Forget Mondays – Wednesdays are evil!

Last Wednesday we had a power cut at noon, leaving all of us with no other place to go than home. Yesterday things were a bit worse as we had flooding!


Unpleasantly it landed on top of our selection of hardcover books and on my desk!


123 thoughts on “Forget Mondays – Wednesdays are evil!”

  1. Jacob, sorry to hear about the flooded office. Hope there wasn’t too much damage, and that only a limited selection of books got destroyed.

    I can agree with you that Wednesdays are evil! 2 of the biggest drops in the stock market this quarter in the United States were November 9th and November 16th, both Wednesdays, and it also dropped yesterday, and the first picture above shows why!

  2. Jacob,

    Look from the other side – a flooded office and damaged book are ideal for Christmas giving πŸ™‚

    Share them πŸ™‚

  3. Jacob,

    Sorry to hear about the flooding, I hope you are able to fix what you need to. I hope you didn’t lose too much by the damage, wishing You, John and Andrew and all the Quality Chess staff a Merry Christmas!

    Get dry soon!

  4. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Exactly in the centre of the second picture I see a parcel full of hardcover editions of GM10. I suppose the other parcels adjacent to it are also GM10…

  5. Assuming you rent your office space, I hope your landlord is falling all over him/herself to help. Perhaps some black bags stuffed with unmarked bills. . .

  6. Rented, yes, but the landlord is useless. Monday and Tuesday we had to further power cuts. But this is half the street, not just us. Weirdly one plug in the office still worked and we all clang on to that…

  7. I think one shop has ordered it already. Also, we posted some websales for ours and Arkadij’s site on Thursday from Poland.

  8. Jacob, what do you think about Lev Alburt’s chess books and the way there are done with lots of diagrams, etc.? Since you’ve written two books on attacking chess, What do you think about his book “The King in Jeopardy”?

  9. First of all, he only wrote one or two of them. The others his name is on because it should improve sales, as I understand it. One which he wrote personally is quite nice. Just the Facts is an awful book with lots of mistakes. Amateurs are better off using Silman’s endgame book, which is very nice. The openings for White is maybe the worst opening book of the 2000s. Read Watson’s review on TWIC; it is hilarious. The openings for Black was not too bad, if I remember correctly.

    The King in jeopardy is a book I did look into in the process of writing my own book. I found it a bit light weight to be honest, but it was not bad. It just did not stand out from other books on attacking chess without any great vision or purpose, of which there are a good deal.

  10. @GM Aagaard:

    Any chance there will be a Grandmaster Repertoire: Slav Defense coming anytime soon? Or is Vigorito’s 2nd edition of Play The Semi-Slav going to be as close as we’re going to get?


  11. @Klaus Kristensen
    I sent the contract away for this at Christmas Eve for an author we have hounded since 2008 with this project in mind. It is 95% certain that he will sign and we will have two volumes on this in 2012.

  12. Today I browsed trough a regular column on Strategy by GM Peter Wells in ChessBase Magazine. This is indeed an outstanding writer and yes indeed it would be a shame if you Jacob don’t hire this man to write a book about strategy, or even better, about strategy manual about which here was written so much πŸ™‚

  13. Is Qc palnning to do a Grandmaster Repertoire book on the Nimzo? Maybe flanked by a Grandmaster Repertoire book on the Ragozin? Maybe you find a young, talented writer…

  14. Gilchrist is a Legend

    To be honest a GM Repertoire on all major openings would be the best, although it make take until 2020. But I would still buy all of those books.

  15. Gilchrist is a Legend :
    To be honest a GM Repertoire on all major openings would be the best, although it make take until 2020. But I would still buy all of those books.

    Yes. Personally I wait, would like, hope, a GM Repertoire on the Kan Sicilian… There is no recent books about it, except the Hellsten book but it is from 2008. Maybe Jacob?

    Oh and also another thing. I wrote this question in another article but I had no answer. So, I’m going to try here. “You said Grandmaster Repertoire X – Beating 1.d4 Sidelines from Boris Avrukh should be released in January. So this is very soon. This is always true? Please, can you give us some date for its publication? Thanks a lot”

    Thanks for your answers to these questions. πŸ™‚

  16. Albert’s ‘Chess Tactics’ was accessible, organized and engaging as was ‘300 most important positions’. I worked with these when I was rated 1400.

    fyi, Grandmaster vs Amateur is nominated for Chesspub’s book of the year!

