Excerpts, Covers and Plans

We have our heads down getting new books (and reprints) ready to go to the printer, so here’s a brief recap of what we’ve done and what we’re doing.

Earlier this month we published Sämisch and the Rest and Thinking Inside the Box. We already mentioned their excerpts in blog comments, but here are the links again just to make things easy to find: Sämisch and Box.

Carl Portman’s Chess Behind Bars is at the printer, and here is an excerpt. Towards the end of July/start of August, Carl plans to introduce the book in a special pre-publication event at the British Championship in Llandudno, Wales. If you can’t make that event, then the publication date is likely to be in August.

So what’s next?

The Invincible, the final volume in Tibor Karolyi’s superb trilogy on Mikhail Tal is typeset and being proofread.

And there’s more…

Esben Lund’s Sharp Endgames is also being typeset. Original and instructive, as were his two previous books, would be my brief description.

Axel Smith’s e3 Poison is being typeset now, so we might have an excerpt in early July, if all goes quickly and well. I edited this book, so I know it’s a fun read and a highly flexible repertoire.

Colin is doing final checks in editing on Mihail Marin’s GM Repertoire – The Pirc Defence. Colin has played the Pirc/Modern for 40 years, so he knows this topic. I have not seen much of this book yet, but I know Mihail’s writing, so I feel confident I will enjoy it.

Andrew is working on Nikos’s 1.d4 d5 Black repertoire – more editing to do.

I am writing the second volume of Playing 1.e4. Plenty to do, so no predictions.

There are other projects underway, but that feels like enough for now.

Summary: busy times but no big complaints, as the books look excellent (in my biased opinion).

127 thoughts on “Excerpts, Covers and Plans”

  1. e3… another weeks of waiting… and all we know ist that it’s “a fun read and a highly flexible repertoire”. Is it really not possible to tell us something more about the systems and/or the format of the book?

  2. The Pirc is of course eagerly awaited.

    Is the following moveorder playable to reach the Leningrad Dutch to avoid some anti-dutch lines?

    1.d4, g6 2.c4, f5

    Here 3.h4 is the critical move.

  3. If there were an overview of the lines, I might just play them using a database and whatever vague idea I have to prepare for the actual lessons from Axel. e3 by itself is not quite enough I’m afraid. But just to understand, he advocates systems without e4 vs the KID too? (something named after Smyslov I think??) That would be really cool.

  4. Evermanchess haven’t managed to finish their 1.Nf3 book for 8-9 years. Maybe QC can do the job (GM Shaw’s next project?) ?

  5. @John Shaw
    I am (and probably Tygrysek too, from the looks of it) visiting that website every day, in the hopes of finding an excerpt 🙂 We were hoping for some more lines. I’m going to a tournament on 15.07, was hoping for something until then. OK it’s not like I’ve never had White before, but it is a bit disappointing…

  6. I can only repeat what Csaba just said with the only difference being that my next tournament starts on 26.07:). And yes, pushing it back again and again while saying (again and again…) that it’s almost done and the excerpt will be online in 2 weeks tops is quite disappointing to say the least. That’s why I hoped that you could at least write something more about it…

  7. @Thomas
    I never said my tournament success depends on an excerpt from a book. I said I was hoping I could try out those systems there, it would have been fun, and I was looking forward to having the book.

    My tournament success mostly depends on tactical mistakes, concentration, emotions, and lack of endgame knowledge. (I can’t think of the last game in which I came out clearly worse from the opening.) I know this. It’s still fun to try out various lines in various tournaments.

    No need to get personal.

  8. I prefer to stay event-driven instead of becoming process-driven. Proof reading, type setting etc etc … who cares ? Whatever Q.C. does behind the curtain has its reason and I don`t care as long as the output is quality.

  9. Maybe some kind of collection of the exact lines? Against QGD/QGA/Slav I can imagine what d4+c4+Nf3+e3 is but not sure how it works against d4 Nf6 (is white really always closing in the bishop and never playing e4 {also are we not pushing d5 against the Benoni}? I guess so but not sure in which order).

