Publications next Friday and other things

We are publishing a few titles at the end of next week. We are also re-organising the company. John is taking over as Managing Director while I am becoming Creative Director (basically I make things up, but don’t have any real responsibilities) and Colin becomes Operational Manager (meaning he tells us when we have forgotten things) as well as staying an editor. I don’t think the rest of the world will notice, but to us it is quite a shift in focus, and most likely a very good one. The reason is quite simple: we need a change for many reasons, not the least because it will continue to make us more dynamic. And personally I am quite excited about working on the 1.e4 project as well as other ideas, rather than doing sales projections and talking to business contacts all over the world.

I will however still be active on the blog and answer questions, I just don’t have any weight to back my answers up with anymore :-). Here is the recent publishing schedule.

Boris Awruch Grossmeister Repertoire 8 30 September
Artur Yusupov Chess Evolution 1 30 September
Arkadij Naiditsch Chess Evolution September 30 September
Boris Alterman Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits 1 30 September
Aagaard, Shaw (editors) Grandmaster versus Amateur Oct/Nov
Boris Alterman Das Alterman Gambit-Handbuch: Gambits mit Weiss Oct/Nov
Boris Alterman Das Alterman Gambit-Handbuch: Gambits mit Schwarz 1 Oct/Nov
Boris Awruch Grossmeister Repertoire 9 Oct/Nov
Lev Psakhis Advanced Chess Tactics Oct/Nov
Nikos/Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire 10 – The Tarrasch Defence Oct/Nov
Arkadij Naiditsch Chess Evolution November November
John Shaw The King’s Gambit December

190 thoughts on “Publications next Friday and other things”

  1. I hope the spelling of the title “Das Alterman Gambit-Handbuch: Gambits mit Swartz 1” will be corrected before it goes to the printer ;-). It´s “Schwarz” instead of “Swartz”

  2. @Tomtidom

    Hi Tomtidom,

    Thanks, but I believe that was just a blog typo, nothing to do with the real book. In fact, after I correct it in a moment, we will deny it was ever there.

  3. Thank you Jacob for the update.

    But I see that the new edition of GM-6 has dropped off the radar … on the upside I guess GM-10’s quality will compensate for that delay!

  4. Jacob,

    For constant delaying of “King’s Gambit” and for misleading of all fans of this book, I suggest that John Shaw gets fined with 10.000 Euros!

    Teach him a lesson 🙂

  5. hi!

    i wanted to ask if there are any news concerning the kotronias books about the king´s indian?! i´m sure those are most eagerly awaited by a lot of ki addicts 😉

  6. Jacob,

    I suggest you throw in some bad analysis intentionally into the King’s Gambit book. Say that White is winning in each of these lines whereas really White is busted. Don’t include the correct move where the mistake was made.

    Print exactly 1 copy.

    Sell it to Alekhine Power for a 10 Euro discount.

    Re-edit the book.

    Distribute the rest of them at regular price!

  7. @ Jacob 🙂

    # addiction to chess perfection #

    Firstly I bought the 1st edition of “The Attacking Manual 1”. Then in short time the 2nd edition bumped out… So I gave my 1st edition to my friend. Afterwards I bought combined “The Attacking Manual 1 2nd edition” and “The Attacking Manual 2″… But soon after books were awarded by the English Chess Federation’s Book of the Year 2010, the books bumped out in hardcover… And my ones were in softcover 🙁

    So I again decided to give them away, as a gift to my friend, the former European Champion!

    Finally, yesterday I received mentioned books in hardcover! Excellent!!! 🙂

    PS I received also hardcovers of Karolyi’s masterpieces! What an outstanding books! Please keep tha pace Jacob!

  8. @chris71
    Vassilios suddenly decided to delay the project for a long time a month from the deadline earlier in the year. We are hoping it will happen next year, but really we don’t know for sure. We respect the authors a lot and don’t think writing comes before life. And here life intervened…

  9. @Patrick
    I was going to play 1…e5 all the time after the book comes out :-). In reality the King’s Gambit is interesting, with lots of resources for both sides. Is 2.f4 the best move? Obviously not. However, is it bad? We don’t think so either; it is just not best.

  10. @Jesse
    Yes. Only the box set has been delayed a bit. We had to focus on other things and felt pressed for time. We will probably do it with the final editions.

  11. @Jacob Aagaard

    Jacob Aagaard :@Patrick I was going to play 1…e5 all the time after the book comes out . In reality the King’s Gambit is interesting, with lots of resources for both sides. Is 2.f4 the best move? Obviously not. However, is it bad? We don’t think so either; it is just not best.

    Jacob, I think there was a mixup here. I wasn’t saying the KG is busted (though in some ways, I wonder if it is via 3…g5, but I also find 2…Bc5 VERY EASY to play for Black). I was putting in a comment based on Alekhine’s sneer remark about fining John for the long delay.

    I also noticed, based on your remark, that European’s use different punctuation for their numbers. Here in America, the period is a decimal point, the comma separates thousands, millions, billions, etc. So “10.000” is the same as “10” here, and “10,000” is 10 Thousand, so I read his comment as a 10 Euro deduction on all copies of the KG book, not a one time 10 thousand Euro fine.

    So I said you should put in bad analysis, intentionally, to devalue it by 10 Euro, Sell Alekhine the one copy, then re-edit it with the correct analysis, and sell it at regular price to everyone else. 🙂

    I think we all already knew from 536 years of experience (Queen and Bishop didn’t move the same way it does today prior to 1475, Queen was 1 square diagonally only, Bishop was exactly 2 squares diagonally but it could jump) that 2.Nf3 is theoretically best, but it of course doesn’t make it the only move.

    If chess were all based on “only moves”, I wouldn’t have had the success I had in 2007 with the Clarendon Court Defense (1.d4 c5 2.d5 f5). I still get made fun of here in my neck of the woods for playing that “junk” 4 years ago! (Along with the Sokolsky and 1.Nc3 from 2007 to early 2009) 🙂

  12. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Patrick :
    @Jacob Aagaard

    Jacob Aagaard :@Patrick I was going to play 1…e5 all the time after the book comes out . In reality the King’s Gambit is interesting, with lots of resources for both sides. Is 2.f4 the best move? Obviously not. However, is it bad? We don’t think so either; it is just not best.

    Jacob, I think there was a mixup here. I wasn’t saying the KG is busted (though in some ways, I wonder if it is via 3…g5, but I also find 2…Bc5 VERY EASY to play for Black). I was putting in a comment based on Alekhine’s sneer remark about fining John for the long delay.
    I also noticed, based on your remark, that European’s use different punctuation for their numbers. Here in America, the period is a decimal point, the comma separates thousands, millions, billions, etc. So “10.000″ is the same as “10″ here, and “10,000″ is 10 Thousand, so I read his comment as a 10 Euro deduction on all copies of the KG book, not a one time 10 thousand Euro fine.
    So I said you should put in bad analysis, intentionally, to devalue it by 10 Euro, Sell Alekhine the one copy, then re-edit it with the correct analysis, and sell it at regular price to everyone else.
    I think we all already knew from 536 years of experience (Queen and Bishop didn’t move the same way it does today prior to 1475, Queen was 1 square diagonally only, Bishop was exactly 2 squares diagonally but it could jump) that 2.Nf3 is theoretically best, but it of course doesn’t make it the only move.
    If chess were all based on “only moves”, I wouldn’t have had the success I had in 2007 with the Clarendon Court Defense (1.d4 c5 2.d5 f5). I still get made fun of here in my neck of the woods for playing that “junk” 4 years ago! (Along with the Sokolsky and 1.Nc3 from 2007 to early 2009)

    Most of the world use commas for decimal points and period for thousands place. Also look to your neighbour Canada–in the province of Québec they use commas for decimals as I saw when I played in the Canadian Open in Montréal a couple years ago. It would be $10.000,00 there. In the UK and rest of Canada it is 10,000 though.

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I know I have asked a few times, so please do not become vexed, but will there be a .pdf excerpt of GM10 soon? We are eager to see what the book will be like 🙂

  13. I was ill and away. We are still these 7-10 days away from completion. And now John has asked me to do my chapters for GM vs Amateur first, so this knocks it a further few days back :-(.

