New Books, other people’s books, Hardware/Software and FlyingFatman in action

On Monday, Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann by GM Lars Schandorff and Soviet Chess Strategy by the late GM Alexey Suetin will arrive in our office in Glasgow. We will send the books to all webshoppers then. The books will be sent from our warehouse on Friday to various stores all over Europe as well. Those wanting to buy the books on Amazon or other cheap websites will unfortunately have to wait a bit. For the Americans, the books have been sent to sea and will arrive in the shops in two months approximately. However, will have some copies sent with airfreight, to arrive late next week or early the week after. They also got a few hardcover editions, books that will not be available through Amazon or similar sites, but only through the chess retailers. And at this time only in very limited numbers. (We personally find the upgrade to hardcover easily worth the money, but will not pretend that the content is in any way different. It is a matter of taste at the end of the day).

In our ambition to be on the ball, if not all the time then as often as possible, we purchase most of the opening books that come out; ignoring only those that look superficial even from a distance. A recent purchase was THE FRENCH DEFENCE by Nikita Vitiugov, the highest rated chess author of an opening book for a long time (omitting Karpov and other authors who have more than a fair share of help with their work). The book does have some interesting ideas and it is interesting to see what strong players think. One example is a line that recently has been quite popular: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 cxd4 10.b4 Nxb4 11.cxb4 Bxb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Nxd2 0–0 14.Bd3 b5 15.Nb2 Nb6 16.0–0 Nc4

Here White has to sacrifice the bishop on h7 in some way or form.

17. Bxh7+ Kxh7 18. Qh5+ Kg8 19. Nf3 g6 20. Qh6 Qc7

Vitiugov gives the following game as the main line:

21.Nh4 f6 22.Nxg6 Qg7 23.Qh5 Rf7 24.Nxc4 dxc4 25.Rf3 Qh7 26.Qg4 Rg7 27.Rg3 Rb8 28.h4 f5 29.Qg5 Rxg6 30.Qd8+ Kg7 31.Qf6+ Kh6 32.Rxg6+ Qxg6 33.Qh8+ Qh7 ½–½ Quesada Perez – Cordova, Havana 2009.

Although this was played in a game, they are not the best moves. Vitiugov does say about the position after 20…Qc7 that “Black’s position is so dubious that I am not sure that he can hold it, so it cannot be recommended.” These are wise words from a young but still experienced grandmaster with sound judgment. It is also a cop-out for not doing any analysis.

Before I give my improvement I want to explain why I am commenting on another company’s book, something I generally do not do, as we don’t want people to get the wrong impression. We have great respect for some of our competitors, Chess Stars included, but see it as their responsibility to promote their own product.

Getting to the point; when analysing such complex lines, it is important to combine good hardware with experience and analytical skills. We can say, hopefully without being too self-regarding, that we have the experience and analytical skills. But do we have sufficiently good hardware/software? Before the match in Sofia Topalov used a 112-core computer, if I understood it correctly. We have Quad-core machines with some MB RAM. At current we are using Fritz12, Firebird, Rybka and a few other engines to come up with ideas.

What do people think we should have/ be doing?

In Vitiugov’s example 21.Nh4 is interesting, but not convincing. 21.Nd3 leads directly to a better ending with simple play. But with the help of a strong engine, patience and analytical skills, I think I can offer better than this.

Here is my analysis of this line for the GM Repertoire 1.e4 book. The rest I will keep for later. My analysis is based on a brilliant Internet game.

Flyingfatman – New Man

PAL/CSS Freestyle final 2007

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 cxd4 10.b4 Nxb4 11.cxb4 Bxb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Nxd2 0–0 14.Bd3 b5 15.Nb2 Nb6 16.0–0 Nc4 17.Nbxc4 bxc4 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Qh5+ Kg8 20.Nf3 f6!

[20…g6 21.Qh6 Qc7 This position is a draw according to the engines, but human intervention will reveal otherwise: 22.f5! f6 (22…exf5 23.Rae1 Bb7 {23…f6 24.exf6 Qh7 25.Qf4 Qf7 26.Re7 Qxf6 27.Rfe1+-} 24.e6 Rae8 25.Ng5 fxe6 26.Rxe6 Rxe6 27.Nxe6+-) 23.fxg6 Qg7 24.Qh4 f5 25.Nxd4 Bd7 26.Rf3 Rfb8 27.Rh3 Rb2 (27…Rb6 28.Ne2+-) 28.Qg3 Be8 29.Nxe6 Qxg6 30.Nc7+-]

21.exf6 Rxf6

[21…Qc7 22.fxg7 Qxg7 23.Ne5 Rf5 24.Qh4 Qf6 25.Qh3 (25.Qg3+ Qg7 26.Qa3) 25…d3 (25…Qh8 26.Qa3 Rb8 27.Rf3+-) 26.Rf3 Kf8 27.Raf1 d2 28.R3f2 (28.g4 Qg7 29.R3f2 (29.Qg2 c3 30.Rxc3 Ba6 31.Qxd2 Bxf1 32.Kxf1 Rf6 33.Kg2 unclear) 29…Kg8 30.Rxd2²) 28…Rb8 29.Rxd2 some edge.]

