A cracker of a catalogue

Folks, I hereby invite you to click the following link and witness our dazzling new 2013 catalogue. We’ve made plenty of changes, including new photos of our friends Hou Yifan and Boris Gelfand. Quotes and tag lines are all well and good, but the real stars of the catalogue are of course the forthcoming titles for 2013. Before any conspiracy theorists ask about The King’s Gambit – let me reassure you this title WILL be published as promised. The only reason why the cover photo doesn’t appear in the catalogue is that we have so many other books to publicize, many of which our customers will not yet know about.

Apart from the books themselves, we are especially pleased with our new cover designs. Canadian artist Jason Mathis has done superb work on Jacob’s Grandmaster Preparation series (as well as last year’s Mayhem in the Morra). Meanwhile our long-time cover designer Barry Adamson has produced a bold, striking design to complement the title of Axel Smith’s book, and generally done a sterling job with everything from the Tromp to Tal to Tiger.

Yes you read that correctly – Tiger Hillarp Persson will be back in 2013 with an updated version of his bestselling Tiger’s Modern. We decided to call it The Modern Tiger – clever eh?

91 thoughts on “A cracker of a catalogue”


    I’m deeply convinced that Quality Chess is THE NUMBER 1 in chess publishing!

    I had around 300 books, and lately I’m shuffling with cca 70 of them. You guessed it right – besides Kasparov’s, Jussupow’s and Dvoretsky’s ones all are from Quality Chess 🙂

    Let me summarize why they are No. 1:

    – top-notch analysis and authors
    – excellent layout and hardback production
    – a groundbreaking layout in Grandmaster Repertoire series
    – on their blog all questions are answered almost instantly! by authors and members of Quality staff. Where you get that?
    – Quality team listens to the readers! We also contributed to your right direction, haven’t we?
    – the bar of minimum quality of chess books is risen very high: no more database dump, lousy assessing of opening lines and selling a “warm water” to the readers.

    When you take into account everything what I wrote, then the following citation from the movie “The Chronicles of Riddick” can be used for all competitive chess publisher:

    “If you can’t keep up, don’t step up. You’ll just die. I’m sure God has his tricks, but getting out of places no one else can, that’s one of mine.” 🙂 🙂 🙂

    PS Danny Gormally’s “Mating the Castled King” is a workbook? How many exercises are there?

  2. Fat Ghost Cat

    I also think that Quality Chess is the best chess publishing company by far. I’m especially excited about the Modern Benoni and GM Preparation – Strategic Play books. But I would like to write my opinion about why I disagree about the King’s Indian books since I know that you care about opinions of your readers.

    When a new opening book by Quality Chess comes out, most people who buy them fall into one of two categories. There are players who already play that opening; and there are players who don’t play that opening but wanted to learn it for some time and when a Quality Chess book about it comes out, it is a good time to start studying it(That’s the case with me and the upcoming Modern Benoni book). However with the King’s Indian books, there will be problems for people who fall into the second category. You can get the first and second books and study them, but in order to play it, you will have to buy older King’s Indian books by other publishing companies or you’ll have to do your work with the database and engine by yourself. This kinda decreases a player’s enthusiasm.

    When GM Avrukh’s Grunfeld books came out, many people decided to purchase them and start playing the Grunfeld because they knew that they had a complete repertoire that they can trust but this won’t be the case with the King’s Indian books. You might say that the repertoire will be complete after the last book comes out, but the problem is not that there will be too many volumes, I personally wouldn’t mind buying 5-6 books for one opening but the problem is that there is a very big time gap between the books. So if a player waits for the last book to come out, he probably won’t have enough enthusiasm to study all 5 books since one or two of them is at least a year old and partly outdated no matter how deep and good the variations are. If you guys think this business model is good, I have nothing else to say since you have more experience and knowledge than anyone else and I’m sure you know the best. But if you don’t think it’s the best model but you’re doing it because the author wants it to be that way, in my opinion you should have more say about the books than the authors. It is good to let them write books in their own unique and creative way but sometimes their way is clearly not the best and you should have more power over it because you’re taking a bigger risk by publishing the book since you are covering all the costs of the business both during the publishing and at other times.