  14. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What will the GM Repertoire book on 1. d4 without 2. c4 and the book on 1.c4 and other flank openings be titled? Also about when will those books be published?

  15. To answer Gilcrhist, I suggest getting an edge by being the first book listed in catalogs:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Beating the “Lame” d4-players (How to win when White doesn’t have the guts to play 2.c4)

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Beating the Flank Openings

  16. @Patrick

    One of those who ‘didn’t have the guts’ to play 2. c4 was Arthur Yusupov, playing the Colle-Zukertort on a regular basis. He recommends it, at least up to 2100…

    Oh, and Susan Polgar…

  17. @werner

    Here’s my take. If someone recommends an opening “up to 2100” (or any other rating cap), then that clearly says that it’s not a good opening. Lower players that haven’t mastered patience and positional play might lose to something like the Colle, London, etc.

    However, I have been rated over 2100 FIDE (I’m currently upper 2000’s), and my USCF is over 2000. Had I been a Colle player, and let’s say 2 years from now, I finally crack 2100. What now? Start all over again and learn the Queen’s Gambit for the first time ever?

  18. After you reach 2100 you should probably opt for new openings anyway to widen your understanding of chess with different positions. (in case you still want to get better of course)

  19. sterpfi,

    That depends on the person. I have always been a firm believer of playing multiple openings, as I learned in 1997 that playing the King’s Indian Attack time and time again caused me to stop looking at the position, play on auto-pilot, and lose.

    In my 15 years of playing competitively, I’ve played almost every opening under the sun, including:

    White: 1.b3, 1.b4, 1.c4, 1.d4, 1.e4, 1.f4, 1.g3, 1.g4, 1.Nc3, 1.Nf3
    Black vs e4: Spanish, Petroff, Philidor, Latvian, French, Sicilian, Caro-Kann, Alekhine, Scandinavian, Pirc, Modern, Owen’s Defense
    Black vs d4: QGD, QGA, Slav, Semi-Slav, Tarrasch, Chigorin, Albin-Countergambit, King’s Indian, Nimzo-Indian, Grunfeld, Benoni, Benko, Leningrad, Stonewall, and Classical Dutches, English Defense

    So there really isn’t much “new” for me. I don’t still play all of those listed above, but only a few opening are there that I truly don’t see ever playing again:

    Never have, Never will play: Colle (White), London (White)
    Won’t play because I personally find them unsound (i.e. I also tend to beat them with the other color): Alekhine (Black), Benko (Black)
    Likely won’t play again because I personally can’t make sense out of the strategy: Sicilian Najdorf (Black), Grunfeld (Black), Modern Benoni (Black)

    As for that last one, I’ll play Benoni type structures in certain lines of the King’s Indian, especially when I see White do a bonehead play like 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e3 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2, I will play 6…c5, as White never can do anything without playing e4, in which case I’m a tempo up in the Benoni. Also, some lines that call for c5, like the Averbakh, is a different story. No longer in main line Modern Benoni territory.

    Otherwise, while I do have my favorites (i.e. 1…e5 lines against 1.e4, King’s Indian, etc.), you could legitimately see anything else on my board, and I do occasionally play something different just to get a “different” game so that I’m not playing moves out of habit, I’m putting true thought into every position.

    There is of course argument for playing the same opening over and over again for 25+ years, but I just don’t see the benefit.

  20. I thought the Von Hennig Schara Gambit might have been in Alterman’s Black Gambit Guide.
    A bit disappointed really 🙁

  21. I have a question about Black’s Gambit Guide. The extract suggests that this book is inspirational and teaches the basic ideas of the openings. Is there enough detail for players up to 2200 to form a basic repertoire say for the Benko?

  22. Would it be possible to have the “Variation Index” for Black Gambit Guide ? Just to know a little more about 1.d4,Nf6 sidelines and others.

  23. @Grant
    I would think so. It is not a typical opening book; it is largely inspirational and educational, but we have aimed to improve the theory side of this book compared to the previous book, simply to have a slightly different kind of book, not because there were any faults with the concept of the other book.

  24. Please give us PDF EXCERPT on GM TARRASCH!

    Since there’s 2 weeks till birth, we are very curious 🙂

    PS Mr. Shaw, please upload it faster than you’ll finish “King’s Gambit” manuscript 🙂

  25. Alekhine Power :
    Please give us PDF EXCERPT on GM TARRASCH!
    Since there’s 2 weeks till birth, we are very curious
    PS Mr. Shaw, please upload it faster than you’ll finish “King’s Gambit” manuscript

    Hi Alekhine Power,

    I shall do what I can to make you happy. It’s what I live for.

  26. I am interested in knowing further details on the publication date of Grandmaster Repertoire 10. Like “Alekhine Power” previously commented…

    Alekhine Power :
    Please give us PDF EXCERPT on GM TARRASCH!

    I too am interested in a PDF excerpt of Grandmaster Repertoire 10 to be released as soon as possible.

  27. is the cover of Granmaster vs. Amateur realy suitable? I have nightmares since seeing it the first time 🙂

    Any hope for the newsletter this week?

  28. @Jeffrey “notyetagm” Hall
    1) Maybe not. We are not done with it yet. This Chess Evolution project really kicked everything off kilter.

    2) January on our list. Basically we just got railroaded. The decision not to publish them together had everything to do with Lev’s health situation. This book was pushed forward as soon as we understood the gravity of his situaiton. Luckily he is better and has a real chance to survive, but he really wants to see the book, and we are not the ones to deny a sick man’s wishes.

  29. doctorhu :
    Where is the Kings gambit book? Why is it always delayed? Please publish it soon!


    Large parts of the The King’s Gambit book are located on my computer and in my head.

    It is always delayed because I work on it when I have nothing urgent to do; I always have something urgent to do.

    We will try to publish it soon. Will “soon” be within the next three months? It’s a mystery, but I hope for a happy ending.

  30. John Shaw :

    doctorhu :
    Where is the Kings gambit book? Why is it always delayed? Please publish it soon!

    …located on my computer and in my head.
    …I work on it…; I always have something urgent…
    We will try… Will “soon” be within the next three months? It’s a mystery…

    Well that’s the spirit 🙂

    Let’s analyze:

    1) …located on my computer and in my head:

    – not yet written, not yet finished setting the main lines 🙁

    2) …I work on it…; I always have something urgent:

    – I need a good excuse cause good excuse worth’s gold coins 🙂
    – I must cover myself with something “more urgent” 🙂 than the King’s Gambit 🙁

    3)We will try… Will “soon” be within the next three months? It’s a mystery…:

    – Mr. Shaw has intentions to be a politician, he is very good promise maker 🙂

  31. @Alekhine Power

    Hi Alekhine Power,

    1) Not yet finished writing, but many months of studying the lines and finding new moves already done. As well as many new ideas helpfully suggested by friends and associates.

    2) I don’t need any excuses thanks, but I’m happy to make some up if you like. I have neglected the King’s Gambit because I have been worried about the Euro crisis and the prospects of the Scottish football team.

    3) I don’t see any promises in anything I wrote, so your suggestion that I am a good promise maker, while flattering, is pure speculation.

  32. Dear John,

    you really don’t need excuses…
    Alekhine Power is a master in
    a) having ideas
    b) claiming that the world = QC has to fulfill it
    There are so many books he wants to read – one wonders when he ever has time for playing chess…

  33. @GM Aagaard:

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Jeffrey “notyetagm” Hall
    1) Maybe not. We are not done with it yet. This Chess Evolution project really kicked everything off kilter.

    Well, if there is time to include in Suba’s forthcoming book Gelfand’s beautiful positional queen sacrifice over Jobava from the 2011 ECC, then maybe there is still time to include Aronian’s incredible double exchange sacrifice victory over World #1 Magnus Carlsen from the recent Botvinnik Memorial.

    GM Aagaard, do you think this game is a masterpiece by Aronian, like Bareev did, or just a badly played game by Carlsen as others have suggested?

