Positional Decision Making in Chess gets ready for reprint

Most of chess publishing is long hard work for very little money. A few thousand copies is what a chess book sells and there are many who want a slice of the cake. Retailers need to make a living, so there goes half the money. Outside the chess specialists, there is a requirement for middlemen, who take a third of what is left. Then there are transport, storage, printing, handling, editing, graphics, internet, rent, equipment, employees and not least, authors!

It is not a surprise that it took more than half a decade for us to make a small profit…

If you feel any sympathy for us at all, buy your Quality Chess books through a chess specialist shop. They not only provide you with the service of going to tournaments as well as having a store, they are also the backbone of our industry. Without them, there would be no chess books at all…

One thing we are doing in order to support the chess specialists is to publish hardback versions of our books and only sell them through the specialist network. These high quality books cost approximately €5 more than their inferior paperback cousins. They stay open when you put them on the table and provide a much nicer experience all-round.

The most recent example of this is Boris Gelfand’s Positional Decision Making in Chess, which at this moment in time is only available on Forward Chess and in high quality hardback. Usually this should reduce sales a bit; as many will be waiting for the cheaper version of the book (coming out early 2016 most likely), but it seems not in this case.

We are looking at a reprint within a week or so, which is an excellent change for me to ask if you have noticed any mistakes we should correct for the next version? We have found about 8 very minor things, but as no book is ever perfect (or close to it), I am sure there are more. We will be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Meanwhile, Boris is doing a good job of promoting the book: http://www.uschess.org/content/view/13166/141/

56 thoughts on “Positional Decision Making in Chess gets ready for reprint”


    I’m fully supporting German best chess shop Niggemann 🙂 They are very professional and have a very large pool of books.

    If you sell hardbacks for 30 euros, the split is:

    author: 10 euros
    publisher: 10 euros
    all other: 10 euros.

    I noticed that New in Chess has smaller print amount, and they every then and now launch so called “second improved” editions. They just make new cover and write new introduction. This policy is in car industry: put new lights and a bumper and claim a new line. Cheap tricks, but folks buy it easily 🙂

    First of all, I see nothing wrong with a slight upgrade of a book as NIC do. People who have not bought the book previously, but have considered to do so might do now. But I do not believe they are ripping off existing customers that have already bought the book once. Chess players are too smart for that.

    Secondly, your math is all wrong. I am not going to go into the details of it, but both the authors and we get a good deal less than you mention there…

  3. Pre-ordered my 2 Dragon books with Chess Direct, will also get them on Forward chess.
    Looking forward to the Anti-Sicilian book, then my e4 defence in complete.

    Having to use stuff from Experts and GM 6 at the moment.

  4. Bought the book from Niggemann too. So far I only read the text and the impression is very, very good. Gelfand must be a great personality over all, not only a great chess player. I have to admit that I envy you Jacob for being able to work with him together. This is not about chess, because Gelfand working about chess with me would be throwing pearls before the swines as a German proverb says.

    I’m waiting for the 2nd tome and your working plan about it.

  5. Excellent book, glad to hear it sells so well!
    Got it from german vendor ischach. Hardcover version, makes quite a nice impression on the bookshelve as well.

    So far I have gone over 5 Gelfand games from the book, quite a bit of work I have to admit.

    @Jacob Could you elaborate on the (planned) other volumes of the Gelfand series a bit?

  6. @The Doctor
    Again I apologise for it being technically impossible to do any double deals on this (as it would give Apple 30% on the book sales and leave us less than if we only sold in one of the formats).

  7. I always buy my chess books at Chess and Bridge in central London. Chess publishing is vastly better now than ever before, and it would be unforgiveably dumb to jeopardise it for the sake of a few pence/cents per book.

  8. Is it really better for supporters to buy the books from a chess shop than you directly? Chess and Bridge in London typically only get one hardback in the shop (and sometimes not even this) for books where there is a concurrent paperback release, so I kind of gave up on them and order via you mostly (though bought their one hardback of the Tal book).

  9. Like “the Doctor” I buy my books from Chess Direct – buying online. In many cases I get my books by return. They even give a small discount on the list price. Fantastic service.

  10. I hope all of you at Quality Chess realize that you are driving me nuts. Not only have I switched to bag lunches so I have more money for chess books, if you keep up the publishing I might have to cancel my television service…

    Well…television rots the brain anyways…

  11. I’m reading this book right now and I find a little unfair the many references made about defects in Anand’s play by Gelfand. I understand Anand prevented him from becoming world champion but it was definitely unnecessary to remember the occasion lost by Anand against Carlsen (pag 75/76) while there are infinitely many other possible examples. But I suppose this can’t be removed in the reprint… 🙂

  12. @garryk
    I usually do not defend books, but in this case I will do so. Gelfand has no grudge against Anand, they are close friends actually. He mentions how Anand is fantastic in dynamics several places. He is the big opponent of the World Championship, so he is mentioned, but I cannot see that Malakhov, Wang Yue, Morozevich and others are not evaluated objectively and honestly in the book…

  13. @Phille
    for example on pag 39 it’s said “[…] it was one of Anand’s strengths when he was at his peak a decade ago”. It doesn’t seems to me that Anand is declining for a decade…and anyway there was no reason to say this (one could simply say “it is one on Anand’s strenghts”).

    on page 77 “Anand managed to put his opponent under some pressure before recklessly sacrificing the exchange and losing the game”. I don’t think that sacrifice was reckless and anyway there was no reason to remember it as he (Gelfand) was speaking about a pawn sacrifice occurred many moves before.

    There were other unpleasant references to Anand’s play but I think these are enough to understand my remark.