    Thanks very much for the very nice catalogue by the way 🙂

  3. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I like how my chess bookshelf looks similar to that of Hou and Gelfand, in that there are many QC books..except Gelfand has many books on his table..

    Then exactly two weeks from today GM12 will be published, followed by more books that I will end up pre-ordering..

    Still I think something like “The Brilliant Breyer Spanish” by Avrukh in a repertoire form would be a great project at some point in the future.

    Agreed though, the catalogue is brilliant in itself.

  4. Unfortunately I won´t have much time to study chess this year due to other commitments but I will certainly buy a lot of your upcoming books. Pump up your rating already sounds very good from the description.

    I suppose ´The Modern Tiger´ will appear in the second half of the year? Will the structure be the same as in the first edition?

    Hopefully all of the upcoming books will be released in hardcover…

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Jacob Aagaard

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    I sympathise and agree with the analysis. But Kotronias wanted it THIS way. We wanted him to write the books. I think there are decent books as the Bologan book around for those wanting a quick introduction. Maybe wenshould do a GM guide. But we do not have power over the authors beyons convincing arguments. And some authors want less commercial approaches and I want QC to be open for such people as well.

    However, I suspect this book will do quite well all the same…

  6. Jacob Aagaard

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    There were 20 or so books e Gelfand did not have from us; chess for kids and parents and old books on openingsnhe never plays. So some are on e table for that. Others were taken down from the shelves. Yifan had only a dozen or so, for those who are curious. For some reason the Chinese have not gotten these books and have been Avrukhed for years!


    Danny Gormally’s “Mating the Castled King” is a workbook? How many exercises are there?

  8. Regarding The Modern Tiger: In the 1st Ed. I had the impression that the early move order explanations in the f4 system were spread over too many pages and somewhat inconsistent. Specifically the question when Nd7 should be played in the context of b5, Bb7, c5.
    Sorry for not being more precise, but it has been years ago and I no longer play this opening. My impression back then was that this lacked clarity and was even somewhat inconsistent as to whether there is a problem with one move order or the other. So maybe you want to double check that the new book includes some clear prose on this. 😉

  9. Helo Aagaard, I want to ask you some things that I think might be interesting in relation to Positional play book.

    Why in the chapter Pieces samples only two or at most three examples in each section? For example, in the section of Exchanges, only one game and one sample position. Do not you think that would integrate better with more examples?

    A hug!

  10. Because, well, you say in the chapter EXCHANGES that you can not do much research, and I wonder why? Do not we have a grandmaster preparation? Why not extend or make some examples in a matter as important as the exchanges?

    It also happens in profylaxis, there are few examples.

  11. Michel Barbaut

    Hi QC team,
    Nice stuff coming in 2013 but maybe I’ve overlooked something but I don’t see anything about Nimzo-Indian defence … a GM Repertoire book will be very useful. I (we ?) hope to see a book on this opening with sound positional variations as well as sharp ones on every variations , this way we have the choice to play like we would like. I do not remember a recent good book on this opening ( I mean for > 2000 elo players). Any chance ? Your turn to play ! 😉

    1. We have been trying to bring out something on this for years and we are still trying. Actually 2013 might be the year we are successful.

  12. Aagaard, I commented that I have a doubt about my opening repertoire.

    I spent years playing 1.e4 but now I have decided to switch to 1.d4 and play schemes “Catalan” of 2.g3 because I feel very comfortable in the positions where maneuver.

    With black, play the King’s Indian and I will combine it with the Tarrasch, what do you think? And, on the other hand, the French game with black but I want to combine with another opening, or the Najdorf Sicilian or Spanish, which recommend you if I like more the positions where maneuvers? Also, I think a player intuitive.

