Progress Report

I have been making the finishing touches on Attack & Defence and Endgame Play over the last two months. I know from experience that my opinions on the quality of the books are not going to be the same as the readership; for example, I like Positional Play most of the first three books, while the most popular is without a shadow of doubt Calculation. I think this is good news for the readers, as the two new books were always meant to be closer to Calculation than to the two positional ones. Sure, there are some exercises with a strategic/technical aspect, but a lot of the positions are very concrete and requires accurate calculation from the reader.

Most progressed is Attack & Defence. I think we are going to the printer in two weeks. At the moment I am finishing the last chapter, while John is polishing off Pump up your Rating. As John is hyper efficient and as the formatting of my book will be near perfect from my hand, editing should happen in a whirlwind.

We are looking at last week of August/early September for a joint publication of these two books. Axel’s is clearly the most original, but hopefully mine will do well as well, being a part of a series.

Looking further down the line, I saw on Facebook that Judit has finished rough draft for From GM to Top Ten. Marin still needs to have a look at it before it goes to us, so maybe this will not make it out in 2013, but only early 2014.

And after he has finished editing my book, John will continue on Playing 1.e4. Already a lot of work has been done on these books, but the masters hand is needed to finish them. Hopefully it will not take five years, but rather 5-6 weeks to finish the first volume.

Meanwhile Colin McNab has made great progress on Playing the French, written in Nikos’ voice, with my support. I am quite happy with this book and hope it will support our most important opening book of the autumn, Grandmaster Repertoire 14 – The French Defence 1 by Swedish GM Emanuel Berg. Andrew is a few weeks from the end of the editing of that one, so it seems likely we will have two books out on the French together in the second half of September.

This covers almost everything in the Coming Soon section so far. But I should also mention that Boris Avrukh, Victor Mikhalevski and Tiger Hillarp-Persson are all writing in between tournaments. As their last books for us were all masterpieces, we are very optimistic about their next projects.

116 thoughts on “Progress Report”

  1. Thank you for letting know us yout further plans…..but for sure I would love to know which books are following by Avrukh and Mikhalevski!

  2. George Hollands

    I hope so! I have been waiting eagerly for a GM Repertoire on the Slav since I saw some mention of it in an ancient publishing schedule.

    At the time I believe Nick Pert was the intended author but an Avrukh tome on the Slav would be fantastic.

  3. I know that Marin is very involved in the Polgar books, but I would like to see more of the books that he primarily authors.

  4. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I think Slav is a good possibility. Also Mikhalewski and Avrukh play the same openings quite often I noticed, for example Grünfeld, Spanish as Black, and Catalan as White.

    I thought Playing the French would be the most important, because of the 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 line and the 3. Nd2 c5 line. Or perhaps there are new lines for the Winawer book.

  5. GM Emmanuel Berg is playing in a correspondence tournament and I have white against him – a Winawer French – should be fun!

  6. Michael Wilde

    Speaking of GM6b…I have been looking at the line
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. g4
    and here the main move is 8…h6. This is not in GM6 but is covered in the Cutting Edge 6.Be3 Najdorf.

    But the more I look at the move 8…b4 in this position the more I like it, and it seems to stay more with the rest of the rep. in GM6.

    Too soon I am sure to talk about this, but just wanted to point out this obvious move that leads to positions that we who follow GM6 are used too.

    I wonder what the QC experts think of 8…b4 in this position

  7. Michael Wilde

    Or maybe we do get there in GM6 by transposition…I have to look again!!! I have been reworking through this great book and am always surprised at how many positions I was playing the incorrect continuations! I was spending a lot of time in the Anti-Sicilian section because so many play these lines in blitz, and even here I was making simple mistakes. Have to sharpen up… I love this book, and looking forward to another edition!!!

    After the release of Playing 1.e4 I plan to see the Sozin Bc4 against my beloved Najdorf much more often, and this is another tricky line where it is easy to get your lines crossed(Especially in blitz!!!).


  8. Michael Wilde

    I guess you can play 8…h6 followed by …b4 too. After say 9. Qd2 or 9.h4
    But 8…b4 holds up h4 which I like!

    I love this …b4 pawn move and like to play it sooner than later!

