Any impression on the hardcovers?

Here is a photo of the books – the main feature is of course that even a 480 page book lies open when in hardcover.

Having been beat into submission here on the site by a few very persistent people, we have now produced 5 of our books in hardcover. Grandmaster Repertoire 1, Grandmaster Repertoire 3 and the Cutting Edge 1 only in 32 copies each – a very limited edition only available on this website. We have printed Grandmaster Repertoire 7 and Soviet Chess Strategy in respectively 200 and 100 copies of hardcovers. Initial sales have been beyond our expectation, but more importantly, have the books lived up to your expectations? Please give us feedback. Is this worth the hassle and extra investment from us, as well as the extra cover price for you?

57 thoughts on “Any impression on the hardcovers?”

  1. There is a possibility to pre-order your books on chessdirect. But only soft-covers.
    I pre-ordered Soviet Chess Strategy, and all of sudden, hard-cover are available…f…If you let them know earlier, it could be possible to pre-order hard-covers in the future as well. Such books definitely in hard-covers! The same regarding Karpov’s Strategic Wins! I am indifferent in “seasonal” books like cutting edge personally.
    All in all, I’ll buy Suetin’ hard-cover, and soft-cover will be given away as a gift.Well Done

  2. Abramov Anjuhin

    I’ve ordered GM Rep Najdorf by Ftacnik and Suetin’s book in hardback in Niggemann store, but I’ll get them in the summer.

    Jacob, is it possible that you send to Mr. Gunther Niggemann one hardback copy of GM Rep 1 by Avrukh?

    When can we buy GM Rep 2 in hardback and why you didn’t launch in hardback this now?

  3. I have the Marin book in Hardcover, and I think it’s great! The fact that it’s just a bit more durable and easier to read based on the fact that it sits flat makes it worth the extra dough in my opinion. Not to mention it’s just nice to have some of my favorite books in a fancier form.

    Any possibility of having Marin on the website like you guys did with Avrukh?

  4. Hello Jacob,
    at the moment I got only Cutting Edge 1 in hardcover and I am more than happy. And I preordered every GM Rep in hard cover after GM 3.
    I am seriously considering to buy also hardcover editions of GM1 and GM3 (unfortunately as u stated GM2 is not planned to be re-issued). I am ready to upgrade by current softcovers(GM1-GM3), but I am wondering what to do with my present books. As I am quite concerned about copyrights (I am a software developer) I wonder if I decide to buy the hard covers why not to send you back my softcovers and in that way you will decide what to do with them – whether to donate them to clubs or poor federations or resell them with some discount. I do not want to sell them on second-hand book shops, because I am sure it would not be fair for the author and for you (the publisher) and in addition I will not collect a fair amount of money for them.
    Would be interested to hear what you think about this.

  5. Jacob Aagaard

    VVV – Sorry about this. Change of heart, no hurt intended.

    Abramov – e-mail me directly about GM1&3 and we will sort it out. They are not going to Niggemann at this point in time.

    GM2 not planned in hardcover at the moment. It would definitely happen at reprint, but we still have 1800 or so copies in stock and the immediate craze is over. Maybe 6-9 motnhs?

    We will do a Q&A with Marin at the release of his books, maybe even a bit before.

    Milen – once you paid full price once, you have honoured the author fully. There is no point in sending anything to us – we don’t deal with used books, and the postage cost would be too much. Give them to a talented youngster.

  6. I´m looking forward to receive the Schandorff-Caro-Kann- hardcover today :p
    From my point of view it is annoying while using a chessbook to use all the time a hand keeping the book open. Or to build a stay-open-construction with some other books, devices.. Therefore hardcovers improve life quality!
    Dvoretsky´s Endgame Manual was the first book which delivered that kind of service.
    In future I likely will purchase more (only?!) hardcovers.
    By the way, I like Lars Schandorff´s super-confident style. His first book was hilarious and I don´t if I bought the Caro-Kann book to play a new opening or just for entertainment :p For entertainment-seeking chesslovers I may also recommend Sergey Shipov´s Hedgehog, as long qualitychess doesn´t have a competing book ^^
    I´m looking forward for the English Marins II & III (as a 1.Sf3 player number I does not the trick for me :p), his Spanish Repertoire book made me feel I (ELO 2280) never had played real chess before..
    Best regards,

  7. If it is white to move Qxe6 🙂
    I ordered Schandorffs book in Hardcover today, very curious how it looks. Should come next week.

