Obviously we have some trade secrets in Quality Chess, but there are a few that are not secrets:
We print more books than we are likely to sell frequently. Starting the printer is costly; the cost of the last books printed is considerably less than the first books. Therefore it is better to overprint a bit than to print too few.
Some books are positive surprises; others are not. As you might guess, quality does not hurt, nor does it guarantee anything. Even if a book surprises positively, we end with extra books after the reprint.
Postage is getting more and more expensive. Actually, it is so expensive using the post office that it is cheaper to use UPS when the customer buys 3 books or more (over 2kg). Actually, it is the biggest expense when dealing with web orders. But UPS only charges marginally more when you add books; maybe 1€ per kg.
So, we are taking the consequences of this and will from now on be offering our EU web customers a free book on top of the free postage for orders of three books or more. And yes, should you order six books; we will of course put in two free books (and not of the same, of course).
I am not sure if we can automate this system easily; we are talking to our web designer at the moment, so that the customer is given a free choice of freebie. If not, we will probably do a “free book of the month” thing. Please be patient while we work this out.
For now, the free book of August and September is San Luis 2005, one of the best chess books of all time.
I have been asked about writing this short article a number of times and have hesitated, because it is obvious that many will have other ideas and opinions, as well as be critical of what I will say. But to make it clear: I am just presenting my own system, which makes sense to me. I am not saying that this is how everyone should do it or that this necessarily fits most people. It is just how I have had positive experiences working.
Part of my job as the editor of Negi’s 1.e4 book was to check how his analysis matched up against other prominent repertoire books. In the case of Lars Schandorff’s “Grandmaster Repertoire 7″, I checked it but neglected to mention the point of divergence in the text. Here I will correct the oversight.
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Be7 13.Kb1 0–0 14.Ne4
This position is reached on page 39 of Grandmaster Repertoire 7.
14…Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Nf6 16.Qe2 Qd5 17.Be3
Schandorff focuses on 17.Ne5 as his main line. In the notes he mentions that the bishop move is “a bit more sophisticated, but it doesn’t threaten anything in particular.” Negi explains that the bishop move is intended as prophylaxis against Black’s intended …Qe4. Thus, if Black responds with a neutral move, White will follow up with Ne5 followed by pushing the g-pawn.
This was a novelty when Lars suggested it. Black prevents Ne5.
A novelty from Parimarjan.
18.c4 Qf5+ 19.Ka1 a5 was mentioned by Lars.
Parimarjan also mentions that 18.g4! Nxg4 19.Rdg1 f5 20.Bc1 is a promising pawn sacrifice.
18…Nxh5 19.c4 Qe4+ 20.Ka1 Nf6 21.f3 Qh7 22.g4 gives White a promising attack.
19.g4! Qd5 20.Rdg1
Negi offers some further analysis to show that White has a promising initiative for the sacrificed pawn. To summarise, Negi analysed more deeply, but this is hardly surprising given the level of detail of his book. He also benefitted from being able to build upon Schandorff’s analysis as well as any games that had occurred since GM 7 was published. Followers of GM 7 may want to look for another solution, but the line is far from being refuted and there are plenty of other options on move 17.
How would you defend this position with White?
The Tromso Olympiad ended earlier today. I will start with a photo from earlier this week of the television in the house the Scottish men stayed in.
What’s the point? That is a snapshot of the five hours of live coverage the main Norwegian TV channel had of the Olympiad each day. Magnus Carlsen is watching his teammate Agdestein. Norway has gone chess mad, or maybe it’s Carlsenmania. If the BBC in the UK had five hours of live chess every day for over a week, there would be rioting in the streets.
For me, the chess in Tromso went surprisingly well,
Round 10 was another disappointment. Davor held a draw against a good player on board one, while Mads and I had winning chances on boards 3 and 4. At some point Mads entirely lost control and went from winning to entirely lost. A draw was a lucky result.
I had the advantage when I mixed something up in my head and repeated the position for the third time! I was perplexed when my opponent explained it to me, but there was nothing that could be done. The PC says I have some advantage, but I am not really sure the result would have been different had we played on. Still a weird experience.
Allan had a very bad day at the office, losing his third game with White in the tournament. Bummer.
On the rest day I went home. It took 14 hours (three planes), so sorry I did not update the blog before now. To be honest, I am still very very tired.
In the last round we won 3-0. Not a great tournament for us. Jakob won rating and Davor did well until the end. Allan, Mads and I have nothing to be happy about. I lost 3 rating points, but really showed no great chess. I have already decided that I will not annotate a game for the Danish magazine. I just did not play a single good game!
China won the men’s event. It is only the second big title to go to China (outside Women’s chess). The first being Yu Yangyi’s win in the World Junior last year. Again he was the hero with the highest performance of the whole tournament.
On a positive note a good friend of mine made a medal, though he could not care less, as the team did badly…
What a horrible day. Jakob has just resigned in what looks like a drawn ending. How easy it is to hold, I don’t know, but this is not what we deserved. I will see what FinalGen says.
The game plan was three draws and then Jakob win on board 3 against David Howell. A big ask, but you cannot go into a match without a winning strategy.
Nikos prepped me really well and I could throw it out at move 2! Luckily Gawain Jones could not remember where he should damage me and ended up allowing me to liquidate to an opposite coloured bishop ending. There were a few details and at some point he over-pressed, but I missed it. Draw.
Davor just neutralised Adams as planned. He was a bit worse at some point, but held it together.
Mads got his prep in and was solid as anything. Sadler went too far in his efforts to get something going and at some point Mads was even better. It required a bit of calculation. Three moves later he resigned.
Jakob’s game was very complicated and it looks like he just beat the guy at some point. But at the end he made some horrific decisions in the ending, allowing his opponent first to hold, then to even take the initiative. It was still a draw when Jakob resigned. Maybe even not so difficult to hold, though it looked hard optically.
So, 3-1 for England. A big disappointment.
On good news – Andrew won against Lubomir Ftacnik. He has played really well here.
4-0 against Norway 3.
Everything was going well for me, when I blundered badly in move 22, completely missing …f5. After this it was sort of even, maybe with a slight plus for me. Eventually I got a better ending, which he defended badly (…f3 helps me immensely).
The rest of the team had to work hard for their wins as well. A good day, but very tiring.