  10. @Csaba
    One of the key points is that there are many move orders. The flexibility is everything. It is about having a e3, d4 and c4 structure. But there are chapters with the pawn on d2 as well. It is about understanding the structure and how to play it much more than concrete lines. There are so many possible move orders.

    Games like Anand – Ragger, Morozevich – Kramnik (Mexico 2007) and Harikrishna – Arkell looked interesting to me.

  11. @Jacob Aagaard
    1. after 1.d4 d5 – “normal” lines (QGD and Slav) or some forms of Colle? Bc1 in or out?
    2. does White go for the Nimzo?
    3. format – complete games or something else? This is the main reason why I’m so excited about this book – somehow (from what I read on book’s page and on the forum) I’m expecting some unique format…
    I highly appreciate ANY answer.

  12. @ Bebbe:

    I prefer the move order 1.d4 d6 2.c4 g6 and only after 3.Nc3 or 3.Nf3 play …f5. Then you avoid the line you mention. Also, I have found in practice that quite some white players will transpose to the Pirc with 2.e4 (this is also recommended in several repertoire books, e.g. by Kornev). This is because some white players don’t like 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5. The only downside I see by starting with 1…d6 rather than 1…f5, is that in some lines of the Leningrad with b4 the best set-up for black is …c6 and …d5 (this is e.g. recommended by Malaniuk in his repertoire book), and if black has already played …d6 this loses a tempo.

  13. @ Phil Collins

    Thinkers Press are publishing a repertoire book on the Reti this summer, so no need to wait Everyman.

  14. Thomas :
    @Ray
    You mean Thinkers publishing, the book by Demuth?
    It’s also been announced for ages.

    TP have a nice list of coming books and as QC they have delayed many of them…hopefully it is also about trying to get high quality. I dont mind waiting 3,6.. 12 months to get the good book. good book last for years, even opening books. Bad book are just useless

  15. Jacob Aagaard

    @Tygrysek
    1. In
    2. QID setups
    3. Really something else. A blend of different ways to do things. Not entirely unique, but adapted to the material rather than the other way around.

  16. Jacob Aagaard

    @RYV
    I had dinner with Romain about two months ago. He is a really nice young man and they are trying to do good work. He had somehow expected me to be hostile to him, because of some sort of irritation over competition or something. Because he experienced this from others.

    Honestly, I am glad there are people who try to do something serious for people interested in chess. I am annoyed by those that cannot be bothered to change their title page from one book to the next, or have enough proof reading to notice it. I am angry over books published solely with the idea to make money, thinking that the audience is stupid and will buy it, so all that is needed is keeping down costs.

    There are so few people that try to do serious work in chess that more can only be good for the game and for everyone that wants it to prosper. Including Quality Chess.

    Having said that, beyond a few business things, I was not offering too much technical advice ;-).

  17. I would like to ask what happened to subsequent volumes of Chess Structures from M.F. Rios.
    If I’m not mistaken there was a post somewhere announcing them.

  18. Hi John,

    I don’t seem to see Negi 5 on your list. Is this still scheduled for a 2017 release?

    Thank you.

    James

  19. TP has a nice book out on The Hyper Accelerated Dragon, with lots of interesting original analysis. for instance he reveals: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 A favourite of John’s d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5d4 Bg7 6.Nbd2! is more or less the practical refutation of this line. I already new this secret for over a year and a half now but with no chance to play it, I guess the proverbial cat is well and truly out of the bag now.

  20. @James2
    He is hoping to get it done over the summer. We have to remember he is a full time student and currently doing a difficult job for the Indian national team in Khanty-Mansiysk!

  21. @Topnotch:

    Practical refutation? I don’t understand why this should come close to anything like that. Black can take on d4, but even Nf6 Bc4 Qh5 or something like that does not look like a practical refutation (whatever that means)
    Maybe we should discuss this on chesspublishing 😉

  22. Topnotch :
    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 A favourite of John’s.

    Which ‘John’ is this? As far as I recall, I have never played that position with either colour, though I have played c2-c3 in other Sicilian lines.

  23. So having never heard of the author with no apparent title and after looking at the table of contents, would it be safe to say that “Chess Behind Bars” is a half Biography, half “Beginner’s” Chess book?

