Grandmaster Training Camp 1 – Calculation! and Playing the Sveshnikov

We are very happy to announce we are publishing the following two titles in paperback and hardcover, Grandmaster Training Camp 1 – Calculation! and Playing the Sveshnikov.

Grandmaster Training Camp 1 – Calculation! offers you a unique chance to participate in a training camp with Super-GM Sam Shankland, as he works through 300 problems set to him by his long-time trainer, GM Jacob Aagaard. Take the chance to compare yourself with one of the strongest Grandmasters in the world!

GM Sam Shankland is the 2018 US Champion, 2016 Olympiad gold medal winner for teams, and 2014 individual gold medal winner.

To celebrate the release of the book, Killer Chess Training is organising a Calculation Bootcamp with GM Sam Shankland, with fresh material.

To celebrate the release of the book, Killer Chess Training is organising a Calculation Bootcamp with GM Sam Shankland, with fresh material.

The Sicilian Sveshnikov is an ideal weapon based on sound principles of fast development and seizing central space. Playing the Sveshnikov offers a complete repertoire for Black in the Sveshnikov, including secondary recommendations against certain key variations.

Milos Pavlovic is a former Yugoslav Champion who has held the grandmaster title since 1993.

Playing the Sveshnikov offers a complete repertoire for Black in the Sveshnikov, including secondary recommendations against certain key variations.

28 thoughts on “Grandmaster Training Camp 1 – Calculation! and Playing the Sveshnikov”

  1. The line up of future QC books looks fantastic and rate Pavlovic highly so will probably take a pint on His Sveshnikovbook. His Cutting Edges are still razor sharp even after ten years and it’s more that fashions have changed …as far as I can see almost all his analysis holds up, it’s more that different lines than the ones he features are considered ‘ hot’ right now so they’re more sidelines but through no fault of his analysis work.
    One warning to potential customers and a plea to the QCteam. Could you make things a bit clearer about your new books…If you don’t read the excerpt you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
    I’ve bought two QC books recently much to my regret without doing so. My Stonewall Dutch is gathering dust as I was unaware I needed to learn the French as well and there was hardly any rook endgames in Jacob’s recent tome. Almost made the same mistake as didn’t realise the Shankland book is his Chessable course in paper form which I already own.
    Would be good to be a bit more clear for your customers but hopefully I’ve saved someone else having buyers regret.
    Very much looking tired to future releases…looks like I’ll be getting the missing room endgame I was annoyed about in spades!

  2. “Playing the Stonewall Dutch” does NOT require you to play the French. Sedlak personally prefers the 1.d4 e6 move order and gives his reasons, but Chapter 9 covers 1.d4 f5 for the benefit of non-French players.

  3. @Andrew Greet
    Andrew though it doesn’t ” require” you to allow the French that’s slightly bending the truth…. the author organises the first 8 chapters specifically around playing a move order that allows the French and then tacks on an extra half chapter (25 pages of a 300+ page book)on for those who don’t want that. In my database almost 3x as many players choose not to play c4 after d4 f5 than do and although some of these may transpose back if the book was designed for this move order there’d be a need for a much greater depth to these lines
    In such a short half chapter there’s little room for discussion of the implication of white delaying c4 or not playing it at all. For instance after d4 f5 g3 Nf6 Bg2 e6 Nf3 you’re already out of book on move 4 ?
    Do you play …c6 Bd6 Qe7 0-0 and presume white will transpose after a future c4 or is c6 not necessary till c4 is played, what if Bf4 is played do you challenge it with Bd6 or play Be7….all of this is glossed over with good reason as the author has designed his book to not feature this move order.

    That’s absolutely fine but a customer should know that the d4 f5 move order is an afterthought not really covered in the same detail before he buys so he can make his or her mind up. I’d not have bought it in this case as I intended it to be a different d4 defence for me and I don’t play the French as black but there’s no mention in the publishers blurb .
    The Gawain Kings Indian books in contrast were flagged up as Chessable courses whereas there’s no mention of this in the blurb for Shanklands new book. It’s just nice to get a true appreciation of the book you are considering buying as you never see a physical copy in a bookshop anymore to browse and make your mind up with so you’re reliant on the publishers giving you a proper account of what you’re about to purchase.

