When Axel Smith was chasing his final Grandmaster norm, he decided he
needed a change in his White opening repertoire. Instead of his usual
approach of memorizing many concrete moves to try to force an advantage,
he would focus on pawn structures and typical plans. The result was a
repertoire based on a set-up with the moves d4, Nf3, c4 and e3. It
helped Axel Smith to the GM title, and led to the creation of e3 Poison.
This repertoire can be played using many different move orders, and
Smith explains their pros and cons. The reader will not have to memorize
many moves, but hard work is still essential to understand the themes,
so many exercises are provided to test the reader. Smith shows that a
practical repertoire can also be a grandmaster repertoire – it is all
about understanding the positional themes and plans.
Grandmaster Axel Smith from Sweden is a successful player and
coach. Using his methods on himself, in the space of ten years he
improved from a rating of 2093 to becoming a Grandmaster. His previous
book for Quality Chess, Pump Up Your Rating, won the ChessCafe Book of
the Year prize.