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Quality Chess Newsletter – Judit beats Magnus – rematch at the London Classic

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

Judit Polgar, author of How I Beat Fischer’s Record, achieved the remarkable feat of beating World Number 1, Magnus Carlsen. Judit won the battle but lost the war, as Magnus stormed back to win the UNAM chess festival in Mexico City. The pair will face each other again at the London Chess Classic which starts this Saturday. They are joined by an incredible field – Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, Nakamura, Adams, McShane and Jones.

GM Boris Avrukh’s Grandmaster Repertoire 11: Beating 1.d4 Sidelines has been received with extraordinary enthusiasm. It is too early for official reviews, so I will quote a blog comment from a happy customer: “I would like to say ‘Congrats’ to Boris, Jacob, John and Andrew and the rest of the QC staff for GM11, another home run!!!” The customer is always right; well at least this one is.

Our chess file (in pgn or pdf) contains a range of material, so I shall just mention a few highlights. Of course this includes Judit’s win over Magnus. It is always fun to see an author in action or our repertoires being tested. In four of the other games we have both at once – GM Sabino Brunello following the repertoires suggested by GM Lars Schandorff. Sabino often follows Lars (with White and Black) with great results. I think Sabino may even be unbeaten when playing as ‘Lars’.

Finally, Quality Chess would like to congratulate Jens Kristiansen of Denmark on his superb play and victory at the World Seniors Championship in Greece. The GM title is automatically awarded with the ‘Senior’ title, so this enables Jens to make a well-deserved step up from IM (a title he achieved in 1979). But what has this to do with Quality Chess? Well, Jacob recently became Denmark’s national coach. One weekend training session and he creates a World Champion! That would be the tabloid version, but in fact Jens could not attend the only training session there has been so far. So all credit to Jens himself. There is a serious lesson here – whatever your age, improvement is possible if you put in enough time and effort. Jacob tells me that Jens is undoubtedly stronger now, aged just over 60, than he ever was before.

John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

Categories: Newsletter Tags:
    November 30th, 2012 at 21:40 | #1


    Today I received hardcovers of:

    1. Beating 1.d4 Sidelines – Grandmaster Repertoire 11
    2. GM Prep Positional Play
    3. My System

    Woooow! Thanks for good work 🙂

    If I’m right, you have improved editing in My System! Very nice…

  2. John Fernandez
    December 1st, 2012 at 04:46 | #2

    Great as always. Thank you.

    Problem #2 (Yankovsky-Kretchetov) is identical to Herman-Kamsky, Washington DC Open 2012 (with incluson of 8. Bb3 Ba7).

    Wonderful tactic.

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    December 2nd, 2012 at 12:51 | #3

    For the reprint, we have of course corrected the mistakes we knew about. You never rid yourself of errors (PP p.299 is the most glaring example), but you try.

  4. Jacob Aagaard
  5. Ray
    December 3rd, 2012 at 16:14 | #5


    I have a question regarding the newsletter. In the game Brunello – Palermo in the notes to 5…c6 6.e3 (the Spassky-Short endgame) the move 13…Nc8 is suggested, with the remark that on …a5 white plays b3! Maybe I’m wrong, but can’t black after say 14. Kf2 a5 15. b3 just play Ba3? the threat Bb2 seems hard to meet, doesn’t it? Maybe black’s just equal in the QGD exchange?

    Thanks for your reaction!

    PS: are there any plans to publish a follow-up on the Quality Chess Puzzle book? I’m currently working through this book (I’m halfway through now), and it’s the best puzzle book I’ve seen!

  6. Jacob Aagaard
    December 4th, 2012 at 12:24 | #6

    The best follow ups are probably CALCULATION and the other books in the GM Preparation series, as well as Advanced Chess Tactics and the Attacking Manuals. All filles with 100s of top level exercises.

