87 thoughts on “Schandorff vs. Dreev”

  1. Lars was playing Malakhov, but only briefly. Draw. It’s a vaguely interesting question – if a 2712 GM is happy to draw with Black, in what circumstances should White decline and go for the win?

    Meanwhile Jacob is not playing exactly as planned, as far as I can tell. That is not Lars repertoire. The crowd is concerned…

  2. Instead of events like this, they should be playing this in London right now. This should be a summer olympic sport.

    Hey, it can’t be any worse than the other sports in London right now. The American and the Russian women, 2 groups known for being power houses in Gymnastics, can’t keep their feet in bounds in the floor exercise. The Aussies, said to be the heavy favorites in the Men’s 4×100 Free Relay, are behind the Americans the whole race, and don’t even metal as the French sneak up in the last 100 and take Gold, Americans take Silver, and the Russians take the Bronze.

    So chess needs to be added to the olympics, and had it been this year, the way the olympics have gone thus far, Lars would be mated in 12 moves, Aagaard would get his Queen trapped, and some nobody with a FIDE rating strength of about 1500 would win the Gold! 🙂

  3. Jacob Aagaard

    Clearly there is a problem with not studying opening theory in depth. 10.a4? easily refuted by Dreev with 10…g4, but after 13…c2 I got back in the game.

  4. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Nice play against Dreev, especially playing against the Semi-Slav. And I see this tournament is organised in Copenhagen. Nice city, I am contemplating going there for holiday this winter.

  5. I am a little bit disappointed about the fighting spirit of Lars. Also I was very curious what Lars would play against 10…Nh5, his own suggestion 11.Qd2 or something else (11.e3/Bd2/Bg5)? My own experience with 11.Qd2 is that I scored very well with it in blitz games, but my engines don’t find it very special.

    Great result Jacob against one of the greatest Anti-Moscow experts (I like his book about it very much). Dreev played the not much played 9…Bg7 variation, did you prepare well for this game and was his 13…c2 a novelty (according to my database)?

  6. Jacob Aagaard

    Lars really wanted to play, but it was also a bluff where he wanted to see if he would play a more risky line. Ok, he had 200 rating points more and wanted to draw; so be it. Not my strategy, but certainly not stupid.

    In my game we were both out of the opening quickly and made a lot of mistakes. I think he could have won with 40…Rb1+ 41.Ke2 Re1+!, even if it is not conclusive.

  7. Trying to win against a lower rated player you must change openings sometimes.
    I presume just a practical decision and nothing to do with not trusting the Tarrasch

  8. Jacob Aagaard

    You cannot just publish all your analysis and then play it all the time. It is just risky. There are two options; either don’t publish all your ideas (not nice) or not play it, which is sadly the case now. Preparation is a great part of chess.

  9. @ray

    In addition to what Jacob said, I’m sure he’d agree with me that if you want to be a true master at chess, you have to be able to play more than one opening. If you play nothing but the King’s Indian Defense against 1.d4, and reach 2200, are you a master at chess, or a master at the King Indian Defense? So playing a diverse set of openings can lead to vastly different middlegames, and a more well-rounded game (like a math major taking an English course in college).

    In 2012 alone, I’ve played 1.e4, 1.d4, and 1.g3 as White along with the Slav, Tarrasch, Dutch, Modern, Sniper, Caro-Kann, 1…e5 (against 1.e4), and various lines against the Reti and other Flank Openings as Black. What has it lead to? I’m still not 2100, and my rating continues to fluctuate from the low to upper 2000s, but my stability point (the spot where I can say I’m able to sustain on a regular basis barring one bad tournament that gets made up for easily in the near future) is up about 15 points from where it was in 2011.

    It’s a slow process, but Jacob’s book is helping out a lot. I’m on the Combinations chapter, and while I haven’t checked the answers yet for the first 6 as I’m only on the 4th one, I think I actually figured out a long combination for #3 that I probably wouldn’t have gotten without going thru the Candidates chapter. I’d have found the first move as it screams to be played from the get-go, but not the 5th move in that combination, tossing the Queen like there’s nothing to it! 🙂

  10. Speaking about openings…Will we ever see another Sicilian Rep. book possible the Taimanov Sicilian and maybe you could talk Judit Polgar into writing it! Just day dreaming out loud. Good play so far Jacob, and nice save against Dreev, I like the way John siad it

    Concerned at move 10, happy again at move 15 (13…c2?!). The drama of international chess.