  34. Re Alterman’s Gambit Guide, what is the Vaganian Gambit? There’s a sac of the b-pawn in the Tromp for White named for him, but this is a book for Black, not White. I have a vague, roughly 30 year old memory of his playing 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 (6.cxd5 Bc5)…is that it?

  35. @John Shaw
    Thanks John! However, I get a little concerned by your answer. To me, the King’s gambit is a very urgent matter! Hopefully, you will come around and feel the same… Cheers!

  36. @Dennis M

    Hi Dennis M,

    Yes, that’s exactly right. The Vaganian Gambit = 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 6.exd5 Bc5. This move order is important to Black Gambits 1 because Boris Alterman gives a lot of ideas in the Benko Gambit, but suppose after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 White avoids 3.d5 with 3.Nf3. No problem, Black has the Vaganian Gambit. Similarly, if White plays 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 Black can go 2…e6 3.c4 c5 4.d5 b5 (so the Blumenfeld Gambit is also covered). And so on.

    Black Gambits 1 isn’t quite a complete gambit repertoire with Black against 1.d4 and 1.c4, but it’s close.

  37. I realise it is a JV, but could I ask what is the target customer base for the Chess Evolution series, in terms of rating and market share vs competing publications etc? At just under £30 (London Chess Centre pricing) it is significantly more expensive than Informant, as well as other Quality Chess Publications. Not criticising your pricing point at all, but would just like to understand who it is aimed at……next time I go to the London Chess Centre I’ll probably make a decision between buying the September edition and the latest version of Informant, so your insights would be useful!

  38. @Paul
    Hi Paul. As matters have it, I was just looking in Chess Informant 110 while my computer was starting up. The price difference is 5 pounds (incidently the price is given by CE and not by us. We fear that it is a bit uncommercial, but probably a fair valuation of the product).

    In CI you have a number of analysis from good players, but mainly from CI’s own staff. Looking at the games I have analysed is always a good indication of the quality. I quickly skimmed game 84 – Nielsen – Van Wely and was amazed with the 5 seconds engine evaluations I found there. Move 23…Ne7?? – the position is entirely lost anyway. Yes, 23…Bxf5 is a better defence, but the main point, that 20…Nd4! gives Black a reasonable position is entirely missed. You need to work to find such things, and this is what you get with Chess Evolution. This is why we made an agreement with Naiditsch and why we support the project – because we need high quality chess books out there.

  39. Hello M. Aagaard.
    I don’t see anymore suba’s upcoming book about the positional sacrifices in your schedule. Is it delayed ?

  40. @FM To Be
    We postponed it a bit because we had too big a work load. Hopefully we will be able to move on with this project early in the new year with the publication of Chess Evolution 2.

  41. I received Boris Alterman’s new book on Black Gambit’s yesterday and was very impressed. I very much enjoyed going through the first few games. The notes are very readable and instructive. While the book is not an opening manual I think for players up to 2100 one could probably use this book as the primary reference source for the openings that are covered. In fact a number of interesting ideas are covered which I have not seen elsewhere particularly in the topical Fianchetto Variation and the f3 line. Overall this is a fun read. Keep up the good work.

  42. @Grant
    We worked a lot with this book, especially Andrew. Although obviously Boris is the author, this book is a true team effort. I am happy you like it; and have received it exactly as intended :-).

  43. Dear Mr. Aagaard,
    I have a question about the variations you have chosen in your tarrasch-book. I know that after 9. Bg5 you choose 9… c4 for your repertoire book.
    Can you tell me why 9… h6 ( yes on move nine before cxd4 ) is so rarely played?
    Someone played this against me when I had the white pieces and only a few moves later I was already struggling to keep the balance.
    Because of this game I played 9…h6 myself in several rapid games and I got always a good game.
    So as an experienced tarrsch player, can you tell me why this move order is so rarely played?

    Best regards

  44. @Waldorf
    No! I did not consider it. I will obviously look into if this is something I should include last moment in the book, though I fear it has a refutation.

  45. Dear Mr. Aagaard,
    thanks for your answer. Here are the lines I know about this move order. Maybe it is a help for your deciusion wether to include it or not.

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 c5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. dxc5
    From Bologan`s DVD about the Catalan:
    A) 11… Be6 12. Qd2 Qd7 13. Rac1 d4 14. Nb5 a6 15. Nd6 Bxa2 16. Ne1 Be6 17. Nd3 He says that it is best for White to give back the material and get a very pleasant position. The Nd3 will do an excellent job for White.
    B) 11… Bxc3 12. bxc3 Be6 13. Nd4 Qa5 14. Qb3 Qxc5 15. e4

    In my own above mentioned game(45min+45sec), where I had the white pieces, my opponent played:
    11 … Le6 12.Dd2 Tc8 13.Tfd1 De7 14.Tac1 Tfd8 15.Sb5 a6 16.Sd6 probably Nbd4 was better because on d6 it will have no retreat square 16… Tb8 17.b4 b6 18.Tb1 Dc7 19.a3 bxc5 20.bxc5 Sa5 21.Sd4 Dxc5 and Black is in my opinion already better.

    Best regards

  46. Jacob,

    Give me your honest reply please!

    I’ll include Tarrasch into my Black repertoire so will your book be enough or should I also buy your earlier books “Meeting 1.d4”?

    Also tell me if Baburin’s book on isolated pawn is the main middlegame book for Tarrasch player?

    Please give me a hand 🙂

  47. @Waldorf
    I had a brief look at Bologan’s DVD to check the lines we were going to use in the book and found his treatment of 9…c4 laughable. I don’t want to say that the DVD is bad, only that his treatment of 9…c4 is so brief (to make everything fit) that his treatment of 9…h6 must be cursery as well.

    So, I don’t take his word on this line to be a deep opinion either.

    For the player wanting a repertoire after 3 hours the Bologan DVD is not stupid, it is just not extensive.

  48. @Alekhine Power
    No, you don’t need Meeting 1.d4. Only the Reti chapter is still relevant.

    I think you will need Avrukh’s coming books on 1.d4 sidelines if you want a detailed repertoire, and probably this a more useful book than ANY main line book will be.

    Baburin’s book is excellent.

  49. I just looked at the excerpt from the forthcoming Psakhis book, and wonder if it’s all like that. If so, then although the title suggests some kind of workbook, it looks from the table of contents like 8/9 standard annotated games collection and 1/9 workbook. Yes? – or are there further invitations to interaction in the first 320 pages? (Yes, readers can of course analyze the games on their own without explicit prompting, but that’s true with any chess book.) It’s not a question about the content – it’s clear that Psakhis has dug very deeply! It’s a question about marketing.

  50. @Dennis

    Hi Dennis,

    Re Advanced Chess Tactics: I am interested in your comment “the title suggests some kind of workbook”. I didn’t read it as suggesting a workbook or puzzle book, and that is not the main style of the book. It is about tactics and attacking and there are many puzzles, but you are correct most of it is annotated games, not puzzles.

    I saw it as a book people might like after first reading Understanding Chess Tactics. Again, UCT is not a puzzle book.

    We try to avoid confusion in our titles and covers, but it doesn’t always work. e.g. Some saw the cover of Tactimania and guessed it was a children’s book. Not so. Tactimania really is a puzzle book.

  51. Hi John,

    Thanks for the reply. In response to your first comment, it seems to me that putting “tactics” (or “tactical”) in the title lends itself to such expectations. I can think of dozens of books with that word in the title that are puzzle books, while only three books come to mind that aren’t, and two of them still have lots of puzzles in them. (The one exception, IIRC, is Nunn’s “Tactical Chess Endings”.) Psakhis’ title is also strongly reminiscent of Averbakh’s “Chess Tactics for Advanced Players”. That book wasn’t a classical puzzle book either, but a mix of didactic material and puzzles. Anyway, I’m sure the Psakhis book will be well done.

    I like that there’s a chapter on the Modern Benoni – not so much because I play it (I haven’t played it in a serious game in ages), but because it’s different. IQP material is pretty standard and has been well-covered by a number of authors, probably most notably Baburin, so I hope Psakhis has something new to offer here!

