Looking at the summer (through the rain outside my window!)

This is what our current thinking is concerning out publishing schedule. It is a bit mundane; no big surprises. But there are some good books in there!

30-Apr Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 1 – The Magic of Youth
30-Apr Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Endgame Play
30-Apr Danny Gormally Mating the Castled King
30/4 or 28/5 Parimarjan Negi Grandmaster Repertoire 21 – 1.e4 French, Caro-Kann & Philidor
28-May John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – A Grandmaster Guide – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 & Minor Lines
28-May Vassilios Kotronias GM Repertoire 18 – The Sicilian Sveshnikov
28-May Tiger Hillarp-Persson The Modern Tiger
June/July Emanuel Berg Grandmaster Repertoire 16 – The French Defence 3
June/July Victor Mikhalevski Grandmaster Repertoire 19 – Beating Minor Openings
June/July Ilya Maizelis Chess from Scratch
July/August Ftacnik GM6B – The Najdorf
06-Aug Esben Lund The Secret Life of Bad Bishops
06-Aug Efstratios Grivas Grandmaster Program
06-Aug Judit Polgar A Game of Queens – Judit Polgar Teaches Chess 3
Autumn Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Thinking Inside the Box

127 thoughts on “Looking at the summer (through the rain outside my window!)”

  1. This I like much more then some weird discussions lately 🙂
    Interesting b ooks are coming , at least 10 MUST buy books…
    Jacob, the poll with the cover, I hope there is a plan for another book in your GM preparation series ?

  2. Helios Laureano

    Love the lineup of books coming out. My only questions are why on earth does it take berg 3 volumes to write about the french when most other books can be done in 1 thick or 1 very thick book such as the antic one. It just doesnt look practical having to carry 3 book on the french to otb tournaments. Maybe im wrong?

    Also what is the grivas book about?

  3. Actually the Grivas book is one I don’t look forward to. I’ve had a look at many books and CDs by Grivas, and not one of them made me think the author has what it takes to write for Quality Chess. 😉 Almost all of them looked like structured DB dumps with brief annotations and little connecting prose between the examples.

  4. I have to agree with Andre, so I really hope the editors (blink, blink) are on top of this project and Grivas delivers a book well above his previous efforts.

  5. @Andre
    Yes, I agree. Despite his lack of a GM title, the Esben Lund book is one I look forward to a lot more. Thought rooks vs minor pieces was very good, and a ton of original thinking, versus the db dump approach.

  6. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Interesting to see that Κοτρωνιάς has the book on the Swesnikow for this May–interesting opening, but I stopped playing it due to positional concerns. I wonder how the theory has thence advanced. And also if he has more King’s Indian books. Also anticipating Berg’s next French volume. Also quite interested in the Modern book.

  7. Better rain than snow!

    We still have snow laying on the ground that’s been around since before Christmas. Coldest winter ever in Northeastern USA.

  8. Gilchrist is a Legend

    If I remember correctly, it snowed like hell in the UK last January/Februari, stopped around now, but then returned for March and even April. I remember taking the train to Sheffield and it snowed in April.

    Also I notice that Ftacnik is GM6B, not GM6A. Is the order reversed, and is 6. Bg5 different from the first edition? I am still mystified what is in the book.

  9. Great line-up again! Nice to see a book by Espen Lund on the list, his book on rooks vs minor pieces was indeed interesting, and was one of the first books by Quality Chess. I’m also looking forward to Mikhalevski’s book and the book on Tal (the books on Karpov are brilliant). I don’t play the Sveshnikov, but I guess I will buy this one as well since I want to have the whole GM Rep series complete :-).

    I was thinking: doesn’t have Quality Chess their 10-year anniversary this year? Wouldn’t be a nice idea to re-issue Learn from the Legends in a de-luxe hardcopy edition?

  10. grinding_tolya

    In the period I read Lunds book, I gained around 100 elo points.
    I really enjoyed his ”niche” book. So looking forward to a bishop’s treaty.


    a Learning From the Legends on the Middle game in hardcover would make my next 10 years 🙂

  11. Was is mentioned somewhere already what will be in Mikhalevski’s book? I’d like to have a better repertoire against 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 but I wouldn’t call them “minor”.

