Minor, minor publication schedule update

We sent Vassilios Kotronias Grandmaster Repertoire 6A – Beating the Anti-Sicilians away to the printer a while ago. Despite the impending doom, commonly referred to as Christmas, the book will be out soon – 9th December to be exact (and a week before on Forward Chess as usual).

Andrew and Nikos are working around the clock, Andrew during the day and Nikos during the night. They are almost done with Playing 1.e4 e5 – A Classical Repertoire, which will be yet another repertoire book for Black based on the Breyer. It seems this is rather popular at the moment! We are hoping this will be the best of the lot, but the competition is stiff.

We are also quite close to finishing Yuri Razuvaev’s book in the classic series, Key Concepts of Gambit Play. It will not go to the printer that quickly though, as John will proofread it and he has to finish his own book first!

This is what we are doing right at the moment. A bit down the line, we will have Mikhalevski: Grandmaster Repertoire 19 – Beating Minor Openings, which will be the final numbered book in the GM Repertoire series, if we exclude A’s, B’s and so on. We will also get around to editing the final book in Tal’s Best Games series, The Invincible. We are working on other projects of course, such as Kotronias on the King’s Indian 4, with the series finishing with volume 5. And no, I will not go through the content of any of these books at this moment.

For a more detailed publishing schedule, maybe the future will provide!?

354 thoughts on “Minor, minor publication schedule update”

  1. @Jacob Aagaard Regarding the Classical 1.e4 e5 repertoire can you say how many pages it’s likely to be? Will it be 500+ for example? I’m curious, because if I understand it right it covers both the Open Games, Breyer and the lines leading up to it.

  2. “For a more detailed publishing schedule, maybe the future will provide!?”

    We clearly need a publication schedule publication schedule.

  3. Avrukh’s GM1B Queen’s Gambit was scheduled to be published in winter.
    Would it be out when the weather is still cold?

  4. @Jacob Aagaard and Hysan Wong I will also add (in case you didn’t know) that Jan Gustafsson spoke very highly of Avrukh’s 1A Catalan book in his recent video series for chess24 called “A repertoire against 1.d4. Part 1: Dealing with the Catalan”, I can’t remember word for word what he said, but it was something along the lines of being unable to crack Avrukh’s analysis and agreeing with all his conclusions, coming from an excellent opening theoretician such as Gustafsson it is high praise.

  5. @Aagaard
    However much sense it probably makes to have the “last numbered” book in the GM Rep. Series, it still feels a bit like it’s the “end of an era”. I know you will probably argue that GM Rep. Books can still be published, but I can’t help but feel a bit sad that “it’s over”.

    Thanks so much for making this series 1-20 so fantastic. I have never loved to read chess books as much as THAT particular series.

  6. @Thomas

    Who announced a new edition of “Chess Structures”? This would be news to me.

    We reprinted a few months ago, but no new edition, no changes.

    There will also be foreign-language versions. Maybe someone is counting that as a “new edition”, but really it’s the same book in a different language.

  7. Jacob Aagaard :
    As far as I understand, this line is back in trouble for Black again?! But I have to admit that I am not very theoretical…

    Is it? I’ve found the SOS analyse from Bosch in NiC 4/2015 (?) with 15…g5 and many references to Avrukh’s book quite convincing. Boris doesn’t mention this move. It’s still complicated and both sides have to know something. But from a theoretical standpoint Black seems to be fine. I would be pleased to read otherwise, but right now I’m in doubt.

    Gustafsson’s video is brand new btw and excellent als usual, but also already outdated a bit due to Elianov – Nakamura, Baku. But that’s quite normal for higly popular and theoretical stuff.

  8. Niggemann.com from germany announces

    “new edition planned for 01.03.2016”

    That’s why i just came here. But also with some updates AND hardcover i would by it again. 🙂

    Also looking forward to the 1. e4 e5 book. You will do a great job. 🙂

  9. @Karl

    Thanks for the information, but if a real new edition was planned, I would know about it!

    Maybe it’s a reference to reprinting hardcovers, with a wild guess about the date. I will ask our friends in Germany.

  10. @John Shaw

    Replying to myself is weird, but no matter. The Niggemann announcement mentioned above is indeed their guess of when we will reprint Chess Structures hardcovers. In our QC terminology, that’s not a new edition, as the content remains the same.

  11. Does this mean that you will reprint Chess Structures HC in the foreseeable future?

    On a sidenote, anybody who can read chess German should definitely check out the Niggemann shop. They still have their big sale on the German QC catalog.

  12. @Aagaard
    Right on – so that in turn means we will still see “Grandmaster Repertoire” books with specific titles and/or vol. 1,2,3 etc. like we’ve seen up until now, but just without series-number. Is that how it should be interpreted ? 🙂

  13. @Alexander
    Look at the Kotronias and Negi series’. They are GM Repertoire books, of course, but not numbered. This also gives us freedom to number individual series’ like those…

  14. @Jacob Aagaard
    I believe White could investigate 10.Nc3 in that line (to be able to meet …e5 with d4-d5 at any moment; this effectively prevents …e5), followed by the thematic pawn sac b2-b3; this is pretty dangerous against the black king that has castled long.
    In general, this line seems rather risky for Black, and 6.Nbd2 is no picnic either, I think.

  15. @Aagaard
    I see your point – and I’m looking forward to see many more GM Rep books in the future. They have somehow become my favorites, because it’s a lot of fun to learn something new.

  16. @Alexander
    I have to say that it is rather pleasing to see that serious chess books are as popular as books that offer a quick introduction. I have nothing against them either, I should hasten to say, but I like that people like good books.

  17. @Aagaard
    I don’t just like QC’s good books, I love them. I can see the result OTB – my strength have grown tremendously, once I had the courage to throw the gauntlets, sit down and play tournament chess again.

    I feel “right at home” with the repertoire provided by QC. It’s a pleasure to understand so much more of what is going on, having kicked in so much hard reading/studying over the past 4-5 years.

    My next task will probably be to convert the advantage this understanding gives me, especially in the transition-phase between the second half of the middlegame and into a (hopefully) winning endgame. King’s books may be of help, but I am definitely open for suggestions on how to improve the choice of plan(s).

    Thanks again for providing us with QC, respected authors and living fully up to delivering quality!

  18. @Alexander
    Depending on your level, I have seen repeated “through the roof” improvement from either working through Yusupov’s books (up to 2300) or my own Grandmaster Preparation series. It is almost weekly someone tells me it took them from 2200 to 2400 or something like this. As that jump took me 6 year personally, I am happy to have provided people with a 3-6x shortcut…

  19. @Aagaard
    Hah! Hear hear!! Yusupov’s books it is next (since I have them already), as soon as I’m through Berg’s third volume.

    Let’s see how that goes 🙂

  20. Should the Kotronias book be on Forward Chess today? Normally they appear in the store (apple) first thing….but not there yet.

  21. Paul :
    Should the Kotronias book be on Forward Chess today? Normally they appear in the store (apple) first thing….but not there yet.

    Forward Chess has released the Android version of “Beating the Anti-Sicilians” today. FC is also ready with the Apple version, but they have to wait until Apple give their approval.
    FC are hoping that approval will arrive today or tomorrow. As soon as that happens, FC will release the Apple version.

  22. Looking forward (or should I dread it?) to comparing the overlap between Kotronias’ and my book! 😀

    The excerpt looks excellent, nice work guys!

  23. Yes, looks great….my one reservation (which could be first impression) is the treatment of Rossolimo. At first glance choice looked a bit of a fudge to keep everyone happy (2 ..d6, 2 …Nc6) and also the (2 …d6, 4 Qxd4). But this is just from first glance….perhaps when I delve deeper I’ll see merit.

    Forward Chess is a great little app, which is constantly striving to be better….now allows you to analyse on the board.

  24. Paul :
    At first glance choice looked a bit of a fudge to keep everyone happy (2 ..d6, 2 …Nc6) and also the (2 …d6, 4 Qxd4)..

    To be fair this is the system that Kotronias himself has played for many years, with great results (see for example, his win against Howell from the Euro teams in 2013). Tiger recommended it in the previous QC Anti-Sicilians book, but there were a lot of hairy lines where Black really has to know what he is doing, which put me off. Will see if Kotronias can convince me…….