    Keep up the superb work !

  8. Well, Jacob.

    First I would J’adoube your king and c8-rook. Only then I would play 1.Nd4

    (1.Qxe6? fxe6 2.Nh6+ gxh6 3.Rf8+ Kg7 and escapes. Or 3.Bxh6 Ng7 and f8 is covered). The point being 1…exd4 2.Qxe6 then works.


  9. Daniel Clancy

    I just saw this blog entry and immediately ordered both GM Rep 7 and Secrets of Soviet Chess Strategy in hardcover due to how nice they appear. I wish my college textbooks lay flat like that. Would have ordered GM 1 too but I am rather fond of my dog-eared copy with footnotes, corrections, and improvements penciled in the margins.

    Does the hardback edition of GM 1 contain the information withing the PGN updates that Boris released?

  10. Jacob Aagaard

    GM1 does not include the PGN update. It does include another update, which is also in the newly printed softcover version. Horrificly I have not put this in the pgn – I will do this Monday, as well as put it on the blog.

    GM6 is moving ahead strongly. We are editing this line by line, checking so many lines that you cannot believe it, to make sure that this book keeps a high standard. Lubomir found many nice new things, Andrew found many nice new things, Colin found some spectacular things, and I am quite happy with the few things I have found. If the final book will please people, we never know, but we have tried. I hope to have an excerpt and being able to send the book to the printer in 2 weeks.

  11. Michel Barbaut

    Hi Quality Chess team,

    I notice books on English, Slav, Queen’s Gambit, Modern, Spanish, KI,Benko, Nimzo, Grundfeld, Sicilian, Caro Kann, Scandinavian … I know it has been asked before but where is the French Defense ? So sad that anybody takes the challenge : Korchnoi ?, Bareev ?, Uhlmann ? Sure you’ll find a strong one to write it! OK, you have one strong but it’s for white …. Hope to have good news soon. We really like your job, so do not disappoint us !

  12. @Jacob Aagaard
    I received the Caro Kann hardcover today and it is fantastic. The quality of the book is superb in terms of binding and overall presentation. I think the paper used is slightly thinner than that in my Marin GM3 paperback or my copy of Champions of the New Millenium, and its certainly not as thick as that of the earlier Quality books I own (eg Beating the Open Games, Berlin Wall, Yusupov) but this shouldnt be seen as a criticism really, rather an observation. For comparison’s sake, i recently bought Chess Duels by Yasser Seirawan, an Everyman hardback which has 432 pages (but with its single column layout and wordy annotations it probably contains no more actual chess than GM7 despite this page count) and the paper is of a similar thickness in both books but to my untrained eye is far nicer to the touch in GM7, which has a nice smooth feel compared to the rather ‘industrial toilet paper’ feel of the Everyman book.
    Enough about the paper – this book is great! My first impressions are that the content is inspiring and that U will be spending an awful lot of time with this title, something I’m very happy to say as recent Caro books have left me rather cold. Houska’s was enthusiastic but had some debatable repertoire choices (check Schandorff’s comment re. her 9…Nb6 Panov line!) whilst Peter Wells was very readable but obviously insufficient for a Black repertoire.
    I have the two Karpov/Podgaets books but the layout is such a chore to navigate…..
    GM7 is a breath of fresh air – congrats to the author and to all involved with getting it published.

  13. Jacob Aagaard

    The Seirawan book has the same paper as other Everyman books. It is of slightly lower quality than the one we use, and maybe a bit thinner as well.

    I think their typeset went a bit wrong somehow, the text is too close to the margin, just like in AM1 – first edition.

    Some of our books had 90 gram paper and some had 80. We spent a long time considering what we preferred and eventually went with the 80 gram paper, as the 90 gram paper has a tendency to be a bit stiff.

    I personally think that this is the best Caro-Kann book for a long time. Lars does not have the expansive style of Marin, Avrukh and myself, but rather a minimalistic style. Having checked some of the lines carefully, I can say that the important stuff is definitely there.