    Good luck to you!

  11. Gilchrist is a Legend


    But if the King’s Indian player plays other openings, would this player have mastered the aspects of this opening? And regarding university degrees, in the UK mathematics (or any subject) degrees take only mathematics classes, I highly doubt any student takes any classes outside his or her subject area. I think the reason undergraduate degrees are only three years in duration is because they take only those classes that are pertinent to their degree (maths students take three years of all maths classes, electrical engineering take three years of only EE classes, etc.). In that manner they study more in depth their subject, similar to a King’s Indian player who only plays that opening. Of course, it would be more all-rounded to take two degrees simultaneously..

  12. In American universities you have to take a variety of courses the first two years then you concentrate on your major the last two years give or take. At least before people graduated owing astronomical debt that was the general idea.

  13. Michael :
    Speaking about openings…Will we ever see another Sicilian Rep. book possible the Taimanov Sicilian and maybe you could talk Judit Polgar into writing it! Just day dreaming out loud.

    Yes I’m also hoping that Jacob/Quality Chess will publish a grandmaster repertoire Sicilian Taimanov or Kan.And Judit Polgar is a sicilian taimanov player also.It’s nice if she will be the one who would author this book.

  14. I have played quite a few games in that particular line of the Scotch Jacob played today. Tough to really get anything there as White – perhaps one of Black’s best line against the 6.Qf3!? Scotch.

    Also, am I to take that as a sign that Mr. Shaw’s recommendation in his 1.e4 books is 5.Nxc6 Qf6 6.Qf3!? and not 5.Nb3!? or 5.Be3?

  15. Today’s game against Salgado is from John’s forthcoming e4 book (Scotch opening)?

    Could I ask what is a very rookie question re the Tarrasch book/opening – apologies for asking, but my brain is not wired to cope with transitions. Can the Tarrasch be played as an “anti Nimzo” defence (ie where white plays 3 Nf3, then black plays 3 d5)?

  16. @Paul
    Actually I see it as a perfect Semi-Slav/Nimzo/Catalan combo. Semi-Slav against 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 (c6) and Tarrasch against the Catalan (avoiding the most irritating line).

  17. @TonyRo
    I was still in John’s book when I was offered a draw; as well as better. I have also a serious case of stomach poisoning and a lecture to give in an hour.

  18. @John Johnson
    No, 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.dxc5! – perhaps the strongest line against the Tarrasch. But if you play g3 earlier on, you cannot get this, which is why a delayed Tarrasch might make sense for Black.

  19. @boki
    Unfortunately I should have followed our analysis; after 20.Qc2! I would have lost a pawn. But for practical purposes, this was a good game of course.

  20. fm charles galofre

    Jacob is it possible to get a pgn to some of the grandmaster repertoire books? even at a price? like, I would like to play Marin’s 3 books with white, and Lars Caro Kann with black, but putting 1000+ pages of analysis onto chess base is challenging. Can we work something out? I will pay for them just like they were the books new. This will help me in submiting the info on to chess position trainer to learn my openings.

  21. Abramov Anjuhin

    @ to EDITOR of: Weteschnik Martin – Chess Tactics from Scratch

    In section “300 Test positions” there seems to be an error in labeling a difficulty of exercises. They should be organized for each section in increasing level of difficulty.

    But this is not the case in section “Opening and closing lines of communication” which starts on page 291 and first exercise in mentioned section, number 169, has 5 stars. The same is for exercises 170-174. Then exercise 175 follows with 2 stars.

    Who is to blame?

    And what is the precise Elo range of exercises? 1800-2300?

