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Nessie struggling in the net!

John is a bit moody these days. Suddenly it is “two weeks till the end of the King’s Gambit”, then it is “this bloody book will never die!” the truth is somewhere inbetween. It is clearly a race; will John complete the book in this lifetime?

Anyway, we have asked the printer for a quote for 800 pages. Please tell us that you will buy it, or better yet, actually buy it! We have also revised our publishing schedule ever so slightly:

Peter Romanovsky Soviet Middlegame Technique 14 March
Marian Petrov GM Repertoire 12 – Modern Benoni 14 March
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Strategic Play 14 March
John Shaw The King’s Gambit April
Nikos Ntirlis/Jacob Aagaard Playing the French April
Danny Gormally Mating the Castled King April
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – A Grandmaster Guide – Sicilian & French May
Vassilios Kotronias Kotronias on the King’s Indian – g3 Systems May
Ftacnik (Aagaard) GM6a – Beating the Anti-Sicilians May
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – A Grandmaster Guide – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 & Minor Lines June
Emanuel Berg Grandmaster Repertoire x1 – The French Defence Winawer June

As always, these are just the books waiting just around the corner. A lot of books are waiting just under the surface, waiting to jump up like Nessie herself!

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:
  1. Hesam
    February 6th, 2013 at 13:06 | #1

    Is the 800 pages for King’s Gambit a single volume? If so why not do the same for GM6?

  2. Waldorf
    February 6th, 2013 at 13:18 | #2

    Can you explain us what the difference between “Chess Lessons by Vladimir Popov” and “Soviet Middlegame Technique by Peter Romanovsky” will be?

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 14:28 | #3

    @Hesam
    You mean, why not split the King’s Gambit in two volumes? We would do that if we did not worry about the criticism after having had the book underway for six years!

  4. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 14:30 | #4

    @Waldorf
    Popov’s book is based on his thinking in 2009 or so. Romanovsky’s books are some of the classics from the early Soviet period. They are both general books about understanding chess, but different in style, perspective, focus and so on. Basically, to compare them makes little sense!

  5. Benoni
    February 6th, 2013 at 14:37 | #5

    KG 800 pages!! Get it printed – you’ve got a customer here.

  6. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 14:53 | #6

    @Benoni
    We are are projecting 945 word pages. So 800 printed pages is a guess. Already over 750 word pages exist. Is this the biggest single volume opening book ever?

  7. John Shaw
    February 6th, 2013 at 15:02 | #7

    Benoni :
    KG 800 pages!! Get it printed – you’ve got a customer here.

    I am tempted to print now, but there would be complaints that some of the chapters are not finished. It will all work out in the end. Probably.

  8. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 6th, 2013 at 15:04 | #8

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I will buy it. But a curiosity that I have been trying to determine is what is detrimental about 600+ page books? I have some university textbooks that are 1100 or 1200 pages, and some of them are paperback instead of hardback, but still have not fallen apart. Yes they may weigh 2 kg but they are compact, is there a problem with the binding or physical properties of the books if QC printed books with high amounts of pages?

  9. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    February 6th, 2013 at 15:05 | #9
  10. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 15:25 | #10

    800 pages? For a busted opening? Play it against me and I’ll show you the refutation in a page!

  11. John Shaw
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:05 | #11

    garryk :
    800 pages? For a busted opening? Play it against me and I’ll show you the refutation in a page!

    Somehow we have overlooked this simple refutation. Please enlighten me.

    Also, I doubt that you are the real Garry K. Call me cynical.

  12. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:10 | #12

    Hi John, let’s do a game

    1- The King’s gambit is busted
    2- I’m Garry K.

    One of these two sentences is true, the other is false. It’s your choice! 😉

  13. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:12 | #13

    For the refutation, sorry but I’ve to keep it ready for a Norwegian boy…

  14. John Shaw
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:22 | #14

    @garryk

    So no refutation offered. As we say in Britain, all mouth and no trousers.

  15. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:29 | #15

    As we say in Russia, little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape… 😉

  16. John Shaw
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:35 | #16

    @garryk

    I may be drifting slightly off-topic, but I think that is from a French expression, not Russian.
    “les petits larrons sont penduez, non pas les grands”. Maybe the Russians stole it.

  17. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:38 | #17

    @John Shaw

    Ahah! Maybe…but didn’t get caught! 😉

    I was thinking about an idea…I propose to have a correspondence game here on this website…I’m sure you can organize it so that every visitor can see it…you’ll have white and will play the King’s gambit…I’ll take Black and show to you (and to all visitors) the refutation…do you agree on my proposal?

  18. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:50 | #18

    The idea of the correspondence game is that if I show you refutation A, then you suggest improvement B, I show refutation C and we go on like this for ages. You have 800 pages of analysis, very good, so you can choose what you believe is the best line and don’t complain if you lose the game.

  19. Nick
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:56 | #19

    John he probably is Garry K

    Garry King from Bradford!

  20. John Shaw
    February 6th, 2013 at 16:57 | #20

    @garryk

    At least two problems with that plan:

    1) I don’ t have enough spare time to take it seriously.
    2) If you play something critical, I don’t want to reveal any new ideas before the book is out.

    Of these, Point 1 is the real problem. I know this gives you a chance to say I am scared of your mighty and secret analysis. I’m really not.

  21. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:11 | #21

    No, I will not say you are scared…I know you aren’t…but I don’t understand point 1)…you have done a huge amount of analysis…why you need more time? I should be scared of your preparation! We don’t need to play the entire game…just the first, let’s say, 20-25 moves, after those it will be clear if White’s opening has been good enough.

    I don’t understand even point 2)…you should play before the book is out, otherwise when I’ll read it, it will be too easy to find a flawed line…

    Think about my proposal…if there’s a refutation around it’s better to know it before the book is on sale…

  22. The Lurker
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:34 | #22

    @garryk
    So just put up or shut up. If you have a refutation, trot it on out.

  23. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:45 | #23

    @The Lurker

    You didn’t read. A variation that appears on move 2 cannot be refuted in a single line. I think that after 800 pages of analysis John can choose the best line and I’ll answer accordingly. First ask John which is his absolute main line, then I’ll eventually refute that. Without a main line you can’t refute anything.

