From the “deathbed” of Jacob Aagaard

These weeks we are finishing a few books, all ready about the same time. The following books are all but done:

Tactimania (pdf excerpt)

Grandmaster Battle Manual (pdf excerpt)

Grandmaster Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence (pdf excerpt)

Grossmeister Repertoire 5 – Die Englisch Eroffnungen (pdf excerpt)

My apologies for spelling mistakes and missing umlauts. I am simply to ill to care. I have gone to work the last three days with fever, to ensure that these books are coming out. And I am not the only one. I hear coughing all around me throughout the day. John claims his brain is melted, and is probably right on the money, as he claimed he had finished Chapter 6 of Grandmaster Battle Manual a week ago, but in reality had only typed in the page numbers for Chapter 5 twice!

A combination of such insidents means that this is a likely publishing schedule for the next few months.

Kotronias The Grandmaster Battle Manual 17 June
Glenn Flear Tactimania 17 June
GERMAN GM 5 17 June
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence Volume 1 1 July
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 9 – The Grunfeld Defence Volume 2 1 July
Artur Yusupov Chess Evolution 1 29 July
Nikos/Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire 10 – The Tarrasch Defence 29 July
Aagaard, Shaw (editors) Grandmaster versus Amateur August
Suba Positional Chess Sacrifices August
John Shaw The King’s Gambit September
Boris Alterman Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits September
GERMAN Alterman 1+2 September
Martin Weteschnik Chess Tactics from Scratch – UCT 2nd edition October
Lev Psakhis Advanced Chess Tactics October

159 thoughts on “From the “deathbed” of Jacob Aagaard”

  1. Jacob Aagaard

    Went to the Doctor. As suspected I am a whining wimp. Nothing wrong that five days of penicillin cannot cure. I felt duly embarrassed when he said I only had a lung and throat infection. I apologise for all the drama queen stuff… But the books are getting there!

  2. I know there’s been some changes in authors, cancellations, delays, etc over the past couple of years.

    I was just curious about the status of a few of them, and whether we are looking at A) A 2012 publication, B) A 2013-onward publication, or C) A cancelled/fallen through publication, for each of the following:

    A) Cutting Edge 3 – Najdorf with 6.Bg5
    B) GM Repertoire – King’s Indian
    C) GM Repertoire – Nimzo-Indian
    D) QGD book for Black (There was talk but no conclusion of “Play The” vs “GM Repertoire”)

    BTW – I will refuse to buy any of these for $1243.28, no matter how good they are!

  3. Jacob Aagaard

    I will only comment on A), which is that this is truly delayed and might not happen. The others are in some way or the other still in the works, but I cannot say anything more concrete right now.

  4. Aagarrd with regard to the 6. Bg5 line in the Najdorf could you give a recommendation to which line for black is the most solid atm?

  5. Jacob Aagaard

    Solid against the 6.Bg5! Interesting perspective. But, yes, it is 6…e6 7.f4 h6!? 8.Bh4 Qb6 probably.

  6. Hey, what happened? I returned from the Army and i see the title “From the “deathbed” of Jacob Aagaard”? Anyway, i see that Jacob is not going anywhere before completing the coming soon books, so this is a relief!

    For the 6.Bg5 issue, my opinion is that the most “solid” line is Gelfand’s 6…e6 7.f4 Nbd7!? in order to transpose to the “old” main line with …Be7 after 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O b5 10.Bd3

    (10.e5 and 10.Bxf6 are not very dangerous alternatives but they need some study. 10.Bxb5 was a recommendation form Luther in”Experts” but recent corr games have changed his assesment that White has an edge, although his analysis is still the best you can find published)

    and now 10…Bb7 11.Rhe1 Be7!

    (The main line here is 11…Qb6 but the Q Vs 3 pieces line given in “Experts” as slightly better for White is the main problem i see and this has been confirmed in practice after the publication of the “Expers” book)

    Again, the “Expets” book is still a valuable source here, but recent practice shows that Black is equal. This is also Shirov’s opinion in his Chessbase DVD.

    So, if anyone is interested for my opinion, i’d say that the Glefand’s line is a good weapon against the 6.Bg5 line without currently suffering from theoretical problems. It requires good study ofcourse. The problem from the practical club player is the lack of good sources in general in the 6.Bg5 line. Nunn’s “ancient” book and the “Experts” book are currently the best sources (i don’t rate Rizzitano’s recent Najdorf book highly, sorry for that). So, a good “Cutting Edge” book by QC would be a great help for everybody. But again, this is just my humble opinion.

  7. Jacob Aagaard

    A lot has happened in the 6…Nbd7 line. I do not consider it in crisis, but some games have gone the wrong way. I have been working a bit on an update to it for the next newsletter.

  8. Just received the Anti-Silcilian book. Once again an excellent piece of work. I have ordered the Karpov books. One suggestion: You are trying to run things shorthanded. Otherwise
    cut back the publishing program.

    Any thought to publishing Ebooks?

  9. Is Play the Semi-Slav 2 still going to happen and if it is, what is your best guess as to when it will be out?

    I also like te idea of a 2nd edition of the GM 1 d4 books.

  10. Jacob, I bet your so sick and tired of people asking about ebooks! This will probably keep you in your “deathbed” for a while longer.

    I totally agree with your decision not to be ebooks.

  11. Jacob Aagaard

    No idea when PtSS 2 will be out. Think Dave is considering starting it about now, but not sure.

    e-book toughts: My Everyman royalties have gone off the cliff the moment they made my books into e-books without my blessing. I would like to do copy secure ones, but don’t think there is a way to do this.

  12. Jacob,

    It sure makes me wonder how many of the people that are constantly asking about the e-book format truly find e-books easier to use, and how many of them only want it so that they and 15 of their friends can all have the material via one copy instead of having to buy 16 copies of the same book, and doing just like you said, copy and paste, or emailing attachments to each other?

    The only way I can see there possibly being a way to do secure chess e-books would be if you had a specific reader for chess books. Items like the Nook (Barnes and Noble) or Kindle (Amazon) have specific settings in them to make it so you can only share books for a limited period of time, like the Nook, when I first got it for my wife in late 2009, you could share a book with ONE and ONLY ONE person, and that person could access it for ONE 14-day period. Once you shared it once with one person, you were locked out from sharing that book again, and you couldn’t use it during that 14 day period that you loaned it to someone, so you couldn’t simultaneously be reading the book.

    No idea what level of security Kindle uses.

    Obviously chess books wouldn’t work on an item like the Nook unless you were using the Nook to read like you would read a regular chess book, and had a board in front of you.

    Such a device would be expensive if ever created, and without the ability to share the files, it would weave out the people trying to take advantage of the loopholes, and I’d bet that the ebook sales would go down drastically anyway, and only the really super-serious eBook fans willing to fork over the money would use them.

    Personally, I’d rather have a chess board. Occasionally, if I’m at home, and not in an area with a table, I’ll put up a board on ICC and go into examine mode, or pull up Rybka 4, but usually, I prefer to study via a board and 32 pieces. You see the position like you would see it when sitting opposite that arch rival opponent that you want to beat so badly!

  13. Jacob Aagaard

    I understand fully why people want it digitally. But the commercial limitations are obvious. If/when we solve this issue, we are not against it.

