Are we splitters?

Because of the slow progress on, and the extensive material for, THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – BLACK GAMBITS, we have decided to publish the book in two volumes. We just don’t want the readers to wait around for the second volume for another nine months, while the book is finished. So, we will publish it in two, slimmer and cheaper, volumes. The first will be available quite soon.

Obviously this has happened before with us – leading one planned 128 page book from Mihail Marin to be split twice, after one chapter turned out to be 480 pages in book form (GM3) and other 150 (half of GM4). Recently this also happened with the Grunfeld books by Avrukh, which were simply too thick as one volume, and are quite comprehensive as two.

We don’t want this to be a bad habit, but certainly it has happened a few times…

46 thoughts on “Are we splitters?”

  1. Michel Barbaut

    Hi QC Team,
    May we know how the two books will be organised ? First on black gambits vs 1.d4 and the 2nd on gambits vs 1.e4 ? Or anything else ? I’m happy with the White gambit book , so I’m excited about the Black ones. Bonus question : Any excertp of GM 10 soon ?
    May the force be with you ! πŸ˜‰

  2. Alekhine Power


    When shall be available a full HARDCOVER package of Mihail Marin’s GM-The English Opening 1, 2 & 3?

    Can you please launch HARDCOVER edition of The English Opening – Vol. 1, cause we desperately need it to satisfy our collectors needs πŸ™‚

  3. yes splitters indeed πŸ™‚ Aren’t gambits by Black riskier, so why two volumes? So does Volume one have a lot of coverage of the Marshall Attack?

  4. The first volume will be the Benko, Blumenfeld, Vaganian and English Gambit (1.c4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.f3 f5 6.exf5 Nh6!.

    The style will be a bit different, with different sorts of tactics than the first volume, which was focussing on xf7+ a lot :-).

  5. I forecast the following “splitting” of the GM Rep for 1.e4 when it comes out, 400+ pages each:

    Vol 1 – Philidor
    Vol 2 – Caro-Kann
    Vol 3 – French Winawer
    Vol 4 – French Classical and MacCutcheon
    Vol 5 – French with …dxe4
    Vol 6 – Ruy Lopez Chigorin
    Vol 7 – Ruy Lopez Breyer
    Vol 8 – Ruy Lopez Zaitsev (Jacob will be tired by now, and recommend the repetition)
    Vol 9 – Ruy Lopez Anti-Marshall
    Vol 10 – Open Ruy Lopez
    Vol 11 – Ruy Lopez Archangel
    Vol 12 – Ruy Lopez Modern Steinitz
    Vol 13 – Ruy Lopez w/o 3…a6
    Vol 14 – Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 e5
    Vol 15 – Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 e6
    Vol 16 – Sicilian Dragon
    Vol 17 – Sicilian Classical
    Vol 18 – Sicilian Scheveningen w/o …a6
    Vol 19 – Sicilian Sveshnikov
    Vol 20 – Sicilian Kalashnikov
    Vol 21 – Sicilian Accelerated Dragon
    Vol 22 – Other Open Sicilians and Nimzovich/O’Kelly Variations
    Vol 23 – Petroff
    Vol 24 – Latvian Gambit
    Vol 25 – Offbeat Open Games
    Vol 26 – Alekhine Exchange with …cxd6
    Vol 27 – Alekhine Exchange with …exd6
    Vol 28 – Pirc
    Vol 29 – Modern
    Vol 30 – Scandinavian with 2…Qxd5
    Vol 31 – Scandinavian with 2…Nf6
    Vol 32 – Jacob’s Will

    Total Pages – 14,000. Completion Date: July 2055
    Cover picture of Vol 32 – Jacob hunched over with a cane.

  6. @Patrick
    I think you have mistaken Quality Chess for another company. It will be five volumes and the divisions are already clear, and we have done a lot of work on the first volume already. Obviously at the moment I am focussing on the Tarrasch, which I hope to complete in the next two weeks. But after this 1.e4 will be my life :-).

