Three New Books on the Way

On May 18th we expect to publish three new books, from authors Mikhail Tal, Boris Gulko & Joel Sneed, and Gawain Jones. Excerpts are available for all three.

The Chess Alchemist by Mikhail Tal is a unique book containing 80 of Tal’s best games spanning four decades of his chess career, all annotated by the Magician himself. Normally at this point I explain who the author is, but… it’s Mikhail Tal – the celebrated World Champion whose writing was always entertaining.

An excerpt is available here.

Analyzing the Chess Mind by Gulko & Sneed delves into all aspects of chess psychology and offers practical advice for players of all levels, often using Gulko’s own games against elite players. An excerpt is available here.

The authors are ideally qualified for the topic: GM Boris Gulko is one of the few players to have a plus score against Garry Kasparov, and is also the only man to have been both Soviet and U.S. Champion. He also has a Master’s degree in Psychology from Moscow State University. Dr. Joel R. Sneed is a Professor of Psychology at the City University of New York.

King’s Indian 2 by Gawain Jones: the second and final part of a complete repertoire for Black by the world-class English GM. You would expect a King’s Indian repertoire to help the reader against 1.d4, but GM Gawain Jones went further – after reading his books you will also be ready for 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 and… everything except 1.e4.

An excerpt is available here.

50 thoughts on “Three New Books on the Way”

  1. Congratulations on these books! Gawain’s Chessable course is a masterpiece and it’s great to have this complete in book form too. And Tal is my favorite world champion of all time, nice that he is such a magician as to be able to write books from beyond the grave.

  2. Good morning,

    I was just looking at the pdf excerpt for Jones’s King’s Indian 2, and I was wondering if somebody might be able to let me know what Jones recommends after 1 d4 Nf2 2 Bf4 please? I am hoping it is 2…c5.

    Thank you.


  3. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4, Jones recommends 2…g6.
    (I assume 2…d5 was some sort of typo, as this would hardly be consistent with a King’s Indian repertoire.)

  4. @Andrew Greet
    What I meant was to be consistent with what Jones might recommend against the Jobava London. In the excerpt it just says ‘we play a quick …c5 after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4. What is does not say is whether this quick c5 is 3…c5 or perhaps after 3…g6.

    I was thinking after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 this may not be consistent with what is recommended after 1 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 d5. Sorry for the confusion.

    Thank you for your reply.

  5. Ah, I see what you mean. Yes, in the case of the Jobava Veresov/London, the plan is a kingside fianchetto in conjunction with …c5 whenever possible. This ties in nicely with the coverage of the Barry Attack, to which the Jobava line can easily transpose. In general, the rule Gawain follows for most of these sidelines is to play the usual KID moves, but if White plays Nc3 to threaten e2-e4 at any point, we react with …d5.

  6. @Andrew Greet
    That’s great Andrew, thank you! I think because I wasn’t sure whether it was 3…g6 or 3…c5 after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 I asked the question.

    You have done a magnificent job on Jones I. I am very much looking forward to Jones II.


  7. George Hollands

    @J. Hall
    Maybe John Shaw is working on the catalogue, so 2025? 🙂

    Jokes aside – I’m also full of anticipation of seeing the catalogue, I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

  8. @Andrew
    I think this one may have been answered in a different thread. I’m sure it said Jones’s books on the King’s Indian will not be available on Forward Chess.

  9. To answer a few of the above queries:

    * Thanks James for the positive feedback.

    * As has been discussed in another thread, the Jones KID books started out as a Chessable course, and we don’t have the rights to publish via Forward Chess.

    * Jones gives 2…g6 against the Tromp.

    * Nikos has done a lot of great work on the English, and we will provide further details in due course.

  10. Hi.

    Seeing as one key line from Gawain KID vol. 1 is:
    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 Qe7…

    and this seems quite realistic to get from 1.d4 d6
    2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nd7!? 5.e4 e5!? 6.Be2 Ngf6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Be3 Qe7
    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 for those who really dislike say 1.d4 d6 2.e4 g6 3.Nc3. Is there any discussion of move order to reach this 6…Nbd7 KID tabya through different pathways and which variations are avoided (I think quite many) and which needs to be learned if so?

    Regards CbT

  11. @CbT
    No, there is no discussion of those move orders. The …Nbd7 system is essentially there as a bonus section of an already huge work, so anyone wishing to tinker with the move order will have to figure out such details for themselves.

  12. Hi.

    Okay. Thank you. As far as I can see Gawain doesn’t actively utilise these transpositional possibilities himself, so I knew my ask was a bit of a long shot.

