New editor hired for Quality Chess

After having worked for us as a freelancer for years, former World Team Champion in problem solving, GM Colin McNab has decided to join Quality Chess as a full time editor from December. With lots of projects on the way, we badly needed extra hands, and got not only this, but also the remarkable skills Colin posses.

Short term, this is what we are working on at the moment:

Jacob Aagaard Attacking Manual 1 – Hardback Jan/Feb
Jacob Aagaard Attacking Manual 2 – Hardback Jan/Feb
Artur Yusupov Boost your Chess 3 Jan/Feb
Aagaard, Shaw (editors) Experts on the Anti-Sicilian Jan/Feb
Milos Pavlovic Cutting Edge 2 –ย  Najdorf without 6.Bg5 February
Vladimir Popov Chess Lessons February
Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins 1 – 1961-1985 Feb/March
Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins 2 – 1986 – 2009 Feb/March
GERMAN GM 4 February
Vassilios Kotronias The Grandmaster Battle Manual March
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence March/April

60 thoughts on “New editor hired for Quality Chess”

  1. Looking forward to the KID book. Given the large number of very good books published on the KID recently, QC will have a high bar of quality to surpass. I am confident that QC will succeed in setting an even higher standard of excellence. Can we know who shall be the author?

  2. Are you going to write any treatise on the Ruy Lopez or will that be part of the GM Reps on 1.e4 (Please!!! Not Scotch or Scotch Gambit!?)?

  3. Hello my friends from the foggy Moscow ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regarding forthcoming GM Grunfeld and GM King’s Indian Repertoire for BLACK I have some questions and doubts, so please Jacob and all of you my dear friends, please answer on the my following dilemmas:

    1) how come that GM King’s Indian will have 2 volumes and GM Grunfeld just one book? Is this because of the ECO numbers: Grunfeld has “only” D70-D99, while King’s Indian spans from E60 till E99.

    2) can Grunfeld be compared with Sicilian Najdorf regarding theoretical amount, sharpness and ideas-less play where only calculation counts?

    3) why is Grunfeld better and harder to play than King’s Indian?

    4) do you suggest to play King’s Indian and Grunfeld simultaneously? Or is too much for amateur to follow both openings?

    5) why is in Grunfeld all about White central d+e pawns? I can’t see how and where Black should play for win ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for time and answers! Fellows, please give me your feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hello Mr Abramov,

    My experience in both openings has led me to the conclusion that King’s Indian is much harder to play than the Grunfeld. Many proffesionals don’t play it because it requaries at least 2-3 years of intense study to play it successfully. Also, playing the KID means that you should know much more things about pawn-structures than in Grundeld because Black has a more “fluid” position

    Black can play:
    -> …e5 with …Nc6
    -> …e5 with …c6+Nbd7
    -> …c5 (Benoni structures) with the Knight on c6 or d7, sometimes followed with …cxd4+d5 (Grunfeld structures)
    -> …c6+a6+b5 (can be played in almost every variation and produces almost always only a slight disadvantage for Black but almost never equality!)
    -> …Nc6+a6+Rb8 (the “Panno” vaiation especialy effective against the fianchetto or the Saemish)

    but in Grunfeld the things regarding the pawn structures (and as a side effect of this the general strategy) are more simple.

    In my opinion a serious KID player must be a “chameleon” and know well Benonis and Grunfelds to perform at a really high level. At least this is how Fisher played
    (he never played the Benoni as i remember but he has studied it through Tal’s games as he has wrote).

    The fantastic news is that really good books on the KID and the Grunfeld haven’t appeared for many years in the market and now QC has them both! I’ll consult them for sure and experience the fascinating analysis by such fantastic experts as Kotronias and Avrukh. In my opinion (and experience) a good understanding of the KID at clube level can raise your elo dramaticaly. Also you can play the Spanish with Black with much greater confidence!

    I hope that i have answered some of your questions (or maybe raised some others as well?). This subject is very interesting to discuss.

  5. In my experience the Grunfuld and KID are very similar in nature, but the positions are very different all the same. The Grunfeld has a number of drawing lines, which is what I think keeps some top players away. At the same time they play the Petroff… I don’t pretend to understand it at all :-).

  6. Jacob,

    The Petroff is not a draw line by any stretch of the imagination. The Petroff has many wild lines. Take, for example, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.O-O Qh4.

    So therefore, one should “understand” that the Petroff works for almost any type of player. The wild, crazy, and tactical players can play 7…Qh4. The positional players that will play any line that draws can play 7…Bd6.