  7. Patrick :I forecast the following β€œsplitting” of the GM Rep for 1.e4 when it comes out, 400+ pages each: […]
    Vol 30 – Scandinavian with 2…Qxd5P>

    Well, I guess this one will have to be splitted into
    Vol 30a – Scandinavian with 3.Nc3 Qa5
    Vol 30b – Scandinavian with 3.Nc3 Qd6
    Vol 30c – Scandinavian with 2…Qxd5 without 3.Nc3

  8. Jacob,

    I hope you didn’t misread the post. I figured with the number of volumes that the sarcasim would be obvious (as GID Player has sensed). Though it is kinda funny how books always plan to have X number of pages, and you end up often with at least 2X, if not more than that! The original draft might say “I’ll write 2 pages on what to do against the Dragon”, and soon that becomes 4, then 8, then 16, then 32, oops, wait a minute, Black also has these 2 possibilities on move 14, 64 now, oh, and what about this new 17th move that was found, now 128 pages, and it balloons to over 300 pages of Dragon coverage! πŸ™‚

    Just trying to bring a little light humor to the table. πŸ™‚

  9. @Patrick

    Hi Patrick,

    The first thing Jacob said to me when I walked into the office this morning was “Really funny comment by Patrick” so I think you are safe enough.

    Almost on topic: we put our names into Google Alert in case something interesting comes up. Recent example:
    “If you’re at Mount Hood and you hear echoes of ‘JapMob’ coming down the lane, look around, you could witness John Shaw front lipping the tube.”
    I’m pretty sure this is not about me.

  10. imho the schedule can be improved a bit πŸ˜€

    Vol 1 – Preface by GM Hubner
    Vol 2 – Aagaard and Watson discussing the Preface by GM Hubner
    Vol 3 – Philidor

  11. Jacob Aagaard :
    I think you have mistaken Quality Chess for another company. It will be five volumes and the divisions are already clear, and we have done a lot of work on the first volume already. Obviously at the moment I am focussing on the Tarrasch, which I hope to complete in the next two weeks. But after this 1.e4 will be my life .

    Am i busted “for life”? πŸ™‚

    @Patrick: The idea of Jacob hunched over with a cane at the back cover of the 32nd volume is hilarious, i can’t stop laughing from the moment i read it! The same goes for John’s comment.

  12. It always seems White repertoires are longer than Black repertoires. With White, you have to cover all of Black’s possibilities. So e4 for White will be three (slim) volumes longer than d4 (two thicker tomes).

    With Black it’s simply a matter of picking a defense that the author likes. By the way is there going to be a book for Black defending c4?

    I’m not trying to be too snarky πŸ™‚

  13. Dear Jacob,

    How come that the Capablanca’s top move versus 1.e4 haven’t yet been covered in the GM Repertoire series?

    Please do hire Marin to write a Grandmaster Repertoire 1.e4 e5!!

    After all this is THE BEST MOVE vs 1.e4, and he has good experience playing it. Besides, his works (“Beating the Open Games” 2nd ed. and “A Spanish Repertoire for Black”) are excellent starting points. You could “force” him to write a manuscript in no less than 3 months πŸ™‚

    Contents could be as follows:

    1. Ruy Lopez:

    – Classical
    – Open
    – Breyer
    – Berlin
    – Zaitsev
    – Chigorin

    2. Italian attempt:

    – Two Knights!

    3. King’s Gambit

    – Kieseritzky!

  14. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Why would Marin write another repertoire book on 1. e4 e5 if he already wrote two? And I think one should consider Avrukh’s expertise on the Breyer and write a book on it, repertoire or otherwise. πŸ™‚

  15. @mikeel
    Avrukh will write two books: 1.d4 without c2-c4 as a follow-up, and a book about being Black in the English, Reti, Bird, Sokolsky, Harry Potter and Larsen openings…

  16. Gilchrist is a Legend

    It would be nice if Avrukh did a book on the English and Reti–I have not seen very many books for a repertoire on these topics. If he completes those two volumes, then he will have completed GM Repertoire books on an entire chess player’s repertoire…

  17. Dear Jacob and John et al,

    On Marin and new projects, I would love to see Marin writing a book on the Pirc. Isn’t he life-long Pirc player. I know Vigus’ book is good bur it would be good to see a “Marin” treatment of the opening. There is alos the added interesting bit about Kramnik playing the Pirc to be thrown into the mix.

  18. What will Avrukh be recommending against the English? I hope it’s 1…e5!. The literature on meeting 1.c4 with 1…e5 is very limited. The only book that I know of that recommends meeting 1.c4 with 1…e5 is “Opening for Black According to Karpov”. 1…c5 was already covered throughly in Palliser’s “Beating Unusal Chess Openings”.

  19. @M.A.S.
    I have no idea what he wants to do. I am sure he will treat various options, like 1…e6, because the idea is for the repertoire to be useful for all players.

  20. @Alekhine Power
    I am not really sure what to do with this comment. I sort of answered the concept of new books anyway.