22.Ng5 Qd8 23.Qh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Ke7 25.Qxg7+ Kd6 26.Nh7! Rf5 27.g4 Qd7 28.Qh6

[28.Qxd7+!? Bxd7 29.gxf5 exf5 clear edge 30.Ng5 d3 31.Rac1 Ba4 32.Nf3 Kc5 33.h4 Re8 34.h5 Rh8 35.Kf2 Rxh5 36.Rh1 Rxh1 37.Rxh1 d4 38.Rh5 Kb4 39.Rxf5 c3 40.Ke1 d2+ 41.Nxd2 c2 42.Nb3 Bxb3 43.Kd2 Bxa2 44.Kxc2 clear edge]


[28…Bb7 29.Ng5! Rf7 (29…Rxg5 30.fxg5 Rg8 31.Rf8 Rxf8 32.Qxf8+ Qe7 33.Qxe7+ Kxe7 34.Rf1+-; 29…Rff8 30.Rae1 Rae8 31.f5 Rh8 32.Qf6 Kc7 33.Rxe6 clear edge) 30.Nxf7+ Qxf7 31.f5 Rg8 32.h3 clear edge]

29.Ng5 Kc7?!

[29…Kc5! 30.Rae1 Qe7 31.Nxf7 Qxf7 This might be the critical position. I probably will put more time into this position at some point, but at the moment I am happy to see that White is at least a bit better.]

30.f5 exf5 31.Nxf7 Qxf7 32.Qf4+ Kc6 33.Qxd4 Qg6

[33…Qe7 34.Rad1 Qc5 35.g5 clear edge]

34.Rf4 Qd6 35.Raf1 Qc5 36.gxf5 Qxd4+ 37.Rxd4 Kc5 38.Rg4 Bd7 39.Rg7 Kd6 40.Rg6+ Ke5 41.f6 Rf8 42.Rg5+ Kd6 43.Rf3 Be6 44.Kf2 Bf7 45.Ke3 Re8+ 46.Kd2 Rb8 47.Rg7 Ke6 48.Kc3 Rh8 49.h3 a5 50.Kd4 Rh6 51.Rgg3 Rh4+ 52.Kc5 Rh8 53.Rg5 a4 54.Rg1 Rc8+ 55.Kd4 Kd6 56.Rg7 Ke6 57.Rh7 Rf8 58.Rf2 c3 59.Kxc3 Rc8+ 60.Kb4 Rf8 61.h4 a3 62.h5 d4 63.Kc4 Ke5+ 64.Kd3 Kd6 65.Kxd4 Ke6 66.Kc3 Rc8+ 67.Kb4 Rf8 68.h6 Kd6 69.Rxf7 Rxf7 70.h7 Rf8 71.f7 Ke7 72.Re2+ Kd6 73.Re8 Rxf7


35 thoughts on “New Books, other people’s books, Hardware/Software and FlyingFatman in action”

  1. Abramov Anjuhin

    Nice explanation Jacob, but only 1-5% of players will come to this point in their own games, cause most of us are average club players 🙂

    But on the other side I’d like to pose some questions about GM REP 1e4:

    1) full White 1d4 repertoire by Avrukh has cca 1100 pages, how come that GM rep 1e4 will have around 1600 pages or more (4 books x 400-500 pages)?

    2) is it then easier to play 1d4 when it has less theory and Avrukh’s Catalan seems to be a very good auto-pilot?

    3) why it takes so long to launch first book in GM 1e4 sreies, this series should be a first choice for the company (yes I play 1e4 🙂 )

    4) how will GM rep 1e4 differ from my 7 books written by Khalifman on 1e4 (excluded are Sicilian books)

    Thanks for reply and please add some more information if you have Jacob 🙂

  2. Ponting is a Legend

    So GM7 will be received by QC and shipped from Glasgow on Monday, 31st May. That is good–I am relocating house by 4th June and it seems I will receive GM7 in time 🙂

    GM6 a different story though..

  3. Jacob Aagaard

    A friend of mine had this position in a club game recently. Yes, he won, but the opponent did not defend well either. Besides, it is called GM Repertoire.

    1) Maybe the books will not be 600+ pages, which is too much for a book. Had we not announced GM2 to be one book, we would have split it.

    2) 1.d4 requires different skills, I think.