    I’ve known many players with strange combinations of openings. Everything from the Colle as White and Sicilian Dragon/King’s Indian as Black to the London as White and the Pirc/Queen’s Indian as Black (and even playing the QI when you really can’t play the QI, as he allows 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 b6 4.e4).

    So you get some weird combinations of openings from players no matter how you look at it.

  7. And the problem is, that Black can’t force those tactical lines in the
    Petroff. After 1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 there are no such possibilities, if White doesn’t allow them…Or am I wrong? I’d loved to be, because I like the Petroff too…

  8. The Petroff is like some other openings, playing on counter-attack. It makes
    sense at high level, but leads to blood-less draws at times.

  9. werner,

    To answer your question, lines after 3.Nxe5 aren’t “as wild” as the 7…Qh4 line of the 3.d4 variation. However, the popular 6…Bd6, wrongfully dubbed as the “Symmetrical Variation” when it isn’t symmetrical, has a lot of areas that are open to new ideas. They tend to be more tactical in nature than the “main line” where Black develops his Bishop to e7 with 7…Nc6. Not quite the same as the 7…Qh4 line, but still nothing like the exchange French.

    Of course, there are also times to use the boring, draw lines. I had a game 2 weeks ago, I knew in advance for the 5th round of a one-game-a-week tournament that I was going to get Black vs a wild tactician that always plays 1.e4, and has beaten me the prior 2 or 3 times we played. While I have played just about everything under the sun at some point, legitimately, against stiff competition, I’m ready to play the French, Scandinavian, Ruy/Italian/Scotch, Petroff, and Latvian Gambit (I play a lot of correspondence as well, but have played the Latvian 8 times over the board out of about 1800 career games with a +1 record and 1 draw). I decided to play the Petroff, and he played the slightly offbeat 5.c4, but after dropping a pawn for defense, I tactically got back 2 for 1, and fizzled it down to a draw by forcing a Queen trade, leaving white with R, Light-Squared B, and a, b, and d pawns, myself with R, Dark-Squared B, and a, b, and c pawns.

    I was already guaranteed to win based on the no-show of the one player in reach, a half point behind me. So a draw to a player I’ve been losing to, as Black, is perfectly fine.

    However, if I really wanted to mix things up, I could have played more agressively, and taken a few more risks, and counter-attacked.

    Jacob is right that White doesn’t have to allow the most tactical of all variations, but he doesn’t have a way to force dullness in the game like he does with say, the Colle System or Exchange French.

  10. The last point is not coreect. 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 leaves Black with probably no better move than 6…d5, although he has a decent number of other moves of course…

  11. Jacob Aagaard :
    In my experience the Grunfuld and KID are very similar in nature, but the positions are very different all the same. The Grunfeld has a number of drawing lines, which is what I think keeps some top players away. At the same time they play the Petroffโ€ฆ I donโ€™t pretend to understand it at all .

    My understanding is that according to current theory Gruenfeld is objectively sounder than KID.

  12. The best and of course the nastiest rumor which points out the so called “status” of King’s Indian is a drawback of the KID from Kasparov’s repertoire after his clashes with Kramnik.

    But the truth is that he could not follow up the two beasts simultaneously: the NAJDROF and the KING’S INDIAN. Just look at the result which he achieved!

    Also a big misunderstanding is a computer grading of a certain position: because engine doesn’t understand hypermodern chess it repeatedly and constantly evaluets a KID position biased to White side because of the space advantage and fixed pawn structure on the queenside.

    Can hardly wait for Kontronias books! Jacob give us please early clues about structure and possible publishing date.

  13. @ regarding GM Repertoire for WHITE 1.e4:

    Jacob, is it the truth what Avrukh stated in the introduction of his divine GM Repertoire for WHITE 1.d4 that he feels a sorrow for the author of GM Repertoire for WHITE 1.e4?

    And to put argument on his side, Avrukh spent โ€žonlyโ€œ 1000 pages for his repertoire in 2 books, while you are planning to write 4 books!

    After all Jacob, isn’t it easier to play 1.d4 because playing 1.e4 White has to make twice bigger effort in his opening preparation?

    Mr. Jacob and other bloggers please give an answerโ€ฆto play 1.e4โ€ฆto play 1.d4โ€ฆ. or to play both of these extraordinary moves ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. It is always weird when someone says Mr. and then your first name.

    I play 1.e4 mostly, I think it is better – for me.

    I will use 4-5 books on it, yes. I saw what happened to Boris and to Khalifman; I will not allow myself to fall into these traps!

