Best of British – Michael Adams and Gawain Jones

We have two new books on the way by two of Britain’s best players – Michael Adams and Gawain Jones. Publication dates will be in March, but the exact day is not yet known. Excerpts are also available now.

Think like a Super-GM by Michael Adams & Philip Hurtado is a fascinating book that takes a bit more explaining than most chess books. Chess puzzles were shown to players ranging from club level up to Super-GM and co-author Michael Adams. Then researcher Philip Hurtado recorded not only the moves chosen, but also the detailed thought processes of every player in order to shed light on the mystery of what exactly defines superior chess strength. Adams then also shares his thoughts about the chess positions and what we can learn from the various attempted solutions.

Almost as a bonus, there are colour images called ‘Eyetrackers’ which show exactly where players focus their attention on the board. An excerpt is here.

King’s Indian 1 by Gawain Jones is the first of a two-volume complete repertoire for Black. This volume starts after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 so includes fun lines such as the Mar del Plata, Sämisch and various h2-h3 lines, among many more.

The second volume will complete the anti-1.d4 repertoire, and also provide guidance against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 and pretty much everything except 1.e4. These books are based on Gawain’s Chessable KID course. An excerpt is here.

40 thoughts on “Best of British – Michael Adams and Gawain Jones”

  1. The Jones book looks to be the first chessable course in full plus a bit of the second (“other set ups”). Or am I wrong?

  2. Gawain’s Chessable course is amazing, and it’s fantastic to have an updated version in book form too. I just wish his Coffeehouse Repertoire could also be on Chessable.

    Also is there an ETA on the QGA book?

  3. Gawain’s Chessable course on the KID is absolutely fantastic and it has been a joy to learn (I’m still in the process – it is a lot of material, but that comes with the opening). His verbal explanations of key ideas are nothing short of brilliant and his ability to supply just the right amount of variations without skipping too much nor saddling the reader with too many variations is spot on.

    I am very curious about Thinking Like a Super GM, too! Keep up the good work. 🙂

  4. @Paul H
    Yes, it is the chessable course, edited by us, finding omissions and whatever we normally do. The second volume is being typeset and proof read at the moment. I guess it will follow 6-8 weeks later.

  5. I really like that the KID course by Jones is published as QC-book – especially since I very much prefer the book format of QC over the reading format given in Chessable 🙂
    Are you planning, to do similar books with other Chessable courses? Personally, I’d love to see Giris Najdorf-Course as book…

  6. @Jacob Aagaard
    Thanks x2. The chessable course connection was clear. Just your book 1 seems to be Chessable course 1 + a bit of course 2. Have the chessable (only the first video) but will buy the books as well!

    It is interesting the chessable courses (albeit with your improvements) equate to a monster book of over 600 pages.

  7. Out of curiosity, are Chessable Long Term Repertoire authors commited to maintain/update their repertoires for a minimal time period, e.g. 5 years?
    The question is more suitable for Chessable forum, but it helps comparing QC and Chessable offers.

  8. Regarding the KID split which a few of you have asked about. One of my objectives as the editor was to end up with two volumes of roughly equal size. Based on a word/character count of the raw material, the projected size of the second volume was significantly larger than the first, which is why some of the Chessable vol.2 material has been shifted to our first volume. I’m partway through editing the second volume, so it remains to be seen if my estimate was accurate.

    Aside from that change, I’ve also tweaked the chapter order and variation structure where appropriate, so despite the size of the book, I think our readers will find the material user-friendly and logical to navigate.

  9. Perhaps this is not really related to Quality Chess, but if you go to Amazon and do a book search by publisher, put in ‘Chessable’, and sort results by publication date, Chessable are listed as a publisher in their own right. They will be releasing 2 books in May 2022 and 2 books in June 2022 of their current available courses.

  10. @Andrew Greet
    One of the slight issues in the original material was the organisation of h3 lines, IMHO. There and in any text thus far tbh, as these have exploded in the last 30 years. Can you make sure that h3 & Nf3, h3 & Be3, h3 & Bg5 are clearly delineated pls? Tricky sure, and there is often overlap between but the nuances between these do matter. Ta muchly.
    Looking forward to these!

  11. @SimonB
    These are all in our first volume and I think I arranged them logically enough. You’ll see from the Contents page that the Makogonov (i.e. 5.Nf3 with 6.h3) has been allocated two chapters, followed by 5.h3/6.Be3 having its own chapter, and then the remaining 5.h3 lines in the next chapter.

  12. I dabbled with the King’s Indian as my d4 defence late 80s early 90s when Kasparov was thrashing the world elite with it just as Bobby had before but never got the attacks he did it and gave it up. Remember buying Nunn’s classical KI book around then and there were a number of chapters on 9 Nd2 rather than 9 Ne1 in the Mar del Plata (think this was Karpovs preferred choice) but looking at the index of Gawain’s book it seems just a sideline now … Is this the case? I remember whole chapters of Nunn’s old Marshall book are now refuted

  13. I’m more interested in the KI v 1 d4 offbeat and the English/Reti as I feel
    Kotronias’ tones are still highly relevant.

