77 thoughts on “Vlog 4 – A bit of controversy…”

  1. Really looking forward to Shaw’s Playing 1.e4 Vol. 2. Also starting to look forward to these blog updates each week like my favourite tv-shows.

  2. Played Lazy Sicilian/ Sale a few hundred times in blitz online. It’s tricky, and fun, and few challenge it…but probably unhealthy ultimately, yes.
    Also after 1. e5 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cd 4. Nd4 Bc5
    both 5. Na3 and 5. b4(!) are very challenging.

    I think the latter was discussed somewhere, as a fairly immediate killer, and easier than what you give. Maybe by Monokroussos iirc? Maybe not. Think Giddins notes that Sadler told him? It is somewhere.
    5. Na3 is also a real pain to meet. One of the softwares plumps for that.
    Agree,this book is an odd fish. Bronzik has always been good to read, and his book was a good try in its day. He tries hard in all he does, clearly. This Giddins effort was dismal, and yes, just left me very cold too. It is not that he is weak (w/ all due respect etc), as weak players can write okayish sometimes, but I just did not get what the book was trying to be or trying to do.

  3. Hello guys. I think you are both a bit wrong!:P First of all, i took a look at both 5.Na3 and at 5.b4. White may be somewhat better, but not much. IMO these are not refutations.

    Giddins did gave Monocrousos’ line, but the analysis was slim. Both missed that Black can take with the bishop at d4 and not the queen! I though this line is equal, but Jacob discovered that there is somewhere a move that offers dangerous compensation, maybe even an objective advantage.

    But what Jacob gives in the video is above all those lines. This IS a real killer, not a very dangerous practical try. At least as far as i understand it.

  4. Hi Jacob

    As a long time fan of QC and customer (ps Nikos your e4 e5 rep is fantastic) its the first time I’ve been disappointed with something on your website and think you made a mistake in this vlog. The unnecessary teardown of the Lazy man book in my eyes was very uncalled for and to me, even though you say its not, it seemed a personal attack on Steve Giddins. Calling another author’s book ”shit” and the author “not caring” is very strong. Though you claim it’s ”allegiance to the readers” that led you to post it when it’s not your own product or even a direct challenge to one of your own books indicates it is more a personal thing to me.
    As has been pointed out above it seems Negi was unaware of this obvious ‘refutation’ and equally the QC editors of his Sicilian 3 (not sure if this was you, Jacob)- does this mean Parimarjan and the editors are equally shit and don’t care too by missing it out yourself?
    My take is that authors and editors are human and make mistakes and I never expect perfection in a book from QC but I’m sure you’d be offended if Giddins used the same words about your own mistakes- if you were perfect QC wouldn’t need subsequent updates and appendices.

    If your analysis does hold up please give the guy a chance to make his own corrections and updates as it cannot be so obvious a refutation as it seems to have also slipped by yourselves when writing Negi 3 but also a number of reviewers who gave it a thumbs up. I think…

  5. …. I think everyone agrees sidelines are more fallible to refutations and in the space limitations of a smaller format book with a mere 200 pages and with a need to retain the content of your co author’s earlier version as well you’re sounding a bit harsh. If you feel there is a plagiarism matter with his endgame book that is a different subject but it comes across to me as retaliation for that-maybe you could explain why the book get singled out for the treatment- you might as well trash the whole series of SOS books if you are looking for perfection in chess authorship.
    Hope Steve takes it better than I would in his shoes.

  6. I did. My reply has been stuck in moderation almost a day. I didn’t think the QC vlog was a forum to tear down others’ work rather than promote your own books.

  7. Something completely different: I like the content a lot (and have no issue whatsoever with analysis that criticizes other people’s books), but I found it quite hard to follow the moves in the vlog.

    You move fast and most of the time don’t say the moves out loud. Remember that on a board you see a piece moving from a to b, but on the screen it disappears and reappears at b. I had to go back and repeat some sections a few times just to see what the line played was.

  8. I saw no problem with it at all. It’s not like it’s Eric Schiller, Lakdwala or Mondo being crucified live on Facebook or anything. ‘Fair comment’, I think. And interesting to see the suggested bust.
    Though ideally, focusing on QC products would be more interesting for me, personally. But, that’s just one punter’s views here.

  9. Yes it may be a bust but the QC team missed the same bust in a book they published this September ie AFTER the Bronznik/Giddins text- bit unfair, especially the language used.

