And the World Cup Quiz Winner is…

October 9th, 2017 1 comment

The winner of our 2017 World Cup Quiz is… Mr Alberto Muniz Pardino.

Mr Muniz’s excellent score of 12 points was a clear winner. If you want to see how it was done, our winner’s answers were (with correct answers in bold):

1.d4
Howell
Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie? Caro-Kann

1. Who will win the World Cup (3 points)? Aronian (3 points)
2. How many top seeds (1-64) will be knocked out in Round 1? 11 (1 point)
3. How many Round 2 matches will end in Armageddon Blitz? 1 (0 points)
4. Predict the four semi-finalists. (2 points per correct answer) Carlsen, Aronian, So, Mamedyarov (2 right, so 4 points)
5. Which round will Levon Aronian reach? Final (1 point)
6. How many 1-1 draws will Anish Giri have? 2 (1 point)
7. How many Black wins will there be in Round 4 (excluding playoffs)? 0 (0 points)
8. Predict the score: Dreev – Bachmann (excluding playoffs) 1-1 (0 points)
9. Predict the score: Motylev – Xiong (excluding playoffs) 1.5-0.5 (1 point)
10. Predict the score: Hou Yifan – Piorun (excluding playoffs) 1.5-0.5 (1 point)
11. How many Russians will there be in Round 3? 6 (0 points)
12. Who will be the youngest quarter finalist? So (0 points)
13. How many non-European players will make it to the 4th round? 6 (0 points)
14. Which home player (Georgian) will go furthest? Pantsulaia (0 points)

Tiebreaker: How many moves will there be in the longest game? 115 (tiebreak not needed, but pretty close to the correct 130)

Surviving the hurdle question by going for the Caro-Kann, then correctly picking Read more…

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Excerpts and books for sale

October 6th, 2017 43 comments

So we landed on November 1st for publication of Grandmaster Repertoire – The Pirc Defence by Mihail Marin, Sharp Endgames by Esben Lund and The Thinkers our photography book by super photographer David Llada. All three are available in our webshop for purchase.

Besides this concrete date, nothing is really changed from the previous publishing schedule. We are working hard to complete books. Lots of them, hopefully, over the winter months.

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David Llada Q&A

October 5th, 2017 No comments

While I am preparing a publishing schedule and a magazine article, for a few lectures I will give in the weekend and training two Indian players who have found their way into my house, I am surfing the internet and I found this:

Q&A with David Llada

As we are publishing David’s book on the 1st of November, I thought it only fitting that we promote this nice initiative!

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2017 World Cup Quiz – The Answers

September 28th, 2017 5 comments

Our World Cup Quiz would have run more smoothly if we had hired a lawyer to draft unambiguous questions. Two of our three hurdle questions eliminated nobody. Only Grünfeld fans were killed off early on.

Below are what I believe to be the correct answers to all the questions. Before we assess your efforts, and then declare a winner, it seems wisely paranoid to check with our eagle-eyed blog readers that all the answers below are true. Any disagreements or ambiguities?

Hurdle Questions

A: What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither? A 50-50 draw between 1.e4 and 1.d4, so you could make a case for all 3 answers being right, so we ignore this question.
B: Which English player will go further: Gawain Jones or David Howell? (if knocked out at same stage then which one has played more moves is the tiebreak) Both knocked out in Round 1. Gawain played more moves, but David survived one more day, so is that going further? No ideal answer, so we also ignore this question. 
C: Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie? CARO-KANN. Eliminated if you said Grunfeld or tie.

Main Competition Questions:

1. Who will win the World Cup (3 points)? ARONIAN

Read more…

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5.f3 against the Sicilian

September 22nd, 2017 42 comments

Some posts on this blog have drawn attention to the fact that the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 is not mentioned in Grandmaster Repertoire 6A – Beating the Anti-Sicilians by Vassilios Kotronias.

However, the line was featured in Experts on the Anti-Sicilian, where the recommended response was 5…e5 with coverage of the variations:

A) 6.Bb5† Nbd7 7.Nf5 d5 8.exd5 a6
A1) 9.Ba4
A2) 9.Bxd7†
B) 6.Nb3

We have decided to make this chapter freely available as a pdf here.

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A quick short term publishing schedule

September 20th, 2017 170 comments

Hi guys, I am really busy working away on books, so I wanted to tell you what the next few publications are likely to be. This does not mean that other books have been forgotten. Negi and Shaw are still on the way, the QID is coming down the line, as are more Gelfand book and a lot of other interesting stuff, we would like to keep secret for a little bit.

This is just what we are looking to complete over the very near future.

Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 3 – The Invincible 27 September 2017
Nikos Ntirlis Playing 1.d4 d5 – A Classical Repertoire 27 September 2017
Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire – Pirc Autumn
Esben Lund Sharp Endgames Autumn
Jaan Ehlvest Opening Preparation Autumn
Axel Smith Woodpecker Autumn
David Llada The Thinkers Autumn
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 2A Autumn

Marin’s book on the Pirc is at the printer and Sharp Endgames by Lund will follow briefly. The Thinkers are going to print any moment and Andrew is moving swiftly through the editing of Avrukh’s latest 1.d4 book.

But I also wanted to take the time to tell you about two books that will come slightly later in the autumn; a book on opening preparation by former participant in the Candidates matches, Jaan Ehlvest, which is promising to be an interesting read, and a book for the more practically inclined, by Axel Smith on the Woodpecker Method. The final titles and covers have not been decided, but I would be surprised if we did not go with The Woodpecker Method

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Congratulations Nikos and Georgia!

September 7th, 2017 8 comments

Jacob and I have just arrived back after five days in Thessaloniki, where we attended the wedding of our good friend (not to mention author) Nikos Ntirlis and his lovely bride Georgia. Below are a couple of photos from the wedding, where we also found time to audition for the roles of two agents in the next Matrix sequel.

Nikos prepares…

Read more…

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ECF Book of the Year Shortlist

September 5th, 2017 17 comments

The English Chess Federation announced its four-book shortlist for Book of the Year. Each publisher is allowed to nominate two books and the Quality Chess two both made the cut. Ilya Smirin’s King’s Indian Warfare and Jacob’s Thinking Inside the Box are our runners. The other two nominees are books by Timman and Portisch, so it’s tough competition, but so far it’s going as well as possible.

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