Seven titles added to the Coming Soon section

I finally got around to updating the coming soon section and adding seven books. We will add text to them throughout the day.

172 thoughts on “Seven titles added to the Coming Soon section”

  1. #Chess Evolution 1 by Artur Yusupov

    Well I’m happy because I bought all Jussupow’s titles in original German:)

    And I worked trough few months ago, with these success ratio results 🙂

    Openings- 80 %
    Tactics- 93 %
    Calculation – 86 %
    Strategy – 67 %
    Positional Play – 56 %
    Endgame – 87 %

  2. I’m looking forward to the Evolution books a lot, as I want to have the complete series. Is Evolution 1 still planned for a 26th Aug release? And Evolution 2 for next year? Or have the dates changed? Using the publishing schedule from 24th June as my reference.

  3. Im looking forward to the “Fundamental’s Boxset” from Yusupov Series, will you offer it soon or at the end when the whole series (9 Books) are published?

  4. @James
    The publication will be mid-September. We are coordinating various things at the moment. The main culprit is me, for being late with the Tarrasch book (because a lot of business things have been going on, essentially, and they take first priority). The last two boos in the series will indeed come next year.

  5. @FM to Be
    We will print the book now, then investigate the options for a box, and then hope to have the box set ready for combined publication in September. What we really want is to psuh the name FUNDAMENTALS forward, and CE backwards. Soon this will be more apparent!

  6. GM Aagaard:

    How is progress coming on the two books that I am particularly looking forward to purchasing: Understanding Chess Tactics 2nd edition and Advanced Chess Tactics by Psakhis?

    The last I heard they were slated for an October release.


  7. Klaus Kristensen

    Positional Chess Sacrifices by Mihai Suba is a book I’m really looking forward to since this very important subject is not well covered in chess literature.
    I know that some books touch upon the subject, but to my knowledge no book is entirely devoted to the subject.

  8. At the moment we are hoping for a November release. We have the raw material ready for the 2nd ed. of UCT and ACT is almost finished by the translator. However, the business side of things has been very time consuming, and there are other books waiting to go into earlier slots. So, November is my hope.

  9. Wonder if can provide some details about Yusupov box sets. Will there be three different box sets of three books?, and will they be in hardback?

    Thank you.


  10. Klaus Kristensen

    @Jacob Aagaard
    There are plenty of book on sacrifices In general I have several myself, but to my knowledge there are none devoted especially to the topic positional chess sacrifices.

  11. @Klaus Kristensen
    I have not read Suba’s book, so how much he has kept to the order I don’t know. I know the book deals a lot with intuitive sacrifices, so much he wanted to change the title – but the computer says no ;-).

  12. I’m wondering, which books of Jussupow are good for 2200+ players? I have only studied opening books for some time so I need to be filled in a bit 🙂 Thanks.

  13. @Duriel
    Your question was asked about a year ago. I’ll paraphrase the answer

    work through the whole series. There are likely a few chapters (concepts), scattered through out ‘simpler’ books, which will be ‘new’ to you. If a chapter feels too simple for you – skip it, but do solve the exercises – you’ll work through them quickly.

    That’s the end of the paraphrased answer.

    A club mate (2270 fide) borrows books from me and reads them on the train, without a board. He first borrowed the first orange book. Came back in a two weeks asking for another book. “Did you learn anything from that one?” I asked.

    “One position was interesting,” he said.

    “Ok, I’m working on the second orange one. You can borrow the first blue one.” I said and he took the blue one.

    A few months and he was back. “Learned something from that one,” he said. He’d learned new ideas from two of the themed chapters and a handful of positions from other chapters.

    That night at the bar, I gave him the first green book. He sat there at the pub ‘reading’ for over an hour thenhanded it back to me, “Give me book two in blue or orange. No more greens!”

  14. @Jesse

    Exactly Jesse, you’re right!

    I’m at Elo 2100 and here are my success ratio results (openings excluded):

    1. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I (aka Build up your chess 1) =73%
    2. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II (aka Boost Your Chess 1) =69%
    3. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III (aka Chess Evolution 1) =83%
    4. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I (aka Build up your chess 2) =77%
    5. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II (aka Boost Your Chess 2) =72%
    6. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I (aka Build up your chess 3) =58%
    7. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II (aka Boost Your Chess 3) =49%

    Well, I think that even a Elo 2400 player CAN NOT SCORE 100% 🙂

    So, the books are tremendous and a top notch 🙂

  15. @Aagaard, Nikolaos Ntirlis: GM Rep The Tarrasch Defence


    In your forthcoming book shall you repair the omissions which Keilhack, author of the best book about QGD Tarrasch named “Die Tarrasch-Verteidigung”, pointed out reviewing your earlier book on Tarrasch named “Meeting 1d4”, where he states, inter alia:

    “…Der erste Eindruck ist gut, sieht man einmal vom Fehlen eines Variantenverzeichnisses ab: Gefällige Darstellung, Ideen und typische Mittelspielstellungen werden anschaulich erläutert, am Ende wird der Leser mit einem kompletten Repertoire versorgt. Nicht nur 1. d4 wird abgedeckt, sondern auch Rezepte gegen 1. Sf3, 1. c4, 1. f4 usw. angeboten…

    …Wenn man hinter die Kulissen schaut, ist das Bild freilich längst nicht mehr so positiv. Das vorgeschlagene Gesamtrepertoire ist – milde ausgedrückt – uneinheitlich. Gegen 1. Sf3/1. c4/1. g3 kann man sehr wohl im Geiste der Tarrasch-Verteidigung spielen, mit vielen Chancen zur späteren Überleitung. Vorgeschlagen wird jedoch, 1. Sf3 mit d5/c6/Lg4 zu beantworten…Seltsamerweise kommen die Autoren nach 1. c4 auf 1. … e6 2. Sf3 d5 3. g3 Sf6 zurück. Klare Zugfolgenhinweise zu den verwirrenden Überleitungsmöglichkeiten erhält der Leser nicht. Gerade Amateure möchten – im Unterschied zum Profi – mit einem eher schmalen, dafür aber “vernetzten” Repertoire (Überleitungen!) versorgt werden…

    Ansonsten easy living mit der Tarrasch-Verteidigung. Leichter Ausgleich allerorten. Unproblematische Varianten werden mitunter breitgetreten, während bei kritischen Ideen die Würze in der Kürze liegt…

    …Ich weiß nicht, ob sie mein Buch überhaupt eingesehen haben. Ein Quellenverzeichnis fehlt, und Zitieren ist auch nicht ihre Stärke. “Falsch”und “richtig” mag mitunter subjektiv sein, doch ein Eröffnungsautor sollte immer bestmöglich informiert sein, und das scheint bei A/L nicht der Fall. Und das nicht nur im Hinblick auf mein Buch, auch einige Tarrasch-Diskussionen im New in Chess Yearbook (54/61) scheinen an den Autoren vorbeigegangen zu sein…

    Fazit: Der stets optimistische Jacob Aagaard ist ein blendender Rhetoriker, der Ihnen alles schmackhaft machen kann. Ein guter Analytiker bzw. gründlicher Forscher ist er nicht.

    Harald Keilhack, Schach 09/2002″

  16. You can be sure that the bibliography checked is as extensive as it could get, meaning that i examined every source available. I could never pass the Keilhack book. It was great, especialy considering the year of the first edition. This book couldn’t escape from the fate every book has (especialy in the pre-computer era), analytical mistakes. Anyway, having experience working with Jacob i can say with confidence that the last statement of Keilhack, that Jacob is not a good analyst (my German is very poor, this is what i understood, correct me if i am wrong please) is way too wrong.

    I think that both me and Jacob can be described as perfectionists. It took as very much time before we were finally satisfied with the material of our book. Too much time was used in analysing new ideas for White that have the potential to create problems in the future. Ideas that haven’t even played and are way too deep in the middlegame. I think that at least this feature of the book will be apreciated by the future reviewers. Anyway, i am excited by this work (as it is my first one with international publication) and i know that also Jacob is. I am confident that we will receive good reviews. In fact i am expecting great reviews but in Greece we say: “when you expect to get many cherries, hold a small basket!”