  24. garryk
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:46 | #24

    @The Lurker

    And anyway you could be a little more kind with a former world champion…

  25. Robert Reinke
    February 6th, 2013 at 17:58 | #25

    The King’s Gambit is the original feel-good opening. Rubinstein kept it in his pocket, Marin notes, for when the mood struck him. I shall do the same after I buy your good book.

  26. Trapito
    February 6th, 2013 at 18:32 | #26

    Can’t you throw this troll garryk out? Obviously it is just some child who is looking for a fight.

  27. PeterM
    February 6th, 2013 at 19:15 | #27

    Nice story.
    I won’t buy THE Kings gambit book.

    But to make it good, i plan to buy THE book on THE Benoni, THE French and Grandmaster Preparation books.

    I am working on THE Calculation book on this moment, and struggle with Comparasion at THE moment. Fantastic book!

  28. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 6th, 2013 at 19:21 | #28

    When will GM12 have a pre-order option?

  29. Phil Irwin
    February 6th, 2013 at 21:22 | #29

    The calculation book is clearly my favorite from 2012. I won back 100 rating points, but more importantly I can finally calculate to some extent when it’s time to. I only wish I had a book like it 40 years ago. I’ve been doing it all wrong. Better late than never. Thanks coach.

  30. Ray
    February 6th, 2013 at 22:16 | #30

    I will definitely buy John’s Opus Magnum – if only because I’d like to have the first print of a future collector’s item :-). In the past (my romantic period) I used to play the King’s Gambit with white so for old times sake… Besides, I’m curious to see what John has found against Sakaev’s lines in his book on the Petroff.

  31. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 22:36 | #31
  32. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 22:41 | #32

    @Phil Irwin
    You’re welcome.

  33. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 22:41 | #33

    @Ray
    Nikos found something nice against the Petroff itself. This will also come in John’s book, but the 1.e4 one…

  34. Ray
    February 6th, 2013 at 22:56 | #34

    @Jacob Aagaard
    🙁 That means I’ll have to buy that book too… You’re ruining me! I hope you didn’t bust the Open Spanish yet?

  35. Jacob Aagaard
    February 6th, 2013 at 23:11 | #35

    No, it looks really solid.

  36. Michael Agermose Jensen
    February 6th, 2013 at 23:43 | #36

    The last time I visited Loch Ness, there had just been a sighting, but of course Nessie stayed well out of my sights. Definitely, I will buy your book, but if people really did find Nessie surely some of the mystery would be lost…so I await the tome with mixed feelings.
    @garryk
    Hilarious. Don’t quit your day-job…

  37. Ed
    February 6th, 2013 at 23:50 | #37

    @ Nikos/Jacob
    Looking forward to French book.
    Which variation of French do you least like playing against when black?
    It was mentioned previously that John’s book e4 repertoire book for French will be 3.Nc3.
    There seems to be a lot of theory with this variation (although probably not as much or as big as Nessie). What do you think about Advance or Tarrasch? Is KIA lame?

    There is a rumour that Nessie won’t be sighted by the public until mid year and even then there will be sceptics who will not believe until they see for themselves.

  38. James
    February 7th, 2013 at 00:56 | #38

    As a born again King’s Indian and Najdorf player, I’m excited to see Kotronias back on the publishing schedule. Hopefully his first book will be a great success and he’ll do a full repertoire. With regards to the Anti-Sicilian book, I will be interested to see the recommendation against Grand Prix Attack, it’s the only Anti-Sicilian I’m not that comfortable against. I don’t like the a6 stuff the “sharpest sicilian” book recommends, and I would prefer not to have to learn accelerated dragon theory if possible. If Ftacnik/Aagaard go down the Grand Pirx Attack mainline and prove it’s good for Black I’ll gladly buy the book for this analysis alone.

  39. Ray
    February 7th, 2013 at 07:48 | #39

    @Ed
    In another post under “Immediate Future” you can read that the French is busted after 3.Nc3 :-).

  40. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 07:51 | #40

    @Ed
    John’s book will be 3.Nd2, Jacob’s 3.Nc3. I certainly believe that both moves are uncomfortable for Black. I liked to switch between them to catch my opponent’s off-guard. Recently I won a nice game against Stellan Brynell with 3.Nd2 and good preparation from Nikos. He always tries off-beat lines with me and I look at them all before I play him :-).
    I think both moves have their plusses and minuses. Go for what suits your style.

  41. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 7th, 2013 at 09:11 | #41

    I find 3.Nd2 the most annoying….

    Ray above must have meant what John found against the Sakaev’s KG lines featured in his Petroff book. I have no idea what is it, but i heard that they have done a lot of work there also.

  42. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 11:05 | #42

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    I remember them as decent lines, but obviously we just work much harder :-).

  43. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 12:46 | #43

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    What do you think about the line 10…a6 with 11…Qc7 12. Bb3 Bd7 for the Tarrasch 3…c5/4…Qxd5?

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 12:56 | #44

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Close to busted…

  45. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 13:15 | #45

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I did not expect that…how? Or is this explained in GM Guide 1. e4? What lines can Black play here then?

  46. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 13:35 | #46

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    indeed, you will find it all there.

  47. Ray
    February 7th, 2013 at 13:49 | #47

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Indeed, Sakaev recommends the main line 3…g5 against the KG with 3.Nf3 and claims a black advantage.

  48. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 13:54 | #48

    @Jacob Aagaard
    If that is not the line, then I wonder what will be recommended in Playing the French.

  49. Jay
    February 7th, 2013 at 14:48 | #49

    I am at a loss as to why you would publish an 800 page book about the King’s Gambit. Amateurs don’t have time to absorb that much content—plus there are plenty more important topics for amateurs to study about chess (tactics, calculation, endgame, etc.) Even among your opening study, you shouldn’t be spending this much time on the KG. Let’s say you are an amateur who plays e4, so half your games are with White, of those maybe a quarter are double king pawn, so about 12.5% of your games might be KG. It just seems to me that a much shorter and more focused repertoire type book on the KG would be more useful to amateurs. But if you are pitching the book to masters and above, why wasn’t it part of the GM repertoire series? And how many copies will you sell to masters and above? I’m sure there will be amateurs that buy it to have the latest and greatest opening manual, but it just doesn’t seem to be a product targeted at the right market.

