An Instructive Survey of Chess Opening Disasters and Brilliancies

Appearing now for the first time in print, this updated, revised and greatly expanded second edition contains a comprehensive collection of the shortest decisive games in chess history. It is an indispensable guide to the pitfalls and traps that lurk in every opening system. An ability to punish errors in the opening is an essential aspect of modern opening play.

The thousands of games featured in this book show how to detect the opponent’s errors and take maximum advantage. Studying this book will help you seize your chances to win crisp miniature games, while reducing your chances of suffering an opening catastrophe, and overall will improve the level of your opening and tactical play.

FIDE Master Graham Burgess is Gambit’s Editorial Director, and one of the founders of the company. A highly accomplished and versatile writer, his best-selling Mammoth Book of Chess won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award. He holds the world record for marathon blitz chess playing, and lives in Minnesota.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

“A huge collection of games won in thirteen moves or fewer, arranged in theoretical order and taken from all periods of chess history. ... valuable collection of ‘Short and Sweet’ games!” – Chess Monthly

Most Valuable Chess Reference Book in the World! ... The notes are excellent. Each chapter has a brief summary of the odds of an opening’s difficulty. Transposing move-orders are usually mentioned. Some games have little anecdotes or historical connections. Whenever a game is resigned for less-than-obvious reasons (as most of these are) Burgess explains the mate threat or material loss to us patzers succinctly and precisely. This is really a book of how not to play openings. It will complement any repertoire books and opening encyclopediae. I highly recommend it for your shelf, even to intermediate players (like me). You might find it entertaining. You will find it useful.” – C. Dunn, reviewer

“his famous book ‘The Quickest Chess Victories of All Time’ ... ” – John Elburg, Chessbook Reviews

“a mini-encyclopedia of openings ... good notes ... every game lasts no more than a dozen moves ... pitfalls you need to avoid and the traps in the openings you play ... tactical themes and patterns of error” – Mauro Reggiani, Torre & Cavallo

Gambit books by Graham Burgess: Chess Highlights of the 20th Century, Gambit Guide to the Torre Attack, The Slav, The Taimanov Sicilian, Chess Openings for Kids, The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles, A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White.