Reviewed by P.P.O. Kane
Wojo’s Weapons, Volume 3
Winning with White
By Jonathan Hilton and Dean Ippolito
Mongoose Press, 2013
The third and final volume devoted to Aleksander Wojtkiewicz’s pragmatic, positionally based opening repertoire.
Most of the book deals with the Fianchetto Grunfeld, however the main weapon of choice is not Wojtkiewicz’s 11.Bg5 (following on from 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.d4 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Nb6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.d5 Na5 10.e4 c6) but co-author Dean Ippolito’s pet line of 10.Qc2 (that is, instead of 10.e4). It would seem that Black can comfortably equalise after 11.Bg5.
We stick close to Wojtkiewicz’s repertoire in the rest of the book, however, where later chapters deal with the Slav Grunfeld (where Black plays …c6 and then …d5), various English Opening lines (including the Maroczy Bind, the Hedgehog and Rubinstein’s Variation) and some species of the Dutch (the Leningrad, Stonewall and Classical). If the Black Knights’ Tango ever reared its head, Wojtkiewicz would deftly transpose into the Bogo-Indian (1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+) rather than seek a direct refutation; and he had similarly cultured methods of meeting the respectable Old Indian, Wade’s 1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 Bg4, the ‘interesting’ 1…b5 and various other odds and ends.
All these openings are covered in the book, which is another solid contribution by Dean Ippolito and Jonathan Hilton. As before, they combine detailed analysis of Wojtkiewicz’s chosen lines with instructive discussions of the underlying strategic ideas. Taken as a whole, the three volumes in the series will give the positional player a tried and tested, relatively low-maintenance repertoire based around 1.Nf3 and 2.c4 or 2.d4, leading in due course to myriad closed openings, the Catalan, the Queen’s Gambit and the King’s Indian Defence included.
The books are as well a fine monument to a fine player.
About the reviewer: P.P.O. Kane lives and works in Manchester, England. He welcomes responses to his reviews and you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org