  50. John Johnson
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:11 | #50

    Don’t discourage them for heaven’s sake some of us have been waiting a decade!

  51. The Lurker
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:33 | #51

    @garryk

    So publish your own book on the King’s Gambit. If you start now, you may be able to publish before John does.

  52. wolfsblut
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:37 | #52

    @Gilchrist
    I think it will be 10….Be7. Nikos said something at chesspublishing a long time ago…..

  53. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:56 | #53

    @Jay
    This reminds me a bit of the reviewer who says: I don’t like science fiction and this is science fiction, thus it is bad. Everyman and Gambit will publish books on the King’s Gambit as well, which might be more what you want!? I would, in the kindest possible way, suggest that you should get only those books from us you are interested in and let others decide which books they are interested in. Personally I am certain that our King’s Gambit will find a reasonable audience, but we are not aiming to please everyone with any book. We simply cannot.

    The reason it is not in the Grandmaster Repertoire series is because it is not a repertoire! The book is also not a complete book; you cannot do them anymore :-). It is a Grandmaster Guide if ever there was one, complex with the guidance of a grandmaster…

  54. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:56 | #54
  55. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:57 | #55

    Well, in all fairness, he has less pages to go!

  56. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:57 | #56

    @wolfsblut
    I have not been there for a while so I did not see that. I am unfamiliar with 10…Be7, is this played because 10…a6 is having problems?

  57. Jacob Aagaard
    February 7th, 2013 at 16:57 | #57

    @wolfsblut
    We analysed that a lot too. I even played it and had a good position before I completely blundered…

  58. Patrick
    February 7th, 2013 at 17:34 | #58

    #37, #39, #41 – I find 3.Nd2 a joke, and if White was forced to play 3.Nd2 or else have themselves decapitated, I’d go back to playing the French as Black!

    3…c5!! =

  59. Patrick
    February 7th, 2013 at 17:50 | #59

    Hey garryk, I’ll help you. I find the KG busted as well. However, instead of hiding it all, I’ll go out on a limb and say which lines I think are Clear Advantage Black or better:

    Completed Busted: Mason (3.Nc3), Steinitz (3.d4), Tartakower (3.Be2), Hungarian (3.Qf3)

    Clear Advantage Black: Classical Declined (2…Bc5), Modern Cunningham (3…Be7 4.Bc4 Nf6 instead of the old 4…Bh4+)

    As for the rest, the Schallopp Defense is horrible for Black, the rest are pretty much equal.

  60. John Shaw
    February 7th, 2013 at 17:51 | #60

    Michael Agermose Jensen :
    Definitely, I will buy your book

    That is the sort of thing an author worries about – a reader who really knows the subject.

    Have I missed a subtle transposition on move 15? Maybe I overlooked a vital piece of analysis in Kassiber 973? Paranoia.

  61. Ray
    February 7th, 2013 at 18:19 | #61

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “Both lines are unconfortable for black” – I can’t wait for your and Nikos’ book on the French :-).

  62. Ray
    February 7th, 2013 at 18:25 | #62

    @Jay
    Because this will be the Mother of all KG-books; the alpha and omega of KG knowledge; after this definitive Work there will be no more need for other books on the KG ever – it’s going to be the Final Word!

    By the way, the same remarks can be made about most of QC’s other opening books, not only in the Grandmaster Reportoire series. I think the idea is not to learn everything by heart (although I somehow keep on trying), but to have a source to look up what you should have played after another loss. If you do that long enough, in the end you will have mastered he opening.

  63. Ray
    February 7th, 2013 at 18:29 | #63

    @Patrick
    And what about 3…g5? According to theory it’s supposed to be one of the best (at least the most principled) replies?

  64. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 19:01 | #64

    @Ray
    I am quite confused. Does this indicate 10…Be7 for Playing the French? My limited knowledge of 4…Qxd5 is only about 10…a6 with the Nxg7 line. I usually play 4…exd5…

    Are you familiar with 10…Be7?

  65. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 19:08 | #65

    @Ray
    If King’s Gambit book is the Α and Ω of the King’s Gambit, then surely Νικοσ and Jacob’s joint book Playing the French would be the Α and Ω of the French for 2013. And then there is Βασσιλιος Κοτρονιας, the Α and Ω of the King’s Indian, six volumes for the King’s Indian with one volume for the Fianchetto..

  66. tony
    February 7th, 2013 at 19:17 | #66

    @Patrick
    a black advantage after 2.f4 Bc5 ??
    you have to be kidding

  67. Patrick
    February 7th, 2013 at 19:54 | #67

    @tony
    No I’m not kidding. The practical aspect of it is what makes 2…Bc5 so strong for Black, and the Modern Cunningham to me is the best theoretically.

    3…g5 is the “main line” and perfectly sound, and with the kazillion choices white has, it’s his choice whether he wants to lose or draw.

    With 2…Bc5, I have 1 draw, the rest wins (which is somewhere around 8 to 10 wins – I don’t face the KG often). The one draw was a time trouble draw. I looked back, and Black had a won position before the scramble occurred.

    Included in those wins with 2…Bc5 are a win in 13 moves, and a mate in 11 moves. Opposition ranged from 1800 to 2250. Those over 2250 aren’t stupid enough to play the King’s Gambit against me.

  68. Michael Agermose Jensen
    February 7th, 2013 at 20:35 | #68

    John Shaw :

    Michael Agermose Jensen :
    Definitely, I will buy your book

    That is the sort of thing an author worries about – a reader who really knows the subject.
    Have I missed a subtle transposition on move 15? Maybe I overlooked a vital piece of analysis in Kassiber 973? Paranoia.

    Don’t worry John, in the past I used to read books in that way while sharpening the pencil. Now I contend myself to buy books from honest authors and definitely a plus if they’re funny too. I loved the Morra book, and the only complaint I have with is that Jacob never published that 15 move crusher from Helsingør 😉

  69. Ed
    February 7th, 2013 at 21:37 | #69

    Patrick :
    #37, #39, #41 – I find 3.Nd2 a joke, and if White was forced to play 3.Nd2 or else have themselves decapitated, I’d go back to playing the French as Black!
    3…c5!! =

    @Patrick
    Obviously you dislike 3.Nd2!
    But it could not be that bad.
    Jacob alternates with this and John is making a part of repertoire in his book!

