Often people ask what is happening with this or that book, so I just wanted to give a little update on what we are working on at the moment.

Black and White Magic by Axel Smith and How I Became a Chess Grandmaster by Vinay Bhat are at the printer and will come out on the 12th of April.

Key Elements of Chess Strategy and Key Elements of Chess Tactics – both by Georgy Lisitsin (and incidentally the first classics not to get a classics cover, as other ideas won the day) have been edited and are now in the proof reading stages. It is our intention to publish these books together with the paperback versions of previously published books.

A little down the path from these, we are coming towards the final edit of Endgame Labyrinths by current study World Champion Steffen Nielsen and Jacob Aagaard (that’s I), Playing the English by our favourite, and yours, Nikos Ntirlis and Magic Moves by Michal Konopka.

Sam Shankland has delivered Theoretical Rook Endings and Jacob Aagaard (me) has finished the writing of Conceptual Rook Endings. Both are meant to be out in hardback August.

More of our coming books will come on Chesstempo.com. So far we have focused on making the Yusupov series available. They are almost at the end of the conversion process. As never books will be handed to them in more pliable formats, the process will be faster.

86 thoughts on “Update”

  1. @Ed
    It is two entirely different books. It is like a Driving Test and a Theory Test. They supplement each other, but there is no overlap.

  2. Hi, I was just wondering if Quality Chess accept job applications for new authors to write books for QC. Is there somewhere to contact regarding this matter?

  3. Hi Quality Chess Team,

    I would like to apologize if my question about the publishing date of Nikos’ Book is inapprotiate but I am planning to participate in a tournament, which takes place in the mid of May and I wanted to pick up the English. Since there are no real up to date books and Nikos’ book is a complete repertoire in one book I thought this is by far the best book to get to build up an English repertoire. I simply wanted to ask whether the book is out at the beginning of May.

    Greetings Stefan

  4. @Stefan
    The Full English gives you a comprehensive rundown on all English lines. Choose your own from these. Ideally are generally more important than concrete theoretical lines.

  5. Santi – you can email one of us with a book proposal – see the ‘Contact’ section of the website.

    Stefan – No problem, it’s a reasonable question in your circumstances. The book will definitely be finished by then but with the time needed for printing and shipping, it’s really hard to say if it will be available to purchase by the time you need it. I expect it to be close to then. We will update the blog when going to print, so this will give you a better idea.

  6. Thanks a lot for the replys @TheDoctor and @AndrewGreet. If Nikos’ book won’t be published I will look in the Full English. I will buy Nikos’ book anyway, since I’m curious how he challenges 1…e5 and 1…c5 after 1.c4(!).

  7. Mr George Hollands

    I’ve just realised when going to order that “How I became a Grandmaster” didn’t receive the usual HB treatment.

    I’m sure there’s an economics related answer but I just wanted to register my disappointment, the QC HB editions are simply excellent and it’s a real shame.

    I have previously avoided buying the small number of titles that didn’t get the HB treatment, however I will probably still buy this one.

    Looking forward to all the above mentioned books hitting the shelves!

  8. Hi QC team, just a question – what is happening with GM Repertoire series. For me it looks like it is in the freezer now, and think there are tons of subjects to be written about. A few examples: Italian (Giuco Piano), Petroff, Archangelsk, Viena, Reti, Scheveningen to name a few ideas.

  9. Based on the number of book in the coming soon section and the time it takes to complete the editing process I’m guessing it is unlikely that Playing the Nimzo-Indian will be published in 2023?

    Curious how this book will differ from the GM Repertoire book on this opening in terms of lines given.

  10. Good morning Doctor,

    If you go to Killer Chess Training, Castellanos has already produced a series on the Nimzo-Indian, including the Vienna against 3 Nf3, lines against the Catalan and white’s d4 deviations early on. While it may not be exactly the same in book form, perhaps this is an indication of what could be in the upcoming book.

    Anyway, food for thought and the link is here: https://killerchesstraining.com/product/nimzo-repertoire-for-black/

  11. @The Doctor
    Renier promised he will have the manuscript with us in June. Hopefully he will be true to his word.

    It is more complete, as described by James. It builds on our work for Killer Chess Training, but is massively expanded.

  12. @Jacob Aagaard

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @The Doctor
    Renier promised he will have the manuscript with us in June. Hopefully he will be true to his word.
    It is more complete, as described by James. It builds on our work for Killer Chess Training, but is massively expanded.

    So it includes the Vienna and 1 d4 deviations??

  13. Good morning Phil,

    I think those two books by Schandorff are really excellent. They should be absolutely fine up to a high level, although I would wonder about developments in the last decade on the main lines. For example:

    1) Saemisch KID – I think there is a line recommended in Jones’s KID books where he advocates sacrificing a piece on c4 in one of the main lines (12 f4 Nxc4) which was around in 2013, has become popular recently and I think is not mentioned in Schandorff

    2) QGA – Schandorff recommends 3 e4 but the following line has become popular lately 3…b5 4 a4 c6 5 axb5 cxb5 6 Nc3 Qb6 which I don’t think is in Schandorff (I don’t have it to hand and can’t remember if he recommends 4 a4 on the 4th move)

    3) Nimzo-Indian – There have been numerous improvements in lines for black in the 4 e3 lines so this area would need reviewing with regard to the latest theory (Same for the Grunfeld too)

    4) QGD – There have been numerous ideas for black in the main line Exchange (early …h6/Be7/0-0/Re8 comes to mind amongst other tries) so this would need reviewing too.