  17. @Duriel
    I found a few things interesting in the Fundamentals series, and am sure you would find at least 1/4 of the material interesting. Beyond the Basics would already give you some real challenges, and Mastery would suit you well. I have a 2250 student, who is reading all the books…

  18. @Alekhine Power
    First of, this is not a mistake in the repertoire, even if something was potentially omitted. Black is happy to play …e6 if White is forced to play c4. If White has not played c4, it is a debate taste choice.

    Secondly and most importantly, our book will not cover any position before 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5. A sideline-book is on its way, Boris Avrukh is working away.

  19. Jacob, I have a silly question that you have probably already answered somewhere: In what order should I read the Yusupov books? Should I read Orange 1, 2 and 3 and then move on to the Blue, or should I do Orange 1, Blue 1, etc.?

  20. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Is 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 considered, or is White basically forced to transpose with a later Nc3?

  21. @Jacob

    I suggest that you launch a new HARDBACK COLLECTORS EDITION of following books:

    1. San Luis 2005 by Alik Gershon & Igor Nor
    2. My System by Aron Nimzowitsch
    3. Chess Praxis by Aron Nimzowitsch
    4. Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky

    You could number each exemplar (like hardbacks of Muller’s “Bobby Fischer – The Career and Complete Games”) I’m sure that you shall sell them all 🙂

    PS Also some of mentioned books seemed to be sold out or have bad typesetting.

  22. Grandmaster v Amateur sounds a fascinating book. Any pointers on what each author has chosen to write about? Be nice if Jacob could contribute a chapter, although maybe you have said everything you have to say on this topic in the “Excelling at” series?

  23. Jacob, Nikolaos: If I understand correctly, the Tarrasch book only starts after d4-d5; c4 and you gave some of your material on 1 Nf3 and 1 c4 to Avrukh’s anti d4 book. That sounds fair enough, but probably Avrukh will try to reach the Grünfeld with black and Tarrasch players will try to reach the Tarrasch?

  24. @student
    The idea of Avrukh’s book is to cover more than one line against various options, so that all players are covered, if you play …d5 or not, and if you play …e6 or …g6. Only those playing the Dutch or various minor openings will not find their move-orders/set-ups covered here.

  25. I am waiting a few days to put up a new scedule, because I want to put some other things on it. So I have not calculated it accurately yet. Probably around Oct 7 or so.

  26. @Jacob, referring to the Anti D4 Avrukh book, I think I remember reading that it wouldn’t take too long for Avrukh to write this book, so could we be seing it in early 2012? Or is Summer 2012 or later more likely?

  27. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I wonder if Avrukh will recommend playing for a Grünfeld with no d4 i.e. 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 because I have not seem him play this yet.

  28. Are there any future plans besides the KI for other GM reportoire books (I’m a big fan)?

    I have another question, after buying the experts book I also bought ‘ How to beat the sicilian defence’ of Gawain Jones. In the beginning I was a bit sceptical because in the bibliography there were very less recent books (no Bologan) but after reading/studying I find it a great book. It is very easy and pretty to read with good analysis and a lot of great ideas. My question is did you consider this author for the experts book?

  29. @Raffie
    I am on very good terms with Gawain and was actually the person who signed off on his final IM-norm back in the day as organiser of the event he made it in. We have talked to him about writing, but the impression is that he is deeply focussed on playing at the moment. And so he should be.

    Andrew and John are both pleased with his new Everyman book, although we have a general feeling that there cannot be a real edge there. But Gawain has certainly done his best to look for one, and Black does have questions to answer as it stands.

  30. Jacob Aagaard :@Raffie I am on very good terms with Gawain and was actually the person who signed off on his final IM-norm back in the day as organiser of the event he made it in. We have talked to him about writing, but the impression is that he is deeply focussed on playing at the moment. And so he should be.
    Andrew and John are both pleased with his new Everyman book, although we have a general feeling that there cannot be a real edge there. But Gawain has certainly done his best to look for one, and Black does have questions to answer as it stands.

    Has anybody ever questioned how “genuine” a “real edge” really is? Technically, there is no such thing as an edge in chess. All positions, including the starting position, are either a force win for White, a force win for Black (i.e. starting position is Zugzwang), or a draw, so all assessments should be +-, =, or -+

    Going on that basis, can one really say that Gawain’s choice of lines lacks any “edge” compared to the Open Sicilian? I had White in the following Closed Sicilian game this weekend. The Closed Sicilian never seems to have a good reputation, but Spassky played it all the time, won with it, and here, White just continues to build up microscopic amounts of pressure until Black decided to crack wth a horrible trade on move 32, opening up the file for the White Queen. White just as easily could have taken on f6 the previous move, but it opens the e-file for Black:

    1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 d6 5.d3 Nf6 6.f4 e5 7.Nf3 Nd4 8.O-O Bg4 9.Ne2 Nxf3+ 10.Bxf3 Bxf3 11.Rxf3 Be7 12.Rxf3 Qc7 13.Be3 c4 14.Nc3 O-O 15.Qe2 Rac8 16.d4 b5 17.a3 Qb7 18.d5 a5 19.Bg1 Ra8 20.a4 b4 21.Nb5 exf4 22.gxf4 Rac8 23.Rg3 Rfe8 24.Bd4 Kh8 25.Rd1 Qd7 26.Qf3 Bf8 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Rg1 Bh6 29.Kh1 Rg8 30.e5 Rxg3 31.Rxg3 Bf8 32.Nd4 fxe5 33.fxe5 Bg7 34.Rxg7 Kxg7 35.Qf6+ Kf8 36.Nf5 1-0

    So what this means is, likely 1.e4 =, that after Black’s trade, which I find inferior, but maybe it’s not, is either 11.Rxf3 +- or 11.Rxf3 =, and same thing goes for moves 12 thru 31, but that 32…fxe5 is +- in my book.

  31. @Patrick

    Hi Patrick,

    A typo in the moves? Copy-and-paste from CB is faster and more reliable, even if you have to input all the moves first.

    On the “real edge” debate. In principle it’s a win, loss or a draw, but since usually we can’t know which, we have to make a useful approximation. I vaguely remember a book which translated assessments into an expected score. So “slight edge” means White will score, say, 55%; “clear advantage” = 75%; “plus-minus” = 100% (all percentages made up by me).

    That makes some sense to me, even though I can’t remember which book it was in. By an American, maybe?

    Jacob reminds me: Lev Alburt’s “Building Up Your Chess.”


    I. GAME COLLECTIONS – new series titled “World CHampions” and “Prominet players”:
    a) Wilhelm Steinitz (1886–1894)
    – there isn’t any single book with the analysis of his games and contribution to strategy

    b) Emanuel Lasker (1894–1921)
    – only Winter’s books about life and Linder’s on some games

    c) José Raúl Capablanca (1921–1927)
    – only Linder’s book on some games

    d) Max Euwe (1935–1937)
    – only Münninghoff’s book

    e) Tigran Petrosian (1963–1969)
    – NO BOOK

    f) Boris Spassky (1969–1972)
    – NO BOOK

    g) Vladimir Kramnik (2000–2007)
    h) Paul Morphy (1858–1862)
    – NO BOOK

    i) Siegbert Tarrasch (1862–1934)
    – NO BOOK

    j) Paul Keres (1916–1975)
    – NO BOOK

    j) Efim Geller (1925–1998)
    – NO BOOK

    a) Alexander Kotov (1913-1981): The Art of the Middle Game; Think Like a Grandmaster; Play Like a Grandmaster; Train Like a Grandmaster; The Soviet School of Chess

    b) Pachman, Luděk: Modern Chess Strategy; Modern Chess Tactics; Complete Chess Strategy vol. 1, 2 & 3;

    c) Vukovic Vladimir – CROATIAN IM: Art of Attack in Chess, Sacrifice.

    d) Max Euwe: The Middlegame

  33. @Alekhine Power
    There are books on Petrosian, Spassky and Capablanca out there. A bit old, but they exist. There was a ChessCafe book on Morphy. There is a 300 games of Tarrasch out there. Two volumes by Keres on Keres. Geller’s book is called The application of Chess Theory, I think (can’t be bothered looking at the shelves. The Chess Classics you suggest are all in print, with the exception of The Soviet School of Chess, which I have a personal copy of, but would not want to reprint.

