The next few months

This publishing schedule is focusing on the immediate future. Things like my training books and the Judit Polgar books are still coming out this year, but right now this is what we are focusing on.

Positional Chess Sacrifices by Mihai Suba is in its final phase of editing. At the same time we are near the conclusion of the Alterman Gambit Guide series. The final volume, Black Gambits 2 is typeset and at the moment going through the final checks. According to the editor, it is the best in the series. The German edition is coming more or less at the same time. The translator has been working day and night to ensure that we will have the final files on next Friday.

Suba Positional Chess Sacrifices April
Boris Alterman Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits 2 April
Boris Alterman Alterman Gambit-Handbuch: Gambits mit Schwarz 2 April
John Shaw The King’s Gambit May
Artur Yusupov Chess Evolution 2 May
Boris Avrukh Grandmaster Repertoire X – Beating 1.d4 Sidelines Summer
Lars Schandorff Playing 1.d4 – The Queen’s Gambit Summer
Lars Schandorff Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences Summer
Jacob Aagaard Attacking Manual 1 – in German Summer
Ftacnik GM6a Summer
Ftacnik GM6b Summer
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian & French Summer
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 and Minor Lines Summer
Marc Esserman Mayhem in the Morra Summer

102 thoughts on “The next few months”

  1. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Why is Ftacnik’s GM6 2nd Edition split into a and b? And if GM Repertoire 1. e4 will be later than displayed in this publishing schedule, it would be likely that Avrukh’s book will be numbered 11?

  2. @slavof
    GM Repertoires have a slightly academic style. They try to prove advantage (in different ways, of course), while the GM Guides are far more practical in their outlook. One of the big differences is the amount of “proof” needed in the GM Repertoires are not included in the Guides.

    Another difference is the repertoires themselves. Where 1.e4 GMR will be very sharp attacking lines, GMG will be more strategic in its outlook. Still main lines (no c3-sicilian), but with a look towards pawn structure and bishop pair rather than mate and mayhed.

  3. Are we to take “Playing 1.e4 – … – John Shaw” as “Playing 1.e4 – … – John Shaw, Jacob Aagaard, and Nikos”?

    If so, we are in good hands.

  4. @TonyRo
    And Andrew and Colin of course. Yes, we generally do not allow each other to write books on our own. The exception is the King’s Gambit, which the rest of us have gone sick off, and my books, because I am a conceited obnoxious prat…

  5. To be polite, I don’t want to take up any space on QC’s Blog to talk about my own book. Any questions you have about it can be emailed to me at – In short though, the analysis is done and I’m just making it look like a book at this point.

  6. Is the Open Spanish book likely to appear later this year?

    Has any thought been given to a second edition of Cox’s book on the Berlin Wall or a cutting edge book on that opening?

  7. Thomas Mørkøre

    I am reading “The Tarrasch Defence” and i am impressed! Jacobs writes that the GM series are more academic in style, but i don’t think that apply for this book at all. I think that players from 1700-2000 will benefit from this book too. Looking forward to the Schandorff books; i like the way he writes.

  8. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I wonder how many pages both GM6 2nd Edition and Avrukh’s book will be. Perhaps 6…Nbd7 is the reason for the increase? And I suppose Avrukh has a lot of new ideas against 1. d4 without 2. c4 openings.

  9. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Has GM6 2nd Edition surpassed 600 pages total? I would not complain if so, just wondering. And I am very interested–what will be the new line against 6. Bg5? Are there certain lines that caused the book to be split into two volumes? I know that Ftacnik is of the Scheveningen …e6 style generally, but surely he has not chosen to cover both …e6 and …e5 that caused the book split?

  10. @Grant
    Open Spanish yes. Berlin – no. We have a great book and although some things do happen in the opening development of the Berlin, the understanding given from the book has not reached all quarters yet…

  11. @Thomas Mørkøre
    Hi Thomas. Thank you for the nice words. When I say academic I do not mean dry and lifeless – it was not the way my papers were at University anyway. When I say academic I mean that there is a scientific angle to the investigations. The objective truth is more important in the GM Repertoire – and it has been tailored to be usable for grandmasters as well. With the Grandmaster Guides, GMs are giving a repertoire on a more need to know basis for those rated 1500-2400. One you can read, remember and play without a titanic effort.