  10. I liked the Vlog a lot, and I hope more comparisons and revelations are shared in future Vlogs good and bad. To my mind there are way too many mindless puff pieces and rave reviews on chess products that simply don’t deserve it.

    Keep up the fair and balanced work guys.



  11. Tops, totally agree that you should review honestly but where was the ‘fair and balanced’?

    if you are going to review others’ books this was a particularly shoddy attempt. Review consisted of a handful of words, most of them unpleasant swearing or an attack on the author’s integrity and a cursory flash through a few moves that none of us can check on without some reconstruction or guesswork to see if the bust indeed holds up. Not to mention double standards when the QC team missed the same thing in a book published after the Giddins one.

  12. I must second that going off on another’s product (NIC) who are well known, well liked, is not very classy and I thought Ntirlis did an obviously great job separating himself as much as possible from Jacob by saying that he gave the Giddins book 5 out of 5 stars but that Jacob “hated it”. While I admire the honesty I just don’t think this is the correct tone for the Editor-in-Chief to be taking in general and less so in taking Steve to task and the entire NIC team. As to his admittal, QC has also been incorrect in analysis and I wonder if the QC team would have enjoyed being called lazy, etc. by NIC, Gambit or Everyman or whomever else may have “vlogged” it. I have no problem whatsoever with honest reviews of other products on the market but picking on an already long since outdated line just seemed strange and of no consequence. I love QC products dearly but hope the tone in future vlogs is more professional. Can we all just love one another?

  13. I do entirely disagree with Johnny and Steven. And I would like to explain why, although I already did this in the Vlog. (Johnny’s comments have been posted now in their entirety btw.)

    1. First of all, there should be a PGN on this page so everyone can follow the analysis for themselves. I do not want to do a Vlog based on the speed where everyone can follow everything, as half the people would mentally switch off. But I do want it presented in a way where everyone can check everything in their own time.
    We have had a particularly busy week, so this one slipped by the road.

    2. I am not the editor in chief. John is.

    3. If you are offended by the word “shit” on the Internet, I would suggest you sell your computer. I might not use it in the future, but I am not looking to censor my opinions either. Yes, I hate it when a book rips off another person’s work. I find it dishonest. And Giddins did so with Marin and a number of other authors in that old book. But honestly, I had forgotten all about it till Nikos brought it up.

    4. Reading some sort of personal agenda into this is dishonest and really, this Vlog was all about dishonesty. Yes, we make mistakes all the time. Maybe even on this line. But the difference is that we try. My gripe with this book is that it is dishonest. As I said in the Vlog, I think New in Chess do some really great things. We work with them all the time. I don’t complain as it being bad behaviour when Sadler writes a bad review of one of our books. I might want to argue my case, but I would never say that he should not do it. I think debating content is interesting and at times a good thing. But I would not say that a reviewer should not express his opinion honestly.

    5. Professional = never saying anything bad about anything. Would I care if our competitors call us lazy? Not really. Everyone can see it is untrue, I think. And if they can’t, then I have bigger problems than hurt feelings on my hands.

    I really care a lot about what is true. This culture where you are not allowed to hurt people’s feelings, which allows some people to behave appallingly and then rely on not facing criticism or complain about their hurt feelings if they do, is on the way out as I see it. And good riddance to it too. I do not think being profane is a quality, but I really think being honest is a bigger quality than being polite.

    As said in the Vlog. I have no gripe with the authors. I have a problem with the book. I really think people should be able to see the difference. And my problem is not that of a mistake or a wrong evaluation, but that either:

    a) the author did not check anything at all, but claimed he did.
    b) saw that the variation has a 14-0 score for White and a +1.5 evaluation on the engine and decided to hide between a long line of waffling.

    No, I don’t love it. I can’t. And I do not want to be in a cage where I am not allowed to dislike anything, because I happen to work myself.

