Use Marin to beat the World No. 1

I am at times asked how reliable our books are, and at what level they can be used. I have to bite my tongue, because what I really wanted to say in such a situation is that player X, rated 2700+ has just bought the books on our website – and most likely not to put under the Christmas three. Peter Heine Nielsen said about some of our books that they were “of use even at the highest level.” He is the chief second of the World Champion, so it is easy to read things into such a statement. One player you could easily suspect of having read our books is English Grandmaster Luke McShane. In this game he follows the recommendation of GM Mihail Marin in Grandmaster Repertoire 5 as a stepping stone to beat the World number one. Whatever I say hereafter, I feel I can say it with full confidence…

Luke McShane – Magnus Carlsen [A37]

London Chess Classic, 1st Round, 08.12.2010

1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.0–0 Nh6

A sideline, but still a serious option.

7.d4! cxd4 8.Bxh6! Bxh6 9.Nxd4

Marin thinks White is better here. Carlsen does not manage to prove otherwise with his novelty.


9…Nxd4 10.Qxd4 0–0 11.Rfd1 Bg7 12.Qe3 Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Qc7 14.Rac1 Be6 15.Qe3!N

This is Marin’s improvement in GM5. (15.c5 Qxc5 16.Qxc5 dxc5 17.b3 Rad8 18.Bxb7 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 c4 20.Bd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 cxb3 22.axb3 Rb8 ½–½ Loginov-Stanec, Aschach 1994.)

15…Rac8 16.Rd4 Qb6 17.b3 Rc7 18.Qd2 and White is a bit better.

9…Bd7 10.c5 Bg7 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qa4 Bxc3 14.Qxc6+ Kf8 15.bxc3 Rc8 16.Qa4 Rxc5 17.Qxa7 Qc7 18.Qxc7 Rxc7


Marin’s improvement. (19.Rfc1 Kg7 20.a4 Ra8 21.Ra3 Rc4 22.a5 Ra6 and White was unable to convert his advantage in Loginov-Csom, Budapest 1993.)

19…Kg7 20.a4 Ra8 21.Ra3 Rc5 22.Rb4 Kf6 23.Kg2 Ke6 24.h4 h5 25.Kf3

With a clear advantage. The game went:

25…Rac8 26.Rbb3 Rf5+ 27.Ke3 Rcc5 28.f4 Rfd5 29.Rb7 Ra5 30.c4 Rd1 31.Rb5 Ra6 32.a5 f5 33.c5 dxc5 34.Rxc5 Kf7 35.Re5 Ra7 36.Rb5 Ra6 37.Rb6 Ra8 38.a6 Rd7 39.Rc3 Rd5 40.Rcc6 Rg8 41.Rb7 Ra5 42.Kd4?

This makes the job much harder – maybe impossible. (42.a7! Ra2 43.Rcc7 would have allowed White to win quite easily. A possible plan is: 43…Re8 44.Kd4 Ra4+ 45.Kc3 Ra3+ 46.Kb2 Ra6 47.Rc3+-)

42…Rd8+ 43.Ke3

(43.Kc4 Rd2 is suddenly complicated.)

43…Ra3+ 44.Kf2 Rd4! 45.a7 Re4 46.Rc3 Ra2 47.Re3

Good technical play from Mihail, but Black keeps the rook here, hoping to have access to the kingside via f5 later. The win appears to be elusive.

47…Kf6 48.Kf3 Raa4 49.Rc7 Kf7 50.Rd7 Kf6 51.Rb7 Kf7 52.Rc7 Kf6 53.Rb3 Kf7 54.Kf2 Ra2 55.Re3 Kf6 56.Rxe4 fxe4 57.Ke3 Ra4 58.Kd2 e6 59.Kc3 Kf5 60.Kb3 Ra1 61.Rc5+ Kf6 62.Rc7 Kf5 63.Kb4 Kg4 64.Rc5

(64.Kb5 Kxg3 65.Kb6 Rb1+ (65…Kf2 66.Rc5+-) 66.Kc6 Ra1 67.Kb7 Rb1+ 68.Kc8 Ra1 69.Kb8 Kxh4 70.a8Q Rxa8+ 71.Kxa8 Kg3 72.Kb7 Kxf4 Black makes a draw.)