  12. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Avrukh has done the chess work, but has limited time at the moment due to commitments to his students, so the book is not being finished as fast as we had hoped. However, he approached it in his usual way with deep investigations everywhere and the feeling that he would have to vouch for the fact that everything was done to the best of his ability.

    I am really looking forward to this book…

  13. @Michael
    I basically don’t want to print books over 500 pages. So we are looking at 2×300. Remember some lines were left out in GM6 by oversight, and also there has been a lot of development in the existing lines.

  14. @Jacob Aagaard:
    For those (like me) who already have the 1. editions of Playing 1.d4 and GM6 will it be worth buying also the 2. edition? How much new input is there going to be in these books?

  15. @ Ftacnik: Grandmaster Repertoire 6 The Sicilian Defence

    Jacob, you said “I basically don’t want to print books over 500 pages. So we are looking at 2×300. Remember some lines were left out in GM6 by oversight, and also there has been a lot of development in the existing lines.”

    You started to “milk” us with book splitting with Grandmaster Repertoire The Grunfeld Defence 1&2. Now this is the case with Ftacnik books, and besides 70 Euros we don’t get …e5 line vs Be2! Why on earth not? And why can’t you be ahead of publihers kindness and to add also wanted chapter. Then you will get even more valued product!

    Don’t be mediocre, be an avant-garde hardliner! I surely am! 🙂

  16. Gilchrist is a Legend

    I am wondering what lines specifically or chapters are being expanded in GM6 2nd Edition, as well as that new line on 6. Bg5. Especially if it a new line like 6…Nbd7 or another line like the 6…e6 7. f4 Nbd7. And is everything else in the book that is not added to the same? For example, are the chapters on 2. c3 the same or different lines?

  17. @Abramov Anjuhin
    You are certainly demanding! The fact is that 500+ books are simple less nice. And I do not think I need to apologise for the fact that we want to be a successful business and not a charity that goes belly up. I have only received a salary from QC for 18 months and I surely intent to continue to get one.

  18. Dear QC-Team,
    in my eyes your books are really fantastic and I`am very happy with all of them…….BUT: We 1.e4-Player have no easy life because we have to wait…… long……..! So please go ahead for this really interesting books by John and let it appear soon!!

    Thanks so much!


  19. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What happened to the other lines except the 6. Bg5 lines, which will have some new line (still guessing what it will be) and will update coverage of the existing line, and the 6. Be2 line, which needed new additions? What lines generally in the a-book and the b-book? Is it split, for example, the main sixth-move lines in b-book (6. Be2, 6. Bg5, 6. f4, 6. Bc4, 6. Be3, 6. g3) and the anti-Sicilians in the a-book?

  20. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Maybe you should have a guessing competition for the new line against 6. Bg5 in Ftacnik’s GM6 2nd Edition Volume b, just like Schandorff’s 1. d4 book. My guess is for 6…e6 7. f4 Nbd7.

  21. Congratulations on the new Black Gambit Guide (Benko etc). Your editorial decision to have Boris go deeper and focus on fewer gambits made it much much more satisfying than the earlier White Gambits book. There is an amazing amount of instruction buried in there on piece coordination and that kind of thing – very instructive.

  22. No King’s Gambit book till May?

    Guys, I love your books. That’s why I pre-order them. Please believe me when I say that I’m much more interested in getting my hands on the KG book than I am in chastising you. But try to see this from my point of view. I paid for this thing early last August, since which time its release date has been postponed several times. From here, at least, this pattern shows no signs of change. Why should I believe you this time?

  23. @Alan Hartley
    I am not sure you should, but we are actually quite close to getting this thing done. There is a problem between our need for pre-announcing titles in general (shops put pressure on us) and the fact that I do not understand why people buy the titles on the website before they are going to the printer (3-4 weeks before the release) and then complain about it later on. Obviously we are grateful for those who support the production of the book and it gives us valuable information about how many copies to print. But please understand that if you buy it through the writing phase, you are buying from a company that does not shelf their books for 12 months before publishing them or just publish without addressing serioes issues with the content. The King’s Gambit is hugely complex and the amount of work gone in to this book is staggering.

    And I actually think May is pretty definite. I am not allowed to say April, but maybe we will even get there by the end of April.

  24. Two volumes for GM6! That is exciting although the books are now scheduled for summer rather than spring …

    Jacob I would like to make an aesthetic point. If there are two volumes and the second volume deals with Najdorf proper (that is what happens after 5…a6). QC should put that position on the cover instead of the one after 1.e4 c5. No?