  12. @Helios Laureano
    Grivas is an old friend of mine back from 1998 or thereabouts. It is true that his work has been of changing quality. Some was good; some was less so. He is one of the types of authors that need a lot of editing; and other publishers have not given him this.

    When he asked if we could do a book together, he suggested a really lousy theme (I blanked it), but I immediately knew what I wanted him to write about: about ten years ago he quit his job with the Greek federation and started a big project in Turkey, turning this week chess nation into a modern European nation with lots of grandmasters. He succeeded and got a FIDE trainer award to show for it. And as you might know, Turkey recently beat Russia in the World Team Championship. Also, he coached Ipatov to a first and a second at the World Junior.

    I knew immediately that this is what I wanted him to write about. And he has. The book will be out at the Olympiad and I think it is really interesting; though we still need to edit it well :-).

  13. I just received GM Rep Classical Slav. It looks absolutely great – fully meeting my expectations! The nice thing is that it largely follows my current Slav reportoire, so that makes it easy to incorporate the new developments :-). I am very happy with Avrukh’s recommendations to in the main line with 11…g5, the main line with 6.e3 and the exchange (I recently won I nice game myself in the topical line 7.Qb3 Na5 8.Qa4 Bd7 9.Qc2 e6 10.Bd3 Rc8 11.Nf3 Bb4, trying and succeeding to adhere to Jacob’s advice to ask the three questions and to not neglect my development). I’m also impressed with the Queen sacrifice in the 4.Qb3/c2 dxc4 line. Another great book by Quality Chess, thanks!

  14. @Paul
    I am trying to pretend that he is not under time pressure. Remember how well he coped with the King’s Gambit! He is working non-stop on them, but he also has a full time job running the company.

  15. @Remco G
    The Mikhalevski book is the companion volume to Avrukh’s GM11. Boris did not really want to do it, so he talked to Victor and they arranged it so Boris could do the Slav and Victor this one.

    Basically it is all non 1.d4 and non 1.e4 openings, from Black’s perspective. And with flexibility, meaning that it is useful for you whether you a QGD, Grunfeld or whatever player. At least this is the ambition; probably a few compromises have to be taken.

  16. Suggestion for black repertoire books. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the diagrams printed the other way round, i.e. from the black perspective? After all, that’s the way you’ll mostly view the position when playing it.

  17. By the way, “The Secret Life of Bad Bishops” is a fantastic title. If you had asked me this morning if I had any interest in reading a book entirely about the bad bishop I would have said no, but now I’m interested 🙂

  18. @Helios Laureano
    Berg gives 3 different major defenses against the main line Qg4 in the Winawer (book 2, which I don’t own). So it’s a repertoire book that lets you choose after your taste.

    Reminds me, I have to actually order the 2nd book (though I’m more interested in the 3rd).

  19. @Remco G
    Thanks. I am guilty in that one. It is actually not really about bad bishops, but about bishops that could be either good or bad. But the title obviously plays on other aspects of modern history, making it all murky and metaphorical.

  20. I just opted for the German version of the Stonewall book since it says it is “fully revised and updated.”

  21. I’m glad they did not—I like the matte covers and general design of Quality Chess books more than Everyman publications. French is my second language, BUT I had to do “German for Reading” (course & exam) for philosophy and if the subject matter is technical (say philosophy or chess) I can plow through it with a dictionary and a little patience—a novel, or newspaper, or a movie and I am S-U-N-K.

  22. Paul Brøndal

    Is it totally out of the question writing a book on the Nimzo-Larsen attack or perhaps the Reti opening? Jobava plays 1. b3 on a regular basis. I’d love to have a really good book on this opening and I believe that QC could make a killer book on it.

  23. @Ray
    I have this book. Got it yesterday and have looked at some games. I don’t see white having to fight for equality but then I have only read 10 percent of the book.

  24. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Interesting, does that mean that GM6A is a surprise release at some point in that schedule?