    I suppose what I am trying to say that the core/structure/recommendations of the repertoire are all still very good, but some of the main opening recommendations would need reviewing for the latest developments and to see if you were happy there. Of course, that is the same for any opening book which was published a decade ago. The stronger player you are, the more the recent developments will be important as you are more likely to face them.

  14. Just wondering if there is any update on when the pdf excerpts will be available and release date will be for Nikos new book on the English? Really looking forward to it!

  15. Jacob Aagaard :
    @Phil Collins
    I think it is fully playable, but obviously things have developed since then and some updates are needed. But the core repertoire is sound.

    It is still pretty reliable. I must admit, I would love to see an update by Schandorff for both QGD and Indian Defences.

  16. There have been literally thousands of games played by the best players in the world over many decades now after 4.Qb3 or 5.Qb3 – it will work fine, and is as good as anything else versus the Grünfeld. 🙂

  17. Chess Knights of yore spoke about the legend of the ‘lowly serf Shaw and how he emerged from five years in the dungeon grasping the 680 page long Holy Grail or as it was later renamed ‘The King’s Gambit’.

    Tis almost the 10th anniversary of that momentous and fateful day- will the Kingdom of QC be celebrating it in any manner……. such as a competition to win such tome?
    Paired up with A Matter of Endgame Technique’ they also provide excellent weight training.
    Winner to pay the extraordinarily high postage costs …..

  18. Benjamin Fitch

    Not that you’re saying otherwise, but I want to say that I believe The King’s Gambit was (/is) exactly as long as it needed to be. Also, without naming any names, only one solitary human being out of eight billion has subsequently claimed to have refuted anything in that book (as far as I know). Which is quite extraordinary.

    1. Jacob Aagaard

      He said he would deliver it soon. How long the editing process will be, I cannot tell you at this moment.

  19. Jacob Aagaard

    @Benjamin Fitch
    I am sure quite a lot of extra discoveries to the book exist, but the three of us, John, Andrew and I, did put a lot of energy into writing the book (John never wrote a book alone – except for his two Everyman books; but of course he had the final say on everything).

  20. Hi! How would you compare the upcoming ‘Endgame Labyrinths’ to ‘Sharp Endgames’ by Esben Lund?

  21. Hi! Another publishing company will soon release a book about Spassky’s best games. I’d rather buy Karolyi’s book on Spassky when it is published.
    But when ? By the end of 2023 ? 2024 first semester ?
    How many volumes ? 1 or more ?

  22. Playing the English is currently being typeset and the first section is away for proofreading, so the excerpt is maybe two weeks away. (I’m away on holiday next week and will be putting in corrections after that.)

    As for Spassky volumes 1 & 2, I’m well underway with editing the first volume, and it’s shaping up nicely so far. Both volumes will definitely be out in 2023.

  23. I noticed QC have published The King’s Gambit retrospectively on FC.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why GM Rep 13:The Open Spanish was not done if FC. Is the a book which may be retrospectively added to FC?

  24. @Jakub
    Yes, New in chess did the same with the Spassky v Fischer match aniversary although in was more obvious that was going to happen. So think have a keen interest in competitors books.

  25. Jacob Aagaard

    @John Simmons
    I think they translated a book Timman wrote in 1972 and then they did a new book with Fischer’s run to the match, same as we did.

    I am sure their book will be different, but still decent. As always.

  26. @Jacob Aagaard

    Ah that’s interesting and makes sense about the Timman book. I thought the annotations were very light by modern day standards.

    The marketing plan for match anniversary of both book companies made sense. Originally thought wouldn’t need any more books about it, but such a Fischer nut bought both quality chess ones in the end, and Timman’s. Doubt would be alone in doing that.

  27. About the playing the english book. Think Nikos will have work cut out to recommend something testing against 1c4 e6 2Nf3 d5 the queens gambit approach. At least two recent books recommending this for black, “Keep it simple for Black” and the more ambitious and better “Countering the Queens Gambit”. The idea of playing d4, sometimes going for reversed benoni positions looks as ambitious and promising a try for black as anything. Carlsen played it in recent world championship match. Find this quite funny because decades ago when knew no opening theory against the english played putting pawn in centre, and developing and did quite alright.
    Nikos did blog some suggestions against this, come to think about it, but have subsequently lost the link.

  28. Nikos’s thoughts at the time, of what to do if white avoids transposing to catalan and plays b3,
    was in What’s trendy in Opening Theory #11 on twitter. Black’s big idea of playing d4, is that even with white a tempo up the modern benoni isn’t so great, especially if white is using the tempo(s) to misplace a bishop with b3 and Bb2.

