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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

1...d6: Move by Move

1...d6: Move by Move - Cyrus Lakdawala A physicist friend was complaining to us the other day about the Higgs field. "It really shouldn't have been named after Higgs," he grumbled. "Two Belgian guys came up with the original idea. But no one could pronounce their names, and Higgs was easy to say." I'm afraid it happens in chess too, as this book will show. There is a seriously underrated defensive system for Black, characterized by the moves 1... d6 and then ...Nf6, ...c6 and usually ... Qa5 or ... Bg4 at some point. It looks odd, but people up to world champion level have been fans - the late Tigran Petrosian used it every now and then. Here's the main line position, reached after the moves 1. e4 d6 2. d6 Nf6 3. Nc3 c6 4. f4 Qa5:


And who invented this interesting idea? Who should the defense be named after? Well, according to Cyrus Lakdawala and many other sources, the honor should go to Czech master Josef Přibyl. Except that - you guessed it - no one can pronounce his name. So it's usually just called "1... d6".

Unfortunately, I seem to have moved to a country where no one can pronounce my name either. I hope this won't cost me.