The Sicilian Taimanov – variation index

We have updated our excerpt to The Sicilian Taimanov. It now includes an Abridged Variation Index to give a clearer idea of the content. If you have downloaded the excerpt before, you may have to refresh your browser to see the new one.

And when will this book be published? Our printer is on holiday today, so I don’t know exactly when the books will be available. But first week in June is a good guess.

110 thoughts on “The Sicilian Taimanov – variation index”

  1. @Leon Trotsky

    I don’t think QC tend to put their books up for sale via the web page until closer to publication date…. it’s still a month off.

  2. from the abridged index it is looking interresting to get the comparative study with previous books ( Delchev/Semkov & Ivanisevic/Perunovic/Markus) as they tend to favor different lines.
    Is it really because of a better variation of just a prefered style of play ?

  3. Nice to see that book link shows now that expected release is 5 juny 2019, less than month left 🙂

  4. @RYV
    Good question.
    I see difference moves between different opening repertoire books.
    In intro Pavlividis says that he found Semkov books of benefit early in career.
    So maybe similar to Semkov in style.
    Do you see a difference in style between the others mentioned?

  5. @Ed
    in the fianchetto variation for exemple, Pavlidis seems to recommend a line that is rejected by delchev/semkov because of black cannot expect more than a draw. I am, waiting to read Pavlidis comment about this line.
    In the classical line (Be2,Be3,Na4..) PAvlidis only consider 9..Be7 but 9..00 seems playable ( Ivanisevic).

    We shoulld also compare lines with books defending the white side ( Negi, Kotronias..)

  6. Have looked through the variation index but couldn’t find one of the “new trends” against the Taimanov namely 6 Be3 a6 7 a3….it is becoming more popular according to my database so sure it must be there somewhere and I’ve just missed it?

  7. The Coming Soon section is looking bare!

    Can we have updates on any new books or the progress on ones we know about?

    GM Rep 1 e4 (Offbeat)
    Electrifying Elephant Gambit
    Playing The Najdorf
    Playing The Grunfeld
    GM Rep Leningrad Dutch

    Many Thanks

    Dr S

  8. What is the book “a matter of tecnique” about?.If it is about winning won positions that is the thing I need right now.

  9. Is the 5th of June release date for this book the day they hit the bookshop shelves or the day they are sent to the various outlets?


  10. Jacob Aagaard

    We time the shipping so all the stores have the book on the 5th. We tried once to ask them to follow a release schedule, but it was not working, so instead we send the books with a strategic delay so they all get them on the 5th. We usually have the books two days before ourselves and sneakily send out the web orders. As few are in the UK, we are not undermining anyone.
    Those US shops that buy directly from us get the books equally fast, as we have a good FedEx agreement.

  11. Totally out of topic, but, how did the Quality Chess Academy go?

    I hope it went well and you are planning to do another one next year. I already convinced my wife to assist. It did not really take too much convincing once I showed her the hotel 🙂

  12. @Gollum The resort is every bit as nice as the brochure. For the price it is hard to beat. I brought my wife and she had a great time.. Kallia did a great job organizing activities for the spouses. It was worth every penny. At the camp closing meeting, they indicated they are planning another one, but there are a lot of details to work out.

  13. The book is available in since yesterday, but not in the app for ios. I have bought this and it looks excellent.

  14. Jacob Aagaard

    There are many reasons to buy straight from the website. Please make this your preferred option.

  15. Also some reasons not to. I get charged a foreign currency fee as the website is priced in dollars so I will be waiting for the app version to appear.

  16. @JB
    There maybe a foreign transaction fee (we don’t see them in the US) , but we are able to offer specials on the web, something that is not practical in mobile apps.

    For example the Taimanov book is currently available at 25% off, for another day or so.
    Surely this would outweigh foreign transaction fees.

  17. What is the price of the Taimanov book due to be on the app.most qc books are£13.99 on the app.with the foreign currency fee the book would be around£16 I’m guessing.Very happy that there are discounts but it may not be worth it for me. Thanks for the reply

  18. Jacob Aagaard

    It takes a while, because Amazon forces us to use middlemen. Besides being bad for the publishers and authors, it also delays the product. If you can, please buy our books from a chess specialist shop. Without them there will be no more chess books in the long run.

