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There's no denying that the opening is one of the most daunting phases of the game for newcomers to chess. There are literally hundreds of different opening lines, many with unusual sounding names, and some of these go up to twenty or so moves of theory. What is a chess player supposed to do: memorise countless variations? Don't panic! In Discovering Chess Openings John Emms argues that studying openings doesn't have to be hard work at all - indeed, it can be both enjoyable and enlightening. The key to successful opening play is not simply learning lines off by heart; instead it's the understanding of the basic principles, and here the reader is guided through the vital themes: swift development, central control and king safety. An appreciation of these principles and their many offshoots will actually allow readers to recreate and discover opening theory, giving them the opportunity to choose the most suitable lines to play in their games.