63 ( +1 | -1 ) MCO-14I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it would seem it provides me knowledge without which I would be at a disadvantage in a correspondence chess environment. On the other, nothing has ever so clearly convinced me that I am and always will be a hack at chess. The depth of information here is startling. So far my verdict is that MCO is a useful tool for the begining of a game, but as soon as play strays a breath away from the line, it's best to close it and never look back. I'm curious whether someone here has advice on how to use MCO *well*, as it's so evident that there are many ways to use it badly.
123 ( +1 | -1 ) MCO stands for Modern Chess Openings (-14 is the 14th Edition), an openings survey project currently overseen and updated by Nick De Fermian and Walter Korn.
Honestly, I find such books to be of limited value (I own Nunn's Chess Openings myself, which is a similar type of book). The book doesn't tell you the purpose behind most of the moves, which is vital in planning. Second-rate moves are sometimes not significantly inferior to the moves published, so deviating from book theory might not even be a handicap (especially if you're more comfortable handling the resulting positions). The evaluations are still done by people, so what is +/= to one person may be = to another and =/+ to someone else. And such books of that size invariably contain a few mistakes, so you end up having to do all the analysis yourself anyway.
Overall, I find such openings books useful as a kind of hint-book, as if the the author were writing "Okay, in this position, (move x) may be interesting; take a look." In general, though, I'd say trust MCO less and trust yourself more. At the very least, even if you do wind up choosing inferior moves, you'll understand the moves being played and be able to learn something from the game.
31 ( +1 | -1 ) Walter KornCaldazar, as always your comments are on the mark, but I should make one small point. I doubt that Walter Korn currently is doing much updating, although he still may be overseeing, since, sadly, he died a few years ago.
25 ( +1 | -1 ) I believe MCO-14 was published in 2000 so I think Korn did some work on it. But I believe your right overall; De Fermian probably did a good portion of the work with Korn helping out (I seem to recall he was associated with previous versions of MCO).