  52. Dennis,

    I can think of a few more that aren’t problem books. First chess book I ever read, Yasser Seiriwan’s “Winning Chess Tactics” back in the fall of 1995, was like you are saying this new book is. It explains about forks, pins, skewers, etc. It didn’t do “complete” games, but took positions from the middle of games, and a few composed cases possibly, and then there would be a few problems at the end of each chapter, but not like it was a problems book.

    Another one that I don’t seem to recall having many problems in them, if any at all, is Dvoretsky’s book from the 90s, Secrets of Chess Tactics (The one with the pink cover).

    Yet another case of Tactics in the title without problems, the 6 book series “Tactics in the Chess Opening #” where # is 1 thru 6. I think 1 was Sicilian, 2 was Open games, 3 was other Semi-Open, like French, Caro-Kann, etc, 4 was I think Closed games (1.d4 d5), 5 was Indian Defenses, and 6 was Flank openings.

    Others, that are specific names of certain tactics, are also Games or Game Fragments, like “Alekhine’s Block”, “Combination Cross”, “Mitrofinaov’s Deflection”, etc. I know that series didn’t get good reviews, and the latter ones are a little off the wall and rare, but the first 2, on Alekhine’s Block and Combination Cross (Cross Pins) have come up repeatedly in my games. I rarely get cases of …Rf6 or …Nf6 (2 of the most common of Alekhine’s Block) against me, if ever (I think I may have had Nf6 done against me once by an IM), but I’ve had a good dozen to two dozen cases of it myself on the offensive side.

    Actually, a lot of today’s problem books don’t have “Tactics” in the title, for example:

    ChessCafe Puzzle Book
    The Complete Chess Workout
    The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book

    etc etc.

  53. I have to agree with Dennis here. I was expecting a puzzle book, too, and if I read the word “tactics” in a book title it is a clear hint towards a puzzle book, IMHO.

    I remember when I had a look at the sample pages, I thought “this looks nice, but where are the puzzles and what’s the book’s concept?” Of course I like the commented game and Psakhis’ writing style, but I’m still not sure what to expect. Is it mainly a games collection or what specific aspect(s) does Psakhis deal with in his book?

    As Dennis already mentioned, this is a marketing problem. The book’s content is only loosely connected to it.

  54. Hello Mr. Aagaard,

    have bougth both “attacking manuals”. For I play the games on my PC (not on the chess board) I am looking for the possibility to get the diagrams (listed in the books) in digital format (pgn or so on), so that I dont need to build them up with my chessbase-programm.
    Do you have this diagramms digitally (I would like to pay for it)?

    Best regards,

    PS: Excuse my bad English

  55. @Andre
    I still don’t see it. From a marketing perspective, it is a good thing to connect it with Understanding Chess Tactics 2, which will be out in 2 months time, called Chess Tactics from Scratch, with a similar cover. As has been pointed out, many “tactics” books have not been puzzle books.

  56. @Andre

    Hello Andre!

    I’m also disappointed by Psakhis’ book cause I expected full high level training on tactics which the title “Advanced Chess Tactics” suggests.

    But I sincerely expected something like a successor of Jacob’s excellent “Practical Chess Defence” which covers players range on a Elo 2000-2500 rating scale!

    After founding out that the Psakhis’ book deals with attacking play I’m not keen on buying it because my hardcovers of “The Attacking Manual 1&2” still needed to be read 🙂

    Suma sumarum: the title of book is a blank shoot 🙁

  57. @Alekhine Power

    Hi Alekhine Power,

    Psakhis’s book is indeed on Advanced Chess Tactics, with a particular focus on attacking. Anyone who reads the book will find it witty, instructive, advanced and intelligent – because that is the way Psakhis wrote it. Naturally, I am biased, but I’m also right. I am sure Psakhis could have written a puzzle book if he wanted to, but this time he didn’t.

    The title is “a blank shoot”? A book that involves advanced chess tactics called Advanced Chess Tactics. Unimaginative, maybe.

    I agree Jacob’s Practical Chess Defence is excellent, but does it cover players only up to 2500? We know 2700+ players who struggled with some of the “easier” puzzles in it.

    In another thread you were reminding us not to aim at too high-rated a level. In this thread you want a successor to our most difficult book (PCD). Intriguing.

  58. @John Shaw


    I wrote “So keep in mind that your books should be even better cause players in range of Elo 1900-2300 have big share of 56,96%”, so in other words I made a good point by presenting you this big group of players with lion-share-cake 🙂

  59. On the non Jusupov “Chess Evolutions”- I bought the latest version, and thought it was really, really good. Maybe too many Grunfeld games is my only complaint, and as I pointed out in the earlier post maybe the pricing point was a tad ambitious (but as Jacob responded not due to Quality Chess). I especially liked the fact the overlap with the games annotated in New in Chess Magazine was virtually zero- though whether this is intentional or co-incidence I could not tell. As a way of a keen amateur keeping in touch with the 50 most important (not annotated in New in Chess) games of the previous quarter by the top players, I thought it was unsurpassed. The rook endgame section was very good too. I look forward to picking up the November edition at the end of the month from the London Chess Centre!

  60. @Alekhine Power:
    I’m not “disappointed”. If the sample is any indication the content is first-rate. It’s not what I expected, but that’s no reason for disappointment. From the sample it’s obvious Psakhis put his heart & soul into it. I have no doubt it’s a very good book and absolutely worth the money.
    Maybe I’m even somewhat happy about it. A puzzle book of the difficulty of Perfect your Chess (Volokitin & coach) would have been too heavy for me.

    I cannot really explain it. When I read “tactics” in a book title I either expect a puzzle book, a book with lots of examples (-> the puzzles inside the normal text) or a textbook on the the well known combinations catalog. Maybe I’m spoiled by too many such books.
    My expectation was:
    Chess Tactics from Scratch -> explains the tactics
    Psakhis -> adds high caliber examples
    Now it’s slightly different. Either Dennis’ and my expectations were wrong or your communication wasn’t 100% precise. Marketing’s a bitch! 😉

  61. Will there be a German version of Experts on the Anti-SI?
    I played Avrukh’s Grand Prix line over the weekend. It was a spontaneous decision, I had only read the chapter without using a board. It turned out the chaos this variation produces has indeed some logic behind it. We found 15 moves of theory over the board and then it was unclear. Unfortunately my 200 points lower rated opponent played his best game in years, leading to a hard-fought and well deserved draw. 😉
    Anyway, he asked were I found this, etc.

  62. @Andre
    Yeah, don’t I know it.

    Actually there are over 100 exercises in the book, if you combined the diagram preview and the exercises section. I personally made the diagram preview and helped a good deal with the exercises section (Psakhis has, as is well known, suffered from poor health and went through a major operation this year), so in some ways this is actually a difficult puzzle book as well – if you want to use it as such. Some of my friends did this with the Attacking Manuals and suffered, despite being really very very good players…

  63. @Andre
    No plans. Essentially Niggemann tells us what books they want in German, as they buy and distribute all copies. So far we have heard nothing.

  64. Hi Jacob,

    I have some questions about the Sicilian, some lines I have been running into a lot, looking for some advice…
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 Qb6 8. Bb3 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Kh1 Nc5… Don’t know why but I am having trouble in this line, after an exhchange of the knight of f6 anf then a fast f4-f5, finding myself getting into trouble, I know the lines where white castles short in GM6 are not covered because there are not considred dangerous, so was hoping for some advice on a simple or not so simply plan.

    the other line I see a lot that is supposed to not be correct is…

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 b4 9. Nce2 e5 10. Nb3 Nc6 11. O-O-O? a5… followed by king b1…a4, Nc1, and then how do I take advatage of this position, not b3, and my computer liked a3, not sure what the best way to take advantage of this postion, in GM6 it simply gives a5…and black is in good shape, and white has problems on the Queen side, any advice on how I can take advantage? I see 11.0-0-0, in almost every game I played this variation in, and failed to take advatage of the move order…Thanks for any feed back and advice.