    PS It seems that only I’m working diligently trough the book cause I haven’t read any comment so far regarding second solutions of exercises or missing lines in solution. Also I think that my comments weren’t taken into account at all! But I just want to make next edition even better and more precise than this one…

  22. Abramov Anjuhin

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Abramov Anjuhin
    3 We produce books the way we think is best and not just to service you personally

    And what about this, written on one other chess blog:

    “Taktikbücher lassen sich heutzutage aus dem Nichts herstellen. Hier eine kleine Anleitung. Man nehme das Datenbankprogramm Chessbase (ab Version 9) und eine große Partiedatenbank (Im Internet gibt es kostenlose Partiedatenbanken mit Millionen von Partien). Nun startet man die Partiesuche mit Chessbase und setzt den Filter so, dass man als Ergebnis taktische Stellungen bekommt. Hier kann man frei variieren. Die Ergebnisse kann man dann nochmals filtern und das Endergebnis muss nun nur noch gedruckt werden. Fertig ! Hier und da noch etwas blabla, damit es nicht ganz so billig rüberkommt und auf geht’s.”

    1. My German is not really great, but I can understand this and must say it sounds just plain dumb. No offence intended, but I am sure the person who wrote this thinks the same of the work I do, so I do not apologise :-).

  23. Jacob,

    Since it was brought up, what is your opinion of the Chess Position Trainer as a training tool?

    Also, on a vaguely related point, what is your opinion of the Calculation Training tool that comes with Fritz?

  24. @J.A. Topfke
    I have not studied them enough to give a fair evaluation. In general I do not really believe that computers are yet at a level where they can advice people, but I am sure it will happen in 20-30 years. But it would require a different thinking in the programming.

  25. Today Lars played 6.Qc2 (Anti meran) Against Dreev’s Meran… while in his book he recommends BG5 lines… This shows mistrust.Although I have the book,I am not sure now if should use this analysis :/

  26. @King
    Perhaps he varied from his published recommendation so as to avoid anything Dreev might have prepared for him. After all, Dreev is not only an an extremely strong player but also a leading expert in these lines. Why show him your hand before the game? To me that just seems like a perfectly sensible practical decision, not an admission that the published lines are untrustworthy.

  27. @King
    We have been over variations of this low level of argumentation many times.

    First of all, when we play tournaments we are not simply advertising boards for our opening books.

    Secondly, we might feel differently on one day than another.

    Thirdly, there are players you might want a big fight with and others you do not.

    Lars was clearly happy to draw with Dreev, so no piece sacrfice today.

  28. A new picture of “Nessie” in the Scotsman today! However John Shaw has managed to upstage it with a pdf extract from “King’s Gambit” now available for download!! Will “Shergar” be running at Ayr today???

  29. Lars Schandorff answered 1 d4 with 1 .. d5 today, that shows mistrust too! Scandal! I want my money back! In fact, after the Indian Defences volume is out, Lars Schandorff should be obliged contractually to resign whenever white plays 1 d4!

  30. Abramov Anjuhin



    – new edition of Max Euwe’s “The Middlegame 1&2”, a all time classic

    – pawn play

  31. Abramov Anjuhin


    Here are my suggestions for GM Repertoire series and a possible authors:

    1. DUTCH LENINGRAD by GM Vladimir Pavlovich Malaniuk (Malanyuk) from Ukraine, born July 21, 1957; current Elo 2523, peak Elo 2586;

    2. ALEKHINE’S DEFENCE by GM Artashes from Armenia, born 21 January 1967; current Elo 2505, peak Elo 2614;

    3. SICILIAN DRAGON by GM Alexander Valeryevich Khalifman from Russiab, born January 18, 1966, former FIDE World Chess Champion; current Elo 2621, peak Elo 2702;

    4. PETROV’S DEFENCE by GM Artur Mayakovich Yusupov, born February 13, 1960 in Moscow, current Elo 2608, peak Elo 2645;

    5. RUY LOPEZ, BREYER DEFENCE GM Boris Leonidovich Avrukh, born 10 February 1978, Kazakhstan; current Elo 2605, peak Elo 2668;

    6. SEMI-SLAV DEFENCE by GM Alexey Dreev, born 1969; current Elo 2677, peak Elo 2711;

    7. QUEEN’S GAMBIT DECLINED, LASKER DEFENCE AND TARTAKOWER (MAKOGONOV-BONDAREVSKY) SYSTEM by GM Alexander Genrikhovich Beliavsky, born December 17, 1953, Russia, current Elo 2609, peak Elo 2679;

    7. NIMZO-INDIAN DEFENCE by GM Valery Salov, born 1964 in Wrocław, Poland, current 2644, or GM Ulf Andersson, born 1951 in Sweden, current Elo 2569, peak Elo 2641.