    Just seems like titles of chapters pertaining to the Rules along with Beginner’s Exercises along with the game that the excerpt includes explaining move 5 of the French Exchange would lead me to think that, since the words are relative, that “Advanced” chess problems might be like the Orange level of the Yusupov Series and that “Hints and Tips” are beginner hints, like developing in the center, not moving the queen early, etc?

    Would that be an accurate assessment that the “chess” portion of the half biography/half chess book really is for the beginners audience? Like maybe an A-player (1800-1999) writing to those under 1200?

  24. We’ve had a few comments with people along for a repertoire based on the Classical Sicilian.

    I noticed it can’t be so bad as Ivanchuk has played it a bit recently with decent results.
    Who could write such s book?

    I noticed Boris Avrukh played it quite!
    Michel Marin did a DVD on it so he must know to a decent level.
    Kozul had written about a small side variation of his pet line, but it was poorly edited.
    A Gupta is a decent GM who does well with it

    I’m sure there are many others too

    Maybe I’m missing the bigger picture, that it’s just a poor variation. However I’d argue it’s played more than the Pirc or Tarrasch and probably is theoretically in no worse shape!

    The big question is then

    Whybhas no one published s repertoire book based on this Sicilian Variation?
    Any ideas??

  25. @The Doctor

    Classical Sicilian, let’s say it start after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3. d4 cd 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 .
    here we have Be2, Bc4, Be3 or pawn move f4 or g4. what else ?!
    Be3 is likely to transpose into some variation of the english attackwith f3,g4,Qd2 & 000 and i think many books already deals with such lines.
    Bc4 is no danger for black but it can usefull to show the correct path to equal game and all incorrect moves that give white an easy game with initiative.
    Be2, the ‘ classical’ choice . a nice collection of games from karpov and Kasparov should give 80% of what this opening is about. Not sure how much important theorical games where played since then? and by who ?
    The critical line is the Keres attack. if black can demonstrate he has a playable game, then the whole book is ok…if not, maybe it is why such book doesnt exist, at least from black side.

  26. @RYV

    Your move order is called the Scheveningen, and yes 6.g4 (Keres Attack) is a major headache for Black. The Classical Sicilian is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6. The moves 2….d6 and 5… Nc6 are interchangeable. Main move here is 6.Bg5 (Richter-Rauzer), and also 6.Bc4 (Sozin/Velimirovic). Other moves also possible, but this is what is meant by the Classical Sicilian. As I recall, John Nunn called it that in his first edition of Beating the Sicilian back in the early 80’s.

  27. John Shaw :

    Topnotch :
    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 A favourite of John’s.

    Which ‘John’ is this? As far as I recall, I have never played that position with either colour, though I have played c2-c3 in other Sicilian lines.

    Sorry about that John, I was thinking about your chapter in Experts vs the Sicilian but when I checked again I realize the line you wrote about there was 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.c3 g6. My bad, but lets face it 1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 is totally your style, and by the way how did you escape the dungeon. 🙂

    @ James No.2

    Who is John Le Mesurier?

  28. @The Doctor
    ok, this was not what i had in mind. I would prefer the scheveningen move order to avoid the Rossolimo stuff. Anyway, a complete study with Rauser/sozin in part one and scheveningen/Keres in part two seems highly awaited. Maybe add a third part on the 4N variation and sidelens…..

  29. @Topnotch
    He is an old British actor on tv in England. Not exactly a top actor. Google him. It was the first John I thought of at that time in the morning, on that day. I think it was because I’d seen a picture of Hattie Jacques (Google her too) earlier…

    James

  30. I think the Keres Attack is really good for white, see not only Negi’s latest volume but also Kotronias’ book for Chess Stars. I think there is a good reason the ‘pure’ Scheveningen is not played anymore at the top level. The best way to reach the Scheveningen is via the Najdorf move order, but then of course you have to be prepared for the 6.Bg5 labyrinth…

  31. Book on classical sicilian is due. Keres attack doesnt exist against the Classical. The main tries are the Boleslavsky / Sozin Bc4 stuff / and of course the Rauzer. Also Dreev and Kozul seem to be huge experts in the classical.