  9. Michael Wilde

    Please ignore the above post!!!!!

    These lines are totally covered in GM6, very sorry for the confusion on my part!

    The line I was thinking of is

    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

    Where 10…h6 is the main move and the main continuation is 11. O-O-O Ne5 12. Qxb4 Bd7 13. Bf4 g5

    13…g5 being the move I am not crazy about.

    Going back I like 11…Qa5 better in this position or possible 11…d5 too.

    Sorry for the incorrect post above…Got my lines crossed again!!!

  10. I have always thought Bc4 was a good approach too. After all Fischer had a pretty good run with the Sozin, and chess wise his judgement was close to final.

  11. I predict the following! 🙂

    Marin’s book will be on the Traxler Countergambit
    Avrukh’s book will be on the Latvian Gambit

    Both will be GM Repertoires. Given the time it will take them to find solid lines for Black, the Traxler Countergambit will be GM Repertoire 573 and the Latvian Gambit will be GM Repertoire 2491.

  12. From about Sabino Brunello

    ” He won the Tata Steel (Group C) (2013) with an 11/13 score, one of the best performances in the 75-year history of the Wijk aan Zee tournament.”


  13. And with this win today Caruana makes it to 2800 on the live ratings list!!!

    [Event “Dortmund”]
    [Site “Dortmund GER”]
    [Date “2013.07.26”]
    [EventDate “2013.07.26”]
    [Round “1”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [White “D Andreikin”]
    [Black “F Caruana”]
    [ECO “D80”]
    [WhiteElo “2727”]
    [BlackElo “2796”]
    [PlyCount “86”]

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nxd5 Qxd5 7. Ne2 O-O
    8. Nc3 Qd6 9. Be2 c6 10. O-O Nd7 11. Ne4 Qc7 12. Bd2 Nb6 13. f4 a5 14. h4
    Be6 15. h5 Bd5 16. Ng5 f6 17. Nf3 f5 18. Qe1 Nc4 19. hxg6 hxg6 20. Qg3 Qd6
    21. Bxc4 Bxc4 22. Rfc1 Bd5 23. Ne5 Bxe5 24. fxe5 Qe6 25. Kf2 Kf7 26. Rh1
    Ke8 27. Rh6 Rg8 28. a4 Be4 29. Kg1 Kd7 30. b4 Rh8 31. Rxh8 Rxh8 32. bxa5 g5
    33. Rf1 Rh4 34. Rf4 Rh5 35. Rxe4 fxe4 36. Bb4 Ke8 37. Bc5 Qh6 38. Qg4 Rh1+
    39. Kf2 Qh4+ 40. Qxh4 gxh4 41. e6 Ra1 42. g4 Ra2+ 43. Kg1 Re2 0-1

  14. Heloo everyone! Dear Jacob,I want you to do me a favor… in this moment I have this books: mayhem in the morra,all grandmaster preparation {1-3} and I will buy this books: dvoretski endgame manual , Artur Yusupov series, quality chess puzzle book, grandmaster preparation {4-6} playing 1.e4 grandmaster guide/repertoire etc.
    I want to suggest me a work plan that includes opening, middlegame and endgame!
    I work for four hours daily ! Thanks in advance!

  15. @Daniel: I think I take that one on my shoulders, for Jacob to be able to work on his books.
    My work plan for you consists of working the first book through. Then working the second book through. Then working the third book through … and finally you arrive at the last book. Then you work it through.
    Don’t forget to play and this work plan guarantees you a couple of hundred elo points.
    (Except if you are already a GM)

  16. Hi, Phille ! One question, you refer to the grandmaster preparation series or Artur Yusupov series?

  17. @Daniel Peter
    Make sure that you put in two hours of Yusupov in those four hours. Let your enjoyment of the openings lead that part of the training.

    Importantly: end the training session with 20-30 minutes of solving. The point is that when you are tired, you will grow more endurance.

  18. I have a little problem!
    I do not know what to start a training session{openings, midllegame,endgame} and what to finish{ openings, middlegame, finals}! I need help!