  19. @JB
    Another possible issue with buying from the website: I use both an iPhone and an iPad, and keep the books synced on both devices. When buying from the website, I need to login to the FC cloud to sync those books, but unfortunately it seems to me now that FC cloud allows only one device enabled; at least it wouldn’t allow me to enable the iPad before disabling the iPhone. Anyway, I did that, downloaded the book there too, but it turns out that disabling a device also removes those books from it!
    If there is a workaround for this problem, I’d greatly appreciate a comment from ForwardChess. Otherwise yeah, I definitely do prefer to pay full price to FC instead of buying through the app (when Apple makes a hefty 30% cut), but this inconvenience is really annoying…

  20. @Jacob Aagaard
    I wonder if you have ever considered boycotting Amazon? I agree there terms are very restrictive and killing in the long run. I hope one of these days there will be a successful antitrust case on abuse of dominance.

  21. @Ray
    Amazon had to be convinced to raise workers wage to 15USD per hour instead of whatever the hell lower wage they had before. The terms with QC books are barely the major reason to boycott them 😀

  22. For a business like QC, I think it makes no sense to boycott anyone; but it is very reasonable to promote the channels that do make the most sense, both financially and in terms of customer service, as QC does. Whether we like it or not, Amazon is the #1 (and sometimes only) destination for a large number of online shoppers, who prefer this kind of centralized shopping (a huge and efficient “online mall”) – so it doesn’t make business sense to ignore them. But of course, if it is possible to skip the Amazon tax (or Apple tax or whatever) and give this money to a chess-related business instead, it certainly is preferable.
    In any case, supporting specialized chess shops is essential for their future, and to the benefit of all of us chess players. As is supporting chess books publishers (including Forward Chess and other such services), chess streamers, chess websites etc. All of them contribute, in one way or another, to the expansion and popularity of our game, which eventually leads to greater revenue for all those involved (and more, better options and possibilities for the players of all levels as well).

  23. @Forward Chess
    As it turned out, the problem was having reached the maximum device limit; it seems that certain OS updates and resets had created a conflict.
    Thanks to Forward Chess for very quickly resolving this, all is perfectly fine now!

  24. @middlewave

    I have to buy my books offshore as there are no speciality chess outlets where I live…But it is difficult to support some of them for example Chess & Bridge charge GBP 19.95 to ship to NZ.

    US outlets excluding Amazon want to charge USD44.00 shipping….

    No wonder Amazon is so popular these guys are killing their own businesses!

  25. I see that chess stars has announced the safest grunfeld reloaded for July. It has been avail since the safest grunfeld and Avrukhs GM8 and GM9.

    I wonder what Delchev will recomend agaunst the exchange 7.Bc4 and 8.Rb1 and against the Russian variation.

  26. Also looking forward to Playing the grunfeld by QC. Then there will be a similar situation like in 2011 when the safest grunfeld and GM8 and 9 were released att about the same time.

  27. I got to shake the Mister Aagaard’s hand in Charlotte, North Carolina last weekend.

    Never gonna wash this hand.

  28. Amazon is only the cheapest for products, until kills of opposition and gets monopoly. It is already noticeable for niche products like chess books and blu rays can get cheaper elsewhere.

    I am enjoying the latest Taimanov book, very detailed coverage. In particular like the choice against g3, of old line of Fischer v Taimanov candidate match. Seems easier to play than the d6, e6 setups

  29. Jörgen Persson

    I bought the new book
    The Sicilian Taimanov
    And I really like it and think it is very good!

  30. @middlewave
    I agree if QC would have no other option than Amazon to distribute it’s books – but I thought anyone ccould also buy directly from QC, so why sell through Amazon if their conditions suck? It’s not like you nee them for marketing purposes…

  31. And regarding the point on shipping costs: you can avoid these buy buying the digital versions on Forward Chess! In any case, as long as publishers keep doing business with the likes of Amazon they are in the long run digging their own graves.

  32. Maybe slightly off-topic, but I was wondering if there is any news on the Marin’s book on the Leningrad Dutch?

  33. I can’t help thinking that QC’s rate of production has seriously slowed compared with a couple of years ago?

    Maybe I’m wrong??