  32. @DWreck

    I also wish for a QC-book on the classical sicilian. There are books on the classical sicilian by Kozul and Yermolinsky.

    The chess content in Kozuls book is outstanding. The layout and organisation is however a mess. The book by Yermolinsky is really more like an overview with explanations and not very deep analysys.

  33. Besides, Kozul’s book only deals with the Rauzer and not with other 6th moves for white. And also, Yermolinsky’s book is outdated with respect to the theory (not the explanations, which are excellent).

  34. Thanks folks for the questions about the Chess Behind Bars Book. Just to say it is written primarily for inmates as something they can always have by their side but it reaches far beyond that and I hope and trust that chess players, the general public and governments (who can use chess to make change) find it enjoyable and informative. The point is to give inmates (and others) the tools to learn to play and to enjoy chess but also to illustrate using real inmate testimony what chess is doing in a positive way in prison. Also it highlights some of the issues about chess in prison. Undoubtedly, it will be of interest to people over 1200. It is definitely something different and the real power of our magical game comes through via those inmates.

  35. Maxim Dlugy could do a book on the Classical Sicilian, or maybe even Peter Wells. For that matter if memory serves me well, the prolific Kotronias could also be in the running, he being a big expert on the Black side, at least he used to be a big expert on it.

  36. Makes me wonder how publishing houses go about things.

    Is is that:

    1. The publishing house have an idea to publish a book then try and find an author to write it.

    2. The authors approach the publishing houses saying I want to write this book will you publish it. (Suspect this is the most likely of the two).

    So either:

    1. QC don’t want to do a book on the Classical Sicilian. Or at least they have so many other projects in the pipeline this is not a priority. (Suspect this is most likely).

    2. They do want to do a book on it, but can’t find anyone to write it for them.

    3. Someone is willing to write it but they don’t want to publish it.

  37. @Topnotch

    Kozul, Yermolinsky, Marin, Li Chao B and Nijboer can also write a book on the classical Sicilian.

  38. @The Doctor
    1. You are right, it is not a high priority. We have two other Sicilian books on the way and we recently had the Sveshnikov Sicilian by Kotronias.

    2. No one has volunteered and we have not actively been looking.

    3. Not the case.

  39. DWreck :
    Actually dont want a book on the classical. Dont want people to be ready to face it

    but this will help you to play better chess, to understand deeper….if you are just satisfied to beat people who dont understand the opennig they are playing, stay at patzer level.

  40. @The Lurker
    Any coverage of Claude Bloodgood, and how he manipulated his rating?

    Bloodgood – Eckert 2001 (He died very shortly after this. He was very sick at the time. He wrote me many long letters, which I have been looking for now for several years. Through 3 house moves perhaps they are gone.) 1 Nf3 g6 2 c4 Nf6 3 b3 Bg7 4 Bb2 0-0 5 d4 d6 6 e3 Nbd7 7 Bd3 e5 8 dxe5 dxe5 9 Nbd2 Nc5 10 Bc2 e4 11 Ng5 Re8 12 Bd4 Bg4 13 Qb1 Nd3+ 14 Bxd3 exd3 15 0-0 Be2 16 Re1 c5 17 Bxc5 Nd7 0-1. Based on that game he was not very strong. I understand from some that met him, maybe he was 2000 – 2100 at his peak. But, very hard to say.

  41. Hi Jacob,
    Do you recommend a particular order to study the books “GM Preparation” ?
    Thanks,
    Jean-Marie

  42. @Jean-Marie

    @Ray

    Jacob did answer:

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Ray
    Grandmaster Preparation has five work books and Box. Read Box first and work on Calculation and Positional Play together. Then the rest. But there is no really bad order to approach these books. They are not detective stories.

  43. LE BRUIT QUI COURT

    Jacob,

    Do you suggest buying your paperbacks Excelling at…? I’m around 2100 Elo, and have all your Quality chess titles.

    If I remember correctly, once you wrote on the blog that in some aspects you had less understanding about some topics because you were much weaker player. I have the Excelling series in chessbase format, but I’m thinking if it is advisable/profitable to obtain these books. How come that you didn’t republish those books under Quality Chess?