  25. I received the Anti-Sicilians book yesterday and it looks like naother great effort by Kotronias. It’s incredible how high his output is, at a consistently high quality! Very much looking forward to his last books on the KID as well, and then the question is: what’s next? Speaking of which, I’m wondering if it would be possible to give us a publishing schedule for 2016, as a christmas present? That would be very much appreciated 🙂

  26. @Nico
    He kindly offered it to us, but we felt that we should finish the books he has already written for us first, so we suggested that he’d take it to someone else. Luckily there are a number of other good publishers out there. We are friends with most of them and it is not uncommon that books that for some reason do not fit in one place are passed on in this way. This does not mean that there are anything wrong with them, just that they do not fit what we are trying to do at this moment in time. I am sure we will work with Vassilios on something else in the near future, but first let’s finish the KID books!

  27. Thanks for the information. I think I’ll skip that one, since the Scandinavian is not my cup of tea. By the way, good to hear that his books on the KID have already been written!

  28. @Ray
    I have the fear that John Bartholomew, David Smerdon and Vasilios Kotronias will turn me to a Scandi lover! These are all pretty enthusiastic guys with very good output!

  29. I really like Kotronias’ book on the Anti-Siclians, but there is a major omission I think (at least it is neither covered in his book nor in GM Rep Dragon and GM Rep Sveshnikov): Open Sicilians with 5.f3. Sergey Kasparov has written a whole book on this (‘Steamrolling the Sicilian’) so one can expect to face it more frequently. I was wondering if you agree this should have been covered somewhere, and if so, is there any chance this will be fixed in a future news letter? Thanks for your reaction!

  30. @Ray

    It’s in Experts on the Anti Sicilian.

    There are a few omissions to be honest, not just this one!
    Although they are very minor/non critical ones.

  31. 1. The Prins – 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 (Covered in Experts).
    2. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Bd3 (Covered in the Sharpest Sicilian).
    3. 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Qxd4 (Rubbish for White but still an option).
    4. 1.e4 c5 2.a3 g6 3.h4!? (Simon Williams did a You Tube video on the 3.h4!? line (Covered in Experts)
    5. 1.e4 c5 2.f4 g6 (VK basically says White will eventually play Nc3 and will transpose into GPA), what about when White play d3 & c3 (Usually reached via a 2.d3 move order).
    6. When I wrote my last post I was going to say the Portsmouth Gambit with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.b4!? (omitted from the Killer Sicilian), but since then I see VK has covered it in the Wing Gambit chapter.

    I guess there is no independent significance of 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 (Transposes to Chapter 12)

    I said they were minor & insignificant, but I think lines 1 & 2 should have been added. They seem to be missing from most Open Sicilian books as its not a ‘Dragon’ or a ‘Najdorf’ but Anti-Sicilians books omit it as you play 3.d4!

    This is only from a very quick glance, the book is VERY good indeed so please don not take as criticism. I may find a few more once a look in more detail, but possibly not? Other may find other things missing? But again AMAZING quality work!!!

  32. I also thought that if Kotronias decided to cover 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 and 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 he should probably also cover 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4!? – that line is sort of critical anyway.

  33. Thank you for your comments on missing lines. I know they are shared supportively and I appreciate it. But I can tell you that we are very critical of this internally and will make sure that update files exist in the near future (read January). I am especially furious that 5.f3 was omitted for the second time. Especially as it was mentioned that it was missing internally at some point.

    We have never been shy of saying that we are just ordinary people doing our best and that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes from time to time. But I have to say that this time I do not think this is good enough and it has lead to quite significant changes in how we deal with projects already. Hopefully, this will happen less in the future.

  34. @Jacob Aagaard
    For me Anti-Sicilian means, that White deviates from the “normal” 1.e4, 2.Nf3, 3.d4, 4.Nxd4.
    Later deviations should be handled as part of the specific repertoire (Sveshnikov/Najdorf etc.).
    I would not say that 5.Nb3 in the Sveshnikov is an Anti-Sicilian. From that point of view the Prins is a specific problem for Najdorf-Players.

  35. @MHG: but there is no Najdorf book that starts at 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6, and then treats 5.f3. They all start at 5.Nc3 a6. So an anti-Sicilians book needs to treat all the important deviations before that.

  36. @Remco G
    Either way, it should be treated somewhere, so in my opinion QC did not offer a full reportoire for Dragon players. It’s a minor point, but still lines after 3.d4 are easy to miss if there is no agreement on the definition of ‘Anti-Sicilians’ .

  37. @Ray
    I always feel really motivated to do better by the gentle reminders on this blog that we can do things better and that our customers most certainly deserve it.

  38. I am thinking of buying the Sveshnikov book by Kotronias.
    What is the current verdict on 11.Bd3, Be6 12.Qh5, Rg8 13.g3?

    Should black play 13.- Nd4 or 13.-Rg4?

  39. What is a sharp/wild or a safe/solid chess opening?

    To me an opening like the Dragon can be used as a sharp uncompromising weapon by playing something wild and crazy like the Soltis variation against 9.Bc4 and 9.- Bd7 against 9.0-0-0. Or it can be used as a drawing weapon by playing the Topalov variation against 9.Bc4 and 9.-d5 against 9.0-0-0.

  40. When Gelfand faced Anand in the 2012 Wch match he played the Grunfeld against 1.d4 and the Sveshnikov against 1.e4. I think he played them because they are both in an excellent theorethical shape and are quite forcing. Both openings are sharp for sure, but I think he played them to draw as black.

  41. @Aagaard
    Maybe a bit “odd” question for you guys at QC, but what do you use for typesetting your chessbooks ? My guess would be LaTeX with the use of the TexMate package ?

    I’m just curious, as I’ve fiddled around a bit with LaTeX myself lately (job-related though), but couldn’t help but think this may actually be what you guys use, and if it is not – then what do you use instead ?

    Is all your typesetting done in house at QC, or do you outsource that task elsewhere ?

    Last, but not least – happy christmas to you and everyone else at QC.
    Best regards,

    Yet another happy customer 🙂

  42. @Alexander
    We use InDesing Creative Suite Subscription service. I really like it and all the graphical people I have ever worked with knew how to use it, as well as all the printers. I think it is sort of industry standard these days.

  43. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    If there were a Nimzo GM Repertoire, would it almost always be a QID GM Repertoire for 3. Nf3? What is your opinion on the choice for Black after 3. Nf3 between the QID and the Bogo?

  44. GB :
    @JacobAagaard When can we expect an excerpt for Playing 1.e4? Is there a list of lines that will be covered?

    January, and no, we haven’t revealed an exact and complete list of variations yet.

  45. There are a lot of books about the Bogo, but unfortunately none about the QI.
    So many must looking for a QI repertoire After 3 Nf3. We have only Khalifman
    I think (Karpov Repertoire), but that has both been outdated and it’s not very
    detailed. And no Quality Chess 🙂

  46. QI is also more ‘mainline’ I think; which looks like the reason many use the Bogo as a shortcut After having dealt with the Nimzo. QC, however, should have the Quality to delve in the main lines and to provide us with a long been missing QI repertoire.

  47. Peter Wells did ‘Chess Explained – Queen’s Indian’ and Lorin D’Costa’s ‘Queens Indian MBM’ is either published of very close to being. So there is stuf out there if you look hard enough.

  48. I’ve also got Andrew Greet’s book on the Queen’s Indian and agree it’s a useful source still. Looking forward to seeing D’Costa’s effort.

  49. I did not want to play 4 g3 Ba6, but the old mainline instead (4… Bb7).
    And as I found out, all modern books recommend 4… Ba6.
    QI Explained from John Emms is a nice booklet but not really a repertoire book.

  50. What Sicilian is the safest? I want a safer variation to complement the sharp lines I use (Najdorf, Dragon, Classical variation). I am thinking of Kan, Tajmanov or accelerated dragon.

  51. Yes I know. What is your opinion? I am leaning towards the Kan.
    I think the English attack against the Taimanov is very “unsafe”.

    Against 5.Bd3 there is 5.-Nc6 6.Nxc6, dxc6 that can be considered safe.
    On 5.c4 black can play the hedgehog with a solid position.
    Versus 5.Nc3, Qc7 black can transpose to the Taimanov if he want.

