Daniel FernandezSample pages (pdf)
For a long time the Modern Defence (1.e4, g6; 2.d4, Bg7;) was the Wild West of opening theory: an air of reckless abandon, of devil-may-care mischief, was needed to play it successfully and, to some extent, still is!
However, times are changing and theory has developed in all openings. It has therefore become possible to try and write a rigorous opening manual on the Modern. This does not mean that equality has been found in all lines, but rather that there is now a roadmap as to how you should study this opening.
There has also been a sea change in the ethos of Modern players (and also Pirc players): who no longer wish to redefine the concept of development in Hippo style, but often want to get a Sicilian structure! That is to say, a position where Black gets to play ..cxd4 (or have White play dxc5) and thereby obtain a central majority that will stand them in good stead for the long term.
On this moving fringe, it is important to have your bearings. Nowadays, if you want to include the Modern in your repertoire, you should do some study. You should know, for instance, where White can get a safe plus, or a less-safe plus and where there are routes to equality, dynamic or otherwise (essentially most of the book!)
In this book GM Daniel Fernandez tries to provide as many sustainably playable options as possible for Black and also makes some recommendations for White too. These days objectivity plays a larger and larger part in the opening and he believes it falls to authors to try and uncover the truth of the position, rather than shamelessly trying to promote one side or the other.
He not only offers a viable repertoire for Black but also suggests some lines and novelties for White. Where he considers there to be relatively little choice for either side he says so and doesn't try to create analysis from thin air.
His book is in four parts:
I Illustrative games
II Pirc Transpositions
III Systems Chess
IV Theoretical Pure Moderns
Daniel Fernandez is an English Grandmaster and author of The Modernized Caro-Kann.
Published 2020, softback, 376 pages.