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Poll recap

So, John is our most desired author? In that case it is good the world did not end in 2012 and he can be allowed to impress us with his great insights…

And then of course there is the issue of Main lines. Do you like them or not – and what are they really?

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  1. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 21st, 2013 at 17:19 | #1

    It is interesting to view these polls. I am surprised that GM13 only netted 2% of the vote however. A GM Repertoire book on an opening that has comparatively very little coverage in the form of paper books I would think would have more percentage. GM12 has five times more (10%) than GM13, which is also interesting. I picked GM13 for three reasons, because I know it will be a good book, it is a GM Repertoire book, and probably very important, it will be published next week.

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    January 21st, 2013 at 21:49 | #2

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    If now now now makes you tick, this is certainly the book to go for!

  3. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 21st, 2013 at 22:12 | #3

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I already pre-ordered it, so that is probably voting with my wallet literally. I still have 4th February ticked on my calendar.

  4. Ray
    January 22nd, 2013 at 08:01 | #4

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Hi Gilchrist,

    Far be it from me to be judgmental of course, but I cannot help but notice that you seem to be obsessed with dates and deadlines. That’s why I’m surprised you didn’t tick the exact time as well on your calender. I for one will be crawling behind our front door on february 4th, 16:03 PM :-).

  5. Jacob Aagaard
    January 22nd, 2013 at 10:18 | #5

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No reason to think the 4th will not be the day.

  6. Teddybear
    January 22nd, 2013 at 11:38 | #6

    How is the GM Repertoire e4 going? How about Michael Adams to write them?
    Even the best players in the world can’t break trough his repertoire.

  7. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 22nd, 2013 at 12:45 | #7

    To be honest, sometimes I do that. I usually receive Royal Mail parcels around mid-afternoon, around 14h00. I usually have waited at that time for a few years now. If it is posted Monday 4 February, then it always arrives next day, meaning Tuesday the 5th.

    If I had to guess or estimate for GM12 likewise, I would probably say around Monday 4th March.

  8. Jacob Aagaard
    January 22nd, 2013 at 13:33 | #8

    Took the back burner a bit because we decided to complete the Grandmaster Preparation series first.

    However, John’s 1.e4 books will be heavily influenced by Adams and Rublevsky.

  9. ray
    January 22nd, 2013 at 13:58 | #9

    desired author ?! well , desired opening ! frm our desired publishing house !!

  10. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 22nd, 2013 at 14:30 | #10

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Yes of course, two weeks left to the 4th. I have been busy but I am ready to start studying the book once I receive it. I am not very familiar with the Open Spanish, but I would guess that it is less theoretical than the Berlin or Marshall, and that perhaps 1. e4 players are not particularly as throughly prepared against it compared to the other Spanish defences.

  11. Ray
    January 22nd, 2013 at 14:47 | #11

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I wouldn’t say the Open Spanish is less theoretical than the Berlin – on the contrary in my humble opinion. It is however not very popular so white players are not likely to be thoroughly prepared (that is, if you make it that far – most will play the exchange variation or something with d3 pr Qe2 or similar rubbish, and if you finally do get your favourite opening on the board you have forgotten all the finer points :-)).

    PS: the ‘ray’ in #9 is not me!

  12. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 22nd, 2013 at 15:03 | #12

    I have not been following the theory of the Open Spanish, but it seems that there seem to be more novelties and critical lines every week in the Berlin compared to the Open. In terms of effort or time to study each, and which takes longer, I do not know. But definitely the Berlin is more familiar in tournament play. However, perhaps after the book is published, there will be a massive increase in Open Spanish games, similar to the Tarrasch after GM10.

  13. ChessBookLover
    January 22nd, 2013 at 16:53 | #13

    The number of votes in the different polls make me suspect that two (or more) readers found a way to vote multiple times and started a voting contest between the French and 1 e4 books.

  14. John Shaw
    January 22nd, 2013 at 17:06 | #14

    ray :
    desired author ?! well , desired opening ! frm our desired publishing house !!

