Quality Chess Newsletter – Three new books, special offers and a British Champion

Dear Quality Chess reader,

On Friday 15th March we published three new books.

Grandmaster Repertoire 12: The Modern Benoni by Marian Petrov provides a complete repertoire for Black after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6. The repertoire is sharp and ambitious but not overwhelming in the demands it places on Black’s memory.

Strategic Play is the third in Jacob’s Grandmaster Preparation series. The chess is challenging and instructive with plenty of exercises to stretch your understanding. On a shallower note, Strategic Play has my favourite cover of all the books we have published.

Soviet Middlegame Technique by Peter Romanovsky is the latest in our Classics series. It is a fresh translation of what were originally two books – one on planning and the other on combinations. I prefer others to write our sales text for us, so GM Kotov on Romanovsky: “One of the best books in the world’s chess literature.”

Sales news: on our site we have a new range of special offers. The webpage shows the details but the general idea is that if you buy a set batch of books you get a big discount.

In chess news, I must congratulate our Quality Chess colleague, GM Colin McNab. Colin successfully defended his British Chess Solving Championship. It is an impressive feat, especially as the field included three World Champions.

The chess file (in pdf and pgn) includes a couple of the puzzles Colin solved, plus a few recent games. The games include one by me and one by Jacob – they are there as confessions rather than boasts.



John Shaw

Chief Editor

29 thoughts on “Quality Chess Newsletter – Three new books, special offers and a British Champion”

  1. Jerry Snitselaar

    Congrats to Colin. Finishing 1st in that lineup is quite an achievement.

    Looking forward to the Romanovsky book. I have the earlier 2 volume set, but your books are always very nice


    First review of Grandmaster Preparation Strategic Play: 🙂

    “In diesem Buch behandelt GM Jacob Aagaard das strategische Spiel, näher betrachtet geht es dabei um die Figuren, die Felder, Prophylaxe u.a.

    Sie mögen sich fragen, was ist denn der Unterschied zwischen positionellem Spiel und der Strategie? Aagaard gibt darauf im Buch Antwort und liefert gleich ein paar anschauliche Beispiele dazu. In insgesamt 5 Kapiteln und satten 304 Seiten demonstriert Aagaard einen Kurs in Sachen Spielstärkesteigerung. Dabei bleibt kein Stein auf dem anderen, jedes wichtige Detail wird untersucht.

    Sehr gut gefallen haben mir die vielen Erläuterungen und der flüssige Schreibstil Aagaards. Eigentlich wird es nie langweilig, ganz im Gegenteil! Das Buch ist voll mit interessanten Beispielen aus dem Schaffen der Großmeister, egal welche Seite man aufschlägt, überall bleibt man an einer spannenden Stellung hängen, zumindest erging es mir so.

    Jedes Kapitel bietet neben kommentierten Partien und Stellungen auch eine Menge an Trainingsstellungen. Die ausführlich besprochenen Lösungen bringen dem Leser die Sichtweise eines Großmeisters ein gutes Stück näher. Durch diese Ausführlichkeit prägen sich wichtige Momente besser und genauer ein! Natürlich ist das Buch schon recht anspruchsvoll und man sollte schon eine gewisse Spielstärke und Erfahrung mitbringen um vollen Nutzen daraus zu ziehen. Ich denke ab ca. 1900 kann man ganz gut einsteigen. Wer darunter ist sollte sich aber auch von mir nicht davon abhalten lassen, die 1900 sind nur ein ungefährer Richtwert.

    Auf alle Fälle macht es wirklich Spaß mit dem Buch zu arbeiten. Anschauliche und nachvollziehbare Beispiele und Stellungsmomente, die sich auch einprägen. Die Erklärungen sind auf hohem Niveau wobei sich Aagaard sichtlich darum bemühte, nicht zu sehr “abzuheben“.

    Für mich ein wirklich tolles Trainingsbuch das keine Wünsche offen lässt!

    Mit freundlicher Genehmigung

    Martin Rieger”

  3. My German is quite rusty, but this is really more than I was hoping for in the reception of this book!

    “To me this is really a training book that leaves no request remaining” is my shaky translation of the conclusion. Anyone giving a better one?