  34. @Alekhine Power
    – Soltis: “Why Lasker Matters” (Batsford 2006), 320 pages
    – Forster, Hansen, Negele: “Emanuel Lasker – Denker, Weltenbürger, Schachweltmeister (Exzelsior 2009), 1097 pages (well, in German …)

  35. I would like to see an english translation of Keres book on 1948 World Championship which is always cited by Russian speakers as fantastic.

  36. Others not mentioned:

    Capablanca’s Best Games – Harry Golombek

    There’s a book on Kramnik’s games (Red Cover). Forgot the publisher, but the same one that did Khalifman’s Games (Orange cover)

    Everyman also has many of those players. The Chess Secrets Series (the upcoming one on Giants of Innovation has Steinitz, and I believe the one on strategy by McDonald has Capablanca). The My Great Predecessors series. Also “The Masters” series, which has Spassky, Spielmann, Alekhine, and Tal

    There are many classics on Petrosian.

    Chess Stars did a series on Lasker. I have the 2 books on Botvinnik from them.

    Out of all the names you gave, the only one I can’t think of a book about is Geller, but that doesn’t mean one hasn’t been written!

  37. @Patrick
    I saved you there – in advance ;-).

    However, relating to Kramnik, there is a point. Nothing since 2000 has been published…

    I saw that Gambit has a third edition on Anand’s Best Games coming btw.

  38. I have a copy of Grandmaster Geller at the Chessboard. It’s a translation of his autobiography published in Odessa in 1962. It’s a good read. I think there is room for another book on Spassky since I’m not a fan of any English-language book of his games.
    The Keres book on the 1948 championship would be an interesting volume, but Quality has so many great-looking new books coming out that I imagine rereleasing older books is a less attractive option.

  39. Jacob,

    When will you announce GM REP KING’S INDIAN? Kotronias is the writer?

    Since it covers ECO E60-99, shall we have 1, 2 or 3 books?

    Finaly, when will we start shaping our Black repertoires with THE KID?

  40. hi jacob i wonder if there are french defence books coming one day many greetings and keep up the good work kutlu hasan

  41. @Neil Sullivan
    I imagine there would be very few customers for the 1948 book. We are trying to do a lot of very interesting things here, as well as provide some people (especially writers) with a way to make a living. I don’t particularly want to stray too far into non-commercial projects, as we have done in the past…

  42. Jacob Aagaard :
    @Neil Sullivan
    I don’t particularly want to stray too far into non-commercial projects, as we have done in the past…

    Ok if this is your policy about which I have personal doubts. But then let me suggest following:


    a) A Modern Workbook for Master
    – 250 exercises in Pawn endings, 350 exercises in Rook endings, 400 exercises for other endings

    b) In the Kramnik’s endgame roadster
    – analysis of his endgames masterpieces


    a) Veselin Topalov
    – dynamic and unprecedented power play with fueling aggressiveness

    b) Judit Polgar
    – the best of the best: woman beauty, the core and the power chess

    c) Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk
    – the genius on the abyss of madness

    d) Vladimir Kramnik
    – the founder of THE Kramnik style


    a) A Modern Manual for Master
    – classification of elements with the best illustrative examples

    a) A Modern Workbook for Master
    – 500 exercises with instructive solutions

    Good enough?

  43. @werner
    Talking of Germans. I read a Göring quote (in “Agent Zigzag”) yesterday, where he said that after the war he wanted to buy a British radio, so that he would then have one that had always worked… How the world has changed!

  44. 2.c4 e6! 3.Nc3(?) (3.Nf3? c5! =) c5! (=)
    Jks! (not really) I like your company!

    On a serious note, there was something obscure i saw ages ago like ‘Cutting edge the Nimzo Indian’ – Brunello (?) Is that still happening? Sorry if its already been answered i dont frequent this blog

  45. hmmmm, if 1.d4 d5! 2.c4 e6! and 3.Nc3? is answered by 3…c5!, 3…Nf3? is answered by 3…c5!, and Tarrasch players have the advantage against the Catalan of, well, playing the Tarrasch, and since 3.cxd5 exd5 merely gives Black additional options in addition to transposing to the Tarrasch, then White must have only 1 answer, and it “refutes” ther Tarrasch Defense:

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.c5!! Stops the Tarrasch right in it’s tracks, and any undermining of …e5 drops a tempo compared to say, the Slav, since you did …e7-e6 and now you will have to do …e6-e5.

    So on that logic, 3.c5!! is White’s best move. Now why didn’t GMs think of this? 🙂

  46. Actually 3.c5!! is examined in chapter 56, under the title “Tries of refutation!” together with 3.Nh3! (trying to get to f4 and put pressure on d5) and the “Tarrasch Wing Gambit” 3.b4!! Common logic cannot evaluate these moves correctly, but extensive computer analysis proves that the path Black needs to follow is really narrow if he wants to equalise gradually in a deep endgame! 😀

  47. Of course i am kidding (and of course you understood that already! 🙂 ) I actually think that revealing what is our aproach vs the main line 9.Bg5 c4 will spoil all the fun. I am really curious to see how amazed will everybody be by our recommendations. I think that we completelly re-built the whole opening together with Jacob. And i really believe that seperate from each other we couldn’t make that happen. We completed each other’s work quite nicely. But the readers are the ones who are going to evaluate our effort at the end. But for now i can say with confidence that i am happy with what i did, and more than happy with what Jacob did already for the book. I hope that the readers will be even more than that happy at the end!

  48. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Would it be possible for you to do a pdf giving a line against the English for the Tarrasch as well? If you have the time that would be great, and will complement the book I think.

  49. @James
    Tarrasch against the English!? I think Nikos might want to give a few things in our September newsletter. Maybe not, I have not talked to him.

    The following is an important line for Black:

    Marin – Granda Zuniga, Benasque 2010
    1. c4 e6 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. Bb2 Bb7 8. e3
    Qc8 9. Nc3 dxc4 10. bxc4 c5 11. Qe2 Rd8 12. Rfd1 Nc6 13. Rac1 Na5 14. d3 Ne8
    15. Nb1 Bc6 16. Bc3 Qa6 17. Nbd2 Bf6 18. Bxf6 Nxf6 19. Bf1 Rac8 20. Nb3 Ba8 21.
    Bg2 Nc6 22. Rb1 Nb4 23. Rb2 Qa3 24. Nc1 Rd6 25. Rb3 Qa4 26. e4 Nd7 27. Rd2 h6
    28. Qe3 Nf8 29. h4 Rcd8 30. Ne5 Nd7 31. Nf3 Nb8 32. Bf1 N8c6 33. Be2 Nd4 34.
    Nxd4 Rxd4 35. Rbb2 e5 36. Bf1 Qd7 37. a3 Nc6 38. Nb3 Rd6 39. Kh2 Ne7 40. Bh3
    Qa4 41. Nc1 Qxa3 42. Rdc2 Qa6 43. Rd2 Nc6 44. Ne2 Nb4 45. Nc1 Qa1 46. Nb3 Qa3
    47. Bf1 a5 48. Rb1 Qa4 49. Nc1 Nc2 50. Qf3 Nd4 51. Qh5 g6 52. Qd1 Qxd1 53. Rxd1
    Bxe4 54. Na2 Nf3+ 55. Kh3 Bxd3 56. Bxd3 Rxd3 57. Rxd3 Rxd3 58. Rxb6 Rd2 59. Nc3
    Rxf2 0-1

  50. Jacob,

    I’d like to ask a question. A few months ago we played a blitz game on playchess. You opened 1.d3, but the next move you played d4. And you played the Tarrasch with white. I’m wondering, was it a slip or since you were writing the book on the Tarrasch, did you always play 1.d3 2.d4 to try the Tarrasch not just with black but also with White(same position but different colours). Thanks.

  51. I’d be happy to share with you all the stuff i have on English. It is some classical stuff i have been collecting for many years that form a solid repertoire for Black. I’ll send it to Jacob someday (soon, i hope, as my Army duty is hard these days!) and he’ll decide what to do with it.