  70. Remco G
    February 7th, 2013 at 21:52 | #70

    I probably will not be buying it (I play 1.d4 and am trying to kick the opening book addiction in favor of the Yusupov series).

    But I’m really hoping that the world elite finally decide that 10.h3 in the Four Knights isn’t going to be a big new long term weapon. That something that avoids both the Petroff and the Berlin is still needed. And that a 800-page Quality Chess book must have something useful in it… 🙂

  71. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 7th, 2013 at 22:26 | #71

    @Remco G I think that in a Bundesliga game a few days ago the correct defense of that Kramnik Scotch 4 Knights variation was shown. At least this is what GM SB Hansen told me. I haven’t checked myself till now.

    Gilhrist, i believed at …Be7 for a long time untill i found the way to a small edge for White. My suggestion for Black is to enter a favorable position of this …Be7 line with a move order trick. But i don’t put the Queen at d6!

    Patrick, 3.Nd2 c5! is best and nearly equal for Black according to my knowledge and experience also, but things are far from simple. A good technician can torture Black for ages if he knows what he is doing and what positions to play for. Actually, in the Play the French book i have found equal (or really near to it) chances in a completely untested position. In all the other cases White clearly had a technical edge and this research will be used for John’s book in Playing 1.e4. The Greek IM Tzermiadianos wrote a good book at 2008 on this subject, but a lot has happened till then and today we have the experience to make more clear conclusions than Tzermiadianos and be more sure about many positions.

  72. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 7th, 2013 at 22:48 | #72

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    I saw Ανδρεας Τζερμιαδιανος’s book a few years ago in a bookstore, it was quite dense, and I suppose Playing the French will consider some lines there perhaps? But you mean not putting the queen on d6, do you mean you deviate as early as move 6? Because that is when Black has to move the queen. I saw 6…Qd7 in some recent games, not too much of 6…Qd8, and I am unfamiliar with both of them.

  73. Jesse Gersenson
    February 7th, 2013 at 23:24 | #73

    Patrick :

    @tony
    No I’m not kidding. The practical aspect of it is what makes 2…Bc5 so strong for Black, and the Modern Cunningham to me is the best theoretically.

    [snip]

    Included in those wins with 2…Bc5 are a win in 13 moves, and a mate in 11 moves. Opposition ranged from 1800 to 2250. Those over 2250 aren’t stupid enough to play the King’s Gambit against me.

    It’s easy to get caught with your pants down no matter which side of the king’s gambit you’re playing. Jacob, just to give an example, recently gobbled up an IM in 20 or so moves after 2…Bc5. That said, as a KG player I don’t enjoy facing 2…Bc5 because the ensuing games are dull. Maybe, hopefully, surely, there’s a more brutal and forcing way to play White’s side in these lines.

  74. Jesse Gersenson
    February 8th, 2013 at 00:37 | #74

    @garryk
    Garry the correspondence/refutation game would be fun for everyone, doubly so if you crush your opponent!!

    Give a quick call to xxx, Quality Chess’s office, to get this in motion.

    (edited by JS: We really don’t want calls to the office about this.)

  75. Ray
    February 8th, 2013 at 08:53 | #75

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No sorry, I’m not familiar at all with 3…c5 against the Tarrasch. I play 3…Nf6 (and I have also played 3..Be7 and 3…Nc6 in the past).

  76. Ray
    February 8th, 2013 at 08:59 | #76

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    You’re not suggesting “don’t play the French”, I hope? Anyway I think it’s really good that QC has an objective approach, even reportoire books. Let’s stop kidding each other: thee will be hardly any opening in which in the critical lines white doesn’t have an edge (QC’s most recent book on the Open Spanish being a good example).

  77. Waldorf
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:05 | #77

    Dear Quality Chess team, I really like your books and I have bought many of them. But now is the time for some critical words from a blunderer like me.

    I am getting a bit confused. Let`s take for example Mr. Avrukh and Schandorff: In their books I so often read sentences like “White has bishop pair and has a log lasting edge” or “White has the space and even though Black may have something like equality, they prefer White” … in other words they satisfy the audience because most readers want to read this .. yes! I have a solid +=

    But on the other hand who of us has the needed deep understanding of chess to convert this technical advantage into something “understandable / real” ?

    I have talked with 2300+ players about lines given by Mr. Schandorff and Mr. Avrukh and often even they have difficulties in converting this “advantage” because they are simply not skilled enough to make the right decisions, which structure is really promising etc.

    Talking about the French:
    Who really cares about White`s space advantage?
    Do we stop playing the French?
    Will we stop playing it even if a variation would 100% guarantee a += ?

    Now I am reading that in the 3. Nd2 c5 with Qxd5 you don`t follow the main lines because of a stable += and the long lasting technical plus White may have? That`s why you choose your own setup which hasn`t been tested at highest GM level.

    Sorry, I feel very skeptical. I am sure your lines are all tested with Houdini, so they won`t get busted in the next two months, but I claim that there is a reason why Giants like Anand, Ivanchuck, Vitiugov etc. play the main lines and why those Giants, alternatively their opening helpers, haven`t thought about your alternative approach.
    Even though Houdini may like the variations, this is NOT the final verdict for >>> 90% of chess players!
    Please don`t get me wrong. I do not want to say that the book is bad, or the lines are bad at all !

    Look at the GM10, this proves me. You have done an awesome amount of time, work and enthusiasm in this book. Houdini guided by your chess understanding has a “technical” answer to every white setup. But despite your enormously efforts the Tarrasch hasn`t become more popular at all.
    When I filter the 9. Bg5 variation in the Mega2013 it has been rarely played since 01.01.2012 between players of 2400+ strength.
    I guess for 9. dxc5 it is the same, I haven´t looked at it.

    I repeat it: Builing an Opening repertoire/variations around Houdini is nice, but in reality things are different. My FM trainer gave me advice against the Tarrasch, because many of your lines are far to complex for me(national rating of 2000+).
    But I keep on going with it.

