by Bruce Leverett

In this fortunate era, a chess player who needs a one-volume English-language
reference on the openings can choose from two handsome, weighty tomes:
Batsford Chess Openings, 2nd edition (BCO-2), and Modern Chess Openings,
13th edition (MCO-13).  I would especially encourage En Passant readers to
consider MCO-13 because I contributed to it.  Ask me to autograph your copy!

I wrote pages 625-695, approximately one-tenth of the book.  This includes the
English opening, the Reti, the King's Indian Attack, the Bird, and some other
"Flank Openings," such as Larsen's Opening.  Of course, my contribution was
carefully scrutinized by the chief reviser, Nick DeFirmian, and the editor,
Walter Korn, who both made additions and corrections.

If you have tried to use MCO-11 or MCO-12, you will be glad to know that MCO-13
is completely revised.  By my arithmetic, the contributions listed in the
Reviser's Preface add up to slightly less than half the book.  The rest was
written "from scratch" by DeFirmian.  My contribution was written from April to
August of 1988, but you will find references to more recent games in the
footnotes; these were added by DeFirmian or Korn.

The English Opening was a juicy assignment.  Compared with the same section of
MCO-12, I wrote about three times as many columns, and I completely reorganized
it.  Moreover, there are lots of games from the 80's by top-rank grandmasters.
If I had had a choice, I could hardly have picked a chapter that would have
given me greater influence on the course of opening theory for the next ten

A few years ago, when Walter Korn was recruiting me, he asked me to write a
draft of a chapter on the Latvian Counter Gambit.  As a result, a few PCC
members may remember me coming to the Club in the evenings and frantically
scribbling information about this unlikely opening.  Now you know the reason
for that bizarre episode!  Korn went through the same exercise with DeFirmian
and perhaps others.  But the chapter on the Latvian that appears in the book is
Korn's own work -- for better or for worse!

I must acknowledge the help of Bobby Dudley, who loaned me many books and even
allowed me to use his library at his home.  He also published some books that
were handy for me, such as Janicki's books on the "Anglo-Benoni."