  17. @floh
    Would be nice, but our hopes have so far not come past the discussions into real action. I would love both projects a lot.

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Everyman are trying to do something similar, I think. Which is nice, I like good books. We did not invent the serious repertoire book and it is certainly only good that others are doing them as well. Actually I really think they are doing more interesting things at the moment, although their Cutting Edge series will probably be odd with their core audience. Still I hope they are successful with it so we can get more books like the Dragon book (which I am having wet dreams about!).

  18. @Jesse
    Good someone with more experience with his books can clarify. Positive regarding Chesspub – although I am sure this is not going to be a winner!? We have already received too much support from them.

  19. Franck Steenbekkers

    @Jacob: can you give some information about the writer of the two French books? Is it a leading expert or a worldclass GM?

  20. @Jeffrey Hall
    Actually John would not qualify to the series. I wanted to give Dave Vigorito the accolade of a GM Repertoire on the Semi-Slav, but we decided that it would not work.

    I do not think John would write for us (although I would be happy to have him, of course), but I hope he will update his book for Everyman (at a time when it does not hurt our book of course!).

  21. I think I’ve already seen a page for Play the French 4th Ed. hidden in the depth of the Everyman site. So it should happen within the typical timeframe that company is working in.

  22. Jacob, I would like to know more on why you think “Just the Facts” is an awful book. I’ve gone through the first two chapters and think it’s excellent. It’s generally gotten good reviews and won the prestigious Chess Journalists of America book of the year for 2001.

  23. @M.A.S.
    There are just too many stupid mistakes. I know it is popular, but I am allowed my own opinion. Awards are given to many books, good and bad. There are other celebrated books I find entirely awful, while unknown books that I rate very highly.

  24. Jacob is there a possibility of a book on the Spanish Breyer? The only source I know of (apart from Ronen’s ICC videos + Avrukh’s internet lecture on it) is 1.e4 Anand vol 2 which covers it from White side. I’m very interested in purchasing a book on this because it looks very solid and interesting. Also a book on the Queen’s Gambit Declined would be good, perhaps a book covering all the Queen’s Gambit Declined variations. I like the idea what someone previously said of Nimzo being partnered with a QGD variation, perhaps Tartakower can be considered alongside QID and Ragozin etc. Also very excited to hear about GM French books, will look forward to these greatly. Keep up the good work!

  25. The work on QGD is progressing, but I hate putting things on the publishing schedule before they are definite. Still I am hoping for this by mid-2012.

    A small Breyer book could happen, but at the moment we are looking at Open Spanish as our next 1…e5 book. And we do want to get past being the 1.e4 e5 publisher!

  26. Abramov Anjuhin

    @Jacob Aagaard

    What is the future of:

    a) Grandmaster Repertoire The King’s Indian vol 1 & 2 by Kotronias?
    b) Grandmaster Repertoire Open Games 1… e5? why not Marin?
    c) Grandmaster Repertoire Slav & Semi-Slav? why not the leading expert Dreev?
    d) Kramnik’s Strategic Wins? why not Karolyi?

  27. Franck Steenbekkers

    @Jacob: can you tell more about the Open Spanisch project? Who is the writer/when will it be published?


    Franck S.

  28. @Abramov Anjuhin
    A) delayed, but not cancelled. Kotronias wanted to play more in 2012
    B) you tell me – maybe he is busy?
    C) he wrote the Chess Star books. They are ok, check them out if you have not already
    D) Tibor is working on another project

  29. Jacob Aagaard :A small Breyer book could happen, but at the moment we are looking at Open Spanish as our next 1…e5 book. And we do want to get past being the 1.e4 e5 publisher!

    LOL! Yes, Marin wrote 2 books on 1.e4 e5 (I own the one on the Open Games) and Cox write the Berlin (which I own), but none of those were in the last 3 years, and then you have “Attacking the Spanish”.

    Then there’s GM Rep 6, GM Rep 6 2nd edition upcoming, Cutting Edge 2, the Cutting Edge 3 that “folded like a book”, and you have the Anti-Sicilian book.

    Some could also call you the “Najdorf Fan Club” publishing company!

    HOWEVER, I think more accurate would be to call this the “e4 is bad” publisher.