    Hi ray,

    Would you please choose a different name, as it appears we have a ‘ray’ and a ‘Ray’ – too confusing.

    I am asking you to change rather than Ray just because of that dubious sign in your “desired author?!” quote.

  15. Patrick
    January 22nd, 2013 at 17:29 | #15


    I don’t know how far into printing you are, and whether you print mass bulk at the start or if books continue to print over time, but if you are able to make editing corrections still with GM Repertoire 13, you have an error.

    In the sample provided, one of the pages it displays is page 163. On the right side, the paragraph that reads “With a rook and two pawns again two minor pieces, plus the safer king and a dominating knight on e4, Black is better.”, there is a missing “st”. “again” should be “against”.

  16. John Shaw
    January 22nd, 2013 at 17:40 | #16


    Thanks but too late. We knew about this slip a few days ago, just after printing had started. It is just like that feeling when you make a move and immediately see what is wrong with it.

  17. Ray
    January 22nd, 2013 at 18:37 | #17

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    You’re right – I was more referring to the existing body of theory when I called the Open Spanish ‘more theoretical’. I think the Berlin started from a ‘lower base’ when it became popular a decade ago…

  18. ChessBookLover
    January 22nd, 2013 at 19:23 | #18

    An eagle eyed proof-reader might also have noticed that the German master was Kurt Richter, not Curt.

  19. ChessBookLover
    January 22nd, 2013 at 19:31 | #19

    And on page 165, column 1, line 7 from the bottom there shouldn’t be a capital “T” in “the bishop”. But this is how all chess books are written, and the readers only really cares about the moves and evaluations.

  20. ChessBookLover
    January 22nd, 2013 at 19:32 | #20

    …and when I try to write I mess up my grammar.

  21. ChessBookLover
    January 22nd, 2013 at 19:41 | #21

    … just noticed that in the same column, in line 9 (from the top) it should be “White’s choice in the only game” (and not “is”). But then again – who cares?

  22. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 22nd, 2013 at 20:19 | #22

    I suppose so, I remember when the Berlin was not so popular and then suddenly almost all grandmasters started playing it. QC do a good job of popularising openings with good books though, so Open Spanish might be the new Najdorf soon perhaps.

    According to the excerpt, Table of Contents page, the Open Spanish material starts on p. 143 and ends at p. 373, so that is 230 pages of pure Open Spanish material, with the absolute main line from pp. 339-373. So that is quite a large amount to learn, but yes surely 1. e4 players are usually not as prepared against it than other Spanish defences. If someone played the Open Spanish against me when I played 1. e4, I would encounter problems quite quickly.

  23. tiradingding
    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:42 | #23

    @Jacob Aagaard

    (However, John’s 1.e4 books will be heavily influenced by Adams and Rublevsky.)So does it mean that the sicilian repertoire for white is either the rossolimo and moscow?

  24. John Shaw
    January 23rd, 2013 at 15:00 | #24

    tiradingding :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    (However, John’s 1.e4 books will be heavily influenced by Adams and Rublevsky.)So does it mean that the sicilian repertoire for white is either the rossolimo and moscow?

    No it will be serious lines in the Open Sicilian, but with some control for White rather than all-out chaos. An example of the type of line which will NOT be in this book is 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf.

  25. Ray
    January 23rd, 2013 at 21:25 | #25

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Just out of curiosity: you seem to play a lot of different openings at the same time (e.g. against 1.e4: Najdorf, French, 1…e5 – and these are all quite theory-dense as well!). I was wondering how you manage to do that, since it’s an awful lot of theory to learn? I currently play only one opening against 1.e4 and one against 1.d4 but am considering to broaden my reportoire. Any advice on how best to approach this?