    3) Because I have to write them, and I have other things to finish as well. Also, we are not too eager to have three different White repertoires out at the same time, for some reason – but that was not the main thoughts going into it. The main thing was that I really wanted to be the author of this.

    4) In many many ways. I think the main thing they chose to do with many minor lines is to avoid the critical positions, and just come with one improvement on some place in a game, giving an edge. However, the move before there was a big improvement for the opponent. Rather than protesting an edge against something and move on, I will work on a whole approach to the positions, based on an ambitious strategy. Probably I will struggle, but this is what I will do.

    Having said that – their books are of course great. Chess is a draw and writing a repertoire book is always hard.

  4. Abramov Anjuhin

    Thx for reply 🙂

    Since my chances to buy hardback written by Avrukh: GM REP 1d4 (only nr 1 is available) are very very slim, is then the quality of paper and binding in paperback the same as in Attacking Manual 2?

    I’d really like tu buy those books, even occasionally to play 1d4 cause and I’d like to play as world champions 🙂

  5. Just out of curiousity, are there any plans in the future via the GM Reportoire series (or even the “Play the” series, like the Semi-Slav and Scandinavian books, though GM would be preferable) for any other defenses to 1.e4 besides pushing the c-pawn?

    Other than GM6, GM7, and the excellent 2 book series on the Open Games and Spanish, there doesn’t seem to be much published here against 1.e4 (and not a single book yet on the French or Pirc Defenses [The Modern is not the Pirc]).

    I was curious if there may eventually be a GM Rep book on an opening like the French? Perhaps in the far future like the 2-book GM Rep KID that seems to be rumoring.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Jacob Aagaard

    The paper in the hardback books are the same as in the other GM Rep. We are at the moment using one type of paper for the opening books and another for non-opening books.

    We would like to do something on the French or other openings, but so far nothing concrete is planned, except for the Scandinavian, which we will have ready in not too long, I hope.

    The 2xKID should happen. I cannot see why it wouldn’t.

  7. Dear Jacob,
    All that I understood from your posting about Chess Stars book “The French Defence” by Vitiugov is:

    1. You find that “the book does have some interesting ideas”. Thanks. Every too often I stumble into books that have not even one interesting idea.
    2. You want to promote your future book that will give insights and new analyses. Nice. I surely will buy it like you are buying our books.

    What I did NOT understand:
    What was wrong with Vitiugov’s assessment?! For the diagram’s position he claims:”White has a very powerful attack”. You confirm it and “suggest” 21.Nd3 which is also recommended by Vitiugov. That is clearly seen on page 221: look at I know that it is not your job to promote our product, but since you started, it seems fair to demonstrate our evidence…

    Further in your posting you write:
    “We have Quad-core machines with some MB RAM”
    We have them, too. But we also have the strongest “human hardware” on the market: Vitiugov,Khalifman, Bologan, Dreev, Sakaev, Kiril Georgiev, Delchev (in random order), to name a few. I’m sure our authors’team will be willing to accept a match challenge by any other publishing house in the world and put money where their mouths are.
    As you know, hardware is most useful when guided by strong intuition. In our case Vitiugov’s intuition says: “In fact, nowadays theory considers White’s prospects as superior…” – this statement appears as early as on move 13. The subsequent analysis does not change a bit his evaluation.

    Semko Semkov
    Managing Director of Chess Stars

  8. I would like to know what chess sets you use in the cover photographs of Marin’s English book and Avrukh’s D4 vol 1 as I think those sets and boards, with dark brown rather than black pieces look very good and I am interested in buying a set and board like them.

  9. Jacob Aagaard

    I am not sure what the chess set is called, we got it from Svenska Schachbutiken, in Gothenburg. Maybe they can help you.

  10. Jacob Aagaard

    About Vitiugo and Semko’s blog comment. Over the weekend Semko and I exchanged a number of friendly e-mails. Our official position, in case it was not clear from the blog post is this:

    There are many improvements to be found on any chess book, by Chess Stars, Quality Chess or others. Chess theory is constantly moving forward. Vitiugov intuitively understood that the black position could not be tenable in the line in question, and he was recommending lines for Black. I did not try to say that he should have found the refutation, but wanted to debate hardware, software and wanted to use this line, as I was currently analysing it. Having received the Vitiugov book the same day, it felt natural to comment on its coverage of this line and point to Vitiugov’s correct intuitive comment. What is important is that books by CS and QC try to push chess theory and understanding forward, while the same sadly cannot be said about the vast majority of chess books published today.

    I do not retract anything in my post, but wants to point to the fact that the post was not primarily on Vitiugov’s book, and thus parts of Semko’s posting becomes less revelant.

    As far as a match is concerned. The thought is interesting; maybe one day it can happen?

  11. Jacob Aagaard

    Hi KID.

