Originally posted by najdorfslayer
Older but a far better one-two combo is:
The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black (Johnsen & Johannessen)
Play the Open Games as Black (Emms)
Both published by Gambit
For those who are considering either of these options:
Marin's Spanish repertoire tries to concentrate on the solid (dare I say stodgy?) Chigorin System that sometimes sees Black placing his kingside pawns on g6 and f6, knights on g7 and f7. A typical line might be 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Nc6 13.d5 Nd8 14.Nf1 Ne8 15.g4 g6 16.Ng3 Ng7 17.Kh2 f6 18.Be3 Nf7 19.Qd2 Bd7 20.Rg1 Kh8 21.Raf1 Rg8 22.Ne1 Raf8 23.f4 exf4 24.Bxf4 Robatsch-Padevsky, Amsterdam 1972. (From A Spanish Repertoire for Black
, p.74 variation 21 and note 122 continued on page 90.)
Johnsen and Johannessen's The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black
gives the Zaitsev Variation as their main line. The authors say, "We believe we did a good job in the main line to defend Black's position, but we certainly urge the reader to have an independent look at the lines, as they tend to be extremely messy." So for those that would rather play the Semi-Slav over the Queen's Gambit Declined Orthodox, or rather play the Najdorf Sicilian over the Taimanov Sicilian, then Johnsen and Johannessen's book is probably for you. The authors give the "cutting edge" of the Zaitsev (at the time of their writing) as 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.a4 h6 13.Bc2 exd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1 c5 16.d5 Nd7 17.Ra3 f5 18.Nh2 Nf6 19.Rg3 Qe7!? 20.Nhf3!? Qf7!
So both sets of books are good, Play the Open Games as Black
(Emms) and The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black
(Johnsen, Johannessen) both published by Gambit, as well as Beating the Open Games
(Marin) and A Spanish Repertoire for Black
(Marin) both published by Quality Chess.
If there is a tie-breaker, then I have to say the books by Marin and Quality Chess. Why? Because both books are equal size and look sooo nice sitting next to each other on your bookshelf; that's guaranteed to raise your rating by 150 points.* The Johnsen/Johannessen book's dimensions are HUGE compared to it's tiny companion by Emms. It freaks me out, man!
*(according to a survey of 4 out of 5 dentists who chew gum while playing chess.)