    I have 2185 Elo, if it’s any time to recommend something.

  13. Many people here in Spain, have doubts on this issue.

    I have a coach one hour a week, is called Neuris Delgado, a Cuban GM.

    What do you think is the best thing to do with a coach one hour a week? Openings or other things??

    A hug!

  14. I mean, I have almost 2200 elo.

    What should I work with my trainer one hour a week?

    What can you advise me?

  15. I would avoid wasting precious GM-training time on trivial things like opening theory and tactics patterns. All the theoretical stuff can be looked up in books and DBs, followed by a check with the computer.
    As a 2100 player I would ask him to concentrate on stuff which actually improves your game. I would also ask him to send you the positions via email a few days before the training, so that you can prepare at home.
    Everything in the GM Prep series or the Attacking Manuals would be candidates.

  16. I understand.

    What would be ideal for a young coach like me elo of 2185? Start by calculating, positional play …? I mean in terms of class time I have with the coach.

  17. Aagaard, do not you think a coach can help you train the calculation or estimation technique?

    Therefore, and finally, Aagaard, I have an hour and a half a week with a trainer GM, do you best to train positional play with him?

    According to you, the openings and the calculation I can work better at home. not?

  18. Hello Mr. Aagaard, I wonder if it is a good idea in general to concentrate on one part of chess skill for too long without working on other aspects as well. For example working through Calculation in one go. I think one begins to think in a special modus and because of that the thinking process is unbalanced. Too much focus on calculating variations and not noticing positional ideas in a balanced way. So I think it is best too work with Calculation and Positional Play simultanously. Have you made a similar experience or do you disagree with my opinion?

  19. Ok, fine.

    I base most of my training in the ideas of your books and, for me, are a very important author in my chess training.

  20. In the catalogue (which I like btw) some of the opening books have an icon in the bottom left hand corner on their cover (eg both John’s e4 books do, but the book on the Tromp does not). What is this icon – I don’t recall seeing it before.

  21. George Hollands


    You mentioned previously that the GM Rep Slav book was delayed due to technical issues. I’m assuming this is an author issue and not that the Slav is busted? 🙂

    Anyway, just wondered what the chances were that this book will be out in 2013? It’s been on my hotly anticipated list for months now!

  22. George Hollands :
    You mentioned previously that the GM Rep Slav book was delayed due to technical issues. I’m assuming this is an author issue and not that the Slav is busted?
    Anyway, just wondered what the chances were that this book will be out in 2013? It’s been on my hotly anticipated list for months now!

    Hi George,

    I think “technical issues” was me rather than Jacob. Your guess was correct – the Slav remains unbusted, as far as I know.

    Will a book by us on the Slav appear in 2013? We don’t know, so the best guess is no. Sorry.

  23. @jmws
    They are nice covers. I’m also somewhat fond of the bizarre covers that Olms puts together, like for the Kortschnoj books or Sveshnikov’s French Advance book with the big chicken on the front!

  24. I love Olm’s covers for Dvoretsky’s books as well as those from the Grand Master Preparation series, Chess Tactis From Scratch, Advanced Chess Tactics and Mating The Castled King.

    By the way, is the Yusupov series in hardback made with the same kind of paper as CTFS in hardcover? Because the latter is kind of thin which I find really cool being it 300 pages long.

  25. Kostas Oreopoulos

    Besides anything else, OTB chess (over the board) requires some “hardware” skills. The most important of those is memory, memory and memory.

    You dont need to memorize just openings. Recalling your own analysis, your games, your mistakes… your… requires memory.

    It might be obvious with someone that has the memory skills, but not everyone has them.