    Kindle has a simple limitation. If you are a collection of friends that decide to buy books on kindle, you register in one person’s name, and buy many kindles. All can now access the books. You can have the book on many kindles, but only one account. I gather a similar problem could exist with nook – or not. These readers are made for books you read and throw away, I think. I believe we are above that level :-).

  14. Jacob,

    On a separate note, any idea on the nature of the upcoming book “Positional Chess Sacrifices”?

    Books on sacrifices come in a number of varieties.

    For example, Essential Chess Sacrifices (GAMBIT) was a book on the “Standard Piece Sacrifices” common to chess, like sacs on f7, Knight sacs on d5 and f5, etc.

    Compare this to say, Neil McDonald’s old book on Positional Sacrifices by Cadogan, or even another theme would be sacrifices common to certain openings (i.e. The exchange sac on c3 in the Dragon, the exchange sac on f3 in the French, and the piece sac on b5 in the Sicilian).

    Was just curious which direction this book was going to take. The book by Gambit is EXCELLENT (especially if you play the Sicilian as White or Black, which I do in the case of the latter). McDonald’s book is ok, but the coverage seems a little more random.

  15. Jacob Aagaard

    A funny thing is that I wrote two books for the Gambit guys early on. I offered a third book, which was essentially the same as this DeMoir book, but they declined it based on the subject matter being silly. Apparently it was the author, not the subject :-).

    But, no I don’t know much about the content, although I have seen a few bits.

  16. I find ebooks easier to use, more practical of course and prefer them over paperbacks and hardbacks, that is unless we are talking about “entertainment” ones (Biography for instance) and “training” ones (Dvoretsky’s, Yusupov’s for example).

    If Everyman is selling ebooks then there has to be something to it, if it were bad for them they wouldnt be doing it anymore right?

    When hardbacks were discussed here for the first time, you Mr Aagaard were not convinced it would be good for the company, as far as I remember you didnt really want to deal with hardbacks, but now look! Hardbacks are practically the new Quality Chess standar, I for instance no longer ask for “Chess Tactics From Scratch” or Yusupov’s Series in hardback because thats already the established norm now.

    The same could happen with ebooks, I think it could be a good idea to sell an ebook and see how it goes, maybe a book which no longer sells very well anymore ( Rook vs. Two Minor Pieces may meet that criteria? ), just give it a shot, there’s really not much or anything to lose I believe.

    Best Regards

  17. Jacob Aagaard

    I think I have made this quite clear before – I am not against the idea of e-books; what I am not going to do is to put something out there that people can (and will) copy easily and with the same quality as a result.

    I would like to do something at some point; I have some ideas, but it would be years down the line, I am afraid…

  18. In my opinion, there should definitely be a book that covers other lines for Grunfeld players as soon as possible. Examples:
    1. c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5
    1. Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5
    1. Nf3 Nf6 2.g3
    My elo is 2115 and I’m guessing that the majority of readers of Quality Chess books are around my level. The biggest problem for choosing an opening against d4 at that level is 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. Even if you play e5 againt 1.c4, you have to have something good againt 1.Nf3 and 2.Nf3 after 1.d4 because at that level, there are just so many players who employ these move orders in order to avoid some theoretical openings and we sometimes encounter them as much as 1.d4 followed by 2.c4. I personally play the Benko gambit and have no problems with it except against people who open 1.c4, 1.Nf3 or 1.d4 followed by 2.Nf3. The biggest reason I want to take up the Grunfeld is so that I can play the Nf6-g6-d5 system follow by Nb6 with similar ideas to the Grunfeld against almost anything except e4. If I’ll still have to go into the ridiculously big world of symmetrical English after learning the Grunfeld, there’s not much point in giving up the Benko for the Grunfeld.

    Changing your opening against d4 usually requires also changing your opening against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4. For example a Slav player can answer 1.Nf3 with d5 and 1.c4 with c6 but he would have to change that after taking up the Grunfeld. So I think Benko players are not the only people who need to learn the lines I mentioned.

    P.S. I think Jan Pinsky’s book on the Benko from Quality Chess is still the best Benko book.

  19. @Duriel

    Yelena Dembo’s “Fighting the Anti-King’s Indians” covers lines like 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5

    The book, as a whole, is written for anybody that plays the King’s Indian or Grunfeld. Chapters where which you play is irrelevant (i.e. Trompowsky, where it doesn’t matter if you are a Grunfeld or KID player, you play 1…Nf6, and you have a Tromp, you could even be a Nimzo player and you’d get the same thing) are covered independently. These would include the Trompowsky, Veresov, Barry, Torre, London, and Colle. Beyond that, it has seperate chapters for KID and Grunfeld players. For example, A Kingside Fianchetto without c4 against the Grunfeld and A Kingside Fianchetto without c4 against the King’s Indian are seperate chapters.

    After that, there’s a chapter for English and 1.Nf3 against the Grunfeld, mentioning the lines you give, and another chapter for English and 1.Nf3 against the King’s Indian.

    So even if Quality Chess decides not to cover everything you are looking for, or if Quality Chess will but it won’t be published until years later, pick up and use Dembo’s resource for the time being.

    Everyman does have decent chess books. You just have to weave out the bad ones more than you do Quality Chess. I have yet to see a bad Quality Chess book.

    Another excellent book by Everyman: Attacking Chess: The King’s Indian, Volume 1. I’ll be getting Volume 2 when it comes out in a month. These 2 books should work out really well for me until QC decides to publish their 2 that they are talking about in the GM Rep series.

    For those that play the QGD, Slav, or Nimzo, Dembo’s book is not for you. Pick up “Dealing with d4 Deviations” by John Cox. A little more dated than Dembo’s (2005 vs 2008), but how much change occurs in the Colle System? REALLY?

  20. Thanks for the recommendation Patrick. I have Dembo’s book but I didn’t look at it much. I’ll learn the Grunfeld from Avrukh’s books and use Dembo’s book + database analysis for anti-Grunfeld lines but still a book by Avrukh that covers anti-Grunfeld lines will be great because these lines are not worse than the exchange variation of the Grunfeld for white unlike systems like colle, london etc and also Avrukh’s books give very detailed analysis with many new moves.

  21. Rizzitano’s “How to beat 1.d4” covers a lot of 1.d4 sidelines (Colle, London, Blackmar Diemer, Veresov, Stonewall, g3-systems). Some parts I like, some are not so good in my opinion.

  22. @JB
    That depends on the opening you play. I’ve heard positive reviews about that book, but it wouldn’t do me any good as I don’ play d5.

    Like the Dealing with d4 Deviations, you play …d5, and you’re good. Play lines that involve a d6 push, like myself (King’s Indian), and you have to go with Dembo or Gallagher, but his is really dated (1996).

  23. @Jacob Aagaard
    I see that Gelfand ( who I believe works with Avrukh) has just beaten Grishchuk with a line of the g3 Grunfeld demonstrated by Avrukh at the recent seminar in Glasgow!

  24. Jacob Aagaard

    Rizzitano’s book is good in the anti-lines, but less so in the QGA. At least this was my clear impression when it came out, and also whenever I have crossed its path since.