    ESPECIALLY prior to GM Rep 8, 9, and 10 coming out. If you look at what’s been published by Quality Chess prior to GM Rep 8, the whole site screams “e4 is a bad move guys”, with almost every book published being a book written for:

    Black in a King Pawn opening. For example, Marin’s books on 1.e4 e5, Berlin Wall, GM Rep 6 and 7, Sveshnikov reloaded, Tiger’s Modern, where he preaches it’s best against 1.e4, not 1.d4, play the KID then, etc.

    OR White in a NON-King Pawn opening. For example, GM Rep 1 thru 5, Play the Queen’s Gambit, Challenging the Nimzo-Indian, Challenging the Grunfeld, Beating the KID, etc.

    About the only exceptions to this theory were “Play the Semi-Slav”, “The Benko Gambit”, and “Experts vs the Sicilian”, all written 2007 or earlier.

    GM Rep 1.e4 will be a nice change when it comes. Finally, a book for White on 1.e4. Combine that with at least the talk of more books for Black against QP Openings, and it might actually begin to “balance out”! πŸ™‚

  30. I should say that I am personally scarred from the last 2-3 years with Everyman, where I was part of producing The Petroff, Four knights, Italian & Evans, and maybe more 1.e4 e5 books. I lost touch and my will to live. I am certainly happier to be a Najdorf fan club member!

  31. Gilchrist is a Legend

    As far as I can see, Avrukh seems like a good proponent of the Breyer system. Maybe he will write a book on the Breyer?

  32. Abramov Anjuhin

    Currently I’m working with Dvoretsky’s books from the “Chess Excellence” series. While their level is for players 2100 upward, I must admit that I had never seen or worked with better books. Dvoretsky is really an outstanding author, and you can compare him only with Jussupow and his excellent “Tigersprung” series. After all, Jussupow is his pupil and they have quite similar training style.

    I hope dear Jacob, that your training books, which I’m expecting with greatest joy, shall be in the same lane as Dvoretsky/Jussupow dream-team-crew πŸ™‚

    PS Please give us a hint when can we expect them and which fields do you cover?

  33. @Jacob

    LOL! I hope I don’t get you personally scarred for another 2 to 3 years by telling you that 4 of the 7 books I’m currently reading are Everyman (Ruy Lopez – MBM, Slav – MBM, SO: Closed Sicilian, My Great Predecessors I). As for the other 3, 1 is Chess Stars, 1 is Gambit, 1 is Quality Chess – and here, only the 90 or so pages by Cornette.

  34. Abramov Anjuhin

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Abramov Anjuhin
    Jan 2013. Endgames, Positional Play, Strategic Play and Calculation/tactics.
    Mark is my mentor, but obviously I have my own style.

    Wow! This is fantastic! I’m looking forward for “my” hardcovers πŸ™‚ and my 2300 Elo level of play πŸ™‚

  35. @Jacob

    Hi Is there any chance Lars Schandorff will supplement his Playing the Queen’s Gambit by writing a 1.d4 repertoire against the indian defences?

  36. Gilchrist is a Legend

    How are this new year’s publications going? Has a new response to 6. Bg5 been chosen for GM6 2nd Edition? GM11 or 12 Avrukh?

  37. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Interested in the new line for 6. Bg5. Now you are competing with Avrukh for the first book to be numbered as GM11: d4 without c4 repertoire or 1. e4 repertoire. I do not play 1. e4 anymore, but I will definitely buy the GM Repertoire series on 1. e4, and also will definitely buy Avrukh’s GM Repertoire on d4 without c4. I do not understand why people continue to play 1. d4 systems without c4. Even at my level (~ 2250 ELO), 1. d4 without c4 is played almost 50% of the time against me. Finally a good book that will help in this regard. I doubt many players near Avrukh’s calibre will play the Torre, Colle, London, Veresov, Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, and all those other systems against him, but as always I am sure he will find good responses to these annoying systems.

  38. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Yes – and he has. It took some time of course, as he is not used to these openings. But he also did not know anything about the Budapester Gambit before he wrote the 1.d4 repertoire.

    Actually, we are likely to move the 1.e4 projects around a bit and finish John’s two volume 1.e4 repertoire in the Gambit Guide series first. It will be in the same style as Schandorff’s Queen’s Gambit book – to which we still hope to have an accompanying volume.

  39. About Grandmaster Repertoire x1 – 1.e4 French, Caro-Kann & Philidor:
    What are your main recommendations here expected to be?