    I think 2…d5! 3.exd5 exf4 is the best option against the King’s Gambit.

    I don’t want Marin to cover all Ruy Lopez main lines. Sounds like too much work!!

  21. @Jacob Aagaard

    Sorry Jacob, but regarding King’s Gambit you’re wrong!

    According to best opening books available the strongest Black is 2… exf4!!:
    – Rybka 4 by Dufek
    – Hiarcs 13 Professional: The strongest available book on earth πŸ™‚

    Regarding GM Black 1.e4 e5! I mentioned several main lines from which Marin can choose what he wants.

  22. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    You read my mind . He still need to do something against 1.e4 though.

    From what I see of Avrukh’s games against 1. e4, he seems to play the Breyer Ruy Lopez and the Sicilian Kan. Since there is already a GM Repertoire by Ftacnik on the Sicilian, it would make sense for him to write a book on the Breyer. Concerning the English, I see that Avrukh answers with the Symmetrical, but I am not sure which line he wishes to recommend.

  23. @Alekhine Power
    I am sure Marin is very grateful.

    If you want the computer programs opinion, buy their product. If you want a human opinion, buy our products. Don’t think we will just copy the opening book of a computer program…

  24. Jacob Aagaard :We don’t announce books under pressure from the blog.

    LOL, Nice! Picking up on what others are “really” doing, trying to low-ball Quality Chess with indirect comments to try to squeeze advanced information out of Jacob and John.

    There is a simple solution to all of this. Whatever Avrukh decides to write about is what he decides to write about. If you don’t like the lines he gives, use another source. Defending Flank Openings, simply put, just isn’t going to have the same level of theoretical coverage as say, the Sicilian Najdorf, which you could write something the size of the World Book encyclopedia on.

    Anything other than 1…c5 or 1…e5 can EASILY be found in many other books. 1…e6 or 1…c6, books on the Reti will cover what you need. As for other responses, many of them can be found in d4-repertoire books. For example, Fighting the Anti-King’s Indians by Dembo covers the English and 1.Nf3 for those that play the KID or Grunfeld as Black vs 1.d4. For those that play the Stonewall Dutch, Johnsen’s book on the Stonewall has a full chapter on 1.c4/1.Nf3 with in-depth coverage and move order ideas.

    1…c5 and 1…e5 against 1.c4, with their high levels of popularity compared to virtually any other flank opening, tends to get lots of coverage in articles and periodicals, like New In Chess Yearbook, Chessbase Magazine,, and Informant.

    If Avrukh is a Symmetrical player as Black, it would only make sense for him to write on the Symmetrical. The quality of the work is often impacted directly by whether or not the author actually plays what he is writing about.

    Picture Joe Gallagher writing a book on the King’s Indian, and John Emms writing a book on the Nimzo-Indian. Now picture Joe Gallagher writing a two-book GM Repertoire on the NID/QID, and John Emms writing a two-book GM Repertoire on the King’s Indian (I’m well aware he’s like, the head of Everyman, so this would never happen, but hypothetically). The former scenario would result in some well written literature in all likelihood. The latter scenario? One might thing Eric Schiller wrote those books!

    Personally, I’d rather see Avrukh write on lines he knows, not lines based on popularity or demand by Quality Chess Blog posters.

  25. Gilchrist is a Legend

    This work by Avrukh would complete QC’s Grandmaster Repertoire series on repertoires for every response. I cannot find many repertoire books that are focussed on responding to 1. c4 or 1. Nf3. Whilst Avrukh looks to play the Symmetrical against the English, the book is based on responses for all players (GrΓΌnfeld, King’s Indian, Nimzo, QGD, etc.), so I assume he will cover the Symmetrical for GrΓΌnfeld players, King’s Indian setup for King’s Indian players, 1…e6 for QGD players, 1…c6 for Slav players. But if he did that, the book would be very heavy. Hopefully he does not split the book into three volumes πŸ™‚

  26. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What will the book be called? And more interestingly, which moves and flag colours will be on the cover? πŸ™‚

  27. Looking for a flag you haven’t used yet?

    You could do Red and White stripes on one side, and Blue with White Stars on the other side! πŸ™‚

  28. John is a nationalist, I am a unionist. We both love Scotland and both love England (albeit a little less maybe…). Maybe both then!?

  29. Black Gambits 1 is 97% typeset. Clearly we made the right decision dividing this book into two volumes. The first volume is 360 pages.

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