GM Ivan Sokolov on Magnus Carlsen’s Middlegame Evolution and Pawn Structures in the Middlegame camp

GM Ivan Sokolov gave a lecture at Killer Chess Training and presented his latest book, Magnus Carlsen’s Middlegame Evolution, published by Quality Chess.
Here is the full lecture for you to watch.

Ivan’s lecture was a success with the members of Killer Chess Training and those of you who asked to watch it live, so people are asking when he is coming back! Well, he is coming back 24-27 of February, with exclusive material, not published in any of his books or presented elsewhere, telling us all about Pawn Structures in the Middlegame. Feel free to join us:

25 thoughts on “GM Ivan Sokolov on Magnus Carlsen’s Middlegame Evolution and Pawn Structures in the Middlegame camp”

  1. Stefan :
    €249 for 12 hours… wow

    Not quite that poor an offer if you read the fine print as you get access to more than just the sokolov presentation but still out of my price range. As long as you buy during one of their semi permanent sales you can get a course on Chessable for around £5 an hour for grandmaster tuition as well as the actual book which is a bit more reasonable . For instance the KI book that QC are going to duplicate ( with added improvements I presume) was available for £150 for 33 hours of Gawain on video. £5 per hour is my rough personal upper limit price wise to make me think I’m getting value for money over just buying the book (Sokolov s book is definitely priced very reasonably) so not particularly against QC and Killer chess pricing as some authors eg Kramnik and Carlsen on Chessable or many Chessbase DVDs are out of that range too even on sale but each to your own …and everyone except the very rich has money limitations

  2. @JB
    This £ per hour is sensible way of thinking about things. Why would you presume the book has added improvements vs the course though? I’d assume they come from the same ChessBase file, albeit with a bit more editing for the book. None of the other courses (Sielecki) converted to book had significant changes (so far as I’m aware).

  3. @JB

    £5 per hour isn’t even remotely close to minimum wage. Plus you’re not accounting for the time that is expended behind the scenes to produce the content.

    €249 might well be out of your price range – but I think it’s exceptional value for money at approx €20p/h. (try finding even a bad chess coach at that rate!)

    As an Accountant I charge a professional rate for my time. Having a qualification that took many hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours to achieve and years of hard work since to become an “expert” in my field warrants this. You wouldn’t retain my services for €20p/h that’s for sure.

    So why should a GM, and in this case a world class one, an absolute expert on the game, not expect to earn a professional wage for his time?

  4. @George Hollands
    I think an accountant would be considerably less than £20 per hour if addressing a group with limited interaction with no overheads via the internet over 14 hours, versus one on one work.

  5. George Hollands

    @Paul H
    I am presenting a strategic finance plan to a board of directors via zoom/teams.

    Let’s say there are 8 members of the board and my presentation is 4 hours.

    I am not charging them £20 x 8. I’m certainly not charging them £5 x 8.

  6. And what would you charge 80 people for 14 hours? If you charged £5k you would be less than £5 per person per hour…..

  7. @George Hollands
    Hmmm….slightly ridiculous comparison as already pointed out. It’s not a wage but a product we’re talking about in pounds per hour….it’s comparable to any chess book …if a GM wrote a book for my eyes only so only gets one sale then I agree his fee should be much higher but a typical chess book the thousands and make the author money because of the multiple purchases. As in all things there are market forces…pitch the price too high you won’t get enough sales and too low you’ll undersell your product. My sweet spot is around £5 per hour but you can pay what you seem fit George….all I know is for me it’s priced way way too high. Many other ‘professionals’ such as So Giri Ganguly and Harikrishna to name a few notable examples produce videos well under £5 per hour and that’s the competition…I hope they sell like hot cakes as I certainly don’t feel ripped off at that price ?

  8. @George Hollands

    you are paid you to make their company more profitable (in monetary terms).

    will one, as a chessplayer, make a return on their investment (12h of learning from Sokolov)?
    Maybe, learning others…

  9. quote from coming soon part of website

    King’s Indian 1 is the first of two books which present a complete repertoire for Black. GM Gawain Jones is the perfect guide, being both a world-class player and a longstanding expert on the King’s Indian. This is the book version of Jones’s Chessable course on the same opening, re-edited and reorganized by Quality Chess.

  10. @TD

    I think Jones repertoire is based on his chessable course:

    Sämisch same 6. – c5

    Classical both 7.-Nc6 and 7.-Nbd7 (Kotronias only 7. – Nc6)

    Fianchetto 6.-c5 (Kotronias 6.-Nbd7)

    Gligoric 7.-Ng4 (Kotronias 7.-c6)

    Exchange variation 9.-Re8 (Kotronias 9.-c6)

    For the rest I have no clue.