  40. Franck Steenbekkers

    @Jacob: did you already post what you recommended versus 6 Bg5 in the Najdorf?
    If it is the so called verbeterde list you have to contact one of the biggest experts Twan Burg from the Netherlands (who is now writing some art. s about this variation in NIC YB!

    Funny that Jacob got somethimse 10x the same question!!!!

  41. Just starting Black Gambits 1–it’s making me reconsidering never playing a gambit with the black pieces. πŸ™‚

  42. Jacob Aagaard :@Patrick M No, why should I? Just know that the repertoire in the Slav against 6.Ne5 has been refuted in advance.

    Jacob, just curious. When you say the repertoire against 6.Ne5 has been refuted, do you mean the whole thing? Or just the “chancy” 6…Na6 line they give in the final 3 games (i.e. Games 18 thru 20, Tony’s Big Adventure)?

    I thought now-a-days, 6…Nbd7 was the accepted line over the Bishop Sacrifice line, or is that incorrect? Guess it would be best to know now rather than start delving into a refuted line. πŸ™‚

  43. “Actually, we are likely to move the 1.e4 projects around a bit and finish John’s two volume 1.e4 repertoire in the Gambit Guide series first.”

    Sorry – I don’t know which book you refer to..? You mean Alterman Gambit Guide?

  44. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Perhaps Avrukh’s book will cause players to realise that they should play the main lines more? Then it will make chess more interesting.

    Is John’s series of books on 1. e4 a new project? I have not heard of it before yet.

  45. @Jacob

    I just hope that Lars Schandorff 1.d4 repertoire against the indian defences will be publish before the end of 2012.Is it possible???

  46. Patrick M :

    Just know that the repertoire in the Slav against 6.Ne5 has been refuted in advance.

    Jacob, just curious. When you say the repertoire against 6.Ne5 has been refuted, do you mean the whole thing? Or just the β€œchancy” 6…Na6 line they give in the final 3 games (i.e. Games 18 thru 20, Tony’s Big Adventure)?
    I thought now-a-days, 6…Nbd7 was the accepted line over the Bishop Sacrifice line, or is that incorrect? Guess it would be best to know now rather than start delving into a refuted line.


    My view is that 6…Na6 is playable but a little better for White – that is also Lakdawala’s opinion in the book.

    The problem is in the 6…Nbd7 line. It’s a good solid line in general, but in the book’s main line (let’s say roughly move 16) there is, in my view, an ! move for Black that really deserves a ?. White can force an ending that is repulsive for Black (clear advantage, not plus-minus). In the database White keeps on failing to win this ending, but I would hate to reach this position (again).

  47. I see Black Gambits 2 has the Marshall attack, I thought it would be the Schliemann, or will both be covered? Also, is there something against the Scotch game and other tries like that, i.e. how far will the book be from a repertoire book? (I know you said you won’t divulge offered lines in general, but I meant this more like a question on the character of the book)

  48. @John Shaw

    Thanks for the insite. I’ll have to look into that when I get there, and do some research in outside databases. I’ll also look at the 6…Na6 line, but my original thought was that it couldn’t be good compared to the reputation that the Bishop Sacrifice and 6…Nbd7 lines have.

    I’m currently working on the first chapter, dealing with the Dutch Variation, in my transition from the KID and Semi-Slav, which I split about evenly, to the more solid Slav Defense. I actually know the Bishop Sacrifice line quite well already as back about 10 years ago, when I was a 1.d4 player (and I played 6.Ne5), the Bishop Sacrifice line was all the rage (at least in my neck of the woods), and I’d get into the N+4P vs 7P and B+4P vs 7P endings (Personally, I found B+4P to be easier than N+4P in that particular ending).

    Therefore, if I can’t find an improvement in the early teens, maybe I’ll try out the 6…Na6 lines, and if they don’t work, I at least have a backup plan of playing the Bishop Sacrifice line as I’ve played the White side of that about 5 to 10 times in tournament play years ago.

    BTW – hint hint – A GM Repertoire on the Slav would be nice! There was talk once upon a time of eventually coming out with something more solid for Black vs 1.d4 (i.e. QGD, Slav, Nimzo, etc.) back when then Grunfeld was in the works. πŸ™‚

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Will Avrukh’s next GM Repertoire book also including the even rarer openings, such as 1. f4, 1. b4, etc.? Or is it just mainly 1. d4 without 2. c4 and 1. c4?

