Thank you ChessPub for your support

For the third year in a row a Quality Chess book was awarded the Opening Book of the Year honour by the good people roaming the ChessPub forum. In 2009 Marin won it for Grandmaster Repertoire 3 – The English Opening Volume 1. In 2010 Boris Avrukh won it for Grandmaster Repertoire 2 – 1.d4 volume 2. This year it is Avrukh again, taking in most votes for Grandmaster Repertoire 8 and Grandmaster Repertoire 9 โ€“ his two volumes on the Grunfeld Defence.

The votes fell line this.

Obviously I am disappointed that people did not give it to the Tarrasch, but this is the price for writing on a fringe opening. Also, note that another great opening book from 2011 – The Safest Grunfeld from Chess Stars is not on the list. Exactly why that is, I do not know. I am sure Boris would have won anyway, but it would have been nice if it had been included.

You can find the forum post here.

59 thoughts on “Thank you ChessPub for your support”

  1. Abramov Anjuhin

    First of all my congratulations to the Quality Chess Team ๐Ÿ™‚

    But, out of 100.000 +++ FIDE registered players in the world, only 14 of them voted!

    So I understand that every publisher needs a hype, but this kind of promotions makes me laughing every time ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nonetheless, I personally think that there’s no match in the world for Quality Team under which I’m strongly thinking only on Jacob! Other guys, sorry, no points for you ๐Ÿ™

    Jacob, please post Flear’s review on GM Tarrasch published in NIC Yearbook 102 which I received today!

  2. What do you expect? ChessPub is a dying community. Tony has closed registration – a terrible mistake as anybody with some internet community experience will confirm. The highest number of simultaneous visitors came there 5 years ago. Now there’s only a couple of active users, hardly more than 100, and their number is shrinking. No influx of new users for the community means slow, inevitable death.

  3. Gilchrist is a Legend

    GM 8/9 and GM 10 should be easily in the top 3 opening books for this year in any poll, due to the diligence and academic value of both. Avrukh, as usual, always writes with extremely high quality and a balanced level of detail to combine variations with understanding. And GM10 was very unique to cover what is, as mentioned by Jacob above, considered not a main line opening, at least in GM praxis, and thus a challenge in itself, yet the analyses are as detailed and explanatory as a university-level engineering textbook. If a university lecturer had to mark these books as exams, both are in the top tier (>90%) of a first class honours.

  4. Obviously i am very interested to read the review by Flear (by the way i met him in Porto Carras and he is a really pleasant person. And my opinion won’t change even if he does say good things about our book!) as also the article by my countryman and outstanding theoretician GM Halkias about the 9.Bg5 c4 Tarrasch! Can anyone that has that issue give some details about the lines Halkias covers? I would bet it is on the …Qa5 lines and not on our …h6, but i would never rule out a surprize!

  5. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Abramov Anjuhin :
    First of all my congratulations to the Quality Chess Team
    But, out of 100.000 +++ FIDE registered players in the world, only 14 of them voted!
    So I understand that every publisher needs a hype, but this kind of promotions makes me laughing every time
    Nonetheless, I personally think that thereโ€™s no match in the world for Quality Team under which Iโ€™m strongly thinking only on Jacob! Other guys, sorry, no points for you
    Jacob, please post Flearโ€™s review on GM Tarrasch published in NIC Yearbook 102 which I received today!

    Are there likewise any reviews about Avrukh’s Grรผnfeld books?

  6. @Abramov Anjuhin
    It was 14 who voted for Avrukh, 70 voted in total. But yes, it was not a bit part of the chess community who voted. But we have always held the opinon of the Chess Pub guys higher than ECF three person panel or the open vote on ChessCafe. Obvious the latter are more prestigious awards and we flaunt them more in our marketing material. But internally here, we want to share our joy of a three out of three for the GM Repertoire series :-).

  7. I should also say that I really do not rate myself higher than John in any way. I have a lot of strengths that are easy to rate highly, while John’s can be harder to argue for at times. But just because you have the visible strengths does not mean that you cannot see that without the less high profile strengths of your business parter, things would be entirely different altogether.

