Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The English Opening is a flexible and dynamic choice for White, which avoids a great deal of sharp and well-mapped opening theory. It is popular with all levels of chess-players, and has been used to good effect at world championship level by Kasparov, Korchnoi, Botvinnik and other greats of the game. The English gives rise to an immense variety of structures, ranging from reversed Sicilians to Hedgehogs and fluid or locked central structures. It is an opening where strategic mastery of typical positions is of immense benefit, and where Black needs to combine circumspection and vigour to obtain a viable game.

Zenon Franco is a grandmaster from Paraguay who now lives in Spain. He is an experienced chess trainer, his most notable former pupil being Paco Vallejo, now one of the world's top grandmasters.

Gambit books by Franco: The Art of Attacking Chess, Chess Explained: the English Opening, Chess Explained: the Modern Benoni, The Giant Chess Puzzle Book, Grandmaster Secrets: Counter-Attack!

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Altogether I found this book really helpful in both the white as well as the black side of this opening." - Andy May,

"Many of these games come from the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 so besides the instructive explanations from the Paraguay born chess grandmaster the reader is insured with a wealth of latest developments! ... Conclusion: An impressive work on the English opening!" - John Elburg,

"Zenon Franco presents an enjoyable and instructive analysis of twenty five games from the last four years, players featured include Kasparov, Anand, Bareev and Topalov." - Michael Blake,

"The 25 games are presented in three parts: the Symmetrical (1.c4 c5), the Reversed Sicilian (1.c4 e5) and the Nimzo-English (1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6). Inside of these groupings lines covered include the Hedgehog, Double Fianchetto and Rubinstein systems after 1.c4 c5; the reversed Sicilian with ...d5 and ...Bb4 and the Mikenas Attack ( 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 and 3.Nf3 Bb4). Each of these lines is covered at length and quite well..." - IM John Donaldson,

"The author faced a formidable task in trying to reduce the mass of material available to manageable proportions. Overall, he has acquitted himself well. He has provided a solid basis for tackling this extremely complex opening system" - Alan Sutton, En Passant