  50. @Jacob Aagaard

    I looked at NIC Database, and only game it has between Eljanov and Shaw that was a Slav was from 2005, and it was a draw.

    Are you saying that both 18…Qxe5 (the line Shaw played, which he drew, but granted, I didn’t go thru that game with a fine tooth comb and so White might have a refutation there) and Lakdawala’s recommendation of 18…Bc5 that Wang Yue played against Gelfand are both busted? Of course, there is also the 14…Qe7 idea as well.

    Obviously, when I get to Game 16, I am going to make sure it’s at a computer and not a board, and I’ll be researching databases to see if the position has ever been played elsewhere after 18…Qxe5, 18…Bc5, or 14…Qe7, and if they all look dismal, maybe I’ll give the Knight hop to b4 instead of the Bishop a shot.

  51. @Jacob, glad to hear a small Breyer book may be considered, thinking about it though Open Spanish sounds even better! Look forward to any of these books greatly.

  52. @Jacob+Patrick
    Sad news that this line is so bad, it looked like a safe choice for black in the slav. Maybe 16…Bd6 as played by Vitiugov is playable ? Jakovenkos 17.f4 was never repeated since 2008

  53. boki :@Jacob+PatrickSad news that this line is so bad, it looked like a safe choice for black in the slav. Maybe 16…Bd6 as played by Vitiugov is playable ? Jakovenkos 17.f4 was never repeated since 2008

    Actually, it’s still not clear to what extent he’s saying it’s refuted. The way it sounds, it sounds like he thinks it’s refuted already by move 14 (obviously the thought is both 18th moves are refuted), as he seemed to also discard 14…Qe7. If he thinks Black’s dead at move 14, doubt he has much respect for other 16th moves.

    I wonder if his thought is that the whole Sokoloff Variation is bad (6…Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Nb6 8.Ne5 a5), and that Black has to play either 7…Qc7 or a completely different line (i.e. 6…e6, 6…Na6, or 4…a6).

  54. I always advised players who asked my opinion on the Slav, to play the piece sac line. In club level i have seen this variation working perfectly. Kramnik (or a decent GM) knows how to use a piece correctly against a solid pawn mass in the center, but an average club player gets into trouble rather quickly. Also, from a theoretical perspective the line is not so bad at all! So, in my opinion, a solid line for Black against the main line with Ne5 exists and this is the piece sac:

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5
    My personal favorite for White here is 6.e3!
    6…e6 7.f3 Bb4 8.e4 Bxe4! 9.fxe4 Nxe4 10.Bd2 Qxd4 and so on….

  55. Jacob Aagaard :@boki Maybe. I distrust this line completely. The solid line for Black in the Slav? Don’t exist I hope!


    Now I’m not so sure, boki. Notice in John Shaw’s reply, he mentioned a specific move that might be busted around move 16, which now I’m assuming is 16…e5, which the author gives an !, and they think is busted. The 18…Qxe5 even the author says is a tad better for White, but theory does change, and that line specifically (18…Qxe5) may very well be busted, but the 18…Bc5 still seems interesting. Even if 19.Bf4, as long as you don’t fall for 19…Nd7?, and play something like 19…Rd8 or 19…Kh8 (I haven’t done any deep analysis on this yet, or ran it thru a computer), you will get the pawn back eventually. If this doesn’t work out, maybe trying your 16th move idea or 14…Qe7 might be the way to go. If those truly don’t work, 6…Na6, 6…e6, or 4…a6 must be ok for Black. You will never get me to buy into the Slav being completely refuted.

    However, Jacob’s reply is a blanket statement about the Slav, and obviously he has some type of grudge about it.

    As good as Jacob may be, he’s no Kasparov, and Kasparov once said, paraphrasing, “All openings are sound, all normal openings that is.” Well, the Slav is a normal opening.

    This leads me to believe that one of the following is “probably” true (note the “probably”, not “definitely”), and we’ll probably never know which one it is, if any (I’m guessing #5):

    1) Jacob has had such success with beating the Slav that he has the delusional idea that the Slav must be bad! (This is how I feel about both the Benko Gambit and Alekhine-Chatard Attack, which I have a perfect record, no draws, playing 6…c5 7.Bxe7 Kxe7 against)

    2) Jacob has had so much trouble beating the Slav, but when he tries to play it from the other side, he still gets killed, and the opening just flat out conflicts with his style of play, and he can’t make heads or tails with it. (This is how I feel about the Najdorf)

    3) Jacob thinks that the Slav is just a dull opening that only a pansy would play, and why did Black even show up to play if he’s going to play something that boring? (My opinion of the Colle System)

    4) Jacob is trying to do a marketing act by preaching that openings where there is no Quality Chess publication for is bad.