  34. finally, the long awaited Taimanov book is here. It is almost a one year delay as it was planed for summer 2018 if i remember correctly ! But now it’s fine. I started to read it and found it very interresting. Bibliography includes all recent books on the subject so it will be Worth checking on possible improvement on the existing lines.

  35. Jacob Aagaard

    @The Doctor

    It is not secret that I and others have had some health issues. Also, some books are just harder to finish than others. The Taimanov book was one of those. We do not just put a book out before it is ready.

  36. Health issues are always hard. But constructive criticism, not trying to be sarcastic: Often the publishing schedule it seems like books releases around at least six months after predicted date. Maybe if in doubt, just add at least six months when predicting publish dates, e.g. “September 2019” more accurate might be “March 2020”. Might be more accurate ¿ 😀

  37. It’d be a lot easier on Quality Chess to just not announce a book ahead of time until it was finished. They’ve emphasized numerous times that dates are not set in stone.

    It’s just my opinion, but – I’d rather have what we’ve got now than nothing at all.

  38. I guess it depends on how Quality Chess want to run….they could let us know about many of their projects in advance….but we have to accept that a high quality book may be delayed – after all, how many of us actually know how long it takes to finish a book?….at least we can make plans in terms of our own chess study with this approach though e.g. I’d like to play the Taimanov but I’d rather wait until Quality Chess release their book….or they could keep us in the dark and make announcements when they send a book to the publishers….the “Coming Soon” section would be rather bare….but there would be no complaints about books being delayed.

  39. Benjamin Fitch

    A middle path would be to change “Coming Soon” to something like “Future Releases”, and then simply never give dates until the PDF preview phase, which would come as a delightful surprise every time.

    I really like knowing what books are in the pipeline, but I wouldn’t miss any of the timing prophecies at all.

  40. Personally I quite like knowing when QC think a book is likely to be published. It’s the people who moan whenever they get it wrong that I could do without.

  41. My book arrived from QC the other day….whilst I haven’t had much chance to look at it in great detail as yet, I have looked at some of the variations I considered a bit difficult for black.

    I am extremely impressed with the amount of effort that the author has obviously put into the book and the variations I’ve looked at.

  42. Jacob Aagaard

    We would have liked to have sent two books to print today, but they require a final check. However, after the momentous work of the Taimanov, we have a few interesting and less demanding books in the pipeline.

  43. Jacob Aagaard

    The two next books are The Nemesis and Opening Simulator: Opening Simulator. After this we have an opening book, a book on Anand and Small Steps 2 Success coming down the line (late summer/autumn).

  44. The Anand book, will it be similar to Kramnik, Geller book or different?
    Who will the author be?
    Could you please provide link to the 2 page pdf of what will be published and has been published recently.

  45. @Jacob Aagaard
    I don’t believe Opening Simulator has been mentioned before (don’t see it in the catalogue). Are you able to give a brief description/author to whet our appetites?

  46. Oh now I see you added it to the coming soon section. It’s Lunds KID book he has talked about on his blog…

  47. Jacob Aagaard

    Yes, Small Steps 2 Success is the sequel, dealing with passers. I think it is a better book than the first, but it will be for others to decide.

  48. Is this new KID book by Lund a type of repertoire book, just with a new style of presenting concepts instead of variations ¿

  49. @Leon Trotsky

    There is quite a lot of detail on Esben’s blog. I recall this website does not like links but a search easily locates. Seems to have theory, exercises and themes in it…

  50. @Seth
    Indeed. I have played and studied the Taimanov for many years, back when I was active, and was looking forward to this book, even if simply out of curiosity. And when I got it in my hands…
    Perhaps it may have something to do with my affection for this opening, but I honestly consider this one of the very very best opening books of recent years. Antonis’ willingness to break free from convention on several occasions really serves him well in this book, for both sides.
    Cannot recommend it enough!

  51. I think it’s been missed as he doesn’t cover 6…a6 after 6 f4. Taimanov Bible devote quite a bit of space to this variation I am really surprised it’s been missed TBH (unless I’ve missed it somewhere).