  7. Nikos Ntirlis
    December 4th, 2012 at 23:40 | #7

    Ray, if you analyse that 15…Ba3 deeper you’ll see that things are not that simple as the engines suggest. Obviously the whole line needs serious investigation.

  8. Jacob Aagaard
    December 5th, 2012 at 13:48 | #8

    Newsletter idea!?

  9. Nikos Ntirlis
    December 5th, 2012 at 14:21 | #9

    Maybe a poll for ideas for future newsletters?

  10. Ray
    December 5th, 2012 at 14:57 | #10

    Thanks for your reply – you’re right that this line needs serious investigation :-). If b3 doesn’t work, maybe 14. Rd1 with the idea 15 Bd3 is another interesting option….@Nikos Ntirlis

  11. Ray
    December 5th, 2012 at 14:59 | #11

    Thanks for your reply – of course I’m aware of all these other great books – I have them all :-). But I meant specifically the concept of Quality Chess Puzzle book. Anyway, never mind – plenty of other material to go through :-). @Jacob Aagaard

  12. Gilchrist is a Legend
    December 5th, 2012 at 17:44 | #12

    I think a newsletter needs to cover 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nb6 7. Nc3 0-0 8. 0-0 Nc6 9. e3 Re8 10. Re1 a5. This was in GM2, but the theory has changed quite drastically since. Avrukh recommends 3…c6, so perhaps a very brief update on this line in conjunction with the former?

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    December 5th, 2012 at 18:05 | #13

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We are not promising to keep everything up to date. Theory moved on so greatly there that it would require a deep investigation. This is probably too much for the newsletter.

  14. Gilchrist is a Legend
    December 5th, 2012 at 19:17 | #14

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Probably a complete survey or evaluation of the entire line is excessive, but maybe one or two games to show some new ideas as to what occurred recently in that long line would be interesting.

    That line is quite fascinating and I regard it as probably the most interesting opening line for me, especially since couple of years ago I used to play this line for both colours. Many grandmasters seem to play that line as Black as well.

  15. Paul
    December 5th, 2012 at 20:13 | #15

    I think a good topic for a newsletter (can’t remember if someone mentioned already) is these EXTREMELY irritating lines where white has a set-up of c3,d4,e4,f4 pawn structure (bishop on d3) against a g6 Indian pawn structure. Unless I missed something only the lines where black plays d5 (and not g6) were covered in GM11.

    As an aside, for other readers perhaps wondering about the hardbacks. GM11 was the first Quality Chess Book where I voluntarily purchased the hardback version (my natural instinct is to be cheap). I absolutely love it, definitely worth the extra money…….my only “regret” is it might be an expensive decision as I’m started to wish I had some of the other hardbacks where I instead got the paperback.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2012 at 01:24 | #16

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We already had a few games in this line. But maybe Nikos can find a game or two!?

  17. Patrick
    December 6th, 2012 at 19:18 | #17

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    If GM Repertoire 2 is unreliable because the theory changes so much, maybe you’d be better off buying a book on the London System. You claim to have trouble beating those d4 sidelines, and complained once that you face them too often. Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

    Oh, and I doubt the theory will change much in the next 20 years! 🙂

  18. The Lurker
    December 6th, 2012 at 21:55 | #18

    Maybe if they change the name to the “Manchester System”, Gilchrist would like the London better? *grin*

  19. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2012 at 22:40 | #19

    @The Lurker
    Some might say, lipstick on a pig, but personally I love London.

  20. Ray
    December 7th, 2012 at 08:43 | #20

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Great idea! I have two suggestions:

    1) Again in the QGD, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.e3 Bf5 7.g4 Be6 8.h4 Nd7 9.h5 Nh6 (the critical line in my opinion) 10.Be2 Nb6 11 Rc1 Bd6 12.Nh3 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Bd7 14 Rg1 g5 Schandorff proposes 15.Nd3 and stops there. I think this is a critical position with difficult play for both sides, which merits further analysis. I’m not aware of any games / analysis starting from this position. If I would play the QGD with black, I would go for this line. Since the QDG is one of the toughest nuts to crack for white, it would seem sensible to analyse a bit further than move 15.