  14. @Andy

    LOL, I like the “Industrial Toilet Paper” reference. I can’t speak for the book you mentioned, but if you compare say, “French Classical” by Byron Jacobs, or “The Grunfeld Defense” by Nigel Davies (or any other Everyman book around the 2001-2002 timeframe) to some of the books from around 2008, like “Play 1.b4” or the book on the Saemisch King’s Indian (don’t recall exact title or authors), the paper quality has significantly decreased for everyman.

    @Michel Barbaut

    I had asked the same question, about getting something out on the French a couple of weeks ago. I actually played the French for about 10 years (with occasional use of other openings during that time) from 1997 to 2007. I have since quit playing the French pretty much cold turkey because of losers that want to play the Exchange Variation or the Advance Variation with 6.Be2, both of which are extremely drawish in nature, and the play is very simple for a player 400 rating points below me to understand, and I don’t care to draw them. At least with other openings that are drawish at the GM level, they aren’t as simple to draw with when it comes to a 1600 playing a 2000 player.

    That said, I had thought that a book written at the level that Quality Chess has all of their books written at, maybe a solution would be available against the garbage that lower players tend to play against the French, but it is obviously clear that nobody wants to take up the duty of pulling their hair out to come up with lines against the trash like 3.exd5 that would actually give Black even remote winning chances, and combine that with the duty of going thru the land mines involved in lines with 3.Nc3 or 3.Nd2. (Nothing was more fun than seeing White get into time trouble by move 20 in a French MacCutcheon!)

    Again, I played the French for a good 10 years. Trying to find your way thru that opening in such a way to be able to explain it well is a tougher task then writing a book on the Najdorf, if you ask me. Look at Everyman’s “Starting Out” series, and look at Jeremy Silman’s review of “Starting Out: The French”, compared to any other Starting Out book. Just a case in point:

    Lev Psakhis has the best published books out there on the French. A 4 volume bible on the French that consumes almost 1000 pages. Quality Chess has excellent books written. I won’t deny that. But Batsford (or whatever it was called in 2003) has Quality beat in the French! Everyman’s Starting Out Series failed miserably in the area of the French. Can Quality Chess do better? Can Quality Chess knock Batsford off the pedistal? This may sound like a dare, and for good reason. IT IS!

  15. Ponting is a Legend

    Quality Chess could be said to be beat in terms of the French because QC haven’t really published many books on the French. I’m sure if there were a GM Repertoire: French Defence, QC would wipe the floor with any other publisher on the French.

  16. I thought the same thing but i received the newsletter and GM6 will appear in early JULY! So no excerpt! 🙁 For me a bit disapointing but if the book needs more time to be on the highest level, so it be.
    The newsletter has only a early excerpt of the Puzzle Book.

  17. Hi
    I recieved today GM7 hardcover (less than a week from Scotland to Romania !), it is my first hardcover from the GM repertoire series. It is definetly worth the extra money,it looks much better than the normal version.
    About the book : i play Caro Kann for about 15 years,almost 90% of my e4 games features Caro,with only a cople of French from time to time :). The repertoire is excelent and it can create a good foundation for further development of the recomended variations.
    It is definetly the best Caro book on the market,it is up to date,the lines are played modernly,especially if you want to start playing the Caro Kann ,the book offers very much.
    Of course,as it is the case with any book that features an opening that you have in your repertoire for some time ,there are a couple of feelings that you will have when you read the book : first, you will not adopt all the lines Lars recomends,as an example,i hate playing c5 in the Shirov variation, and so on..this does not minimize the analytical work on those variations by the author, it is just a matter of taste,some variations are to personal for you to give them up :), fortunately,this is not the case with someone that just wants to start playing the opening.

    Second, you will feel that some of your pet variations are not analysed enough :)and you will want more.
    Some 300 pages will have been very nice for this book,by the way ! 🙂
    Anyway, the book is excelent, you are doing a good job with he GM series !

  18. Gerard Snitselaar

    I received my hardcover copy of Suetin’s Soviet Chess Strategy in the mail today. The physical qualities of the book are outstanding. I have also liked the change to the softcover books that you guys have published recently.

  19. Jacob Aagaard

    I could put up an excerpt from GM6, but it would be without index and for some minor line like the Morra. I want to feed you some real stuff instead, so please be patient – we are almost there.