    And yes, Gelfand did indeed play the “program” opening, making him the oldest challenger since Korchnoi. Chess is still dominated by the players that came up before the “blessing” of the computers…

  25. Hope these haven’t hit the printers yet. Glanced for about 5 seconds, and already found an error.

    Table of Contents of GM Rep 8. The header “Fianchetto Grunfeld”, last time I looked, the Fianchetto is not 3.f3. It’s 3.g3. Not that it matters too much in my case. I’m not a Grunfeld Player. But those that are, an error found this fast makes me wonder how many there are.

  26. @Patrick


    No, the book has not been sent to the printer. In fact, I am just starting to proofread it now. Putting up a pdf of this unfinished uncorrected version gives readers a sneak preview, but this is not the final book.

  27. Just received experts vs the anti-sicilian. Your chapter, GM Aagaard, on the grand prix is outstanding. Really great ideas. I hope I get the opportunity to employ some of them in my upcoming tourney.
    It seems like other parts of the book are not exactlly geared towards 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 move order such as what a kan player might see if white deviates from open lines. Only a few other chapters are applicable – but a lot of interesting stuff in there nonetheless.

  28. Jacob Aagaard

    Thank you for the praise. However, it should probably be directed at Boris Avrukh, who wrote on the Grand Prix. I wrote on 2.c3 Nf6.

  29. Alekhine Power

    Jacob, why:

    a) “Karpov’s Strategic Wins” doesn’t have opening index, beside all possible indexes!?

    b) shall 2nd ed of “San Luis” appear in hardcover also?

  30. @William

    A lot of how much applies depends on what you do against 2.Nc3. If you are strictly a Kan player, then 2…Nc6 really isn’t possible. If you also play the Taimanov, which has many similarities to the Kan, with just a few differences, then 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 is covered in a large chunk of the book. You’ve got the 10-minute repertoire vs the closed Sicilian, and a large chunk on the 2.Nc3/3.Bb5 lines.

    If you reach that Grand Prix chapter via 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.f4 Nc6, then yes, there isn’t much. I think the last 2 chapters of Bauer, that Grand Prix line, and the 5 chapters at the end (i.e. 2.a3, 2.f4, etc.)

    It’s like in my case. I’ve played the Taimanov and the Scheveningen. If I wish to play those, then I can answer 2.Nc3 with 2…Nc6, and there’s tons of coverage. However, if I opt to become a fulltime Najdorf player, then all the 2.Nc3 Nc6 stuff wouldn’t apply. You’d be looking at 2.c3 (if you opt to play 2…Nf6), Tiger’s 2 chapters, Bauer’s stuff on 3.Bc4 and 3.c3, and the last 5 chapters in the book.

    A book like Experts on the Anti-Sicilians is one of those where I doubt that the entire book would apply to anybody, unless you are one of those true freaks that plays every line from B20 to B99.

  31. Mr. Aagaard, Just wanted to let you know about a duplicate link; the excerpt to GM 10 instead links us to the excerpt for GM 8.

  32. Jacob Aagaard

    We discussed an opening index for the Karpov books, but none of us in the office felt it would have any value.

    There will not be a second edition of San Luis 2005. We still have plenty of the first edition lying about. With what we know now, we should have made it hardback the first time around, but even without it, the printing costs is still 2-3 times as much as a normal book because of the quality of the paper.

    A book like Experts on the Anti-Sicilian is not written with the idea of everyone being able to use all chapters. Still I think we are offering more value than if it was two books, where you might find something of interest in both, and have to hand out 2x 21.99, rather than simply 24.99.

    And yes, Tactimania is in colour. The price is put a bit low because everyone asks me if it is a book for juniors (which it is not – in the euphimism of weak players), so I am a bit worried about how well it will do. It is an easier tactics book than QC Puzzle Book and as such fit well into our range.

  33. Any time line on the pdf for GM9?, especially interested in what is recomended against the
    exchange Bc4 Classical, and Rb1 systems

  34. Jacob Aagaard

    I think a PDF will be up later next week.

    Not dived into the material myself yet (Colin and Andrew are the main editors), but I know he gives a Qc7+b6 line (instead of the normal …Rd8 as in the Delchev book), and I think he also gives a Bg4+Bd7 line.

    Really, wait for the PDF 🙂

  35. Jacob Aagaard

    Actually I am kind of done, but soldiering on. I still cannot believe that I was so ill that I took a day off :-(. I cannot remember when this last happened…

  36. Well in any case, we all appreciate all your hard work, and the high quality of material your company continues to put out, even when you are so sick! I recently recieved Delchev’s book, I was hoping for the Bg4+Bd7 lines in GM9, I did not really like the lines…Rd8, so thanks for the sneak preview, the Qc7+b6 also sounds interesting and knowing Boris Im sure both lines will be great!
    Thanks for working so hard to get these books out to us chess fanatics so fast!!!
    Best Regards

  37. Jacob Aagaard

    Thank you. I think we will be shipping the books to the shops on the 30th of June, meaning they will have them from the 4th-6th of July depending on where in Europe they are, and maybe around the 7th or 8th if you consider Chess4Less, USCF and ChessCafe, the three American shops that get our books directly.

  38. Since the subject already changed to that 🙂 , are there any plans of writing a GM repertoire book on the Sicilian Kan? In my opinion, this is the future of the sicilians. The theory of Sveshnikov, Najdorf, Dragon etc have advanced so much that it’s very hard to play them at high level without devoting your life to those openings and even in that case, opponents can still surprise you. Kan is more like a system opening and it’s less forced but still it can be very aggressive. Also there aren’t many good books on the Kan. The last book written on the Kan was published 3 years ago so it’s pretty outdated. In my opinion, a GM repertoire book on the Kan would be great and more people would be interested in it than any other black opening against e4. The good thing is that the anti sicilians book is already ready to support a Kan repertoire.

    I’m also wondering, are there any plans of writing a GM repertoire book on the Benko Gambit? Jan Pinsky’s book is still great for people who want to start playing the Benko but since it’s not a repertoire book and 6 years old, there is a lot more study to be done independently after studying the book in order to play it at high levels.

  39. Jacob Aagaard

    I have been less interested in the Kan than the Benko. I would like this book to happen, but I am not sure we have the resources to do so at the moment.

    And obviously there will be a GM9 excerpt, let us finish the book first, please!

  40. I think the GM Repertoire should stick to sound mainline openings. I wouldn’t put the Alekhine or Benko Gambit in that category. I will be getting the Gruenfeld books.

  41. I agree about the Alekhine. Although I play the Alekhine myself, making a GM repertoire book on it doesn’t have much point since it’s not an opening that demands deep preparation.

    But I disagree about the Benko. In my opinion, objectively it’s as sound and complicated as the Grunfeld defence. The difference is that the positions are closed and you’ll be on your own in a complicated position no matter how much you prepare so gms who think “draw with black is good” don’t want to play it. Also it’s not very popular, so you can’t just memorise all the theory and play once in awhile since the theory hasn’t advanced enough yet. You have to analyse at home yourself. I think that’s why people who play the benko once in awhile fail. It’s an opening that should be studied very detailed and people who play it once in awhile don’t do that. I remember a game where Ivanchuk played the benko and lost horribly against Cheparinov. But Ivanchuk played the game without knowing the theory let alone doing any analysis himself on the line played in the game so he’s the only one to blame.

