Openings for Amateurs

Openings for Amateurs


Pete Tamburro


$10.49 Kindle, $24.95 Paperback


360 pages

Release Date:

June 7, 2014

Don't have the time to study opening theory, or to figure out where you're going wrong with your games? Are you looking for guidance on how to handle the opening so that you can get a playable middlegame?

Openings for Amateurs is written with two kinds of chessplayers in mind: average "club" players who can't afford to learn variations 30 moves deep; and scholastic players looking to take the next step in their chess development.

This is really two books in one! The Primer covers the most frequent mistakes made in the opening and considers many common misconceptions about this phase of the game. Popular chess author and lecturer Pete Tamburro devotes special attention to the best ways to meet both tricky lines like the Blackmar-Diemer and the Belgrade Gambit, and "system" attacks such as the Colle and the Barry, while discussing such vexing topics as when to chase a bishop and whether to believe openings manuals.

Part II offers a selection of openings that you are invited to consider based on your needs, and presents 53 annotated model games to help you understand the openings' ideas rather than just memorizing moves. The aim is to help you determine where you are now and then how to pursue your chess goals - while helping you right away to survive the opening in your next tournament!

Praise for Openings for Amateurs

"There's a need for a book such as this in today's work-a-day world: Give it to me neat, no fizz. Cut to the chase. You won't find reams of analysis, and no data dumps of variations. You will find good, common-sense advice in the primer section (do's and don'ts, good and evil), easily digested in nugget-sized morsels, followed by excellent model games. You can dine at your leisure, a chapter at a sitting, and walk away satisfied." -Glenn Petersen (amateur in search of an opening), Editor, Chess Life for Kids

"Peter Tamburro's excellent new text, Openings for Amateurs, is everything the recreational player needs to appreciate the opening phase of chess. But the author's insights don't stop in the first dozen moves. Glide through it and you can watch your entire game take on greater power and verve. On my list of recommended new chess books, it rises to the top." -Bruce Pandolfini, renowned chess teacher and author

"When I read it, I felt like I was reading through an old-fashioned primer – easy to digest, even without a chessboard, and plenty of insight. This is my opinion - from the guy who always disliked openings and survived at the highest level by grinding out middlegames and endgames." -IM Igor Khmelnitsky, award-winning author of Chess Exam and Training Guide

"Thank you Pete. You understand us amateurs better than almost anyone else. Speaking for the rest of us, I appreciate your help, advice, and time." -A reader of Pete Tamburro's "Openings for Amateurs" message board

About the Author

Popular Chess Life and Chess Life for Kids columnist Pete Tamburro hosted the popular Openings for Amateurs lecture series on and the Internet Chess Club. In addition to coaching college basketball, championship high-school chess, and cross-country teams, Pete has been voted Chess Journalist of the Year (2006) and named New Jersey's Outstanding Teacher of History (1990). His chess books include writing Learn Chess from the Greats and editing the Kasparov Foundation's Teaching Chess Step by Step series.