  19. Martin Rieger critisizes “Playing the Trompowsky”:

    “Fazit: Ich weiß nicht, was den Quality Chess Verlag geritten hat ohne vernünftige Abschlussprüfung solch ein Buch vorzulegen. Das Buch gleicht einem Auto, bei dem in der Werkstatt vergessen wurde, die Radmuttern fest zu ziehen. Der ahnungslose Käufer/Kunde wird grob fahrlässig auf die Reise geschickt. Schon an der nächsten Kurve können sich die Räder lösen und einen schweren Unfall verursachen. Ebenso kann man, nein eigentlich ist es erzwungen, mit diesem Buch schweren Schiffbruch erleiden. Halbgare Analysen und Wunschvarianten machen aus einer Randeröffnung noch lange kein Angriffsrepertoire!”

  20. A quick translation:
    “Conclusion: I don’t know what came over Quality Chess Publishing when submitting such a book without proper examination. The book is like a car where the workshop forgot to firmly tighten the wheel nuts and carelessly sends the unsuspecting buyer/customer on his journey. Just around the corner the wheels can come loose and cause a serious accident. Similarly you may – no, actually is forced – to suffer with this heavy shipwreck of a book. Half-baked analyzes and wishful variations do not turn a marginal opening into an attacking repertoire!”

  21. From what I’ve seen from the book so far (I’ve only read it in the chess shop), I must say that he’s got a point. As a Trompowsky-lover, I had high expectations and Quality Chess always satisfies me, but some of the latest books I must say have dropped the level of quality. I have Petrov’s Benoni book in mind. That said, most books are still chocking me on how extensive and good they are (Kotronias & King’s Gambit just as examples).



    I’m the same opinion as Dvoretsky:

    “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 distuingish them from bad books and to read JSUT good books, no other books.”
    Mark Dvoretsky,, 2012.

    This is certainly true. I trust only the hard ones. Nobody should fool us on the basis that he writes for Quality Chess. These guys don’t have time to be everywhere and check everything. And by the way, who is this IM, I have never heard for him. So why should I buy his book? I won’t! But I’ll buy books written by Avrukh, Marin or Aagaard by default. Sorry Mr. Shaw, I don’t trust you 🙂

  23. Why judge a book on whether or not you have heard of the author? When Aagaard wrote the easy guide to the panov-botvinnik attack, most hadn’t heard of him. Everyone has to start somewhere. Some people have their best writing early on and then proceed to write garbage. These tend to be those with excitement early on followed by a lost interest and you can see it in their writing, whether it be chess, fiction, whatever. Stephen King comes to mind. His early stuff is so much better than his later garbage. Others start off slow, but their passion to continue writing carries them. Aagaard fits this category, as the panov book was full of holes, and while he tried to fulfill a repertoire for white and, black, which was also confusing sometimes which chapters were for which color, it didn’t work. Would have been better off writing for one side or the othet, or else a complete, objective work. Since then, his writing has only gotten better. So before you knock a writer simply because you never heard of him or don’t trust him, give him a look before you judge, and use a 3 strike rule. The panov book was a failure in my opinion, but one failure does not make a bad author. You see repetitive garbage and only then should you write that author off. Only author I officially refuse to buy a chess book from is Eric Schiller.


    Although there certainly are names that always produces quality work (such as the ones you mentioned), I don’t necessarily think a 2300 player would produce something with less quality than if someone with 2600+ did the work. For example, Charles Hertan’s book “Forcing Chess Moves” got excellent reviews and is a favourite in many book shops, and he’s “just an FM.”

    I’m going to buy the Trompowsky book, simply because it’s a Trompowsky book and it’s been a long time since we had any new Tromp-books around.

  25. I wouldn’t like to criticize the language of the reviewer, but i like tha fact that he supplied with some variations. He may be right that the author maybe should have mentioned the possibilities the reviewer unearthed, but i am sure that if the author did, then there would be dozens of other interesting lines the computer could propose here and there which the author doesn’t mention. Also, if the computer says equality in a line, this doesn’t mean that the position is equal. I checked the reviewer’s first suggestion for example and i found myself in an endgame i’d love to play with White being down a piece for 3 mobile pawns. Also the other line with the “cheapo” of …a5 threatening a …Ne3 move, can be seen as certainly unconvincing, but OK only deep analysis can reveal the truth.