    Playing 1.d3 and then 2.d4 reminds me of myself when i was a Dragon-fanatic (i am not these days of course, i have grown up!) when i played all the time 1.c3 in order to answer 1…e5 with 2.c4!

  52. Seriously, this is no joke. Someone that I knew played Black against a Latvian Gambit fanatic, such a fanatic that their game started 1.e4 e5 2.f3 Nf6 3.f4. No joke!

    What’s wrong with the Dragon? Nothing, as long as you are happy with a draw. Not that I’m any kind of dragon fanatic, but it’s one of the few openings that I’m aware of where variations are out there figured out all the way to a forced draw.

    The Dragon I merely recall someone saying that there are lines figured out to a draw, but I can’t say I have the proof. The only opening that I’m well aware of that’s figured out to a draw is the 4…Qxd5 variation of the Open Tarrasch Variation in the French. I don’t recall the line that well as I don’t play the Tarrasch as White, and quit the French in 2007 except 1 tournament in 2009, but I recall White sacrifices a Knight on g7 around move 14 or 15, Black plays some …Ng3 move around move 20 or so, and a couple of moves later it’s White that has the choice to take a forced draw in the mid-20s or so, or playing another move that allows for winning chances, but I recall it being very chancy, and possibly dubious.

    All the more reason I quit the French as Black (will still play the White side). The exchange is a draw. The Tarrasch is either a draw (3…c5), or better for White (3…Nf6) . The advance, right around 2007, was starting to cause more headaches for Black as ideas were found for White in the 5…Qb6 6.a3 lines, and of all games where I faced 3.Nc3, if I responded 3…Nf6, 75% of the time I faced the Steinitz, 4.e5, instead of 4.Bg5, allowing my favorite, the MacCutcheon. I did OK with the Steinitz, but most games were either dull or a nagging edge for White with little winning chances for Black.

    Of course, there are other draw lines out there as well if players decide to follow the draw lines, like the Zaitsev in the Ruy Lopez, some line in the Pirc with an early 3-fold repetition where Black toggles his Queen (I don’t know the line as I don’t play the Pirc), and a line in the Averbakh Modern where White chases Black’s Queen, just to name a few.

  53. Gilchrist is a Legend


    The Najdorf has countless amounts of draws, perhaps at least one draw in each subvariation, but it never stopped me from playing it. The Exchange French is not exactly a draw as I think you said you live in the States, you must have followed Robert Hess’s games; he wins a lot with the Exchange French against high opposition. The French Tarrasch 3…c5 I have 3,0/4, and that is with the IQP position (4. exd5 exd5 5. Ngf3 or 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Qe2+ Be7 7. dxc5), so not totally a draw 🙂

    I am not sure how often people actually actively seek these drawing lines in practise, since there was a repertoire books on the Zaitsev, as well as all of those Najdorf repertoire books…

  54. @Igor
    Sorry to let you down on this one. They are not missing and there was been no mistake. We simply don’t think an opening index is important in these books. Especailly the Karpov book has tons of indexes already :-).

  55. Hi

    (a)If/when you reprint or make a 2nd ed of Ftacnik’s Sicilian can you make it so it doesn’t fall apart so easily. I made it to ch 18, then mine just disintegrated at the last chapters.

    (b)Please put openings indexes in games collections books-I use them for preparation by opennings. Ommision of this kind of index is the biggest mistake you guys have made!!

    Mike Yip

  56. Personally I like an opening index too. When I have a players best of games it comes in handy to check the openings that are covered and where to find them.
    It is not that much space is it? Only half a page or one page at the most?

  57. Personally, I think opening indexes for a bio book are a mistake. You can flip thru the book to get the idea of whether a player is an e4 player, a d4 player, etc.

    Therefore, someone interested in a tactician should easily see not to buy a book on Capablanca’s games while a slow, positional player would clearly not be interested in Kasparov.

    However, a full index of openings is a mistake. If you want to study Najdorf games, get an opening book on the Najdorf, and consult your database. Bio books should require reading to fully understand. Similar to a book that I recall reading, not sure which one, may have been Aagaard’s Stonewall Dutch book, but not sure, where it was intentionally set to not highlight where Black’s ideas begin, and force you to read thru White’s ideas in order to find the starting point of Black’s ideas.

    Same concept here. The purpose of reading a bio book is to learn a player’s style of play, not an opening. Karpov is a positional player, not a Caro-Kann player. Yes, he does play the Caro-Kann, but he also plays other openings that lead to his style of play, and if you want to master positional play, you need to go thru his Queen’s Indians, Nimzo-Indians, and even his occasional 1.e4.

    I play 1…e5 against 1.e4, and am going back to 1.e4, but while I’m reading Alexandra Kosteniuk’s “Diary of a Chess Queen”, I’m also going thru her Sicilian games.

  58. I personally never look at anything that is at the back of the book. After the last game or last variation of the book is finished, the rest of the pages are unnecessary for me. I would rather see some extra analysis on the pages that are used for any kind of indexes or whatever is usually there at the end of chess books.

  59. @Patrick
    We are talking about a (half) page at the end of the book for the completeness. How can this be “a mistake” I don’t know… and the discussion how an (additional) index defines the purpose of a book is a pure nonsense.

    Personally im learning an opening more from complete, well commented games (where endgames are included! :P) than from a boring opening book. So for example I find very handy to look directly at the opening index when im searching a Karpov Ruy Lopez game, instead of your method flip thru 1400 pages / 2 volumes.

    about space: on almost every QC book 16/32 pages are wasted due to bad typographic choices / mistakes: blank pages inside the book (?? – Gutenberg), no hyphenation, hard returns between paragraphs…
    in general I don’t like the typesetting: everything on the page is floating, no vertical justification, diagrams (of variable size) out of “margins” (bottom of the page), board coordinates (imho useless) too big, poor font kerning…
    why not hire a pro just for the final editing? then in a couple of days you can print the book with a professional layout and pedantic readers like me would be happy 😀

  60. If I could add my $0.02 worth, Quality Chess’ assumption might be that everyone studying a game collection is doing so from cover to cover. But I suspect that a substantial proportion always don’t do this. Sometimes I just want to go through a bunch of well commented complete games on a particular opening. And for this I would use several of the game collection books on my shelf. Databases and opening books are both inadequate for this purpose.

  61. @Igor

    Igor :@PatrickWe are talking about a (half) page at the end of the book for the completeness. How can this be “a mistake” I don’t know… and the discussion how an (additional) index defines the purpose of a book is a pure nonsense.
    Personally im learning an opening more from complete, well commented games (where endgames are included! ) than from a boring opening book. So for example I find very handy to look directly at the opening index when im searching a Karpov Ruy Lopez game, instead of your method flip thru 1400 pages / 2 volumes.

    There are plenty of other sources for what you are looking for. Tournament books (not the same as bio books, even though both are a game collection – take Linares 1999, the Cochrane Gambit played against Kramnik in round 7 has no relation to Kasparov’s Grunfelds during that tournament, but a bio book is about that player and his or her style of play),, Chessbase CDs that have thousands of games on a particular opening with hundreds of them annotated, etc.

    You never mentioned which opening you are studying, and obviously the more common the opening, the easier it is to find a source with lots of games. For example, QGD? Look no further than a heavily annotated book on Alekhine/Capabalanca 1927. Caro-Kann? 1960 World Championship. Najdorf Sicilian? Short-Kasparov 1993 (amongst many).

    Bio books to me are not a good source of studying openings. For starters, the vast majority of “Best Games” books tend to intentionally take different variations so that the reader doesn’t see it as an opening book. Take Korchnoi’s 50 games as White and 50 games as Black. His 7 French Games in the 50 games as Black aren’t 7 MacCutcheons. They are vastly different lines of the French. I’d rather go to, and go thru 10 to 20 heavily annotated games on the MacCutcheon if that was my line of choice rather than some random hodgepodge of variations if my purpose was the study openings.