  20. splinter22prime

    @ Tony Rotella
    I copied for you or other that not received the newsletter yet the e-mail.

    Here the link for Puzzle Book excerpt.

    “Recently we have experimented by printing some of our books in hardback. It was a success both in the favourable feedback we received on our blog and in terms of the sales. In fact, the hardbacks disappeared so quickly that we at Quality Chess did not even get to keep a personal copy. For this and other reasons we are reprinting more hardback versions of Soviet Chess Strategy and GM Repertoire 7: The Caro-Kann . We hope they will be available in 3-4 weeks.”

    “The Quality Chess Puzzle Book and GM Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence will both be out in early July. Some of our readers generously contributed to the puzzle book by sending in their best chess moments, which we used to create a chapter called Contributions from our Readers”

    “GM Boris Alterman was on John Watson’s ICC Radio show Chess Talk
    ( ) . Boris talked about about his book The Alterman Gambit Guide – White Gambits which John Watson spoke about very favourably. A few quotes (from Jacob’s memory): “A great section on the Panov… Designed with the average player in mind. Can also be used by club players and other more experienced players… A very well produced book, typical of Quality Chess.” ”

    And here is the new Publication Schedule (with predicted page numbers):

    Lubomir Ftacnik Grandmaster Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence – July 356
    John Shaw Quality Chess Puzzle Book – July 256
    Christian Bauer Play the Scandinavian – July/August 288
    Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire 4 – The English Opening vol. 2 – August 480
    Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire 5 – The English Opening vol. 3 – August 320
    Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 1 – 1961-1985 – September 360
    Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 2 – 1986-2009 – September 360
    John Shaw The King’s Gambit – September/October 256

    Did you get the book in Romania by UPS or normal mail? If it was send by normal mail, was there any damage or trouble?
    For the moment I’m in Romania too. Maybe I know you from some tournaments if would know your real name. 😀

    @Jacob Aagaard:
    An early excerpt from GM6 like the Puzzle Book would be nice and when the book is ready an final excerpt. 🙂
    I’d like to ask you for one more thing. Please if it is not too much trouble, could you upload a PGN-File from the latest update for GM 1?
    Thank you very much. 🙂

  21. Jacob Aagaard

    An early excerpt does not make sense to me at this point, because it is a different type of book; and people would care only for the lines chosen (this is all I get questions for).

  22. Ponting is a Legend

    Jacob Aagaard :
    An early excerpt does not make sense to me at this point, because it is a different type of book; and people would care only for the lines chosen (this is all I get questions for).

    Do you mean GM 6 is different compared to GM 1, 2, or 3? I also noticed that GM7 is quite different from GM 1, 2, and 3. Schandorff uses tree variations as well, but has ‘illustrative games’ in addition, which sometimes cover the same line more than once.

  23. splinter22prime

    Like Ponting is a Legend or others, i would be very interested to hear about the differences from the other books in the series.
    I think a opening book should always have tree variations and only maybe in addition some illustrative games. Especially in a complex opening like the Sicilian (Najdorf/Scheveningen).

  24. @splinter22pr
    For 3 euros is regular mail,it was delivered in perfect condition,the problem is that the book is just a simple letter,so if it disappears somwhere along the way you cannot track it down,it is good to have a traceble delivery.
    I will be playing at Eforie Nord next week,do you? .

  25. No illustrative games; the book is quite similar to GM1&2, but different from the puzzle book, which I was talking about.

  26. I received my hardcopy of the Caro book and im very pleased with it. Just one little observation. Any new book on the openings imo has to be ahead of the current theory. This cannot be achieved if the author doesn’t use all the relevant sources available. In the very first chapter of the book Kuzmin’s analysis on 5.Nc5 in CBM 130 was not checked. This is a big omision because every club chess player who plays this line for White doesn’t have any other source to study except from this article but if we use the Shandorff’s repertoire we are actually behind in the theory part because Shandorff doesn’t conseder Kuzmin improvenets. This is a link to the chesspub foroum where i compare the two GM’s analysis:

  27. I am just another one who will be reaaaaly pleased if there would be GM Repertoire: French Defence.

    BTW, I was rather disappointed when I found out that rumored Korchnoi’s book about French Defense will be in russian ( as it kill my hope that it would be your (QC) hidden weapon for year 2011. 🙁

    Same goes for Nikita Vitiugov and his just published excellent French book…

    But there is one French Defense legend who really can teach us all how to play it in decent way… Evgeny Gleizerov… So my strange hopes for ” GM Repertoire: French Defence” still lives… 😉

    keep the excellent work.