  4. Could you also add on which platforms you are planning to publish each book: there is forwardchess, chesstempo and chessable.

    Currently it seems that books which are adapted from chessable courses will only be published as books while other books can go the forwardchess or the chesstempo route but not both. Is this correct?

  5. @JB
    In the position you mentioned after move 4, just put your brain into first gear and play 4…Bd6. There’s clearly no reason to play …c6 yet; indeed, if you’d read the book you would see that even when the pawn goes to c4, there’s a strong argument for playing …Bd6 and …0-0 without …c6 just yet. In general White gains nothing from delaying c2-c4, so this “glossing over” is a total non-issue.

    Imagine if the author had given the main move order as 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.c4 d5 and then presented the first eight identical chapters on the various systems after 5.Nf3 and 5.Nh3, followed by White’s earlier deviations in Chapter 9. Would you have dismissed the entire book in the same way? From the tone of what you’ve written, I’m wondering if you even noticed the content of Chapter 9 before I pointed it out.

    In any case, considering your previous enthusiasm for the Stonewall I hope you’ll reconsider using the book. Even if you feel a bit more work is needed on the other 1.d4 f5 possibilities, the main Stonewall content is superb and I can vouch for the effectiveness of this opening and of Sedlak’s recommendations in practical play.

  6. The point about mentioning if a book has previously been a Chessable course is absolutely fair. I’ve just had a chat with John in the office and we will be sure to put this right where possible, for instance with the Shankland description on our website.

    I also agree with Till’s point about mentioning on which electronic platform(s) each book will be available. I have passed this on and we will endeavour to do a better job with this.

  7. Hi Andrew Greet, In the book Playing the Sveshnikov Book did the author cover the following line?

    Here is the i am asking: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nab1!? This move was recommended by other Quality Chess author Nikolaos Ntirlis in his 1.e4 Repertoire series in Twitter account.

  8. Hi Joel, 9.Nab1!? is indeed analysed (you can see it in the abridged variation index under Chapter 10 at the end of the excerpt which we’ve made available) although we were unaware of the Nikos Twitter repertoire so I can’t promise a ‘refutation’ of it. I can, however, tell you that the analysis spans three pages, so Pavlovic certainly recognized it as a sideline to take seriously.

  9. @Andrew Greet
    Thanks for replying…. even if it was a bit condescending “put your brain into first gear” , “dismissed the entire book” ? and even suggesting I hadn’t read Chapter 9 ??
    Of course I read Chapter 9 …how else was I able to point out that you were out of book by move four and that the author gave little detail on this move order as this move order is forced on you if you are not choosing the …e6 move order.
    And of course I wouldn’t have criticised a Chapter 9 containing earlier deviations if it had been from the d4 f5 move order as that’s what I and everyone else would have expected. Next time you go down the club and say you’re considering buying a Stonewall Dutch book, ask them what the first two moves are and see if anyone says 1. d4 e6 instead of . 1 d4 f5.? ?
    And they will continue to guess wrong as I did as there’s still no notice that this is the preferred move order in the blurb for the book. My whole point is letting your customers know the full.score before making their minds up. Glad you listened to my point about the new Shankland book but not sure why this isn’t considered relevant for Sedlak’s book. All it needs is a line saying ” the author chooses a d4 e6 move order but provides a short chapter for those who prefer the d4 f5 move order ” in the blurb.

  10. @Andrew Greet
    Nikos doesn’t provide much detail just an idea or two and a couple of variations and a game by Kramnik so doubt it’s a major challenge but Nikos is good at spotting where future research might go and this does avid the long worked out mainlines. He also recommends a4 Vs the Najdorf with slightly greater depth but not got my Vigorito book to hand to see how this meshes ?

  11. @JB
    The preface in the extract of the Shankland book is quite explicit:
    “ It was first published as Shankland’s Chess Calculation Workbook on Chessable in September 2022. ”

  12. @JB
    The reason why I questioned whether you originally overlooked Chapter 9 is because that would explain the “I was unaware I needed to learn the French as well” part of your original comment. To suggest that Sedlak’s repertoire *requires* the reader to play the French is simply an outright falsehood. The book covers all of White’s major deviations after 1.d4 f5, which you’ve acknowledged yourself. Had you overlooked chapter 9, it would explain away your aforementioned false statement as an honest mistake.