    This leads me to the most important aspect, at least for me.

    Regarding the 3. Nd2 c5 with exd5 you have said many times in this blog that you don`t like it any more and that Mr. Shaws book will show us the evidence. I play 1. d4 and I will definitely not buy the 1. e4 book just to get the “refutation”.

    Please include the whole …exd5 complex as an alternative in your book!

    I will defintely keep on going with it because nobody, even Houdini, will be able to proove a clear +-. And playing / defending against a += position is the most normal thing in today`s chess.

    I will stick to my goal of learning how to play with an IQP. The benefit of an IQP positions is naturally not always activity, tactics and going for the checkmate. The other side of the medal is being able defend “passive” middlegames or endgames.

    Both do improve my chess!

  78. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:06 | #78

    Mr Aagard I would like to ask a question, what do you think about the Modern Philidor(1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5) and is there a possibility of a Quality Chess book on the subject? Also is there a clear advantage against it in the 1.e4 repertoire books(or in general) or is it like the other mainstream openings where white is only slightly better? Thanks.

  79. garryk
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:15 | #79

    @Jesse Gersenson

    Don’t worry John, I’ll not call to your office (by the way the phone number it’s available everywhere, no need to erase it).

    Regarding the correspondence game…I made a research…I took the latest Corr Database, filtered for the last years and the top players…the result was that Black had a performance of 62%. I suppose John found some improvements on the established theory but…come on…we both know it’s impossible to overturn black’s theoretical edge in all lines. King’s Gambit can be a good weapon on the board…but it can’t hold up in a correspondence game.

    My provocation was to say that, in my humble opinion, a book on the King’s gambit should focus on middlegame plans and structures in order to take advantage of the practical chances of the opening. 200 pages should be enough for this even at GM level. It’s exhausting and less useful to have almost one thousand pages of pure theory with the only hope to reduce Black’s edge to a minimum. If you want a theoretical edge you don’t play the King’s gambit!

    You can say the book was not intended for correspondence players. Ok but if a top player starts to play a variation, after some weeks his opponents would have done a preparation so deep to resemble a correspondence game. You can catch one or two opponents unprepared but the third one will be full prepared. A correspondence game just speeds the evolution of the theory. I’m sure you know this concept better than me.

    Best Regards

    Garry

  80. John Shaw
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:29 | #80

    Fat Ghost Cat :
    Mr Aagard I would like to ask a question, what do you think about the Modern Philidor(1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5) and is there a possibility of a Quality Chess book on the subject? Also is there a clear advantage against it in the 1.e4 repertoire books(or in general) or is it like the other mainstream openings where white is only slightly better? Thanks.

    Since Jacob is on a plane, I will answer this. I have played this move order, on and off, since 1994. I was playing the Philidor (badly) with the 1…e5 move order and at the Moscow Olympiad my team mate Paul Motwani helpfully suggested the 1…d6 order.

    No plans for a book on it, but I think it is a respectable main line. If White gets a slight edge he should be happy. In my opinion, 4.Nf3 or 4.Nge2 are most promising, not 4.dxe5.

  81. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:34 | #81

    Thanks. I think it’s such a killer opening below 2200 level where no one knows the best lines for 15-20 moves but I was worried about the late results at GM level like Bologan’s loss but I guess there is no clear path for white to a big advantage.

  82. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:38 | #82

    I forgot to write, when I wrote it’s a killer opening below 2200, I meant against opponents below 2200. Even in the dxe5 and Qxd8 line there are many ways to outplay white and have winning chances.

  83. John Shaw
    February 8th, 2013 at 13:39 | #83

    @garryk

    Thank you “Garry”. The book will offer theory and middlegame plans, as it includes many complete annotated games.

    Would the King’s Gambit hold up in correspondence play? I think it would be more effective over-the-board than in correspondence, but our analysis after 2…exf4 3.Nf3 has equal or unclear as the best Black can do.

  84. FREDPHIL
    February 8th, 2013 at 14:11 | #84

    Dear Jacob and QC team,

    I am ready to « learn » chess.

    I have learned to play at about 14 and play a lot beetween 16 and 19.
    My level was about 1800/1900 and now at 45 it is about 1700/1800 but I did not play this year and very few past years (beetween 3 and 6/7 games each year).

    Unfortunetly, I had no chess teacher and I devoted too much (almost all) time on openings….(on changing and learning by heart not understanding)
    I own about 700 books (no comment please….), so I think I have enough chess materials.

    What I have plan to do next months (and years …):

    1-test myself with Igor Khmelnitsky’s books : “Chess Exam And Training Guide” and “Chess Exam and Training Guide: Tactics” in order to do a snapshot of my level (for a future comparison after work) and to wake up my chess-part of brain.

    2-use “Understanding Chess Tactics” by Martin Weteschnik to acquire skills in tactics which I need a lot and doing tactics exercices on a regular basis.

    3-Working with Yusupov serie and in parallel with Attacking Manual 1 and 2 by Jacob Aagaard. Beginning to build a life-time repertoire based on Avruk’s (and Wojo’s Weapons: Winning With White by Jonathan Hilton and Dean Ippolito ) 1.d4 2.c4 followed by g3/Bg2.

    4-Playing in competition.

    Well, Do you have any advice or guidance as to how this plan could be improved ?

    Thank you (and excuse my english)

    FREDPHIL

  85. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 8th, 2013 at 14:15 | #85

    @Waldorf

    A very interesting post!

    First of all i think that the Tarrasch has become more popular at any level. Together with Jacob we did a NIC YB survey and we saw many many new games played after GM10 is out. Check for example the latest European Men’s Championship! We never expected to become the no1 opening in chess tournaments these days though but i feel happy that more players are playing the opening with much more confidence today.

    What you said about entering the middlegame with a small plus and how to convert it to something more real is a major issue. I’d say that that’s why opening study should take 25-30% of your chess study and not more.