  52. taimanov bible & pavlidis GM rep choose different lines for black. The 2 books complemented well each other.

  53. yes you are absolutly right. That is is why a carefull move order study is Always important. You should look move after move which line or variation is still playable and which one is out of reach.
    In the present example, Pavlidis has been “move ordered” out of his usual lines !

  54. after 6 Be3 a6 7 f4 7.. b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 is covered in Delchev “flexible sicilian.
    after 6 Be3 a6 7 f4 7.. b5 8.Be2 Bb7 is covered in Taimanov bible

  55. @RYV
    I think a book should cover all lines and you should not have to supplement missing lines with other books! That being said I think the book is very good!

  56. No book can cover all viable lines. Most of these books are already door stoppers already. Good books need to cover critical lines and do not need to go over paths already taken in other books.

  57. I received my copy and I can confirm it’s a splendid work.
    But there is an other important line missing: the tricky 6. Be3 and 7. a3 line. I was impressed by Anton’s win against Bosiocic in 25 moves with it. Tal had some success too. There was an article in CBMagazine 181 and 182, encouraging for white, by Petra Papp.
    @Hard Truther
    Not my view of a good book at all.

  58. @Isolani
    While this particular move order is not mentioned in the book, the line itself IS covered, under 6.Be2 a6 7.Be3 Nf6 8.a3, and to quite some depth. After 6.Be3 a6 7.a3 Nf6, I suppose White does have some alternatives to 8.Be2 (transposing), but nothing really worrisome.
    Not only this, but the move order you ask about actually IS mentioned, in a note in the 6.f4 chapter (6.a3 a6 7.Be3), with Antonis giving 7…b5 and referring to a couple of transpositions to other chapters (most notably the 6.Be2 chapter mentioned above).
    So, the line is very well covered indeed in the book, but I do have to agree that the variation index and the chapter structure should have been more explicit in showing this; after all, the move order you refer to is much more common in practice than 6.a3.

  59. @middlewave
    Thanks, middlewave, I overlooked the part mentioned under f4.
    But the move order with Be3 first allows withe to be more flexible and I still don’t find what Papp recommends, like thea plan with Qg4 introduced by Motylev. I think there is still a move order issue, as Pavlidis, after b5, recaptures on c6 either with the queen or with the pawn depending on white choices. But with Be3 first white keeps his options and plays depending on black choices.

    In fact, the book is excellent but the Tamanov is a move order nightmare 🙂

  60. @ The Doctor: What I posted and to which you responded is not rubbish. You might not like it, but it is fact.

    Today, almost all books will be obsolete almost by the time they are published because theory moves so fast.

    There is only one book ever published to which some people claim contains all the info, The Bible, and we all (well, those of us with critical thinking capacity) know what am absolute load of rubbish (to steal your words) that is.

    No dictionary can contain all words, no map can contain all knows roads.

    Accept it or be hurt by it … your choice.

  61. @Isolani
    I am not currently aware of Papp’s recommendations, but in any case I have to agree with pretty much everything you write, particularly the nightmare part!

  62. @Hard Truther

    “Today, almost all books will be obsolete almost by the time they are published because theory moves so fast.”

    Whoosh, that fast hey?
    Really! You can’t be serious!
    Ha ha ha ? ? ?

    Ok maybe I should not worry about buying any more obsolete books!
    Waste time and money, if they are obsolete!
    Obsolete – I think not!

    “Accept it or be hurt by it …. your choice”
    My choice is NOT to accept it and NOT to be hurt by it!
    That is my choice!

    Some people should really think more about what they say!
    Did someone say ‘rubbish’?

  63. @Hard Truther
    I agree you can’t be ‘complete’, but I think that’s not what the discussion was about. It was about critical (‘viable’, in your words) lines missing. In my opinion an opening book should be readable on its own. And of course theory moves on, but that’s a different point.

  64. Ray :@Hard Truther I agree you can’t be ‘complete’, but I think that’s not what the discussion was about. It was about critical (‘viable’, in your words) lines missing. In my opinion an opening book should be readable on its own. And of course theory moves on, but that’s a different point.