64…Rxa7 65.Rg5+ Kh3 66.Kc4 Ra4+ 67.Kb3 Ra1 68.Kc2 Ra2+ 69.Kd1 Kg2 70.Re5 Ra4 71.Rxe6 Kxg3 72.Rxg6+ Kxf4 73.Ke1 Ra1+ 74.Kf2 e3+ 75.Kg2 Re1 76.Rf6+ Kg4 77.Rg6+ Kf4 78.Rf6+ Ke4 79.Re6+ Kd4 80.Rd6+ Ke4 81.Re6+ Kf4 82.Rf6+ Kg4 83.Rg6+ Kf5 84.Rh6 Rxe2+ 85.Kf3 Rh2 86.Rxh5+ Kg6 87.Rg5+ Kh6

½–½ Marin-Illescas Cordoba, Sanxenxo 2004.


A logical answer. Black is behind in development, so White quickly brings his bits in.

10…0–0 11.Rfd1

It is not so easy for Black to free himself here, thus he decides to lose extra time with the knight.


11…Bd7 12.Qxb7 Rb8 13.Qxa7 Rxb2 14.c5! and White appears to be a pawn up for nothing.


This is a very competitive attempt, but White could also play more classical with: 12.Qc2 Bg7 13.Rac1, when again it is not so easy to be Black. For example: 13…a5 14.Na4! Nb6 15.c5 and White is a bit better.

12…a5 13.b4!?

Probably a bit too much. 13.e3 underscores that Black has no good logical moves. For example: 13…Nc5?! (13…Ra6 14.Na4 is a bit better for White) 14.Nb3! Nxb3 15.axb3 Ra6 16.c5! e.g. 16…Bg7 17.cxd6 exd6 18.Rd5 Rc6 19.Rxa5 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Rxc3 21.Qb2 Qc7 22.Ra7 Rc2 23.Qd4 Rc1+ 24.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 25.Bf1 Qc7 26.h4 and Black never truly frees himself, although he preserves good drawing chances.


13…Nb6 14.c5 Nc4 15.Qb3 Nd2 was indicated as playable somewhere, but after 16.Qc2! Black has not solved his problems: 16…axb4 17.Nd5 e6 18.Ne3 dxc5 19.Qxc5 e5 20.Rxd2 exd4 21.Rxd4 Qa5 22.Qxa5 Rxa5 23.Rxb4 Bg7 24.Nc4 Ra7 25.Rd1 Rxa2 26.e3 and the typical “English” pressure continues.

14.b5 Ra8 15.e3

15.Nc6? bxc6 16.bxc6 Nb6 is not playable.

15…a4! 16.Rab1 Bg7 17.Ne4 Qb6

17…Qa5 18.Rbc1 Re8 appears just as natural, but there is still a lot of play in the position – even though Black is probably equal.


A nice tricky move.


18…bxc6!? 19.bxc6 Qa5 20.cxd7 Bxd7 21.c5 Bg4 22.Rdc1 dxc5 looks sort of playable, but White continues to exert pressure on the black queenside after 23.Nxc5.

19.Nb4 f5?

I thought this move looked horrible when played, but apparently it is positionally ok – but tactically is another matter. 19…Qa5 20.Nd5 Nb6 21.Nxb6 Qxb6 22.c5 dxc5 23.Qxc5 with an edge for White was better, but not solving all problems.


Missing a big chance. 20.Nd5! Qd8 – the only move. (What both players must have missed was that after 20…Qa5 White wins in one go with:

21.b6!!+- fxe4 22.Rb5 Qa6 23.Nc7 . But as 21.¤g5 is strong too, it is puzzling that Luke did not play like this.) 21.Ng5 Nc5 22.b6± Black should probably think about giving up the exchange, as after 22…Rb8 23.Nc7 Rf8 24.Rb5! his position sort of collapses.


This appears to be a simple blunder. Carlsen is not starting well in this event. 20…Qa5 21.Rbc1  and it is still not so easy for Black to free himself, but the position is playable. He needs to try  21…e6 and …Bf8 to fight for the light squares.

21.Nxa4! Qa7 22.Na6! bxa6

Delaying the capture only makes things worse.

23.b6 Nxb6 24.Rxb6 Rb8 25.c5!±

The pressure is substantial.