    Also do you envisage Kotronias Sweshnikow book a massive book like 700 pages? I last played the Sweshnikow in 2006, and even back then, it had a tremendous amount of theory. Also Kotronias seems to be quite detailed, and I am not sure how theory has thence advanced…

  25. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Indeed, I fully agree. The title of the book is Play 1.b3! (with a ‘!’), but he too writes that white is struggling to equalise in several variations. He ends his book with something like ‘it’s not fully correct, but so much fun to play’.

  26. @Ray
    I definitely also prefer to go into the opening via 1. Sf3 2. b3 as the classical variations with 1. b3 e5 2. Lb2 Sc6 3. e3 d5 aren’t very convincing for white IMO.


    Andre :
    Actually the Grivas book is one I don’t look forward to. I’ve had a look at many books and CDs by Grivas, and not one of them made me think the author has what it takes to write for Quality Chess. Almost all of them looked like structured DB dumps with brief annotations and little connecting prose between the examples.

    Neither do I!

    He was accused for plagiarism!


    1. This was indeed an unfortunate incident. I always knew that working with a book from Stratos would be more challenging than working with a book from certain other authors. But there are also authors that are more difficult to work with, but where we continue to work with them. Not everyone can be like Lars Schandorff (the ultimative author from the perspective of pleasantness to work with).

      One thing that cannot be taken away from Grivas is that he was immensely successful in creating grandmasters for Turkey, for which FIDE correctly gave him a prize. I think the book will be unortodox and interesting.

      One thing that is quite clear is that Grivas writes for the joy of it, not for financial gains.

  28. Personally would like Kotronias to focus on his KID series, but hey I’m not important, he can do whatever he likes.

  29. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That I definitely had not expected, so Kotronias basically has a GM Repertoire on the entire Sicilian: 6A, and his own, Sweshnikow, and followed by the rest of the (probably massive) King’s Indian volumes. I anticipate them well.

  30. Jacob,

    are there any plans on a GM Rep Dutch (Stonewall, Leningrad) and how far into the future is GM Rep Nimzo Indian and Queens Gambit?

  31. Jacob Aagaard

    No plans for anything Dutch at the moment. NIC published a book on it recently, though I think it was a bit messy.

    Nimzo and QGD are for next year.

  32. Jacob Aagaard

    @The Doctor
    You are important to me. But Edmilson is basically spending his time checking and updating existing analysis as well as putting words to them. It is several years work that is finally coming out. Remember, we originally signed a KID contract with him in 2008, then he was so pleased with the work that he wanted to play it for a while before publishing it, which we of course could not argue against…

  33. Jacob Aagaard

    I don’t want to make a poll on something I will NEVER change. But my question is, how many do actually flip the board in chessbase when they are looking for something from Black’s point of view? I would guess less than 50%. We can have a poll on that :-).

  34. Of course I am flipping the board (chessbase or real) if looking from the black side. Am a bit puzzled to read that someone doesn´t ;-).

    I would be in favour of printing the diagrams from the direction one is looking at but since I am using a chessboard or chessbase anyway when seriously studying a book it certainly isn´t important enough to waste time for a poll about this.

  35. @Tom Tidom
    There is no way that we will change our style or break with 150 years of tradition. But I think it is interesting to see what people do, just to get a feeling for it. The result of the poll will have to practical meaning, but it costs nothing to make it.

  36. That’s how I utilize the various chess apps to read books (FC, eplus, etc). When I’m playing from Black’s perspective, I flip the board around. Just like in Chessbase.

  37. Jacob Aagaard

    And I use both sides of the toilet paper when I have to go… Wait till the poll is replaced at midnight!

  38. I flip the board in ChessBase when I am looking at an opening from Black’s point of view.

    When I play through games from a book on a real board and the book has a “hero” (e.g., From GM To Top Ten, which I’m enjoying now), I tend to set up the board from the hero’s point of view too.

  39. Yes, it will be fun when the Candidates match poll closes. There is so much grist for debate. Who should be in who isn’t?? Caruana?? Vachier-Lagrave?? Naka?? Why is there a host nominee, i.e., Svidler?? Who matches up best contra Carlsen with regards to chances of beating him?? Etc., etc..