  4. More idiomatically in English, “In my opinion, this is a really fabulous training book that leaves me with no unfulfilled wish.”


    Jacob, do you have plans for:

    1. Grandmaster Guide for Black – 1… e5 vs 1.e4 (Classical Spanish?)

    2. Grandmaster Guide for Black – 1… d5 vs 1.d4 (Tartakower or Lasker QGD?)

    3. Grandmaster Guide for Black – English and all White tries


    And yeah, I forget to tell you that perhaps Kramnik was influenced by your GM Tarrasch when he yesterday demolished Aronian 🙂

  7. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I have been reading GM12 for the past few days, and I enjoy it. The lines are interesting, an th new added feature of presenting more than one line against several of White’s options I find innovative and useful, especially very critical main lines such as the Modern Main Line with 7. Bd3 Bg7 8. h3 0-0 9. Nf3 e.g. p. 128, “Although the main 9…b5 line is fully playable it will definitely not be to everyone’s taste. Black has several ways of avoiding it, and in this chapter we will discuss a few of them.” So the Classical has two lines for Black and the Modern Main Line two lines as well. I think this approach is good for a repertoire book as it not only caters to different playing styles, but also for purposes of preparation with regards to new novelties and/or specific opponent or tournament situation(s).

    I suppose this is somewhat extended to the French book, in that both 4…Be7 and 4…Bb4 are offered against the 4. Bg5 Classical. But with 7…Be7 in the 4. e5 line being extremely popular now, do you think this would be covered? It seems as if this line is enjoying a “Renaissance”..

  8. I used my daily 20 minutes (!) allocated to improve my English for translating the german review above. Not sure if my English is any better than your German, though 🙂

    “In this book GM Aagaard addresses the strategic part of chess. Looking closer he deals with the topics pieces, squares, prophylaxis etc.

    You may ask about the difference between positional play and strategy. In his book Aagaard answers this question and provides vivid examples supporting his case.Aagard´s chess improvement course comprises overall 5 chapters and and an impressive 304 pages. Each single important detail is investigated and not one stone will be left on another.

    I was very pleased by the vast amount of explanations and Aagaard´s lively style of writing. I got never bored, quite the contrary. The book is filled with interesting examples from grandmaster play. No matter what page you look at, you’ll face an exciting position, at least this was my experience.

    In addition to well explained games and positions each chapter contains plenty of training positions. The elaborate explanation of the solutions familiarizes the reader with the thought process of a grandmaster. This detailedness helps to memorize important moments. Of course this book is fairly challenging and the reader should have a certain playing strength and experience. I believe a rating of 1900 is a reasonable start, although players below should not be discouraged.

    In any case it is fun to work with this book. The clear comprehensible examples and positions will stick to your mind. Explanations are on a high level with Aagaard still managing to keep his feet on the ground.

    For me a truly great training book leaving nothing to be deserved.”

    Don’t hesitate to correct any flaws, although I don’t want to turn this into an English training blog 🙂

  9. What a great tournament, London 2013. Any chance of a tournament book with the quality of the San Luis 2005 book?

  10. JB :What a great tournament, London 2013. Any chance of a tournament book with the quality of the San Luis 2005 book?

    I would like to support this. Such a wonderfull display of fighting chess deserves another Marin classic.

  11. wok64 :

    JB :What a great tournament, London 2013. Any chance of a tournament book with the quality of the San Luis 2005 book?

    I would like to support this. Such a wonderfull display of fighting chess deserves another Marin classic.

    Please ……….

  12. As it’s the case with the rest of the catalogue, I have just bought GM 12 and the first line I was searching for was the one I have prepared for white in the recent past: …6Nf3 g6 7Qa4+… I can’t find it in the book. If so, I think it’s a bad omission in an otherwise interesting book. Maybe next newsletter?

  13. Anyone have some advice on a good way to play against the English, and 1.Nf3 these two openings are giving me some trouble and I would like to finally start to learn some good lines against them. Not asking for in depth lines, just point me in the right direction until QC come out with a book on these lines for black. All suggestions welcome. I play the Grunfeld and like to get dynamic play with lots of piece activity!!!

    Thanks for your suggestions!!!

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