  52. Besides,

    Since the Kan is very flexible it is also possible to play it more sharply.
    5.Bd3, Bc5 or 5.-g6
    5.c4, Nf6 6.Nc3, Bb4
    5.Nc3, Qc7 6.Be2, b5

  53. Bebbe, I am just the opposite of you. I play the Taimanov as my primary weapon with the occasional Najdorf either in must win situations or sometimes if transposed from the Closed Sicilian (i.e. 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 – I love this line for Black – and now if 3.Nf3, I’ll usually end up in a Najdorf if they go 4.d4)

    Is the Taimanov really the safest? That’s arguable. I might argue that the “safest” sicilian, though a bit on the drawish side, is the Accelerated Dragon. If White plays the Maroczy Bind, and you simply sit there and defend, you’ll almost always get a drawn double-rook and pawn ending. If you try to do too much, White will likely win, but if you go with the draw mentality and wait on White to error, then I think the Accelerated Dragon may be “safer” than the Taimanov or Kan, but there aren’t many that I would call safer than the Taimanov and/or Kan.

  54. I am also toying with a similar approach in the Dutch with the Leningrad being the more dynamic and sharp option and the Stonewall the safer option.

    I think the stonewall is

  55. Patrick,

    I agree that the accelerated dragon is a safe option if White plays the Maroczy.
    But how about 5.Nc3, Bg7 6.Be3, Nf6 7.Bc4?

    I am an attacker, but in some situation a solid opening is required.
    Some of the positions in the Maroczy seem a little passive for black.

  56. What is the most solid option against the Maroczy?

    Maybe 5.c4, Nf6 6. Nc3, d6 7.Be2, Nxd4 8.Qxd4, Bg7


    5.c4, Bg7 6.Be3, Nf6 7.Nc3, 0-0 8.Be2, d6 9.0-0, Bd7

  57. I think that the Sveshnikov also belongs to the safe side, if you know your theory. At least on top level there are a lot of draws, I think partly because it’s not that easy to get the initiative with white, you rather have to count on the weak d6 pawn. But I would go as far as to say that no Sicilian line is safe when the people start playing Negi’s recommendations! 😉

  58. Bebbe,

    I’ve played the Accl Dragon for 15 years now. The 7 Bc4 line and marcozy and probably what I face the most once I crossed into playing A/X players. Cannot say above that as my experience is minimal. Below that the most common line was probably what J. Silman calls the ‘weekend variation’ where white tries to play a yugoslav and just get equality as there is an early d5 push.
    At a higher(A/X) level where 7 Bc4 is played correctly, it is a very drawish endgame fairly quickly usually.

  59. I think there’s great argument for the Classical Sicilian in terms of theory load and risk. Here are my arguments:

    *Very little theory needed (relatively speaking) until you come to 6.Bg5 obviously. More to the point, a lot of Black’s ideas are tied well-timed …e5! strikes into the center.
    *When dealing with 6.Bg5, Black’s choices are (realistically) limited to 2 paths [since Dreev’s 6…Bd7 idea has been improved on by White]: 1) go for broke and follow Z. Kazul’s analysis via “The Richter Rauzer Reborn”; or 2) prioritize securing counterplay via M. Marin’s chessbase trainer vid “The Classical Sicilian.”

  60. @TonyRo
    This week, me and a friend had a look to see what Kotronias offered against this line and we also noticed this omission. There is nothing on this at all, not even a comment that e.g. it won’t be covered or can be found in this or that book. Just 4. c3!?, period. We found this very strange, because we both consider this line an Anti-Sicilian. I haven’t followed the line (because I normally play other Sicilians), and thought it wasn’t critical (mainly based on Greet’s excellent Starting Out-book). No matter what it should be mentioned, because otherwise the reader is just left at move 4. On top of that, as the Morra is a common Anti-Sicilian, I would have expected more coverage of the main line in this variation as well, but there is only one line.

    I really do like the book, though.

    Btw, I can’t find coverage of the Morra in your excellent book, did I miss something or do you think that White will have to transpose into the c3-Sicilian after 1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3 Nf6?

  61. Yes, a small omission, perhaps because most GMs don’t invest a lot of time or effort in thinking about the hyper-accelerated dragon move order. I’m sure QC will rectify it. Maybe Andrew can do it even! 😀

    The Morra is covered in the last chapter in my book, the one on “odd second moves”. Indeed, a transpo to the Alapin is recommended due to space considerations. I generally take the pawn and play either the line recommended by Gallagher/Palliser or 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6. A good look at the latest Morra texts and a CC database would catch you up quite nicely I think, if you were so inclined.

  62. I began working on Lars’ Semi-Slav book though I had bought it a few months ago.
    I must say that quality of analysis moved on to a new level compared to his previous QG books.Usage of correspondence games and the other books on the subject like Sakaev’s and of course the authors own analyses has done a good job.I am happy to buy the book, a feeling I don’t always have with the opening books.

  63. @TonyRo
    Thanks! Sorry, I missed that last Chapter! I have to admit I stopped reading the book because I found so many others, like Houska’s on the C-K (weird to move that c-pawn only one step, though…), Kotronias on the Anti-Sicilians and Sielecki’s on the Nimzo- and Bogo-Indian 😀 And also started studying the endgame, beginning with 100 Endgames you must know, btw.

    I have often not taken the pawn since I play …Nf6 against the Alapin anyway. However, I am looking to add a system when I accept the pawn just for fun. In blitz I have used the Scheveningen plan starting as you mention, but also Bent Larsen’s old plan of putting the bishop on d6 and queen on c7, also starting with your move order. Still, the …g6-plan appeals to me because it fits with some of my other repertoire and it is less usual, meaning Morra players might not handle it as well as the more common variations.

    Anyway, I fear I won’t finish your book or Kotronias for some time if John, Andrew and Nikos manage to finish their books soon 🙂

  64. @Bobby
    It’s more likely that the book will Nimzo Indian and Queen’s Indian based on some of Jacob’s comments.

    But if or when such books will be published is the million dollar question many of us have been asking for some time!

  65. Nico,

    I agree that the Sveshnikov is pretty solid if you know your theory.
    Many positions are very forcing and an endgame often arise.
    Some variations can be pretty sharp tough, with an early piece sacrifice on b5
    for instance.


    I think you refer to the line 7.Bc4, 0-0 8.Bb3, a5 9.f3.
    What is the drawish ending you are talking about?
    What line do you recommend against the Maroczy?

  66. @Bebbe
    Hi Bebbe, sorry for not responding erlier – I have been away for some days. I would lean to the Kan being the safest Sicilian, but I agree with Nikos that there are hardly any really safe Sicilians if white is determined to attack. E.g. Negi gives some hair-raising lines against the Accelerated Dragon. In my opinion playing the Sicilian is almost contradictory to playing safe. Maybe you could also combine the Sicilian with 1…e5? I heard the Berlin is pretty safe 🙂

  67. Ray,

    No problem, there is more in life than chess.

    There is too much to learn after 1.-e5. White can play all kinds of stuff.
    I thought about including the Caro-Kann in my repertoire. I played it
    in online Blitz games but concluded that it does not suit my style.

    I think I will play both the Kan and the Accelerated Dragon as my safe
    alternatives. What does Negi recommend against the Accelerated Dragon?

    I think 7.-Qa5 is a safe option against 7.Bc4.

  68. I play the Kan but there are some critical lines with a pawn sac on e5 as in e.g. Grandelius-Smirin if i remember correctly. I agree that there are basically always lines in the Sicilians that will be less safe. In the CK there is some in the Panov and the advance variations but not nearly as much as in the Sicilians. And the Antis against the CK are less worrying that the anti-Sicilians imo.

  69. Jonas,

    What about the Accelerated Dragon?
    I am not aware of any really scary variation for black.
    The anti Sicilians are not so scary I think.

  70. Bebbe, no, not very scary in terms of a direct attack like opposite castling a la The English attack or for thar matter e.g. the Keres attack. More scary in terms of being suffocated without real counterplay 😀 The omitted line discussed in the Hyperaccelerated Dragon above with Qxd4 can be a bit dangerous, though.

  71. Jonas,

    Yes I understand what you mean like 1.e4, c5 2.Nf3, Nc6 3.Bb5.
    What I am look for is a defence with low probability of my king being
    mated like in The English attack or the 6.Bg5 if we speak about Najdorf.
    It is also evident that this is a risk in the dragon and in the classical
    (I play the Kozul against Richter Rauzer there) as well.

    The line you are refering to is after 2.-g6 3.d4, cxd4 4.Qxd4.
    My intention is to play 2.-Nc6. The purpose is to use the Accelerated Dragon
    against maniac attackers or strong theorethicans.
    Just to get a playable position and be ready for a long fight.