  14. Thanks for the reply Jacob. I appreciate you have set up a very honest forum to discuss. Will reply to your points in turn.
    1. Good to see you now have a PGN but you didn’t when the review was uploaded

    2. and 4. You’ve still not backed up why you think this book is dishonest-
    “a) the author did not check anything at all, but claimed he did.
    b) saw that the variation has a 14-0 score for White and a +1.5 evaluation on the engine”-
    presumably this was equally the case when QC looked at the line for the Negi 3 book and you had the luxury of 3 weeks with the Giddins book to look through his own work before publishing the Negi book while Giddins didn’t. I’m not targeting John as editor in chief or Negi as authors as no-one is perfect but where do you see the difference- why were the QC team not dishonest too if you’re being so perfectionist?
    3. I’m not offended by certain swear words in the right context (please don’t let Billy Connolly change) but I’m yet to see another reputable chess book company use that language. You’ve lived in Scotland long enough to know that the term you used comes across as offensive and a million miles away from ‘I didn’t like the book’
    5. Professional means doing a professional job and acting professionally. Your books are indeed very professional but your Vlog review wasn’t. I’m still unclear why you chose to be reviewing another company’s book – when it has little relevance to QC. Of all the million other chess books why…

  15. Of all the million other chess books why you decided to move outside your own books and decode to take down this particular book escapes me if you’re 100% sure it’s not personal. If you vlogged “Guys we messed up the line in the Negi book just like Giddins did- here’s what we think is the best line now” I’d think it a fair enough comment but it was far from that. Though Apple/Samsung may count, I can’t think of an example of other professional companies slagging off competitors’ products instead of promoting their own and certainly not in the small world of chess publishing.

    It’s your blog, Jacob, so you are free to post what you like and I’m free to never log on again but it does reflect on QC as a whole- first time I’ve had an unpleasant feeling regarding the QC brand.
    Agree with you and Steve that I have nothing but praise for all the QC books but I would prefer this site to be about sharing the love- though my comments sound and agree are critical I also think that your vlog needs to be about how you say things and being evenhanded if you are going to negatively criticise. I’m looking forward to a more professional Vlog 5- stick to reviwing your own great work.

  16. @johnnyboyross
    Thanks Johnny.

    1) I think you are being unfair when you continuously try to read some sort of personal gripe into it. Or when you are trying to make it into something about slagging off another publisher. I mentioned 5-6 great NIC books in the review. They recently published a review of Playing 1.e4 by Sadler that I found bizarre, although I by no means saw it as an attack on us, or in any other way anything else than Matthew’s honest opinion. I am not offended, only I disagree. I am sure SG would find the Vlog unpleasant, but in private, would he disagree?

    This taking offence on behalf of someone else drives me round the bend btw. Look at the facts and you can see that I am right. Does this really not matter in your PC worldview?

    2) The Negi book is a different matter. We will certainly debate this internally and learn from it. But it is the clear difference between mistakes and plain rubbish. We have missed lines in almost all of our books.

    TLMS does not miss these lines, it plainly misrepresents them. If it was only 7…Ke7 8.Qd3! that was missing, I would say we had a great novelty. But the authors analyse a position where White scores 14-0 and gets between +1 and +2 on the engines, depending on which one it is and how long it is given to think.

    You may certainly slag us off for making mistakes. You will never come to how hard we take it ourselves.

    3) I did say in the Vlog exactly why I mentioned it and I described my conflict. On the one hand I was certain some people would dislike it. But on the other hand, I do feel that my alliance to the customers is greater than to the competitors. I do worry that people will pick up poor chess books and feel no respect for the industry and maybe not think about picking up chess books again.

    4) The use of the word s***. In the context I do not regret it. But I shall take your advice on being careful using it in the future.

  17. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    @Matt, @John Ross, @johnnyboy – I haven’t read either book, and I haven’t watched the vlog. I just want to insert the minor point that a white repertoire book has a different level of responsibility for correctly analysing a minor black sideline. You find something good, but maybe not the best, and move on to more important stuff. A black repertoire book advocating that sideline needs a higher standard of care. So, please don’t equate Negi’s treatment to Giddins’ treatment.

  18. As a chess player and buyer of chess books I’m so fed up by all these crappy books.
    They’re trying to make you believe they found a sideline that is learned in 10 minutes and is more than good in most if any line. “Winning with the **** [Insert name of crap-variation here]”. Written over a rainy weekend, without serious analysis. We’ve had enough of that.

    So I’m always glad if someone calls crap what it actually is, crap. And I’m pretty sure the author of such a book knows that he didn’t invest much afford and time in writing that book, so he shouldn’t really be offended.

    To me that’s quite a difference to a book like Negi’s missing some unimportant sideline nobody really cares for.