  25. Jacob Aagaard :
    I basically don’t want to print books over 500 pages. So we are looking at 2×300. Remember some lines were left out in GM6 by oversight, and also there has been a lot of development in the existing lines.

    Well the big news here is the GM6a and not GM6b. The equivalent of GM6a in the first edition is only 150 pages this means you guys have doubled the coverage there …

    The equivalent of GM6b is about 270 pages at the moment so only 30 pages are added there.

  26. Jacob, I appreciate your answer and completely believe you about the staggering amount of work. I’ll try to contain myself till May. Thanks.

  27. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    This only shows that people are expecting the variations of the past, not of the present and future. I guess this is why we got so much stick last time around for the Blood Diamond variation, which has been immensely popular since we published the book – and I know in the case of one 2750 player that he was inspired by the book to take it up!

  28. @Alan Hartley
    Thank you. I was afraid it was too candid, but you are a loyal customer and really did not deserve to be politely bullshitted. Anyway, this is not really my style as I think all readers of this blog will know. I also do not try to be controversial, I am just being honest about the real reasons for all decisions. For example, we could make it impossible to buy books on the site before we have gone to print, but the information from pre-orders on how successful a book is likely to get is quite important financially, so we appreciate those who pre-order the books they are going to buy anyway. It helps us save a lot of money. You know, a re-print is often 50% more per book, because it costs a bit to set up a print run, and then not a lot to just let it run. One the other side there is no joy in having 1000s of unsold books in a warehouse somewhere.

  29. @Alan Hartley
    In that case I will beat John to death with a wet tea bag. At the moment I am working from 6am till 11pm in order to get five (5!) books of my own ready for the summer. John should be able to write the King’s Gambit in the meanwhile, especially now Avrukh has been a bit delayed with his book and not sent it for editing yet.
    Btw. I hope you all appreciate that we have far less control over other people’s books than we do on our own. But often it is our own that get delayed, as we finish other people’s books when they come in.
    However, my books are advancing. I am very excited about the material, but quite a lot of it is quite advanced.

  30. I think the schedule problems with King’s Gambit also reflect the difficulty of making this opening playable. Even with new human ideas and engine suggestions, I suppose, this is still a challenge. I used to think that one can play it at club level, but in times of the internet and good chessbooks, if you play it the third time in your club or local tournament, people will just look for antidotes…This has become easier than ten years ago, so this makes a point for playing solid lines at all levels of chess.
    Middlegame skills is a different subject, fortunately – you can’t learn them by heart…

  31. @werner
    This is a common opinion. However I am not sure I agree with it. I think it is more a sign that openings of yesteryear cannot be played as they were then, but need to be revived with new ideas. We have are trying to do this with the King’s Gambit. It is obviously not the best thing to play on move 2, but it is still quite interesting.

  32. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    There was someone who posted on forum and said that the new line is probably the Deferred Poisoned Pawn line: 6…e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6. It was this person’s guess, and I thought it was a very good guess since I had not even considered it. But after looking at the database it looks probable to me as well. Is it this line?

  33. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    That sounds like the new guess is not a bad one. I see Morozevich, Areshchenko, Zhigalko, Zhu Chen, Berkes, Wojtaszek, etc. playing it in the period from 2011 up to present. It looks like a good line. If this is in the book (if?!) then I suppose this would experience a popularity surge just like 6…Nbd7…

  34. Hi Jacob. I am interested in your upcoming training books. I wonder if you can indulge me with one question. If someone in the 2000-2100 ELO range were really ambitious and wanted to study both Dvoretsky’s School of Chess Excellence series and your upcoming series over a couple of years intermixed with tournament play, what would you recommend as the most effective sequence?
    (a) Dvoretsky followed by Aagaard
    (b) Aagaard followed by Dvoretsky
    (c) Intermix them ie. do both positional books at the same time followed by both Tactical etc…

  35. @Antillian
    Definitely C. I am going to write a larger blog post over the next 2 weeks about chess training (and use it in my book as well). Expect everything explained there.

  36. Jacob – don’t burn out if your working 6am to 11pm ! Any plans for a QGD declined book on say the Lasker, Tartakower, and the bf4 systems.

  37. Jacob Aagaard :
    Definitely C. I am going to write a larger blog post over the next 2 weeks about chess training (and use it in my book as well). Expect everything explained there.