  72. I would guess that the Accelerated Dragon fits well with you are looking for. Haven’t really looked at all Sicilians I must say but as you mention, the Dragon, Classical and Najdorf, as well as the Scheveningen, Kan and Taimanov all have good double-edged lines for White that involve direct attacks going for the king. However, I can’t think of too many of those in the Sveshnikov or Kalashnikov either. They might suit you better. There are two very good books from last year on these variations 🙂

  73. I was thinking of playing the Sveshnikov as a “solid”defence.
    Some of the variations do not really fit the bill:

    9.Bxf6, gxf6 10.Nd5, f5 11.Bxb5,axb5 12.Nxb5, Ra4
    9.Bxf6, gxf6 10.Nd5, f5 11.Bd3, Be6 12.Nxb5
    9.Bxf6, gxf6 10.Nd5, f5 11.Bd3, Be6 12.Qh5, Rg8

    Regarding the Kalashnikov I do not know so much

    4.-e5 5.Nb5, d6 6.N1c3, a6 7.Na3, b5 8.Nd5, Nge7 9.c4

    Is one of the critical variations. Is this solid?

  74. On the other hand black seems to be in excellent shape in the Sveshnikov which is objectively stronger than the Accelerated Dragon.

    Maybe I should learn this as well. Now I will have six Sicilians (Najdorf, Dragon, Classical, Kan, Accelerated Dragon, Sveshnikov) in my repertoire.

    Puh, hard work indeed, but fun!

  75. Bebbe :
    Regarding the Kalashnikov I do not know so much
    4.-e5 5.Nb5, d6 6.N1c3, a6 7.Na3, b5 8.Nd5, Nge7 9.c4
    Is one of the critical variations. Is this solid?

    7…Be7! is very solid.

  76. TonyRo


    I have not read your book. Need to check it out.
    Is it possible to use the Kalashnikov as a solid weapon?

    6.c4 is also critical.

  77. I think the Kalashnikov is one of the most solid Sicilian options out there if Black wants it to be. Very very few lines that endanger your king, mostly positions that depend on your knowledge of the piece plans and piece deployments, etc. 6.c4 is a logical move, but I think it’s no better objectively than 6.N1c3.

    But honestly, if you have 5-6 Sicilians in your repertoire, you probably already have too many. In my opinion, get rid of 3 of those, learn the other two in greater depth, and add either the Kalashnikov or 1…e5 to your repertoire if you want something more solid. Good luck!

  78. TonyRo,

    Thanks for your advice on the Kalshnikov.
    Will have a look at your book and make up my own mind.

    To me learning to play e5 answering Nf3 with Nc6 is roughly equivalent
    to learning the Classical, Kan and Accelerated Dragon.

    If chosing the Petroff there really is less to learn.
    But I dont think it suits my style. I am stronger
    in asymmetrical pawn structures than in symmetrical.

  79. Any news on GM 6 open sicilian?.It has been 6 years since the previous edition was published, so I guess time has come for a new edition.I am not buying the new 6a because I have the “experts on the antisic.” and I don’t want to keep buying closed sicilian books without a sicilian mainline book at my hand.

  80. Ray,

    Yes you and TonyRo are probably right.
    I Think I follow your advice and include the Caro-Kann as my solid defence against e4.
    Will stop playing the Najdorf and keep the dragon and the classical.
    I will also start playing the Kan. So 3 Sicilians and the Caro-Kann seems ok.

    Do you think that the Grunfeld is a solid defence against d4? I guess it depends on what variations black will chose. My intention is to play Avrukhs repertoire which seems pretty solid and also dynamic.

  81. Bebbe, if you want a solid defence against d4 I would opt for the Slav. That also fits in nicely with the Caro-Kann against 1.e4. Avrukh’s book on the Slav is very good i.m.o.

  82. Ray,

    In the slav there is an obvious risk of ending up in a symmetrical
    pawn structure (Exchange variation) which I do not like.

    I have thought of using the Nimzo-Bogo combination as my solid defence against d4.

  83. In the Nimzo there are at least as many ways to play Black as in the Sicilian, though always asymmetrical, which is great.

  84. I love to play … c5 and so I play Ben-Oni, Nimzo among other with Great pleasure. Playing also c4 with White, and having played the Acc Dragon, Taimanov, Scheveningen and Symm English for Black, I like asymmetrical games by taking grond of the center or Attacking it by means of my c-pawn. After 1 d4 this is somewhat more difficult to achieve, but an early …d5 leads too often to Some fixed pawn structure in my opinion, most of all in the Exchange Slav but unfortunately not only there. So I agree with you at that point, Bebbe, although one is able to play exciting games with long delayed casting in the Slav too.

  85. Mebhiboshef,

    Seems like we have a similar outlook on chess.
    Symmetrical pawn structures takes away some
    of the dynamism in chess.

    I was thinking of using the “Andersson-variation”
    in the Bogoindian as my solid choice.
    It cannot be much safer than that.
    It works against both 3.Nf3 and 3.g3.

    Apart from the Nimzo-Bogo I will only play razorsharp
    openings like the Kingsindian, Leningrad Dutch, Benoni
    against 1.d4.

  86. @ Bebbe: Last Saturday I played a complicated and asymmetric (although not very well played) game against someone who avoids every main line he isn’t comfortable with so to get this positional player (he plays only Caro-Kann and main line Slav as Black, really!) out of his comfort zone I decided to give …Nf6 and …d6 a try, planning to play the Pribyl for a asymmetric game. However he played 3 Bd3 and I attacked his center immediately with 3… c5, he offered his d4-pawn but I went for the e4-pawn and won a interesting game. Not that well played the whole game but at least I blundered less than my opponent. Enjoy!
    [Event “Y”]
    [Site “?”]
    [Date “2016.01.09”]
    [Round “?”]
    [White “X”]
    [Black “me”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [ECO “B07”]
    [WhiteElo “1862”]
    [BlackElo “1791”]
    [PlyCount “90”]
    [EventDate “2016.01.09”]
    [SourceDate “2016.01.09”]

    1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bd3 c5 4. f4 c4 5. Bxc4 Nxe4 6. Qh5 (6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.
    Qh5+ Kf6 $11) 6… e6 7. Qe2 $2 Qh4+ 8. Kf1 Ng3+ 9. hxg3 Qxh1 $17 10. f5 (10.
    d5 $1 $15) 10… Be7 $19 (10… Nc6 $19) 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Nd2 Qh6 $2 (12…
    O-O+ 13. Ndf3 d5) (12… Nc6 13. Ndf3 d5 14. Bb3 O-O) 13. Ne4 O-O+ 14. Nf3 $2
    Qh1+ 15. Kf2 d5 $19 16. g4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 Qh4+ (17… Bh4+ 18. Ke3 Bg3 (18…
    Nc6)) (17… Nc6) 18. Kg1 Qf6 (18… Rxf3 19. gxf3 (19. Qxf3 Qe1+ 20. Kh2 Bd6+
    21. g3 Nc6) 19… Qg3+ 20. Kf1 Bh4) 19. Bd3 Qg6 20. Qe2 Qe8 (20… Qxg4 $1 21.
    Bxh7+ Kxh7 $1 22. Ng5+ Qxg5 $1 23. Bxg5 Bxg5 $19) 21. Qe4 g6 22. Bh6…