  14. Anand was clearly number one from 2005-2008. He isn’t today.
    Can’t see any offense by Gelfand here. Or elsewhere in the book.

  15. @Thomas
    Being world champion is not enough to be considered “number one”? He wasn’t on the top of the rating list but I don’t consider this as a decline. Anyway in my opinion it was not polite to say to an active player that he has been declining for a decade.

  16. @garryk
    You make so many illogical jumps in your persistence to take offense on someone else’s part, someone who is a close friend of the author, but not of you. I suggest you let it go.

  17. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    @Jacob Aagaard
    No TV for 15 years now (and never look at internet videos), and STILL not enough time for everything I would like to do. But we are a tiny, tiny minority. In the USA, more households are without a telephone than are without a TV.

  18. Decision Making in Chess is one of the chess books I have ever seen. An instant classic.

    Honest, thorough and accessable, I cannot recommend this book too much.

  19. This is great news, congratulations to QC! I have finished the book during my holidays and I have to say it’s one of my favourite books on the middlegame. The explanations are crystal-clear in plain English, and I encountered a lot of eye-openers (such as the one mentioned by Jacob in his introduction). It all seems so simple reading the book, but trying to apply this in my own games will be not so simple I’m afraid :-). I’m also delighted to see that there will follow at least two more volumes! By the way, I’m also looking forward to an updated publishing schedule – Christmas is approaching rapidly 🙂

  20. First impression after first chapter is if Kramnik was as he said in one interwiev that he is concidering to write a book about his wins in kings indian, than Gelfand is crushing Chebanenko slav. Great book. Hard, but great.

  21. I bought 4 copies. This is the book of the decade…(or one of them) and is very popular in Hungary with my chess friends.

  22. Bought mine at chess shop “Schaak- En Go-winkel Het Paard” in Amsterdam. I read and re-read the book 2 times during a one week holiday in France. Its a fantastic book because the (positional) explanations/ideas are simple to connect to the positions. One of the challenges for me is to keep the idea’s simple (and relevant) and make the tactics/lines work :). And the book can be read well without using a chess set.

  23. @ Jacob Aagaard
    With the reprint will the Gelfand now be available everywhere now?
    Or do we still have to wait until end of year for book?

  24. Gelfand book fantastic. Perhaps book of the year with competition from other QC authors.
    When will a new publishing be up?

  25. Jacob Aagaard :
    It might be. He should not have said this, but yes, he is working on a book on this.


    I hadn’t realised firstly that it was due to be a QC book (MM presented a series of lectures on the topic at a recent tournament I attended – all indications were that it was finished so I assumed, as it wasn’t on your schedule, that someone else was publishing it). I also thought QC were done with tournament/match books?!

    Initially my heart sank when he announced the subject of the lectures, believing there could be nothing new to say about this match. However all the lectures were extremely interesting and had a very fresh approach to the subject matter.

  26. Hello,
    sorry for the off-topic theme: please, can you tell me what is the original title of “Python Strategy” (I mean the English version of the Russian equivalent)?

    I’m concerned about it, because I would like to be sure that “Python Strategy” is not the same book of “Shakhmatneye Lektsii”, Moskva, Fizkul’tura i sport, 1989 – that I already own, translate in Italian Language (“Lezioni di Strategia”, Roma, Prisma Editori, 1991).

    Thank you for the information.

  27. @saintex

    The original title in Russian translates as “The Strategy of Soundess” (Some say the “The Strategy of Reliability”). The book you mention seems to be called “Strategic Lessons” so I don’t know how much material they have in common.

  28. Sympathy for the chess professionals yes, but do not buy from chess cafe, I did last year and they never delivered, so I gave up and bought again, 14 books were from Quality Chess, 4 hardcover. Just a heads up and that is why people buy from, you know, places they trust.

  29. @John Shaw @Jacob Aagaard

    Thank you! For your answers.

    The Petrosian Book it is not the same book I mentioned above, but it is the same of another one, that I already have.

    This one:

    I double checked both the summary and the extract and the are the same.

    The original title was “Strategija Nadezhnosti”, Moskva, Fizkul’tura i sport, 1989.

    It was transalted in Italian in 1998, and I have a copy of those years.
    Thank you again (I simply will buy something different from you…).

    Have a nice day

  30. The Doctor :
    Is the Dragon still on the September 2nd on FC?

    Yes, based on the most recent info I have from Forward Chess, both Dragons should be available on September 2. September 9 from Quality Chess, of course.

  31. @John Shaw
    Apologies for my confusion but I got mixed up somewhere along the way. The Sept 9 date is the date they go on sale in the chess shops, and websales should despatch (arrive?) 2 days earlier? Normally would not be bothered by the difference but going away on 11th for a bit and wondering if I should wait until I get back to order.

  32. @Paul

    Dragon books arriving in European chess shops on September 9 is correct, but the exact arrival date of websales is not as fixed. It can be a little before the 9th, or sometime after, depending on where we are posting to and how smoothly shipping goes.

    Just as an example, if we were posting 2 books to the UK, then they would most likely be posted from Glasgow on Monday 7th – assuming no delays.

  33. Perhaps too late for a correction for the reprint but in Gelfand’s Positional Decision Making in Chess, p.208, column 2, there is a comment that states “Black maintains contain pressure, although the position is double-edged.” Perhaps he meant ‘constant’ instead of ‘contain’.

  34. @Charles
    We delayed the reprint a bit once we got nominated for ECF book of the year, with the hope of getting a sticker on the cover, should we win. So, it is in time and much appreciated.

  35. @Charles
    I think I was too quick to thank you. The word “contain” is not in the book at all. The sentence is not on page 208 and I really have no idea about what you are referring to at all :-). Maybe you can check again and clarify?

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