    Thanks for the response. My personal experience is that I see the greatest improvement when I zero in on one area at a time. So I guess this makes sense. I look forward to your blog and the training book.

  38. Gilchrist is a Legend :@Jacob Aagaard
    I do not think there are many other options remaining that I can think of, except 6…e6 7. f4 Qb6 and 6…e6 7. f4 b5.

    Gilcrest, I will laugh so hard if it’s 6.e6 7.f4 b5??

    I’m playing in a Thematic on iccf-webchess with the Polugaevsky Variation, mainly to work on it as White as I quit playing the Sicilian as Black, and Black is simply getting smacked silly in this thematic tournament.

    In the preliminary bracket, there are 7 players in the group I’m in, top 2 advance. Thus far, one player basically has no clue what he’s doing, and is losing all his game. The rest of us are basically winning our games as White, winning the one game as Black against the guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing, and otherwise, Black isn’t standing pretty at all, looking at some of the positions in progress.

  39. It just felt a bit shaky. I no not see a great need to continue with it for another volume, especially not when we have decided to split the project.

  40. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Is the Delayed Poisoned Pawn more stable than the 7. f4 h6 line? I would not complain about having 150 pages dedicated to the two lines against 6. Bg5..

  41. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    If Volume a of GM6 2nd Edition might be released before the second Volume b, you might release Volume a earlier, together with Schandorff’s two-volume repertoire books or so?

  42. Jacob,

    Quick question about an error in one of your books. In the 2nd edition of Experts vs The Sicilian, it’s either game 5 or 6 (Polugaevsky Variation of the Najdorf), it says after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.exf6 Qe5+ 11.Be2 Qxg5 12.O-O Qe5 13.Nf3 Bc5+ 14.Kh1 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qe7 16.Ne5, that in the game Black made a mistake, and that he had to play 16…O-O, and that White should answer that with 17.Nxf7 Rxf7 18.Nxf7 etc etc.

    Uhm, only 1 Knight is available to take on f7. I’m assuming the other move is a Rxf7. Is there any significance as to which you do first? Or does it not matter? The only advantage I see to one over the other is 17.Rxf7 hits the Queen and forces a reaction, 17.Nxf7 can be ignored if desired.

    And chance you or John Shaw (the other author) would happen to know which move, 17 or 18, is White supposed to take with the Rook?

    Thanks in advance.

  43. Hmm, on a different topic, anyone noticed that the Chess Evolution bi-monthly publication seems to get further and further behind schedule over time? I wonder if they are struggling in some ways? At least under the strain of keeping to the bi-monthly plan?

  44. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Guessing competition for variations in GM Repertoire 1. e4 as well? I just noticed when looking through my copy of GM7 for a few minutes that there is a game Aagaard-Schandorff from the 2010 Danish Championship in one of the chapters on the Advance Variation.

  45. Jacob Aagaard :@Patrick M Not really. I am sure Rybka will give you the same answer as it will me . If not, get back to me!

    Well, actually, it is responding differently:

    17.Rxf7 Rxf7 18.Nxf7 Kxf7 etc etc it gives as +0.54
    17.Nxf7 Rxf7 18.Rxf7 Kxf7 etc etc it of course also gives the same +0.54


    17.Nxf7 Nd7 18.Nfd6 Rxf1+ 19.Bxf1 Bxd6 20.Nxd6 Nb6 21.c4 bxc4 22.Nxc4 Rb8 23.Qd2 Nd5 24.Bd3 Bd7 25.Qc2 g6 26.Ne5 Bb5 27.Rd1 Bxd3 28.Rxd3 as +0.38

    Now, of course, this is one computer program, and sometimes I question the validity of assessments between -1 and +1, as sometimes it will say +0.75, and after 3 moves giving it 10 minutes each time, it’s down to +0.00, but it does make me wonder if that means 17.Rxf7 should be preferred! 🙂

  46. @Patrick M

    I agree that 17.Rxf7 looks a more forcing line, encouraging Black to take twice on f7. That way, the bishop stays on the good square e2, with f3 as a later option. In the 17.Nxf7 line you mention, the bishop is dragged to the inferior f1-square.

  47. Gilchrist is a Legend :
    I know that Ftacnik is of the Scheveningen …e6 style generally, but surely he has not chosen to cover both …e6 and …e5 that caused the book split?