    2) Another very interesting line for both colours (according to my own taste of course) is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 g5 12.Ne3 gxf4 13.Nxf5 0-0-0 14.Qc2 Ng6 15.0-0-0 (advocated by both Schandorff and Kaufman) Kb8 16.Ne4 Bb4 17.Rd4 a5 18.Rhd1 Nde5 19.Nfd6 Qb6 20.Kb1 h5 21.Qc1 fxg3 22.hxg3 h4 23.f4 when again I think a critical position has been reached. Both Schandorff and Kaufman like white here, but I was wondering how white should continue after 23…Ng4 24.f5 N6e5 25.gxh4 Bxd6 26.Rxd6 Rxd6!? 27.Rxd6 Ne3. I have the feeling this is unclear (I tend to like black here) – at least I think this is an interesting position to analyse further, because it seems critical for the main-line Slav.

    Anyway, just some suggestions :-). Good luck with your next projects!

  21. werner
    December 8th, 2012 at 10:16 | #21

    The eternal discussion on openings like the London System is silly.

    An amateur with ambitions should learn main lines, because he then learns important and classical lessons on tactics and strategy.
    If that amateur becomes better he also may gain better tournament results.
    However an amateur with good sense for position and endgame can easily win against another amateur with openings like the LOndon System. He would compensate the lame opening position with good middle and endgame play.
    Obviously, players like Aronian would almost always win against amateurs with openings like London or Zukertort. (Talking bout the sound ones…)
    They just can’t play it against opponents of their own class – that’s the reason they have to play Najdorf or Berlin…

  22. Nikos Ntirlis
    December 8th, 2012 at 15:15 | #22

    @Ray: Both lines deserve a whole book and not just an update! I have lots of things to say in those lines. We’ll see what we can do. Thanks for the suggestions.

  23. Jacob Aagaard
    December 8th, 2012 at 17:00 | #23

    On the other hand, if you play “rubbish” all your youth and get better, it is very hard to catch up on the education available later.

  24. Gilchrist is a Legend
    December 8th, 2012 at 18:35 | #24

    @Jacob Aagaard

    If someone plays Torre or Colle and manages 2300 FIDE, what then will happen after that? I do not remember seeing anyone in strong nine-round IM or GM norm tournaments, such as those in Spain, Budapest, etc., and also high level tournaments where 2300s can play (I am not sure if this includes Pau in France or Khanty-Mansiysk in Siberia), Montréal, but I have played in couple of those, and to be honest people around my rating (2250-2350) I saw some Torre, Colle, etc. but 2400s generally within the confines of such tournaments (unlike at the local club or at weekend rapids) will exclusively play main lines and the games centre around heavy theoretical debates. If I were to play a 2400 to try to get 5,5/9 for an IM norm or 6,5/9 (unless the numbers have changed) I certainly would personally be hesitant to play a Colle an Torre. But there are surely more 2300s and 2400s who would want to play main lines to earn norms, I would think?

  25. Ray
    December 8th, 2012 at 18:59 | #25

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    🙂 Indeed… Thanks for your reply!

  26. John Johnson
    December 10th, 2012 at 00:21 | #26

    Off topic but I was looking at Suba’s Positional Chess Sacrifices and how did this book fly under the radar? I really like this book and have never even read a review anywhere.

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    December 10th, 2012 at 16:27 | #27

    @John Johnson
    Was it not a ECF book of the Year nominee? We certainly did not try to keep it secret :-).

  28. John Johnson
    December 11th, 2012 at 02:10 | #28

    I think it was a nominee. I never see any discussion here or chess publishing; and I have never read a review. I think it is the sleeper of the year.

  29. Jacob Aagaard
    December 11th, 2012 at 11:17 | #29

    @John Johnson
    Possibly. We cannot push all books equally strongly.