    The thing is that Pert didn’t write a repertoire for the hardcore correspodence players, but revealed his own repertoire to the public. And he is a respectable IM with lots of victims from his Tromp repertoire. Also, he has suggestions against every source that suggested something against the Tromp (or at least the sources he and the editors could find) and clearly improves the theory of this opening, which is in its core an attacking opening. So, the conclusion of the reviewer, based on 3-4 sidelines where still the play is rich with possibilities and White has attacking chances (unless someone with an organic and not an electronic brain likes to open up the position with his king at the middle of the board having nowhere to go!), that the author and QC in general “lied” about an attacking repertoire, is certainly unfounded. This is my opinion of course and i may be wrong based on the online translation of the review about what the reviewer had as a conclusion. Everyone has the right to his opinion, but such really strong opinions (calling someone a lier or someone that wants to deceive) should be based clearly on stronger statements.

  26. @Daniel Peter
    Hi Daniel,

    What you feel is most fun is probably the best place to start.

    If you read through my training tips you will find that the main emphasis is on quantity of training over a long period of time. You need a drive and enjoyment for your training to happen long term.

    The place to start is different from each person. My general recommendation to those starting out is to work on the things you like most the thing you like the least. For example: I hated playing against the French, studied it and won a number of crucial games against it. Or I was weak in endings and worked on it and won some great endings. But I am also good in attacking chess and tactics and keeping that going has been a great asset as well.

  27. @Patrick
    Obviously I disagree on the Panov book. Only, in 1998 engines were of very limited held. Still the book did what I wanted it to do – in 128 pages.

  28. @Marvel
    Although I am sure that Mr. Hertan is a fine individual and a good trainer, I personally did not love this book and was puzzled when it won awards. I judged it on its own criterias, as explicit expressed in the beginning. It did not live up to them. But his column in NIC was fantastic; it is a shame he stopped. I think he was getting better all the time, as anyone who does something seriously will do.

  29. @Phil Collins
    So one guy did not like one of our books. The Trompowsky is not our best book ever, but I still found it very interesting. Do I think White is better after 2.Bg5 if you continue analysing; probably not (to say the least).

    His use of language is a bit over the top, but I am sure that everyone will see that this is one person’s opinion and that he is allowed to have it.

  30. Hi Jacob,

    I wouldn´t take Martin Rieger too seriously. “All hat and no cattle” as the Americans say.
    Every time a new book is published, there comes GM aspirant “magic Martin Rieger” ELO ~ 2150 and gives the genuine truth.
    He´s really a high speed reader und seems to know everything – no matter of the subject – books about sicilian dragon; najdorf, kings indian; grünfeld , ruy lopez – he needs only one/two days to check 200 pages. A complete joke.

    I will buy the trompovsky book and I´m sure I will benefit from it.


    4637755 Rieger, Martin
    Federation Germany
    FIDE title None
    Rating: std. 2147
    B-Year 1970

    2013-Aug 2147 0
    2013-Jul 2147 0
    2013-Jun 2147 0
    2013-May 2147 5
    2013-Apr 2163 0
    2013-Mar 2163 0
    2013-Feb 2163 0
    2013-Jan 2163 0
    2012-Dec 2163 0
    2012-Nov 2163 0
    2012-Oct 2163 0
    2012-Sep 2163 0
    2012-Aug 2163 0
    2012-Jul 2163 0
    2012-May 2163 0
    2012-Mar 2163 0
    2012-Jan 2163 0
    2011-Nov 2163 0
    2011-Sep 2163 0
    2011-Jul 2163 0
    2011-May 2163 0
    2011-Mar 2163 0
    2011-Jan 2163 0
    2010-Nov 2163 0
    2010-Sep 2163 0
    2010-Jul 2163 0
    2010-May 2163 0
    2010-Mar 2163 0
    2010-Jan 2163 0
    2009-Nov 2163 0
    2009-Sep 2163 0
    2009-Jul 2163 0
    2009-Apr 2163 0
    2009-Jan 2163 0
    2008-Oct 2163 0
    2008-Jul 2163 0
    2008-Apr 2163 0
    2008-Jan 2163 0
    2007-Oct 2163 0
    2007-Jul 2163 4
    2007-Apr 2165 0
    2007-Jan 2165 0
    2006-Oct 2165 0
    2006-Jul 2165 0
    2006-Apr 2165 0
    2006-Jan 2165 0
    2005-Oct 2165 0
    2005-Jul 2165 0
    2005-Apr 2165 0
    2005-Jan 2165 0
    2004-Oct 2165 0
    2004-Jul 2165 0
    2004-Apr 2165 0
    2004-Jan 2165 0
    2003-Oct 2165 0
    2003-Jul 2165 0
    2003-Apr 2165 0
    2003-Jan 2165 0
    2002-Oct 2165 0
    2002-Jul 2165 0
    2002-Apr 2165 0
    2002-Jan 2165 0
    2001-Oct 2165 0
    2001-Jul 2165 0
    2001-Apr 2165 0
    2001-Jan 2165 0
    2000-Oct 2165 0
    2000-Jul 2165 0
    2000-Jan 2165 0