  19. I find it interesting that Giddins book is essentially being crucified (along with his analysis) largely over 1 error that team QC also did not find until weeks later. So, i.e. what appears to have possibly been an honest oversight by Giddins and whomever else was working on the NIC book at the time is the primary justification to calling their product lazy and sh*t. Hmm, so if QC books have any significantly inferior lines or misprints, it’s open hunting season by the other chess publications? Again, I also feel that while it is perfectly fine to indicate a mistake in a line given, it should be given in a way that is respectful and classy and as inoffensively as possible. This does not mean it has to be sugar-coated. What we give unto others in this life will surely be given back to us. It works both ways. When I said you were E-I-C Jacob, I was being metaphorically poetic. You are the one who ultimately decides what goes and what does not, thus the Chief acronym. I sincerely hope future vlogs are as free as possible of negative slants on competitors’ works as possible. After all we are here for QC stuff, not Everyman’s, Gambit, NIC, etc. Yes to your credit Jacob, you do point out that you like team NIC and Giddens in general and you are of course right to point out flaws in other peoples analysis. I would just end with the comment that unless the the criticism is purely necessary to the exposition of a new novelty or better line, customers don’t need reasons to avoid…

  20. Steven S. :
    I find it interesting that Giddins book is essentially being crucified (along with his analysis) largely over 1 error that team QC also did not find until weeks later.

    Sorry, that is simply nonsense. It is obvious and well known that Nb5 is a critical line. If you want to recommend that opening, you have to have an answer to that line, otherwise the whole book doesn’t make any sense.
    And to have an credible answer, you have to check your lines with the computer.
    Obviously S.G. is ignoring the 14:0 score found in the databases, and he is either ignoring the computer evaluations or he didn’t check at all.
    This is not a small omission like leaving out a minor sideline. It just makes the opening unplayable, making the whole book dishonest to the reader.
    It cannot be compared to Negi not mentioning the same line, he also gives quite convincing lines, even adding to blacks problems in that “lazy” Sicilian. His lines are good enough.

    So what do we have at the end of the day? An opening that is left unplayable, and a book stating that black is doing ok, which is not the truth.
    What is wrong in calling that book crap, or similar wordings?

  21. @Thomas
    Fair enough Thomas but as I stated earlier I have no problem with honest reviews at all. I take issue primarily with the unprofessional tone/candor/attitude that Jacob took NIC and Giddens to task for. If this material had been given in a different forum with merely critical aspects given without the adjectives and adverbs or nouns (s**t) being given then so much the better. We all make mistakes, some samll, some large, some sins of omission, some sins of commission. Also why has no one saif anything about Niko saying he gave the Gidden’s book 5 out of 5 stars? We all know Jacob “hated it”. Hmmm

  22. Jacob got a file from me with 2-3 recommendations (where this Nb5 line is not one of them, i think…) and found the refutation within 10 minutes probably (maybe less). So, this is not the case that “…team QC also did not find until weeks later” 🙂

    As i said in the video, i liked the book. I found some surprizing look analysis in there and some excellent explanations, i really did. Also, quite a number of them come from Giddins, this is evident. But there are maybe more than one line where this defence doesn’t hold up. Denis Monocroussos pointed out to another one actually.

    I was pretty sure that this vlog post will raise some controversy. I know Jacob more than 5 years now and he is incredibly sensitive with such things. I find him generally fair (probably the most fair person i know?) but he can be harsh sometimes. Exactly these qualities of his character are largely responsible for QC producing high standard books. So, when you say that you love the quality products of QC, but dislike Jacob being harsh on an author, i should say that you cannot have both.

    Lastly, just to be fair here, i think that me and Jacob were talking about two different endgame books by Giddins at the video. Jacob was reffering to “101 Chess Endgame Tips” and i was reffering to “The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames” which i still recommend and it still is one of the very few endgame books that i actually read from cover to cover and enjoyed. And i am not saying this to sound nice, i…

  23. Just my opinion, but I have higher expectations, which is why I only buy books nowadays from a small number of publishers. Given the ready availability of high-quality computer assessment, I do not find it acceptable not to have every line in a book checked.
    If the line in question was not computer-checked, that is negligence. If it was and the assessment ignored, that is dishonesty. Completely missing a line could be just a natural oversight and will inevitably happen in even the best books, but if the author puts it in s/he has a responsibility to check it.
    I maintain this standard in my own analysis for my purposes. I expect no less from a book author.