  29. I am looking at this book mainly for 1 c4 e5 & 1 c4 c5.
    Personally after 1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 d5 I would play 3 d4.

    In essence I play 1 c4 as a transpositional tool avoiding the Nimzo-Indian, various Benoni’s, Budapest Gambit, ACG and others.

    I don’t always think sticking religiously to The English is best.

    Anyway hope PDF sample isn’t too far off!

  30. Playing the English is away with the printer and the excerpt has been made.
    We’re just waiting for one of the more computer-literate of us to upload it.
    Thanks everyone for your patience.

  31. @The Doctor
    Good things come to those who wait
    (advertising campaign for Heinz ketchup in the 1980s and advertising campaign for Guinness stout in the 1990s)

  32. Thank you for all of your hard work Andrew. I can honestly say that this is one of the only books I have been looking forward to all year.

    In my opinion, you can never replace a chess book you are really looking forward to getting your hands on and exploring with a digital course of the same material. It does not bring the same emotions as having the book and a chess board in front of you.

  33. It’s great to see the PDF at last, especially the variation index at the back. Do you have a publication date for the book?

  34. Thanks for uploading the PDF
    A quick question
    Will the line 1 c5 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 g3 d5 be covered anywhere?

  35. Both Conceptual and Theoretical Rook Endings are now showing to be published in September. Nice! and looking forward to them.

  36. Hi to the QC team
    Just reading the Lichess review of Adams QC book. In full agreement of their ‘don’t give any hints’ criticism. Please can you make any future books just the position who to play…no further info such as difficulty level, who the players were, blurb such as how can white exploit x?
    Woodpecker was guilty of this… could you make sure this doesn’t happen or is this just me? You don’t get any hints in a real game

  37. @JB
    I instinctively thought the exact same thing and suggested the same change, but Jacob was adamant that players gain more benefit from solving exercises when they are given a hint about the difficulty level. It seems counterintuitive to me as well but, since Jacob is the one with vast experience of training players of varying levels by giving them exercises to solve, I trust his experience-based judgement more than my instincts on this matter. John saw it the same way.
    Possibly there is more of a case for removing information such as player names when first presenting the exercise, as this could trigger a memory if the game was well publicized. I’ll ask Jacob about this the next time we publish such a book. But ultimately, he will tend to have the final say on matters relating to exercises. He knows what he’s doing, so we ask readers to respect those decisions even if they seem counterintuitive.

  38. Andrew Greet :
    Possibly there is more of a case for removing information such as player names when first presenting the exercise, as this could trigger a memory if the game was well publicized. I’ll ask Jacob about this the next time we publish such a book.

    To my opinion books with diagrams only are really awful, and I tend to forget where I left.
    Doing Woodpecker again I remember last time I left in the middle of Smyslov – good place to start.

  39. @Andrew Greet
    Thanks Andrew, Fair enough Jacob has his own views. I’m all for difficulty rating and player names in the solution but he has the final.say. I tried to persuade him to orient the diagram with the side to play at the bottom and got nowhere so I’ll quit there but it was worth asking. I solved the names of the players issue in Woodpecker 1 by judicial use of a Sharpie but it did ruin a good book ?

  40. I entirely disagreed with this point.

    What I often see in training is people second guessing the exercises. Spending a lot of time on easy exercises, tomfind what they have missed, or thinking something is simple and missing a devious defence, thinking the exercise is easier than it is. Which comes to the core of your point: training is not playing. You can play games if you want a game experience. To improve it is often good to isolate skills and to slow down in a way not compatible with playing.

  41. Good evening Andrew,

    I haven’t heard much about it for a while so I thought I would ask if it is likely Playing the Nimzo-Indian by Castellanos will be published by Christmas, or is it more likely to be a 2024 release please?

    Thank you.

  42. Any chance we might get to see the pdf excerpts of the upcoming endgame books in the next couple of days? Obviously I’m gonna buy all of them anyway since they’ve got that QC logo…

  43. @Jacob Aagaard
    Thanks for your perspective Jacob and I get your point though as the positions all are by definition a critical moment where there is a solution rather than a real life position where there may not be a n absolute best mive… wasn’t expecting you to entirely disagree with my view though?. Expecting a difficulty level in Woodpecker 2 then but still can’t see any reason to have the player names. Soon as I see the word Count Brunswick I can almost choose Nxb5 as the solution without even looking at the diagram and found going through Woodpecker Ch 1 the second time I was often getting the solution from the names triggering the solution. Looks like I’m getting the Sharpie out again ?

  44. Christian :
    Any chance we might get to see the pdf excerpts of the upcoming endgame books in the next couple of days? Obviously I’m gonna buy all of them anyway since they’ve got that QC logo…

    Next excerpt to appear will be “Endgame Labyrinths” and that will appear this week.

    Excerpts of “Theoretical Rook Endgames” and “Conceptual Rook Endgames” will be soon after that.
    And thanks for your support!

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