The Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits 1 by Boris Alterman

The Alterman Gambit Guide: Black Gambits 1 is an instructional manual for improving chess players. Sharpen your tactics and learn to play dynamic attacking chess while studying the most entertaining gambits. Lines covered include: Benko Gambit, Blumenfeld Gambit, Vaganian Gambit and more.

The second and concluding volume, covering 1.e4 e5, should be out early in 2012.


“WHITE GAMBITS” Review by John Donaldson :


 Author: Boris Alterman

Quality Chess (2010) 448 pages $25.95

 Reviewed by John Donaldson :

This book, which should enjoy a wide audience, is an instructional manual for improving players that’s not a high-level theoretical work, but rather aims to teach the fundamentals – tactics, the importance of development, how to attack and king safety – by playing gambit openings.

Lines covered include the Evans Gambit, Panov-Botvinnik Attack in the Caro-Kann, the Smith-Morra Gambit against the Sicilian, the Philidor, Danish Gambit, Urusov Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qxd4), Morphy Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4), Cochrane Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7), Max Lange Attack and Milner-Barry Gambit.

Alterman, who has based his book in part on some of his popular lectures at the Internet Chess Club, feels that most games between amateurs (those rated below 2000) are not decided by some great strategy but because one or both players do not follow basic opening principles.

To quote Alterman, “The players: Do not fight for the center, keep playing with the same piece, move the queen too early in the opening, leave the king in the center, try to win material instead of developing, and so on.” This book attempts to remedy this situation by offering 112 heavily annotated (primarily prose) games, theoretical overviews and practical exercises (with solutions) to reinforce the material.

THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE: WHITE GAMBITS is definitely aimed at an amateur audience but some of the material will be of interest to stronger players, including the topical Panov-Botvinnik line 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 and the Milner-Barry variation arising after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bd7 8.0-0 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 Qxe5 11.Re1 where Alterman believes 11…Qd6! to be a clear equalizer – that White has nothing better than 12.Nb5 Qb6! 13.Be3 Qa5 14.Bd2 Qb6 15.Be3 repeating.

Young players, older ones stuck in the amateur ranks and coaches will all find THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE: WHITE GAMBITS to be quite helpful and at $25.95 for a 440 page, beautifully produced paperback very good value.

 An excerpt from this book can be found at :

Strongly Recommended

Click to buy

Copyright © 2010 John Donaldson

The Alterman Gambit Guide – White Gambits

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The Alterman Gambit Guide: White Gambits
By Boris Alterman

The Alterman Gambit Guide: White Gambits is an instructional manual for improving players. Sharpen your tactics and learn to play dynamic attacking chess while studying the most entertaining gambits. Lines covered include: Evans Gambit, Panov Attack, Morra Gambit, Philidor, Danish Gambit, Urusov Gambit, Morphy Attack, Cochrane Gambit, Max Lange Attack and Milner-Barry Gambit.

Best instructional and repertoire book for beginner and intermediate players .

ISBN:978-1-906552-53-4 – 440 pages

Sample pages : PDF excerpt 
 – visit Alterman Gambit Guide  on facebook
Video lectures :  “ICC Gambit Guide” :   

Gambit Guide Poll

Boris Alterman’s Gambit Guide


1. You know how to move the pieces… you know how to mate the lone King…. And you’d like to become much better player …

 What should be your next step?

 1. Your openings are quite far from being perfect. 2. You probably notice in your own games that tactical situations provide the majority of decisive moments, but you still blunder a lot.

How to combine these different themes? We will do it quite differently from the usual methods such as solving chess puzzles and tactical positions. I assume to improve your tactical skills by the studying the Chess Gambit openings!

Boris Alterman’s Gambit Guide on ICC investigates gambits old and new and show that, while some may not be actively played on the grandmaster circuit these days, they are all exciting to play and at the same time instructive as they teach us all about natural development of the pieces and tactics in chess.

NEW!!! All lectures archive : 






Note to the Reader

I already played checkers at the age of 3, and when I became quite good at it, my father decided to teach me a more complicated game. Chess was the most natural choice.  

The first lessons were very tough for me, but I adopted the most important principles of the chess game.  At the age 10 I was going to join a football section until appendix surgery put an end to that idea.

With no better choice I joined the “Avangard “chess club in my town Voroshilovgrad (Lugansk -nowadays) one of the largest towns on the East of the Ukraine.Master of Sport Vitally Appolonovich Marchenko was my first professional chess coach.  He had taught me to play aggressively and energetically, not fear to sacrifice material for an attack.His lessons were so instructive and interesting that I didn’t want to miss the sessions even when I was sick with fever.It was no surprise that as a young player I loved to play Gambit systems.

 Why I do recommend you to study aggressive and attacking openings? The reason could be easy explained.  When you play gambit openings – you learn the most important principles of opening strategy quickly: the importance of development, timing for the combination, the meaning of initiative, utilizing development advantage and other important issues.

For successful results you should develop your tactical skills. What’s more to say: Chess is 99 % tactics. You may come up with a deep strategic idea, but your opponent could punish you after just one tactical slip.  You may try to remember the best examples of playing the Sicilian by Kasparov, Anand or Topalov, but it will be just waste of time and energy for that unsuccessful task.After a first move that wasn’t in your home preparation – you will lose your way and probably the game.

Once when I was already a strong Grandmaster I wanted to study some new opening before the Chess Olympiad 98 in Elista.  I was short of time, nevertheless my plan was to learn the main line and some side moves and variations in the opening I have chosen. So just in a few weeks I had a chance to show my good preparation to everyone.  Playing the new (for me) line in the King Indian defense I had just mixed up the moves order and found myself in the tough position  already after 15 moves and lost almost without any fight! That was a very unpleasant lesson for me.  The conclusion from this interesting story – when you study any chess opening, you do not study moves but ideas!  

There is a reason I’d like to show you the most important ideas behind the opening moves and explain you the purpose of playing this or that move.