  87. 22. Bh6 Nd7 $2 (
    22… Rf6 23. g5 Rf5 $19) (22… Qc6 23. Bxf8 Qxe4 24. Bxe4 Bxf8 $19) 23. Qxe6+
    Qf7 $17 24. Qe2 (24. Bc4) (24. Qxf7+ Kxf7 25. Bc4+ Ke8 26. Re1 Kd8 27. Bxf8
    Bxf8 $17) 24… Nb6 $1 $17 25. Ne5 (25. Bxf8 Bxf8 26. Ne5 Qe7) (25. Re1 Bd6)
    25… Qf6 (25… Qd5 $1 $19 26. c3 Re8) (25… Qe6 26. Bxf8 Bxf8) 26. Bxf8 Bxf8
    27. Rf1 Qg7 $4 (27… Qd6 $17) (27… Qe6 $17) 28. Rf7 $6 (28. Bc4+ $1 Nxc4 29.
    Qxc4+ Kh8 30. Nf7+ Kg8 $18 31. Qd5 (31. c3 Bxg4 32. Nh6+) 31… Bxg4 32. Ne5+)
    28… Qh6 $2 (28… Qxf7 29. Nxf7 Kxf7 $16) 29. Qe4 $4 (29. Bc4 Nxc4 30. Qxc4
    $1 $18) (29. Rf6 $18) 29… Be6 $1 $19 30. Qxb7 $2 Bd5 $19 (30… Qe3+ $1 31.
    Kh2 (31. Rf2 Qxd4 $19) 31… Qxd4 $19) (30… Qc1+ 31. Bf1 (31. Kh2 Bd5 32. Qc7
    Bh6 $19) 31… Qxb2 $19) 31. Qc7 Bd6 (31… Qe3+ 32. Kh2 Rc8) 32. Qxd6 Bxf7 33.
    c4 Re8 34. Qf6 Qg7 35. Qc6 Re6 36. Qf3 Qf6 37. Qg3 Qg5 38. c5 Qc1+ 39. Kh2 Qh6+
    40. Kg1 Qc1+ 41. Kh2 Nd5 42. Qf3 Rf6 43. Qe2 Qf4+ 44. Kg1 Qxd4+ 45. Kh2 Re6 0-1

  88. That should also be fine for Black indeed, but I didn’t want to play in his hands and instemde to break his center and that f4-pawn look ugly. As it went, it worked wonders. Seems that early tactical adventures are not to his strength. And above all I want to be the one that dictates the direction of the game.

  89. I am thinking of how to play solidly as black against 1.c4 and 1.Nf3.
    I think the following repertoire choices should be compatible with the Nimzo/Bogo combination against 1.d4:

    1.c4, Nf6 2.Nc3, e6 3.e4, d5

    1.c4, Nf6 2.Nc3, e6 3.Nf3, Bb4

    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, e6 3.Nc3, Bb4

    What to play against
    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, e6 3.g3?

    I dont want to play 3.-d5 so maybe 3.- b6
    could be the choice here playing the Queens indian
    if white plays d4 at some point.

    Also I think of:

    1.c4, Nf6 2.g3, c6

    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.g3, g6 3.Bg2, Bg7 4.d4, d5

    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.g3, g6 3.Bg2, Bg7 4.0-0, 0-0 5.c4, c6

    Is this a solid repertoire for black?

  90. Another approach is to aim for the hedgehog playing a solid line against the sharp 7.Re1

    1.c4, Nf6 2.Nc3, c5 3.Nf3, e6 4.g3, b6 5.Bg2, Bb7 6.0-0, Be7 7. Re1, Ne4
    (here I usually play 7.-d6 8.e4, a6 9.d4, cxd4 10.Nxd4, Qc7 with sharp play)

    1.c4, Nf6 2.Nc3, c5 3.Nf3, e6 4.g3, b6 5.Bg2, Bb7 6.0-0, Be7 7.d4, cxd4 8.Qxd4, d6

    1.c4, Nf6 2.g3, c6

    I already have the hedgehog in my repertoire so this is may be the most practical choice.

  91. Franck Steenbekkers

    Why has Ntirlis changed his aproach versus the 3 Bc4 complex?
    If i am not wrong he was intending to recommend the Italian opening

  92. @Jacob Aagaard
    Great, I’m very much looking forward to this one. Together with his volume on the French and Caro-Kann, and with John’s first book on 1.e4, I’ll have a complete 1.e4 repertoire before summer then 🙂

  93. @Franck Steenbekkers
    Indeed it is different in English and German speaking languages (Dutch and Danish are in the latter category). Italian in English is 3.Bc4, in Germanic languages it is 3.Bc4 Bc5.

    Yes. And he has delivered the book within the last hour. Now we have a traffic jam with too many files delivered. A rare luxury!

  94. I hope that the line proposed against Caro-Kann is Mr.Shaw’s work is not the one seen is Adams-Navara today. It’s probably ‘possible to learn quickly and remember’ but I don’t think it troubles Black a bit.

  95. I just would like to know if the forthcoming book on the Nimzo-Iandian will be more positionnal or aggressive ? Both will be great 😉 Go on Mr Roiz !!

  96. @Jacob Aagaard
    Yes, there is a one in the revue “Chess” of january 2016 ! (page13) at least, it’s a list of fortcoming new books titled : It’s been a good year for Quality Chess … and 2016 books looks even better!. I (we) can not disagree !!

  97. @Michel Barbaut: interesting that the new publishing schedule for 2016 has been given in ‘Chess’ magazine 🙂 Since I don’t have this magazine, can you tell me which other books are mentioned? Thanks!

  98. Soon there will be an excellent repertoire-book on the Nimzo-Indian.
    I have very high expectations for this book.

    Great news!

  99. My guess on variations that will be covered:

    4.Qc2, 0-0 5.a3, Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3, d5

    4.e3, 0-0 5.Bd3, c5 6.Nf3, Bxc3+ 7.bxc3, d6

    4.e3, 0-0 5.Nge2, Re8

    4. Nf3, c5 5.g3, cxd4 6.Nxd4, 0-0 7.Bg2, d5

    4. Bg5, h6 5.Bh4, c5 6.d5, Bxc3+ 7.bxc3, d6

    4.f3 no idea really

  100. @Michel Barbaut
    Forgot about that!

    We will make a 2016 leaflet at the end of the month as usual. The sticking point delaying it is the same as always, that we do not have covers for all of the books yet.

  101. @Ed

    I’d guess the Scheveningen, Four Knights, Basman-Sale, Pin these are the 2…e6 defences.
    Then there are the offbeat ones like O’Kelly, Nimzowitch, Grivas, Kuprevich

  102. I noticed on Yusupov’s website (www.jussupow.de) that he has just published a new book with exercises in German. It is a complement to the 9-book training series. Will Quality Chess publish an English translation of this book? Thanks.

  103. Patrick :
    I noticed on Yusupov’s website (www.jussupow.de) that he has just published a new book with exercises in German. It is a complement to the 9-book training series. Will Quality Chess publish an English translation of this book? Thanks.

    We certainly will. The only question is what to call it.

  104. Beyond the chapter titles, can anyone tell me what lines are covered in Part 3 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 of Beating 1.d4 Sidelines? I want to determine if it is compatible with my style and current handling of those lines.

    In general I think it would be very helpful if the pdf / forward chess excerpts included the variation index to help understand more the content of the book.

    I appreciate all of the great work in the Quality Chess books I have read so far (3 volumes on French by Berg and 2 Negi volumes on the Sicilian). Looking forward to Negi’s third volume and the Nimzo Indian book that I have heard is in the works!

  105. What is the most practical response to 6.Bg5 in the Najdorf?
    I want to avoid forced draws or forced losses.
    Have not yet read Negis book on the Najdorf.

  106. @Bebbe: I used to play the old main line to avoid a forced draw, but Negi gives some nice lines for white, and I don’t know if it qualifies as practical. Maybe 6…Nbd7 would fit the bill? Personally I would rather go for the most correct line, i.e., the Poisoned Pawn. I.m.o. forced draws are almost unavoidable in concrete, sharp openings such as the Najdorf. I also have some lines in my reportoire in the French Poisoned Pawn which end in a draw, but I have never encountered this in my over-the-board games. My bet is that most players who play 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf are playing to win, so they will mostly try to avoid a forced draw (see also Negi’s book).

  107. I have also used the poisoned pawn.
    On 8.Qd2 I play 8.-Qxb2 if I do not mind a draw.
    If I must win against a weaker opponent there is 8.-Nc6.
    No forced draw here, it seems.

  108. @ Bebbe: I’m not sure – it’s been a while since I last looked at this, since I’m playing the French at the moment. But I remember that I generally liked the recommendations of Georgiev & Kolev and of Andriasyan. You could also consider the Delayed Poisoned Pawn 7…h6 8.Bh4 Qb6, though Georgiev & Kolev make a case against it.

  109. Ray,

    I have been studing the Caro-Kann recently.
    Start to like it more and more using primarily
    GM Repertoire 7 by Schandorff as my source.

    In the classical 4.-Bf5 black can choose between short and long castling.
    Thus he can play it sharply or solidly.

  110. A few more lines seem to be missing from the Anti-Sicilian GM Rep book for 2.Nf3, e6 players. None of them is very critical, but in my experience they all occur in practice:
    a) 3.Nc3, Nc6 4.Bb5
    b) 3.Nc3, a6 4.g3
    c) 3.Nc3, d6 4.Bb5+
    d) 3.d4, cxd4 4.Nxd4, Nf6 5.Bd3, though you might draw the line before this.