    The Grunfeld books were not my project. Obviously I discussed a lot of details with Boris, but actually it was Andrew with the assistance of Colin who edited these books. And they worked hard. John also came up with a lot of things for it towards the end. I analysed the Tarrasch :-).

  8. Just a brief comment on all this book of the year stuff. I have just been reading the two volumes on Karpov and can’t speak too highly of them. For me they would be the book of the year for 2011 or for just about any other year for that matter.
    An absolutely outstanding effort. For anyone who hasn’t bothered yet the games and the annotations for the games against Kurajica [ Vol1] against Alterman [vol 2] are worth the purchase price on their own.

  9. I want to note that this vote was about the “opening book” of the year, and not a chess book in general. About the Karpov books i’d like to note also that the great thing about Karpov is how excellent games from an educational point of view he played. The same goes for Capablanca, but Karpov lived in an era of much higher competition and “more modern” chess. I really cannot think of a player of more “crystal clear” style. It is said that Kramnik slept with a book about Karpov’s best games under his pillow! At least this is what Kasparov “accused” him! I think that the real story is that Kramnik slept with “My System” under his pillow, but OK how can you really know? I don’t recall an interview by Kramnik that really answers what books he has slept with!

    As far as the article of Halkias in NIC Yearbook 102 is concerned, it sems that he deals with the …Qa5 lines we talked only briefly about in the introduction to GM Rep 10. I was calling these lines “The Old concept” and the …h6 ones the “New Concept”. Jacob was simpler, calling them “New” and “Old” lines. Anyway, it seems that GM Rep 10 and this article together can form a quite active repertoire with the 9…c4 Tarrasch.

  10. There’s an interview on where Kramnik talks about how “positional” players like himself and Karpov calculate. Kramnik believes that these players (Kramnik speaking from experience) that these players tend to calculate based on width rather than depth generally (depth can be accessed too if they assess it as a critical position). I’m not sure what that says about Kramnik and what books he sleeps with under his pillow at night, but from many interviews I have read Kramnik has always been fond of Karpov in some or even most ways.

    On a different note, does anybody know what happened to It seems that they’re having maintenance problems, that or they’ve shut the website down.

  11. Jacob Aagaard :@WuvMuffin72 I teach calculating wide or broadly always โ€“ it is an essential part of Excelling at Chess Calculation.

    When you say “Calculating Wide”, do you mean something like analyzing 12 candidates 4 moves deep instead of analyzing 4 candidates 12 moves deep, and writing off the rest of the candidates quickly? Or something else?

  12. Michel Barbaut

    Hi QC team !
    The new catalog is out , ok it’s fine but I notice two books on the french one by the team Aagaard & Ntirlis called “Playing the French” and two others in the GM series by Emanuel Berg subtitled. What will be the difference between them : Variations &/or target audience, etc ?
    A personal advice :do you think such an opening (gambit) like the Smith-Morra needs such an insipid cover ? Of couse it’s irrelevant since the pages inside should be more lively ! But anyway color it please ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Hi,
    and what is “1. e4 vs Sicilian” about? Is it about the Anti-Sicilians? And does that mean, that there is another (than GM6) GMRepertoire about an open Sicilian coming up?

  14. Klaus Kristensen

    I had hoped for Mikhail Gurevich, but Emanuel Berg is also an interesting choice as author of the French Grandmaster repertoire books.

  15. @Patrick M
    Essentially yes. If you are evaluating the positional consequences of moves rather than seeking complications, this is what you would do. But only if you get this type of positions. Remember that it most often takes two to complicate matters. If you tango alone you often look a fool :-).

  16. @werner
    It will be different types of agressive lines. Berg is going 3…Bb4 against 3.Nc3, while Nikos (with my assistance, as in the Tarrasch) will go 3…Nf6. No Rubinstein and groveling for a draw!

  17. @floh
    1.e4 against the Sicilian does not sound like Anti-Sicilian to me either. Lucky as this is not what I was planning.

    GM6 will come in a 2nd edition, split in two volumes, with the titles GM6a: Dealing with the Anti-Sicilian โ€“ or something along those lines. And GM6b: The Najdorf. We have been working on it for a while, but lately other projects have been completed and we can finally aim towards publication in the summer.