Probably a better defence was the miserable 25…dxc5 26.Qb3+ c4 27.Qxc4+ Kh8 28.Rxb8 Qxb8 29.Qf7 Rf8 30.Qxe7 Qe5± with some chances in the ending.

26.Rdb1! dxc5?!

This loses by force, but the prospects after 26…Qc7 27.c6 are not really better.

27.Rb7 Rxb7 28.Rxb7 Qa8 29.Nxc5 Qc8 30.Qxa6 Bf7 31.Bc6! Rd8

31…Rf8 32.a4+-


A nice finish. The threat is 33.Qb6, with the ideas a2-a4-a5-a6-a7-a8=Q and simply Rc7.


32…Be6 33.Qb6! Bxd7 34.Bxd7 Qc1+ 35.Kg2 Rf8 appears equally hopeless: 36.Be6+ Kh8 37.Rb8 h5 38.Rxf8+ Bxf8 39.a4

33.Bxd7 Qc1+ 34.Qf1 Qxf1+

As if resigning, but there is no hope left.

35.Kxf1 Bc4+ 36.Kg1 Bxa2 37.Ba4 e5 38.f3 Bh6 39.Bb3+ 1–0

71 thoughts on “Use Marin to beat the World No. 1”

  1. Tonight I will receive the ECF award for Book of the Year, as well as give a lecture at 8pm. All at the London Chess Classic.

  2. Now that his GM English books are finished, can you tell us what Marin will be working on next? He is one of my favourite chess authors so I’m eager to hear what he will be moving on to!

  3. I think he should write a book annotating his 100 best games. See his English as White and Open games as Black in action!

    Yeah, of course you can look up a database, but it would be interesting to see what he considers his 100 best, and some of the possible secrets that an amateur wouldn’t see. You look at a database game, and ask yourself “Why not this move? Looks pretty blatent!” when in reality, that move would be a blunder.

  4. Actually he is writing a book on grandmasters mistakes, as well as helping a friend of his to write a book, which will be very interesting. We have agreed a lot of interesting projects. He is busy until retirement.

  5. Any chance of a book on the a6 Slav? This is a fascinating opening that hasn’t been covered yet by Quality Chess and there seems to be a lot of room for new ideas and improvements.

  6. Being a 1.e4 chess player for years I was concerned for my overall education and I said to myself: “Aren’t you gonna play 1.d4, the move that all great played – from Steinitz to Anand?”.
    So I bought both Avrukh’s hardcovers and yesterday I went trough first 50 pages of Catalan. What an eye-opening!!! Excellent presentation and positions of my taste, after all 🙂 Great job for Quality Chess.
    Last year I spoke with my fellow GM Elo 2600 who said about Avrukh’s books: “Well, I do trust Avrukh. Everything else I firstly have to check by myself!”.

    I hope Jacob that above statement shall be valid also for you. But I’m a bit suspicious, cause how shall you paint a lifetime repertoire in main lines after 1.e4 without cutting edge critical lines?

  7. What the? Who has said I am not going to do cutting edge critical lines?

    I also want to make a very important point that people at times ignore, although I find it pretty obvious. Our GM repertoire books are on openings that you will be able to play forever – however this does not mean that every line in the books will be viable in 5-10-20 years. However, the majority of the lines will be similar in their fashion and the understanding of the opening you build up, will be of permanent value.

  8. Jacob makes an excellent point.

    Anybody who thinks that a repertoire book, even as good as the ones at Quality Chess are, will give someone the end all, be all repertoire for the rest of their life is insane.

    I’d say 90% of each book will survive the test of time, but there will be lines where assessments are questioned, possibly disproven in 5, 10, or 20 years.

    The fact that they are main lines will allow you to make them the base foundation for the rest of your life, but move 24 of line A12 of Chapter such-and-such may need to be changed in 2018.

    It’s only 2010, and I still to this day question one of Marin’s lines, and if I can’t find an answer to my own question, I’ll play a different 17th move than the one recommended by Marin. This happens. It’s called reality!

    That line that I question is the sideline on the bottom half of page 27, right column, of the first volume of Marin’s books on the English, saying that White is clearly better after the c5-push on move 17. If I ever get this position, and still don’t figure out how White can possibly be better, I’ll probably take the pawn on e3 on move 17, but they say that computers are skeptical at first, but every time I’ve used a computer in this position, letting it think for a long time on each move (i.e. 10 to 15 minutes), a fairly early queen move to e6 occurs, and it always seems to lead to a draw after best play by both White and Black, with there actually being for room for White to blunder than Black.