  62. Sorry Duriel but a complete and detailed index/table of variations is specially and extremely important and also very useful in an opening book! Even essential. Also a detailed and complete bibliography… An opening book without them is not a very, or “perfect” if you prefer and if this exists, good work.

  63. I think an opening index is useful in a games collection. Many coaches suggest that a quick way to get started learning a new opening is finding a “hero” and studying his games. An opening index saves quite a lot of time in this endeavour. 😉

    I don’t really care if the index is in the book though. If including it would push you over your space restriction – I don’t know if book pages still have to be multiples of 16 or so – just make it available as pdf. Maybe it would even be an advantage to be able to print it out.

  64. @Jacob Aagaard
    Sorry, I didn’t want to be rude or funny (my english is just bad)… I believe specific critics are more useful than like/don’t like opinions. If you think I am overcritical then show a random QC book to a designer and I bet he will find more or less the same mistakes.
    but… just go through the pages (Karpov 2 for example) looking at the bottom and you see the text of the columns isn’t aligned; there isn’t a single hyphenated word in the book so you have often double/triple spaces – holes in the paragraphs and so on. OK, nothing terribly important, but still… a bit of Typography doesn’t hurt anyone

    btw Is there any chance that Fabrego will write another book? thx

    yes, usually they must be multiples of 16 so it’s quite common problem at the end what to add/remove/re-edit, if print 400 or 416 pages and so on

  65. If the book doesn’t have one, may be a free opening index to download should be the solution ?
    No more pages to print in the book (economic) And if you who want the index then print it. Everybody will be happy ! No ?
    The same goes for a players index in an opening book ….

  66. @Igor
    Ok, I was supposed to take that nonsense seriously?

    Diagrams of different size – after we started doing it other companies have been doing it too. It is imo a great way of signalling importance, whether it is a main or subline.

    Coordinates. I don’t need them, but I know some of our customers find the boards easier to navigate with them, so we use them.

    Our kerning is very rarely messed with. We do at times mess with the width of the characters, 1-2 percent. What you are experiencing is the effect of not having hyphernation. Hyphernation is used by “professionals” as a way of saving labour. Because if you use it, you can just autoflow the text, and it fits in nicely, except it is not nice, and it does not fully support the reading of complex layered text, such as high level chess analysis. We don’t hyphernate, just as we actually structure the analysis, rather than just allow ChessBase to do it automatically, and leave the reader lost in the search for the various layers of analysis.
    Blank pages are not mistakes. This is when I thought you were having a laugh with your comments. Gutenberg invented the press, but Ruy Lopez did not tell Anand how to play chess…
    In modern times it is easy to insert one layer of eight pages, so you can have 408 pages.

    Out of margins – You will not find our text out of margin. You will find the diagrams at times do this. It is a trade off. The alternative is not having the diagrams and making the text less readable. Or to do as Everyman and have the diagram two pages further along.

    All our choices in typesetting are based on allowing the reader to quickly navigate the text. I don’t care about typesetting as an artform. I care about chess. We produce clearly the easiest texts to follow in the market, and as such, we don’t need to improve. However, we do always look for ways to do things even better, and if we stumble over them, we implement them.

    Your tastes are developed over a lifetime of reading books structured in a certain way. Your habits and likes have been shaped by this. However, for someone approaching a chess book with no other wish than to study the chess, your comments, if implemented, would be a hinderence to this.

  67. @book suggestion – a chess classic

    Jacob, please consider to publish ZURICH 1953 book by Miguel Najdorf, about which Mihail Marin wrote a big survey in New in Chess magazine 5/2011 ( Najdorf wrote 2 volumes in Spanish long time ago, around 1954. Such book in one volume would fill big gap in chess literature, and you can even think about launching the Bronstein’s book also 🙂

  68. @jacob
    I would like to push harder 🙂
    I would also appriciate a opening index in future game collections (Karolys Book on Karpov is surprisingly superb). In my Opinion it would be enough to have max. one page , for example just the main opinings (ruy lopez, caro kann , sicilian, Gruenfeld etx )and the page or game number, like in Kasparovs books. SOmetimes when you look at an opening you really search for well commented complete games in an opening.

  69. I have to say I am surprised there was no opening index in GM Battle Manual by Kotronias (Great book!). While I know it is not an opening manual, the opening is often how I refer back to a game when I want to review it a second or third time. Maybe you guys recall the opponents, but what sticks for me is the opening, even if it was not important for that particular game. It’s a minor point, but I would prefer to have an opening index.

    Keep up the great work!

  70. Jacob Aagaard :
    @Michel Barbaut
    We will happily put it in a PDF if someone is crazy enough to collect it.
    We are seriously considering having them in the future. Push harder and you might get what you want…

    I wrote a book of my games and was pleased by the feedback I got. The one “criticism” was that I had omitted an openings index. This was intentional and was meant to underscore the focus of the book which was more on thinking and bad habits than opening theory.

    It left me wondering how much of this was due to the reader’s expectations based on what they had been used to seeing in a chess book. Personally, I am untroubled by the lack of any openings index in a player’s games collection.

    There are some games collections of individuals that have been grouped by openings and this always annoys me. I always prefer a chronological progression.

  71. @Jacob
    For hyphenation im referring only to text of course. I don’t understand what you mean with “ChessBase to do it automatically”.

    My guess is your kerning is set with default values and combined with unhyphenated words produces paragraphs with holes / stretched characters.
    Toy a bit with options like: kerning to metrics / optical, do a bit of manual hyphenation when needed (no labour saving at all), change inline/paragraph composer and so on.
    And set “space after paragraph” insted of the amateurish double returns.
    You can specify this in “Paragraph styles” for titles too (a bit more pro than “enter – title – enter”)
    Then select the frame, click Justify in Vertical Justification.

    This is more or less what I mean:
    hXXp:// (zoom it :P)

    on the left the original, on the right the same column after a 2mins editing.
    the result is more text (3 rows gained) and a more compact look, when font size kerning etc is the same; multiply for 400 and you won’t need the cheap 8 pages layer option in typography 😛

    As text “out of margin” / not aligned i mean this:
    (it’s easily fixed with a vertical justify so the page has a kind of optical begin and end)

    As for coordinates, I don’t think the reader of Pavlovic’s Be3 Najdorf need them, but ok if customers want so… In any case the font size is too big compared to text (in InDesign you can define a Nested Style in Paragraph Style, so only the first letter (coordinate) will be small and no manual editing is needed)

    These are just few quick tweaks to improve the overall quality a bit, how can you even compare QC to a typical Everyman “ctrl+V” product I don’t know 😛 (they are readable only in .cbv format – an excellent idea btw)

    I hope FM Gutenberg will be pleased. It’s sad that every my critic is considered funny or nonsense so it’s better to stop here

  72. @Patrick

    Thank you Patrick but nowadays it’s more a problem to filter the crap out than to find analysis about a specific opening eheh.
    In general my approach is similiar as described in a post above; I pick a good commented book, say of Karpov, then I check the opening index and I choose a QID game, which is part of my repertoire. It isn’t strictly part of my opening study (as amateur I have other priorities).
    For example in Korchnoi’s book you mention I remember a typical french endgame well analyzed (vs Nunn). Strangely I remember Nunn as W player but otherwise the opening index would be very useful.
    Caro games played by Tal in the WCH match are awesome. It’s a pity there are no videos that shows Botvinnik’s face after Tal had played moves such f4 and gxf. 😀

  73. @Jacob

    You mentioned a while ago about having approximately 50 or so books in the cue over the next 18 to 24 months. Any ideas what topics? Not looking for specific dates (unlike many others, I don’t believe in pigeon-holing yourself to a specific date, would rather see a good piece of work), or what order they’ll come out, or which ones may or may not experience delays, just a general idea of what to expect in the next 2 years or so, whether that be:

    1) Openings not covered yet by QC, like the French, Dutch, King’s Indian, etc
    2) Openings not covered for a specific side yet, like the QGD (B), 1.e4 (W), etc.
    3) Updates to existing openings, like the Semi-Slav, 1…e5, Sicilian, etc.
    4) Middlegame Tactics/Positonal Play
    5) Chess Problem Books
    6) Bio Books (similar to Karpov)
    7) Tournament Game Collections
    8) Endgames


    You say you have trouble filtering? Not sure why that would be difficult unless you are specifically an English/Reti player (more on that later).