  11. @JB

    I think it is far less than £5 per hour. We are talking a monthly membership and the camp. So the camp is 12 hours and there are about 40 hours of lectures in the month on top of this. At €250. Furthermore you have access to the back catalogue of current courses.

    Our yearly membership is €764, which comes out at about €1.5 per class and less per hour. Good luck finding interactive coaching elsewhere with strong GMs and experiences trainers at a similar rate 🙂

  12. @Jacob Aagaard
    Jacob your maths may well be correct but it’s the all or nothing nature of the yearly membership that counts me out. I don’t have the money or time to get the full value for money whereas say a Chessable course I can pick and choose where I want to spend my money and when I study. Can’t justify a yearly subscription at present price and value wise but would have loved it when I was younger before kids/ greater work responsibilities…. KTT needs a cut down version such as watching X videos/classes a year/ month…you’ve gone for the Netflix flat fee model for gorgers but there are other models eg mobile phone contracts where you pay pro rata for the amount of data you use and that’s where I would be as a “low user”. No question about the quality of the product it’s the pricing structure

  13. @JB
    Yes, you are supporting the courses you don’t watch too. Because otherwise, we would have to charge much more per class you watch to make it individually feasible. We could certainly cut access, but if we cut prices accordingly, we would be immediately insolvent.

    I do understand it is not for everyone. Just as individual lessons with Sam at $350 per hour is not for everyone. But rather than having three of those, you can have him for 50 hours in a group setting on our academy, plus Adams, Cheparinov and many others, including me.

    We do have a webshop where you can buy old courses. They were recorded live, but are now as lessons. They come in at 3-4€ per hour.

  14. @Jacob Aagaard
    Thanks Jacob for the quick reply…. the old videos I was unaware of and seem more up my street…or of course more of the great QC books that are heading towards the printers that are always fantastic value and fit my price/value needs better ?

  15. John Christopher Simmons

    From the comment of Ivan at start of video because of the way the world championship went the games won’t be used at all in the second book. Not even whole/part of the very long sixth game?

  16. Hi Jacob/Andrew et al

    With the demise of New in Chess yearbook what is the future like for paper based chess books? Is chess book selling still sustainable vs the electronic version as QC is very much in the former category.
    From way back i liked having the book version myself but there didn’t use to be a choice and I dabbled in Forward chess when that arrived as they were cheaper than the book version but realised I never read them as much as the book so have given up buying any more in that format but I’ve been quite a convert to Chessable and I’d say half my budget is Chessable, half books.
    Is the future rosy for QC? I’ve bought 17 of the 23 books you’ve published since 2020 but I’m definitely part of the older generation so doubt I’m typical and I can definitely see the benefits of electronic versions eg I updated my old Secrets of Rook Endings to Chessable and it is actually readable now .
    Don’t want to wake up and QC has bitten the dust too…

  17. @JB
    The abridged accounts are a matter of public record. Their abridged nature means a bit of guesswork is involved, but some line items should put your mind at ease.

    The database put an end to the Yearbook- and Informant too. Informant could reinvent itself as a kind of magazine, but NIC already had that. You can draw your own conclusions from their book publishing arm still being in good health.

    Electronic books were supposed to be the death of physical books since the advent of the Kindle. However the paper version has proved very resilient.

  18. Was unaware that Informant was also being wound up ?. Not one for delving into accounts however public and would rather hear it from the horse’s mouth. Feel i support QC through my purchases rather than say Lichess or YouTube channels that depends on donations but would be good to know if I could support QC in a different way if paper books are slowly disappearing as a viable business. Have already commented that the Killer chess training as a digital comparison is out of my price bracket but it would be sad to see some venerable chess institutions go to the wall. Patreon style support with added content?

  19. @JB
    Not to start a false rumour- informant is not being wound up. Just you can see their product has evolved into something closer to New In Chess Magazine with all the articles in English language.

  20. @Paul H
    Ah, your statement seemed to indicate so ….”put an end to…. Informant” …glad this isn’t the case. It’s changed from pretty much just a database for a while now…ten years at least and has always been in English as far as I know plus of course its own symbolised chess language that has been universally adopted. I know it had heavy debts before it was restructuring but couldn’t tell you how well it is doing now. I still buy it but I’m getting a bit long in the tooth….

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