    Over time, more and more lines will suffer this problem. Is this one item at the bottom of page 27 of Volume 1 of a 3 Volume series going to stop me from playing the English? Heck no!

    Therefore, for all you e4 fans, when Jacob writes the books in 2012, don’t go around telling Jacob that he mislead you when his recommended line at the top of the second column of page 139 of Volume 3 of his series doesn’t work in the 5th round of the first tournament you play in 2023!

  9. I am of course very grateful for this support. I have a few additions:

    1) Obviously we make mistakes. The same even goes for someone so superior to us than Marin.
    2) I think I will have volume 1 ready in 2011. I have done a lot of preparation already.
    3) It will be 5 volumes. I have the correct structure. I don’t have the stamina for 600 page books…

    When I say that 90% would work long term – I actually mean that the evaluation will only change minimally. You can play this and be ok – it will not decide the game. Maybe the percentage is much higher in 1.d4 then 1.c4 and 1.e4, as they are less ambitious…

  10. 1.d4 is less ambitious – meaning, going small edge everywhere, with a draw in the hand – not in the amount of work put in!

  11. 5 volumes for GM Rep WHITE 1.e4? That will be cca 2500-3000 pages, in comparison with GM Rep WHITE 1.d4 which has cca 1100-1200 pages.

    I’m just wondering when will you Jacob finish them, in 2013?

    Pleople do recommend to play 1.d4 so that they cut preparation with White, and instead one gets free time to expand on Black repertoire: to add 2 and more defences after both 1.e4 and 1.d4 🙂

    Everybody is happy if he draws as White and kills with Black 🙂

  12. I was hoping 1500-2000 pages. 1.d4 would not be in two volumes if I had to design it today. How was I to know that Boris would hand in 616 pages!!

  13. Jacob, do you have any new plans for Marin’s “Beating the Open Games 2nd ed” and “A Spanish Repertoire” like hardcovers or updated/rewritten editions?

    I’m wondering if I as a, inter alia, 1…. e5 player can count on GM Repertoire for BLACK 1…. e5, based on following lines:

    a) Petroff
    b) Ruy Lopez:

    * 9…Na5 (Chigorin Variation)
    * 9…Bb7 (Zaitsev Variation)
    * 9…Nb8 (Breyer Variation)
    * 9…Nd7 (Karpov Variation)
    * 9…Be6 (Kholmov Variation)
    * 9…h6 (Smyslov Variation)

    Since Marin wrote above mentioned 2 books, he could easily write GM Repertoire for BLACK 1…. e5!

    Please launch it, in the name of all of us, “old-school” die-hards 🙂

    Marry Christmas folks 🙂

  14. I shall keep it in mind, however I would expect Mihail to go with the Open Lines, should he want to do this job. We certainly have no thoughts about reprinting the existing books in hardcover at the moment. It does not fully make sense to me.

  15. “Beating the Open Games” really needs an update or rewritten addition since it is filled with mistakes (mainly because Marin didn’t use any relevant 1 e4 e5 sources) but I doubt it will happen.

  16. Is this the old sideline in a not very important opening, where there are many ways too play – argument. No one has shown me a mistake in the 2nd edition which is not surpassed in all theory books ever published, so I simply have not seen evidence for that claim. I don’t like 2…Bc5 against the KG, but he is still ahead of practice in that chapter.

    One GM bought the book in March and won against another GM the very next day. Although theory moves on, this book still has excellent value. An update for me would mean some lines were replaced, but most of what is in there is still bang on the money.

  17. @ Boris Avrukh
    @ Jacob Aaggard

    PLEASE HELP: During my work with GM 1 – 1.d4 volume one, and playing on the internet, I have the problem to find following line/transposition:

    1. d4 d5
    2. c4 e6 (normal Catalan line)
    3. Nf3 Nf6
    4. g3 c6

    And what now? Is this a Slav? Or Catalan? But I can’t find it in the book!

    Please help me and give me a suggestion where is this in the book. Thanks.