  26. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 23rd, 2013 at 22:09 | #26

    I think I mistakenly play too many openings as well, but I learnt these openings years ago and simply try to update on theory and new books (of which QC helps immensely). I learnt 1…e5 and the Taimanov Sicilian as a child, Najdorf in 2004, French in 2003, and the main one I played since then was Najdorf. I simply read more books on all of those openings. Anyone can do that I think. Playing two or three openings I think is vital at 2300+ level, and especially if you play titled players and/or strive to earn IM/GM norms. I used to play the King’s Indian until 2008 or so as my sole defence against 1. d4, and I was always in a pickle because anyone over 2200, even 2100, knew this and I would be outprepared. Even though I won against some 2400s with it, I quit the King’s Indian because I started losing not only to my own level but to 2100s, and quite too many times in the opening phases. I switched to Grünfeld, and Avrukh’s GM8/GM9 helped to update and enrich my Grünfeld repertoire. I play Grünfeld/Slav against 1. d4, and Najdorf/French against 1. e4.

    When I was younger I concentrated excessively on theory more than now, playing not only two openings against each 1. e4 and 1. d4, and even 1. c4, but also I played 1. e4 as White with mostly critical lines: Open Sicilian with 6. Bg5 against the Najdorf and Classical, 3. Nd2 and 3. e5 against French, Main line Caro Kann, Main line against Spanish with 8. c3/9. h3, Four Pawns against Alekhine, etc. At one point I even tried to play both 1. e4 and 1. d4 until I switched to 1. d4.

    What is your rating? I think anywhere above 1700+ can play two openings. We have QC as a great source for this. Maybe Open Spanish next, and then the Playing the French book will help with the French as well.

  27. Ray
    January 24th, 2013 at 18:07 | #27

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    My rating is 2200. I guess it’s more a matter of time investment than anything else (though a good memory helps)… How much time do you spend on openings?

  28. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 24th, 2013 at 19:56 | #28

    Memory helps, but if one studies the opening lines using repetition, like memorising formulae or mathematical steps, it becomes easier. I spend quite a bit of time on openings, and at your rating I think there is no reason why you cannot play two openings. Of course I read more opening books than I need, since QC keep publishing new ones and I keep buying them.

  29. Patrick
    January 24th, 2013 at 20:44 | #29

    Your best bet is to go somewhere in between. Don’t go chasing every opening that has a book published by Quality Chess on it. I play multiple openings as White and against 1.e4 and 1.d4, but they are all related, not like oil and water.

    In other words, if you play say, the Breyer variation of the Ruy Lopez, then maybe learn the Chigorin or Zaitsev, but don’t go off the deep end trying to learn the Pirc.

    If you already play the Najdorf, give the Scheveningen or Dragon or Classical a try, but no need to go diving in the deep end learning the Ruy Lopez.

    Case in point. Using myself as the example, I play 1.d4. Against the Nimzo-Indian, I’ll play 4.e3 or 4.a3. Against the King’s Indian, I’ll play the Gligoric (7.Be3) or the Petrosian (7.d5). Notice I’m not trying to learn all of 1.d4 and all of 1.e4.

    You might consider this type of approach if you want to expand without feeling like you need to start all over again.

  30. Ray
    January 25th, 2013 at 08:10 | #30

    @ Gilchrist and @ Patrick: thanks for your advice! I already follow more or less Patrick’s approach (e.g. I play both the Winawer and 3…Nf6 against 3.Nc3 in the French), but I am considering to take up 1…e5 besides the French (i.e. Gilchrist’s approach). I’m still not sure how much time it would take me, but ‘ quite a bit’ seems an accurate description :-). I use repetition as well, and what helps a lot in this respect is the fact that I entered my entire reportoire in a database. I guess it’s an old discussion: have a narrow reportoire that you know very deeply or a broader reportoire which may inevitably go at the cost of loosing depth of knowledge.

  31. Jesse Gersenson
    January 25th, 2013 at 08:41 | #31

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Any idea when the King’s Gambit will be shipped?

  32. Ray
    January 25th, 2013 at 10:17 | #32

    @Jesse Gersenson
    🙂 Very funny!

  33. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 25th, 2013 at 12:55 | #33

    @Jesse Gersenson
    No, but the book that I am anticipating right now is GM13 and the shipping date for that one is at least already known: Monday 04/02.

    Also interesting is the idea of two openings, one dynamic and/or aggressive, and the other solid and/or quiet, i.e. what I do against 1. d4, the Grunfeld and Slav. I had some acquaintances that played two solid openings, such as French and Caro-Kann, for example as well.