  24. What I said about The Lazy Man’s Sicilian is obviously true and easy for anyone to verify. If you look at the criticism of the Vlog, it is combining an objection to me using a mild swear word and the idea that we should not criticize other company’s products. Ever.

    People who take offence on other people’s behalf, in cases where the criticism is clearly justified have different values than me. I think what is true matters.

    Nikos is right about the mix-up between Giddens other books of course. Nikos is almost always right…

  25. I already said repeatedly that I have no issue whatsoever in criticising another’s analysis. I just did not think it was either the time or the place to do so nor especially the correct tone (respectful). I also particularly dislike taking another author to task and accusing him not only of negligence, laziness but also dishonesty (inferred or implied) on the part that if he knew and rolled it out anyway not to mention that he scavenged or consulted Marin’s book with no mention therein. Whilst this may all be true (to some extent) we have not given (to my limited knowledge) a fair chance to Giddens to acquit himself of at least some of these charges and to explain perhaps how some of these grosse mistakes or missteps occurred. Innocent until proven guilty. I am not debating that these errors exist but that Giddens may have been much more in the dark that we have all assumed.

  26. Steven S. :
    Whilst this may all be true (to some extent) we have not given (to my limited knowledge) a fair chance to Giddens to acquit himself of at least some of these charges and to explain perhaps how some of these grosse mistakes or missteps occurred.

    Does this make the book any better?

    You still don’t seem to understand that we’re talking about the book, not the man.
    It’s a little bit late to sell you a book and then afterwards telling why it is not good.

  27. @Steven S.
    You are mistaken about a concept. Innocent till proven guilty is a question about distribution of punishment by the state. This is a case where someone has big power over others and thus have to be restrained.

    The idea that I am not allowed to say that someone did something fishy because he is not in the room is a self-censorship I will never engage in. I appreciate that Giddens might have been commissioned to update the book and felt he had to make it work. I really do not know what happened. But as a writer and publisher, my fear is not that people buy books from Everyman, New in Chess, Chess Stars and so on. My fear is that people stop buying chess books, because they use them as they are intended and get punished for it.

    So, on the one hand we have you feeling insulted on someone else’s behalf. On the other hand we have potentially 100s of people losing their games straight out of the opening, wasting at least a free day, after following bad advice.

    I find that my side of the argument stands up find to moral scrutiny.

  28. It sounds like the title of the book ‘Lazy Man’s Sicilian’ is very apt and was edited in the spirit of the title. Thank you for pointing out the flaws and it will not be on my purchasing list.

  29. I am a considerable weak player, but even I would consult the database or engine before learning such a weird variation by heart. Anybody above 2k would do and below it doesn`t matter anyway. I doubt there are “100s of people” losing a game because of Giddins is wrong.
    Not to mention that I closed the vlog with the impression that “The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames” is plagiarism, now it turns out that apparently a different book was meant… are you serious ?
    The vlogs are well done and a good idea, but please, no more inquisitions. You are better than that. Much better.

  30. Bulkington :
    You are better than that.

    I hate it when people say that. It’s a backhanded way of implying that if the person referred to doesn’t agree with you, he’s not, in fact, better than that.

    It reminds me of “That’s not who we are!” I got SO tired of hearing that over the last election cycle here in the States. Don’t tell me who I am!

  31. I see no problem with reviewing a competitor’s book negatively if you stick to the facts. Pointing out that one the lines has a serious hole in it is completely fine.

    The “not caring” comment was uncalled for in my opinion. Just call it a mistake and move on. Perhaps he translated that part on Friday and on Monday had forgotten that he didn’t actually check the analysis? Alternative explanations are available.

  32. Raul :
    Perhaps he translated that part on Friday and on Monday had forgotten that he didn’t actually check the analysis?

    I’d prefer professionals for such a job.

  33. Unwarranted Aagaard Aarogaance is nothing new and is pretty much expected at this point.

    Maybe one day your therapist helps you sort out the problems Mom and Dad ignored.

  34. Thomas :

    Bulkington :
    Anybody above 2k would do and below it doesn`t matter anyway.

    Then why buy books at all?

    I need suggestions and guidance and explanations. Would you hammer this lazy-man-thing to your head and play it without checking ?

