TRG Trainer Awards

October 19th, 2019 No comments

Some of you will know that I have taken on a volunteer position in FIDE, as Chairman of the Trainer’s Commission. In the last year a lot of my spare time and some of my work time has gone into this work. It is difficult for quite a number of reasons, mainly because nothing ever get to a bad place without it being good for some, who will want to keep it as it is.

The key thing has been to restore the credibility. With the former secretary having won 6 trainer of the year awards during his tenure, we started from a low point.

However, there was a different problem, which is that to get the credibility, we needed representation from all over the World. China, Russia and India are the emerging leaders of world chess. So we convinced the most famous coaches to join us: Yu Shaoteng, Alexander Motylev and RB Ramesh. Of the three, the latter has been the most active in the Commission work, but the two others have been available with their inputs in meetings.

If we were to eliminate everyone with any connection to the commission from the awards, we would quickly have an amputated list of candidates. So we stroke the middle point. Peter Long and I ran the organisational side of it, with no influence on the voting at all. I had maybe two conversations and I was very careful not to give any opinions away.

The result was five winners that all won far ahead of their competitors. Two of the winners are friends of mine. This was probably inevitable. However, I did nothing to help them win…

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

World Cup 2019 – Quality Chess Quiz – The Answers

October 18th, 2019 1 comment

The World Cup ended a week or so back, so it’s time for results of our Quiz. Sorry for the delay – we were busy finishing books.

Below are what we believe to be the correct answers to all the questions. Before we assess your entries, and then declare a winner, let’s check that all the answers below are true. Any disagreements or ambiguities? The only debate I know about is Question 17, where Vitiugov and Grischuk were both knocked out in the Quarterfinals, but it seems to me that Vitiugov went further, as he lasted to the Armageddon stage.

  1. What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs)?
  2. Predict the score: Lu Shanglei – Boris Gelfand (excluding playoffs)
  3. Predict the score: Eltaj Safarli – Sam Shankland (excluding playoffs)
  4. Who will win the World Cup?
    Teimour Radjabov
  5. How many top seeds (1-64) will be knocked out in Round 1
  6. How many Round 2 matches will end in Armageddon Blitz?
  7. Predict the four semi-finalists. (2 points per correct answer)
    Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Teimour Radjabov
  8. Which round will Gawain Jones reach?
  9. How many 1-1 draws will Anish Giri have (excluding playoffs)?
  10. How many Black wins will there be in Round 4 (excluding playoffs)?
  11. Predict the score: Jorge Cori – Nihal Sarin (excluding playoffs)
  12. Predict the score: Michael Adams – Aravindh Chithambaram (excluding playoffs)
  13. Predict the score: Baskaran Adhiban – Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (excluding playoffs)
  14. How many Indians will there be in Round 3?
  15. Who will be the youngest quarter finalist?
    Jeffery Xiong
  16. How many USA players will make it to the 4th round?
  17. Which home player (Russian) will go furthest?
    Nikita Vitiugov (quarterfinal Armageddon)
  18. Which country will have the most players in the third round?
Categories: Prizes Tags:

Three books with excerpts

September 27th, 2019 35 comments

We have updated the website with new publication dates and excerpts.

So on October 30 we will publish three books – two new ones and one new version of an old favourite.

Soviet Outcast is the first time Grigory Levenfish’s memoir has been published in English. Our subtitle The Life & Games of Grigory Levenfish tells what to expect. I will add that while the annotated games are excellent, the stories of pre- and post-revolutionary Russian are, in my view, even better. To the original memoir we have added plenty of bonus material, including an excellent article by Jacob Aagaard. You can read an excerpt here.

Alma is a novel and a novelty for Quality Chess – our first book of fiction. Judit Berg is a best-selling award-winning children’s author, and in the fun adventure story Alma there is also a chess element contributed by Judit Polgar. You can read an excerpt here.

The new-ish book is an expanded and updated edition of Advanced Chess Tactics by Lev Psakhis. We improved what was already in the first edition, and Lev wrote a new chapter about his life-long favourite, the French Defence. You can read an excerpt here.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Free ‘Book of the Month’ – September and October

September 13th, 2019 3 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:


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

World Cup 2019 – Quality Chess Quiz

September 6th, 2019 9 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!

Categories: Prizes Tags:

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.

Categories: Prizes Tags:

Playing The Najdorf – Repertoire Overview

September 3rd, 2019 64 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.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:


September 2nd, 2019 16 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…
Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags: