Calculation won the ACP book of the year prize with one vote ahead of How I Beat Fischer’s Record. Sort of random and a bit undeserved, as Judit’s book is far richer than mine. But obviously people care most about improvement, so a training book always has an advantage.

This is not said to be ungrateful. I am terribly chuffed and proud and want to thank everyone who voted for me. I only say that it is a shame John and I did not vote, as we would have voted for Judit!

At the same time congratulations to Ruslan Sherbakov, who won the Chess Publishing members vote for the best opening book of 2012. Previously this was won by Avrukh and Marin. We are big fans of Sherbakov and think he is a worthy successor. If I am a worthy successor to last year’s winners of the ACP award, Nunn and Dvoretsky, I am less sure.

43 thoughts on “ACP”


    Jacob, first of all congratulations for the price ๐Ÿ™‚

    And now to my question… What do you sincerely think about Kaufman’s “The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White”. I bought it as a suplement to Schandroff’s “Playing 1.d4” books.

    Browsing trough the Kaufman’s repertoire I noticed succinct lines, and of the base of that I assume that’s intended for higher rated player, let’s say 2000 Elo +++.

    What do you think?


    @Jacob Aagaard
    And what about strengths and weaknesses in comparison with Scahndorff’s repertoire?

    By the way, any plans to see GM Rep 1….e5 Non-Spanish for Black in the autumn?

  3. Many congrats! I have “Calculation” sitting on my nightstand, and have slowly been working on it in the wee hours of the night, when I should be sleeping. I absolutely love the book, from the content all the way down to the elegant and cohesive cover artwork.

  4. Off-topic, and maybe it’s because I’m typing this when I’m sleepy, but…

    Some nice reviews of Yusupov’s series! However, the way they are described on Silman’s main page has thrown me once more into a state of confusion about the order one should read them! I thought 3-book series “The Fundamentals” all pertained to roughly 1500 and below and should be read before starting the 3-book series entitled “Beyond the Basics”?

    It sort of sounds on Silman’s page that it should read in this order: “Boost Your Chess 1 – the Fundamentals” THEN “Boost your Chess – Beyond the Basics” THEN “Boost Your Chess – Mastery”. I’m almost 100% positive this is not true, but someone please set me straight. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. @Seth
    Ray has the order right. Keep in mind that the ratings presented are absurdly low. I’d say that the orange books are perfectly suitable for someone who is already 1800 and I’d continue to recommend them up to 2000 at least (they’ll already know much of it, but working through the problems is valuable).

  6. dfan :
    Ray has the order right. Keep in mind that the ratings presented are absurdly low. Iโ€™d say that the orange books are perfectly suitable for someone who is already 1800 and Iโ€™d continue to recommend them up to 2000 at least (theyโ€™ll already know much of it, but working through the problems is valuable).

    Correct! I’m 17xx and the orange series is not “too easy” for me.
    I would say , begin with the oranges, at worst it will be a introduction to the others.

  7. @dfan
    I fully agree – even at 2200 (like myself) there are plenty of challenging problems, especially on strategy and positional play. The other topics are (for me at least) more about re-enforcing already existing patterns.

  8. We agree that the rating is just wrong. If you know all of the Orange books, you need to have a big nervous problem not to be 1800 in rating, let alone 1500.

  9. Given that Artur is Russian and considering the “What every Russian schoolboy knows” standards we should be happy that they are not rated nursery school – elementary school – high school

  10. In case some missing comments are noticed, I will just say that I deleted some content-free abuse. And the abuse was not even aimed at me!

  11. I am not sure where to put this post so here goes…I am play the Sicilian from GM6. I know the second edition is supposed to be out this year sometime…I think…Besides the line

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 b4 9. Na4 Nbd7 10. g4 which I am really looking forward too…Need some pros on how to play when my king ends up on f7.

    I am sure you will include plenty of analysis, and just so it’s clear I am not asking at this stage what it is…but I noticed a critical line being 10… h6 11. O-O-O Ne5 12. Qxb4 Bd7 13. Bf4.

    Anyway I have been playing a lot of blitz lines and one thing I notice is if an opp. starts to get tired of their positions say after a couple of games in a row or opp. who know that …b4 is coming and don’t like it, some of course respond with Be2 and castle short, but others play

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. a3 followed by
    8… Bb7 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. O-O-O when I have just been guessing and playing Nb6 and making up the rest as I go, not sure if this is best and was hoping you guys would include a small section about the move 8.a3 stopping the beloved …b4 and how best to handle the resulting position, I have had mixed results…But do see it enough to want to learn a good response, just wanted to put that suggestion out there.

    Thanks for all the great books this year…I am really looking forward to GM6 2nd edition!


  12. I kind of like 11…Qa5 or 11…d5 in the above position instead of allowing Qxb4 followed by Bf4.
    Although 11…Ne5 is the most popular.

    Found the following game entertaining.

    Hammer, Jon Ludvig (2380) vs. Airapetian, Tatevik (2268) 2006 0-1

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. g4 h6 9. Qd2 b4 10. Na4 Nbd7 11. O-O-O Qa5 12. b3 Ne5 13. Kb1 Bd7 14. Nb2 Nxf3 15. Nxf3 Nxe4 16. Qe1 Nc3+ 17. Kc1 Qxa2 18. Nc4 d5 19. Nce5 Qb1+ 20. Kd2 Ne4+ 21. Kd3 Bb5+ 22. Nc4 dxc4+ 23. bxc4 Bxc4+ 24. Kxe4 Qxc2+ 25. Kf4 Bb3 26. Bg2 Qxg2 27. Rd2 g5+ 0-1


  13. Gilchrist is a Legend

    3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 and 4…Bb4 can be a good combination depending on tournament situation. Perhaps 4…Be7 for solid formations and then a Swiss system win situation for norm or prize, 4…Bb4. Although 4. e5 is the more popular, and I would be interested in how Playing the French handles 4…Be7. There have been very few books on this line recently.

  14. You are planning a Grandmaster Guide on Nimzoindian (I read somewhere in your blog) – are there any plans of a companion Guide against 3.Sf3 and 3.g3?

  15. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I do not know which line is recommended in the French book (which states expected release in June), but the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 0-0 9. Be2 b6 I find very interesting. It would be interesting if this were recommended, especially since so many grandmasters have been playing the 7…Be7 line.

  16. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We are going 7…a6, but we have decided to re-analyse some things, just to be safe. I hope the book will be out in June, but I have been suffering a bit from burn-out the last few weeks and have to take a bit care of myself โ€“ as well as typeset both the KID and King’s Gambit books: 2 x 600+ pages…

  17. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    7…a6 is solid as well and has been more established than 7…Be7 since it seems that the latter has been popular only recently, although to be honest I think Black has too many options after 7. Be3 that are good to play.

    Also interesting is 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5, which is the other main option for White in the Classical. Then 4…Be7, probably one of the solidest lines in the entire French Defence. Since this has rarely been covered in French books (I think the last one was a book by Eingorn, but I do not want to mention too much of the other publishing houses here). The theory does not seem to change very often in 4…Be7, with games still relevant even though they are from the 1960s or 1970s. I do not know why it is not played more often actually. Do you expect the book to have some new overturned assessments from what had already been established in this line or is it all solid, well known lines?

    From what I remember so far and would guess for those that were not yet mentioned, the book will look something like this I suppose:

    Advance Variation (?)
    King’s Indian Attack: some fianchetto
    Exchange Variation (maybe 6. a3 c4?)
    Tarrasch: 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 with …Be7
    3. Nc3: Classical with 4. Bg5 Bb4 and 4. Bg5 Be7, 4. e5 with 7. Be3 a6

    Only my guesses based on what I have seen about it so far. Also if you have much work to do, I was wondering if QC hire for some extra staffing. I am sure there are many on this blog who live in Britain and would not mind working to produce QC books–one is then allowed to do a hobby of reading the book and working on it simultaneously..

  18. @Jacob Aagaard

    Since Kotroniasยด book is ready for typeset may I ask if he only covers the classical lines with …Nbd7 and e5 as he plays them himself or also the Panno/Yugoslav? In case of the former a page count of 600+ would be really overwhelming and somewhat impossible to digest – at least for me ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Jacob, are you aware of the flaws in Schandorff’s “Playing 1.d4 Indian Defences”, since Hansen had some remarks on checkpoint?

    I believe that the coverage of minor lines isn’t on high level, especially problems with transpositions in Dutch and other lines.

    But for me is a very good book, in the 2nd edition you gonna get 6 stars for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    I suggest, if you allow, that we readers make our remarks and suggestions for second release!

    Bye ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Gilchrist is a Legend

    4. Bg5 Be7 would be recommended with 4. Bg5 Bb4, but in the Tarrasch, it shall be 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5, with 4…exd5 only to show why he thinks that line is unfavourable. I am not sure what the Advance recommendation is though.

  21. @ Jacob Aagaard
    Looking forward to Attacking the Castled King by Gormally. When do you expect this one to be printed? Thanks.

    We read his review and there were things we did not understand/agree on. Such is life. I think there was something that we put in the newsletter and then there was something that was not correct. But it is half a year ago, my mind does not operate that far backwards!

  23. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Absolutely. Also I used to study 6. a3 c4 years ago and the game often reminds me of the Leningrad Variation (4. Bg5) of the Nimzo-Indian since the game is extremely closed and manoeuvring is of utmost importance. Since it is as such, theory is not very critical in terms of forced variations or move orders like the …Nh6 lines, so I thought that line would perhaps suit the principle of the book.

  24. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Also I think 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 0-0 8. Qd2 c5 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. dxc5 Nxc5 main line reminds me of a some sort of Taimanov English Attack, except not as sharp. Being a Sicilian player I find these quite easier to play.

  25. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Just another thing I noticed after searching some of E. Berg’s games in the database, I see the 11…Qc7 variation of the 3…Nf6 against the Tarrasch quite often and 4. Ngf3 the 8…g5 line I think, and Advance with 5…Qb6 6. a3 Nh6. Exchange I see 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 followed by castling queenside. Winawer I see both Poisoned Pawn Main Line and sometimes the 6…Qc7 line, but I suppose the repertoire would be Poisoned Pawn. I saw a 7. h4 Qa5 Winawer, transposing to the gambit line where White sacrifices d4, and from the 2006 EU Championship, the 7…0-0 variation with 8…Nbc6 and 11…Nce7, in which he won one game against Delchev. 7. Nf3 b6 reply to one of the other Winawer seventhmovealternatives. Perhaps it could indicate some possible options for his repertoire books. Obviously not all are conclusive, since he plays many variations, including 3. Nc3 h6 against Nadezhda Kosintseva and won..

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