    To know everything is obviously best!!

  15. Gilchrist is a Legend

    It was noted in the newsletter that the four books to be worked on lately were CE2, BYC3, Chess Lessons, Experts on anti-Sicilians–but how is GM8 doing in the 2011 publishing schedule?

  16. Just on the hardback editions of the Attacking manuals, in pg 151 i noticed something that was quite the lol. In the game Franco-Romero Holmes, i think you had ‘Zonen’ instead of ‘Zenon’. Nothing serious, i also heard that when people read words, the first and last letters are noticed first and the rest are kind of just, inserted mentally to make a word.

  17. So much for the e4 GM Rep books. Let’s just complete the books on the schedule first before adding stuff that won’t be published until 2017 anyway. Also, will any titles be published as ebooks or for iPad? I just want to see the Karpov books and GM Rep 8 get published.

  18. GM8 is following just behind, also early 2011 release. Maybe March!? Another book following quickly is the Grandmaster Battle Manual, which has also been completed by the author.

  19. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Has Avrukh finished GM8 already? How big do you think it would be approximately? Granted I will be unable to be in London to ask him or you directly ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. He still has a lot to do, as I can understand. After all he also has two young children to look after :-). Our guess is that the book will be out in March.

  21. One serious question, is Avrukh’s book a complete repertoire for 1.d4 Nf6? or is it just dealing with the position after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5? obviously there is easily enough material to write a book in just the inital position of the grunfeld (esp since people keep coming up with stuff like 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Na4!? and the like), however i was just curious.

  22. It will start after 2…g6, I think. Boris has not had a fixed opinion, neither have I – so we decided to go with a reasonable amount of material :-).

  23. I’m glad to hear that the King’s Gambit book is still in the works. I’ve been eagerly waiting for it to come out. Perhaps Carlsen’s “blessing” of the KG will help its popularity among the unconvinced.

    Best wishes for the New Year!

  24. Jacob, John!

    Since you’re publishing Jussupow’s books I’m feeling free to suggest you that Jussupow writes an ultime GM REP Queens’s Gambit Declined for BLACK: Lasker & Tartakower Bondarenko System!!!

    “Purposefulness” and “strength of mind” are two of Yusupov’s attributes, according to Alexei Suetin, who described him as “a player with a rational, positional style. He boasts high technical skill in the endgame and detailed knowledge of his customary opening systems. Least of all does he rely on inspiration; his every move is based on industrious study.”

    Hire him, it could be his opening crown book ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I agree with the sentiment, but I fear we are going to struggle. Once he has finished the last two books of his series, he wants to play :-(.

  26. Yeah a QG book would be great, but I like the Noteboom QGD something a bit different! Why oh why has so little been done on this opening at my level 1800-2000 I find it a absolutely brilliant wepaon as White rarely knows how to play against it!
    In the excahnge you are in a favourable QGD anyway where it is easy to develpo the Q-bishop.
    I agree that the Marshall Gambit can be scary but i don’t think black is theortically worse.
    If White plays 3.Nf3 then you can always play 3…Nf6 and play Semi-Slav if you don’t like to play agaonst 4…Qc2 or 4…Bg5 Anti-Botvinnik lines.
    Have QC thought about this sort of book, a big gap in the market i think!!

  27. Tony Kosten posted the following on CheesPub:
    “Glenn currently has a problem with his arm which makes typing very difficult, and this is why next month’s DD update will be written by a guest author.
    I do know that this is also the reason that someone else (one of our favourite authors!) will be doing his ‘triangle’ book instead.”

    I take this as a clear hint that Ruslan Scherbakov will be writing the book. He’s a specialist on the Nooteboom and AFAIR he already showed interest in writing such a book before Flear got the deal.

  28. But the triangle book is postponed according to Niggemann for approximately a year.
    But since QC says “play the mainlnes” i can understand that you do not plan to write something about this less frequently played opening.

    But i have another suggestion ๐Ÿ™‚
    Since “Attacking with the Isolated Queenโ€™s Pawn by John Emms” is postponed too, writing a book about IQP may be interesting for QC too!
    Because it is such a complex topic, I think many people would like to study a book from QC about it.
    As far as i know Alexander Baburin has written an excellent book “Winning Pawn Structures” about IQP, but the book can no longer be bought ๐Ÿ™

  29. Actually we think that the Triangle system is very interesting, but with Scherbakov writing this book, there is really no point for us to work on this. He would be our first choice for an author on this anyway! Massive respect!!

