Chess Explained is a new series of books about chess openings. They are not theoretical works in the traditional sense, but more a series of lessons from a chess expert with extensive over-the-board experience with an opening. You will gain an understanding of the opening and the middlegames to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games. It is as if you were sitting at the board with a chess coach answering your questions about the plans for both sides, the ideas behind particular moves, and what specific knowledge you need to have.

The Queen's Indian is an important and popular opening at all levels of play. Black's flexible stance allows him to choose between a range of solid and dynamic structures. In turn, White can play flexibly, opposing Black's fianchetto, or can try to force the pace in the centre and start a hand-to-hand fight. It is an opening rich in nuances, and many of the modern main lines involve moves that look extravagant, but are backed up by a deep underlying logic.

Peter Wells is a grandmaster from England who regularly competes in international tournaments and team events. He was runner-up in the British Championship in 1991, 1999 and 2004, and qualified for the knockout stages of FIDE's world championship in 1997. Wells is a much-acclaimed writer, noted for his work on both opening play and middlegame strategy. He has a wealth of experience as a trainer, including acting as a second for British super-GMs Luke McShane and Michael Adams.

Gambit books by Wells: Chess Explained: The Queen's Indian, Grandmaster Secrets: the Caro-Kann.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Is there a chess player out there who doesn't want to have the key concepts of the game explained in a simple but expert manner? Gambit Books has capitalized on this desire by creating a straightforward but elegant series of books called simply Chess Explained. Each book focuses on a different opening, offering concise explanations and lessons on understanding why the moves are played and what the ensuing middlegames look like. ... I especially enjoyed The Queen's Indian by Peter Wells, who has a marvelous writing style. There are gems of wisdom in his notes, which can be detailed but not overly technical." - Cecil Rosner, Winnipeg Free Press

" has not only excellent coverage of the variations, but brilliant writing that puts it on a level above the majority of opening books." - IM John Watson, TWIC

"This series dispenses with the usual suitcase full of variations ... there are 25 games explaining the ideas behind the opening ... and with lots of attention to critical positions" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

"Tony Kosten, Chris Ward and Neil McDonald, like most Grandmasters, have written in the past that one of the best and important ways that they improved as chess players was to study well-annotated games and that, even now at their level, one of the best ways to learn a new opening is to continue studying well-annotated games! This is exactly what Gambit has in mind with their new series of chess books 'Chess Explained'… In a past review I covered Alex Yermolinsky's excellent book The Classical Sicilian which was the first book in this series. Additionally, well known author Peter Wells has written a book in this series which covers the plans etc in the Queen's Indian defence. If anyone's looking for a book that shows an 'understanding of the opening and the middle games to which it leads, enabling you to find the right moves and plans in your own games' then this is the book for you." - Michael Stevenson, New Zealand Chess

"A top investment for anyone who plays the Queen's Indian." - IM Gary Lane, Chess Moves

"The author has used 25 highly instructive games from the recent practice of the world's élite players. His extensive verbal explanations of plans and manoeuvres and the chapter introductions and conclusions, which emphasize the key points, have been expertly written." - PHL Hughes, Chess Post

"The annotations in particular really impressed me, for the author actually did explain what was happening at every stage of the game. Everything appeared logical as I played through the games and read the annotations. Where alternatives are given, you are told why a certain move is good or bad, not just the fact that it is so. Peter Wells is to be congratulated on presenting everything so lucidly." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"...the present book is aimed at the aspiring player who lacks a coach and needs a guide to explain what is important in the opening, what the reliable variations are and what typical middlegame plans crop up time and time again.Wells does all this and more in a book that is a pleasure to read..." - IM John Donaldson, Silman's website

"This is a great book which will definitely improve your understanding on the Queen's Indian. If you play the Queen's Indian as black or need to find a response for white, this is a must-have!" - Andy May,

"Rather than focus on variation after variation in a database style or the old opening manual style of Modern Chess Openings, [Gambit] have focused instead, on explaining in a great of detail, the ideas behind the opening and have done so in a manner that will appeal to the novice or intermediate player rather than an expert or a master. While other publishers have also done this, ... the key difference for Gambit is the length to which their author, in this case Peter Wells, explains the kinds of middle games that each variation tends to create and the depth and clarity of the annotation of the explanatory game." - Bill Whited,

"Wells' material is up-to-date, well-balanced and commendably objective, without any heavy brainwashing bias in favour of Black or White. Naturally, he truly trusts the Queen's Indian for Black, and demonstrates how it can be played confidently and effectively, but he also shows the reader numerous noteworthy ideas for White. " - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman

"Wells' writing is, as ever, of a high standard and he freely shares his ideas and insights into what is a very reliable defence system for Black" - John Saunders, British Chess Magazine

"The 'Chess Explained' series achieves its aim of providing a thorough yet easily understood introduction to this very popular defence. Incisive & compelling reading." - Michael Blake,

"GM Wells surely has the best credentials to put such a concept into practice: not only his active praxis, but also his experience as trainer and author" - Gerd Treppner, Rochade