ChessCafe Book of the Year – Pump up your Rating

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Congratulations to Axel Smith! Pump up your Rating is the 2013 ChessCafe Book of the Year.

From the moment I read the first draft of the first chapter, I had high hopes for this book and I am delighted other readers are just as enthusiastic. As the book’s publishers we are of course biased, but I would say Axel is a highly deserving winner. He put a remarkable effort into writing his book and then trying to improve it. If you have not already read Pump up Your Rating (if so, why not?) then you can get a flavour of it from this pdf excerpt.

40 thoughts on “ChessCafe Book of the Year – Pump up your Rating”

  1. Very well-deserved. I find the book extremely inspiring. I wonder why Advanced Chess Tactics by Psakhis didn’t win this prize a few years ago. That’s got to be the best book on chess tactics ever written.

  2. Michael Bartlett

    Congrats – well deserved just for the chapters on Positional play alone. Look forward to the rumoured sequel.

  3. Congratulations, one of the best training books I have ever read and my personal opinion is it is even better than Dvortesky-Yusupov books

    As one of those who voted for this book and also the owner of both the paper and electronic copies – I have only one request please fix the electronic copy!

  4. Congratulations and BIG Thank You for the book! Very well-deserved! Now Axel may book a table in the restaurant for the whole weekend! It would be great if QC would do a short interview with Axel (now there is quite important reason to do so!).

  5. If you have any questions about the book, Axel is very good at answering them at the book blog so although the interview is a good idea you do not have to wait for it

  6. I have it on Forward Chess as well. It’s fine except that the exercises are a bit small on the screen. You can get around it though if you go to the solutions section and stop reading before the diagram. Note that I wouldn’t have bought the physical book but it was just too tempting to miss the electronic version! Cheaper and fun to use on the road.

  7. A terrific book despite the obnoxious (to me) cover. A fine companion book to J Hawkins’ “Amateur to IM” and in my opinion “Pump” is the better of the two bright yellow books even though both books are superlative. (just my opinion)

  8. I am also currently reading it on Forward Chess (android). There are several fixes required but this only minutely detracts from the enjoyment of the book. Well done Axel & his mentors at QC!!

  9. As far as I know, a lot of fixes have been done a few days ago to the Forward Chess version. I am sorry that this is a bit of a mess. It is a new territory for us and we are learning quickly, I hope. Three months from now no one will remember these early quibbles I hope.

  10. @Zagreb1959
    I agree with you, it seems ok to me.

    However, I have a suggestion to the Forward Chess developers: the possibility to increase the size (e.g. all the screen) of the diagram after touching it.

  11. I, too, have purchased the new book on FC and am very pleased with it. I notice that Gambit and NIC are releasing some of their older best-sellers on their app.
    Will QC be releasing some older titles on FC? I think Yusupov’s series, especially, would be a great addition to the FC line and I would gladly repurchase titles that I already own in book form. The Attacking Manuals and Learn from the Legends would also be great to see in FC.

  12. @Bill
    We do not have the rights for the electronic version of the Yusupov books and he does not seem that keen. But it is the intention that the other books with legs should be published with Forward Chess.

  13. Zagreb1959 :I bought the book yesterday (iPad version) and everything is ok and diagrams are fine.

    I’m really wondering what’s going on there. I don’t see this book in the store in my iPad app. (Only the Carlsen book and the Trompowski book) …

  14. Jacob Aagaard :
    As far as I know, a lot of fixes have been done a few days ago to the Forward Chess version. I am sorry that this is a bit of a mess. It is a new territory for us and we are learning quickly, I hope. Three months from now no one will remember these early quibbles I hope.

    Even with the last update I am still finding many issues for example most games in Chapter five (the list of mistakes) are out of synch with the electronic board, I had to use a physical board to go through the games

  15. @manuel :
    “However, I have a suggestion to the Forward Chess developers: the possibility to increase the size (e.g. all the screen) of the diagram after touching it.”

    The size and automatic motion of moves (in problems) like the New in Chess magazine Apps is very cool. I would like to see in general the working books like “Chess Tactics from Scratch” “Advanced Tactics”, “Practical Chess Defence”, “Grandmaster series” and of course Yusupov.

    @wok64 :
    I didn´t saw it too until two days ago, then I bought it without any problems…

    @Ihab :
    What tablet are you using (iPad or Mini)? On my Ipad I see no problems in Chapter 5.

  16. @Jacob Aagaard
    Disappointing to hear about the Yusupov electronic rights. Perhaps you can convince him that he owes it to the world of chess (and thousands of players) to allow the books to come out on the FC app.
    Weteschnik’s book would be a great addition to the lineup.

  17. I have an android device too and downloaded the book yesterday. It seems to work fine.
    The only thing I encountered thus far is that it sometimes suddenly drops to the end of the page, without me doing anything. Besides that, it is great to be able to read and study chess books while in the train to my work!

  18. @Bill
    I think Artur will find it highly amusing that he owes the chess world anything. At least, I do. It think it is much more the other way round!

  19. There is a general issue with Forward Chess and puzzle books at the moment. As they are growing the app step by step (prudent and good strategy), this will probably be something we look at much later. I am hoping to go to the US in 2014 and meet with Leonid and the others and discuss how to do things in the best way. Before that we have 50+ other books we can put on FC without worrying about it…

  20. @garryk
    The issue is that these books will sell forever. I can understand that he does immediately put a series that took him three years on a digital format, where we cannot know the long term security.

  21. @Jacob Aagaard
    I understand but I bet somebody have already released them in the wild in pdf or chessbase format. You can’t stop progress but you can drive it. He can release the first book of the series and see what happens.

  22. @garryk
    This is an old discussion that I have explained a few times already. Scanned PDF’s that look bad are not the same as a perfect digital copy.

  23. @garryk
    That’s the usual excuses of people who don’t care about copy rights: ‘it has been stolen already anyway, so better get used to it and figure out a new business model’ .

  24. @Ray
    It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. And it should be considered that it’s not only the will to steal that causes this fact, it’s also the will to have in pdf something that you can’t have in that way. I myself have pdf of books (not only chess books) that I’ve bought in paper because when I’m abroad I can’t bring my bookshelf with me. Scanned pdf are bad but are better than your book left at home.

  25. I bought Axel Smiths book in the Forward Chess digital format, and I am a very satisfied customer.

    Will Chess Tactics from Scratch be made available in digital format? If yes, when?

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