    But that is a different project :-).

  18. Franck Steenbekkers

    When will the 3 French books be published?
    With also an new edition of Play the French of Watson it will be a great year for the players of the French!

  19. @John Pugh
    The King’s Indian is an interesting project. At the moment it is delayed, but a lot of material exists. Vassilios is simply too busy playing. He has some goals; if he does not reach them, maybe we can convince him to finish the project. But I doubt it will be in 2012.

  20. @Franck Steenbekkers
    Yes, this is the year of books on the French. I do not think Emanuel’s books will be out before early 2013. On the other hand the book on the Open Spanish might be out late in the summer. The leaflet is a PROMOTIONAL tool. If you want detailed information, with all the inaccuracies it might entail, this blog is the place to go.

  21. I’ve heard that Semi Slav 2nd Edition won’t be happening. Is that right that Vigorito won’t be doing this and are there any plans to have a different author write this ?

  22. Gilchrist is a Legend

    How about GM Repertoire Classical Slav? Is it known what Pert will recommend against 9. Qe2 in the Main Line, or 9. Nh4, etc.?

  23. @Andrew Brett
    It’s true that Dave Vigorito will not be doing a 2nd edition of the Semi-Slav now – if we get a different author to write about the Semi-Slav, it will be a totally new book, not an update of Dave’s work. But no plans yet.

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    It’s too early for details about specific lines in the Slav – I believe Nick Pert is still analysing, so nothing is fixed yet.

  24. Franck Steenbekkers

    For what reason you choos Emanuel Berg for the French project.
    I know him as an excellent theory king.
    not so as an specialist of the French!

  25. @Franck Steenbekkers

    Hi Franck,

    I agree Emanuel Berg is an expert on opening theory, but I am surprised you don’t think of him as a French specialist. My database shows he has played the French over 300 times. He is more than a French specialist, he’s a fanatic!

  26. @Franck Steenbekkers
    I have always liked the articles I have seen of his and I know him personally for more than a decade of course. I approached him about this already in 2008, but although he was interested, in was only late last year that he gave in โ€“ this time to Andrew โ€“ and agreed to do the project for us.
    I am surprised you have missed the fact that he has played the French as his main opening for the last decade or so?
    Trust me, you will be very happy with his work.

  27. Jacob,

    Is “GM Repertoire – 1.e4 vs the Sicilian” in essence the first of the 5-book series on 1.e4? Or something else as a standalone book?

  28. @Jacob Aagaard
    aehm..the title of this book doesn’t sound like a book about anti-sicilans. No clue what my brain did yesterday when i wrote my post….

    Will there be a chapter about flank openings (1.c4 c6 and similar openings) in the GM Repertoire about the slav?

  29. @Patrick M
    It is the first volume, but we are hoping to be able to do it in four rather than five volumes. Time will tell if this is too optimistic :-0. But it will never be more than five volumes, of course.

  30. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Where would you place in an updated publishing schedule the new books that were just introduced in the catalogue, namely the GM Repertoire Classical Slav, GM Repertoire French Vol 1 and 2, Playing the French, etc.?

  31. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I will put one up in the near future, but for those specific books, all I will write is LATER, so don’t get too excited. These books are in their early stages. Focus rather on the other books in the catalogue, which are all getting closer to the finish line!

  32. Gilchrist is a Legend

    Of course focussing on the other books, such as Avrukh’s next GM Repertoire book, which is the next in the order on the catalogue. The books that are to be completed soon also need a new publishing schedule. ๐Ÿ˜€

  33. How nice for me to know I own the first three places (GM 8, 9, 10) of this voting… ๐Ÿ™‚
    I now have both, The Grรผnfeld and the Tarrasch, in my repertoire, and I am extremely happy with the extraordinary quality of these books.
    I also think it would have been interesting to have Delchevs book about the Grรผnfeld nominated. I own this one as well and think it is good, but still does not come close to the GM series books.
    Interestingly I see at the very minute Delchev playing the Tarrasch at the European Chess Championship himself, and he follows exactly the recommendation given in GM10…!!

