John Cox (chess player)

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John J Cox (born 22 May 1962) is a British chess player who holds the title of International Master which he earned in 2005.[1] His peak Elo rating of 2423 was achieved in January 2006.

Cox was among the strong juniors in the 1970s and 1980s and finished tied for first in a British U18 championship. The need to earn a living made Cox leave the chess scene for several years. During this time he also played bridge. He eventually returned to chess after the hiatus.[1]


Cox has written a number of well-received chess books, and he has contributed to the New in Chess yearbooks.

Four of his books were published by Everyman Chess, three of them introductory level books in the Starting Out series. His 2004 book on the Alekhine's Defence, Starting Out: Alekhine's Defence was credited by Watson as his main source on the Alekhine,[1] and Carsten Hansen's review for the Chess Cafe credited the book for readability, an easy-going tone, and excellent annotations.[2] Since the book was written, Cox has largely abandoned the Alekhine because of perceived trouble for Black in the Four Pawns Attack variation. Cox has since taken up 1.e4 e5.[1]

A manual for Black on Queen's Pawn Game sidelines such as the Colle System and Trompowsky Attack was published in 2005 under the title Dealing with 1 d4 deviations.[3] The idea of this book was proposed by Cox who believed there was a niche for a book on how to deal with these openings which are common at the club level.[1]

The 2006 White opening repertoire book Starting Out: 1 d4! also received high marks in reviews by Hansen and Watson, despite some skepticism of Cox's opening selections which included highly theoretical and complex variations. Cox recommended playing mainline openings and to avoid deliberately playing inferior sidelines.[3][4] Watson also remarked the recommendation of such difficult lines for an amateur audience, but Cox notes that the complex mainlines may well appeal to players of club level strength.[1]

The 2007 book Starting Out: Sicilian Sveshnikov also received top marks from Hansen, who praised Cox's communication of the difficult lines which are a feature of the Sveshnikov line.[5]

Cox's book for Quality Chess, The Berlin Wall which is about the solid Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez got top marks for its writing and thoroughness.[6]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cox was interviewed by John L. Watson for the Internet Chess Club. The entire interview is present at [1] (paysite), a free preview is available at [2]
  2. ^ Hansen, Carsten (February 2005). "Checkpoint Kindermann Classics" (PDF). The Chess Cafe. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b Hansen, Carsten (October 2006). "Checkpoint - Opening Repertoire Bonanza" (PDF). The Chess Cafe. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  4. ^ Watson, John. "Book Reviews by John Watson #78". The Week in Chess. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  5. ^ Hansen, Carsten (December 2007). "Checkpoint - Ambitious Authors" (PDF). The Chess Cafe. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  6. ^ Hansen, Carsten (December 2008). "Checkpoint - Modern Oldies" (PDF). The Chess Cafe. Retrieved 22 January 2010.