  35. Unwarranted arrogance. Did you check the book?

    I have been through this playbook before. I talk about facts, quality, variations, ideas. People attack my character. To show how strong it is, I shall avoid swearing and brush it off…

  36. Well folks this has all been very interesting, but I think it is time to close the chapter on this and allow Jacob to get on with more important things …. like typesetting the last volume in Kotronias on the Kings Indian Defence!!!

  37. As far as I’m concerned, Jacob has done a public service.

    I’m also suspicious of these new usernames like: Hard Truther, johnnyboy and Bulkington, I suspect they may be trolls, as their comments seem ridiculously over the top.

  38. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    I checked the pgn. The position after 12.e5 reminds me of a Polugaevsky Variation without the counterplay.

    So I googled “lazy man’s sicilian giddins”, and by the time I reached the foreign language results the only actual feedback was by Monokroussos. Everything else was just offering the book for sale. So is this what people here are referring to as the correct “professional” response to the book? Crickets?!

    There are certain topics I cannot address without getting worked up. Guaranteed. The situation is the same for everyone, it’s just that the topics that get us worked up are different. I see this as Jacob “went there”. It needed to be said, and in the process of saying it he got a little hot under the collar. Okay then; publishing chess books is not something I am passionate about myself, but I am glad he cares.

  39. Hi, Jacob,

    I love the idea of a vlog. My wish list is for it to be in a format that allows interaction with the audience so that chatters could ask questions, answer puzzles, etc. But either way, keep up the good work.

  40. @J.A. Topfke
    We can do that. I mean we know how to, although it is difficult and it is not that we know the software perfectly yet. I think that this is definately a plan for the future (to have some live sessions).

  41. @Nikos ntirlis
    We are wanting to take this slowly and get to know the process well and to know what you can say and not say 😉 and so on. I also want to be able to operate the software from Glasgow, so I am not dependent on Nikos all the time.

  42. I have had some kind of minor run-ins with Jacob on FB in the past, mostly due to his choice of words, but I think he is entirely entitled to be harsh when he has read a book that sells shoddy analysis like it is good. It does not matter whether he is the founder of QC or not; the analysis is bad and could have, or might already have, caused someone to lose an important game. This is the key point, not Jacob’s swearing.
    I do want to point out that contrary to what the pgn claims, I do not think 5.Be3 is a better move order due to 5…Nf6 6.Nc3 and now Black can play the ridiculous 6…Bb4!? where I think White’s edge is slightly less than what he could get after 5.Nb5.

    1. Hi Kevin. I personally prefer people to say what they think in debates. I have had no run-ins with you and you have had none with me. I will with great certainty say that I will not have said anything negative about your person. I very rarely do; but I am often attacked in this way. Somehow, the fact that I disagree with someone is a sign of me having a dubious character? I take it as a badge of honour, when people are so convinced in their opinions, but at the same time so unable to explain them, that they have to attack you personally instead. And no, you have never done this, if any third party should wonder…

      I am not sure if 7…Ke7 is a better line for White than after 6..Bb4 7.e5 Nd5 8.Bd2, when we have transposed to the pin variation. I have analysed both for John and he will make the ultimate choice. 5.Nb5 also give Black some alternatives, so it is a tough choice. Typical chess!

  43. Ah, so 7.Bd2 instead of 7.Qg4 is the recommendation against the mainline Pin…you’ve given that away! 🙂 This isn’t a surprise although it was mentioned in Experts that 7.Qg4 may take over as the main recommendation.
    My guess is that 8.Qd3 (a novelty proposed in Experts more than a decade ago btw) is a lot more unpleasant for black but all these stuff just look terrible for black anyways and I can’t imagine anyone, lazy or not, would want to voluntarily venture into this.

  44. Jacob clearly has some narcissistic tendencies that prevents him from seeing how big a douche he is sometimes.

    Medication and counsel would help him.

  45. First , i think that NYC books and QC ones have not the same audience . Second , every author should of course be honest with the readers . If not , il is not shocking that s.o. reacts . The industry may suffer from that but first of all the author himself .

  46. As a neurologist with some experience in psychatrie and personality disorders i can reassure you that there are no signs of narcism in jacobs behaviour

  47. There are plenty of people around on the chess scene that like to share their opinions and enjoy general contact, both online and off. Knowing a lot of them, I would say that I feel about average. Some are very polite and positive always, some are very mean and hostile and vengeful. I don’t suppress my views and emotions much, mainly because I do not find them so controversial.