  18. The 1. e4 books are surely the most difficult to write in the set. Theory extends really far in systems like the Ruy Lopez, Petroff, and Najdorf, and I wouldn’t say that it’s easy to prove anything in any of them. White has struggled against the Marshall for quite some time, the Petroff for forever, and so on. I am really eager to see what Jacob has, as his books will be judged for a long time on what kind of problems he can set against each of these historically critical tries.

  19. It will be very interesting to work on these things. We have some ideas already, but obviously there is a lot of work to do. This will be the main thing I do in the next two years of my life…

  20. What i hope is to see a World Championship match with 1.e4 at last! (i don’t count the last Anand-Kramnik game from Bonn as a “real” 1.e4 game!) And White at last to win! Of course Marshall, Petroff, the Berlin and some Sicilians are tough nuts to crack but if you try and study them from the Black side you will quickly see that there are many lines where White pushes for an edge.

    I remember a GM (i don’t remember his name) sometime said that when he studied openings he always found equality when he studied them from White’s side and always was a bit worse when he studied them from Black’s side! My question was: why didn’t he do it the other way round? Difficult to uderstand how it could be done though! But i found that White is better in the Petroff only when i tried to study it for Black!

  21. More than anything, I would love to see Marin do a book on the Pirc – whether it is a “Play the Pirc” or “GM Repertoire – the Pirc”. But alas, it is probably just a dream.

  22. Jacob Aagaard :Very good point. You tend to see your own problems, not the ones facing the opponent.

    I tend to only partially agree. I think it’s more a stylistic issue. In my experience:

    Benko Gambit – I see Black’s problems with White. I see Black’s problems with Black. I see no way to fix them, have excellent results with White, and absolutely refuse to play it as Black. I see nothing for Black in the Main Line (i.e. Bxf1 Kxf1) or the Fianchetto Variation. Notice both involve accepting the Gambit. At the same time, I know people that will play the Benko Gambit religously, and for some odd reason, have very good results.

    Petroff Defense – I see nothing for White, and one small disadvantage after another for Black, very much in line with Aagaard’s statement.

    Sicilian Najdorf – Every sacrifice I ever play as White fails, every game I try to play Black fails to a sacrifice. This opening makes no sense to me what-so-ever from either side, and I avoid it like the plague in all cases.

    English Opening – I have excellent results as White, and aside from a rare 10-move loss with Black recently, have had good results with Black against the English. It’s probably no wonder that I play 1.c4 at this point as White.

    So I think style has more to do with it than one’s ability to see their own problems vs their opponents. As can be seen above, only the Petroff in my case falls under Aagaard’s theory. The English makes a ton of sense, the Najdorf makes absolutely zero sense, and the Benko seems completely 100% 1-sided, according to my mind, but for someone else, they’ll play the Najdorf religiously as White or Black, the Benko with Black against 1.d4, and hate facing the English more than anything else. It depends on the individual.

  23. As this is a psychological point, it is not a great surprise that people have different experiences. I have the experience I mentioned, in most openings!

  24. @ chess resurrection 🙂

    Freinds, did someone of you, editors/writers of Quality, make shift from 1.e4 to 1.d4 openings? My Elo is 2100 and I abruptly started to study Avrukh’s GM Repertoire 1.d4, and to my surprise I like the Catalan bishop very much. I’m also working with recent Yussupov’s books and I’m very thrilled when I can test my positional knwoledge in practice. Also I noticed that playing 1.d4 I tend to win more games and get more draws! Is this normal, as all famous trainers suggested, to shift openings and to play 1.d4 when players brakes Elo 2000? Please post your opinions.

    @ David Vigorito’s book on the King’s Indian

    Shall Vigorito write something about KID for Quality Chess? His latest book published by Everyman seems to be very good, but the toilet paper ruined all the fame! Please Jacob, don’t decrease the quality of paper for your books for temporary earnings! I like more the old paper, rather than this new very slim one. Books with slim paper look like a anorecsic woman (GM Rep Najdorf).

    @ Avrukh’s “GM Rep Grunfeld”

    Since Ftacnik covered all deviations for Black starting with move 2 in his “GM Rep Najdorf” I think that Avrukh’s book should also cover all deviations in oreder to be called a “GM Rep”. Otherwise Black players are left behind in bad position…

    @ GM Rep King’s Indian

    GM Kontronias shall write 2 volumes. But how that GM Grunfled gets only 1 volume?