  34. Ray
    January 25th, 2013 at 13:24 | #34

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I know what you mean – though I wouldn’t necessarily call the Slav undynamic, take e.g. the main line with 6.ne5 and 11…g5. That’s total chaos! The same goes for the French – take for instance the Winawer poisoned pawn. But both the Slav and the French are very flexible; you can play them solidly or very sharply (though you need a little help from the white player). If I would combine a sharp and a solid opening I’d e.g. consider the Queen’s Gambit Declined (Lasker or Tartakower) and the Petroff as solid openings. Maybe a combination of Petroff with the Open Spanish and of the QGD with the Tarrasch Defence are interesting combinations – go hard core 19th century :-). Anyway, it’s all a matter of taste of course, but the idea is interesting. Play the solid openings against stronger and/or tactical opponents, and the aggressive openings against weaker and/or positional players.

  35. Gilchrist is a Legend
    January 25th, 2013 at 15:06 | #35

    Surely, that Slav is not undynamic, but comparatively solid to openings such as the Najdorf, Botvinnik Semi-Slav, etc. meaning not many people would choose the Najdorf or Botvinnik Semi-Slav to play solidly or quietly. Of course the French has the Winawer 7…Qc7, etc., Caro-Kann has the Advance with 4. Nc3 and 5. g4, etc. but I seemed to choose both related and unrelated openings. OF course there is also the idea of playing surprise openings against certain opponents if they have a very skewed style, for example playing juniors who know much theory and only know how to attack with very little semblance of positional understanding, especially in slower tournaments, I have played the Caro-Kann to achieve an endgame or the French Winawer with either 7…0-0 or 6…Qc7 to confuse them.

    Combinations that I have used over the years were Najdorf/French, Kan/Caro-Kann, Chigorin Spanish/Taimanov Sicilian, Pirc/Philidor, Petroff/Berlin Wall. Right now I have not updated much of either Najdorf or French. Are you going to start reading GM13 when you receive it? I might consider playing it after it arrives.

  36. Ray
    January 25th, 2013 at 15:35 | #36

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Absolutely I’m going to buy GM 13 (I have the whole GM series); as a matter of fact I have played the Open Spanish in the past (about 10 years ago); it’s a lot of fun with positions you don’t find in any other openings. Flear had written a good book on it at the time, but I guess (hope) theory has moved on in the meantime. It seems like a practical choice since black can determine the style of play rather early in the game and white players won’t face it often. In the past I also had the Zaitsev in my reportoire, but everybody seemed to play sidelines in the Spanish or not enter the Spanish in the first place. The same goes for openings like the Marshall gambit or the Meran or Semi-Slav in general – they require a lot of study but you almost never get them on the board (not even against stronger players). Actually, even in the Slav (which I play against 1.d4) I almost never have to face the critical lines with 6.e3 or 6.ne5. Most people play things like 3.e3, 3.nc3 nf6 4. e3, 3.cxd5 or 3.nf3 nf6 4.e3. That’s why I’m now considering a more practical – but at the same time theoretically sound – reportoire where black determines the character of play. E.g. in the QGD, at least 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.nc3 be7 4.cxd5 is the critical and fun line advocated by the likes of Schandorff, wich means many white players will play it:-). The same goes for the Tarrasch: you get the typical Tarrasch positions in a high percentage of your games, as I noticed when reading GM 10.

  37. The Lurker
    January 25th, 2013 at 16:39 | #37

    Jesse Gersenson :@Gilchrist is a Legend Any idea when the King’s Gambit will be shipped?

    After every other book QC plans to publish, apparently.

  38. John Shaw
    January 25th, 2013 at 16:44 | #38

    @The Lurker

    If you look at the post called “The immediate future” you will see the error of your ways.

  39. The Lurker
    January 25th, 2013 at 17:23 | #39

    I will be awaiting the 21st of March with bated breath. I won’t hold my breath, but I will bate it (whatever that means). *grin*

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