  28. Hello Jacob,
    My impressions of the hardcovers I own (Caro-Kann by Lars schandorff and Marin’s first book on the 1…e5 English) are that they are superb efforts. Lars has quite a sense of humor and I love the clarity of both authors. Marin has been excellent in his writings, for the depth and lucidity of his prose.
    If I had any concerns it regards the corners being knicked up in transit. Small issue, considering it got here (USA) in a mere 5 days. Still, one wishes that the postal service was a bit more friendly with my ‘treasures.’
    All the best,
    Carl Berg

  29. Hi Jacob,
    I have just received the hardcover edition of Suetin’s Soviet Chess Strategy. I am pleased with the quality of the production. Hope that more of such books would be available, and not just as limited editions.

    M.K. Lee

  30. Jacob Aagaard

    We do listen and have thus just purchased 75 meters of bubble wrap to look after the hardcovers better.

  31. I’ve just recieved my copy of Soviet Chess Strategy in hardaback and I’m very happy with it. Will you be doing this again with other books?

  32. Jacob Aagaard

    Yes, with most of our titles. It probably does not make a lot of sense to do it with the Alterman Gambit Guide’s, as their main audience seems to be the Amazon crowd. Also, I am not entirely sure what we will do with the Yusupov books yet – we’ll see.

  33. splinter22prime

    Unfortunetely not, because i’m still preparing my opening repertoire(with quality chess books :D).

  34. Jacob please make Yusupov’s course in hardback, they are great and deserve to be kept as a collection, Im personally working with the 2 first basic books, later if you release them as hardbacks I will buy the whole course and sell or give away the paperback copies.@Jacob Aagaard

  35. Jacob Aagaard

    We will consider it. One thing we talked about is to maybe make a box set with first
    FUNDAMENTALS, then BEYOND THE BASICS and finally MASTERY. It will be a bit costly, as we have to print come copies for this box set only, but maybe there is an audience.

  36. well, i got my hardcover copy of the Caro Kann and… my god it’s a beautiful book!
    I must say i’ve always played it with white, and just starting including it in my repertoire as black. the point is that in many cases analysis goes till the endgame and great Lars has found nearly 1 novelty in each page of the book. most of these novelties are astonishing! plans are explained clearly, the book is so well written that you will have many sleepless nights!
    Only disappoint is that a chapter on typical endgames would have benefit. Anyway this is a must have in hardback, a book that will stay for many years to come!
    Thanks to Lars and the editor for this work!

  37. I too bought the Caro-Kann book in hardcover format. It would be nice to see other chess publishers follow this lead. Mine cost an extra £8 over the paperback prices. Although this is a reasonable amount in the publishing world, it did bring the price to almost £30, which does seem a hefty amount for a chess opening book (when you’re used to paying £15-20)

    Still I think I would rather pay that than have a shelf full of dog-eared paperback books.

  38. Jeffrey Tannenbaum

    You should publish more of the hardbacks if there is demand; 32 copies doesn’t sound like very much, and customers who prefer hardbacks may be angry if they can’t get them. You should not be trying to create scarce items for collectors, if that is a motive for the limited production of ordinary hardbacks. (You could do that by offering signed books, or leather-covered books, or whatever, but plain hardbacks should be available more widely.)

  39. @Jeffrey Tannenbaum


    Trying to create rare items for collectors? No, that was not the plan. We started with low numbers because we did not know how many people would be interested in hardcovers. If people want to buy them, we will print them.

  40. Pingback: Quality Chess Blog » Newsletter 9th June 2010 – Hardback reprints, Radio Alterman and Schedule

  41. The hard cover books are very well done. They handle well, look very nice, and are worthy additions to anyone’s library. I recommend them highly. Hard cover editions from Quality Chess are in a high class of their own – well worth the added cost.

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