  25. Vigorito did his KID project for Everyman. Not much to add.

    Boris will start in move 3. Again not much to add :-). He is not a puppet, you know.

    Maybe Kotronias’ books will help players from move 2!? I am not sure about what he will cover. Again, I am not fully in control of these guys!

  26. Thanks Jacob for reply!

    Can you, or Mr. Shaw, comment on “@ chess resurrection :)”.

    Since I shed blood in order to get my copy of, then, limited hardcover edition of GM Rep 1d4 vol 1, I’m curious if the following reprint in January will include PGN update of the book. I hope so, otherwise I can’t see any point, except the lucrative one.

  27. It is a reprint, which means that we had run out of copies and want to supply everyone who wants one with a copy. To call it lucrative is maybe a bit optimistic, but sure, this book has not hurt out company 🙂

  28. Please upload new catalog for 2011 and give us front covers of upcoming titles.

    I’m very interested for GM Battle Manual and Karpov’s books.

  29. I suggest a reprint of a classic:

    *** Viacheslav Dydyshko; Logic of modern chess (1989 in Russian)***

    Viacheslav Dydyshko (born 10 April 1949) is a Belarusian chess master. He won 11 times Belarusian Chess Championship (from 1965 to 2006) …

  30. The idea that I would not upload the catalogue if it was ready is quite hilarious!

    I have heard of this Dydyshko book before; we have been considering it, but not yet made a decision.

  31. Abramov check out in amazon, they show covers for some QC books among them The Grandmaster Battle Manual.

    Waiting for:

    GM Battle Manual
    Understanding Chess Tactics 2nd Ed
    Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits
    Yusupov’s Fundamentals Boxset ( yeah I know this one will take a long time)


  32. Jacob, and what about:

    * Complete Chess Strategy, by Pachman (3 vol)

    * Rubinstein’s Chess Masterpieces, by Kmoch

    * Pawn Power in Chess, by Kmoch

    * Zurich ’53, by Bronstein

    Go for it 🙂 Happy 2011 🙂

    * Art of Positional chess, by Reshevsky

    * The Application of Chess Theory, by Geller

    * How Not to Play Chess, by Borovsky

    * Chess Improviser, by Bronstein

    * World Chess Championship ’37, by Alekhine

    * Art of the middle game, by Keres and Kotov

    * GM preparation, by Polugaevsky

    * The Chess Terrorist, by Shamkovich

  33. The GM Battle Manual cover on Amazon is just a 5 min generic one. The right one is really wild. We got it in yesterday. It will certainly be a hate it or love uit cover, that will grab your attention.

    Thanks for these ideas, most of them are a NEVER, but one or two is worth a thought…

  34. Coming back to the original topic (or a subset of it)- “Using Marin”. Has anyone else in terms of vol2 started to shed pages around p200 of the paperback, which is pretty much the centre? Bent the spine to read these pages (not aggresively, but as you would with any book) and several pages became detached. Disappointed to say the least 🙁

  35. Any information on “Understanding Chess Tactics 2nd Ed” and/or “Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits”?


  36. Paper. Out printer has informed us that they have changed their machine and this is the reason why in both volume 2 and 3 some pages have come lose. This is not acceptable. If you inform the place you bought it, they will replace it, and we will replace it to them. In the end the printer will carry the extra cost through a discount in the future to us.

    UCT 2nd edition will be a better looking book, with maybe another 150 pages. Mainly it will have a lot of exercises and a bit more about calculation, probably. We will see how it all works out. I plan to have it out in the late summer.

    Black Gambits. I expect early summer for this one as well. Some chapters are ready, others not. It will be a bit higher level than the first volume, with more long term compensation, instead of N/Bxf7 all the time :-).

  37. Why nobody doesn’t want to comment on my “chess resurrection”. Any strong player here around? Or you’re awaiting a paycheck… 🙂 🙁 🙂

    “Since I shed blood in order to get my copy of, then, limited hardcover edition of GM Rep 1d4 vol 1, I’m curious if the following reprint in January will include PGN update of the book. I hope so, otherwise I can’t see any point, except the lucrative one.”