    5) John Shaw has Jacob’s number, and has beaten Jacob one too many times with the Slav Defense!

  56. @Patrick M

    Hi Patrick,

    I’ll let Jacob decide which of your 1-5 he likes – my guess would be none of them.

    In my view the Slav is a great opening which deserves a Quality Chess book, and we all eventually get what we deserve. On the specific line you mention with 16…e5, if White chooses the move order 17.dxe5 then Black’s options are more limited than after 17.Nxe5. If you want to play that line as Black, I would suggest varying on move 16, say with 16…Rfd8. Probably White has a slight edge, but it’s nothing fatal.

    The Slav theory fanatics might look at 7…Qc7 (instead of 7…Nb6) then Morozevich’s 11…g5 lunge.

  57. @John Shaw

    Thanks again for the insite. 17.dxe5 does avoid the 18…Bc5 line, and obligates Black to play 18…Qxe5, which sounds like everybody thinks is bad, though the author claims not fatal, it might very well be.

    I’ll research your idea of 16…Rfd8 along with the 14…Qe7 idea before jumping off the deep end and going as far back as moves 6 or 7 (i.e. 6…Na6, 6…e6, or 7…Qc7).

  58. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I think the Slav is the solidest opening against 1. d4, and is a very close candidate for solidest opening in all of chess. Only perhaps the Petroff seems to be slightly solider. But an opening with such a solid foundation should definitely be a QC project. I would buy it (hardcover as well)…

  59. well, of course I was planing to change to the tarrasch, but this takes some time πŸ™‚
    Seriously, the line is a little passive, but in the lines wih Qc7 I have the feeling that the assesement changes everyday, and the New in Chess-Novelity of the year 2009 11…f6 and 0-0-0 as played against Avrukh was busted.
    The piece-sac variation I donot like with neither white and black, so this Sokolov line seemed interesting for a slav variation. Vigus book was not to ba on this, the move by move book is from a theoretical point quite weak in this line , he recommends against 12.Le2 e5 which seems way to risky to put it midly

  60. Did the flooding affect the shipping timetable for GM 10? I noticed the price on Amazon in the US all of a sudden jumped to about $100, although it is still 27.99 Euros directly from you. If I order from your site to the U.S. is it ready to ship?

    Has Quality Chess considered moving into ebooks?

  61. I ask about the ebooks because I had to give up a bookcase with a new baby in the house. I’m sure I’m not the only one…

  62. Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend last month:

    “John Veech (2206) – Jeff Dixon (2008) 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. dxc5!? (this was my first tournament game with the Tarrasch and my familiarity was limited to 6. e3 and 6. g3) 6…d4 (I thought this was just supposed to be good for Black) 7. Na4! (this version is better than 3. Nc3 c5 4. dxc5 d4 5. Na4?! Bd7! with initiative for Black; in contrast, here the …Nc6 is already obstructing the e8-h5 diagonal) 7…Bxc5 8. Nxc5 Qa5+ 9. Bd2 (I think Ivanchuk played 9. Qd2 here, but I like 9. Bd2 better – lo and behold, GM Repertoire 10, to be released next Friday December 9th, gives 6. dxc5! an exclamation point, and covers both move 9 branches! Studying with Amanov has apparently put John Veech at the cutting edge of d4 theory.) Qxc5 10. Rc1 Qb6 11. e3! with initiative to White.”

    I am eagerly awaiting GM 10 to help me find the tightrope path to equality for Black, presumably starting with 11…Nf6 or 11…Nge7, assuming that 11…Qxb2?! is a bit too dodgy in view of 12.Bc4 or even 12.Nxd4, when Nxd4? loses to 13.Bc3!

  63. Jeff Dixon :
    Did the flooding affect the shipping timetable for GM 10? I noticed the price on Amazon in the US all of a sudden jumped to about $100, although it is still 27.99 Euros directly from you. If I order from your site to the U.S. is it ready to ship?
    Has Quality Chess considered moving into ebooks?

    Hi Jeff,

    The office flood destroyed a few hardcover books, but did not affect the shipping timetable of any of our books. So GM 10 is ready to go now if you order it.

