Where Negi meets Schandorff

Part of my job as the editor of Negi’s 1.e4 book was to check how his analysis matched up against other prominent repertoire books. In the case of Lars Schandorff’s “Grandmaster Repertoire 7”, I checked it but neglected to mention the point of divergence in the text. Here I will correct the oversight.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Be7 13.Kb1 0–0 14.Ne4

This position is reached on page 39 of Grandmaster Repertoire 7.

14…Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Nf6 16.Qe2 Qd5 17.Be3

Schandorff focuses on 17.Ne5 as his main line. In the notes he mentions that the bishop move is “a bit more sophisticated, but it doesn’t threaten anything in particular.” Negi explains that the bishop move is intended as prophylaxis against Black’s intended …Qe4. Thus, if Black responds with a neutral move, White will follow up with Ne5 followed by pushing the g-pawn.


This was a novelty when Lars suggested it. Black prevents Ne5.


A novelty from Parimarjan.

18.c4 Qf5+ 19.Ka1 a5 was mentioned by Lars.

Parimarjan also mentions that 18.g4! Nxg4 19.Rdg1 f5 20.Bc1 is a promising pawn sacrifice.


18…Nxh5 19.c4 Qe4+ 20.Ka1 Nf6 21.f3 Qh7 22.g4 gives White a promising attack.

19.g4! Qd5 20.Rdg1

Negi offers some further analysis to show that White has a promising initiative for the sacrificed pawn.    To summarise, Negi analysed more deeply, but this is hardly surprising given the level of detail of his book. He also benefitted from being able to build upon Schandorff’s analysis as well as any games that had occurred since GM 7 was published. Followers of GM 7 may want to look for another solution, but the line is far from being refuted and there are plenty of other options on move 17.


16 thoughts on “Where Negi meets Schandorff”

  1. So you forgot to mention in the book the most important thing for the variation. And then you say the variation is good for white but far from being refuted for black. So everybody is right, White, Black, Schandorff, Negi, the customer and the editor.

  2. @garryk
    I think you’re being unfair here – of course theory has moved on and main line defences are hardly ever refuted permanently. It would i.m.o. be naive to think so. It’s an everlasting arms race with white fighting for a +/= and black for =. What’s wrong about that? Surely you as a chess player who plays both black and white have the same problem every day, since there is always an overlap between your white and black reportoire! So I am already looking foward to the improvements for blackto repair my black Caro-Kann reportoire (but not before I can score some white wins against it 🙂 ).

  3. PS: I’ve said it before under a different post, but now that I have worked through the entire book I can say even more strongly: Negi’s book is utterly brilliant – it’s the best mix I’ve ever seen between concrete variations and crystal-clear explanation of plans. And to top it off, I really like the fact that sound, ‘classical’ systems are recommended with fluid piece play, sound pawn structures and which have stood the test of time and never will be refuted. In my view it’s an instant classic and I would also like to take the opportunity to give my compliments to QC’ editors (Andrew in this case) because I’m convinced their contributions to the quality of the QC books are grossly underestimated.

  4. 17… Bd6 seems odd to me even though it stops Ne5 as the bishop is misplaced and queen loses the option to go backwards. What about 17… Ng4? I must admit I have not examined this with an engine or looked at databases but it seems logical to me. Even Ne3 is a possibility leaving only one minor piece on the board.

  5. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I would rather choose the choice 17…Rfd8 or 17…Rad8 for further investigation after seeing the book by Negi. I also thought about a sequence like 17…Qb5 18. c4 Qa6 (Δ…b5/…Nd5), which looks odd at first. But then logical is 19. Ne5, then 19…Nd5, but this might be risky. I bought the book more for my French and Caro-Kann repertoires though.

  6. Yes, Negi’s work is utterly brilliant! No matter if he destroys a recommendation here and is destroyed by another author there. That’s chess! I agree with Ray, he can afford to go very deep into complex systems because he makes them so clear! As a bonus he chooses lines that suit my taste as surely as Avrukh chooses lines that don’t.

  7. Obviously it was a slip by Andrew not to mention Schandorff, but as people are affirming; the book is 600 pages of brilliance. Obviously a lot of it is down to Negi, but please do not underestimate the 2-300 hours Andrew has put into this proejct.

  8. 17…Bd6 is far from being refuted so no harm done. I would assume that 99,9 % players who use Schandoff repertuare will note the divergence. If not, its the readers fault.

  9. Science do not stand still; this applies to “chess science”, too. Black player will defend their cause with various moves (e.g., 18…Qb5!?) sot its an endless theoretical debate

  10. @Jacob Aagaard
    Indeed – I think a key difference (apart fromt he great authors) with some other publishers is the great editing. If you compare this e.g. with Sakaev’s books on the Slav the difference in editing is huge. The latter is full of mistakes / errors, and has a very confusing structure, whereas the nummber of errors in QC’s books is usually quite small.

  11. @Ray
    Without commenting on Sakaev’s book specifically, I think we can easily say that an author should not edit his own book. The mistakes he makes pass by unnoticed on each turn.

  12. Sort of like a man who is his own attorney? A while back someone mentioned an article about how to best use an opening book. I think that would be very interesting.

  13. It will be interesting to see if Negi will bury some of the crappier openings for good.
    One candidate is the Latvian gambit. While exciting and wild, the gambit seems
    like it is going to be refuted soon.

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