    As can you see, they are all for Black player cause Avrukh and Marin covered 1.d4 and 1.c4, and it’s up to you to cover 1.e4 🙂

    I hope you find my stuff useful 🙂

  32. I think that Khalifman had enough for writting books. At least this is what i saw in the website of chess stars. Also Dreev has already written books on Semi-Slav for them. So, i dont think that Khalifman and Dreev is possible. Kasparov must have some kind of contract with everyman (i think).

  33. Please also Kramnik on the Berlin, Anand on the Rossolimo Sicilian, Aronian on QGD, Anish Giri on the Petroff and Carlsen: “GM non-repertoire 13: getting a position”.

  34. Hi,
    I think, Dorian Rogozenko’s “The Sveshnikov Rereloaded” (maybe as GM repertoire) should be added to the wish list.

  35. We need a book othe Classical Sicilian first!

    Lines with …g6 and…e5 against Be2, f4 and g3
    A couple of lines against Bg5 (8…Bd7 and 7…Be7) and Bc4 (5…e6 and 5…Qb6)

    I DO believe in Santa Claus 🙂

  36. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I think someone may have said this here before, but it would be excellent if Avrukh wrote a GM Repertoire Breyer Spanish repertoire book, for example starting with 4…Nf6 or 5…Be7. Also the 1. d4 Sidelines GM Repertoire says for September 2012, is this still expected?

  37. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Very good, I suppose this is a big book, but I suppose King’s Gambit will be larger? 😀

    I have problems playing against the line 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bg5 Bg7 4. e3 0-0 5. c3 d6, probably I lose much more than I win against this line, against which I have to play quite often a few years ago. Another line against which I have problems is the 1. d4/2. e3/3. f4. Strangely I have more problems playing against the Torre and Colle than the main line Grünfeld…

  38. @Jacob

    Is this anti-sicilian book a repertoire for black or white?And may I inquire if who is the author?I hope that there is a line for black against the Morra Gambit.

  39. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Had Ftacnik finished GM6a for this autumn then? If so was it slightly earlier than in the publishing schedule?

  40. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We are working on it. It is really a team effort where we are trying to make the best possible book. Unfortunately we have prioritised the King’s Gambit, Judit’s book and other things much higher, so we have not done as we should on this book 🙁

  41. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I am not sure if this is the experience of others, but I have to play against the anti-Sicilian systems much more frequently than I am able to play the Najdorf, so at least it is good to have one full GM Repertoire book on the anti-Sicilians. I would not mind if GM6a were even more than 400 pages for anti-Sicilians alone, since I need quite some help playing against these systems.

    I do not know what the priority order of the publishing of these group of books are, but if GM6a is for autumn, then I suppose GM6b is for next year? Is Playing the French book in a higher priority than GM6a/b? At least then I can study the French in the meantime.

  42. A typo in the Indian Defenses contents page.
    Reply in dutch 2. … c5 is there twice (page 180 and 189)

    Hope it can still be repaired

  43. @Joeri

    Thanks, but sadly too late. It is a curious one as the contents are correct on the first page of the chapter. In copying this text to the contents page at the front of the book, somehow 2…g6 has changed to 2…c5. It appears the guilty party did not copy-and-paste, but instead typed a chess move into the book. This is verboten.

  44. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I meant if GM6a is to be published for this year autumn, would it be that Playing the French shall be published, both before GM6b and at some point this year? The brochure with which I received in my order of Playing the Queen’s Gambit has the Playing the French book in bold font in the publication listing.