    The Amazon oddness is beyond our control. Trying to sell a new copy of GM 10 for $100 is a bit cheeky, but I note one company on Amazon is offering a used copy for $140, which at least shows some flair. Just say no…

    We have considered ebooks and will think about them again in various formats. The problem is always piracy.

    Oh, and congratulations on the new baby.

  64. Just noticed the discussion on this Slav line, which I happen to know a thing or two about. Basically I agree with John Shaw: 16…Rfd8 is the correct move. This is also recommended by James Vigus in “Play the Slav”. His following move, however, is a serious mistake: 17.Bf4 Nf6? (“!” Vigus) is met by 18.Na2!!, a big novelty that I once managed to inflict on an unsuspecting opponent in a correspondence game. (Now Houdini finds it in less than no time and will tell you all the details.) 17…Bd6 is better, with a playable game.

  65. @John Shaw
    Thanks John! I note that the same seller offering the used copy for $140 is offering a new one for only $227 more. And I’m sure if you buy the new copy it comes with an extended warranty on all the variations.

  66. Jeff and John,

    I personally perfer hardcovers and paperbacks when it comes to chess books, but fiction and true crime books, I have a Nook.

    Jeff, if your issue is space in your house, then you don’t need it to be Chessbase format, right? You just don’t have room for all the paperbacks. You can still analyze on a board, right?

    John, have they considered maybe doing e-books for devices like the Kindle or Nook instead of Chessbase? With a chessbase file, anybody can easily email the files. However, while I can’t speak for the Kindle, I know with the Nook, it’s very tight. Here are the restrictions to my knowledge:

    1) When you buy an eBook for the Nook, you can loan it out ONE TIME ONLY for 14 days. In some ways, this is good. If you started playing the Winawer French, and a book comes out, and a friend of yours is thinking of converting to the Winawer French, you can let him or her see it for 14 days, and you may get another buyer. At the same time, I can’t distribute it across many people. Once I loan it out to that one person, that’s it, there’s a lock on loaning out that book.

    2) Multiple people can read the book only if they are under the same account. This means buying the books off one credit card. Also, there is a maximum of 8 users to one account. Because of the difficulty of keeping track, and because most people don’t want others buying books off their credit card, typically multiple people on the same account will usually come from the same family. For example, in my case, we have 3 people on our Nook account, my wife, my wife’s sister, and myself.

    So can there be some piracy? I guess you could say to a limited extent, but with a max of 8 to one account, a max of 1 loan out per book, and those that are on the same account would have to charge to a common credit card, I doubt you’d have very many issues of that nature, and if 2 brothers that live under the same roof both play the same opening, what are the odds that they are really going to buy 2 copies of the same opening book anyway?

    Again, I personally could care less as I’ll continue to buy hardcovers here and paperbacks from other publishers, but for those that don’t want a shelf full of them, eBook devices may be the way to go.

    For those that want eBooks so they don’t have to use their own board, oh well, no solution for those people that I can think of.

  67. @Patrick M
    Yes my only concern is the shelf space; I don’t mind using my own board. I actually started out with a Kindle app on my smartphone, and then broke down and got the actual Kindle once I had accumulated enough books (8 or so) to justify it. Everyman appears to be the only major chess publisher doing ebooks, and only for the Kindle, not Nook or Kobo. Not sure about Sony…

    Mongoose offers a couple great books for cheap, Chess Gems by Igor Sukhin (more fun than your run-of-the-mill tactics book because it starts out with combinations using the Shatranj rules from the 9th century), and notably The Complete Hedgehog Vol. 1 by Shipov, which is a huge dense book (I have the paperback volume) for only $9.99 for Kindle.

    I would like to see publishers of more advanced-level books like Quality Chess, Chess Stars, Gambit, New-in-Chess, etc. jump in like Everyman. Maybe the smaller readership of more advanced-level books makes the transition not as profitable for some reason; I don’t know much about the logistics.

  68. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Somehow reading a chess book that has no paper or a book cover seems odd to me, as well as reading any book without paper or a cover, but that is just me. I have used chess books since the mid 1990s and whilst in my early 20s, I prefer to read an actual chess book (hardcover if possible). Besides the concern of piracy and chess e-books, some of us prefer to live as if time has not passed the year of 1980 and read a chess book with paper and cover. I still use a rotary dial telephone and a typewriter sometimes, but I am sure I am not the only one who would be more willing to buy a hardcover chess book rather than an e-book.