    About the French now. I am sorry that i try not to speak about the lines before the book is out and still try to answer questions posted here. Maybe i was misunderstood. I never said that 3.Nd2 c5 is something i don’t like for Black anymore! I believe that 3…c5 is Black’s best (obviously many believe that other moves may be best) but when i started to go deep i was annoyed by the fact that White has resources i was not aware of! I said that nowdays the move that annoyes me the most as a French player is 3.Nd2 simply because i had to spent lots of hours and energy to really try and understand what is going on and in most places i discovered that i had underestimated White’s resources.

    The set-up i am recommending is very “hot” now. People have turned to it exactly because the classical lines have some problems. I said that a few years back (let’s say 2008, the year Tzermiadianos’ book was out) we didn’t really understood those positions well and this has nothing to do with Houdini. We simply have more high quality games to make conclusions from. When i talk about my “untested” set-up i don’t really talk about something new, as it is basically known stuff. I just found a way to transform one critical position to an improved version of another well known set-up.

    About the …exd5 Tarrasch. The first book i read about it, more than 10 years ago, was in a legendary in Greece book by IM Siaperas, written in the 60’s. I was inspired and since then i have an enormous file on these lines which i have studied for many years. Black’s position is sound and practical. He is slightly worse but it would take very good play by White to make something out of it, so you are correct. Luckily, those lines are examined in a plethora of books, from NCO and ECO to Pedersen, Uhlmann and more recently Eingorn. Maybe their coverage does not reveal the very fine nuances that White can play to cause more problems (more on them on P1e4) but i agree that a club player shouldn’t really be afraid of this.

    In the PTF book i wanted something else. I wanted to cover something new and something that i like most today and something that you’ll find nowhere else presented in the way we’ll do.

  86. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 8th, 2013 at 14:19 | #86

    @FREDPHIL

    I’d advice first to start with the Orange ones by Yusupov. After completing them go with “Chess Exam”, or even a bit before that study “Chess Lessons” by Popov.

  87. Jacob Aagaard
    February 8th, 2013 at 14:33 | #87

    There are a lot of posts here that I will want to answer to. John says I will not answer because I am on a plane. This is incorrect; I am indeed on a plane (Norwegian has internet), but I will not answer because I am preparing for a lecture tonight and feel quite nervous. Also, I want to give a good answer to these complicated questions.

  88. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 8th, 2013 at 14:54 | #88

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    I thought the point was interesting too, but not in a specific sense but a general sense, even if there are novelties against 3…Be7, 3…Nf6 lines, the 10…a6 line in 3…c5, etc. against 3. Nd2, or generally novelties that overturn previous assessments of lines, does it mean they are permanently unplayable indefinitely? For example, in 3…Be7 or 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 I think you may have said that there are new ideas, but would that mean that the entire complex of 3…Be7 or 4…exd5 will permanently be unplayable? I tried to understand this over years, but if one idea has an advantage in the line, then it could be possible that at some point in time later, someone could find new ideas to counter a new assessment?

  89. Waldorf
    February 8th, 2013 at 15:45 | #89

    @Nikos

    @rise in popularity
    When was the european ch played?
    I even didn`t want to imply that the popularity of the Tarrsch must imrove by 100 / 200 or 300%. It hasn`t improved, so your book has failed.
    This wasn`t my intention at all. English is not my native language, I hope I didn`t make this impression to the readers of the blog.

    But fact is that according to the Mega 2013 the Tarrasch is really seldom played by 2400+ players.
    I believe that the “technical Houdini approach” is the reason for this and even those high rated players have difficulties with the variations / positions.
    As I said, my FM trainer supports me with the IQP, but he adviced me not to play many of your variatons.

    And that`s why I was getting scared about the upcoming PTF.
    I did understand you right that you believe in 3…c5. But when you talked about an “offbeat” approach and not following the main lines, I felt committed to write down my feeling and opinion.

    I know I can`t compete in chess understanding in any way with you and Jacob.
    From my point of view 3…c5 and 4.. Qxd5 makes no sense at all.
    If I would like the arising pawn structure in the centre, I`d opt for the Rubinstein and play a much more solid looking position with developed knights and my queen staying safe at home instead of entering so early the centre and not knowing what the perfect square for my lady will be approx. 10 moves later.
    But this is my humble opinion. Obviously many players see a difference in …Qxd5 and the rubinstein.

    But it is nice to read that you believe the iqp positions after …exd5 are sound.
    It would be a pleasure to see them handled in your book 🙂

  90. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 8th, 2013 at 17:11 | #90

    Waldorf, have you heard that in the Sicilian if Black breaks with …d5 under good conditions he stands fine? This is because the arising pawn structure is in general terms favorable for him. This is exactly what happens with 3.Nd2 c5 and …Qxd5. Black has a good Sicilian. Of course this is a simplistic explanation, but this is how (if i recall correctly) Kramnik explained also the …Qxd5 in a Yearbook article more than 10 years ago!

  91. Paul
    February 8th, 2013 at 17:40 | #91

    Did you guys fall out with London Chess Centre that they still don’t seem to have the Open Spanish (not on website today, or in store yesterday) or new Yusupov in stock, almost a week after Quality Chess’s most eager reader (Gilchrist is a Legend) received his via the post?

  92. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 8th, 2013 at 17:49 | #92

    @Paul
    I am not sure I am the most eager, there are quite many readers who enjoy the books. Many of them are in the blog..

    And I think Jacob said that the websales were shipped from Glasgow one day earlier than expected since the books arrived early. Maybe since I live in the North it was faster.

  93. Patrick
    February 8th, 2013 at 19:22 | #93

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    So, based on your “if Black breaks with …d5 under good conditions he stands fine”, since Black’s supposedly under good conditions after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4, I guess this means you must really like the line from Dangerous Weapons: The Sicilian, specifically “Taking the Sting out of the Sicilian”, specifically 4…d5!! 🙂

    Actually, I did play this move twice in my 2050+ game career. One win and One draw.

  94. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 8th, 2013 at 19:26 | #94

    # Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann by Lars Schandorff

    How come that Schandorff’s reperoitre book has only 255 pages, while French will have at least 600 pages?

    Is in Caro Kann less theory? Nikos help!