  32. @Gilmour
    I have always hated the reference to people’s person when you look at their work. Why not just study the work? The review was not greatly executed, but I am sure was the reflection of his general feeling about the book. He does not have to like it for us to sleep well, but I am happy that Richard has taken that approach in his defence of his book.

    I remember a debate between a young author and an older experienced author a decade or so ago, where the younger author disagreed with some of the older author’s opinions, while the older author pointed out that the younger author was an arse for doing so and that this attack on his own person was unjustified. (still baffled)

  33. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I see the Coming Soon section revised slightly, with the Rating and Attack/Defence for early September, and the two French books for end of September. I think I have good guesses for the variations in the French books, except perhaps for the Advance Variation for both.

  34. @Gilchrist
    I remember Nikos Ntirlis saying that his book will over c4 lines against the advance variation. I assume Berg will go for Qb6 lines. You will be able to check in a month 😉 !

  35. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Shall that be the case, that should be interesting. There are two lines with 6…c4 though–Black can play either 5…Qb6 or 5…Bd7 without transposing to either: 5…Bd7 6. a3 c4 7. Nbd2 Na5 with the set-up …Bc6/…Qd7/…Ne7/…Nc8/…Nb6 or 5… Qb6 6. a3 c4 7. Nbd2 Na5 with the set-up …Bd7/…Ne7/…Nb3/…Ba4/…Be7/…0-0-0. I know that 3…c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 is the line for the Tarrasch, but if I had to guess, probably a different line with an early …Be7 and then …Bd7, trying to save time on the …a6 main line.

  36. Gilchrist is a Legend

    “Andrew is a few weeks from the end of the editing of that one, so it seems likely we will have two books out on the French together in the second half of September.” Second half of September started today, probably soon, probably next week even…maybe. French Defence must be reinvigorated undoubtedly after these books.

  37. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Sounds good, hopefully the printer complies though. I wonder if it might be the largest French repertoire book so far. I am sure the excerpt shall be an interesting one like GM14 as well.

  38. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    All of these French books surely are very good. The new “Renaissance” will have started. Cannot wait for GM14 next week, the excerpt looks like Berg has some interesting choice of lines there.

  39. It will be sent to shops next Friday, the 27th. This means it will arrive the 1st October in the Netherlands, the day before in the US and the day after in the UK.

  40. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That is quite a remarkably quick delivery time internationally. Leaving 27/09 and arriving 30/09 in the USA and 01/10 in the Netherlands, even over the weekend. But it is slightly odd that the farthest destination (USA) have it earlier than Europe. Anyway looking forward to my hardback version of GM14.

  41. Can we expect an excerpt of Playing the French soon? Really looking forward to it.

    Furthermore, I saw a GM repertoire on the Slav will be published. Wondered whether a section on using the Slav against the English and Reti structures where white does not play d4 will be included. That would be very helpful, for it is lacking in most books on the Slav (Lakdawala being an exception, although his treatment is not very detailed and lacks some variations…).

  42. @SpecialCase
    Boris is already swamped with problems in the real slav, so I would not ask him to do more! We have a book on beating sidelines coming; though I am not sure we will include anything there.

    My article from Beating 1.d4 from 2002 is still very relevant. Just look at my games since then in the database and on Kramnik’s games before then and you will understand two things: 1) how to play these positions, 2) Kramnik is a bit better than I am!

