Poll update – The best non-QC writer in the world is…

42 thoughts on “Poll update – The best non-QC writer in the world is…”

  1. @csaba
    Zurich 1953 in the version known in English was most likely written by his trainer at the time. At least this is a common opinion in Russia. Besides this, he was a stunning player.

  2. My Non-QC favourite authors(who are not in the list): Irving Chernev, Andrew Soltis, Matthew Sadler, Colin Crouch and Drazen Marovic.

    In the list Silman and Watson gave me the most useful books. Reassess, Endgame and French.

    In QC, Mihail Marin, Yusupov and ofcourse Jacob Aagaard 😉

    Incidentally Aagaard’s CB series on Nimzo Indian and Queen’s India defences are my first Chessbase video tutorials. After impressed my his tutorials, I went on a spending spree buying King’s Power Play and Muller’s Endgame course. All are worthwhile investments though. After reading/watching some of the books/ CB Tutorials of top players(Shirov, Anand and likes), I feel top GMs are not good at explaining chess to amateur players.

  3. There are of course a lot of names that could be included. I went for my own preference and asked out in the office.

    John said John Nunn I went for Gaprindashvili. The others said the author of the King’s Gambit, which I could not find on our shelves…

  4. Shurlock Ventriloquist

    “Many a man has been hanged on less evidence than there is for the Loch Ness Monster.” —G.K. Chesterton

  5. I think Eric Schiller should be on the list. If only I could convince all of my opponents to start reading Schiller’s Books, I would be 2600!

  6. You do yourself an injustice, if you fed your opposition a steady diet of Schiller; you would be ready to start hunting for young Norsemen!


    Jacob Aagaard :
    Zurich 1953 in the version known in English was most likely written by his trainer at the time. At least this is a common opinion in Russia. Besides this, he was a stunning player.

    Jacob do you have thoughts about re-publishing this amazing book? Last edition is very bad with old fashioned type-machine style. But you could resurrect it with GM Marin touch! I read his article about Zurich 1953 in one of New in Chess Magazine, this year I think. Well, I must remind you that Bronstein’s second was a KGB officer named Veinstein, and he was as strong as I am, around 2100 Elo 🙂

    Lately I’m contemplating on following Dvoretsky’s quotation:

    “Q: What is the most important thing to make progress in chess, apart from hard work?

    A: You should follow some principle of rational WORK…. Chess can be seen as a PRACTICAL SKILL, an occupation like riding a bicycle, or playing the piano, or something like this. HOW to IMPROVE? Like in any other area. You should follow good patterns, so STUDY good examples, good patterns, and train yourself. Very simple. Studying good patterns means studying good books, good articles, try to get the best out of it, this will help you to do best yourself. …It’s a natural part of normal chess work: TRAIN yourself. Because chess is NOT JUST knowledge, it’s ALSO skills. But skills don’t appear automatically if you don’t study something.

    Q: Are there more examples, like Lipnitsky’s book, of books that are very good but have not yet been translated into English yet?

    A: Maybe it makes sense not to mention books, but AUTHORS, because it is essential for any chess player to read good authors… So there are many really good books, and I recommend people to distinguish them from bad books and to read JUST GOOD BOOKS, NO OTHER books.”

    After reading this quotation I was perplexed because during last decade I was obsessed with buying of chess books, not paying attention to the quality of book or its usefulness. So during last few weeks I disposed around 100 superfluous chess books, and stayed surrounded by few dozen top-notch ones! And guess what, there are, inter alia, 30 on my book shelf by Quality Chess 🙂

    Another good principle besides the author’s competence is old Latin proverb “Multum, non multa”. The message of proverb is “much” instead of “many things”. The difference is between “depth, not breadth”, so the idea being that it is better to focus in on something in a thorough way, rather than spreading yourself thin with many things.

    Jacob, you’re high on “my” book-rating list, side by side with Dvoretsky Mark, Jussupow Artur, Kasparov Garry, Marin Mihai and Müller Karsten.

    But some of your crew members definitively don’t fit in mentioned two criteria. Sorry.

    Last but not the least, can you sincerely propose for the readers of this blog and Quality Chess books a list with only the best books for each chess area?

    Let me see how you shall differ my list 🙂

    – Weteschnik: Chess Tactics from Scratch
    – Aagaard Attacking Manual 1&2
    – Psakhis: Advanced Chess Tactics

    – Nimzowitsch My System yes
    – Lipnitsky Questions of Modern Chess Theory
    – Suetin Soviet Chess Strategy
    – Jakovlev Chess Blueprints
    – Bronznik & Terekhin Techniken des Positionsspiels im Schach
    – Marin Von den Legenden lernen
    – Sokolov Winning Chess Middlegames
    – Baburin Winning Pawn Structures

    3. ENDGAME:

    – Dvoretsky Die Endspiel Universität, 4th edition
    – Müller & Lamprecht Fundamental Chess Endings
    – Müller & Pajeken How to Play Chess Endgames
    – Dvoretsky Tragikomödien im Endspiel

    4. TRAINING:

    – Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500-1800-2100 Band I,II & III
    – Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 1-5
    – Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence 1-4
    – Matanovic: Anthology of Chess Combinations, 3rd edition
    – Müller: The Chess Cafe Puzzle Book 1,2 & 3
    – Hellsten: Mastering Chess Strategy
    – Aagaard: Practical Chess Defence; Verbessern Sie Ihre Variantenberechnung
    im Schach; Grandmaster Preparation – Calculation.

    I’m looking forward to read your answer, as well as comments of other chess fans on this blog 🙂

    There are a few titles here I would not include in my personal list; but overall I am very happy with this.

    I would definitely add a few titles: John Shaw: Quality Chess Puzzle Book, Aagaard: Excelling at Calculation and Excelling at Technical Chess, Marin: Secrets of Attacking Chess (Gambit).

    Besides this I would of course choose the English version of these books!

  9. A surprising omission.


    He wrote two really fun, creative and objective books to read even though I don’t play those openings.

  10. Jacob, I think the newest poll is flawed, the second option is “I would choose to buy the paper book if the price is the same”, that is not exclusive w/ the last two options. Maybe you could change it to “I would always choose to buy the paper book”, but that would be almost contradictory to the premise that the user is interested in ebooks in the first place.

  11. @csaba
    My quibble with the poll is that he talks about 5 or 10 euros off. Whether I would buy an ebook for x euros off depends on how expensive the paper book is to begin with. In other words, it’s a matter of percentage off, not euros off. If I buy a pattern of electrons with no particular physical substance, instead of paper and ink, I would expect to get about half off the price. Otherwise, I would 1) buy the paper book instead, or 2) buy neither.

  12. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I probably feel the opposite; I would rather pay €40 for a hardback version of a paper book if the demand for paper (physical) books begins to falter. For me I would rather not spend more than €7-8 for an e-book, but that is just my opinion (also considering that I am not very keen on technology and computers to do everything).

  13. Be warned!

    Fore free download on various sharing and torrent sites you have ALL Quality Chess books scanned in PDF format, and more than 120 Everyman e-books!

    I can see only a madman replacing the winning horse. If you want e-books buy it from other publishers, and if you want Quality Chess books you should stick to classic book in outstanding hardbound.

  14. I would vote for Alekhine and then John Nunn and then Aagaard’s “Excelling” series. I suspect Dvoretsky is the highest-regarded from a pedagogic point of view, but with my moderate rating (~2070 USCF) I am not a member of his target audience and I haven’t read Dvoretsky’s books so i can’t really opine on that.

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