    Mr Aagard, may I ask the reason you’re not interested in making a GM repertoire on the Kan? Is it because the opening has problems? Or because for some reasons making a GM repertoire book about the Kan isn’t a good idea although the opening itself is good?

  42. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What will Avrukh be recommending against the Fianchetto Variation? I think the GM8 excerpt had a minor typo that substituted the 3. g3 in Table of Contents for 3. f3.

  43. Jacob Aagaard

    I want a GM Repertoire book on the Benko, although I don’t know what the answer is to the Epishin variation.

    I don’t plan a Kan book, because we cannot cover everything and there are things we are more interested in.

    The 3.f3 Fianchetto is not in the printed book. This is what happens when we put the excerpts up early. We recommend c6 and d5, the solid line.

  44. Re Experts vs the anti sicilian

    Have recently been working through this book and there is some really excellent material. I was particularly impressed by your chapter on c3 and the work by the Tiger. Whilst the material by Andrew Greet was interesting I feel many of us would have liked an explanation on how to tackle 5…QG4
    A small gripe however is a topic I have mentioned before which is the number of diagram errors. I appreciate that the more diagrams the more errors that are likely to creep in but there are at least half a dozen in the book that I have spotted so far which is a shame in such high quality production [ the book is not in front of me but there are meaningless repeats on p416 and p417 an extra white horse in the chapter by Andrew Greet and a fairly glaring error in the Avrukh chapter. Looking forward to some of the new material notably by Avrukh but get somebody to check the diagrams!

    Best wishes

    Mike Twyble

  45. I disagree with Duriel. I don’t find the Benko Gambit sound at all. The Epishin Variation, mentioned by Jacob, is one of many reasons. I’ve played the Benko many times as White, and a couple of times as Black. It was dismal playing Black here. As White, I see both the main line (allowing …Bxf1) and the Fianchetto Variation (including the Epishin, and others) as lines that lead to a much larger advantage for White than White deserves for going first.

    For a while, in the early 2000’s, I played 5.b6, and results were mixed. Since switching to the Fianchetto Variation during the times I played 1.d4, I’ve typically been untouchable!

    If only everyone played the Benko Gambit against 1.d4, I’d be more than glad to switch back to being a d4 player. However, more sounder defenses, like the Slav and Nimzo-Indian (the two main reasons I don’t play 1.d4 as my results there are horrid) along with other legitimate defenses, like the KID, Grunfeld, QGD, QGA, Semi-Slav, Modern Benoni, etc, where results are ok (i.e. the expected 52 to 55% you should score with White) are why I don’t play 1.d4.

  46. Patrick my I ask what your elo is? I’m asking this because different openings are good at different levels. For example I’m 2115 and with white I crush the 2100 Grunfeld players with 2 different lines but that doesn’t mean the Grunfeld is bad. It’s just that these lines are hard to play with black below 2300 especially without deep preparation.

    As for the benko, in my opinion white has no advantage in the Bxf1 variations. In the b6 lines white has advantage. Actually this is the line that I have the most problems against. But there are critical and problematic lines like this in all aggresive black openings(like king’s indian, grunfeld etc). Yes openings like nimzo, slav etc are more solid but they give less chances to play for a win.

    As for the Epishin, I really don’t get what the fuss is about in the last years. I didn’t face it much in tournament chess but on ICC I’ve played more than 50 games in the Epishin variation against titled players and I’ve played many different moves. I didn’t have much problems. I’ve scored much better than any other black openings. Maybe that’s because it’s hard to play white in blitz or because they didn’t prepare against my sidelines but I still doubt that Epishin is as dangerous as it’s reputation claims to be.

    My biggest problem with the benko is that I also have to play the sysmetrical English which I really don’t like.

  47. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Jacob Aagaard :
    I want a GM Repertoire book on the Benko, although I don’t know what the answer is to the Epishin variation.
    I don’t plan a Kan book, because we cannot cover everything and there are things we are more interested in.
    The 3.f3 Fianchetto is not in the printed book. This is what happens when we put the excerpts up early. We recommend c6 and d5, the solid line.

    That is an interesting reply to the Fianchetto System. I have been playing Fianchetto Grünfeld for both sides and all games feature the cxd5 Nxd5 variation. It will be nice to try the solid system as a change, since there have been many grandmaster games and excessive new theory in the aforementioned line.

  48. Duriel,

    My FIDE rating is 2072, USCF (which is usually higher than FIDE for most) is 2033. However, one other thing should be said about Experts vs Masters. Unlike GMs, who are consistently good across the board, and can play just about any opening against someone under 2400, and probably multiple openings against other GMs, most experts, like myself, aren’t consistently 2072 across the board. Most players at our level are really good at one thing, and really bad at another. We have “comfort zones” and areas of “discomfort”.

    For me, I tend to accelerate in lines that feature attacks on the flank. Whether that be from openings like the King’s Indian Defense or French MacCutcheon, due to their completely locked up center, or due to the way one’s pieces are developed (i.e. White’s Fianchettoed King’s Bishop combined with early expansion of the Queenside often means a queenside attack for White in the English), I tend to excel in those lines where White attacks one side, Black the other. The Benko Gambit fits this category. Black almost never executes a Kingside attack, and White very rarely conducts a queenside attack, and a little, but not much, goes on in the middle (it’s not like White lines up his heavy pieces down the d-file).

    Other openings that tend to be more fluid and the attack usually occurring in the center, like the Slav or Nimzo-Indian (see again my previous message about those being the 2 main reasons I don’t play 1.d4), are my shortfall. The lines of the Nimzo-Indian that result in a locked center, like the Hubner Variation, I always had great results with, but that line is known to be bad for White, and was the exception for me, not the rule.

    So just because one is 2072 on paper doesn’t mean he or she always performs at that level. You give me Black in 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Ne2, and I’m probably no better than an 1850 or 1900 player. Give me Black in the position after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 and I’m probably beating almost every 1850 or 1900 I face. We had a local guy at the club a few years back that played this against me 3 times (all 3 I had Black), about 2250 to 2300 strength, got 2 draws and a loss, the loss not due to the opening, was time trouble.

    Lastly, my last big tournament was the Philadelphia Open in April. As White, I had 3 Englishes, 2 Retis. Got 2 wins, 2 draws, and a loss. The loss, round 3, I was completely winning (Up 2 pawns, and +1.9 according to Rybka), but got in a time scramble from moves 34 to 40, and then got a lost position, against a 2352, and a beautiful queenside attack in round 7 was probably my best game of the tournament.

    As Black, A Sicilian vs a 1620 (ok, of course I win that), A sicilian vs a 2200 where he tricked me into a Kan via 3.c4, and rolled me down the middle, A Gligoric King’s Indian where I actually had chances at a better position against high 2100s, and a Keres Attack where one mistake and White landed a bomb on d6 and blew up my whole position.

    Notice the 2 times I got absolutely blasted were down the middle. Not something you typically face as White in the Benko, and hence why my results against the Benko are significantly higher than one might expect from a 2072 player.

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I am not sure about a GM Repertoire book on the Kan since there was already a series book on the Sicilian (Najdorf). Also the Kan does not seem to me as a true main line Sicilian, as compared to Najdorf, Classical, Pelikan, Dragon. There also does not appear to be as much theory in the Kan as other of the aforementioned Sicilians; I used to play the Kan a few years ago without ever knowing the theory and somehow succeeded with it.