    The bits of the book I have looked at so far look great, especially 2.c3.

  111. @Bebbe
    Indeed you can play the Caro-Kann sharply of solidly, but i.m.o. the classical with 4…Bf5 and …0-0-0 is a bit too passive. I think it’s very difficult to create winning chances if your opponent knows what he’s doing. Look e.g. at Negi’s book to see what I mean. But the lines with …0-0 are quite okay and fun. For example, in the line with 7…e6 Negi does not find an advantage for white.

  112. Have 1.e4 e5 on FC will buy in Hardbsck too. I haven’t looked st it properly yet will give a detailed response of thoughts when I’ve studied it in more depth

  113. Ray,

    I agree that 0-0-0 is somewhat passive.
    0-0 should be played in most games to create winning chances.

    I still think 0-0-0 can be an option in a certain tournament situation where a draw is fine
    or against a specific opponent who lacks the patience to play against solid options.

  114. @Bebbe
    At club level play …O-O-O is many times even more “winable” than the modern …O-O lines. I like for example the variation young Kasparov was playing with the bishop at e7. There is a certain corr GM (i don’t remember his name now…) who has defended those variations with certain ease.

  115. Nikos,

    Why do you think 0-0-0 is more winable?
    Is it because there is Queen trades in some of the variations after
    0-0 (with the Nf6, Qd5, Qe4 standard manouver).

    What variation played by the Young Kasparov are you refering to?
    Is it his famous game against Geller?

  116. @Bebbe
    I think that they are “more winable” mainly due to experience. Somehow players in the range of 1800-2100 lose against it all the time!

    Yes, that Geller-Kasparov game, but not …Bf8 (as the bishop cannot challenge the White one from f6 if c4-Bc3 is played). Instead of that a plan with Kb8-Ka8 waiting for White to commit is better and , as i said, has already been seen. Objectively White keeps some edge of course, but not more than a usual +/= (usually drawable in corr chess and as winable as anyything in club level play)

  117. L’Ami’s recent ChessBase-DVD on the TwoKnights-Defence seems to be missing from the 1.e4 e5 bibliography. And guessing from some of the repertoire suggestions it might indeed not have been consulted. Maybe a slight omission.

  118. Nikos,

    So players in the range 1800-2100 have a harder time finding a strategic plan against 0-0-0 than against 0-0. Is this what you mean?

    Against 0-0 there is one plan for White that is easy to understand:
    1. Attack on the kingside with g4.
    2a. If black plays Nxg4 then attack on the g-file.
    2b. If black do not play Nxg4 then play g5 to open lines against the black king.

  119. @Peter
    I simply forgot to mention this DVD. I got it signed from L’Ami himself! But, almost all of my suggestions are different from his indeed.

  120. @Bebbe
    I cannot really explain it, i have just watched far too many club players losing to this line that i started recommending it to people and they have a plus score ever since!

    Obviously …O-O lines are more critical, but yes, White has “easier” play against it.

  121. Nikos,

    As far as I know all recent Caro-Kann books recomends the critical 0-0
    approach (Schandorff and Houska).

    Do you know a reliable book covering the 0-0-0 approach?
    I have Negis first e4 book which has some really heavy analysis on 0-0-0.
    This book is however written from Whites perspective and only covers variations
    with Ne4. Another critical plan is Qe2 followed by Ne5.

  122. @Bebbe
    No, i don’t, you’ll have to do personal work on that. The Wells’ book has valuable explanations, but doesn’t really offer a repertoire. The Kasparov’s book “Revolution in the 70s” also has some material on that.

  123. Nikos,

    Thanks for your advice.
    I have “Revolution in the 70s” which I will use together with Negis book
    and some personal work to form a repertoire.

  124. Any chance of a rough estimate when the last volumes on the KID will be available? Also will they be released in bulk or separately? I recognise that it is not an exact science as the writing and editing process cannot be rushed, but nice to have something to look forwards to!

  125. @JacobAagaard When do we get a 2016 catalogue, I mean we are already close to February, and I am very excited, which books we have to expect in this year, so please tell us when we gonna know!

  126. Wonder if they’ll be any surprises

    Ones we know about already include

    Kotronias on the KID Vol 4 and 5
    Playing 1.e4 Vol 1 and 2
    GM Rep Beating Minor Openings
    GM Prep Thinking Inside the Box

    Rumours are a GM Rep NID in the pipeline

    What else could QC do they haven’t done yet?

    GM Rep Petroff
    GM Rep QID
    GM Rep QDG
    GM Rep QGA
    GM Rep a 2…e6 Sicilian

    I would like to see a one volume Playing the 1.d4 Defence

  127. TD,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I think I will add the slav defence in my repertoire since it fits well with the Caro-Kann.
    Thus Avrukh on the slav will be purchased.

    In a teammatch this weekend I lost horribly with the Kingsindian against a GM-level player.
    Really need something more solid against the GM:s.

  128. Bebbe, I find Avrukh’s book really great with a lot of good explanations and tactical points. I hadn’t played the Slav before I purchased this book and the results have been excellent. Pert’s dvd the Solid Slav is a nice supplement to the book. Not too basic for me and also fine explanations.

  129. pabstars,

    Sounds good. The dream is to have an opening that is flexible regarding the the level of sharpness. I think the Caro-Kann is such an opening. I think this can be said about the slav as well with the exception of the exchange variation. Or is there a good way to spice things up?
    If there is the slav can be played to win against an opponent who plays for a draw as well.

  130. Bebbe, I’m not crazy about playing against the exchange variation of the Slav, so I mainly use the opening against higher-rated opponents. The very creative Swedish GM Hector has won quite a few games with black against the exchange variation. You also need to know your stuff when playing against this variation because otherwise white may get a nagging edge.

  131. Can anyone tell me something about the classical Sicilian or Sicilian Scheveningen for black?
    I tried several (Najdorf, much theory; Sveshnikov, not easy to memorize, Dragon, very sharp, …)

  132. I will be looking forward to a NID and QID myself. How is the Beating Minor Openings book coming on? Any ideas re a likely publishing date?

  133. I really want to see the NID book this year. I think it should be released without a 3.Nf3 defense, and that QC should later release companion volumes on QID, QGD tarkatower, and/or Bogo that can be paired with the NID book.

    Has De la Villa ever considered a Next 100 Endgames You Should Know?

  134. I recieved the Slav by Avrukh yesterday and I must say that I am really impressed by his analysis and also by his choice of variations. 10/10 in my opinion.

    Against the slav exchange variation he gives some interesting varitions with g5 for black.
    In som of the mainlines two alternatives are recommended.
    Thus I think the opening can be played against anyone.

    The slav can also be played against 1.c4 (if you have the Caro-Kann in your repertoire) or1.Nf3:

    1.c4, c6

    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, c6

    What should black play against 1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, c6 3.Nc3, d5 4.e3?

    I saw one game where black played 4.-a6 and white answered 5.d4 and we are back in slav territory. Can White play 5.Qc2 or 5.b3 instead?

  135. Jose,

    The Classical Sicilian is playable up to 2900.
    The variation against the Richter-Rauzer (6.Bg5) with most winning chances is the Kozul variation (6.- e6 7.Qd2, a6 8.0-0-0, Bd7 9.f4, b5) in my opinion. The variation is sharp but not too forcing which makes it an excellent weapon when playing to win. Positional understanding is more important than in the lines you mentioned. It is very risky though.

    The Scheweningen seems to be in some kind of crisis due to the Keres Attack, 6.g4.

  136. Just out of curiosity, what are the constraints on Poor John’s 1. e4 book(s) causing them to be consistently postponed ? is it e.g. after-hours work, or a need to stay clear from your mainstream publications, or the complexity of selecting variations or setting the right level of description for the intended audience ? …
    no irony in the question, just curious. Clearly, writing such books is a big task, hope you’ll share a bit about that.

  137. Cowe :
    Just out of curiosity, what are the constraints on Poor John’s 1. e4 book(s) causing them to be consistently postponed ? is it e.g. after-hours work, or a need to stay clear from your mainstream publications, or the complexity of selecting variations or setting the right level of description for the intended audience ? …
    no irony in the question, just curious. Clearly, writing such books is a big task, hope you’ll share a bit about that.