  44. Kotronias’ last tome in the Kid Series entitled Samisch & The Rest finally arrived in my mailbox a couple of days ago, and since then I have been eagerly perusing it but with mixed feelings. I really enjoyed the Appendices at the back of the book which featured updates to his previous 4 volumes, but was a bit disappointed that my query that Jacob said he forwarded to him never got addressed there. Perhaps my query has sort of become moot, as Kotronias completely scrapped his recommendation from Mar del Plata 1, which ran as follows:

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.Rc1 Rf6 14.Nd3 Rh6?! Now suggesting 14…b6 instead.

    About the rest of the book I can say that as usual there seems to be plenty original and high quality analysis, although I have not had it in my hands long enough to give a final verdict.

    A couple observations and thoughts thus far, I didn’t like his suggestion against: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 now he gives 3…Nc6, justifying it by saying “If Black proceeds with a normal King’s Indian Setup, White will have the useful option of developing the knight on a3 or d2”. That maybe so, but those extra knight options while dangerous 5 years ago no longer pose serious theoretical issues and I saw no compelling need for him to deviate from the Benoni path he later recommends against the Samisch proper.

    There is also a major omission in one of his suggested mainlines against…

  45. There is also an important omission in one of his suggested mainlines against the Samisch. The line runs as follows: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Ng3 exd5 9.cxd5 h5 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nh7 Now kotronias only considers 12.Be3 but 12.Bh4 is also a major option that has scored well at GM level. I don’t know whether this omission is Kotronias’ fault or that of an editor, but either way it’s a biggie that warrants an update similar to the Scandi one posted on the Chess-Stars website.

    Keep up the excellent and timely work, very much looking forward to Playing 1.e4 Vol.2 in 2020 when Trump is re-elected. 🙂

  46. LE BRUIT QUI COURT

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I’m really curious how are things going with writing books… You sold your copyright for Excelling at series forever, or for some time period, and you’re receiving a constant percentage of sold books.

    Or you got some amount of money and you left copyright and all future incomes to Everyman.

    The catch is that you are now established writer and trainer, so Everyman will exploit your name and Excelling at book immensely.

    If possible, I’d suggest that you republish those books under Quality Chess flag, maybe rewrite them. I read plenty of reviews – for players up to 2100-2200 Elo they are outstanding training material. For stronger ones, there is GM Preparation series.

  47. When Tibor Karolyi has fully recovered from his monumental work on Tal (and Karpov), I would very much like him to do a similar project on Kramnik. There are some books out there, but they are not uptodate nor complete. Kramnik has produced some many top games in all different styles, it would be very educational to have them Karolyi-ized.

  48. @JB
    I second this. It would be very interesting if Karolyi next would write some books on players who are still alive and kicking 🙂 I very much like his series on Karpov and Tal, and hope he will do something similar on the like of Kramnik, Anand, Ivanchuk, Shirov etc.

  49. Jacob Aagaard

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Those books are old news. I still get royalties from Everyman for the Excelling series, while for all the other books, I sold the rights for a one off fee a long time ago.

    I will write a new series covering similar topics over the next few years, but first I have another project to get through.

  50. Jacob Aagaard

    @RYV
    Too early to come with promises or anything like this; maybe I should not have said anything (I really should not have).

    @JB
    I am not certain we will do another book with Tibor in the near future. He has done some other books with another publisher. Maybe you should lobby them?

  51. @JB and @Ray, I too like the idea but my suggestion is to wait for a while as Kramnik is still producing great games. Perhaps divide it into a few volumes with the final volume later.
    In the alternative, I would like a book of detailed annotations on El Moro’s games. No one has done anything on him (Shirov has produced his best games and the CB DVDs, Zenon Franco has produced a book on Anand, Tay has a similar Move by Move book on Ivanchuk; yes, I know they are not on the same level as Karolyi’s work).
    It looks like Morozevich is no longer active although he still plays occasionally.

    The only book on El Moro is the very good book on Attacking Chess by the late Colin Crouch. But that is on the beginning of Morozevich’s career where he scored the amazing result in the Lloyd’s Bank tournament. I wish QC would pick up the book, extend it with all the later games of Morozevich.

    Only reservation I have is whether another author other than Karolyi is better suited to annotate Morozevich’s games.