    So don’t expect to go up the ladder the same way someone else does. Its like being 150cms and wanting to play Pivot in the NBA. You can’t. The big difference is that its obvious and you see it too

  26. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    With the forthcoming French book for April, maybe a poll for the Tarrasch, Steinitz, and/or Advance would be interesting, e.g. which does one prefer after 3. Nd2, 3…c5/4…Qxd5, 3…c5/4…exd5, 3…Nf6, 3…Be7, 3…a6, etc. for 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3, 7…a6, 7…Be7, 7…cxd4, or 7…Qb6, Advance, after 5…Qb6 6. a3, 6…Bd7, 6…Nh6, 6…c4.

    1. And the other 50% will be seperated between various systems and to a great extent be open source and generally easier to hack. Given our limited resources, maybe not so strange?

  27. @FM To Be
    All our books have been on the same type of paper for the last few years. There was a few exceptions two years ago (Alterman Gambit Guide 1, Champions of the New Millennium – but that paper was discontinued), but otherwise it has been the same since 2009 as far as I recall.

  28. @FM To Be
    I do not like the Olms covers. Also I do not like the inflexibility of the paper. I think New in Chess have some nice designs from time to time and in general look good. Some Russell covers are decent. I really like the Dangerous Weapons design. But I hate the paper. It is all air; but I think this might be deliberate to make you feel that a 200 page book is big; while Grandmaster vs Amateur at 176 pages look very slim. Empty calories anyone :-).

    I will make a poll about design. It will be interesting to see how the taste is divided.

  29. Jacob, which books from Quality Chess catalogue can be read without using a chess set?

    I have Calculation and Positional Play and they can definitely be read without a chess set; I assume this will be the case for the remaining books in this series.

    On the other hand, opening books, Suba’s book on positional sacrifices and Psachis’ book on tactics all require a chess set for me.

  30. @Paul Brøndal
    Adding to this, I am curious, Jacob, whether you would recommend going through these books without a chess set? Yusupow strongly advices to use a chess set for his series. Any thoughts on this? How much do yo ‘lose’ by going for the suboptimal?

  31. The poll on the 2013 catalogue has “1.e4 vs the Sicilian” in it. That’s a trick question, isn’t it? As far as I can see it’s not in the catalogue, while the similar “Playing 1.e4 — Sicilian & French” has its own option in the poll.

  32. @Paul Brøndal
    It is really up to each person. I think it depends on so much. I know a lot of GMs who become deeply surprised when you tell them that people use chess sets when they read books; while other GMs would not consider reading a book without a chess set. Really, there is no common factor.

    I try to write so that they can be read without a board. Not all do; and this is their right.

  33. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    What do you think of the odd move 6…Qd7 in the 3…c5/4…Qxd5 Tarrasch (I hope this line has a name since it is annoying to call it as such repeatedly)?

  34. Jacob Aagaard :
    @Remco G
    No, two different books, two different authors, two different formats, two different repertoires, two different styles.

    @ Jacob Aagaard
    Any hint as to the reportoire you may take in your e4 v sicilian book?

  35. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I do not know much about it, but I suppose one idea is …Nc6 and if Nxc6, …Qxc6, without any Nb5 attack on the queen? I remember Nikos saying that he analysed something for the French book not involving …Qd6.

  36. Ramon :

    Ramon :

    Ramon :

    Ramon :
    Hi there,

    I would really like to know If the kings gambit is ever coming!
    Half year ago John Shaw was not allowed to do anything else but working on that book.
    I only see every month a new postponement in the release date. What is going on?
    Yours truly,
    Ramon van Beemdelust

    1. Getting closer. John has not worked on much else for the last three months, when I made that statement. The book is big and John deserves gratitude and respect for his work, not disappointment and anger.

  37. Question: Why another book on Tal ?

    I really think his best games are well-known enough and analyzed to death.

    I would be really interested in reading (and buying) books focusing on other well known or creative GMs…say, Larsen (especially after 1970), Velimirovic, Ljubojevic, Kortchnoi (his other games besides his recent 50 White and 50 Black best games collections), Portisch and several more.