    Of course I’m not John, but I bet the main problem is a low position on the priority list. QC tends to give priority to external projects. Which in itself is neither good nor bad.

  138. @Bebbe
    1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, c6 3.Nc3, d5 4.e3 The white idea is to force the bishop to stay at home, d4 may be played only after e6.
    4. …a6 seems to be the right move if you want to stay in typical slav terrain. However there are some specific problems for black beginning with 5. Qc2. Attempts like 4. … Bf5, 4. … Bg4 or 4. … e6 will lead to original positions without d4 including some nasty lines for black. These lines are covered in Delchevs Modern Reti.

  139. krokohol,

    I do not have Delchevs Modern Reti.
    What are the speciific problems for black after 5.Qc2?

    5.- g6, 5.-e6 and 5.- b5 seems playable
    Maybe even 5.-Bg4.

  140. I’m also thinking about what to play against Marins recommendation:

    1.c4, c6 2.g3, d5 3.Nf3, Nf6 4.Bg2

    Against this 4.- g6 seems solid.

    To sharpen the game I am thinking of the following line:

    4.-dxc4 5.0-0, Be6 6.Ng5, Bd5 7.e4, h6 8.exd5, hxg5 9.dxc6, Nxc6 10.Na3, Qd3

    What is the current status of this line? Is it playable for black?

  141. Cowe :
    Just out of curiosity, what are the constraints on Poor John’s 1. e4 book(s) causing them to be consistently postponed ? is it e.g. after-hours work, or a need to stay clear from your mainstream publications, or the complexity of selecting variations or setting the right level of description for the intended audience ? …
    no irony in the question, just curious. Clearly, writing such books is a big task, hope you’ll share a bit about that.

    Probably a number of reasons. Writing books in not my only task. I am the managing director of the company, so there are business issues daily. Then I also do some editing and proofreading on other projects. As Andre said, normally we prioritise external projects over our own books. However, in the last few weeks I have made ‘Playing 1.e4’ my top priority, so I have probably made more progress in the last few weeks than the previous six months.

  142. @Bebbe
    I have a certain undue penchant for the Classical, and find the Kozul line fascinating, but I strongly doubt that it is playable up to that level (er, by softwares?)
    Have a look at any big tourney. It is not played at SuperGM level currently, alas. Probably cos it is deemed to be a smidgeon wobbly.

  143. SimonB,

    It was played by Li Chao in Gibraltar who is rated around ELO 2750 against Erik Blomkvist.
    Although Li lost it was not because of the opening. So it is certainly played by some superGMS.

  144. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    @John Shaw – It must be incredibly difficult. Writing is a project, requires focus; and as the deadline approaches, deeper and deeper immersion. Managing is interrupt driven, the opposite of focus; just quickly handle the next most urgent thing that pops up. Trying to do both is a nightmare. To get anything done at work, I basically have to ignore all email and im (even from my boss!), at least for a while.

  145. @Bebbe
    After 1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, c6 3.Nc3, d5 4.e3 a6 5. Qc2: The point is that White will play d4 only after a slight concession that tricks black away from most slav books – eg. 5. … Bg4 6. Ne5 or 5. … b5 6. b3 Bg4 7. Ne5 with space advantage. Delchev gives the annoying line 5. … e6 6.b3 Nbd7 7. Bb2 Bd6 8. Rg1!?

    My choice may be 5. … g6 6. d4 Bf5, but I am sure that GM19 will provide a solution soon…

  146. @ Dave T: all white’s first moves except 1.e4 and 1.d4. But that’s probably not what you wanted to know 🙂 QC never share – with some rare exceptions – the contents of their books (i.e. what lines it contains) before it has gone to the printer.

  147. @Ray

    Thank for the response. As you suspected, I was looking for high level information on the systems from the black perspective. For 1.c4 and 1.nf3 there are a lot of issues with transpositions, so I am curious as to how the author will handle.

  148. @Dave T
    I suspect there will be solutions for both the 1.d4 d5 players and the 1.d4 Nf6 players – at least that’s what Avrukh did in his book on 1.d4 Deviations. I think 1.Nf3 is the most tricky, since after 1.c4 both 1…c5 and 1…e5 are pure English territory. After 1.Nf3 on the other hand, for players of Indian openings it’s a bit awkward if you answer with 1…d5 counting on a Reti, when instead white plays 1…d5. Maybe the most flexible answer to 1.Nf3 is 1…Nf6. Then after 2.c4 black can play 2…c5 and it’s an English opening again. And after 2.d4 white can either play 1…d5 or his favourite Indian system. That only leaves 2.g3 to worry about. Based on the above I’m betting Mikhalevsky will choose 1…c5 as his answer to the English. Just guessing though 🙂

  149. @Bebbe
    Do you really see a need to cover much after 1.Nf3, Nf6 2.c4, c6 3.Nc3, d5 4.e3 without d4?
    What else can White play? Be2, 0-0, and then? Of course there are many other legal moves but nothing really worth mentioning .

  150. Thomas,

    The variation is actually quite dangerous for black.
    For instance 4.-e6 5.b3, Nbd7 6.Bb2, Bd6 7.Dc2, 0-0 8. Be2, a6 9.Rg1 with g4 coming.

  151. GM 19 has been set back so many times that I sometimes don’t think it will ever get published. But of course I’ll still be waiting like a kid for Christmas. The Reti and English lines should prove interesting, not to mention the KIA, Grob and Bird, etc.
    I’m also dying for the new Najdorf. I couldn’t stay with the original GM 6, what with the “Forrest Gump” and that playful set-up.
    So the bet is on, what’s next: GM 19, Najdorf 6A, KID 4, Sicilian 3, or GM 1B? My money is on KID 4 (beating out the new publishing schedule). I want ’em all! And then some. Quality Chess book addiction is terrible yet awesome.

  152. Ray :
    I suspect there will be solutions for both the 1.d4 d5 players and the 1.d4 Nf6 players – at least that’s what Avrukh did in his book on 1.d4 Deviations. I think 1.Nf3 is the most tricky, since after 1.c4 both 1…c5 and 1…e5 are pure English territory. After 1.Nf3 on the other hand, for players of Indian openings it’s a bit awkward if you answer with 1…d5 counting on a Reti, when instead white plays 1…d5. Maybe the most flexible answer to 1.Nf3 is 1…Nf6.

    Agreed, 1.Nf3 is the trickiest line to cover in Mikhalevski’s GM19, due to transpositional possibilities. To keep the book compatible with most people’s 1.d4 repertoires, you need three anti-1.Nf3 repertoires. One on 1.Nf3 d5, one on 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 and one on 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6. So you can see why it took Victor a while to finish.

  153. I do not intend to be snarky as you all have made me rethink my choice of the CK, longing for a more tactical game, but when I used to played the Sicilian, I went 3-6-6 in OTB play, losing points hand over fist! (I played the Najdorf back in the day.) I switched to the CK and went 7-2-8. So maybe the safest Sicilian is the Caro-Kann!? Thanks for all the references noted above! They are quite informative!

  154. Do any of you know the status of the following variation in the KID?

    1,d4, Nf6 2.c4, g6 3.Nc3, Bg7 4.e4, d6 5.Nf3, 0-0 6.h3, e5 7.d5, Nh5 8.Nh2, Qe8 9.Be2, Nf4 10.Bf3, f5 11.g3, Nxh3 12. Bg2

  155. I bought Playing 1.e4 e5 – A classical repertoire this weekend. First impressions are: great! I really like the approach of giving practical lines, which don’t require much memorisation, against rarely played openings. And against more serious openings such as the Italian, Scotch and Spanish Nikos gives ambitious lines which allow black to play for a win but are at the same time sound. Really impressive to put all this in a book of less than 400 pages!

  156. John,

    Does this mean that Mikhalevsky won’t cover 1.c4, c6 2.g3, d5 3.Nf3 or 1.c4, c6 2.Nf3, d5 3.e3? Or are these positions reached after the moveorder 1.Nf3, d5 2.c4, c6?

  157. KevHun :
    John, from your last sentence above, are you implying that GM19 might be heading towards release in the near future?

    Yes, it’s under control, so no more big delays, but also no exact dates yet from me.