    I noticed you played the Na4 variation in one of your recent games, fun to watch you using the GM6 rep…

  65. Hi Jacob,

    Just found this game…

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 b4 9. Nce2 e5 10. Nb3 Nc6 11. O-O-O a5 12. Kb1 a4 13. Nbc1 Be6 14. g4 h6 15. Ng3 Qa5 16. h4 d5 17. g5 hxg5 18. hxg5 Rxh1 19. Nxh1 d4 20. gxf6 dxe3 21. Qxe3 gxf6 22. Ng3 b3 23. cxb3 axb3 24. a3 Nd4 25. Nh5 Bxa3 26. bxa3 Qc5 27. Rd2 Rxa3 28. Nxf6 Kd8 29. Ne2 Qc2 30. Rxc2 bxc2 31. Kc1 Rxe3 32. Nxd4 exd4 33. Kxc2 Rxf3 0-1, Andreev Eduard (UKR) – Panarin Michail (RUS), Vladimir (Russia), 2006

    13…be6, does this look good to you?

    and what about when white plays 8. a3, I usually play Nbd7-nb6 plan, followed by bringing the f6 knight to d7 and then attack on the Queen side Bb7-Rc8 types of plans.

    Last question…

    A lot of people have been playing f3 against me latley in the Sozin 6.Bc4 lines, wanting to play an English attack position with the bishop on b3, like against the dragon, I found this one game. Do you think this is the best way to play against this kind of set up?

    1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 b5 8. f3 Be7 9. Be3 O-O 10. Qd2 Bb7 11. O-O-O Nbd7 12. g4 Nc5 13. g5 Nfd7 14. h4 Rc8 15. Kb1 b4 16. Nce2 a5 17. g6 hxg6 18. h5 g5 19. h6 g6 20. h7 Kh8 21. Rh6 Ne5 22. a4 bxa3 23. Rg1 Nxb3 24. cxb3 Nxf3 25. Nxf3 Bxe4 26. Ka2 Bxf3 27. Nd4 Bd5

    0-1, Frolov Alexander G (RUS) – Pobochij Alexandr, Ufa (Russia), 1999


  66. @Michael
    Panarin’s play looked quite impressive. In general I would suggest to go to your database and search for games with the pawn formation like there, pawns on a2,b2,c2,e4,f3 and for black a5,b4,d6,e5 and you would quickly find a number of interesting games. This is certainly one of them.

    Putting the bishop on b3 in the English Attack loses time, but is of course not directly bad. If Black gets the knight to c5 he is a tempo up on the Blood Diamond variation almost instantly, with the exception of White plays Bg5-e3, in which case it would be a transposition.

    With regards to 9.0-0. This will certainly be treated better in the 2nd edition (which in many ways will be a whole new book). I looked at the line you mentioned and quickly found the solution, as so often by the inventor of the Blood Diamon Line (or at least one of them – apparently others claim to have played …Qc5! independently, although not in my database):

    Lois – Tiemann, 2010

    1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 Qb6 8.
    Bb3 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Kh1 Nc5 11. f4 h6 12. Bh4 Ncxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe7
    Kxe7 15. Qd3 Nf6 16. Rae1 Kf8 17. Re3 Bd7 18. c3 a5 19. a4 h5 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21.
    axb5 a4 22. Bd1 g6 23. c4 Kg7 24. Rg3 h4 25. Rg5 d5 26. cxd5 exd5 27. Bf3 Rhe8
    28. Re5 Qc5 29. h3 Qb4 30. Bxd5 Rad8 31. Rxe8 Nxe8 32. Qe4 Qxb5 33. Bc4 Qc6 34.
    Qxc6 bxc6 35. Ra1 Rd2 36. Rxa4 Nd6 37. Bf1 Rxb2 38. Ra8 Rb1 0-1

  67. My game with Svetushin is a real problem. Actually, Nikos e-mailed me with a “problem in the GM6” repertoire, with the first 19 moves of my game with Dimitry. This is the way it goes!

    I think we will recommend 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.0-0-0 b4 11.Na4 Ne5!? in the second edition, but its early days. There is still 2-3 weeks till we begin working seriously on the project.

  68. Thank you Jacob,

    I have a basic plan for now against castle short in the Blood Diamond. I will pay attention to the pawn positions in the Nce2 variation in the English, and thank you for the game. I am looking forward to the GM6 2nd edition, sounds like you are going to have some very interesting updates and changes. The …Ne5 line in the Na4 variation sounds really interesting and exciting!!! I notice that so many players castle short in the Bc4 Blood Diamond simple becasuse they think they are playing the poisined pawn varation or the position seems similar, so I see it a lot. I noticed that a lot of players don’t like to go for the pawn sac line, don’t know the Bxf6 followed by f5 line and so there for switch to the Bc4 line, so thanks for the game and more material in the upcomming edition.

    In the new line you may be recommending, is the main move 11…Qa5, this line is coverd in The Najdorf the Cutting edge if I remeber correctly, which can lead to black losing a pawn, so 11…Ne5 like I said sounds interesting, Ah the Siclian, always keeping us on our toes!!!
    But if you recommend 8…Nbd7 in the English (Which by the way is the way I learned it, Play the Najdorf Schev. Stlye Emms) Won’t this change the Nec2 Variation as well, seeing that the Knight is already in d7, what would you play after Nec2 retreat, which I just checked and found this move played just as much as Na4, So 14…Qc7 then? Anyway sure it is still to early for you to anwser such quesitons just curious and this is one of my favorite opening to discuss.

    So Thanks again for your time and expertise Jacob…Much appreciated!

  69. Got that wrong! After 11.Na4 Ne5 is the main move, I confused this line with
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 h6 10. O-O-O Bb7 11. h4 b4 12. Na4 Qa5 13. b3 Nc5 14. a3 Nxa4 15. axb4 Qc7 16. bxa4
    from the cutting edge book, got the variations crossed in my head…

    mixed up 10. …Bb7 with 10. …b4

    Thanks again…

  70. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Generally what are the changes that the second edition of GM6 that will differ with the first edition? Do they include more …e5 lines? Will there be new recommendations on the sixth move? Will the book be the same size or close to 500 pages?

  71. Alekhine Power :@Gilchrist is a Legend
    You can’t force Jacob to include on Be2 e5!!!
    He seems to be very stubborn, but I don’t see why he should write 20 pages for us lovers of Karjakin style: …e5 on modest Be2 chapter

    Since when was Jacob the one that decides. Isn’t Jacob simply the editor, checking for mistakes, and making sure it prints ok? Ftacnik wrote the book, and I can tell you, having observed Ftacnik a number of times and having lost to him three times myself (Twice as White in head-to-head matchups, once as Black in a simul), I can tell you from first hand observation that he is a Scheveningen fanatic (in the one game I faced him where I did play 1.e4, it was a Closed Sicilian, and he played very much in Najdorf/Scheveningen style with the early 2…a6, 3…b5, 4…Bb7, and shortly later, …e6). Why not let him write on what he both knows AND likes to play? Yeah, he’s a GM, and he could play just about any opening and beat people like me (Rating approx 2050), but the Scheveningen is his passion. Why does he have to do what you say? Is Ftacnik your slave? I hate to tell you this, but slavery was abolished in the 1860s. 🙂

    Hey, while you give 6…e5 3 exclams, maybe Ftacnik’s assessment is 6.Be2 e5??? Ya never know! 🙂

  72. @Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Jacob, the problem with GM6 that you mentioned, is it in the variation played in your game in the English with the Na4 retreat, GM6 recomends after white plays 14. Rfc1 GM6 recommends to play14. … Rc8 instead of 14. …Qb8. Looking at The Cutting Edge isn’t 14. …Qb8 the right move and on 15. Rab1 playing 15…d5N or 15…Rd8N, is this the corrrect plan in this position?

  73. Hi, I just bought the Alterman Gambit Guide Black Gambits 1 book. I am very impressed by the author’s style and the level of detail seems just right for me – my opponents deviate anyway, there’s no need to know too much theory. It is especially nice that he summarises in the 1 d4 Nf6 chapter which lines white can play to avoid the gambits, and he shows how you can instead transpose to the Tarrasch. (1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 c4 c5 4 (other than d5)-d5!) Which is great because I will buy GM10 too. I’m guessing the Vaganian gambit is more or less forced after 3 .. exd4.

