In volume 1 we consider the Pirc Defence (Chapters 10-27). It has definite advantages in comparison to other openings. At first, it has not been analysed so thoroughly, since the White fans of 1.e2-e4 devote the lion's share of their time to study the Sicilian Defence and the Open Games. Secondly, Black can play not only to equalise, but he can also count on seizing the initiative. This is particularly important in tournaments played under the Swiss System in which you must strive for a win irrelevant of the colour of your pieces.
Besides the Pirc, we analyse in the first part of the book all possible set-ups in which White refrains from the moves 1.e4 and 1.d4, namely: 1.f4, 1.b3, 1.b4 (Chapter 1), 1.Nf3 (Chapter 2), 1.c4 (Chapters 3, 4). The second part of the book (Chapters 5-9) is devoted to opening schemes in which White does play 1.d4, but then he does not follow up with c2-c4. This is the Trompowsky Attack (d4, Bg5) and the London System (d4, Nf3, Bf4). In response to these set-ups Black, as a rule, remains true to ...Nf6 and ...g6. The arising opening schemes are similar to the King's Indian Defence (see volume 2), or to the Pirc Defence. This should facilitate considerably the players to master their opening repertoire.
In volume 2 Alexei Kornev analyses variations in which White plays 1.d4, 2.c4. As Black’s weapon he suggests the King’s Indian Defence. This is not by chance, though...
Most readers participate mainly in tournaments played under the Swiss system. One of the important features of these tournaments is that the draw is essentially a step backward in your tournament situation and you must play for a win irrelevant of the colour of your pieces.
The King’s Indian Defence is the right opening choice for that. There is some strategic risk involved indeed (Black complies with a somewhat cramped position...), but all the middlegame positions are very complicated and allow Black to think not only about equality, but also about seizing the initiative.
Kornev includes in his analyses numerous correspondence games which may be unknown to readers.
Alexei Kornev is an international grandmaster and coach. In 2001 he took the silver in the Russian Cup Final. He is also the winner of a number of international tournaments.