  43. @Jacob Aagaard
    We have a confirmation then that Avrukh is writing the GM Rep book on the Slav :-). We already speculated he was, but good to have a confirmation. I’m very much looking forward to his book! I’m just hoping he will cover the main line with 11…g5 :-).

    As for the book on sidelines: would that by any chance be Mikhalevsky’s next project?

  44. For other readers: Jacob means the Everyman book Meeting 1. d4 (and actually 1. Nf3, 1. c4, 1. b4, 1. g4, etc, based largely on the Tarrasch defence but having two chapters at the end on Reti and other moves).

  45. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I was trying to understand what that post meant, I thought it was a typo…

    Anyway 11…g5 is good, but quite sharp and theoretical. I suppose the solid lines would not be considered (7…Nb6 or 7…c5), but perhaps, maybe both (or all three)? The latter do not require as much work as 7…Qc7/11…g5. They are also an alternative type of game.

  46. Why Avrukh and the Slav,we already have a 1.d4 2.c4 Black repertoire by Avrukh (Grunfeld) ..couldn’t he do one against 1.e4 (Breyer, or Classical Sicilian/Sveshnikov)

  47. Hi Jacob,
    when do we get an excerpt about the Playing 1. e4 books by John?
    Would be great to have a look inside already…;-)


  48. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Probably so, but French also has two big main choices, Winawer and Classical. But still, if Avrukh writes this book, I wonder if there would be two volumes. He has two GM Repetoire two-volume books, and the 1. d4 sidelines book was one volume but quite big anyway.

    7…c5 true, very solid, but not the easiest to win. 7…Nb6 is probably more in between, 7…Qc7/11…g5 looks quite interesting, I was looking at this with Sakajev’s Complete Slav book earlier. I have never played that line however, but it looks quite tactical.

    Speaking of French, if I remember correctly, this Friday (27/09), Playing the French goes to the printer, ans GM14 is sent to the chess shops. Exciting times.

  49. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I am not sure that the French book will go to the printer next week. It was our intention, but we want to have a better look, especially as Colin is on holiday this week, something I had forgotten.

    We are about 4-5 weeks away from publication, but we are looking for a volume to team it up with. It is a bit fluid what we are doing, the only thing I know for sure is that we have a lot of books coming in the coming months.

    I know this might not come across as entirely professional in the sense we are accustomed to; but rather than manage our image, I like to be honest with what is going on and just share openly and humanly. We have nothing to gloss over, so when we decide to check a book an extra time, we are not afraid to say it. Playing the French is a big book and Nikos and I certainly made several wrong choices in the writing of it and we want to make sure that they are spotted before it goes out, so we have all mans on deck.

  50. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    It is rather tactical, but Sakaev’s recommendation with 14…Nc5 (he claims 14…Ng6 has been refuted) looks rather solid to me. Anyway, it’s all a matter of taste I guess. 7…Nb6 is a bit too passive to my own taste.

    I’m actually hoping for two volumes on the Slav, just as for the Grunfeld. However I think it should be possible to fit a Slav reportoire into one volume. Avrukh’s book on 1.d4 sidelines was so big because he covered for King’s-Indian, Grunfeld-Indian, Nimzo-Indian, and 1…d5 players.

  51. @Jacob Aagaard
    I think it’s great you’re so open about it. I’d rather have a high quality book a bit later than a book with some errors in the reportoire. I’m at the moment studying Sakaev’s part two of the Complete Slav, and while I think it is ok content-wise, he clearly could have used an editor. He did the editing himself and I think a writer should always have someone else edit his work. The book is full of bad English, and what’s worse, there wasn’t another critical pair of eyes to check the variations. So, keep doing your thing :-).


    Jacob Aagaard :
    …I like to be honest with what is going on and just share openly and humanly. We have nothing to gloss over, so when we decide to check a book an extra time, we are not afraid to say it. Playing the French is a big book and Nikos and I certainly made several wrong choices in the writing of it and we want to make sure that they are spotted before it goes out, so we have all mans on deck.

    Be wary! Since you boosted book production the quality of your books has significantly lowered in some areas, last to be Pert’s book. I hope that you’re changing this trend!

