I play online chess at a popular site and while playing from black, I win 58% of my games. I think I have a natural tendency to be a 'counterpuncher'. I seem to derive a perverse enjoyment in playing as the underdog and find it ammusing on some level to be able to survive my opponent's best attack. I'm a 1720 rated player in the 84th percentile of 30k players using E.L.O rating system. I'd like to advance my knowledge from black but can't find much devoted material. I'm guessing my otb play would be 1500-1600.

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    after the opening, the differences should be lost. I think studying openings from the view of blacks will do it. I doubt there is such thing as white/black-style (post-opening ofc)
    – ajax333221
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 20:07
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    What is your winning percentage with white? And what is the rating average of your opponents? Generally I believe that at your level the color should not matter much, because most of your opponents would make mistakes in the opening, so that the first move advantage is not all that relevant. Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 18:35

6 Answers 6

  1. Black is OK!
  2. Black is Still OK!
  3. Black is OK Forever!

All books are by András Adorján.

A sample, Black is OK, or the Presumption of Innocence in Chess:

In criminal law, the suspect is entitled to the presumption of innocence until it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is guilty. It might help me a lot if I was well-versed in law, but perhaps it would also make my argumentation bloody boring. So what am I getting at is that we should try to take an unbiased approach, and think of the starting position of the chess game. BLACK does NOT have to equalise, as it is not BLACK who has to prove anything in the first place! I presume - in the spirit of the presumption of innocence - that the position is equal. It is White who has to prove that he can get an advantage. And, as he has the right to move first, he sees to it immediately. Naturally, starting the game should not be mistaken for taking the initiative!

  • Some funny observations there @iamlam. Thanks for the link, I'll use it as a starting point for some hopefully novel and inspired chess play! I'll be sure and pick up A. Andorjan's book for my library too.
    – Morgan
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 6:03
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    Anyone else should feel free to recommend 'black' books too. I'm on a quest to 1800+ but aren't smart enough to get there naturally. Btw iamlam, I'd give you an up vote but can't yet. I'm too low relyability...
    – Morgan
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 6:10
  • Definitely an inspirational rant! :) Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 1:25

It was my pleasure and recognition to see somebody asking to recommend some books how to play with BLACK. They were suggesting 3 books. All of them happened to be mine:

  • Black is OK! (1988),

  • Black is still OK!

  • Black is OK forever!

It shows the good taste of the members... Gratefully I draw your attention to some more. Winning with the Gruenfeld (Batsford, 1986) which could not be a BLACK is OK! book by name, for this "Winning with ..." was a Batsford series. But I assure it qualifies by the content. Finally there is a Sicilian subvariations (1994) which appeared in 5 languages simultaneously. And last there is a 'Rare Openings' book (English, Deutsch, French) which deals with everything but 1.d4, 1.e4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. I'm glad to join you and look forward to receive your comments, thoughts, etc.

I'm waiting for your messages too in: [email protected] ADORJÁN András

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    Wow, GM Adorján, is it really you? Welcome to the site.
    – ETD
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 23:04

i have a book called winning with the najdorf, it's pretty good, for white and black.


It's a rather old book, Barnes and Noble or amazon.com may have it. Fred Reinfeld's "Attack and Counter Attack in Chess" has a section entitled: From Black's point of view.


The books of Victor Korchnoi the archetypal counterpuncher himself -

Chess is my life (1977)

My best games : with Black (2002)

Korchnoi's 400 best games (1978)

And what IGM_AA said.


I highly recommend The Sniper by Charlie Storey.

The publisher's blurb says:

The Sniper is a dynamic and universal opening weapon for Black which can be used against all mainline openings. Black's system of development with ...g6 and ...Bg7 initially allows White to occupy the centre but, in true hypermodern style, Black strikes back immediately with ...c5. The Sniper can lead to original or barely-known positions in which Black can strive for the initiative. It's also rich in move-order possibilities, with potential transpositions into Sicilian, King's Indian or Benko-type positions.

In my opinion the book delivers what it claims.

  • After 1 e4 g6 2 d4 bg7 3 nf3 c5 4 dc white is better. Do not play the Sniper.
    – CWallach
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 21:44

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