  45. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Excellent, I remember approximately last middle of December I received the GM10 Tarrasch book and it was a great winter/end of year present (a present which I bought for myself). Hopefully same for Playing the French 🙂

  46. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I will anticipate the French book especially, since I think this will be my main second defence against 1. e4 now. Maybe if Nikos is here he can add some information about the book and its progress too? The analyses in GM10 were extremely deep so I feel this book will be the one to which I look forward to most to be published this year.

  47. We’ll have a nice suggestion in the Steinitz (and maybe more than one), a Mc Cutcheon chapter that will provide solid solutions (in many places the theory is a bit shaky) and definately …Qxd5 against the Tarrasch where we maybe give also multiple solutions.

  48. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Nikos is very excited about the ideas he is finding (or sharing for the first time after having them lying around for years), but I am more of a been there, seen that, guy that just looks forward to get into deep analysis of the critical positions. I am sure the book will be excellent.

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Nikos Ntirlis

    What is your opinion concerning the variation 5…Qb6 6. a3 c4 against Advance Variation? I usually play this but it seems not many play this, similar to how I have always played 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 against the Tarrasch in the past, a line with which I have not seen as many games recently.

    I think someone mentioned in a different part of the blog about the line with the …Bd6/Bxh2 in the 3…c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 Tarrasch, where White plays some Nxg7 sacrifice sometimes and there are many long theoretical variations, is this the line on which you are working or a different one?

    Also good to see McCutcheon included in the book, although there have not been many books on 4…Be7, seemingly more with McCutcheon. Which lines in its theory are you considering to be critical?

  50. In Mc Cutcheon the retriet to c1 is very critical.

    In the Advance the …c4 line is fine, but with the the Queen being on b6 i prefer other solutions. The …c4 line is optimal with the Queen still at d8.

    In the Tarrasch line with the Knight sac you now and Patrick (if i am not mistaken) in the past have mentioned here in the blog, my opinion is that Black is fine and he has to know only 2-3 short lines while on the other hand White has to memorise a lot more in order not to lose on the spot. Of course at the end the whole line is a draw but i am not sure if in practice this is so important. In the theoretical sense it is a success for Black of course and not somewhere you should go with White to get something real. If this line will be at the book is not something it is decided yet. I fully trust Jacob taking the right decisions about what will finally make it in the book. Please allow me to quote John Shaw at this point: “No other chess author has won all these prizes. Jacob is the winningest chess author in the world!”, so who couldn’t trust him? 😀

  51. Sorry for the double post but i forgot to answer to this. There was a point when i was trying to make …Be7 in the Classical to work (instead of the Mc Cutcheon) and i think it was after watching the very good chessbase DVD by Ari Ziegler. But, at the end i gave up. It is not only that White is better but also the positions didn’t appeal to me. I see now that Eingorn (a man i don’t know but i respect very much) has written a book that covers this line for Black. In general Eingorn’s coverage of the French was good (but maybe not so in the other parts of the book, although it is not his analysis that is responsible for that, but mainly the sub-optimal opening systems he tries to make work) but it was admitely a bried coverage of the opening (you cannot do better in so much limited space). So, in this book he has analysis on the …Be7 if you are interested in this. But, please dont ask me to recommend this and offer coverage. I cannot do somehting i don’t believe in it.


    @Nikos Ntirlis

    Nikos, how many pages shall “Play the French” have? I can hardly wait for it! Till few weeks ago I had strong prejudice against French Defence as boring, passive and unambitious opening, until I bought Vitiugov top-notch book “French Defence Reloaded” where he states that you can play this opening in tactical style also 🙂

    PS You seems to be strong analyst, can’t you clinch FM title in few months in order to silence doubters in your strength which was so far attributed to your chess engine.

  53. Thank you for your nice words. Yes, increasing my rating and take a title at “over the board” or corr play is something i didn’t care of having a while ago but now this has been changed. The financial situation is Greece is partly responsible for this. I hoped that i’ll continue my studies and that i’ll have a job of a researcher that will give me enough money to live. This seems unrealistic for now, so taking chess more seriously became a more attractive option for me.