    I was wondering which ‘other areas’ besides Pert’s book? I have yet to encounter a Quality Chess book with insufficient quality! The Perty book maybe a bit patchy here and there, but it has a different target group than the GM Reportoire books. I took some interesting ideas from it for my reportoire against the Dutch.

  54. @Ray
    I did not like the first book a lot. I think you are right; he is really lacking an editor. In this volume I spotted that there was a main line where he did not understand the main move order for White, which means that he did not get the point of the whole variation as it is now played. I am sure that this is the case with anyone who starts to do a vertical work with an opening; no one knows everything or can work it out without research. Here it seems that he has not been systematic in his research. At other points, the book is quite good.

    A big problem is of course layout. I have always held readability as the top spot of my priorities. Number two is that the chess has to be correct. Only as a third comes promotional aspects. I think this has given us a lot of loyal readers, but I understand that we may seem more like Nerd Press than Moneygrabber Inc. Does this makes us less professional; I would say on the contrary, but it is definitely an open question…

    I do not think our quality has decreased. You really think The Trompowsky is worse than for example Beat the Kid or Chess Tips for Improving Players – to mention some of our less popular titles.

    What has happened is that the Grandmaster Repertoire 10-13 has all been on less popular openings. It has obviously not lead to as great sales or excitement. But have they been bad books? Not at all, only less people are interested in the Open Spanish than in a repertoire with 1.d4.

    What about other books we have done? Grandmaster Preparation, Judit Polgar’s books, The King’s Gambit, the final volumes of the Yusupov series, Playing 1.d4 (x2) and Mayhem in the Morra.

    Our subjects have been a bit narrow recently; in the coming two years they will be quite wide in scope, with GM Repertoire 1.e4 and the Playing 1.e4 on their way towards publication. These things are not planned from our side, or we would never have two 1.d4 repertoires followed by two 1.e4 repertoires, but mixed them up. But these were the authors we had and the projects they wanted.

    Personally I think it is obvious that the Grandmaster Preparation series will be my greatest contribution to chess literature. I am currently in the final phase of writing volume five (with volume four being out in a week) and have already thought a lot about what volume six will be about. I find it hard to see that I should be able to create something as long lasting in potential scope again.

    So, to me this is the golden age of Quality Chess. We broke to the top in 2008 and we will stay there till 2015 at least.

  56. @Jacob Aagaard
    First of all, seeing some delays…. Is there also a delay with Pump up your Rating and Attack&Defence, or can I get them at the end of september?

    About your books, I see you writing about 10-13 with not to great sales. I give you a share of my thoughts, maybe you can use it?

    I have no problems with the delay on the French books, because i am not planning to buy them…..
    A book like the open spanisch is a great book, but also not for me (rating 2150). It is too deep.

    For me, maybe my level (but many will disagree) I have other things to work on, middlegame and endgame. So not much time is spend on openings.

    Playing Benoni I use the great book of Psachis (first chapter) to get in the right mood to play it, and sometimes I am flicking througt Chess Developments and QC book about the Benoni.
    And on the Pirc I use the book of Vigus.

    In practice I have to know ideas, not the exact move orders, on my level I seldom get problems in the opening with black.

    I greatly enjoy your superb books like the Attacking manual, the Grandmaster Preperation, the books of Yousopov and Psachis. And also another great book (not from Quality Chess) is Grandmaster Chess Strategy (about games from Andersson)

    Keep up the great work!


    @Jacob Aagaard
    My criticism, if only could be labeled criticism, is always constructive and progressive. I’m first who is delighted with high-level production of your books, because I’m also ardent supporter as well a buyer.

    My previous comment was triggered by your thoughts about correctness and choosing some lines in Playing the French book. Hopefully your book shall surpass “The Modern French” by NIC which I find to be very good.

    So long.

  58. @PeterM
    I know the reasons, but I do not aim first of all to create best sellers, but to add to the chess culture I love so much. I was mainly explaining why someone might feel our books are worse.

  59. @Jacob Aagaard
    You’ve mentioned a few times that Beat the KID wasn’t a best seller, but I’d like to just thank you and tell you that I appreciated it – sorry it wasn’t more popular. I”m guessing that it was the three variation format that put people off. It’s the best information on the Krasenkow that I have found by miles, and Jan Markos is a fine author with an unusually accessible style. I hope he is not discouraged from writing more (he would be perfect for the GM Prep series IMHO).