    I am known to be a bit of a sarcastic guy, but in this case it is not the case :-). Semko and I have used this as a chance to establish friendly connections.

    On board one I would probably choose to put a stronger player in our team. I hope to play Barsky or Semko 🙂 down on the bottom boards :-).

  12. Jacob Aagaard

    It is unexpectedly (for us) a bank holiday, so they are waiting in a warehouse down the road. They should be here tomorrow.

    We are working – the UPS are not.

  13. Kostas Oreopoulos

    There are good books and bad books. A good book is a good starting point for working on the subject and a step for later books to develop

    Both publishers, make really good work (most of the time)

  14. Hi Jacob long time, no see:)

    I was just wondering, why you don’t play the coming chess olympics?

    Hope to see you soon. Just write if you are in the Aalborg area.

  15. Kostas Oreopoulos

    By the way, for those using Aquarium IDEA, those variations (and much more) are revealed easily with very little effort.
    The bottom line is that this whole variation (piece for 3 pawns) is hardly playable if white is well prepared.

  16. Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Tommy. Best wishes to Jan and the boys.

    About the Olympiad – I wanted to play if we were sending a strong team, but they had selected another player a few hours before they understood I was eligible and wanted to honour that invitation.

  17. Hi Jacob, the Soviet Chess Strategy by Suetin looks like a great book and i’m looking forward to buying it. I’ve tried searching for further information regarding the book but to no avail. Even amazon doesn’t seem to have it yet. I was wondering if the book was ever published before in English and if there’s any difference between it and an earlier book by him ” A contemporary approach to the middlegame”. Thanks! And keep up the great job..

  18. @ronnie

    Hi Ronnie,

    Soviet Chess Strategy has not been been published in English before in this format, but it is a collection of Suetin’s best writing from throughout his career. We checked our old Suetin books before accepting this one, and found that the vast majority of the material in Soviet Chess Strategy was new to us.

    Also, our translation by John Sugden is all new.

    You can find an extract of the book on our site:

  19. Flyingfatman game had long history – we played this few months earlier before Flying game – Flying found 28.Qh6! which is much better than our move – in the final position we were short of time and made draw agreemnet.

    [Event “5th Freestyle Main Event rapid”]
    [Site “?”]
    [Date “2007.??.??”]
    [Round “7”]
    [White “Etaoin Shrdlu”]
    [Black “Cato the Younger”]
    [Result “1/2-1/2”]
    [ECO “C11”]
    [WhiteElo “2305”]
    [BlackElo “2485”]
    [PlyCount “63”]
    [EventDate “2007.??.??”]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Qb6 8. Na4
    Qa5+ 9. c3 cxd4 10. b4 Nxb4 11. cxb4 Bxb4+ 12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Nxd2 O-O 14. Bd3
    b5 15. Nb2 Nb6 16. O-O Nc4 17. Nbxc4 bxc4 18. Bxh7+ Kxh7 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. Nf3
    f6 21. exf6 Rxf6 22. Ng5 Qd8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qxg7+ Kd6 26. Nh7
    Rf5 27. g4 Qd7 28. Qxd7+ Bxd7 29. gxf5 exf5 30. Ng5 d3 31. Rac1 Rc8 32. Nf3

    Next question is about the newest Chess-Stars books – and sorry for this Semko, but the latest books are much worse than older – i miss new(!?) interesting ideas in new books – and i dont need 100% correct ideas.

    Jacob – not everything what was written on Internet is true – dont trust every tail story. 🙂

  20. Hello Jacob!
    Quite impressed by the books all of you at Quality Chess are publishing! I am expecting to be out of country for a few months (nowhere near any chess stores) so my question is whether or not there will be hardcovers available (October) for purchase!? Perhaps it is best to make an advanced purchase with you!?

  21. Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Carl,

    Thank you.

    With the books where we have a limited quantity we will put it on the site. You can then follow them as they tick down. Obviously it will always be possible to buy books and ask us to sit on them for you + no problem there.


  22. 30. f5 is very promising after both 29…Kc5 and 29…Kc7.

    29…Kc5 30. f5 exf5 31. Rae1 and a few lines lines:

    31…d3 32. Ne6+ Kc6 33. Nd4+ Kc5 34. Nb3+!
    31…Qc7 32.Re8 d3 33. Nxf7 Qxf7 34. Qh8
    31…Rb8 32.Ne6+ Kc7 33. Rxf5 (or 33. Nxd4+) Rxf5 34. Nd4+ Kc5 35.Nxf5
    31…Qb7 32.Re8 d3 33. Nxf7 as after 31…Qc7

  23. Heh, took another look, not sure white wins in the line with 31…Qc7 and 34. Qh8 when black plays 34…Bb7. Those black pawns!

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