    One little criticism: sometimes apparently the order of games is inverted. I think I’ve seen it in other places too, but it’s especially clear between games 29 and 30. The first 7 moves are the same, but only game 30 explains them. Also there’s a little Nxd5 trick in both games, and in game 29 it said “this is that trick again!”.

  74. @Patrick
    You seem to be back to your default thinking that we are four GMs and one IM with norms in the office just to look for language mistakes. This is not the case at all, we do a LOT of chess work too.

  75. @Michael
    I think 15…Rd8 has actually been played, but I have a bad feeling about the position in general. However, if it works, I will probably include both lines in the second edition.

  76. No problem, I asked the wrong question, it was about what you said about the second edtion.

    “I think we will recommend 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.0-0-0 b4 11.Na4 Ne5!? in the second edition, but its early days. There is still 2-3 weeks till we begin working seriously on the project.”

    My question is if we play 8…Nbd7 will this change the whole rep. In case white plays,

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. O-O-O
    and casltes on move 9. Then what, Bb7 leading to a big main line after 10…h4, or Nb6?, or 9….h6 transposing?

    or did I read this wrong?

    can you still play …b4 with the knight on d7? I have not seen this that often.

  77. Sorry, My mistake, when I said “Then what, Bb7 leading to a big main line after 10…h4.”

    Of course I meant 11…h4,

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. O-O-O Bb7 10. g4 h6 11. h4 b4 12. Na4 Qa5

    So my question is are we going to play 8. Nbd7 instead of 8…b4?

  78. Jacob Aagaard :@Patrick You seem to be back to your default thinking that we are four GMs and one IM with norms in the office just to look for language mistakes. This is not the case at all, we do a LOT of chess work too.

    Jacob, I never said that you are just 4 GMs and an IM in the office looking for Language mistakes. You also write your own books (i.e. GM Rep 1.e4 and GM Rep Tarrasch in your case, King’s Gambit in John’s case, etc, just to name a few – well aware there are others), but are there not other books, above and beyond what you write yourself, where your primary task is to check for errors, set up the printers, make sure the paper is the right type of paper, making sure everything will fit properly on the pages, getting them shipped out to online stores worldwide and local shops in Europe, all the other technical work? Not in any way did I ever imply that’s all you do, but isn’t your task level different for different books?

    I just don’t see how readers can blame you for the content of every book ever sold by Quality Chess, unless every book is like Starting Out: The Modern Benoni, where you actually write 90% of the book, and slap someone else’s name on it. If that’s what’s actually happening, you should run for Prime Minister – probably work less hours per week! 🙂

  79. No, it will be sent to the printer early next week. Then it is a question of how fast he can do it. Arkadij were delayed by becoming European Champion.

  80. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Is GM6 2nd Edition updating only the 6…Nbd7 line against the Classic Main Line, or both 6…e6 7. f4 h6 and 6…Nbd7?

  81. Hi Jacob,

    You gave me some advice a while back about planning in chess, I believe it was three simple questions, 1. what is my opponents plan? 2. where are the weaknesses? 3. which is the worst placed piece? (Please correct me if I am wrong) Anyway my question is the best way to go a little deeper with this stategy. Excelling at postional chess, will this have some info about these questions?, like now that I know my opponents plan, what do I do, what steps do I take, can I stop his plan from happening or delay it? and after I find the weaknesses What’s the best way to exploit them?, and if I dont have a bad pice but my opponent does, ways to keep it out of play. Would you recomend Excelling at Postional Chess for these Question, or you Attacking Manuals, or Both? For the endgame I figure Mark D. Endgame Manual plus Excelling at technical chess is a good combo, yes?

    I hope you consider adding the 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.0-0-0 b4 11.Na4 Ne5!? variation against the English in your 2nd edition of GM6, I have been looking at this line and think it looks very intersting, I especially like the e5 route for the Knight after 11.Na4, and looked up some games where white casltes on move 9 and the counter play looks good, a recent game by Bologan showed blacks potential counterplay.

    [Event “European Club Cup”]
    [Site “Rogaska Slatina SLO”]
    [Date “2011.09.26”]
    [EventDate “2011.09.25”]
    [Round “2.7”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [White “Sigurbjorn Bjornsson”]
    [Black “Viktor Bologan”]
    [ECO “B80”]
    [WhiteElo “2349”]
    [BlackElo “2656”]
    [PlyCount “98”]

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6
    7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. O-O-O Nb6 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. g4 Rc8
    12. g5 Nfd7 13. Kb1 Ne5 14. Qe1 Nec4 15. Bc1 g6 16. h4 Bg7
    17. Nce2 Na4 18. Bxc4 bxc4 19. Qb4 Nc5 20. Qxc4 O-O 21. Qb4
    Qc7 22. Ka1 d5 23. exd5 Bxd5 24. h5 Rfd8 25. h6 Bh8 26. Rhf1
    a5 27. Qa3 Na6 28. Bd2 Nb4 29. Bxb4 axb4 30. Qxb4 Qa7 31. a3
    Rc4 32. Qd2 Ra4 33. Qc3 Ra8 34. Rfe1 Qe7 35. Kb1 Qxg5 36. Qc7
    Qxh6 37. Nb5 Qf8 38. Nec3 Rc4 39. Qd7 Bxf3 40. Rd6 Rcc8
    41. Re3 Rd8 42. Qc7 Bg4 43. Red3 Rdc8 44. Qb6 Bf5 45. Rd2 Be5
    46. Rd7 Rcb8 47. Qe3 Bxc3 48. Nxc3 Rxa3 49. Qe5 Rxb2+ 0-1

    and if the knight retreats to e2 I liked Ivanchuk’s treament

    [Event “Euro Club Cup”]
    [Site “Kallithea GRE”]
    [Date “2008.10.23”]
    [EventDate “2008.10.17”]
    [Round “7”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [White “Sergey Karjakin”]
    [Black “Vassily Ivanchuk”]
    [ECO “B80”]
    [WhiteElo “2730”]
    [BlackElo “2786”]
    [PlyCount “94”]

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6
    7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 h6 10. O-O-O b4 11. Nce2 Qc7 12. h4
    d5 13. Bh3 dxe4 14. g5 hxg5 15. hxg5 exf3 16. Ng3 Nd5 17. g6
    N7f6 18. gxf7+ Kxf7 19. Nf1 Rxh3 20. Rxh3 e5 21. Nxf3 Bxh3
    22. Ng5+ Kg8 23. Nxh3 Qa5 24. Qd3 Qxa2 25. Qb3 Qxb3 26. cxb3
    Be7 27. Bd2 Ne4 28. Re1 Nc5 29. Kc2 e4 30. Ne3 Nxe3+ 31. Bxe3
    Nd3 32. Ra1 Rf8 33. Kd2 Rf3 34. Ng1 Rf6 35. Ne2 Rg6 36. Ra5
    Bf6 37. Bd4 Bg5+ 38. Be3 Bf6 39. Bd4 Bd8 40. Rd5 Bg5+ 41. Be3
    Bf6 42. Bd4 Rg2 43. Bxf6 Rxe2+ 44. Kxe2 Nf4+ 45. Kf2 Nxd5
    46. Bd4 Kf7 47. Kg3 g5 0-1

    Again thanks for your time and advice.

  82. @Michael
    The use of the questions is to focus your mind to what is important in the position. There is no deep knowledge as such. I will be using them in some of my future books, but did not use them in the books your refer to. The Excelling book is too old – I learned a lot since I wrote it. The Attacking Manuals are great for having the knowledge to answer these questions, but I did not think it was the right place to use them.

    The 11.Nce2 Qc7 was already covered in the first edition and will certainly stay.

  83. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I will definitely buy GM6 2nd Edition. Then a total of three lines against 6. Bg5, including GM6 1st Edition will be more than helpful. With GM6 and Experts on the Anti-Sicilian, then three lines total for 2. c3.