    We’re starting to go round in circles so I’ll just reiterate the relevant facts:
    * The main topic of the book is the Stonewall tabiya after move 4. The bolded moves at the start of the relevant chapters are 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 because this move order happens to be Sedlak’s personal preference. Had the bolded moves given 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.c4 d5, the remaining content of those chapters would have been identical in every respect.
    * Precisely because not all readers will want to play the French, Chapter 9 covers all of White’s options after 1.d4 f5 along with other sidelines where White avoids c2-c4. This is literally the exact way the book would have been presented if Sedlak preferred 1.d4 f5 throughout. (Including 1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 e6, which is presented as 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 in the book.) Thus it’s a complete Stonewall repertoire, exactly as you and other readers would wish for, except that we have a 1.d4 e6 sequence given at the start of Chapters 1-8, which is a pure technicality.

    Two more things I’ll point out in a separate post due to the limit on character count…

  13. “And of course I wouldn’t have criticised a Chapter 9 containing earlier deviations if it had been from the d4 f5 move order…”

    Another inexplicable statement. (I don’t wish to be condescending and if I could think of a gentler way of saying it, I would – but facts are facts.) Pages 260-285 are dedicated to precisely White’s early deviations after 1.d4 f5. There are seven branches of analysis from this position, 2.Bg5 being the last of them. Again I have to ask if you checked the content of Chapter 9? Because I don’t understand how you could have come out with the above statement if you’d looked at the chapter contents on page 251.

    Finally, two more specific details:

    Page 252 – After 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 Sedlak considers four main options. Before his main analysis begins, there’s a note saying: “After 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 Black continues with normal Stonewall play, and I do not know of any serious way in which White may attempt to profit from having avoided c2-c4.” So much for being out of book on move 4.

    Page 260 – 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 is also considered, with the emphasis on 4.Nd2!?. Unlike the previous line, here White actually has a real purpose behind delaying c2-c4 for a while, so Sedlak pays proper attention to it.

    To summarize, I’ve shown that the book is 100% suitable for non-French players who prefer to reach the Stonewall via 1.d4 f5. Had the author personally preferred 1.d4 f5, there would have been absolutely no difference to the repertoire details, except for the purely technical details of the opening move order at the start of chapters.

  14. Hi,
    just a short question about the Sveshnikov book (then I let you go back to discuss Sedlak’s book :)). It would be nice to know to what degree the repertoire differs from the one given by Kotronias. Looking at the excerpt I noticed
    – 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 Bg7 vs 10…f5 and
    – 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Bg5 vs 11…O-O.
    Are these the main differences?

  15. I have both books and I’m finding them very complementary. I’ve only gotten through the first chapter in Pavlovic’s book, but so far even when they’re covering the same main line the actual detailed variations are generally different. I’m not sure if this is deliberate, because Pavlovic thinks different variations are better to illustrate the point, or simply due to time passing, but it means (to me, at least) that having both books simply provides more complete coverage.

  16. @Andrew Greet
    Andrew not sure why you’re not willing to believe me that I obviously have looked at Chapter 9 and did ‘put my brain in first gear’ and think about the implications of this move order. I’m not denying and never have that there is a Chapter 9 that in part deals with the 1..f5 move order- its the level of detail I was disappointed in- I think I used the term ‘glossed over’ and stick with that as it is terribly thin especially as these are the lines you’re much more likely o meet as a club player.
    You’re suggestion he fact that Sedlak says he knows of no way white can exploit missing out c4 doesn’t mean you’re out of book is laughable-there are zero variations (and I truly mean zero) to back this up. At least you tried to provide a few ideas with..Bd6 in a orevious post which is more than the book does but even then what if you want to play the Rapport line with Be7 and Ne4-even if you play …Be7 instead of …Bd6 white can move order you with say Bg5 (which my engine loves). At least you had a go but if I can see these issues and questions that need answering as a mere club player I feel that the book has let me down- it’s not your job on the blog or my job as a customer to fill in the blanks that should be in the book. I’m used to QC doing this superbly but not here.