  38. Wrongly, I meant: “Freinds, did someone of you, editors/writers of Quality, make shift from 1.e4 to 1.d4 openings? My Elo is 2100 and I abruptly started to study Avrukh’s GM Repertoire 1.d4, and to my surprise I like the Catalan bishop very much. I’m also working with recent Yussupov’s books and I’m very thrilled when I can test my positional knwoledge in practice. Also I noticed that playing 1.d4 I tend to win more games and get more draws! Is this normal, as all famous trainers suggested, to shift openings and to play 1.d4 when players brakes Elo 2000? Please post your opinions.”

  39. I did answer the first. It is a reprint, not a new edition. Your question might as well be “why print more than one copy – it is all I was going to buy…”. We supply the people who still wants the book with copies. That easy.

  40. Jacob- thanks for your response on the paper. Does this mean a later print re-run remedied the problem, or if I exchange my copy with the place I got it (Chess Shop in Baker St London) will I run into the same problem?

    I’m always loathe to buy any hardback (economist in me has always seen them as an exercise in revealed pricing vs paperbacks), but this incident has me thinking of going down this route for your 2011 publications….

  41. Hi Paul,

    If you include the extra printing and shipping cost, you will quickly find that the € 1.80 we get extra for a hardback in practice is not a profit margin. The hardbacks are exclusively a service that was asked for. I am still not sure it is a good fiscal idea, but the loss would be so small that we at least are doing all the books in hardback at the moment.

    No, there has not yet been a rerun. However, PLAY THE SCANDINAVIAN, which was printed one week later, has not had any problems. I believe it to be a very short phase the printer is going through, before returning to normal. Otherwise, we will have to reconsider our situation with them. For now you should exchange it with the LCC and they will document it to us.

  42. Abramov Anjuhin

    Jacob, a while ago you mentioned that your upcoming “Thinking outside the box” will be structured as a WORKBOOK in stregic/positional play? Am I right?

    But I want to propose possible structure for your or some similar book:

    a) INTRO TEXT: the definition of current strategic/positional play theme is given, accompanied with several carefully chosen games

    b) EXCERCISES: this could be done in Jussupow style – let’s say 16-20 per lesson, with awarded points, percents or Elo rating scale

    If you look with fresh eyes on the exsisting literature delving with STRATEGY/POSITIONAL PLAY you can easily spot a big abys! Besides Jussupow’s “Schach Unterricht” which only partly deals with mentioned theme and Muller’s “The ChessCafe Puzzle book 2”, you can’t find nothing similar on the market.

    Why is that so? I think that the authors are lazy because one has firstly to check many games and to identify positional play briks, whereas in writing tactics books one just has to pick right filter in Chessbase or Chess Assistant.

    Also I’d like to propose a new edition: FM WORKOUT: tactics, strategy/positional play, endgame, calculation.

    Such works can definetely be seen as a valuable addition to the training session of every aspiring chess player, just as I am 🙂

  43. Hi Abramov. There will be two books; one with text and one with exercises.

    To say that in order to write a tactics book you just have to pick the right filter in CB or CA is ridiculous. The two tactics books I have done have cost me far more time than any other books I have ever done. However, I also put the bar quite high :-).

  44. Abramov Anjuhin

    To give you Jacob litlle encouragement I have to say that I briefly conversated with many editors, including Chess Informant, where I suggested carving a ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF STRATEGIC/POSITIONAL PLAY, in a way like Anthology of chess combinations 3rd edition.

    To my amazement I didn’t receive any positive feedback 🙁

    Then I started to think why is that so, why a Bible for chess tactics like Anthology of chess combinations 3rd ed gets rave reviews and status of cult training tool in the field of tactics/calculation?

    Well, a nature of tactics is a simple equation= what to do when you have 1+1? On the contrary strategy is developing slow and it depends of the power of the chess trend-setters, the best players trougout chess history. Normaly, because of that NOBODY DARES TO DO IT!

    Brief issues which must be discussed before writing a ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF STRATEGIC/POSITIONAL PLAY are:

    1) which elements constitute a complete list for eveluation of position?
    2) which elements build a chess STRATEGY (open file, outpost etc.)
    3) what is POSITIONAL PLAY nad what are its elements?