  84. @Michael
    I think Exc. Pos is a good exercise book and that the articles are reasonable in it. But I am sure my coming book will be much better. Simply I am a much better writer, far more serious and then of course also on a completely different level as a player.

  85. @Jacob Aagaard
    I noticed that when excelling at any part of the game, that there are so many books that are a wast of time, (not talking about any of yours), It can be hard as an amatuer player to not waste lots of money and time on the wrong books, of course you want to study the classics but they can be so dry it takes away from your love for the game, that’s why I am grateful that you started QC so we can have quality books that are well written with your own personal style which you and your other authors do well, keeping us hooked in and having fun while we learn. I like you writing style and I find that it’s very important when studing the different phases of the game to relate well to your teacher, and although many authors can explain in detail postions and aspects of the game, it is not personal, and with many of QC books you get all this and the personal character of the author’s usually shine through, making it feel more personal like getting coached instead of just being left to fend for your self. So thanks!

    One question, when it comes to your books on tactics, The 2nd edition of Understanding Chess tactics, what level would you suggest this book up to or what rating?, and Advanded Chess Tactics, master and above?

    I asked you about the 3 questions again because I find that almost all books on the Middle game point out weakness and other imbalances, but most do not offer a way to make a plan. This can be hard, finding the right plan. Your 3 questions help a lot. The one place I saw a really good work up of how to make a plan was on the Internation Chess School website, like asking yourrself questions after you opp. moves like, what are the threats? are the threats real? what are the consequences of my opp. last move? and things like Qualitative and Quantiative imbalances, but this course is a lot of work, that I would like to do in the future but can not do of right now for personal reasons. So always looking for books to suppliment until I have real time to study in depth. And maybe this is not the correct way for my Chess evolution either, so will be keeping an eye out for anything you write on this subject and of course all other areas of the game as well.

    P.S. I wish you good luck on your GM 1.e4 Rep. project!

  86. @Michael
    Thank you for the warm words. When I came up with the idea of starting a publishing house it was with the notion that we would be able to do better than the other guys, simply because we would care more. I think this is right to a certain point – the point where the others have been forced to care more and seem to have fun doing so. In general after having very little competition for a few years, I sense the market is going into a period of improvement again.

    About personality. If it is lacking from a book, we don’t want to publish it. Or we put it in it. Being boring is the worst you can be.

    I do think chess books improved a lot from about 1999 till 2004, when we started. One of the main responsible people for this is John Watson who was more ambitious than others. It is no secret that he and I view chess differently, but I have always been very respectful for his level of ambition, even if he decided that it had to be sarcastic, just because I disagreed on his approach.

    Chess Tactics from Scratch will work up to aout 2200 level. Advanced Chess Tactics from about 1900 and all the way up.

    Planning is hard. Don’t think that all grandmasters do it!

    Btw. If you want to be good, this one element is more important than any other aspect of chess training: Find something which is just beyond your current ability and work on it for an hour with full concentration. It is the same element in all things in life. If you truly do your best at trying something a bit difficult, you will improve. An example: I used to lift weights before I became a parent. I was a lazy git and still am in many ways. As a result I did not do the last 1-3 reps that would have exhausted the muscle. I improved, but it was slow and discouraging.

    In Chess – if you want to improve on an area – this is the recipy: Find a strategy for improvement, f.ex. if you want to be better at positional/strategic play – have a method (could be the three questions, or just nothing – three questions work faster, but no method will work too) and find any book with strategic exercises (Excelling at Positional Chess is ok, so are others like Müller’s and (is it Dunnington’s or McDonald’s) some Everyman book anyway. Apply yourself for 10-20 minutes to each position with full attention. Take notes of your solution and write feedback on how well you were doing and what you could improve on in your notebook. Do this for a while – say a month – and you will have improved a bit.

    Another things which I was just reminded off. The Grandmaster Repertoire books are academic books – we are trying to prove something there – while the Grandmaster Guides are practical manuals, simply offering an approach to an opening. The first are fascinating because of the level of analysis, the latter practical for the one wanting to start a new opening/repertoire.

    The new Move by Move books are very interesting for low rated players, but we do worry about the repertoires recommended in them. If you read one of these books we warmly advice you to check the theory with other sources – for example a database. In the MbM Slav John pointed out that one line was refuted in advance in the game Eljanov – Shaw(!), Gothenburg 2005.

  87. Thanks for your advice…as I said I have some personal things to take care of first that are very important, but I like your suggestion about devoting like an hour to some aspect of the game that is a little above my understanding, Positional and Endgame are two aspects that are good for this plan. It took me a while to develop and regonize my playing style and then chosse opening that fit that sylte, I like aggressive postional, dynamic positions that are complicated, I use Your Playing the Queens Gambit as my main weapons as white along with the Bayonet in Beat the KID, Nimzo, and for now Rb1 against the Grunfeld (planning to purchase Challeging the Nimzo, and trying to decide on a line against the Grunfeld). As Black it is GM6 Sicilain, I alway prefer …e6 type positions, and GM8&9 The Grundeld. And GM6 2nd edition and Boris’ coming book in black against d4, without c4. I am grateful that I can find my whole rep at QC. The Qualitly of your books are much higher then the one I used before these which in turn helps me understand the reusting positions better. But soon opening and tactics need to be supplemented with a deeper understanding of postional play, and endgame, knowing when to grind down to a won engame in more positions would be great! And regonizing deeper tactics would also help to have a lot more wins.
    So again I thank you for your advice and will make it my future plan. I do want to improve and you make a point about the one element suggested above that I totally agree with. Now If I had only found chess when I was younger, and spent just a 3rd of the time on Chess instead of TV watching at night, Wow, I would be well on my way!!!

    Thanks again Jacob

  88. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Most of my repertoire is based on QC books with Avrukh’s GM1/GM2 series on 1. d4 for White, Avrukh’s GM8/GM9 series on the Grünfeld, Ftacnik’s GM6 (both 1st Edition and soon 2nd Edition) on the Sicilian, and soon to be Avrukh’s GM Repertoire against 1. d4 without 2. c4. I will definitely anticipate reading GM10 in a couple of weeks.

    I am not sure which line is going to be recommended in lieu of 6…e6 7. f4 h6 in GM6 2nd Edition, but it would be interesting if it were the 7…Qb6 line. I have not followed the latest theory, but the critical line seems to be 10. e5. I am unsure as to who is winning the theoretical battle. The Gelfand Variation is also interesting.

  89. @Michael
    Was just told again last night by two guys from my team how much they valued the first edition and that the additions to the second was exactly what was lacking first time around.

  90. @Jacob:
    “Maybe I should write something about training in general. A 128 page book.”

    Good idea. Or make it 200 pages and answer the question “How do I find a good move in any given position?” in a detailed way for different kinds of positions. Most books, if they’re dealing with this topic at all, suck at explaining when to calculate and how far, when and especially how to build a candidate list, when to rely on positional judgement, when just to make a decent move and get on with it, or when to rely on intuition & a blunder check.

  91. @Jacob Aagaard
    A short book on training would be great! If you ever find the time it would be a great contribution to the Chess world. Again thanks for the heads up on the Tactics book, Chess Tactics from Scatch, GM6 2nd edition, and Challenging the Nimzo, are the next books on my list. And by the way I also own and use Experts Vs. the Anti Siliclian, I bought it because of your section on Nf6 VS. the c3 Sicilian, I prefer this move to bringing out the Queen so early. Plus of course I have GM1&2 which any 1.d4 player should own. and are just classics reguardless of whatever opening you play.
    Again thanks Jacob.

  92. I second what Michael says. A book on training – on modern training, with the computer and the role of ICC etc etc – would sell like hotcakes.

  93. Let’s not exaggerate. None of us can know if it would sell like hot cakes. Although I personally would find such a book attractive.