  60. @Jacob Aagaard
    Can’t wait for the 1.e4 books! Great news that the Ruy Lopez is an addition.
    The Scotch is for the Playing 1.e4 I suppose.

    Keep up the good work!

  61. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Is there a repertoire choice changed from the original plan, or is it simply re-examining the same lines just to make sure that some novelties (for either side) might have affected the position?

    328 pages of GM14 can easily pass my time whilst waiting for Playing the French, which sounds like it is close to GM2 (or King’s Gambit) in size. Perhaps might it be the largest GM Guide book then (bigger than some GM Repertoire books).

  62. Playing the French is set, analysed and so on. But we want to be sure it reads well as well.

    Beat the KID was good and the Trompowsky is a good book. But not all books are bestsellers.

  63. @Jacob Aagaard
    I’m glad you put such high priority on lay-out. For example, The Modern French (New in Chess) is almost unreadable because of the bad layout. It’s almost impossible to discern the various lines, which is a shame because it contains a lot of interesting variations.

  64. @Ray
    We found a lot of problems with the chess – but I am sure there will be problems in our book as well. The French is a difficult opening.

  65. Ray :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    I’m glad you put such high priority on lay-out. For example, The Modern French (New in Chess) is almost unreadable because of the bad layout. It’s almost impossible to discern the various lines, which is a shame because it contains a lot of interesting variations.

    I totally agree. Unreadable. I don’t understand what NIC is doing there.
    @Jacob Aagaard: King’s Gambit may be something for fans only. But it made a great impression on me though I don’t play KG anymore. (I couldn’t resist years ago…)
    I also like GM Rep 12 – Petrov shows many fine ideas. He doesn’t cover one of the lines I play – but that’s natural to happen somewhere.

  66. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I can confirm that is a good book. Also, in the World Youth years ago I played against Brunello himself and he duly won against me in a Spanish.

  67. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    The French is a difficult opening because it seems like a mix between the Sicilian and Caro-Kann to me–dynamic but not crazy (exception: Winawer Poisoned Pawn of course), solid but not too quiet and with more tension than the Caro-Kann usually. So it is like balancing beween one and the other to find the right mix.

    GM14 still next Friday (27/09)? I have a feeling this will be a great book (and probably the longest book on the Winawer without 7. Qg4).

  68. I am glad priority is being given to layout in relation to Play the French. The first Slav book by Sakaev is a complete mess- and makes it impossible to take the book seriously. By contrast I have never had an issue with any of the Quality Chess books.

    Is anything being planned for the Leningrad Dutch or other Dutch lines?

  69. Jacob,

    could you extend the “Recent Comments” list at the top-right, maybe to 10 items? It’s hard to follow the increased activity on the blog with only 5 entries.

  70. @Ray
    That is correct. This is why they have some trouble spotting the right plans in certain positions, whereas a human can play these much better when he knows the plans.

  71. Engines do not “spot plans”. They calculate. If the plan is the best one and is within the engine’s horizon, meaning that positions after the winning plan has materialized in an objectively better position are analyzed, he will find “the plan”, i.e., play the best moves.

  72. Gilchrist is a Legend

    An exception is the Winawer Poisoned Pawn, the tactical insanity probably suits the computer there. The quiet lines of 3. Nc3 Nf5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 probably less.

  73. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I also liked The Modern French, but a book that covers 4. Bg5 Be7 is really wherefore I had been looking for years. Rock Solid Repertoire by Eingorn is fine, but I need more coverage. Playing the French being around 500 pages sounds like it could be quite thorough.

    GM14 shall atually probably be used more than GM15, since in tournament games, not many go into the main line with 7. Qg4. They deviate early on move four or five, and still, there is a massive diversion on move 7 with 7. Nf3, 7. h4, 7. a4. I suppose this is the same in all openings, I rarely am allowed to play the Najdorf due to the extreme amounts of anti-Sicilians. At least the anti-Winawer variations are fun whereagainst to play. I am very tired of playing against anti-Sicilians, so this is why I am considering playing the French exclusively now.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top