Free ‘Book of the Month’ – September and October

September 13th, 2019 No comments

We are continuing our free-fourth-book offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas) we will send you an extra book free.

Please note that if you buy a Special Offer and are in the EU zone, we will add one free book. For example, if a European buys the Special Offer on our award-winning Grandmaster Preparation series, then we would send the 6 hardcovers, plus one free extra book.

The previous default option on the free book was Tactimania. For September and October we will switch the default option to the hardcover version of Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann. But if you already have that book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:


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World Cup 2019 – Quality Chess Quiz

September 6th, 2019 6 comments

We have run a few quizzes before, and they have been fun, so with the 2019 World Cup starting soon in Khanty-Mansiysk, let’s have another. I say it’s for fun, but there is a winner-takes-all prize.

Quality Chess will send a box of 20 books to your home. 10 of them chosen by you, 10 of them chosen by us. All you have to do is to predict some results in the World Cup. We will contact the winner once the World Cup is over and organize the shipment of the prize.

Cut-off date for submissions is Tuesday 10th September at 11:00 UK time (15:00 Khanty-Mansiysk Local Time). To enter click on this link and select your answers. Only one entry per person please. Good luck!

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Practical Chess Beauty – ECF Book of the Year shortlist

September 5th, 2019 No comments

We are delighted that Practical Chess Beauty by Yochanan Afek has been selected for the shortlist for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year prize. To quote the ECF judges: “Afek is one of the world’s best and most prolific end game study composers and it is possible simply to enjoy a remarkable collection of studies which feature truly astonishing play. As far as the judges are aware this is the first time that a book of end game studies has appeared in BOY. The volume is beautifully produced to Quality Chess usual high standards.”

The prizewinner should be announced next month.

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Playing The Najdorf – Repertoire Overview

September 3rd, 2019 52 comments

We recently announced David Vigorito as the author of the hotly anticipated Playing the Najdorf. Since there have been lots of questions and speculation about which lines will be recommended for Black, we decided to provide blog readers with a quick summary of what you can expect from the book.

First, a brief quote from the Introduction to give an idea of how the author regards the Sicilian Najdorf:

“I have been playing the Najdorf for about twenty-five years and teaching it for about a decade. Despite the fact that it has a reputation for being fantastically complicated and theoretical, I believe that at its heart it is a strategic opening, and that players of different styles can enjoy playing it and improve their chess while doing do. I have found that positional players adopting the Najdorf improve their tactical ability and feel for the initiative. Conversely, tactical players can develop their strategic play because there are so many recurring themes that arise from the typical pawn structures that one must master in order to successfully play the Najdorf.”

Repertoire Choices

I guess this is the part that some of you have really been waiting for. Without further ado, here is a brief summary of the recommendations against White’s main options:

6.Be2 will be met by 6…e5. Sorry to the Scheveningen lovers but the author prefers the characteristic Najdorf way of playing, and he makes a convincing case for Black.

6.Be3 will also be met by 6…e5, maintaining the theme of playing …e5 whenever possible. Against the English Attack with 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3, the modern 8…h5 is our choice.

6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 is the traditional main line and Negi’s recommendation. Vigorito opines that the Poisoned Pawn with 7…Qb6 may be ‘best’, but it is not the most practical choice for most players. Therefore he prefers 7…Be7 when there is still some theory to learn of course, but it’s more digestible and generally easier to understand than the Poisoned Pawn. Naturally he has paid close attention to Negi’s ideas and found suitable answers for Black.

6.Bc4 is met by 6…e6 7.Bb3 Nc6!? which is a little unusual, but the author argues convincingly for it.

Finally, the book deals with all kinds of miscellaneous tries from White. 6.h3, 6.g3, 6.f4 and 6.a4 are all met by 6…e5, which is consistent with the author’s ethos of playing this traditional Najdorf move whenever possible. Other quirky moves such as 6.Nb3!?, 6.Rg1!? and others will all be given their due attention as well.

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September 2nd, 2019 9 comments

One of the truisms of our time is that you should never explain yourself on the Internet – specifically social media. Over the weekend I was urged by one of our writers to engage with an individual who was slamming The Nemesis for being plagiarism. While the guy was not listening and repeating falsehoods, I thought there was general interest in the questions posed. And for this reason I am repeating the facts here, relating to the overlap between The Nemesis and Application of Chess Theory. (I know the link says out of print, but I think they have a newer version. Still this is what Google gave me).

First of all, The Nemesis is a new translation of a new compilation of Geller’s writings, published by Russian Chess House. We got the rights from them. In Application of Chess Theory there were 100 games grouped according to openings. I am not sure if this was Geller’s idea originally or if it was done by someone else.

It is also unclear to me if Application of Chess Theory is based on the sale of rights to Pergamon and if Geller was rewarded for this. I do not think anyone knows and doubt there is a way to work that out. As I see it, both books are legal.

Our friend was concerned that some of the translations ended up with similar meanings. I refer to a dictionary if someone does not know what translation means. 86 of the games are the same games. The Nemesis has added notes from Max Notkin in many places.

In Application of Chess Theory there are 14 games not in The Nemesis . The Nemesis has 49 games that are not in ACT. About 200 pages worth. Our original discussion

Read more…
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Coming Soon – Anand, Shankland, Alma

August 16th, 2019 15 comments

Our Coming Soon section has some new additions. We will say more about the books later, but for now a brief introduction.

The Anand Files – The World Championship Story 2008-2012. Michiel Abeln tells the inside story of Anand’s dramatic World Championship matches against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand. Abeln extensively interviewed Anand’s seconds about their experiences. The ideal expert to state an opinion on the book is Viswanathan Anand, who writes in the Foreword: “Basically, I love this book. The level of detail is fabulous, and as I read it I felt I was reliving the entire five-year period during which these three matches happened.”

Small Steps 2 Success by Sam Shankland. The 2018 US Champion and double Olympiad gold medallist follows up his excellent Small Steps to Giant Improvement with a work about passed pawns. I am biased as ever, but this is top-notch instruction. The cover above is Version B, for those who followed the previous debate.

Alma and the Dark Dominion by Judit Berg. A new area for us – fiction. Judit Berg is an award-winning, bestselling children’s author from Hungary. Alma is a fun adventure story that has some chess content supplied by Judit Polgar.

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Small Steps 2 Success – Cover Discussion

August 7th, 2019 39 comments

Yesterday I worked on the cover of Sam’s next book, Small Steps 2 Success. As someone who has been teaching Maths and Physics for years, I know how I am supposed to draw this. But what makes sense in my former world, doesn’t mean it’s the best-looking cover. So, I would like to hear your opinions on which cover you like most. I know, small changes, but that’s what makes a difference after all!?


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Websales posting…

July 29th, 2019 74 comments

Our new books, Opening Simulator – KID by Lund and Hagen, and The Nemesis by Efim Geller are printed and being posted to those who have bought them on our website.

While we were printing, we took the chance to reprint some other books that had been out of stock in either paperback or hardcover. So The Catalan by Boris Avrukh and The King’s Gambit, by me, are now available again in both formats. Above is a photo of the newly reprinted, and ridiculously heavy, hardcover of The King’s Gambit. In case you are wondering, that seam along the middle of the spine is not damage – our hardbacks are wrapped in plastic so they arrive in pristine condition.

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