  158. @Bebbe
    My guess is that 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 is very likely, as this can be used by all 1.d4 d5 players and in many ways is the most principled move. If they covered 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 they’re only addressing Slav players (not QGD, QGA or Chigorin + others). It would mean they’d then need to add other options for everyone else (2…e6 for QGD, 2…dxc4 for QGA and I don’t know what for fans of sidelines…)

    For similar reasons, after 1.c4 you can expect either 1…c5 or 1…e5 (not 1…c6).

  159. Tim,

    You are probably right, but I hope not. But then also 1.Nf3, d5 2.g3 needs to be covered which is also quite critical.

  160. @Tim
    I have been trying to make a coherent post saying that going for a pure english repertoire against 1.c4 is bad and I would have loved if it was not like that, but I could not articulate it properly, and it may be perfectly possible that it is because you are right and going for it makes absolute sense and the other options were simply worse. But I cannot shake the feeling that I want to have a repertoire with 1…c6 and another with 1…e6 to go along with Slav and Tarrasch.

  161. from Black’s point of view : you may have a pet system against 1.d4, but after heavy practice you realise it won’t fit (some) flank openings, simply because White is never obliged to play d4 or an important move of your system (e.g. an early Nc3). White just won”t play ball, so it makes sense to adapt in turn (e.g. 1.c4 e5 or 1.Nf3 d5 with no hopes of playing the slav even if this is your pet system). Only exceptions are if Black has a one-fits-all system like Triangle, Old Indian or KID (1.any but d4/e4 1.g6). On the other hand, working out an anti-flank repertoire for each Black opening (e.g. slav, QGD, grunfeld, nimzo, dutch) is more of a personal effort – and, after some practice, you often end up with cut-the-crap systems like 1.c4 e5. Not to mention oddities such as 1.b3.

  162. @ Cowe: In my opinion 1.c4 e5 is unpractical if you don’t answer 1.d4 with 1…d5. The reason for this is that after 1.Nf3 an Indian player would have to answer with 1…Nf6, since after 1…d5 2.d4 he would have been move-ordered. But after 1.Nf3 Nf6 white can switch to the English with 2.c4, and black can’t play …e5 anymore. Therefore I think 1.c4 c5 is most ‘move-order proof’.

  163. @ray: or you can just decide to play 1.c4 e5 from time to time. For a KID player, 1.Nf3 g6 can be OK, providing you’re not bothered by Nf3 Pirc or modern. No style or attitude here, sometimes it is simplest to take flank openings at face value. But mileage may vary.

  164. @Ray
    I’m not sure I agree. I think 1.c4 e5 can be combined with various Indian openings. White playing 1.Nf3 first and only then 2.c4 deprives him of some annoying options. For example, I don’t like playing Black after 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 but if my opponent plays 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 then I’d be happier to go 2…e6. Therefore 1.c4 e5 and 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 go together well for me.

    Another example could be a Grunfeld player, who may be more comfortable facing 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 than 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 when 2…g6 can be met by 3.e4

  165. The Old-Indian for sure, but also the King’s-Indian more often than not contains playing e5 so that it could be combined with 1 c4 e5

    As for the homepage being gone, hope it will be resolved soon.

  166. Ray :
    I wonder which Indian openings you are thinking of?

    My earlier comment described the Grunfeld and 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 systems (such as NID/QID). It’s true that in these systems Black doesn’t play …e5 early, but Black is avoiding specific issues that occur via 1.c4 move orders and not via 1.Nf3 2.c4. Some other Indian lines already involve an early …e5 so fit more logically (like the Old Indian and King’s Indian as mentioned by Mephibosheth).

    Having said all this I think 1.c4 c5 is more likely to be recommended 🙂 Although I’d argue some Indian defenses are compatible with 1.c4 e5, others aren’t (the Benko for example). It also simplifies the task by recommending 1.c4 c5 and 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5.

  167. @John Shaw

    What are the chances of my being serenaded with an update to the publishing schedule in time for Valentines?! 😛

    New 1…e5 book is great by the way.

  168. Niggemann announces:

    Playing 1.e4 – Caro-Kann, 1. ..e5 & Minor Lines
    John Shaw

    announced for 30.04.2016

    Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian & French
    John Shaw

    announced for 15.07.2016

  169. @Jacob Aagaard
    Eventually they read “Spring 2016” on your homepage… but how can this lead to different publication dates?!
    Though I’m waiting for this Shaw stuff, I appreciate that you work hard on books rather than answering questions about this work. Maybe you can postpone GM19 some months so that I can go for 1.c4 a little longer?

  170. Dear Jacob ! Andy news how thinking Inside the box proceeds? Eagerly awaiting the completion of grandmaster Preparation Series

  171. @Boki
    I hope to have time to grind through it this year. I have done too much preparational work already :-(. At the moment I am busy helping John with his 1.e4 books and writing Dynamic Decision Making in Chess.

  172. @Phil Collins
    yes absolutely like “Mastering the Spanish” or “Mastering the KID” by Ponzetto,Bellin and Daniel King with all strategical topics of the opening considered. This is something lacking in the chess literature, and it’s it s an idea of a new books collection…

  173. Hi I’ve seen that “Thinking inside the box” has already a ISBN number, that means Jacob that this time it is very close to be finished?

  174. @Fer

    Jacob et al strategically avoided responding to my light-hearted hints for an updated publishing schedule, so my guess is they’re a little too busy to get to it right now. 😛

    Although the last one was around Sep time I think so I’m sure they’ll be an update soon when they’re good and ready and have some wonderful surprises to announce 🙂

  175. On behalf of anyone involved in the training of Juniors (I volunteer at the local primary school):
    Please speed through the translation of Artur’s ‘Build up your Chess; Exercise Workbook’.
    That stuff is utter gold.

  176. Hi Jacob.

    I have been looking at Yusupovs homepage. This new book seems to be best plased after the three orange book before going over to the Three bloo books. Do you agree?

    The New book seems to be connected to the orange books. Will there also be books with test positions for the blue books (Beyond basics) and the green books (Mastery)?

  177. I will have a text up soon describing the book.

    I am not sure if Artur will write the next two books as well, but I certainly hope so.

  178. @Jacob,
    Very many thanks for the prompt reply.
    While it may not have the glamour of the GM rep series such workhorse books as Arturs are greatly appreciated. Thank you for bringing them to us.

  179. VERY important question – will this new Yusupov book be available in hardback? It’s going to drive my OCD into overdrive if I am forced to have a paperback version among my exquisite set of Yusupov hardcovers. I might not even be able to bring myself to buy it, and that will drive me crazy too!

  180. A few weeks ago I received via your newsletter e-mail a great update by Nikos on the Tarrasch Defence. This is really a very nice service of QC! However, I was looking for this update on the QC-website, but couldn’t find it. Can anyone tell me where to find it? Luckily I still had it in my e-mail inbox, but maybe some readers of this blog who don’t receive the e-mail newsletters would also be interested in this update. Thanks for your reaction!

  181. I used to receive the newsletters, but I think the last one I got was in September. I can’t remember seeing anything about the Tarrasch. Did I miss that newsletter? I am also interested in finding it somewhere at your site.

  182. Hello
    Did i miss the new tarrasch analysis ? I can’t find them on your site. Can anyone tell me where to find it?

  183. Any update in plans for Kotronias excellent work on anti-sicilians in the near future?

    Below I put missing lines from the book others mentioned above:
    1) 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 (Prins) and 5.Bd3
    2) 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4
    3) 2.d4 cxd4 3.Qxd4
    4) 2.a3 g6 3.h4!? (and 3.d4, 3.Bc4)
    5) 2.f4 g6 3.d3 with c3 in mind (Big Clamp Formation) [some lines may not transpose to 2.d3 as then 2…Nc6 3.f4 d5 and not 2…g6 or 3…g6 is covered]
    6) 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 not discussed (e.g. 3…Nc6 4.Bb5; 3…a6 4.g3; 2…d6 3.Bb5+)
    7) 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 not discussed (e.g. 3…Nc6 4.Bb5 line)

    I would add also:
    8) 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g4 (Vinogrady Variation included in one of the SOS publications)
    9) 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.0-0 Bd7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.c3 a6 and now 7.Bc4 (topical recently-played by GMs Jones and Howell)
    10) 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 and now 6.Bg5 (mentioned in Experts…2011)
    and finally
    11) On page 343: 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 the main line is 6.Bc4 but the Author mentions 6.h4 Nf6 and refers to “Mayhem in the Morra” not giving any lines [major variations should be here as obviously many people don’t have Esserman’s book which is written from White’s perspective].

    Thank you in advance!

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