  50. Jacob Aagaard

    Today we are uploading the second Grunfeld book.

    I know about the diagram mistakes. We have been kicking ourselves repeatedly. It will not be this bad again.

    I will talk to Andrew about doing a 5…Qg4 game for the next newsletter (which I hope I will have time to finish sooner rather than later).

  51. I would think as a Black Rep book the Classical Sicilian would be nice……There has been very little coverage on this recently.

    I also agree about the Two Knights, very little on this recently.

  52. @nick

    Not that I ever have any intention of playing it, but I’ve always wondered if there is something wrong with the Classical Sicilian. I go to one tournament after another, even major ones in the United States, like the World Open in Philadelphia, and I see the Classical Sicilian played about as frequently as the Orangutan or the Latvian Gambit.

    Has it just simply gone thru an extremely long lull of not being popular in both GM and amateur play? Or is there something wrong with the line? Or at least a line for White that is putting the same type of scare that the Bayonet Attack put on the King’s Indian back in the mid-to-late 90s? Difference being that they found a solution to the Bayonet and not the Richter-Rauzer?

    I’m just baffled about why it isn’t played more often, to tell you the truth.

  53. Jacob Aagaard

    Thank you Jesse.

    I hope people will find these lines interesting and not return to the old discussion if a line is A main line, THE main line and so on.

    Against 8.Rb1 Boris has given the main reason it is not played much anymore, the …Qa5+ line.

    Against 7.Bc4 the old line with Bg4 + Na5 is entirely out of fashion. It is still the main line and it is known to be equal, but entirely impractical. Current fashion is to play a quick Na5+b6, as in the Topalov-Anand and Topalov-Kamsky games, but this is changing quickly.

    Avrukh has recommended one of the main lines, Bg4 followed by f3 Bd7!? – which was his own main choice before starting on the book, and Qc7 + b6, which is not commonly played, but has been analysed deeply by Boris and looks logical and good (after Boris’ improvements).

    At the moment I think this will help the reader get good results, which is really what it is all about.

  54. Very little appears to have been said about “Grandmaster v Amateur”. Can you provide a hint as to what this book is about?

    I note that you are listed as editors. Am I too assume the book is made up of a host of contributing authors like Experts vs Sicilian/Anti Sicilian?

    I must say it is a real shame that we do not get more output from Mr Aaagaard. The Excelling series and Attacking Manuals are my most read books. I feel that solely within these books that I have the tools to raise myself from 2050 to FM. I just need to put in the hours………….

  55. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Thank you for uploading the GM9 excerpt. I always found the Qa5 and Qxa2 line against 8. Rb1 to be like the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn–critical line for both sides where Black wins a pawn but the queen moves multiple times on the other side of the board. Then I never played the 10…Bg4/11…Na5 variation against 7. Bc4, since that was the opposite to the lines like the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf; Black loses a pawn instead…

    I am just wondering, does Avrukh play the …c6/d5 complex against the Fianchetto or the …Nxd5 variation, and was it a difficult decision to choose which one to cover in the book?

  56. Thank you Jacob for uploading the pdf for GM9, ….Qa5+ very exciting, and looking forward to some fresh ideas in the classical exchange, not happy with Na5+b6, want to try and open the game up as much as possible so should be fun to look over new lines!

    Thanks to you and Boris and all of Quality chess for your outstanding materail!!!

    I believe the lines against the Fianchetto are …c6/d5, think i saw that is a recent post.


  57. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I am guessing that GM8 and GM9 will be sent to the printer today? Cannot wait for the books. Well done.

  58. Jacob Aagaard

    GM8 was sent on Monday, GM9 on Wednesday. The books will be out in roughly three weeks time.

    Next week we have Tactimania and The Grandmaster Battle Manual ready, of course. They will ship to the shops next Friday and from Hope Street the following Monday.

    And yes, the line is c6+d5, and for Boris this was not a difficult choice, as he finds this the best line by a margin.

  59. I am puzzled by the claims that Boris recommends the c6+d5 against the fianchetto. The “Contents” listing in the PDF excerpts shows 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 etc. This applies to both versions of the excerpt, even if the first version had the “3. f3” typo.

  60. What is Psakhis’s Advanced Chess Tactics? Something on the level of Volokitin’s excellent Perfect Your Chess?

  61. Hi, I have a question about “Experts on the Anti-Sicilian”.
    I will most likely switch from the French to the sicilian Kan, i.e. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6
    If White plays 2. Nc3 I cannot play 2… d6 because White can still transpose to the main line with 3. Nf3 followed by d2-d4 and then i don`t see how Black can still go for a sicilian Kan.
    So I am wondering which chapters are interesting for a Sicilian Kan player?
    Answering 2. Nc3 with 2…Nc6 is no option because in the repertoire book from GM Hellsten the knight often goes to d7.

  62. I’m also wondering about Waldorf’s question because I’ll start studying the Kan so I’ll get the Experts on the Anti-Sicilian if it covers most anti-sicilian lines that can be played by Kan players without fearing any transpositions to other open sicilians.

  63. Waldorf :
    So I am wondering which chapters are interesting for a Sicilian Kan player?

    ok, after studying the pdf again, chapter 1 seems to be of interest for a Sicilian Kan player right?
    White goes 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 and then 3…Nc6 transposes to chapter one.
    Or are there any other chapters?

  64. well 2.c3 should also interest the kan sicilian player, also the kings indian attacvk chapter might be usefull, as well as the chapter on 2.b3

  65. I think 2.Nc3 is the most important second move alternative to 2.Nf3 because it can lead to grand prix attack and the closed sicilian. They’re both very popular and very strong compared to less popular anti sicilians. I wouldn’t study deeply against things like 2.b3 or 2.Na3 anyway so the most important anti sicilians for me are 2.Nc3 and 2.c3(also 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3)

    Also in my opinion the King’s Indian Attack has more poison after 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 compared to other King’s Indian lines where black plays d6 or Nc6 on move 2.

  66. Jacob Aagaard

    We did not try to cover everything in the Experts book, although most lines are treated in one way or the other. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 there are two approaches I liked as a Kan player back in the day: 2…Nc6 3.Nf3 e5 – which is a big line (not considered in the book) – but especially 3…g6!, where after 4.d4 you get a favourable version of the Dragon (at least this is my opinion), where you don’t get mated.

    For a Kan player, the natural move is 2…e6 and after 3.f4 you are in the Avrukh chapter, and after 3.g3 you can player either 3…d5 or 3…Nc6 (and later …g6+Bg7) going into a sound main line of the closed Sicilian. Again, this exact variation is not covered in the book, where a …e7-e5 system against the closed is debated.

    So, the book is not a complete fit with Hellsten’s book; but I don’t think anyone was expecting this either. However, I hope there is something in what I have said here that is of use to you.

    The Psakhis book deals with tactics in various pawn structures and openings and is in an abstract way a companion to the second edition of Understanding Chess Tactics, coming at the same time in the autumn.

    It is not a puzzle book as the Volokitin book is (this is a very nice book, by the way, useful for 2200+ players – almost on the level of the Gaprindashvili books), but will be about 50 puzzles in it as well.

