Jeremy Silman - author of 'How to Reassess Your Chess' - is probably right when claiming to have the greatest online collection of chess book reviews. I always follow his (and his staff's) reviews as they usually are quite detailed and well written. However, if I hadn't been alerted by an e-mail from my publishers, this time he might have stayed under my radar for some days by adding a review of our Stonewall book just one day his other August reviews. There may at this site also be another review of our book by John Donaldson as indicated on Gambit's infopage. I have however been unable to locate this review.
Chessvibes has a growing collection of reviews. Some of them are slightly controversial (see 'Play 1.b3) but all seem fair and well thought out by a reviewer who really has worked with the books in question. This time Arne Moll considers 'Win with the Stonewall Dutch' together with a few other books: Openings, openings, openings. As far as I can see his review is very favourable. He points out that there are some very complicated move-order issues in the variation 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.c4 and that he had trouble following our explanations. This is not strange, as this really is a complex issue. For practical purposes this may not be too much to worry about as:
- 4...d5 is quite playable for Black and the book gives what I believe is sufficient guidance even if Black should be move-ordered into the lines resulting from this move-order.
- Following 4...c6, White will mostly play either 5.Nh3 when Black can play for ...d6 and ...e5 or 5.Nf3, leading to positions considered after the move-order 4.Nf3.
There is also a review in Dutch by Gerard Rill at the chess shop 'De beste zet'. Written Dutch is relatively easy to understand for a Norwegian who can also read German (spoken Dutch is something entirely different!) but I am not sure I understand everything. Below follows an attempt to translate his conclusion:
Is there then nothing negative to remark about this book? Actually I can think of only one thing: the old masters of the Dutch are not taken into consideration. In order to understand the Dutch not only the current stand of theory is important but also how it was developed, for instance during the games of the World Championship match between Botwinnik and Bronstein in 1951.
Finally: To whom can I recommend this book? Firstly naturally to all French players. Further to black players who enjoy immediately going for the throat of White's king after 1.d4. Against weak opposition this certainly produces surprisingly quick results. But especially it can be recommended to everyone who like to play openings where understanding is more important than memorization.
Good luck with it!
Alas, when it comes to details and single words I must admit that this is all guesswork based on similarities. For instance I am quite confident that 'het begrip van de stelling' must mean 'understanding of the position'. I am not equally sure that 'hoofd hoeft te leren' means 'emptying your head' (and - assuming that this is correct - that this in turn means memorizing) but it seems quite likely. Maybe someone who actually knows the language can correct me?
Addendum August 14th
I did some changes and corrections to the translation above in order to reflect the comments by Shrek below and an e-mail from IM Gerard Welling. It's still not a word by word translation (never a good idea) but now probably a little closer to the meaning.