    Bacrot – Delchev (EICC 2012, 23 Mar 2012):
    1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.a3 Ne4 11.Nxd5 Be6 12.Nc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qxd1 14.Rxd1 Rad8 15.Bb2 Na5 16.Nd4 Bb3 (This is the idea from GM10…) 17.Re1 Ba4 18.e3 Nc4 19.Bc1 b5 20.f4 Bb6 21.Rb1 Ba5

    The compensation is obvious and the situation in the game matches so well the judgement in GM10. Seeing such high level tests of the repertoire to me is at least as important as the book reviews.

  34. @Gerry
    I would think it is even more important. I am delighted and we have been following the game live here as well, of course. Nikos is obsessing a bit, which is very understandably! Although Delchev played less than perfect after this, he should still draw, I think.

  35. Gilchrist is a Legend

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I saw the game, and it looked as if there was some slight initiative by Delchev at some points in the game. And is Bacrot who you drew as well in the Tarrasch?

    But I am not sure about 23…f5, maybe 23…Rfe8 was better since there is no need to return the extra exchange. Anyway it appears as if the Tarrasch is doing well in GM praxis.

  36. Abramov Anjuhin

    @ Grandmaster Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence by Lubomir Ftacnik

    Jacob, since you shall split the second edition in 2 vol’s please be very careful in order not to omit some lines again! Since most of us are amateurs, please bear in mind what Avrukh wrote in forword of GM Rep 1, that on lower levels one usually get’s more minor lines. In this case almost every White player tries to chicken out from Sicilian main lines! So for success of the book you should pay more attention to the minor lines than to let’s say Bg5 lines ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Playing 1.d4 – The Queen’s Gambit and & The Indian Defences by Lars Schandorff

    I’m using Avrukh’s GM Rep 1.d4 vol. 1&2, but do you advise me Jacob that I broaden my repertoire also by Schandorff’s books? I don’t know where is the basic difference? But, I’d like to have my hardbacks ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ GM Prep

    You don’t know how happy I am! Really!!! But please write them in the “Attacking Manual” style! In the sense of practical value these books should have 10/10 ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ hardcover of My System by Aron Nimzowitsch

    A two months ago I finished reading it for the 2nd time. But does hardcover edition bring new typeset, or it’s all the same? Please consider to launch hardbacks for “Chess Praxis” and “Questions of Modern Chess Theory” by Isaac Lipnitsky.

    @ launch hardcover of ALL three Marins GM Rep’s

    Although I’m playing according to Avrukh, I’d like to have my hardcover collection of all three books. By launching them you can do no harm to your financial status. On the contrary because these books are read like a middlegame textbook also!

    @ Croatian IM Vladimir VUkovic: The Art of Attack in Chess @ The Chess Sacrifice (

    Perhaps you should make also a 21st century edition of these books written by a genius just like Nimzowitsch in his field! I dare you to do it!