  95. Waldorf
    February 8th, 2013 at 19:39 | #95

    @Nikos
    hmm, interesting.
    I have never played 1. e4 with White nor the Sicilian with Black. This comparison wouldn`t have come to my mind 🙂

    My chosen example of what makes sense for me ( …Qxd5 or the Rubinstein ) was just to illustrate the difference in people`s thinking, understanding and expectations.

    Anyways, we will see if QC will offer an alternative after 3. Nd2 🙂

  96. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 8th, 2013 at 19:41 | #96

    Jacob or John, is there any chance to have updated Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann by Lars Schandorff?

  97. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 8th, 2013 at 19:42 | #97

    Patrick, that variation falls into the category “the circumstances are not right” as White has two ways to gain a small advantage: 5.Bb5 anf 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.cxd5 where Black is forced to take with the Queen. In both cases Black remains with the worst pawn structure and stands a bit worse.

    Le Bruit, if you think about it in the CK Black makes things simpler by going …dxe4 while in the French the Rubinstein with …dxe4 is not Black’s best. On the other hand Black in the CK has to go for …dxe4 and play against White’s small space advantage which make things much less dynamic that the French.

  98. Jesse Gersenson
    February 8th, 2013 at 20:46 | #98

    @ FREDPHIL
    I’m at about the same playing strength/age and have worked through the two orange Yusupov books and chapters of the other 6 books in the series. If I were starting the series now, i.e. all three orange books are published, I would set a 2-year goal of working through every single chapter/exercise/position in the 3 orange books (in order!).

    Your plan: put the 697 other books aside and plow through Yusupov’s orange books.

    You’ll need to average 3 chapters per month. They’ll go faster at the beginning. Get started, now!

  99. Kevin S.
    February 8th, 2013 at 20:53 | #99

    As I have recently 6 months ago, taken up the French as my repertoire choice, I am very excited about “Playing the French” coming out soon. I am also very interested to know how it stacks up to and compares with John Shaw’s book on Playing e4 against the French.

  100. Jacob Aagaard
    February 9th, 2013 at 08:33 | #100

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    I think White is slightly better in a few ways, but it is definitely a serious opening. At the moment we have no plan to write about this, but both John, Andrew and I have played this regularly.

  101. Jacob Aagaard
    February 9th, 2013 at 08:37 | #101

    @FREDPHIL
    Hi Fred,

    The most important things is that you 1) train to think chess. Tactics is a brilliant place to start. All of the books you mention are relevant. The Yusupov books will all be a great challenge for you. If you did a chapter a day, it would be done in 9 months and you would have a thoroughly different experience of chess from now. 2) make sure you understand things fully. Ask questions of the things you are studying and if the answers are not there, analyse the positions yourself with a computer program to get to the truth. This can take time, but chess is complex and takes time to understand.

  102. Jacob Aagaard
    February 9th, 2013 at 08:41 | #102

    @Waldorf
    You need to understand that different books have different agendas. With the Tarrasch book we set out to prove that this opening, previously written off, was indeed fully sound. Yes, you need to know more theory as Black, but White also goes first! But in the main lines you have several other options, as I later discovered. For example, instead of 11…h6, then 11…Rc8 is actually not bad at all, despite what previous sources have said.

  103. Jacob Aagaard
    February 9th, 2013 at 08:41 | #103

    @Paul
    No we did not. They just ordered a few days later than usual.

  104. Jacob Aagaard
    February 9th, 2013 at 08:42 | #104

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Not at the moment no. We are trying to get Lars to write a new book, which is hard enough!

  105. Waldorf
    February 9th, 2013 at 09:39 | #105

    @Mr. Aagaard
    Quote: “You need to understand that different books have different agendas.”

    Obviously this is true. No one will doubt that thanks to QC the quality of chess books has improved a lot.

    I didn`t like most old everyman publications at all. The Starting out series was way to “low”, now look at this new “move by move” books. They have a much better layout and stronger players can get more useful information out these books than compared with the old Starting Outs.

    QC`s success showed the other publishing houses that the target audience “wanted more”. Sry, I don`t know how to express it in other words 🙁
    That`s why we are thankful to you 🙂

    Now let`s get back to my first post and the reason for it.
    Nikos wrote in #71
    “… A good technician can torture Black for ages if he knows what he is doing and what positions to play for. Actually, in the Play the French book i have found equal (or really near to it) chances in a COMPLETELY UNTESTED POSITION. In all the other cases White clearly had a TECHNICAL EDGE …”

    Here I was getting afraid and I wanted to express my feeling and opinion. I was taking GM10 as an example. You have put so much energy, time and hard work in this book just to show that the Tarrasch is still alive and that it not that “bad” like most people have thought. Like in all other projects too, Houdini – guided by you both – was involved in the varitions.

    And that is where I wanted to insist on. Unfortunately, as the Mega2013 shows the Tarrasch hasn`t become popular in the 2400+ ranges.
    In my opinion this has something to do with what I call the “Houdini technical approach”.

    So when 2400+ players don`t go for it, why should blunderes like me with 2000+ national rating, which is approx. 2100 Fide Elo, go for it?
    What`s the elo rating of the target audience?

    And when Nikos wrote “…i have found equal (or really near to it) chances in a COMPLETELY UNTESTED POSITION…” I felt obliged to wrote my post.
    In my romantic chess world still humans decide what is played, not Houdini!

    I once again want to underline that it is not my aim, to offend QC in any form.

  106. Kostas Oreopoulos
    February 9th, 2013 at 10:06 | #106

    @Waldorf

    Its a great chess school to study and play the Nd2 c5 positions. Playing those positions is not only about winning, but about excelling at chess.

    After studing those positions , you will see how much better you will play the nimzo’s the qgd and other stuff.

    From the many French books around (i think i have all, or most relevant of them at least) there are a few that stand out. Watson’s for sure , Tzermiadianos, Vitiugov, Kindermann. All those have (had) put work on the opening and stepped theory ahead.

    I have alot of objections on how the material is presented in all books, because it leaves out information one is hard to deduce before he masters the whole subject, but i hope in time that will change too.