    For example, In Sverre Johnsen’s book on the Stonewall Dutch, one question says to find an idol that has played at least a dozen games, current preferably, with a decent score in the Modern Stonewall Dutch. Pretty simple, get a database, search for A90 (nothing else). Look for names that occur frequently as Black. Search for one of those names, color specific (black in this case), and keep the A90 filter, and your list will be down to say, 20 games, where you can see if it’s all 1-0, or a good percentage of 0-1 scenarios. If that one failed, try another name you saw a lot as Black in the original filter. Want to see Korchnoi’s MaCCutcheon? Korchnoi – Black, ECO C12 – C12, Submit!

    Typically, at I’ll search by ECO code (i.e. D32 to D34 for Tarrasch Defense, A68-A69 AND E76-E79 for KID 4 Pawns Attack, C67 for Berlin, C65 for Berlin/Classical Hybrid, etc. When it comes to a database, like Chessbase, or an engine that features a database, like Rybka 4, I just put in the position, and search by position, so if you are studying the main line of the French MacCutcheon with 8…g6, then just put in 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.bxc3 Ne4 8.Qg4 g6, and search for that position via copy board. It’s as simple as that! The moves don’t have to be those exact moves. They can be any move order that reaches that position, like in my case, I never reach that position via that move order. Only time I get a French MacCutcheon is thru 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 e6 4.e4 Bb4 and then mimic 5 thru 8 as Black. If my game was in the database, it would still find it even though your move order is different.

    This is more difficult with the English and Reti as there seems to be an endless number of move orders to reach different chapters of an English book, and it’s too difficult to do by position. You almost have to do by ECO code, and then sift out the games you have no interest in. Keep in mind that 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bc5 (Karpov variation) could just as easily come via 2.Nc3, so the English and Reti can be a pain to sift out in Databases.

    What might also help is figuring out the ECO codes of your entire repertoire, and update it any time your repertoire changes, for example, it might look like this:

    W: B00-B01, B04-B05, B07, B12, B23-B26, C02, C44
    B: A00-A03, A13-14, B01, C20-30, C44, C46, C51-54, C67, D00-05, D33-34

    This would be someone that plays 1.e4, 4.Nf3 against the Alekhine, Pirc non-Austrian or Classical, Advance or Fantasy Caro-Kann, Closed Sicilian, Advance French, Ponziani as White and defending Flank Openings, Reti with …e6, Scandinavian and 1…e5 against 1.e4, i.e. Open Games w/o 2.f4 or 2.Nf3, King’s Gambit Declined, Three Knights, Italian Game, Berlin, along with 1…d5 against d4-systems, and the Tarrasch Defense as Black, just to illustrate an example.

  74. @Patrick

    Patrick, at my patzer level (ca. 2000 Fide) the opening theory is the last problem!
    Usually before a tourney I try to recycle something forgotten, ideas and viariations played in ’60 or ’70 for example. I like very much the old human chess 😀
    Now im enjoying going through a Gligoric’s book on my real chessboard (!), listening Vivaldi and eating a 1400’s liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

    anyway thank you for the tips! I always used Reference pane in CB or Search Position setting only the pawns without K / pieces for more static opening setups.
    btw the other book of Sverre / Johanessen, The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black contains an excellent introduction on how to study openings.

  75. @Igor

    You’re right – most amateur players have a kind of religious believe in opening books, whereas in their games the rule is: the last mistake decides…Studying middlegame and endgame positions should be much more efficient. I can tell because I had that religion too…

    By the way: Liver, beans, Chianti – sounds like fegato veneziano…are you from Venice?
    (of course the reference to the Fried Liver Attack was nice too…)

  76. @Alekhine Power
    Yes, I had the same feeling the moment I saw it. Obviously it will make no money, but we are not exclusively about making money :-). The Bronstein-Zurich book is out there, I am not sure we could add much to it.

  77. @Igor
    You did say some really silly things, because you had not considered that it is a chess book, and how it can affect the outcome, I think.

    The coordinates and the border is the same symbol. Not sure you can easily manipulate them, without creating your own. To me they look like the right size anyway.

    We could possible work on the kerning when text is spread out a bit. But to be honest, I am not sure it is worth the time, considering that no one else cares.

    Talking about amateurism. Most of the books I have, which are done by so-called professionals have hyphernation over pages, bastards (one work on the next page) and similar rubbish. We are probably in the top 2% of my own 5,000 strong library when it comes to typesetting. Mainly it is the books about typesetting I have, which are ahead of us.

    I really care more about the fact that we occasionally have incorrect diagrams than kerning. Professional mean making choices. Everything is a trade-off when it comes to typesetting. The most important thing is that it should not take too much time, or we have to charge even more for the product, or spend less time on content.

    CBV files is a disaster. Everyman’s sales of my books have dropped to half. If they had not been relatively small already, I would probably have sued them. Anyone who writes for Everyman now should know that they sell less books, and thus pay less royalties, but get the same income because they have very low costs.

    If e-books could be done in a secure way, I would do them in a heartbeat.

  78. @Patrick
    Hi Patrick, as you know I don’t announce books based on blog pressure. I will soon put up the next publishing schedule, but don’t expect more than one title you don’t know about already…

  79. @Igor

    In my case, you could call me old fashion as well. While I do get games from Databases, I print them out, and go over them on a real board. Viewing a position 3-d at a table is not the same as viewing it on a 2-d board on a screen. At least for me it isn’t.

  80. @Jacob

    Sorry, I didn’t see this as blog pressure. Others are usually asking “What content is in this specific book” 2 months before it comes out and “What specific date is such-and-such a book coming out?” 2 months beforehand, and then there’s a delay. I wasn’t touching that area because that would be blog pressure

    I was more talking general topics. I only asked because in the past, you usually kept the catalog up to date, usually showing about 3 to 6 months in advance with the disclaimer that they won’t necessarily come out at the scheduled time (For example, the King’s Gambit book). But at least you knew what was coming. It may be 2 years, but it’s coming.

    The fact that the Catalog is out of date and still displays “Spring 2011”, which came out in Winter 2011, and hasn’t been updated since with Summer now having 2 weeks left, and spring of course LONG gone, is why I was asking what I was asking.

    Sorry if you felt I stepped on your toes. I just think expired data is worse than no data when viewing a Website (having been a Web Developer for almost 10 years before moving to QA).

  81. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Speaking of old-fashioned, would it be old fashioned to want only physical books? I would never buy an e-book. How can one flip pages of an e-book and carry it around on a train ride or rucksack to read? The only advantage of an e-book is for ChessBase use with a laptop, but I usually take my chess books around to read as well. For example, I carry GM9 in my rucksack to review at uni in between classes. So I am in my early 20s and prefer an actual chess book. And would e-books not force the chess shops to close business?…

  82. @Gilchrist is a Legend

    I prefer a physical book over an e-book, but in terms of putting out of business? That depends on who stays with the times, and who doesn’t. When e-books (as in novels) first came out, Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes And Noble (Nook), kept up. Borders waited a full year before coming out with the Kobo, which compared to the Nook (based on what my wife and others that I know that use e-readers say), was cr*p.

    Low and behold, in a tough economy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble survived, Borders did not. Amazon and B&N still sell physical books as well, but the availability of the e-book is likely what kept them in business.

    It’s a complete supply and demand thing. I have friends that love the Quality Chess hardcovers, and I have others that refuse to pay that kind of money, and buy the paperback at Amazon, or else go with Everyman (and Everyman e-books!).

    To each their own!