    A little surprised QC haven’t commented on this move order transposition.

  65. Ray :@Hard Truther I agree you can’t be ‘complete’, but I think that’s not what the discussion was about. It was about critical (‘viable’, in your words) lines missing. In my opinion an opening book should be readable on its own. And of course theory moves on, but that’s a different point.

    I would be interested in the QC editorial teams thoughts on this move order transposition.

  66. Any news on GM6b (Najdorf)? I think that the sharpest sicilian (the first edition from 2007) is still the best book on the Najdorf. Until GM6b is out :).

  67. The Kozul variation in the classical sicilian is a great fighting weapon that deserves to be covered in depth by QC in the future.

  68. Bebbe :
    The Kozul variation in the classical sicilian is a great fighting weapon that deserves to be covered in depth by QC in the future.

    I nominate GM Aagaard for this project.

  69. That’s wonderful news – Jacob had been waiting for years to be nominated! Now that he has your approval, I’m sure he will be delighted to begin working on the Kozul book.

  70. @Andrew Greet

    Yes what an honor! This is what Jacob has waiting for all these years…
    Kotronias would also be a good choice. He has played the variation both as white and as black.

    The book by Kozul and Jankovich is interesting with lots of high-quality analysis.
    There are however some issues with the book.

    1. It is very messy

    2. It is not a repertoire book. They just gives a lot of alternatives and it is hard to understand which lines they think is best.

    3. The absolute mainline is missing:
    10.Bxf6, gxf6 11.Kb1, Qb6 12.Nxc6, Bxc6 13.f5, b4 14.Ne2, e5 15. Ng3

  71. @Bebbe
    I played this in correspondence for quite a bit. Honestly I think Black has a tough time, I would have loved to play this with confidence, but personally I always thought Black was struggling not to be much worse. With other good options in the Sicilian I regretfully decided to abandon it in favour of the Taimanov & Dragon.

  72. @The Doctor

    I think the Kozul is better OTB than i correspondence. But I agree that black is under theorethical pressure.
    The positions are still very complicated and difficult to play for both white and black.

    For the same reason as you I also play another sicilian which is very reliable: Najdorf

    The Taimanov as you use is a reliable and good choice. My opinion of the dragon is that it is unpractical. I would rate the Kozul higher than the Dragon.

  73. T@Bebbe
    I agree the Dragon is not too practical for OTB play as unless you play a lot of chess OTB then it’s lots to learn but you rarely get the sharp lines. But in correspondence the Dragon is absolutely bulletproof even against high rated players. I think the Taimanov is s good practical weapon OTB as lines are a little less critical. Also it rules out lines with 3 Bb5!

    Personally I have a close attachment to the Najdorf/Scheveningen, but not received a lot of attention recently. Hopefully will be covered soon in QC’s Playing the Najdorf, but my guess they’ll go with 6…e5 rather than 6…e6.

    Actually I use the Taimanov to get into Classical Scheveningen lines.

  74. @The Doctor

    I agree that the dragon is a good choice in correspondence. I also agree on your verdict regarding OTB. Why spend so much time on sharp lines that you will never have the chance to play? In the classical the Kozul is reached very often since most White players play the Rauzer. Then it is worthwhile to study it indepth.

    As you wrote the Taimanov is very practical as it rules out the Bb5-lines. One practical disadvantage is that black must be prepared to play the hedgehog (after 5.Nb5, d6 6.c4).
    The Taimanov is not sharp enough for my taste. Anyway I think its a great variation!

    It is interesting that you use the Taimanov to reach Scheveningen lines. When I was 12-13 years old I played the Taimanov moverorder to reach Scheveningen lines:

    1.e4, c5 2. Nf3, e6 3.d4, cxd4 4.Nxd4, Nc6 5.Nc3, d6

    At 14 I made a switch to the Najdorf (scheweningen style) which has been my main opening for around 30 years. I am now trying to learn the variations were black plays e5.
    One very exciting variation is the following from the English attack:

    6.Be3, e5 7.Nb3, Be6 8.f3, Be7 9.Qd2, 0-0 10.0-0-0, Nbd7 11.g4, b5 12.g5, b4 13.Ne2, Ne8

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