  14. Besides being happy about the forthcoming King’s Indian books (Gawain’s chessable course is great, as far as I can judge), I am particularly excited about the concept of the Adams / Hurtado book. My rating is comparable to that of the weaker players whose thoughts are included (1900-2000 as it seems), and so I might not only learn from Michael’s thoughts and insights but also be motivated to do (at least) as well as the players of my strength. Competition, yay 🙂

  15. Interesting. I remember BH Wood did just this round his house, back in the day. Used GM Keith Arkell, an experienced club player of around FIDE 2050 and me. The three of us. Recorded thoughts, ideas, moves about three positions. I was around 12 then, at around 1700 rating. It’s in an old issue of Chess magazine. The article worked well. Will be interesting to see this book to see how Adams approaches positions.

  16. @Chris
    Not really, no. We will cooperate a lot with going forward.

    The book is the best chess book our proof reader ever read, apparently. Have to send him some of my own…

    @Franck Steenbekkers
    Yes, but I do not want to start a war of words 🙂

    Nikos delivered more chapters to the guy checking the lines, so hopefully we are close to the end. The issue is that Nikos is fantastic and thus got a promotion at work…

    The catalogue is delayed indeed. The last week we have scrambled to get sleeping bags and anti-burn bandages to our warehouse in Poland, where they are taking them to the border to distribute them. Also, royalty calculations will have a higher priority. It has been a difficult year.

  17. Hi all at QC,

    I’m very excited about Jones’s upcoming King’s Indian books. I really enjoyed his white Coffeehouse books last year.

    Anyway, I just wanted to ask if you had a tentative idea of a publication date for his King’s Indian 2 books please? (e.g. more 6 months, less than 3 months, etc).

    Thank you for your time and trouble.


  18. The forward chess release of the Adams book seems to have been pushed back to next week now. Is the physical book also pushed back, or will it come out next week too?

  19. Scrub the above question- it is there in Forward Chess now. Perhaps there is something that automatically adds a week when not published by a certain time…

  20. Is it possible to get an answer from Quality Chess to the question of if/when Gawain Jones’ books will be available on Forward Chess? All I see above is speculation. There are plenty of books that have been available both as Chessable courses and as Forward Chess books in the past, I don’t see any obvious reasons why these books should be different.

    I already own the Chessable version of Gawain Jones’ King’s Indian books, including the videos, but that’s not a replacement for the Forward Chess books. Chessable is useful for memorisation, but a terrible platform for reading. I was so excited when I saw that the course will be available in book versions from Quality Chess; it will be very disappointing if I can’t buy them (I don’t have the space for physical books)

  21. @Oreb

    Gawain Jones’ two books on the King’s Indian will be on paper only with Quality Chess – no Forward Chess version of the King’s Indian 1 and 2. Paper rights are all we have on this KID project. Different books have different deals.

    Of course, Gawain Jones’ Coffeehouse and Dragon books are all available on Forward Chess.

    I know it is the King’s Indian you were specifically asking about, but I don’t want anyone confused because your first question was:

    “if/when Gawain Jones’ books will be available on Forward Chess?”

    King’s Indian – no.
    Coffeehouses & Dragons – yes.

  22. I have Gawain’s King’s Indian books on Chessable and am planning to buy them on paper soon too. And I also have hardback version of Coffeehouse. All these are superb!

    I would absolutely love it if Coffeehouse also could be on Chessable. It sounds like that is unlikely though. If that’s not feasible, is there any way Gawain could record videos to accompany Coffeehouse, that could be purchased separately (maybe with a discount to people with a receipt showing that they bought the books)?

    Gawain’s videos on Chessable are simply masterful, among the best chess exposition I have ever seen. They have helped me so much to understand and remember the material, and they are very entertaining as well. Having similar videos for Coffeehouse would benefit many readers, whether or not they are through the Chessable platform. Thanks for considering this!

  23. I can’t imagine the folks at Forward Chess would be doing cartwheels about QC publishing material on Chessable after the FC people presumably have some rights in the matter. I would guess that their would be some language in book contracts that addresses this. It would be like me agreeing with a publisher to publish my book, and then I do a deal with a competitor for the same book. Someone is going to be upset!!

  24. Everything not nailed down in contracts is possible. There are rights for prints, reprints, paper, digital, quotation (print, video, vocal), reproduction, exclusivity, whatever. Remember, PGP algorithm was printed on T-shirts to get around US print ban. Plus copyright laws vary from country to country, even in Europe.

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