    Since few years ago I realized that the QUALITY CHESS house is set to be a leading chess mark in publishing, I again suggest you Jacob that your company launches such work because it would definetely be a 21st century Chess Bible, you could receive fame like Euwe’s “Middlegame”, and last but not the least you could earn a load of money 🙂

    I hope that you shall give a try 🙂

  45. I had ideas of such a book at one point. I still dream of it – but it is mainly nightmares. I will make something simpler and more useful, but still very good. Let us hope that you will not be too disappointed…

  46. Hi Jacob,

    Just spotted some of the new covers on Amazon. Really cool cover with Eljanov on it! Way different than way people are doing, and an interesting idea in and of itself.

  47. Actually, that is not the official cover. I am about to complain to SCB for not remembering the agreement of not putting these out. The same goes with the Kotronias cover. We can do better than this, of course!

  48. Yes, I also like the real GM vs Amateur a good deal better, even though I really liked the first one too. However, we were convinced that it was the wrong choice and that is it.

  49. Abramov Anjuhin

    So this is big upset for 1.e4 players, a GM 9 – The Tarrasch Defence which you’re writing with Ntirlis 🙂

    Well I’m happily surprised because I wanted to play something symmetrical against 1.d4 besides King’s Indian and Grunfeld.

    By the way, who is Ntirlis, new chess engine 🙂

  50. Congratulations! I’ve read your spring 2011 catalogue – outstanding 🙂

    Rightly now I’m gonna put aside 300 Euros for all “my” hardbacks!

    Once again, you’re the best in the world!!!

    Tony Montana (Scarface): “World Is Not Enough”

  51. Definitely a few interesting choices in the Spring 2011 catalog.

    I’ve always been torn about the Tarrasch Defense. One side of me says I should play it more often. Another side of me says there’s just something wrong with the defense. Just doesn’t “look right”. I even mentioned on the Everyman bulletin board that an update was needed since the latest seems to be the book from 2002 by Aagaard. I have also played it maybe half a dozen times in my lifetime as Black with decent results (majority draws). But at the same time, I feel like the IQP is more of a liability than a strength, unlike say, in the French Tarrasch, where the Knight is already committed to d2, then the IQP is not really a problem for Black. Still have to play it right of course.

    The Experts on the Anti-Sicilian book advertisement is a little confusing. It claims it’s for both Black and White. I would think that would be a thousand-page tomb. I could see 300 pages written on the Alapin, another 200 on the closed, 200 on the grand prix, 200 on the Morra, and another 100 on other “garbage” lines. I wonder how it will compare to other Anti-Sicilian books that were typically written for Black.

    The middlegame book that I’d be interested in looking at the preview for before deciding whether to buy or not is the one on Positional Sacrifices. The one by McDonald in the 90s I thought was mediocre at best. Understanding the Sacrifice was better, especially the part on the Restrictive Sacrifice which was really interesting. The concept of Essential Chess Sacrifices, talking about the 15 most common sacrifices, had the right concept. Understanding how to execute common sacrifices like Nxf7, Bxf7 (or f2 for Black), etc is essential. The problem was, while the first 2 chapters, dealing with b5, are specific to the Sicilian, even the rest of the chapters seemed to be more of a “How White can bash the Sicilian” book than an objective book on Standard Sacrifices. I’ve had plenty of games as Black where I’ve sacrificed on f2, h2, d4, etc, especially in the French, but even in other openings as well. Secondly, the vast majority weren’t “positional” sacrifices, and so it can’t really be compared to the other 2 books. Often it was shear tactics, like the Greek Gift Sacrifice when talking about h7 sacrifices.

    I would think the most essential thing to understand when dealing with positional sacrifices is piece re-evaluation, which most books don’t seem to want to do. There are times that a Knight is far better than a Rook in a given position. While you have cases like your Rxc3 sacrifices in the Dragon and Rxf3 sacrifices in the French to control central squares, the one that many seem to miss are positional sacrifices of a rook for a minor piece due to situations like, say, an eternal knight on d4 (eternal in the sense that the White c-pawn and White e-pawn have already advanced to where they can’t attack d4, the Dark-Squared Bishops are gone, and that Knight is going to be a much more of a serious thorn in his back than his extra rook will ever do for him because, say, the entire position is closed except the d-file.

  52. Abramov Anjuhin

    Reagrading cover: for GM King’s Indian I expect nothing else than Sojus Sowjetskich Sozialistitscheskich Respublik red flag!!!

  53. I have your Meeting 1.d4 Tarrasch book Jacob, and liked it a lot. Really looking forward to the GM Thank You so much QC!!

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