  67. JamesMatt – I don’t think you should be too sure that it is a shame you don’t get more books from me. As far as I can see I have written way too many already, and have planned to write way too many in the future as well!

    I will be putting out two opening books (on top of the ‘articles’ books I am editing/contributing to this year) and a number of titles next year, some opening books and some middlegame books.

    In two years you will no doubt think I have written way too many things – and you are likely to be right!

  68. To all you Kan players that fear not having something against 2.Nc3, I have the answer for you. This would also work if you are a Najdorf player.

    Follow Palliser’s idea in his Fighting the Anti-Sicilians. Play 2…a6. It does a number of things.

    1) It avoids the 2.Nc3 and 3.Bb5 lines (well, ok, if White’s THAT stupid, he might play 3.Bb5)
    2) If White plays the closed Sicilian or Grand Prix attack, there is excellent analysis by Palliser on an early …b5, which can be a major distraction to White’s Knight on c3, and hence his pawn on e4.
    3) If White does go for an open sicilian, he or she will pay the price. 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4? cxd4 5.Nxd4 e5! This is the O’Kelly variation, and unlike those that play 2…a6, the only line of the O’Kelly that you’d play would be the 3.d4 line, which is considered bad for Black.

    THerefore, 2…a6 actually should discourage White from going back into an Open Sicilian!

  69. Jacob Aagaard

    Probably Richard did not allow 2.Nc3 a6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e5. Or did he? Probably 3…e6 is the way to go.

    I don’t know about 2…a6 3.g3 b5. Intuitively I would believe in White, but chess is too complex for that to be a factor.

  70. Palliser recommends 2.Nc3 a6 3.Nf3 d6 and mentions 3.- e6 (transposition to something) and 3.- b5 as decent alternatives.

  71. Dear Jacob and all chess players

    I am having a problem with a line in GM6 Siclian
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 b4 9. Na4 Nbd7 10.Ndc6.. What is the best response… Qa5…I have tried this is two game and got into bad postions, in which white finnally one a pawn a pawn. Couldn’t find this line in any of my books or the couple databases I use. any advice from anyone would help, just seems more and more I am seeing this 10.Ndc6 frocing the queen to move, it might just be such a bad move that I am missing the obvious response, and advice greatly appreaciated!


  72. Wow, brain is crappy today 10. Qa5, to stupid, should have looked at a board today before asking questions, forgive the horrible guessing, yikes…….no chess fo me today!!!!!

  73. Player :
    Are You considering an issue of improved GM 1.d4 Repertoire in the future?

    I hope so, it has been almost 3 years since it originally came out! I do have a hard copy of GM-1 but I would gladly buy a new edition (specially with the new high quality paper) and give my current copy to a library.

  74. Michael, the right continuation is 10…Qc7 11.Nxb4 d5!. Black is at least equal. One main point is 12.exd5 Qa5! winning a piece. So Black is allowed to play …dxe4 with a big game.

  75. Thanks Jacob, Sorry for three posts for one question, will think it out first before I start writing next time!!!

    Thank you!!!

  76. Hi, i have a question about Experts ion the Sicilian. On page 9 Avrukh says that 4. Bb5 seems to be inaccurate for him because of 4… Nd4 and he refers to chapter 13 then.
    But in chapter 13, if Black plays e7-e6, White plays immediately Bxc6. I don`t see the 4…Nd4 tabiya in chapter 14 too.
    Am i wrong?

  77. Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Waldorf. The comment is a bit confusing and could have been clearer, but the logic is actually correct. What it means (because obviously we inserted it, not Boris) is that if White goes into this line, it is an unfavourable version of the 3.Bb5 system, which is analysed from chapter 13 and onwards. As 3…Nd4 is not played till Chapter 14 (and onwards) this is a very confusing remark. It is not a direct transposition, and it does not say it is, only that the position is an inferior version of that line.

    It is not the only thing we have gotton wrong, of course, but I think we got lots and lots right with this book :-).

  78. Wish list for 2011

    1) A Grandmaster Repertoire book on the Slav.
    2) A Grandmaster Repertoire book on 1.c4 c6 in accordance with 1) and Schandorff’s book on the Caro-Kann

    Do you think there is any chance of my wishes to come true?

  79. If I remember right, there were was a book about the nimzoindian in the queue.
    Can you tell us what happened with it?

  80. Alekhine Power

    And what about GM King’s Indian in 2 vol’s by Vassilios Kotronias?

    Shall they see a daylight, and if yes, when? In the autumn of 2011?

  81. Jacob Aagaard

    Both projects are slowed down and should be out in 2012. People have lives, even though we would want them to put them on hold…

  82. Metichara –

    Part 1, can’t help you, but Part 2, while it’s a repertoire book for White, the 2nd of the 3 volumes on the English has about 200 pages on 1…c6. You can get ideas from there. Covers just about every Black response except 4…a6. Many of the lines are merely +/=, which you should be happy with as Black. Just avoid the lines that lead to +/-

    Alekhine Power –

    You are saved! I also am waiting for the 2 on the King’s Indian, but in the meantime, I’m going through David Vigorito’s first book on the KID, and his 2nd was just released, which I’ll be getting shortly.

    I recommend you get both of Vigorito’s books (his coverage is excellent) and both of Kotronias’s books come 2012. Gives you multiple perspectives, and a choice of lines. I’m sure the classical will be a mere overlap, but the other lines, I’m sure they won’t go with the same choices.

    The “Attacking Chess” series by Everyman is unlike their other crappy repertoire books that are centered around page count and recommend garbage. The “Attacking Chess” series is like the “GM Repertoire” series, where they recommend the main lines.

    The 2 books by Everyman, combined, make up over 700 pages.

    Therefore, take a trip over right now to Jacob Aagaard’s dark side, and type in “h”, “t”, “t”, “p”, “:”, “/”, “/”, “w”, “w”, “w”, “.”, “e”, “v”, “e”, “r”, “y”, “m”, “a”, “n”, “c”, “h”, “e”, “s”, “s”, “.”, “c”, “o”, “m” and hit the enter key.

    It’s a King’s Indian player’s heaven for the time being! 🙂

  83. Hi, I am a fan of QC and I bought weeks ago Experts on the anti-sicilian.
    I found this a wonderful book but I was a little bit disappointed that it covers very less Grand prix variations (the ultimate anti-sicilian on internet). I also noticed that some diagrams are wrong (i.m.o. more than usual).

    Anyway, keep up the high quality and I watch out for The Grandmaster battle manual!

  84. Jacob Aagaard

    I am not entirely sure why Everyman should have anything to do with my dark side. I do not like all of their books; actually I think some of them are pretty awful, but I have deep respect for Vigorito as an example. I also have a very friendly relationship with Byron Jacobs, who is their chief editor and with Mark Bicknell, who owns Everyman. I would not do a lot of things the way they do, and they clearly do not do things the way we do. But the same is the case with most of my friends, not to speak of my wife :-).

  85. John is working on the King’s Gambit, but I have done a lot of work also. I am sure Andrew and Keti will be helping out as well. I hope we will get it to the printer by the end of August. It has moved up the list of priorities by the fact that we kind of caught up with the mountain of stuff we had lying around…

  86. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Is it likely that the password problem on the website will be fixed before the release of GM8/GM9?

