Questions for the poll?

Last week’s poll proved what we suspected: you are mainly chess players, not board game players.


One of the best things we ever did in Quality Chess was to start this blog. We had no real plans for it, and just did it because our website manager asked if we wanted one. The communication with people who know of our work is truly inspiring. I think one of the reasons is that it is quite rare we use the blog to promote our books. It feels bad, but at times I think we have to do it…

I really like the polls and the discussions. I want to know what other people think. I do not become a better writer and publisher from listening to my own thoughts. Some results have been truly surprising. Some not.

I was wondering: is there anything you think we should put on the poll? Any wacky (or sensible) question about chess you would like debated? If so, let us know and in time we might use it!

This week we will go non-chess for the poll. It’s football/soccer: Who will win Euro 2016?

55 thoughts on “Questions for the poll?”

  1. A poll question I would ask is
    Which is the most underrated or overrated chess book you would or would not recommend?
    Mine would be :
    underrated: Blunders and Briliancies by Mullen and Moss or Van Perlo’s Endgame tactics- entertaining as well as instructive
    overrated: any Ray Keene database dump

  2. There is a Football world-ranking of nations (see with 5 european nations it the Top-Ten. These european Top-Teams are:

    – Belgium (Nr. 2)
    – Germany (Nr. 4)
    – Spain (Nr. 6)
    – Portugal (Nr. 8)
    – Austria (Nr. 10)

    And now my question: Where is Austria (Nr. 5 in Europe and Nr. 10 in the world ranking) in your poll-list?

  3. @Manfred Brod
    Austria is skiing ;).

    Rating list of best football teams are overrated. Its like in chess when we have kids of 12 years old that are fide masters and in june rating list has 2300 elo and in september 1989 elo.

  4. Jacob Aagaard

    John, Poll Question: Has Quality Chess asked all relevant questions, making future polls irrelevant?

  5. @ Jacob, Is that an attempt at a variation of the Liar’s Paradox so beloved of Bertrand Russell?

  6. Future poll questions:

    – Which books are still missing in the QC range?
    – How do you study our books (maybe different polls for the different types of books, i.e. opening books, middlegame books etc.)?
    – Which aspects of our books could be improved in your opinion (again, maybe different polls for the different types of books)?
    – Would you like us to publish a Najdorf book with two options (6…e6 and 6…e5)? 🙂

  7. Poll:
    Think of Scotland.
    Rank the following adjectives for those giving the most accurate impression of Scotland, in your view. Choose up to four, ranking from 1-4, 1 being most characteristic.
    1. Bleak 2. Dreary 3. Cold 4. Depressing 5. Uncivilized 6. Foggy 7. Wet 8. Cloudy

  8. Please remember John and Jacob are from the dreich west coast of Scotland. Quite bonny here in the east as the QC have arranged the rain to fall on them first…

  9. Questions:

    What time control do you prefer for _viewing_ chess (what time control should a tournament have to make it more likely for you to watch it live)

    What is your favourite website for viewing top tournaments live (with “the tournament website” an option)

  10. @Vassilis
    It is commonly known that Korchnoi “threw” his last game of the 1973 match per KGB orders. Otherwise it is also true however that Keres was denied a valid chance to play for the title. To me both these men should have, by all reasonable accounts, become World Champions. I say Korchnoi because, due to his longevity and the number of GM scalps he has taken over the years I give hime just a slight edge plus his almost Ivanchuk creativity harkening back to the modern golden age of chess.

  11. @Jacob: I thought the one that was done was for playing, not viewing top tournaments? Or maybe I don’t know all previous QC blog polls by heart, but that would be disappointing.

  12. @John Johnson
    I never EVER mentioned a heart attack nor in any way, shape or form did I slam Keres. Not sure at all where you got such a ludicrous idea John. As well I also think Rubinstein, Nimzowitsch and Timman come to mind.

  13. Jacob Aagaard :

    It would seem so if the elite were not using the London seriously (or Kramnik the g3 thing he uses). At this point it seems that anything that gives you a healthy position is worth a chance, as there seems no way to get a minor advantage anywhere anyways.

  14. @Ray
    Don’t get me started on Davidovich. I sometimes think he, above all else, deserved to be World Champion at least 3 times! 🙂

  15. Besides Rubinstein, Nimzovich, Bronstein, Keres, Korchnoi, Tarrasch also seems a contender for best never world champion. In my personal opinion, Timman is not and neither is Ivanchuk. At least one year where you were the best sounds reasonable, not only counting the highs but also the lows.

  16. @Oscar
    You are free to disagree but he was second strongest on the planet in rankings for : By 1982 Timman was ranked second in the world, behind only Anatoly Karpov. In the 1980s he won a number of very strong tournaments, including Amsterdam IBM in 1981, Wijk aan Zee 1981, and 1985, Linares 1988, the 1989 Euwe Memorial, and the 1989 World Cup tournament in Rotterdam. Other major successes included Las Palmas 1981, Mar del Plata 1982, Bugojno 1984, and Sarajevo 1984. One of his notable later successes was the 2nd Immopar Rapid Tournament in 1991, a weekend event which attracted a huge amount of prize money. In this knock-out format tournament he defeated Gata Kamsky 1½–½, Karpov 2–0, Viswanathan Anand 1½–½, and finally the World Champion Garry Kasparov 1½–½ to win the first prize of approximately 75,000 USD. His performance was equivalent to an Elo rating of 2950.

  17. Timman had its successes, surely, but I’d pick any of the others over him anytime. As for Ivanchuk, being first on the list for a while is quite a feat. But counting only the good periods, and not the bad ones immediately before or after, does not seem fair. If a good period would have lasted at least a year I’d think differently. Maybe that could be one of the requirements to decide about the best non world champion: being best of the world at least one year.

  18. Jacob Aagaard

    Carlsen was only number one for a day in 2007, in comparison. I am not sure Ivanchuk was no. 1 on any official lists either 🙂

  19. So a next poll could be about the player who was closest to / most deserved / something else being world champion? Phrasing the question is difficult for me. Ivanchuk was stronger than Tarrasch, still I think the latter was better compared to the time he played in.

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