    Nvertheless you obviously have a very different opinion than me about the level of coverage of the 1.d4 f5 move order though and we probably will never agree so it’s all about telling future purchasers the truth so they can decide. It seems perfectly suitable for a taster (a bit like the Short and Sweet versions of Chessable courses) but not up to the usual QC level for me that I was expecting when i bought it.

    You edited both this book and Marin’s Dutch sidelines so let’s compare the ‘facts are facts’

    Comparison of coverage of early deviations- Marin vs Sedlak

    Staunton Marin 34 vs Sedlak 5 pages
    2.h3/g4 24 vs 1
    2. Nh3/Qd3/Bf4 24 vs 4
    2. Nc3 40 vs 5
    2. Bg5 25 vs 8
    2.g3 but no c4 is harder to compare as Marin wants g6 Leningrad not Stonewall but only 3 pages in Sedlak

    That’s around 6 x more detail overall-

    For me that’s too thin a coverage in comparison (and much thinner than other Dutch books or courses I know about eg readers could look at Killer Dutch by Simon Williams from Everyman which also provides much more coverage of these earlier deviations) but for you it is seems ok and you’re adamant that the coverage of these early deviations would have been equally thin and sub Everyman level book level if the move order was from 1..f5 that’s absolutely fine for you as publishers to choose to do and to have that opinion but think your potential purchasers need to know the details before they buy as this is nowhere in the book blurb and and when you write ‘black immediately grabs the centre’ on the back cover of a book you really mean ‘immediately’ as in ‘not immediately’.

    It’s just a pity that a customer has to read it here rather than from the publishers. I’m sure there will be many customers happy like yourselves with that level of detail but others like me who aren’t so hopefully they are now fully informed so they can make their own decisions.
    It’s all about openness and clarity and let the facts are facts speak for themselves

  17. @Paul H
    Thanks Paul. yes that’s the only reason I knew it was the Chessable course. It’s not mentioned in the blurb and nearly bought it unaware thinking it was a new text.

  18. I guess the preview pdf of the Shankland Grandmaster Training Camp book is showing the easiest early examples, and the exercises get very much harder later?

  19. @JB
    The depth of coverage offered by Sedlak in Chapter 9 is certainly something that can be questioned. I would point out that Marin-Sedlak is not exactly a like-for-like comparison, as Marin was not only producing a GM Repertoire, which generally implies more detailed theoretical coverage than a “Playing the…” title, but Marin also had the luxury of two volumes compared to one for Sedlak, so it’s hardly surprising that Sedlak offered less detail. We also checked all the white repertoire sources that we were aware of which recommended those sidelines after 1.d4 f5, and made sure Sedlak covered all of them (as well as Marin of course).

    Having said that, one can certainly make a sensible argument that more detail could and perhaps should have been provided in that chapter. If your original post had focused on the lack of detail in Chapter 9, we could have had a sensible discussion about that. But instead, you claimed that the book was useless to you because you “needed” to learn the French to play Sedlak’s repertoire, which was nonsense.

    For that reason, I’ll leave it there as far as the debate is concerned, but will provide a few pointers in what you consider the problem variations. When White goes 1.d4 f5 2.g3 without c2-c4, Black can react to White’s moves in pretty much the exact same way as in the relevant Stonewall chapter, with White’s queenside space and general options being limited by the lack of c2-c4. If White plays an early Bg5, I would think just …Bd6, …0-0, …Nbd7 and at some point …h6. True, this rules out the Aggressive Stonewall but Sedlak shows why you shouldn’t rely on that in every game anyway. Also, White loses some options with the early Bg5, and potentially loses the bishop pair if taking on f6.

    That’s all I have to say. Despite your reservations about Chapter 9, I hope you’ll reconsider giving the repertoire a try.

  20. @Andrew Greet
    Thanks for your reply again Andrew. Not sure why you were shocked at my post about “needing” to play the French and that it was nonsense. When the book states on the first page of the introduction ( and this is a direct quote) “To play this way, you obviously need to be willing to play the French defence…” I can’t imagine where I got such a nonsense idea ?
    Can imagine other readers of this blog are reading this like watching two bald men fighting over a comb but if anyone is interested I’d at least like to set the record straight where you went further and made up a quote about me saying the book ” requires.” you to play the French seemed outraged and accused me of making false statements .Any readers can check in post#3 above that I never said this and in fact said (direct quotes again) quite clearly ” it doesn’t ‘require’ you to learn the French”.
    No apology needed we all make mistakes and I have a lot of respect for the fantastic work the QC team do but couldn’t leave that just hanging without flagging that up.