  30. Hi.
    Have recently bought ‘playing the queens gambit’, ‘grandmaster repertoire 7’ (caro-kann), and your puzzle book. All look very good to me and just wondering if you have any plans in the pipeline for a repertoire book on the main-line slav and/or a companion to ‘playing the queens gambit’ covering the alternative responses to 1.d4?
    with warm wishes
    John

  31. @John B

    John B,

    Both the book ideas you mention are books we would like to see. So, they are in our plans but nothing exists on paper yet. You never know, one of these days I might get round to writing something on the Slav myself (sometime after the King’s Gambit).

  32. Thanks for your reply John. Look forward to them should the plans materialise some day. Happy Christmas and good luck with the King’s Gambit.

  33. Jacob,

    Tell us more about the Tarrasch book. I assume that it’s quite different compared to the “Meeting 1.d4” book.

  34. Mr. Aagaard, I was wondering if the Grunfeld book by Avrukh will cover any deviations from the 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 move order i.e. sidelines after 2.Nf3 (fianchetto, london, torre etc)? Keep up the good work. Cheers.

  35. No, he is busy with the main lines. I told him I did not want another 600 page book. Our warehouse staff is complaining about back ache!

  36. Hi Jacob ,
    First let me tell you that i am really big fan of ur high quality books .
    But I Really wonder weather u dont take the books(or dvds) already published seriously or just dont know about them ??. I say so because i have 14 books of urs of which 7 are repertoire books and all of them either have some important book or a source missing . Leave alone dvds . atleast the books already published have to be taken into account. No? . For ex : in the grunfeld line of gm rep-2 (pg no :317) avrukh gives 17.Qd3(!)but yelena dembo in Play The Grunfeld published in 2008! says that 17.Qd3 should be met by 17…Qd7 and Avrukh does not give this move .
    And Play The Grunfeld -Yelena Dembo had already recieved great reviews from Silman ,Wantson etc
    Just wanted to bring this point to ur notice.
    Thanks !!

  37. Hi Ray. If you look in Top GM play, as for example the recent Anand-Shirov game in the French (last example I saw that I can refer to without having to look anything up), you will see that it is simply impossible for even the strongest players in the world with a team of seconds to prepare for everything. In the annotations I saw (New in Chess I think) it is thought that a move not considered at all in his preparation by Shirov was already played before – and it was quite strong and natural.

    With the Avrukh book we had 600 pages of material to check. If you read it carefully you will find many references to other books. We sat for weeks checking various sources.

    Do we check everything? No. We have to make decisions of time concern for both ourselves and the reader. Will the reader like having the book two months later, but better checked? No. We try to check most things, but we don’t have the time to watch all these ChessBase DVD’s, where most of the talk is general and there is very little depth to the chess – because they have to do a full repertoire in what would be 25-40 pages in a book. With books, we have certain authors we would check and certain authors we care less about.

    With the concrete example, I think this was actually something where we got it wrong. We should have been on top of that one. It was later played in Rasmussen-Andersen, Hillerod 2010, if my memory does not betray me. It was a slip. I can forgive myself this quite easily, but would find it harder to accept if we had not included the Khalifman book on the English Attack in the forthcoming Cutting Edge 2, as a random example…

  38. I personally dont exactly know the game but i guess you are referring to their game played in bilbao . I would agree that it is impossible to prepare for everyline especially when u are working on the whole repertoire . regarding gm rep-2 ,I personally would like a better checked , improved book 2 months late rather than later updates patching up the already published book, As some people might be unaware of ur website .What about them ?

    Regarding the missing line as i am a grunfeld player myself i would first try to find the missing lines or mistakes in gm rep as it is so popular. Or any other book which is published in the opening i play against , i would first try to find a good line to play against it because i might probably face it in a tournament game .

    I completely agree with your view that it is not possible to analyse all the lines and is also not required . But the lines already published should be thoroughly analysed as probably we would face the recommended line when compared to any other line . This is the only thing i wanted to point out .

    Thanks !

  39. Hi Ray, I expect your opinion and agree with it as an ideal. Alas we have to make many compromises along the way, and although we try to check everything, we simply cannot. I was irritated by this moment, but I can assure you that there are more irritating things in all our books than this. Unless you have tried to work with something as complex as a complete repertoire, you have no idea how difficult it is. If you do not believe us, simply look at the other books in the market, and you will see their weaknesses as well. My point was that the guys who have several trainers working full time on their openings also don’t have control over the openings they know they are going to play that day. And it is not on move 17 or 24 Shirov was surprised, but 14 or 13 as I recall. And yes, it was Bilbao…

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