  40. I do the same with puzzles and excercises by the way. When it is black to move I set up my pieces with the black pieces on my side of the board.

  41. When I study openings or use Chessbase, I reverse the board. However, when using the board to solve problems or to work Yusupov’s test positions, I use only white’s perspective, because I want to traing seeing my opponents threats as well as my own oppourtunities.

  42. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I always click “Flip Board”–in fact I have done so since 2001, when I finally got a computer with ChessBase. Since the late 1990s when I started studying chess, I always have the board with the Black pieces for playing for Black. I thought that it was usual to do this though, because I find studying any opening for Black with the board facing White is quite difficult–looking at the board facing White is not what happens when one plays as Black in a tournament game.

  43. I don’t flip when looking at a game or analysis on a computer, in all other situations I do. This discussion has made me feel I should try it when looking at opening analysis.

    I think a repertoire book for black with flipped diagrams would be no problem whatsoever.

    On the other hand, there are books that show the side currently to move at the bottom, so that the orientation changes from diagram to diagram. That is just wrong.

  44. @Thomas
    This is sort of my main point. I think people would buy a book without flipped diagrams, even if it was their preference. But those not wanting them flipped would be likely not to get the book. This is the main reason why I would not change. I do not see an upside for us.

  45. @Jacob Aagaard
    I’m not sure if anyone would not buy an otherwise good book if the diagrams were not to his taste, but I think you’re right that changing the diagrams wouldn’t sell a single book extra, so business-wise there is no reason for change.

  46. PS: with an e-book on Forward Chess it would presumably be rather simple to give readers on option to switch the orientation of the diagrams? Could be a nice feature.

  47. @Ray
    This is possible in New in Chess’s magazine app (though there seems to be a bug in the latest issue that it is not working…..but was working before).

  48. As I said, I flip, and I really think I would prefer diagrams to be oriented to the perspective that is of interest in each case—including which side is to move in a tactical problems book. Not having the diagrams so oriented would not stop me from buying a book since I usually work through the books at a board, “properly” oriented, anyway. I do wonder if the “always” vs “sometimes” language in the polling is quite fair—simply ask for a preference. It does seem more practical to train your eyes from the perspective one will be taking at the board. The argument that seeing the white orientation in an opening one will play as black is helpful for seeing white threats seems odd—since one will still have to recognize said threats, in concreto, whilst playing black and sitting on that side of the board. I wonder if resistance to change is simply that, adherence to old habits that are less rational than the proposed changes. I’m sure there was resistance to moving from PQB4 to c4, but the latter is easier and more sensible nonetheless.

  49. Chiming in on the Flipping of the Board argument, here’s my take. Problem books, don’t flip it. You can put it on a board if you need to see it from Black’s side. Doing Black problems with a standard diagram is a good way to practice seeing threats. The White problems are to practice execution. Either way, you need to be able to find tactics from both sides anyway. If you play White in a chess game, you still have to find Black’s threats, and I doubt your opponent will be happy if you stand behind his back all the time during his turn. Also, a book where half the diagrams are from White’s perspective and the other half from Black’s perspective would be EXTREMELY ANNOYING, and probably would stop me from buying the book. Not all problems are near the opening phase of the game. What about an endgame problem? Now you have to remind yourself that it’s Black to move and so actually, the board is flipped, and your Black pawns are actually on h4 and g2, not a5 and b7. As for an opening manual, most opening books aren’t studied via reading the book like a novel. You are almost always going to have a board on you, or at least something like Fritz, Rybka, Houdini, etc, which those you can flip yourself.

    That said, there was one book, and I can’t remember which for the life of me as I don’t own it, where it actually gave two diagrams side by side (similar to the Starting Out Series) where instead of two different diagrams (like Starting Out), it was actually the same position, the first diagram from White’s perspective, the second from Black’s. I seem to recall it being a Black repertoire book. Something like this is fine, but it takes up more space in the book, leading to more pages and a higher price, being the primary negative.

    My vote is, keep White on the bottom in chess books. If the reader is too lazy to get out a board or laptop and/or too inept to see positions from the opposite perspective, then they must not be a very good chess player anyway, and Quality Chess publications would not be recommended to them as the books published here are not beginner books like what Lev Alburt or Yasser Seiriwan wrote in the 90s.