  30. Ray
    December 12th, 2012 at 21:28 | #30

    Another suggestion for the newsletter: some games with the Caro-Kann advance might also be interesting. I think there have been a lot of new developments since Schandorff’s book, especially in the Short variation and maybe also 4.h4?

  31. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2012 at 12:02 | #31

    There are lot of new developments everywhere in the Caro-Kann. We did some things (check the CB file) and then moved on to other things. We cannot update books forever in the current set-up.

    Having said that, this is still a fantastic book in my opinion.

  32. Ray
    December 14th, 2012 at 13:10 | #32

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Point taken! And I agree it’s stille a fantastic book. Maybe a poll for future newsletters was not such a great idea after all :-).

  33. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2012 at 13:51 | #33

    I am not sure we have to do everything suggested?!

  34. Ray
    December 14th, 2012 at 15:13 | #34

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Of course not – just kidding :-). However there do not seem to be a whole lot of suggestions to choose from :-). I was just hoping my suggestions would trigger some more other suggestions.

    December 14th, 2012 at 20:41 | #35

    @Jacob Aagaard

    When can we expect new 2013 catalog? It’s urgently needed 🙂

  36. Waldorf
    December 15th, 2012 at 15:15 | #36

    Is there a long-term plan of an update about the Sveshnikov?

    December 15th, 2012 at 15:51 | #37

    @Jacob Aagaard

    By the way, how is GM Rep Open Spanish 🙂 progressing? Shall we have it in our hands in January 2013?

    I hope that Marin is one of proofreaders or consultants 🙂 Or even Jussupow!

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    December 16th, 2012 at 23:37 | #38

    Yes, end January should be ok. No to second part.

  39. Jacob Aagaard
    December 16th, 2012 at 23:38 | #39
  40. Jacob Aagaard
    December 16th, 2012 at 23:39 | #40

    Hopefully end January

  41. pouya
    December 19th, 2012 at 19:30 | #41

    Hi,i have a question about Schandorff book(The indian defences).

    In king’s indian,after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 and now 8…Na5!? i saw this move in Chess publishing website that Vigorito Called it an interesting move, and this move wasn’t analyze in Schandorff book,and i know its impossible to say everything….just i saw that in Quality Chess Newsletter you show the lines that wasn’t analyze in your books….maybe not bad to analyze this move,too:)

  42. Jacob Aagaard
    December 21st, 2012 at 12:04 | #42

    Was this not treated in a recent newsletter? Check the PGN file.

  43. pouya
    December 21st, 2012 at 17:05 | #43

    no, it wasn’t.

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:14 | #44

    Yes is was, and is. Wang Hao – Vovk.

  45. pouya
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:33 | #45

    Vovk first played 6…c5 instead of Nc6 and the after 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 black played 8…Na5!? the move that in recent news letter mentioned that Grischuk use it twice.but the variation that i ask,is 6…Nc6,not 6…c5.and after 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Na5!? idea is to play Nd7 and prepare c5 and b5…….i saw this in chess publishing.but in that game black first played c5….they are not the same.

  46. pouya
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:46 | #46

    The best player that played this move with black according to raiting is Efimenko,Z 2689 ,and he won Vitiugov,N ,it was rapid.but the best player who use it in a normal game(not rapid) is Korobov,Anton 2679. in Total games(31 game) black scored 48.4 percent!….so maybe This variation deserve more respect to look…..

  47. Nikos Ntirlis
    December 21st, 2012 at 19:39 | #47

    I’ll take a close look

  48. Patrick
    December 21st, 2012 at 21:15 | #48

    So now that he’s retired, when are we going to see “The Life and Games of Jacob Aagaard”? 🙂

  49. Jacob Aagaard
    December 23rd, 2012 at 12:47 | #49

    @Nikos Ntirlis

    It will be called Thinking Inside the Box. Although it will still focus on chess theory, but it will include a lot of my games.

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