    Thought I was being clear so not sure why you also didn’t think I brought up the lack of detail in Chapter 9 before as an issue. I immediately fleshed out my concerns in my second post-….as out it’s not even a full.chapter but really just 25 pages and the phrases ” the need for much greater depth to these lines. In such a short half chapter there’s little room for discussion…” made it clear but apologies if that wasn’t apparent.

    I’ve taken your advice Andrew and am going to try out the Stonewall. I’ve bought the Dutch sidelines book as well so feel ready to give it a go. Appreciate you replying to my posts Andrew even if we didn’t quite agree so thanks for that.

    As I said in my first post the QC team have got a fantastic set of books lined up and looking forward to getting them and catching up with some others such as Under the Surface that have slipped through the net ??

  21. Apologies for hogging this thread but can I clarify what ” extensively edited and reorganized” means with your book versions of the Chessable courses. I have the Shankland Chessable course but not the Gawain KI course not the Axel Black and White magic. Are they essentially the same but organised to better suit a book format added content more diagrams or text or what? I’ve bought for instance Dvoretsky Endgame manual in both paper and electronic formats but wanted to know if it would be worth getting duplicates or what you think the benefits of the paper version has over the electronic before making my mind up. The Dvoretsky book is an excellent door stop for instance ?
    Be good to know your thoughts ?

  22. The differences are bigger in the Gawain book case, as we really fixed a lot of mistakes. But in Sam’s book the difference is really minor. In both cases, you are fine with what you have

  23. I have the Sedlak Dutch book and i don’t see any problem with it. The book never claims to provide a full rep after 1.d4. I only expect that i get a full rep after 1.d4 f5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 d5, + the cases when W does not play g3.

    It does not matter with which move order u get there. Same as Schandorffs semi-slav, you get a rep after 4 moves.
    As the title says: Stonewall Dutch, and not “complete dutch 1.d4 f5″…
    Likewise Vigoritos Najdorf: i dont except anti-sicilians in the book, or kovalchuk’s grünfeld: you cant expect a London, Trompovsky covered.

    It is the customers task to research how to get to the stonewall.
    Avrukh did it back then with his classical slav book: he covered also exchange var etc, but it was not a must imo.

  24. @JB
    “My Stonewall Dutch is gathering dust as I was unaware I needed to learn the French as well…” – That’s a direct quote from your first post on the topic, and I called it nonsense because the book covers 1.d4 f5 for the benefit of those who prefer not to start with 1.d4 e6.

    Anyway it seems we’re both ready to move past that topic, and I’m happy to hear that you’ll be giving the Stonewall a try. Certainly the Dutch Sidelines book will be a great way to obtain more detailed coverage on the various alternatives after 1.d4 f5. Thanks also for your other positive comments despite our disagreement.

    As for the differences between book and Chessable versions, I will echo Jacob’s view that it’s generally not worth the expense of buying both. With Gawain’s KID work, we fixed many things as Jacob said. Another big change came because I realized that if we split the material in the same way as Chessable, one volume would have been massively bigger than the other, so I reorganized the chapter structure to aim for two volumes of equal pages. In the process, I also achieved a chapter sequence which felt to me like a more logical progression through the different KID variations.

    The exact differences between Chessable courses and QC books will of course vary from one project to another.
    From time to time, we might also notice that certain exercises or illustrative examples contain errors which we’ll fix. Every project is different. But when we say extensively edited, it means we’ve made substantial changes, usually correcting both language/punctuation and chess content.

  25. Speaking of Chessable, is there any hope for a Chessable version of Gawain’s Coffeehouse repertoire? Why should the KID be both a Chessable course and a QC book but not Coffeehouse? I have already purchased — and love — both Coffeehouse volumes, but would really like to see accompanying videos as well as to be able to easily practice the lines with spaced repetition.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top