“The purpose of this book is to offer a White repertoire slightly off the beaten track, offering positions that opponents will find challenging while often allowing a transposition back to main lines.
As always, Gawain does a really professional job of presenting and organising the material, and this first volume would be a really useful reference work to anyone looking to add some slightly offbeat alternatives to a main line repertoire. Excellent stuff as always: 4 stars!”
GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess
“It seems amazing that Jones has been able to find so many coherent developing sequences that can steer an opponent away from an intended line and comfort zone. There is plenty of explanatory text woven into the pages, as each subtlety is given its cause and reason. In addition the Englishman’s own personality comes out with his pleasant, down to earth, tell it as it is, nicely formulated writing style…
So, all-in-all, I recommend it for those seeking serious fun! It’s Coffeehouse thinking, but on Quality grounds that you can instantly trust!”
GM Glenn Flear, New in Chess Yearbook
“These two volumes have numerous strengths. The author is an experienced and active grandmaster, currently rated in the high 2600s, and having previously broken the 2700 threshold. Among many other titles and tournament wins he counts two British championships.
Jones has played the majority of lines himself, often again the world’s leading players. He is assiduously careful to analyze Black’s best defenses in every line, admitting objective equality in those cases where it arises, but finding many new moves which ensure that the play will not peter out and the game will remain challenging even in the worst case… Gawain Jones has made an important addition to chess theory, and I hope that we see more of him as an author.”
IM John Watson, Chess Life (full review)
“This is the strength of these two volumes: none of the lines are unknown and all of them have been studied to some degree, but Jones knows them from playing them himself and analyzing them carefully. This means that the reader gets a full bang for his or her buck. The analysis throughout the two volumes is truly first-rate and the quality of the author’s selection of variations and implementation is excellent… If you are playing 1.e4 and have some issues in certain lines, why not check out these books and see what they suggest, they will offer you something much more than just a temporary patch. Highly recommended. 5/5 Stars”
Carsten Hansen, American Chess Magazine
“I get the distinct impression that if over-the-board chess becomes normal once more then many club and tournament players will be so relieved that they will be playing for fun rather than taking their games seriously – at least initially. This makes a ‘coffeehouse repertoire’ all the more appealing. Anyone who feels the same will welcome this interesting book with its fresh and intriguing lines.”
Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine
“Gawain presents an overview of the ideas including a “What We’re Hoping for” section. This is the followed by detailed theory with a few illustrative games sprinkled in. The discussion and explanations are friendly, clear and pragmatic talking about the responses one is likely to face rather than a torrent of engine analysis and “best move” labelling.
It is not clear who chose to use the word “Coffeehouse” in the book’s title. The repertoire choices are most definitely not speculative or bordering on unsound. This is a extremely playable set of recommendations and most are used by elite players in the current decade… We are convinced that, despite the title, this book will be found to be extremely useful by the strongest and club players alike.”
John Upham, British Chess News (full review)