The Zaitsev System is one of the most dynamic setups for Black in the ever popular Ruy Lopez. Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov demonstrated the power and the flexibility of the system by scoring some great victories with it in the 1970s. Karpov had the ins and outs from the horse's mouth as its inventor, Igor Zaitsev himself, was his long-time second. Zaitsev had discovered that in the Ruy Lopez often the best way for Black to fight for an advantage was to play an early...Bb7 and ...Re8 in order to put pressure on White's centre, more specifically the pawn on e4.
When Alexey Kuzmin joined the coaching staff of Karpov in the 1980s he started analysing the Zaitsev System, and later continued his investigations as a second of Alexander Morozevich. For this book he has updated and improved his analysis, and found countless innovations that change the assessments of many lines.
One of the drawbacks of the Zaitsev, some feel, is that White, if he wishes, can make a draw by repetition early on. To avoid this possibility, Kuzmin presents a brand-new weapon, which he calls the Saratov Variation, based on an early exchange on d4, that was never played by either Karpov or Morozevich.
Kuzmin has written a practical guide for Black with extensive verbal explanations of the strategic ideas for both sides. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov once called the Zaitsev System ‘a revelation'. Kuzmin's book, chock-full of novelties and presenting a most remarkable new plan for Black, can be called a revelation as well. With a foreword by US Champion Fabiano Caruana, seven-time Russian Champion Peter, and Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev himself.