Victor Bologan, Bologan's Ruy Lopez for Black: How to Play for a Win against the Spanish Opening. New in Chess, 2015. 544 pp., $34.95/€29.95.
This monster of a book is the companion to Bologan's Black Weapons, a 528-page tome that came out last year and covered all White's options after 1.e4 e5 up to but not including the Ruy Lopez (i.e. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5). That book was well-received (by yours truly and many others), and this book is destined to receive equally effusive praise.
A proper review would take more time than I'd care to spend over the holiday season, and in the interest of my readers having time to get or give the book as a Christmas present I'll offer this expeditious book notice instead.
One of the book's main selling points is that it offers two main lines rather than just one. Those of you who want to breathe fire on the board (or alternatively, play for a draw against super-strong, very well-prepared opponents) can use his Marshall Gambit repertoire (3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 etc.), while the more positionally-minded among you (or those who want to keep the game going, not allowing White any easy way to resolve the tension or to achieve a forced draw) will like his Breyer repertoire instead (7...d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 and so on). Of course, all the White deviations along the way are covered too, including various exchange lines, lines with a quick d3, Qe2 systems, and so on.
Bologan is extremely thorough, and even when looking at White's sidelines he often offers Black multiple options. Against 3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2, for instance, Bologan has a chapter on 5...Bc5/5...b5 + 6...Bc5, a second chapter on 5...d6, and a third chapter on 5...b5 + 6...Be7. This is extremely useful, as it makes it harder for one's opponents to prepare for his readers, and it supplies them with a backup in case the main system is in need of repairs.
The book follows the practice of its predecessor in various ways, including a long (43 page) chapter on strategic ideas and themes, broken down into several sub-chapters. Near the end of the book there's a four-page mini-chapter called "Very Fast Lane", which points readers to the sections that will give them the absolute minimum they need to be ready to play the Ruy with the black pieces. Next, there are 132 short exercises, and in addition to the solutions there's an index for the exercises as well. Finally, not counting the variation index, there's an index of games. This refers not to a list of complete games, as one comes to expect when seeing the phrase "Index of Games", but to the games referred to in the text with endnote numbers. I think this is a good innovation, making it more convenient for the research-minded reader to look the games up in the database.
There are other interesting features in the book - upside-down diagrams, "Fast Lane" summaries in each chapter, markers for tips & tricks, and on it goes. If you want nifty bells and whistles, this is the book for you. But how is its content? As far as I can tell so far: spot on. I checked some of his main line material in the Breyer against other sources, super-recent games and with Komodo, and while I spotted some reasonable alternatives I didn't spot any errors.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a sound, long-term main line repertoire for Black against 1.e4, this book (in conjunction with its predecessor) may very well be just what you need, especially if you're a 1.e4 e5 player. Recommended, especially to players rated 1800 and up.
More info, and a downloadable sample, here.