coaching practice.

Lastly, please be aware that the author comes from a dedicated chess family. His older brother, IM Kristóf Juhász is 27 and achieved his first GM norm in 2020, the year of the pandemic. His younger brother FM Ágoston Juhász (aged 15) was a U14 National Champion. 

See you at the Chess Olympiad in Budapest in 2024!

József Horváth Grand Master and FIDE Senior Trainer

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