  83. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I heard Borders are closing soon in the States but I find it sad if it is because of e-books (Borders closed in the UK in 2009/2010 but I do not think it was due to the e-book issue). Waterstones and Blackwells are still open and I am not sure if they do e-books, but I hope both of them stay open forever. I doubt ChessDirect and London Chess Centre can gain revenue with chess e-books and without physical chess books. Sometimes they should consider customers who prefer old fashioned ways, like my relatives who in their 70s and 80s still use typewriters and will not use computers or mobile phones. And of course they must consider we who like physical books, especially QC hardcovers. As said before, I enjoy taking my GM8 and GM9 on the train or with me to lunch to flip the pages and review the material. I definitely would not enjoy having to take my laptop with me to just do that 🙂

  84. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Same with other old fashioned chess habits–there is the Monroi system that is based on electronic notation. What happens to the people who sell scoresheets? I cannot remember when I was offered the Monroi to notate once because the top 10 or so boards had them, but I think it was the 2008 Canadian Open. I rather notate the old fashioned method of pen and paper 🙂

  85. @Patrick
    We are finishing Chess Evolution at the moment. Once we have done this, I am on to the autumn/winter catalouge. We have two a year, I don’t think there is a problem there?

  86. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Some chess shops sell them, but I do seriously fear that e-books will get us to lose those 50 guys that run small chess specialist businesses and keep the interest in our industry alive. Imagine if you could only buy novels on the Internet? I know the day might be coming – but surely the publishers will feel the heat from selling e-books and to amazon at bad terms…

  87. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    The hardcovers are on purpose only available through these specialists! Borders UK was sold on before it closed. It was not viable for a very long time. I also think many chess specialists make more money from software and chess sets than from books these days. But as far as I know, they are doing ok at the moment.

  88. I am a huge fan of ebooks and rarely buy physical books anymore. Chess is the exception. I have tried a couple of everyman’s cbh ebooks and found that I just didn’t get the same study value out of them. That may just be me.

    However, I actually came here to give a big “thank you” to Quality Chess and Mr. Karolyi for the two volumes on Karpov. I have only gone through a couple games so far, but they seem to be exceptional.

  89. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I hope the chess book industry focusses primarily (ideally in my opinion) on physical printing of books. I would be sad to see if one day all chess books were on e-books on the internet or via those Kindle or electronic devices. The only way then for us who enjoy physical books would be to buy an e-book and print it out. That idea sounds not only tedious but absolutely horrible simultaneously. 🙂

    I was actually in Glasgow in December 2009 and I went to the Borders that was in the process of closing, trying to get some books due to the closing discounts. I hope that does not happen to chess books someday. 🙂

  90. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I know it is impossible to accurately guess what Avrukh would recommend against the English in the GM Repertoire for 1. d4 sidelines, but what do you think about the issue for Grünfeld players? 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 or what I see Avrukh seem to play, 1…c5? Would it just be better for Grünfeld players to learn the Symmetrical?

  91. Anything that is put in a computer readable format is always going to be subject to copyright theft. It’s been going on in the music industry for over a decade now. Sadly it’s the same story for chess products that are available in a computer format, however, making books in a Kindle (Amazon) format might be viable due to their own in built security system. But yeh, I don’t think there’s much pressure to risk doing any of this yet, as it’s only everymanchess doing it atm, however if more chess publishers start doing it then it might become necessary, personally I can’t see this happening for at least another few years yet.

  92. Gilchrist is a Legend :@Jacob Aagaard
    I know it is impossible to accurately guess what Avrukh would recommend against the English in the GM Repertoire for 1. d4 sidelines, but what do you think about the issue for Grünfeld players? 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 or what I see Avrukh seem to play, 1…c5? Would it just be better for Grünfeld players to learn the Symmetrical?

    Grunfeld players that play this line would have to be willing to play the King’s Indian Defense. To avoid that, you’d have to play 2…d5, which I think is good for White. The reason is instead of 3.Nf3, White can play 3.e4, allowing a King’s Indian, but not a Grunfeld.

  93. Gilchrist is a Legend :@Jacob Aagaard
    I know it is impossible to accurately guess what Avrukh would recommend against the English in the GM Repertoire for 1. d4 sidelines, but what do you think about the issue for Grünfeld players? 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 or what I see Avrukh seem to play, 1…c5? Would it just be better for Grünfeld players to learn the Symmetrical?

    I’m wondering why he should mention the English at all in a book of 1.d4 sidelines. To me 1.c4 is as much of a 1.d4 sideline as 1.e4

  94. @James
    Two things to this.

    1. A friend of mine says she has a program that can break up kindle. The moment they decided to go on all platforms, I knew we were not going to do them.

    2. You need to charge less than $9.99 to get the 70% royalty. If you charge the 80% of a chess book they want you to, you only get 35% of the sales price. So amazon takes 65%. Piss off :-).

  95. @James
    To be honest, I consider this copyright theft overrated, especially when talking about chess procucts. In addition you may underrate the potential of selling your product twice. I always prefer a printed book over the electronic version when I’m at home, but it’s just the opposite when I’m traveling. So I’m now the happy owner of a number of everyman books both in print and as electronic version. I would not hesitate a second to buy the Marin books on the English opening as electronic version although I own the paper version, already. Copy protection is a pain even for the honest user. Depending on whether I’m on a private or a business trip, I may have different notebooks with me, so transferability beween different hardware is a must for me. Of course there are copy protection mechanisms supporting this but unfortunately some don’t.

  96. I’m leaving for Italy at the end of September, and I will need some material to read 🙂 : is there any hope that some quality chess books will be published by then ? Amateur vs grandmasters, or suba’s book for example ?

  97. wok64 :

    Gilchrist is a Legend :@Jacob Aagaard
    I know it is impossible to accurately guess what Avrukh would recommend against the English in the GM Repertoire for 1. d4 sidelines, but what do you think about the issue for Grünfeld players? 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 or what I see Avrukh seem to play, 1…c5? Would it just be better for Grünfeld players to learn the Symmetrical?

    I’m wondering why he should mention the English at all in a book of 1.d4 sidelines. To me 1.c4 is as much of a 1.d4 sideline as 1.e4

    Well, c4 and d4 goes much more often together in the opening than e4 and c4. I guess.

  98. I agree with wok64. 1.c4 doesn’t really go in a 1.d4 book. A book on defending Flank Openings would cover 1.c4. You have to be concious as a player about transpositions. If you don’t understand that 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 is a Transposition to the Queen’s Gambit, then you aren’t ready for a theoretical book on openings anyway.

    If you combined 1.c4 with all it’s possible 1.d4 transpositions, every book on the English would be bigger than the World Book Encyclopedia as you’d have to not only give all the theory of the English (Marin proved that’s about 1100 pages), but then you’d be virtually re-writing all the known theory of the Catalan, Queen’s Gambit Declined, Slav, Semi-Slav, King’s Indian, and yes, even the Accelerated Dragon! (1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.e4 and what do you know? You have the Accelerated Dragon Maroczy Bind!)

    If the line you choose to play against the English can potentially lead to a direct transposition to a Queen Pawn opening, then get a book on that QP opening. Why expect the writer of a c4 book to re-write all the d4 theory or vice versa? Anybody that uses the 5-letter “C” word that ends in “heap” as their reasoning for why c4 should be included in d4 books or d4 should be included in c4 books should be banned from playing chess ever again!

  99. Jacob, keep up the good work. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind a little advertising for your products! 🙂

    To anybody else out there that has been on the fence as to whether the higher prices of Quality Chess are worth it compared to other publishers, this ought to answer your question. While I don’t advocate changing openings just to go in line with one publisher (i.e. If you play the Czech Benoni, stick with the Everyman book by Palliser), if you do happen to play anything offered here, it’s well worth the money.

    The game below, played last night against another Expert (I had White), comes from a line in Chapter 18 of Experts on the Anti-Sicilian. While I’ve played this line a couple of times in 2004 (and back then I played 4.Ba4 from a NIC Yearbook article), it’s the first time I’ve played this since publication, and proceeded to maul my opponent. Black clearly had no clue what he was doing.