  52. @weng nian
    Coming up there’s a book by Moro’s long time second Alexey Kuzmin. Probably no need for another one.
    A book on Boris Spassky would be the logical follow-up in Karolyi’s series…

  53. At last John Shaw had to admit “no predictions” for his second volume about 1 e4. The provisional release date has moved forward several times and for so much time (years?), so no too much hope on the “advertised” “provisional release summer 2017” in the book page.. Please update it with the admitted “no prediction”! And eventually out of the “coming soon” page too. However I believe that this sound a bit disappointing for a lot of your trustful readers!

  54. Can I order the 3 green books and the review book + pre-order e3 poison through the website somehow? Would the e3 poison be free (or at a discount)? I think there was a special offer but I’m not good at looking stuff up.

  55. Jacob Aagaard

    @Csaba
    The free book is from a list of 10-15 books we have printed too many of. It is not so much a discount, as it is us giving something extra for free that we will not sell all copies of anyway, now that the parcel has gone into the weight territory where it is most economical to send it from Poland and we can stuff the extra book in without paying extra postage.

    So, no free-bees of new titles.

  56. About the Tal series: Will there be a special offer anytime soon for the whole series? I have never considered buying them until now, but many people talk highly of the first two books, so I wonder if I’d waste my money (and give you some extra) by buying them one-by-one 😉

  57. Oh, and after reading the excerpt of “Chess Behind Bars”, that’s on my “candidate buy list” as well. Damn you, Quality Chess!

  58. @Tobias

    Sure, we will do a Special Offer on the Tal series: 3 hardcovers (or 3 paperbacks) for the price of something like 15 euros less than the full price. Similar to the offer we have on the Judit Polgar series.

  59. Michel Legein

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Any ETA on GM Prep Positional Play on Forward Chess? It’s the only one missing and it’s pushing my OCD through the roof.

  60. Is an extract for e3 poison imminent given the publication date is announced?
    Is it intended only Carl’s book will also be released on this date? Or others too?

  61. @Thomas
    Hilarious! Yes, all my tournament prep is gleaned from PDF extracts available online. And I’m the only one who knows which sites to visit. Mt opponents would never dare search the internet! That’s almost as good as the saying “I’m lucky I got mated. I almost lost my queen.” Thanks for the smile.

  62. Regarding training material, I know QC mentioned Chuchelov’s 60 Hour Strategic Balance method wouldn’t sell as a book but is there any information you could provide about what this method contains, why it requires 60 hours, etc? I am just curious as he is considered a top trainer.
    Thank you.

  63. I mean Playing the or GM Rep, but I get the message not far enough on not willing to commit blah blah! Just been looking forward to it for a while. But hey will keep on waiting ?

  64. Hi John,

    Given that it is almost August, is it likely that Negi 5 will be a 2018 publication?

    Also, are the Pirc and 1 d4 d5 books likely to be published by, say 31st October (within the next 3 months)?

    Thank you as always.

    James

  65. @James2
    I am not sure about Negi. But Pirc will be typeset in a few weeks time and the d4 d5 book only 1-2 weeks later. So yes, to the next three months, for sure. Sadly Andrew had a back injury, so we could not finish Nikos’s book before the holidays. But it will be a great book for all the extra work he has put into it.

  66. I’ve noticed that there has been a dearth of Grunfeld content this year and it seems nearly absent from top level chess despite being quite fashionable a few years ago. Does anyone know why?

    I don’t main it but I’ve done well with it and it spices up things vs London players too. The Grunfeld was probably the most fun I’ve had vs 1. d4. Perhaps it’s not a bad time for a minor 2nd edition on the Grunfeld repertoire books. 😀 The main reason I didn’t stick with the Grunfeld was that it was very specific. Like the Nimzo, it struggles vs 1. Nf3 or 1. c4 and you need to learn something like the Symmetrical English. The second reason was being a bit afraid of deep preparation or forced draws.

  67. @Jacob Aagaard
    Hi Jacob,

    Thank you for your reply. I’m very much looking forward to 1 d4 d5, and although I’m not a Pirc fan, I think Marin always produces great work, so that could be an interesting one too.

    James

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