    A compilation of their best or most interesting games would be of great interests to me.
    I would be happy to put in an advance order for such books.

    1. The choice of books are not always fitting with everyone’s desires. Luckily there is no obligation for people to buy all the books we make!

      This made sense to us and to Tibor, because his treatment is really different than what we have seen before. His books on Karpov were very different from anything seen previously and relatively successful – and more books have been written on Karpov than on anyone else, so from a commercial perspective, I am not sure it was a mistake.

  38. I am not at all angry and really do have enormous respect for the good work you all do!
    But I am tremendeously eager for the kings gambit book of John. I already changed my repertoire and I am now playing the gambit. But I realise there are no recent good books
    on the subject. The Konikovski book is not up to the qualitychess standard that I am now already used to. So I wait for the release date like a child waits for his birthday. And because of the several postponements I every time am a little disapointed. Sorry for that.

  39. Jacob Aagaard

    You will be very happy with John’s book. I am typesetting Chapter 1 at the moment. Out of the 22 chapters, only 5-7 are missing and they are minor ones. We are probably looking at 648 pages or so.

  40. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What will the companion release with that, Trompowsky or the King’s Indian book, unless they pair themselves, that or the French book.

  41. Slightly off-topic, but related to comments on the size of the KID book(s): I just read that Chess Stars are going to publish ‘Dreev against the Benoni’, counting around 250 pages (sic!). That’s almost as mnuch as Petrov’s entire book :-). How’s that for a white reportoire on a ‘minor’ (at least compared to Nimzo, Slav, Semi-Slav, Grunfeld and KID) opening? If you ask me it’s bordering to madness :-), but I’ll postpone my final judgment until I’v seen the contents…

  42. Gilchrist is a Legend

    So Trompowsky/Κοτρονιας King’s Indian is the first batch of books, then I suppose King’s Gambit/French. I will anticipate this coming June, many opening books this summer..

  43. Gilchrist is a Legend

    If the King’s Gambit book is circa 648 pages, then that page count is not very surprising either. In any case, more opening coverage in the book is always better. Even if one does not read the entire thing, it is still there for a reference.

  44. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    That’s true, but the difference is that the King’s Gambit book isn’t a reportoire book (it’s kind of the KG bible for the coming decennium), whereas the title of the other book suggests it is a reportoire book. Maybe it comes down again to my inability to spot critical moments :-), but with such a dense reportoire I find it difficult to judge which variations to memorise and which not. I’d like to focus on critical variations but sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees anymore… If you take e.g. Dreev’s books on the Meran and the (anti-)Moscow, almost all variations seem critical to me :-).

  45. Gilchrist is a Legend

    True, but I do not remember all of the material I read anyway, even for GM Guide. Similar to learning 6. Bg5 Najdorf lines, I cannot remember the lines. But there are two GM Guides soon, I think, June, the French, and Trompowsky, which I did not expect. I think they require less memorisation, but there is also the two French volumes by Berg. I have no idea when those will publish, but since he covers distinct variations than Playing the French, then I suppose QC will basically have covered quite much of the French main lines.

  46. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Actually a large amount of repertoire books for different responses is quite interesting, perhaps one can only memorise the bold moves as was said for some QC books. For example, years ago, I remember reading Vigorito’s Nimzo-Indian book by QC centred on 4. Qc2. It was quite heavy material, but it was good I thought. Also there was Dearing’s 7. Nf3 0-0 8. Rb1 Grünfeld repertoire book. If QC made a repertoire series for French based on one volume for 3. Nc3, one for 3. Nd2, 3. e5 and 3. other I would definitely buy them.

  47. Nikos Ntirlis

    …and by the way, Vasileios beat Tomasevsky (a 2700+ opponent, memeber of the Olympic Russian team) yesterday at the Eur. Ch in Poland. His games are always interesting to watch.

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