    About pages and dates please ask Jacob. But i imagine that it is not going to be a small book not a thick tome either.

    About Vitiugov. He is a great player and plays his stuff against really strong players as well. So, respect for this! His book is not bad at all. In is a great starting point of investigation but i think that our book will be of a different style.

    Actually this just came on me now. I have seen bad books in many openings but in the French i still haven’t seen a really bad book despite of French being an opening which is not at all easy to write about. For example looking at your computer output is the worse thing to do in the French. You have to understand “structure” and “piece activity” (for example what about the “bad French Bishop”?) and the interconnection of them which the PC hasn’t got a clue still.

  54. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Nikos Ntirlis

    I play the Najdorf usually but contemplate playing one half Najdorf and then one half French, which means a riskier, unbalanced opening and a solider opening. 4…Be7 is probably solider, as with 4…dxe4, than 4…Bb4 (McCutcheon), but probably if one wants a very complicated game, McCutcheon is preferable? I see 4…Be7 more in tournaments still though.

    Regarding the 4…Qxd5 Tarrasch, I have studied it before, but have never played it in a game, as I have usually played 4…exd5 5. Nf3 (5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Qe2 Be7) Nf6. I am unsure how often White plays the line with the knight sacrifice on g7 in actual tournament play, but I am not sure if for example, a 2100 will try to play this against a 2300 to draw.

    Is this French book similar to the setup of “Playing the Queen’s Gambit” in that it has complete games or will it be tree variations like in GM Repertoire?

  55. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    The book will be in the Grandmaster Guide series, which means that explanations and practical advise is more dominant than academic proofs (although we will analyse extensively of course). We will use some full games, but not feel bound by this structure.

  56. I believe I have the perfect idea for a complete white and black universal repertoire book for the solid club player. The London as white and 1…d6 as black heading for a Philidor or Old Indian (involving the delayed …e5 still getting played quickly – 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 (and the offbeat side lines such as 3 Bd3) e5 (avoiding the aggressive 4 f4 lines that 3…nd7 invites) and 1 d4 d6 2 c4 e5. i don’t know if there would be enough players interested in this approach to make it worth your while to create such a book put I have put a lot of thought into this for a long time to finally arrive at the conclusion this is the perfect repertoire. Ideas such as playing a London, Slav, and Scandinavian repertoire are not quite as practical nor as universal has been my experience. Playing a Hippo as both white and black is very universal and cuts it down to a bare minimum but is just too difficult to deal with.

  57. I meant the perfect repertoire in the universal/solid/playable all combined sense for the solid club player who wants to boil his repertoire down as much as is feasibly possible.

  58. Of course white can play 4 Nf3 after 3…e5 in the Philidor taking it back into more complicated lines but f4 was avoided and it’s still a whole lot less to learn and black’s ideas are mostly straight forward and black is quite soild.

  59. One last thing, I believe that 2 bf4 in the London should be the move order for such a book since white would be seeking to play the London as a universal setup and 2 Bf4 improves over 2 Nf3 in the London because white can in some key lines spend the extra tempo that he has from delaying Nf3 and use that tempo on the queenside to help offset quick attempts by black to take advantage of the white bishop being gone from there.

  60. Sorry to post so many times in a row, but it’s been a day since I posted the 4 posts above this one and something came to mind. I/m wondering if you might not consider enough time to have elapsed since Win with the London System (2005) which covered only 2 Bf4, and The Philidor Files (2006). To me that London System book was good but there were still too many variations in it. I believe London system and universal type players want a lot of instruction and guidelines and not much side games nor side analysis in the notes. The Attacking Manual books are a good example of the way I believe books should be written for club players and especially for system type players. The Philidor Files is a very good book, a better book than the London book in my opinion, as The Philidor Files had more explanation and less a analysis than the London did, but even that Philidor book doesn’t explain to the degree the Attacking Manual books do. So if a book were to ever be made for a repertoire of the London and Philidor/Old Indian I believe that if it was loaded with explanation in the way the Attacking books are it would be ideal for the club player and better.

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