ECF Book of the Year – Under the Surface

I mentioned in a previous blog post that the two books nominated by Quality Chess for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year prize had both been chosen for the four-book shortlist. Well, we have a winner. Congratulations to GM Jan Markos, as his Under the Surface is the 2018 ECF Book of the Year. The judges had many kind words including “The winner stood out for its original approach and quality of writing” and “An original, fascinating and very worthy winner of the 2018 Book of the Year.”

15 thoughts on “ECF Book of the Year – Under the Surface”

  1. Congratulations to Jan Markos and Quality Chess.

    A fully deserved winner. I have already expressed my view here that this is a great book.

  2. @Ray

    Jan Markos will be busy for the next few months writing a non-chess book about critical thinking, but we would certainly love to have another book written by him.

  3. Congrats to Jan but I have yet to buy this or any of this year’s publications aaprt from GM2a and the Sicilian duo. Forward Chess are offering $10 off any 1 book in October so I have narrowed it down to a 4 horse race of Jan/Sam Shankland/Woodpecker or Ehlvest. Anyone kind enough to point me in the right direction? Have all the QC books published before that I would like to have

  4. @JB
    The four books are all good in their respective areas, so choose whichever one is most relevant to the part of your game you’d most like to work on.

  5. JB :
    Forward Chess are offering $10 off any 1 book in October

    Where did you find this special offer? I can’t see it anywhere.

    Shankland’s is a very instructive book on how to handle certain pawn structure issues and what to consider when having to decide for or against getting a doubled pawn, for example. It’s not particularly difficult, but it has a lot of practical value.
    Markos’ book is a very interesting and enjoyable collection of articles on many different topics. Many of them are fesh. I remember seeing a few things in there I haven’t seen anywhere else.
    Both books are great. My only complaint about them is that both could (and maybe should) have been longer. Shankland writes like he talks. His book feels very authentic. Markos is a good writer. He knows how to write interesting articles and keep his audience until the end.

  6. Our books are longer and cheaper than our main competitors. And because we use a higher quality of paper than some of them, they still remain slimmer. Not every novel is Game of Thrones and not every chess book is written by Kotronias, however sad that may make you!

  7. I know I’ll regret this but qc are maybe a bit underpriced compared to your peers but I think you can look at it another way in that I’ll probably end up buying all 4 for the price of 2 from other publishers.

  8. We have increased our prices this year. But this is the first time since 2004 that there has been a jump. We hopefully can stay at the new prices for years without having to increase again.

  9. @Andre
    Andre, you did a great job of explaining these books. Regarding your complaint, I think both books are really instant classics because of their clarity. That makes us want more, rather than they are too short.

    Markos book is remarkable in that it is clear he is not a native English speaker. Yet, his prose is beautiful and clear in such a unique manner.

    Sam distilled a pretty complicated topic down into very clear examples of the concept.

    Both are highly readable and merit multiple readings.

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