    There is some definite practical value to my mind if with, let’s call it 1…d6 move order trickery, you can just more or less reach Gawain’s 6…Nbd7 lines. That’s why I thought I’d mention it.

    Off the top of my head; at least if going Nd7 early as in say 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7… A bit of a downside would be black having committed to Nd7 vs the fianchetto. Or you can see it as a opportunity to also get Kotronias QC KID book that I think covers this. Also vs. some other stuff e.g. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 g6 5.Be3 e5 6.h3. For example Gawain likes some exd4 taking idea against this (if I recall correctly) but he wouldn’t have a knight on d7 early.

  13. Benjamin Fitch

    The move-order trick I’m concerned about is 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nb1! and now my d-pawn can’t move backward to d6.

  14. Benjamin Fitch :
    The move-order trick I’m concerned about is 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nb1! and now my d-pawn can’t move backward to d6.

    But it looks like a forced draw after 3.-Ng8!

  15. John Christopher Simmons

    Gawain Jones King’s Indian books look very nice and intend to get them. Especially interested in the 6….Nb-d7 line of vol 1. Sometime ago 8Be3 Re8 was a fresh idea to provoke d5, and then re-group with Bf8-e7 etc. Is there a problem with this line these days, or Gawain just prefers Qe7?

    For the Chess Alchemist how many of the games roughly, are annotations by Tal not previously published in an English language book? A game in the excerpt was pretty much the same as that in Tal’s Life and games book as far as I could tell.

  16. Jacob Aagaard

    Renier said it is essentially done. Nikos got a promotion at work, so everything slowed down for him. Another reminder that this is not big business.

  17. Jacob Aagaard :
    Renier said it is essentially done. Nikos got a promotion at work, so everything slowed down for him. Another reminder that this is not big business.

    The English opening by Nikos will it start 1. c4 2. g3 like Marin or will the first moves be different?

  18. Are you abandoning forward chess that only 1 of the 3 books are going there, yet all 3 are on Chess Tempo (whatever that is- I am too technically and financially invested in forward chess to care, and fragmentation helps no one). I had understood chessable owning the electronic rights to Jones being the impediment to it being on Forward Chess…but it appears on Chess Tempo along with the Tal book.

  19. Hello.

    Couldn’t find this continuation in GM Rep King’s Indian 1. Rarely played though. Any recommendation?
    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.Be3 e5 8.Qc2
    This seems to me at least like it would confuse a bit.

    If 8…Qe7 there could be some reason for white not to transpose back to the book with castling and instead go 9.Rd1!?. E.g. suppose black full on tries to imitate p.23 with 9…c6 10.d5 c5 11.Nd2 Kh8 then 12.h4 already looks pretty interesting for white.
    If 8…Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 is probably fine for black but he also has to play with a knight on d7 and not c6.


  20. Will Gawain Jones’ Coffeehouse Repertoire be coming to the Chessable platform? I learn the lines better from the spaced repetition there, and his videos for his KID course were fantastic.

  21. @CbT
    A few quick thoughts off the top of my head:
    – In the 8…Qe7 line, the white knight generally isn’t so well placed on d2 in the blocked central structure, so instead of 11…Kh8 which encourages White to push the h-pawn, you could consider 11…a6 or some other neutral/generally useful move to make 12.h4 less tempting. If White castles, then you can revert to the usual plan.
    – If you think 8…Ng4 is fine for Black too, then this is also worth considering. As you said, the knight is committed to d7 but White has also spent a tempo on Qc2, so it seems a fair trade-off.

  22. Jacob Aagaard

    @Paul H
    As you picked up, we are not. Some books we do not have digital rights for, usually Russian classics. So some of them will not appear there. But if we can, we put everything on Forward Chess.

  23. Hi I was just wondering if Nikos will recommend g3 or e3 lines in his English book v. 1…e5 and 1…c5?

    Also maybe I’m asking for a bit much here, will he transpose into main line d4 lines in the QG, KI and Dutch or keep things strictly in English channels

    Thank you so much in advance

  24. @The Doctor
    I suppose 4 e4 is also possible against 1…e5, as in Carlsen – Giri 2018. It certainly has picked up in popularity over the last few years also.

    I was wondering the same thing as you about going into mainline d4 openings. I had a think about it and I think/hope he will keep things ‘Anti’ rather than transpose unless there is a good reason to transpose at a certain point. Maybe I am influenced by Marin’s books and also Kosten’s book from years ago, which I enjoyed very much, but there it is.