  50. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Our windscreen wiper controls also are on the left hand side of the steering wheel (which is the turning signals for Continental Europe). Also if I remember correctly in Sweden in 1967 they had a big deal because they switched traffic from left-hand road drive to right-hand road drive in just hours in one single day..

  51. grinding_tolya

    While flipping the diagrams would come in handy, it would still take a big adjustment from myself.

    BTW Flipping the book is also an option 🙂

  52. Maybe a new marketing idea for chess books.
    Diagrams that can be taken out, flipped, and put back into the book.
    Could be a little costly, but for fans of flipped diagrams….

  53. The cheapest solution but a little weird is looking the board behind your opponent when playing with black (but again the issue of the sportmanship no, please 🙂 )

  54. In a book we are talking horizontal; while at the board we are talking vertical, so not exactly the same.

  55. Hi all,

    This seems like a good place to ask this.

    I have in my budget one chess book to buy. My first thought is always Quality Chess. I trust and respect the authors more here. I am not that strong of a player (rating 1500) but have been playing chess for about 25 years (just have not been serious until now).

    I finally have a job that will allow me to enter many more tournaments. I am getting my tactics training everyday via chess.com. I am hoping someone may give me a recommendation on which book to buy. I heard the Yusopov books are good, but there are nine (I think) and I can only buy one book. I really want to work on improving now that I can enter tournaments much more. Is there a recommendation someone has for my level and I don’t mind the work.

  56. grinding_tolya

    No need to buy all Yusupov books at once.
    Every (I only have 2 of them, so I might be wrong on this one) Yusupov book covers the 6 fundamental chess areas.(I really like his chess model of 6 key areas)
    It’s designed for 24x 3h to 4h of work, so you can do the math of how long this book will keep you occupied.

  57. As someone midway between KStevens’ and Jacob’s ratings, I also recommend the first Yusupov book. If you use the book as it is intended (doing every exercise and writing out your solutions), it will keep you occupied for a long time.

  58. Shurlock Ventriloquist

    The first Yusupov book is a must. Great format and method and perfectly accessible for people @1600. Will seriously repay the time invested.

  59. Thank you all for your kind answers. I will be purchasing the Yusupov book and make sure at some point to have the entire Orange series in my Chess library to read and study.

  60. A question on the Najdorf book, is this going to be updating the existing lines or will there be any new recommendations? I quite like all the lines suggested but in some cases the analysis was little but lacking.

    Will buy it in hardback no matter what! 🙂


    ### GM REP SLAV

    hamunaptra :
    The book is out and immediately has flaws. Why have I spent 35 euros? For flaws? This severely downgrades your reputation as a Quality chess publishing house!

    How bad is failure to cover in Exchange? Or is it minor thing not worth bothering…

  62. If you look at the blog posts; you will find one by John from a few days back. Avrukh missed a big impotent line in the Exchange Slav. With the next newsletter, we will publish the solution.

  63. @Jacob Aagaard
    If I am buying a book that is explicitly from “Black’s point of view,” diagrams with White below are useless. I’ve always been surprised that publishers haven’t figured this out.

    Would flipping diagrams sell more books? Given the choice between two books on the French, one in the “normal” way and one viewed as Black, I would buy the second book, reviews being similar. If I have the choice between two puzzle books, one all “normal,” and one where the “Black to win” puzzles are flipped, I would without question buy the second.

    I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but I might expect you to run a proper survey to determine the best decision for your business. (BTW, I do have an MBA and work in technology marketing.)

  64. I`am looking forward to the book by Danny Gormally, but it will be read at the end of May…
    Then I love to read the first Playing 1.e4- book! Any flaws in my plans?

  65. Looking very much forward to the books scheduled for May and June/July! Is there perhaps any chance on an updated publishing schedule?

  66. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Very much anticipating GM16, and GM18 as well–Sweshnikow is always a fun opening, whether the 10…f5 or the Nowosibjirsk Variatiojn. But still I see GM16 directly next in the “queue” of the Coming Soon section.

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