    1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nge2 Nxe2 (Already White is better with d3 and f4 coming – mentioned in Chapter 18 – the remaining comments are my own) 6.Qxe2 a6 7.a4 d6 8.f4 Ne7 9.O-O Nc6 10.d3 Nd4 (Do you ever move anything other than Knights?) 11.Qf2 g6 12.f5 (Sacrificing a pawn to open lines against a lack of development by Black) gxf5 13.exf5 Nxf5 14.Qe2 (14.g4 Rg8) Be7 15.Ne4 d5 16.Rxf5 dxe4 17.Rf1 exd3 18.cxd3 Qd4+ 19.Be3 Qg7 20.Rf3 Bd7 21.Raf1 Rf8 22.Qf2 Bc6 23.Rg3 Qe5 24.Bh6 (winning an exchange) O-O-O 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Re1 Qh5 27.Qf4 Bd8 28.Bxe6+ fxe6 29.Qxf8 Qd5 30.Rg8 Qxd3 31.a5 (might as well save the pawn before trading, Queen can’t leave the d-file, and the Bishop can’t cover the e-pawn, and this ends up being the pawn that wins it for White) Qd5 32.Qxd8+ (the start of converting a material advantage into a won King and Pawn ending) Qxd8 33.Rxd8+ Kxd8 34.Rxe6 Kd7 35.Rf6 Be4 36.Kf2 Ke7 37.Rb6 Bc6 38.Rxc6! bxc6 (Black’s majority is useless whereas White’s deflects the King away. The a-pawn will decide it for White.) 39.Ke3 h5 40.g3 Ke6 41.Ke4 c4 42.h3 c5 43.g4 h4 44.g5 c3 45.bxc3 c4 46.Kd4 Kf5 47.Kxc4 Kxg5 48.Kd5 Kf4 49.c4 Kg3 50.c5 Kxd3 51.c6 Kg3 52.c7 h3 53.c8=Q h2 54.Qc7+ Kg2 55.Kc5 1-0

  100. I agree QC books are high quality works, and I have many, but indeed there are other good books out there, with similar depth of GM rep.
    For instance I have the 2 vol. work on King’s Indian by Vigorito and that is high quality.
    I’m curious… is Marin working on some new books?

  101. I saw a short mention about publishing a kindle/iPad/electronic version of some titles in the future. Any progress on this front as I see both Everyman and several other publishers with various amounts of their catalog out there? What are your thoughts here as e-readers are becoming more commonplace?

  102. @Antonius
    You will be happy to hear that Dave is going full circle and returning to QC to do a second edition of the Semi-Slav. Actually, we never lost our positive contact, working together was not a requirement for being on the same team – the team of pushing chess literature forward.

    Yes, Mihail is working on two big projects; both of them to be released in the second half of 2012 – one of them with a close friend, another with me :-s.

  103. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Will the repertoire be the same as in the Semi-Slav Version 1 with updated material, or will there be changes to the repertoire choices in the new version? The Botvinnik changes so quickly and the positions so unclear that it would be difficult to differentiate between either 🙂

  104. Dear Jacob,

    I asked this in the another blog but received no reply. So I will ask again in response to your post#144 on Mihail Marin’s future project:

    Will Marin consider writing a book on the Pirc? He has considerable experience does he not in this opening? Especially since even Kramnik has decided to pick up the Pirc?

  105. Are there any plans for a second edition of GM 7 on the Caro. Seems like there have been significant developments in the Advance and some interesting games in the Classical. If it is being considered any chance of covering the sharp g6 against the Panov and 3…c5 in the Advance?

  106. Jacob,

    a question on your chapter in Experts on the Anti-SI.

    Let’s say my opponent tries to be clever. He avoids my favourite SI by deviating with c3 on move 3 after my 2. – Nc6. Is there a safe way for black to lead the play into the variation you recommended after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 ?

  107. @Andre

    I think I can answer that!
    After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 you go 3…Nf6 4.e5 Nd5. Now 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4 is covered in the book, early in the chapter. 5.d4 cxd4 6.Qxd4 is also there, the 5.Qxd4 line. After 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 e6 you get the main line, which you also do after 5.d4 cxd4 6.Bc4 e6 7.cxd4 d6. In this last line, only 7.Bxd5 is somewhat independent, but it’s not really good; plus, it may also be covered by transposition somewhere early in the article, don’t remember and don’t have the book in front of me.

    Similar stuff applies to 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3: you go 3…Nf6 and all lines will transpose. Only 2.Nf3 d6 is different, but then after 3.c3 Nf6 you get an essentially different system, some lines of which are covered in the book (4.h3) and some not (4.Be2, the most common choice).

  108. Ooops! Sorry, that particular comment was meant to refer to the 2…e6 move order. Replace 2…Nc6 with 2…e6 and you’re there 🙂

  109. In fact, I assume that this universality was a strong argument for Jacob to choose this particular system; it is relevant to both 2…Nc6 and 2…e6 players. And also, I guess this transpositional quality could have been pointed out in the book and emphasized appropriately.
    In the beginning of that chapter, Jacob pointed out the move 3.d3, noting that if one is worried by it then he needs something other to an opening book. This does make sense, of course, but wanna hear something funny? When Rogozenko’s Anti-Sicilians book came out, I browsed through all the minor lines without a board. There was a comment about precisely this 3.d3 move, giving a single reference game where White blundered a pawn right in the opening with some rather obvious tactic. The tactic itself made some impression on me, though I never studied that line on a chessboard. To my great surprise, shortly afterwards I came up against this 3.d3 move, remembered that comment and repeated the entire line, all the way to the pawn blunder! After collecting the free point, I recall pondering whether it actually does make sense to look at the minor lines as well!

  110. @middlewave
    And my grandmother has been an alcoholic and chain smoker all her life, and is now approaching 94. Does not prove anything :-). You cannot do statistics on single incidents, but you can say that it was probably more likely that you will make more points long term study some decent chess. But obviously, in this case this would be faulty :-).

  111. Jacob,

    Please launch hardcovers for all upcoming books!

    I can nowhere see a hardcover of:

    – Peter Romanovsky: Soviet Middlegame Tehnique
    – Aagaard & Shaw: Grandmaster vs amatuer
    – Martin Weteschnik: Chess Tactics from Scratch – UCT 2nd ed.
    – Lev Psakhis: Advanced Chess Tactics

  112. @Jacob
    Ah, but I wasn’t trying to make a point! In fact, I 110% agree with your viewpoint. It was just a funny (and accidental) case of firmly believing in something (like I said, I fully concur with your viewpoint) and life conspiring to confuse you :p

  113. I play the dutch and was looking for another “universal system” against any White try except 1.e4 and read somewhere that the Tarrash may be the answer, therefore now Im very interested in the GM repertoire Tarrash book.

    I understand that this book will give a complete repertoire for Black, is that so? I am thinking of buying “Meeting 1.d4” by Aagaard as well, or any other good book as a complement, just to have a “complete” preparation with Black, if anyone has more/better suggestions please give them.

    Could Jacob, Nikolaos or anyone knowledgeble mention some of the advantages of this opening for a club/tournament players?

    By the way, the GM Repertoire books use the “variations” format, just like “Play the Scandinavian”, would this latter book be the equivalent of an “IM Repertoire” book?


  114. FM To Be :
    By the way, the GM Repertoire books use the “variations” format, just like “Play the Scandinavian”, would this latter book be the equivalent of an “IM Repertoire” book?


    I will let Jacob or Nikos tell you all about the wonders of the Tarrasch.

    Is “Play the Scandinavian” an IM Repertoire book!? Funny, but no. It’s not a repertoire book at all. It’s closer to complete style on the …Qa5 lines. The author, GM Christian Bauer, is currently rated 2631. Nowadays we would call it a Grandmaster Guide to the Scandinavian.

  115. @FM To Be

    The most comprehensive work on the Tarrasch has been:
    Die Tarrasch-Verteidigung; Harald Keilhack; 298 pages; Schachverlag Kania.
    However, you really need to be able to read German to get the most out of it.

  116. @FM To Be
    The Tarrasch does have a lot of transposition advantages, but White can of course avoid playing d4 and c4 together :-). Boris Avrukh is working on two volumes: vol. 1 will be 1.d4 openings without c2-c4, with lines for Black whether he plays 1…Nf6 or 1…d5, and whether he puts the bishop on e7 or g7. Also, he will write a book on 1.c4, 1.Nf3 and so on, with a similar philosophy. These books will assist all Nimzo/KID/Grünfeld/QGD/QGA/Tarrasch and so on – players, and will probably be viable for a very long time…

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