  87. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    A developer is working on it. So, hopefully it will be fixed soon, but …we’ll see.

  88. Hmmmm… The following format reminds me of something already done…

    Chess Developments is a brand new series providing state-of-the-art coverage of chess openings.

    Chess Developments focuses on critical lines, current trends, powerful new ideas and cutting-edge theory. It offers players of all levels the opportunity to increase their opening knowledge and understanding, and to expand and enhance their opening repertoires.

    The Modern Benoni is an exciting, counter-attacking weapon against 1 d4. Black willingly creates an early imbalance which allows both sides to fight for the initiative in positions which are rich in tactical and strategic possibilities. In this book, Modern Benoni expert Richard Palliser examines the most instructive and important Benoni games in recent years, focusing on the key new ideas and developments for both sides. Whether playing White or Black, this book arms you with all the latest trends in an important opening.

    Up-to-date coverage of the Modern Benoni
    Written by a renowned Benoni expert
    Packed with key new ideas and critical analysis”

    I remember MAS one time whining (of course…) about not being able to use the “play the…” format, but he should really post on the everyman site now!!!

  89. I have no problems with people trying to do the same things as us. As long as they do it in a cheaper version, we will keep our core audience and remain in business. I drive a used Skoda; it is certainly good enough for me…

  90. Alekhine Power

    That’s the spirit Jacob 🙂

    For me only the quality counts: top author, top content and top layout of the book.

    And I don’t care for money in such cases…

    For example GM Repertoire for Black – …e5 vs e4 or King’s Indian, I can give even 50 Euros per book, as long as the authors are Avrukh, Marin, Jussupow, Kasparov and other elite writers 🙂

  91. Are You considering to publish any book on the Meran (or anti-Meran) Semi-Slav, from white’s perspective? I don’t know any recent book on it.
    Thank you.

  92. I think they should have them for the 4th of July. Probably they will post them the 2nd of July to webcustomers, so they get them for the 4th as well.

  93. @Gilchrist is a Legend and other returning customers having login difficulty
    ‘retrieve forgotten password’ is now working (hopefully).

  94. Alberto,

    The majority of Semi-Slav books have been Black repertoire lately, but are you ok with “Objective” coverage, not favoring White or Black, but rather, is more “complete”?

    If so, Chess Stars has a book (available at, can’t speak for merchants outside the United States) called “Latest Trends in the Semi-Slav: Anti-Meran”.

    The first part of the book, probably a good 40 to 50 percent of it, is on the Shabalov Gambit (6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4).

    Part 2 deals with lines where Black doesn’t play 6…Bd6, like 6…b6, for example.

    Part 3 deals with the more positional lines (i.e. 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Be2)

    I think it was written around middle of the last decade. Authors are Sakaev and Semkov.

  95. Thank you very much, Patrick. At Spain this book is out of print. I’ll try at ChessCafe Shop. But I dont know how about shipping availibility.

  96. Alberto,

    I’m about 99.9% sure that they will ship anywhere. You just can’t get the free shipping discount if you live outside the United States.

    It’s similar to here. I had 3 items delivered to the US from in-house here (the 3 GM Repertoire books on the English) before they started sending hardcovers out to ChessCafe and Chess4Less. I just had to pay more (5 pounds or 5 Euros, don’t recall which, per book instead of the 3 for 2 deal that Europeans get).

    The same I’m sure occurs the other way around. Shipping is a little more expensive for you than for someone in the US, and the time is probably a little longer than if you ordered it domestic, but it easily can be done.

    I can tell you in my case, I have had great service from ChessCafe, and is hence the reason I use it for 90% of my chess book purchases, the other 10% mostly being books bought from vendors on-site at the larger tournaments in the United States (like the World Open in Philadelphia, which is coming up in about a week, won’t be at it though this year, unfortunately).

    Hope this helps.

  97. Alekhine Power

    Jacob, do you have any news about Grandmaster Repertoire 10 – The Tarrasch Defence by Ntirlis & Aagaard?

    At least you can update the cover blurb on your site, and also why is price so high if we expect only 300 pages? Then you could intercept more chapters on strategy about isolated pawn etc… 🙂

  98. I was wondering if Peter Wells was contacted for a Nimzo-Indian book. You’re probably not gonna tell, but I ask it anyway 🙂

    I consider his Chess Explained : The Queen’s Indian one of the better opening books around and he was first going to write the Chess Explaind : Nimzo for Gambitbooks.
    For some reason Reinaldo Vera took his place. Vera did a good job but I think Wells could have done better.

  99. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I pre-ordered GM8 and GM9 in hardback on QC’s website, so the password problem appears to have been resolved. Thanks.

    From my experience in purchasing from QC, I infer that websales will be posted to customers on Monday 4th July?

  100. Jacob Aagaard

    We are working away on the Tarrasch and have the draft ready (the analysis), but want to check them once more as I am writing (and cutting out redundant stuff). Nikos has done a great job and together we are able to write a better opening book than I would be on my own. We love finding faults in each others work, so this banter should help the reader.

    Well was not contracted for the Nimzo-Indian book. We would like to work with Peter – great fans – and he knows this. maybe one day.

    I think GM8+GM9 in hardback will probably be sent by UPS and thus sent on the 29th or 30th. We guarantee this for inside the EU if you order three books (UK excluded – it is faster to just post it), but really it is a weight issue. When you have two this heavy books, it makes just as much sense to send them with UPS. But it will be Claire that decides :-).

  101. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Would the two hardbacks (or any order of heavy weight) still be sent via UPS for non-EU (and non UK) customers?

  102. Jacob Aagaard :

    Well was not contracted for the Nimzo-Indian book. We would like to work with Peter – great fans – and he knows this. maybe one day.

    Not contracted? A typo? Or is there an author already cont(r)acted for the NID?

  103. Gilchrist is a Legend

    It would be quite nice if GM8/GM9 hardbacks were posted on 29 or 30 June–when does the office in Glasgow receive the books?

  104. Jacob Aagaard

    July 4th. Books to the US will be posted then. I repeat – you should buy them in the states. We get paid more if you buy through us, but for the consumer, there is no advantage I can think off. Buy them from Books from Europe, Chess4Less or ChessCafe. They all ordered them.

    Another author is already agreed for the Nimzo. We are talking someone so close that contracts are signed at the end, rather than the beginning (but always signed). Essentially he is family :-). I expect the book to take a long time to be completed, which suits us fine. We have enough to do!

    If you order three books or more and live in the EU, we send the books with UPS – with a tracking number – and we endavour to send the tracking number to the customer.

  105. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I like buying from QC directly because it skips the need to wait for a chess store to receive it initially. But if you are also sending UPS for heavy orders (e.g. a hardback GM8 plus hardback GM9) even if it is not three books, then it would also be a nice exception for non-EU locations.

    Needless to say I am addicted to QC 🙂

  106. Jacob,
    being resident in Switzerland (so “outside” the EU), how do you recommend is the fastest way to receive GM8 / GM9? I intend to order on your site, or do you suggest going through a local dealer?

    I will probably include the Experts vs Anti-Sicilian as well – so how would you ship to Switzerland for 3 books?