  25. Benjamin Fitch

    Based on Georgiev’s books on the English and his recent books on 2.d4 d5 structures in the English, and also Gawain’s recent books with regard to the King’s Indian versus the English, I have the distinct impression that there just isn’t anything for White to write home about when trying to hold back the d-pawn “no matter what” after 1.c4. Maybe times have changed since Marin/Kosten? Also the Williams-Palliser book on the English, which avoids transpositions to 1.d4 opening throughout, makes a rather poor case for that approach. If someone’s resorting to 1.c4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.cxd5 and trying to claim that White gets some sort of imaginary edge, I suspect they’re overly obsessed with avoiding 1.d4 theory.

  26. @Benjamin Fitch

    I agree with you.

    I think the positions after 4 e4 can be stodgy for white and it is he who has initiated it. Also, that line against 1..e6 seems very incongruent in an English Opening repertoire. I had more in mind Cummings approach to the Anti QGD and Slav in mind.


  27. Benjamin Fitch

    Yes, good point about Cummings’ approach to 1…e6 and 1…c6. Those setups could also arise from a 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 or 2.b3 repertoire (“Queen’s Indian Attack”?).

  28. I like the English as a transpositions tool and don’t think it’s always best to rigidly stick to the English for the sake of it.

    Personally I play 1 c4 but transpose into
    1. KID after 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 g6 3 e4 d6 4 d4
    2. QGD after 1 c4 e6 2 Nc3 d5 3 d4
    3. Grunfeld after 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 cxd5 Nxd5 4 d4
    4 Semi-Slav after 1 c4 c6 2 Nc3 d5 3 e3 4 Nf3 e6 5 d4

    Basically I avoid NID, Benoni, Benko, Slav, Offbeat QGD such as Chigorin or AGC, Budapest.

    This is why I liked the Opening for White According to Kramnik series as the author transposed into main line d4 where it was advantageous to do so. However I think I’d rather play 1 c4 e5 or 1 c4 c5 as White than restrict myself to playing d4 lines with the knight on f3.

  29. @Bebbe

    I play 3 Nf3 then if 3…d5 4 e3 c5 5 d4
    If 4…Be7 then 5 b3
    If 3…Bb4 4 Qc2

    I should probably learn 3 e4 (Mikanas-Carls) but it’s not really my cup of tea.

  30. @The Doctor

    4.e3 is a good way to avoid all theory after 4.d4. What is your opinion of 3.-Bb4 4.g4?
    Have played the Mikenas a bit but always had the feeeling that 3.-d5 equalizes.

  31. 4 g4 isn’t my cup of tea. I tried the g4 lines lines in the Anti Semi-Slav not my thing either.

  32. I’m not sure that anyone has yet mentioned the pdf excerpt from Jacob’s new Endgame Technique book. It looks extraordinary, and I will certainly be buying a copy when it is published. All practical ideas about how to get the best from such a large book will be welcome.

  33. Nestor :
    I’m not sure that anyone has yet mentioned the pdf excerpt from Jacob’s new Endgame Technique book. It looks extraordinary, and I will certainly be buying a copy when it is published. All practical ideas about how to get the best from such a large book will be welcome.

    Wow! Looks amazing if a little overwhelming and for the size well worth the chunky price tag. On a related note I wouldn’t want to pay for it then find it published on Chessable later so can you confirm Jacob that the QC Chessable adventure is over and it will only appear as a book or on Forward Chess? Thanks ?

  34. John Christopher Simmons

    Looks tremendous, the only worry is that if I bought it, the local postmen might join the rail workers on strike…

  35. @Bebbe
    I think Jacob said things were slow as Nikos got a promotion at work so was taking up a lot of his time. I’ll guess when they’re ready to announce something they will. I feel your impatience too!

  36. Benjamin Fitch

    @The Doctor
    In my opinion, work too often interferes with chess and should be avoided as far as possible. (So far, I don’t practice what I preach in this regard, so I can’t judge Nikos, but it’s something that I’m working on.)

  37. John Christopher Simmons

    Finally put in an direct order for A Matter of Endgame Technique, it looked too good to miss out on.

    Have quite often used Chess direct in the past one of the few places in the uk was able to order a range of chess books. They are not available at the moment, hope it is just a temporary holiday.

  38. George Hollands

    @John Christopher Simmons

    Chess Direct owner Andrew has retired and the stock and fulfilment of existing orders has been acquired by Chess and Bridge.

    I’m ordering the endgame book today – most eagerly awaited chess book ever!

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