  94. “Hotcakes” in the chess book world is a fairly relative term. I remember all too well the excitement over Dvoretsky’s first book in english, “Secrets of Chess Training.” It got returned quite a bit when people realized that it was far too advanced for them. The few books on training / improvement – Dvoretsky’s “Training for the Tournament Player,” Nunn’s “Secrets of Practical Chess,” Tisdall’s “Improve Your Chess Now” – have all done (IMHO) fairly well for chess books. People want to know how to improve, and especially now, with the ubiquity of computers and engines, the question of how to make best use of Chessbase / Fritz in training is not really addressed in the literature. I don’t think it’s exaggeration to say that kind of book, done well, would sell very well.

  95. @Jacob Aagaard
    Hey Jacob, I just ordered Understanding Chess Tactics by Martin Weteschnik, and
    Chess Lessons by Vladimir Popov. These two books look like a good place to start, I was reading your top 3 non-opening comment and saw Chess Lessons, looking at the pdf it looks well suited to what I was looking for, and I am buying the original Tactics book now to get a head start and then get the 2nd edition next year when it come out. So thanks for your advice and posting about Chess lessons.

    Happy Holidays

  96. @Andre
    Sounds like you are already quite ahead of the curve. I think I actually had a chapter called “When to calculate” in Excelling at Chess Calculation? This is a book I still quite like (together with Excelling at Technical Chess and my three QC books).

  97. @John Hartmann
    I don’t really care that much about money :-). The question is whether or not this is an addition to our culture. I really could have written far more commcercial things than I have done, but I am an artist, not a business man, so I have gone for bringing forward a specific experience.

    Obviously the reason why I don’t care about money is because we are still doing ok. We have clothers, food and can effort to heat the house (which have 1-2 rarely used rooms). What more do I really need? To be healthier is of course the answer. Or better at chess. All things that require effort, not money.

  98. @Michael
    When I read the first line I thought “NO!”, but with that rationale you are ok. Chess Lesson is great. It was rightly nominated for the ECF Book of the Year. UCT is much loved, but the second edition will be much much better. John read all the amazon reviews over the weekend and was pleased to say that we are not only covered with all the criticism there, but ahead of it with quite a bit.

  99. @Jacob Aagaard
    I just yesterday got another comment by a higher rated player than I that my opening play was very good, but I was losing due to tactics, not wanting to wait a couple of months for the second edition I decided I had to start to fill this gap in my play, I will read the Tactics book as a refreshment and then buy and study in depth the 2nd edition. And I like owning both so I think it will work out, and will help me the next couple of months with internediate tactics that I am missing in my games.


  100. @Jacob Aagaard
    If by painted yourself into a corner meaning a lot of people would love to read a book that you wrote on training, then yep! Hopefully you already had this in mind though and some of your upcoming books will have this information.

  101. @ Michael: If you want to improve your play, you should definately buy the Yusupov series and the QC puzzle book and solve from there at least 1 hour/day, 4-5 days/week. You’ll dramaticaly improve in 3 months time if you do that. You’ll even be amazed! But lease, follow that programm and don’t stop it hapf way. You can start with half an hour per day at first. This means WORK! And chess nedds WORK to get better. I’ll be here in 3 months to tell me how you did 🙂

  102. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Do you mean Jussupows series “Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500/1800/2100”?
    I know this series has been published in english too, but to be honest, there are so many books from Jussupow out there, who all deal with training stuff, that I have no overview about them

  103. @Waldorf
    The 3*3 = 9 Tigersprung books are the German originals of the Yusupov books QC publishes in English. The mentioned Elo ratings are misleading. The books are much more demanding than 1500/1800/2100.
    The naming structure is a bit unintuitive in English, but that’s just marketing. The books are identical, except for an optimized layout for the respective market – which is a matter of taste.

  104. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Thanks Nikos,
    I have some health issuses at the moment that need my full attention, so my study time is short, I bought the two books above to slowly start to study chess more in depth. When I can I will look at Yusupov series and the QC puzzle book, like you said this means real work, which I plan to do. But might not get there in 3 months. Thanks for your suggestions and I will add these books to my list;)

  105. @Nikos Ntirlis
    Hi Nikos,

    Just wanted to let you know that I took your advice and looked into the Yusupov series
    and purchased a book already, with a second comming for a Christmas present, I can already tell this is a great course and I am very excited about the material, so I just wanted to say thanks for turing me on to these wonderful books. They seem like a great way to improve. I will let you know how it goes.
    Merry Christmas and thanks again!

  106. OK Michael, i’ll be happy to know about your progress. But please, try to follow the program. There will be some bad days when you won’t have the will power to do anything, or anything you are trying to solve will seem too difficult. Dont let these days dissapoint you and move you away from the work. It is just a defense mechanism from ourselves. Our bodies and our minds dont want us to work! But with a bit of determination everything will be back on track soon. And your chess will impove dramatically. Another thing that you should never forget is that chess study should come together with practical play. So, study and play.

  107. I have bought “Grandmaster versus Amateur” and “Advanced Chess Tactics” as hardcover. The production quality is just superb and I wish all my chessbooks would be of this standard.
    Obviously one has to work hard with these books before any serious comment can be made about the content but my first impression is very positive, too.

    By the way I also have “Tiger´s Modern” and have played it on a few occasions with good success but theoretically speaking Black seems to be under pressure in some lines.

    Is there any chance of an update? Or will we see the “refutation” in the “GM-Repertoire 1.e4”? 😉

  108. About the Yusupov series. The main thing is actually that you focus when you are training. Twenty minutes of focused training is worth more than twenty hours of undisciplined training. I would strongly recommend to start with 20 min. a day. If you feel your mind starts to drift thereafter – solve one more position and then stop for the day. Move to 1-3% more than you can do, not more. You want to move slowly and steadily forward, not overshoot and lose your confidence.

  109. Jacob,

    What do you think what is my Elo rating, based on following scores?

    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I—73%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II—69%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III—83%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I—77%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II—72%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band III—56%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I—58%
    Jussupow Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II—49%

    PS Bear in mind that the strength of books is: 1700-2000-2200 🙂

    Thanks for reply 🙂

  110. @ Jacob: “I have a general low opinion of my own work.”

    This is true only for “Verbessern Sie Ihr Schach – Super Edition” from which book only positional exercises are good, and I even now don’t know what was the purpose of all these chapters!

    But “The Attacking Manual 1&2” are the ultimate top-notch books in the field of attacking play. I bought totally 6 copies, of which I gave 2 to the former European Champion, and the other 2 to my friend 🙂

    Perhaps I mentioned this earlier, but Jacob why don’t you write POSITIONAL/STRATEGIC MANUAL? In this field you don’t even have a single competitor! You could be a front-liner, a truly revolutionist!

    Can you write something more about your positional books/training books?

    Thx 🙂

  111. @Jacob Aagaard
    Hello Jacob,
    If you wrote a positional-strategy / middlegame book / endgame book of the quality seen in Attacking Manual 1+2, I’m quite sure I’d buy it! All of them! I appreciate that while I’m learning, I can always go over your writings again and harvest more understanding for chess as I continue to progress. I still go through your “Excelling” series constantly. Good stuff!! And thanks for all the great books. They have renewed my passion for chess!

  112. Hi Jacob,

    I also would love to buy new books written by you on training, positional, and strategy.
    There seems to be a gap in chess books, explaining thinking and planning in chess(At least explained well) , I like the three question method you taught me, and that has been more useful than most of the books I have read on this subject!


    Well, after all the excuses have been exhausted one has to conclude that such manual can write somebody very competent like Dvoretsky or some other writer in his class…

    PS By the way Jacob, you’re very good at censorship, and what about a free world press?

  114. To make this clear to everybody. You are more than welcome to criticise me and Quality Chess here, but anything that would be considered libel we cannot accept on the blog. Free press does not include the right to hide behind fake e-mails and a synonym and slander people.

  115. @Alekhine Power

    Alekhine Power :
    PS By the way Jacob, you’re very good at censorship, and what about a free world press?

    Alekhine Power,

    I am the excellent censor, not Jacob. You would have received an email explaining this, but it bounced back immediately – perhaps you mistyped the address or are using a fake email address?

    A free world press? If you want to accuse a company or person of some crime, you are free to do so under your real name at your own place. You are not free to make such accusations anonymously at our place.

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