    I am a big fan of QC books ever since my first purchase (Dearing’s at that time…), and shipping costs is not a real concern to me. I’d rather be looking for the fastest way this time.


  107. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I also prefer the faster shipping time despite the higher shipping costs. Right now I am also outside the EU (North America) but again the fastest shipping is what I always hold in importance. Would shipping still be UPS with my order of GM8 and GM9 hardback editions? If it needs three books I can purchase another book with my order.

  108. We cannot ship to the US with UPS. It costs 340 euros :-). Really – and I say this as often as I can – order from the US shops that carry our books. They can get them to you faster than we can.

  109. So wat do you recommend for Switzerland? Order directly on your site?

    Sorry for the questions that have nothing to do with chess…

  110. Gilchrist,

    I live in North America, and I order from Chess Cafe. The books tend to arrive at Chess Cafe a few business days after they are published in Europe in most cases, and then it’s usually a 4 to 5 business day delivery with basic shipping (i.e. the Free shipping they offer for $75 orders or higher). Case in point, I placed an order on Sunday night, went out Monday night, and is expected to be delivered on Saturday via free shipping. Sadly enough, it is 5 books, but 3 are Everyman, 2 are Ohms, no Quality Chess this time.

    However, I’ve ordered the following in hardcover from Chess Cafe and had the same fast delivery from the United States – “Play the Scandinavian”, “GM Repertoire 6”, “Cutting Edge Volume 2”, “GM Repertoire 2”.

    I ordered the 3 books on the English directly from the headquarter, and delivery took about a week from when it was published. So you MIGHT save 1 or 2 days and pay a fortune.

    However, that also occurred summer of last year. By Christmas of last year, delivery from Europe to the United States was a major problem because of weather, and I want to say some criminal activity on planes around late October.

    I’m a member at, and I took part in Secret Santa, which in 2009 dealt with 3 different retailers, depending on location,,, and one other, forgot who. Last year was all BookDepository. In 2009, about 96 to 98% got their books by Christmas. In 2010, for 99% of those in North America (i.e. Canada, United States, Mexico, etc), nobody got anything until at least mid-January, most in February, and a few as late as March.

    Long story short, Jacob is right, ordering direct from the warehouse, unless you are ordering something that only exists there, like one of the few remaining hard copies of Cutting Edge 1, is nonsense.

  111. Jacob Aagaard

    Giving us money is not nonsense; but I will not pretend it is in the interest of the customer just to get $5 more per book sold…

  112. Jacob Aagaard

    I actually had to lobby a lot to make the books available in the US at the same time as in Europe; in the interest of the customers. The positive side effect is that it hopefully will make people aware that we need to keep the chess specialists alive to have an industry in the future.

  113. Gilchrist is a Legend


    How long would shipping from those American chess shops take to the western coast of the North America? Would they actually receive those books this week and commence shipping as well?

    Granted the shipping was always an easier subject when I was in England. Actually I will be back to England this September, the most useful of which will mean that I will be able to order QC books and receive them the next day again 😀

  114. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I heard about the weather causing many problems for North America this January as well. A few chess books I ordered took twice as long to arrive. But in the UK we have snowstorms half the size of those in Canada and even then it causes chaos, but that is another story…

  115. Gilchrist,

    I can’t say for certain how long it would take to get to the west coast. I live on the east coast in North Carolina. A typical shipment for me, on an order made over a weekend, is the order leaves the house on Monday night, and the shipment begins Tuesday morning in New Jersey. By Wednesday, it’s in my local state of North Carolina, but then takes them a couple of days from there.

    I’m guessing it would add a day or 2 with you being on the West coast, but even then, I typically don’t worry too much about an extra couple of days.

    Quite frankly, I don’t see the point in paying huge amounts of money to get 1-day or 2-day shipping. What difference is it going to make if I get my books on the Ponziani, King’s Indian, Sicilian, and French on Wednesday or Saturday? Yeah I have a few weekend tournaments, but I’m really preparing for October when the 9-rounder in DC takes place. Whether I spend June 29th thru October 5th to prepare for it or July 2nd thru October 5th to prepare for it is going to make very little difference.

    But hey, it’s your money. If you want to throw away $40 to save a day or two, have at it! I’ll just be studying one of my other 250 to 300 books while I wait for the 5 I have ordered to come! 🙂

    Tonight, I’ll probably either be studying The Berlin Wall, or else Cornette’s coverage of 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5, starting with the lines where Black doesn’t play 3…Nd4. I have played this line a couple of times in 2004 when New In Chess yearbook had an article on it with 4.Ba4. I had an opponent play 3…e6 (I won), and I can’t help but think the entire game felt like I was playing the Hubner Variation of the Nimzo-Indian with the colors reversed (i.e. Black has the doubled c-pawns with pawns on d4 and e5, and White has a “light-squared blockade”, similar to Black’s “dark-squared blockade” in the Hubner variation of the Nimzo). So hey, I have plenty of stuff to do until my books come!

  116. Gilchrist is a Legend

    It often also takes approximately one week to reach my residence in the west coast from the QC warehouse (1 day if I am in England), so I suppose if QC post websales of GM8/GM9 to North America on Monday 4th July, we should receive it around Monday 11th July. I guess shipping is always a matter of preference. Sometimes if the margin is £1 or so for a slightly quicker shipping and the book is highly anticipated, it sounds like a good deal. But I would never pay £20 for saving a day of shipping 🙂

    It definitely makes sense to propose the receipt of the books in Canada and the USA through those North American chess shops like USCF, ChessCafe, Chess4Less, Canadian Chess Federation Shop, etc. the same as Europe, since maybe North American customers will feel left out 😀

  117. I want to point to the FAQ. I have not changed this since last summer. This is really our viewpoint. We do make a few bucks more if you buy from us, but as said, I take the train to work…

  118. Neil Sullivan

    Gilchrist is a Legend :
    It often also takes approximately one week to reach my residence in the west coast from the QC warehouse (1 day if I am in England), so I suppose if QC post websales of GM8/GM9 to North America on Monday 4th July, we should receive it around Monday 11th July. I guess shipping is always a matter of preference. Sometimes if the margin is £1 or so for a slightly quicker shipping and the book is highly anticipated, it sounds like a good deal. But I would never pay £20 for saving a day of shipping
    It definitely makes sense to propose the receipt of the books in Canada and the USA through those North American chess shops like USCF, ChessCafe, Chess4Less, Canadian Chess Federation Shop, etc. the same as Europe, since maybe North American customers will feel left out

    Actually, Canadian customers are between a rock and a hard place. Shipping costs are ridiculously high from US suppliers such as chesscafe. It’s in the order of $20 for a single book, i.e. 2/3 of the purchase price. No free shipping is available – no matter how much you order.
    The only Canadian source is CMA / Strayegy games and they get their titles from the N. American distributor. Today they had volume 1 of the Karpov books just in, but say the 2nd is not yet out. 🙁

  119. It will be interesting to see what you will attempt. As the Chess Federation of Canada no longer sells books or equipment, I think CMA / Strategy is the only Canadian source at the moment (other than

    I am sure there is a business reason why they don’t get your titles as quickly as the American outlets. If they get them at the same time as, that’s not optimal for their success rate selling QC books.

    Of course any improvement to the current situation will be much appreciated!

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