    You mean other than against 6. Be3, where he already did cover both …e6 and …e5 ?

  48. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jeff Dixon

    Yes, but I saw above that only 6. Be2 e6 will be covered. I am just wondering which specifically the variations are that caused the split into two volumes. I suppose 6. f4 e5 will not be covered, or 6. g3 e6, but I am not sure.

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend

    What are the time frames for summer and autumn? Summer can be May to October, or June to August, depending on the country and/or climate. And in the UK the climate is basically winter year-round.

    Hopefully the publishing schedule does not refer to the summer and autumn of the Southern Hemisphere. I am not in Australia or New Zealand, but I hope Schandorff’s books and those others listed are published before Australia’s next summer 🙂

  50. At some point there was a second edition of Play the Semi Slav in the plans, now I see it’s gone, what happened?

  51. csaba :At some point there was a second edition of Play the Semi Slav in the plans, now I see it’s gone, what happened?

    Apparently, Chess Evolution has answered that question. Of course, that assumes this is the real one and not the fake. If you look at the cover of the January 2012 edition from this Website:

    Clearly, it’s showing this major novelty on move 21 from a position that is blatantly a Botvinnik Semi-Slav.

    However! If you look at this site:

    The January 2012 cover (upper left) shows a completely different position from a completely different opening with a completely different novelty.

    I would tend to trust the first site over the second, as the second is advertising the May 2012, September 2012, and January 2013 editions at the top of the page, none of which are even remotely close to being published yet.

    But anyway, there’s your update on the Semi-Slav! Just view the cover of Chess Evolution, January 2012, from the first URL! 5.Bg5 has just be refuted! 🙂

  52. csaba :Is the move in question, as shown, 21 … c4-d4, sort of like a chassée pawn move?

    No, if you wait for the 2nd image of the cover to show, cycles about every 20 seconds or so, it gives 21…Nf8!!

    ray :“5.Bg5 has just be refuted! ” umpteenth time i have heard this never will be true though

    I’ve only faced this twice, once in 2000, once around 2007 or 2008. I did win them both! Now I don’t really play the Semi-Slav. I go for either the Slav or QGD.

    Jacob Aagaard :@ray Obviously Bg5 must be wrong. Black can win a tempo with …h6, bla bla bla…

    5…h6? Come on! Be a man, not a Dreev! LOL! 5…dxc4!! 🙂

  53. @Jacob Aagaard
    well QC published a book endorsing it…. Anand,carlsen ,kramnik every top player played it
    but probably we just seem to know something they dont

  54. @ray
    Or I am just kidding. Who knows :-).
    The CE cover might be one we made early on as a dummy and not the actual cover of the next issue. Btw. Arkadij told John it is in the post.

  55. @Jacob Aagaard


    Ladies and gentlemen, do not, under any circumstances, buy a used car from this man. Chess books, yes. But don’t pay for them till after they’re published. . .

  56. Jacob Aagaard

    @Alan Hartley
    I am not sure what the problem is. We always say very clearly that the dates here on the blog cannot be fully trusted. We work towards them, but at times things go wrong.

  57. @Alan Hartley The occasional delay of a book should tell you that these guys are really working hard to provide you the best possible content…otherwise it would be very easy for them to release the draft at any moment without further refinements. You should thank the author for his further investment of time instead of laughing at him.

  58. Jacob Aagaard

    Thank you for the support. It is true, we do work incredibly hard and books often get delayed because we are unsure about the content. Obviously Alan is a great supported of our work and I am sure he was just kidding, but he also has a valid point of course!

    On that note, I checked in our work sheet and it seems that the King’s Gambit will be 771 draft pages in Word. Obviously it will be less once typeset, but maybe with 80-85% of that size. Possibly John is planning to cut a few things at the end, because this would really be a BIG book :-).

  59. 771 pages for the King’s gambit! Even Tolstoy and James Michener are impressed!

    Two volumes? KG Accepted Vol I and KG Declined/Modern Vol II ?

  60. Please do take my remarks in the not-very-serious spirit in which they were intended. I am just really looking forward to the King’s Gambit book. How FAR forward I am not sure. . .

  61. Only true masochists can handle 650 pages of the King’s Gambit. I heard that’s what drove Tesla to unbridled levels of compulsion.

  62. The more the merrier! I have been long waiting this KG book and I can almost taste the binding glue from here!

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