Ever wanted a complete chess opening repertoire – for White and Black – whose basics can be learned in a week? A strategic low-maintenance repertoire that does not require memorizing of long variations, and yet can frustrate both stronger and weaker opponents?

In this book, award-winning author Graham Burgess has come up with the ultimate simplified repertoire. But it is not based on boring or unambitious openings. The aim is to avoid symmetry and mass exchanges, and reach an unbalanced middlegame. You won’t be dumped into do-or-die tactics where the penalty for forgetting a key move is an instant loss. There are plenty of sharp and aggressive ideas within these pages, but the openings chosen provide a firm and sound base for experimentation. If you forget the critical line and have to make something up at the board, then if you have understood the key strategic themes – which are explained with the use of mini-rules and reminders – then you should get a playable game.

As Black, we choose the slippery Scandinavian and a carefully crafted hybrid of the Slav and QGA. As White it is the English Opening, often with Botvinnik set-ups that will give our opponents fits! These will become your special lines, where you will know and understand more than most players, even much stronger ones.

Graham Burgess has written 28 chess books, including three on opening play for the ‘Chess for Kids’ series. He is a FIDE Master and a former champion of the Danish region of Funen, and in 1994 set a world record for marathon blitz chess playing.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Watch a YouTube video in which GM John Nunn presents a sample from this book.

“I think that this book succeeds very well in its aim of giving the reader a complete repertoire that makes it hard to get into trouble in the opening even if one doesn’t play perfectly. ... A student or club player could do worse than to adopt all of the book’s suggestions whole, whereas a master or professional player will find a number of original ideas that could be extremely useful on any level.” – IM John Watson, USCF Chess Life Magazine

“A high quality one stop resource for your opening needs” – Miguel Ararat, Florida Chess Magazine

“This renowned author of numerous excellent chess books always succeeds in making complicated chess theory understandable for the average chess player... an excellent book” –B.H.Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

“We searched the BCN office and, as the most obvious idiot, it was decided that John should evaluate the repertoire to test the title’s ambitious claim. In summary, this is a coherent and well-thought out repertoire devoid of cheap tricks or dodgy gambits ” – John Upham, BRITISH CHESS NEWS

“...a well thought out, timeless, easy-to-learn, move to move repertoire book. Brilliant!” – John Elburg, chessbooks.nl

“The author states that some of the lines that appear most threatening have not actually appeared over the board. I can believe that. David Howell played David Navara in a Blitz tournament on Chess24.com earlier this year and this line appeared – 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 3.b4 g5!? Black (Navara) won! It is a fascinating line, proving indeed that some of the opening lines in Burgess’s book are (as he says) definitely not meant to be ‘safe’. It does mix it up at the board and will certainly catch many people by surprise” – Carl Portman, Carl Portman Blog

“ ... offers one-stop shopping for those looking to playing respectable openings for White and Black that don’t require memorizing tons of analysis. Burgess is not the first to advocate playing the English with 1.c4 followed by a kingside fianchetto as White or meeting 1.e4 with the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian. Where he deserves big credit is the way he has put together a Slav repertoire versus 1.d4 that avoids the Exchange variation (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5) which has a reputation as a tough line for Black to win against ... An Idiot-Proof Chess Opening Repertoire is well-researched and up to date but also offers plenty of explanatory prose to guide the reader” – IM John Donaldson