  37. @Abramov Anjuhin
    GM6 โ€“ I do not want to explain what went wrong with the minor lines in the first volume, but it is clear that lessons were learned in the process. When we realised the absence of lines from the book we were quite distraut and you know we have had online updates as well as the relevant lines in Experts on the Anti-Sicilian.
    Playing 1.d4 โ€“ There are some differences. Less detail is one of them and also a greater emphasis on practicality than objectivity. This means that the simpler lines are chosen, which might not necessarily be the best if you are a computer, but the best if you are a human without an encoclypedic memory. Not bending away from the main lines, but a slightly different emphasis in the choice of main lines. Another difference is that space is the great strategic objective, rather than the two bishops, which is Avrukh’s chorus. I think you will find the books quite refreshing and of great practical value.
    Granmaster Preparation โ€“ Obviously this was originally Polugaevsky’s title. I took it from your suggestion of course. I like the idea that preparation is emphasised as being so much more than openings, as this is how I look at chess. So far I have progressed a lot and I think I am 10 full working days away from finishing the calculation book. In style they will be a good deal different from the Attacking Manuals. These are exercise books (with the exception of Thinking Inside the Box) and will emphasise practical experience. For example, the Calculation book will focus first on the techniques: Candidates, Combinations, Imagination, Comparison, Elimination, Intermediate Moves, Traps and Prophylaxis. Then it will have 10 test of six position each, where you do not know what is what, and you should solve the positions within for example 60 minutes (sliding scale based on rating will be provided). Finally there will be a section of exceptionally challenging positions.
    I want to stress that these books will be very challenging for anybody. I am using the material I am using with my own students here โ€“ those who have not gone through the Yusupov books should start there, or at least do them at the same time. Having said that, the structure is deliberately designed so that the 2600+ GMs that like my books will have their part of the joy in the latter parts of the books, while amateurs will be able to get joy from the instructional parts of the books. But learning by doing; you got to own it to understand it.
    My System โ€“ Hardcover โ€“ We fix a few things whenever we reprint (and have noticed them). Annoyingly an obsessive chess historian sent some to us 2 days after we went to print and we now have two mistakes we know about in the books that will not be changed for a few years. However, no one will suffer or realise this. One of them is wrong location for a tournament in the tournament record :-).
    Hardcovers general โ€“ We will put out hardcovers when we reprint in general. I think we will reprint GM3 this year, but it is not my decision. The others are not relevant for some time to come.
    The Art of Attack in Chess โ€“ Two things. 1) Everyman probably have the rights? Anyway, they have published a good edition of this book, from a technical point of view. 2) I actually do not rate this book too highly. I was always impressed by it, but when I reread it in the process of writing my own attacking books, I decided that as far as I am concerned, this book is more of a historic document and a rich part of our tradition, than it is a contemporary instructional manual, as for example Lipnitsky and Nimzowitsch are!

  38. @Gilchrist is a Legend
    These evaluations were the ones we thought about too. My draw was with Berkes. But interestingly, the “Avrukh” line with 13.Nc5 was played by Delchev against Elshan, who was prepared by Nikos and gave him 13…Qb6! as almost a refutation (to equality) to the variation.

  39. Abramov Anjuhin

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Abramov Anjuhin
    Granmaster Preparation โ€“ Obviously this was originally Polugaevskyโ€™s title. I took it from your suggestion of course.

    Shall you give me a credit in the preface ๐Ÿ™‚ If yes then I’m coerced to pass you my real name ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Quibble on p. 69 of GM 10 on Tarrasch: agree that 19…b5? is premature because of exchanges on d5 followed by e6. However, how does 19…Kh8(!) prepare …b7-b5 ? I would argue that it is *White’s* next move in the note, 20. Qd2, that prepares Black to play …b7-b5. Instead my correspondence opponent played 20.g4! , targeting a drawback of Kh8, that now g4-g5 can be threatened w/o guarding g5 first. And if Black proceeds …b5? the same operation 21.exd5 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Bxd5? (22…Rxd5 23.Bxd5 Bxd5 with advantage to white) 23.Bxd5 Rxd5 24.e6! f6 (or …f5) 25.Qe6! is still winning for White. I tried 20…Rg8?! 21. g5! fxe5 22. Bxe4 f6? 23.Qh5! f5 (23…fxg5?? 24.Rf6! +- I overlooked this on move 22) 24.Bg2 Kh7 25.Ne4! fxe4 26.Bxe4+ Bf5 27.Bxf5+Nxf5 28.Rxf5+/-. I should have tried 20…Qb4! with X-ray defense of the f8 rook as prophylaxis against the later e5-e6.

  41. Typo in my previous post 21…fxe5 should be 21…dxe4. Also 27.Rxf5 is even stronger for my opponent – Nxf5? 28.Bxf5+ Kh8 29.Qg6 and mates.

  42. You’re welcome – credit for the move 19 suggestion goes to my opponent “Grimsweeper,” currently the #1 ranked chess player on, a mixed board games site – I suspect he is also a correspondence or OTB chess master in real life.

  43. Nikos Ntirlis

    To be honest, after some hours of analysis it seems that our comment about the “stupid-looking” …Qb6 which we replaced with the …Rb8 move was very harsh. Probably this is the solution for Black as a quick …Rad8 solves a lot of problems and the Q from b6 can go to more influential places like a6 for example, or even c7 from where she (it) can support the Q-side counterplay after first the sting of White’s K-side attack is out (and the move Rad8 helps for this!) ๐Ÿ™‚

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