  69. @Patrick M
    There are several issues. First issue is that for kindle you have to hand over 70% of the money to Amazon. Secondly, it is not so hard to crack. I would not do it, but I know people who do it. Our expert friends told us that it is a race you cannot win, which was also our impression. But maybe there is another way…

  70. @Jacob Aagaard

    The only other way I can think of is if you create your own app that uses it’s own format that other products don’t support, and you create a secure server on your own site here, where they have to use your Website to execute, and downloading is not an option, because with downloading, say, for example, Jeff Dixon could buy the product, download it, and email the files to Gilcrest.

    It would probably be similar to what Amazon and Barnes and Noble did to create their own formats. The Kindle and the Nook both support things like Text files, PDF files, etc. These are portable formats. The chess equivalent would be PGN, CBH, etc.

    However, the Kindle doesn’t support Nook Books bought at Barnes and Noble, and the Nook doesn’t support Kindle books bought at Amazon, because they are their own specialized format (non-Portable).

    So if you use a non-portable format, and a login-type structure with download disabled and print disabled, then again, yes, you could get a couple of people that are using the same account to share, but you would be stupid to share with a whole slew of people as your account will have things like your credit card information. I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t share an account that has my credit card info with all the chess players of Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States.

    I guess the other thing you have to consider is will you be able to continue to compete with Everyman without biting the bullet and going to “copyable” eBooks?

    You’ll have people like Gilcrest and myself that prefer the physical book when it comes to chess books, and you’ll have others that prefer the eBook.

    I’m not sure how much news from the USA gets spread to Europe, but when the concept of the eBook started about 3 or 4 years ago, Amazon and Barnes and Noble jumped on the Bandwagon, created competing products (Kindle and Nook), still sold (and still sells) hardcovers and paperbacks, and both are still in business.

    Then you have Borders, Inc, who didn’t jump on the bandwagon, and it wasn’t until around early 2010 that they realized they better start selling eBooks, and they had a third party device come out that summer, called the Kobo, and they also sold eBooks that the Sony supported, but by then, it was too late, and Borders, Inc went out of business and officially shut all doors in 2011 (sometime in August, I believe, possibly September).

    Hopefully you guys stay in business long enough to at least get the 1.e4 books out! πŸ™‚

  71. Jacob, here’s an idea you should consider: Middlegame puzzle book for GMs (level 2500 and up). 1000 puzzles or so from recent games for GMs to train and rack their brains. No instructions; just solutions. While it may seem to be geared towards very limited audience, I think that besides GMs and IMs, there will be a lot of amateurs buying such a book. There are a lot of puzzle books out there but none like this. I think that a lot of amateurs would be intrigued by the title and would view it as a challenge. I’d love to buy a book like that whatever the price.
    This is not a criticism, but I wish there were a lot fewer openning books (I can’t imagine anyone would read the whole openning book; I can’t imagine anyone would remember much of what they’ve read; and with few exceptions, 90% of it becomes outdated.) and more actual high quality pure brain training material.

  72. Is GM 6 2nd a “revised & updated” version rather than the first edition or a complementary one with different suggestions?

    Thank you for the answer.

  73. @Barry
    Quality Chess Puzzle Book written by John and I is based on puzzles I used in training with players from 2580 and up – with an extra 200 puzzles to make it a bit easier in the beginning.

    On top of this I am working on a 4 volume series of exercise books based on Calculation, Positional Chess, Strategy and Endings.

  74. @Jacob Aagaard
    Scoundrels indeed… I was wondering why they couldn’t make more eBooks cheaper, but now I see where the money goes. On that note, I wonder if could be profitable for publishers of niche books like chess books to bypass the middleman by developing their own device with its own secure file format and selling the device for a relatively low price. Maybe the low price could be contingent on a purchaser buying a certain number of eBooks with the purchase of the device.

    There must be some solution! However, I sense that another real problem must be demand – I think most players who consume chess books as ravenously as me are probably chess professionals or kids, who in both cases probably do most of their studying at home where they can easily have all their print books in one place. I on the other hand am an adult lawyer and mere low-rated expert who hovers around 2000 USCF, and I only find time to study on my daily commute to and from work on the train. I can only fit so many books in my backpack at once, so I would love to have my whole library (or most of it) on a small device. I see a few people in my demographic at weekend Swiss tournaments, but I don’t think we are a huge group.

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