    It is totally possible to argue that it would be in my self-interest not to do a Vlog like 4. But I do not feel it is was unfair to Giddens. Also, it was not personal. I have nothing against him and if he was to read this, I would hope it would motivate him to do his job a bit better. This is usually how I react to criticism.

  48. He might as well think “Even after weeks this Danish fella can’t be bothered to write my name correctly, so ‘%$! him.” 😉

  49. @Fer
    We stopped sending books to one such reviewer, but we work with a chess shop that send some books to him anyway. Hey, what can you do 🙂

  50. To belatedly chip in I think Steve Giddins is one of the best chess writers there is, perhaps second only to Dirk Jan ten Guezendam. Note I refer to writing here, rather than analysis per se. I am amazed he does not write more in chess magazines beyond the odd article in chess monthly….though perhaps this is of his own choice.

  51. I may make a lot of positive reviews in my blog, but there is a bias in that I only review books that I have read (or almost read). I do not usually continue reading bad books, hence no chance in reviewing them.

    And I have not received any books for review, but I do not know if I am sad or not about it. For the price of a book, I would have the moral duty to read it in a timely fashion, and this is a heavy burden.

    By the way I hope to be able to review ‘Attack and defense’ in the near future, I’m in the last chapter!

  52. It is important that Bad chess books, particularly opening ones get reviewed accordingly. To not do so could encourage authors to become lazy, and not do their do diligence properly.

    Constructive criticism is both healthy and necessary to combat mediocrity. Nothing is more annoying than purchasing a highly touted theoretical book, only to find out that critical lines are omitted and or key parts of the analysis don’t hold up and aren’t worth shit.

    Just sayin…

  53. Postscript:- For the reasons stated above is why I have avoided some authors work for years, and to a lesser extent some publishing houses as well. There are quite a few authors of books and DVD’s that by now have become infamous in chess circles, ironically they tend to be quite prolific and presumably still sell quite well.

    Caveat Emptor, hopefully with the help of honest and insightful online appraisals.

  54. @Gollum

    I think it’s clear that Jacob is not talking about you 😉

    “I may make a lot of positive reviews in my blog, but there is a bias in that I only review books that I have read (or almost read).
    That’s quite fair :), and this is way you blog and you comments are so valuable for me (and for all I think. I’m aware that it helps M.Rios very much), even if I’me not agree with you 🙂 (i.e. Gelfand’s book).

    “By the way I hope to be able to review ‘Attack and defense’ in the near future, I’m in the last chapter!”
    I already have it, but I will be happy reading your review.

  55. @Fer
    No book is ever loved by everyone. Today a former no. 6 player told me how he bought one of my books for €25 and it helped him win a top event, while Sadler gave it 3/5 in NIC at some point. People find different things useful and helpful. I don’t put my ego on the line with other people’s opinions, but I do with my own.

  56. @Jacob Aagaard

    Completely agree. It is the same for reviewers in all activities, art, films, etc.
    After checking some recomendations from them, you have to decide in who are more close to you “tastes”, and who of them you have to forget.
    Of course there are always those who recommend something, although it is not good (money is money).

    Regarding you books, I have at least 10 of them, and I think they are worth what I paid for them. Keep doing sincere comments, thanks!

  57. I think constructive criticism is okay, and it is obvious one book cannot satisfy everyone. For example, I do not like classic Dvoretsky books (except Endgame Manual). They are deep and helpful to some kind of reader, but for me, sadly, it is very difficult to put myself in the right frame of mind to fully profit from them.

    On the other hand, when you do not see an effort put into something (in this case books, but any human activity) I think it is fair to point to it out. I liked Vlog4 very much, and one of the reasons I follow this blog (and now the vlog, too) is to have real opinions on subjects, not the political correctness where everything under the sun is right. If everything under the sun would be right, then how the hell am I to decide what to buy next???

  58. Giri’s foreword to a recent New in Chess publication- Winning with the Slow but Venomous Italian reminded me of this Vlog. Relevant section is “I have little doubt that the variations in this book are neither complete nor faultless and some of the evaluations are to be doubted. Some, checked under the careful microscope of serious hardware and software, can and probably will be proven over-optimistic for White, and in extreme cases may even be blatantly wrong”.

    A very strange foreword to my eyes which put me off buying….

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