    For example you read a variation, but the feedback you get besides some verbal explanation or some notation evaluation is minimal.
    * How many games does the writer’s database has at the branching point?
    * What is the draw % of the branching move
    * How easy or hard is to play the position (yes i think 2D IDEA evaluations should be mandatory in books)
    * Which positions should you put on the board and play (as training) with your engine
    etc…etc….etc…

    Most of those ARE present information when the author writes his book, but those never reach the reader

  107. Waldorf
    February 9th, 2013 at 10:43 | #107

    My assumption is that the main target audience for QC opening books in the GM rep is in the range of approx. 1750-2300. Surely IM`s and GM`s will buy those excellent book too, but I would guess that most buyers are between the above mentioned range.

    That`s why I actually don`t understand your point.
    Every ambitious club player uses databases like the mega or TWIC so that I have a direct hint of drawing percentage, is it an old or hypermodern move etc etc.

    I don`t know the 2D IDEA evaluation. Would you plz be so kind to tell me about it?

  108. Ray
    February 9th, 2013 at 11:17 | #108

    @Waldorf
    I think the idea of the Grandmaster Reportoire series is to provide a reportoire which is playable at the highest level (hence the name). Also, I think nowadays it is a fact of life that GM’s (and not only them) use Houdini etc. to study and improve opening variations in their home preparation. That’s why nowadays in over-the-board play between GM’s you see a lot more ‘ computer-type’ of play (Watson calls this ‘rule independence’ I believe, but that’s another story). We ‘blunderers’ may not like that, but I think there’s no easy way around it IF you want to play the main lines. That being said, some openings are more ‘logical’ than others. If the type of ‘irrational’ positions with lots of ‘computer moves’, which require a lot of memorisation, don’t suit you, I would recommend openingss such as the Nimzo-Indian, QGD, Petroff or Spanish Bruyer. But even in those openings you have some very sharp lines which require some memorisation! A book like the one on the Tarrasch Defence may seem daunting if you try to memorise everything, but if you focus on learning the main ideas which keep occurring (like e.g. the sequence …b5, Nxb5, Rb8, as well as some ideas in the key endgames) and only memorise the critical lines (I think there are two lines in which black sacrifices material; 1 with a rook sacrife and 1 with a knight sacrifice), in my opinion you can play it with confidence. After all, like you said it’s not a popular opening so which white players will now the theory as well as you do? In my experience with 15-minute internet games, white players quite often don’t seem to know what to do after they are out of their book.

  109. Waldorf
    February 9th, 2013 at 11:36 | #109

    @Ray
    First of all I never used words like sharp, tararsch was too much theory, requiring too much memorisation etc.

    I think I have explained now more than once why I felt obliged to to write a critical comment.
    I believe that QC is also interested in a critical discussion, at least Nikos said it was interesting and not stupid at all 🙂

    @Ray
    Youu wrote: “I think the idea of the Grandmaster Reportoire series is to provide a reportoire which is playable at the highest level (hence the name).”

    Then you have a different assumption than me. See my #106

  110. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 9th, 2013 at 11:43 | #110

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Not at the moment no. We are trying to get Lars to write a new book, which is hard enough!

    Wow? Which one if it isn’t a secret 🙂

    #Yusupov’s award-winning Training Course

    Can you please sincerely tell where is the difference between German original and your translation in English? The material must be exact, I’m sure!

    Mr. Yusupov in one mail advised me to study books in following order:

    1. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I
    2. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II
    3. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III
    4. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I
    5. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II
    6. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band III
    7. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I
    8. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II
    9. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band III

    English translation is so confused that I don’t know which order correspondes to the mentioned above!

    By the way, should I sell my German copies and obtain English ones in hardcover? For the time being I think not, but I want to hear another opinion!

    Thanks 🙂

  111. Ray
    February 9th, 2013 at 12:29 | #111

    Sorry if I made the wrong impression – I absolutely didn’t want to imply that your posts are stupid – on the contrary! I just wanted to make the point that in my opinion GM reportoire is aimed at a rather high level and the whole series is rather ‘dense’ with lots of things to memorise :-). To me that’s ok – I like to study openings (probably too much…), but you obviously have another opinion, which is fine of course :-).

  112. Waldorf
    February 9th, 2013 at 12:57 | #112

    No worries, I didn`t understand your post in this way 🙂

    The tile “GM Rep” ist a sales marketing method. Books from other chess publishing companies are written from GM`s too, but – that`s why I mentioned the old SOS and the new move by move – fortunately thanks to QC the quality in chess books has improved.

    The question is to which rating class do we “GM reportoire is aimed at a rather high level” assign to?

    If the books were mainly written for 2600+ players, then they would be much less text in the books and fewer books would be sold.

    A good example of what I call the “technical Houdini approach” is Chapter7, B2 in GM10.
    For my chess understanding this is hardcore, typical computer chesss where the typical ambitious club player is left alone and the question marks are becoming bigger and bigger.
    Maybe in 2-3 years I understand this better, but it is computer chess.

    Again, I am really looking foward to PTF, but after the above mentiones quote of Nikos I just got scared, that in the …c5 chapter we will get a houdini cooked complex.

  113. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 9th, 2013 at 13:13 | #113

    Houdini is not God, and certainly Houdini had nothing or very little to do with the analysis of the endgame you mention in GM10 or the critical position in 3.Nd2 c5 French. Obviously you should check what the engine says, but if you don’t understand what is going on you cannot play the line at all. In the endgame it is all about activity, understanding the opponent’s plan and making the correct pawn break when the time is right. In the 3…c5 Tarrasch-French it has to do with what structure you are looking for. For the next 5-10 years i think that computers will not be able to answer this kind of questions.

    The 2D evaluation mr Oreopoulos refers to, shows according to the PC how “sensitive” (and thus practical) a certain chess position is.

  114. Ray
    February 9th, 2013 at 13:32 | #114

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Apart from the possible role of Houdine, I’d just like to say that I loved chapter 7 in your book, both the explanations and the variations 🙂

  115. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 9th, 2013 at 13:52 | #115

    I am looking forward to the 3. Nd2 c5 chapter. I too have more problems with 3. Nd2 than 3. Nc3.

  116. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 9th, 2013 at 14:13 | #116

    Ray :
    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Apart from the possible role of Houdine, I’d just like to say that I loved chapter 7 in your book, both the explanations and the variations

    “Our book”!

  117. Jesse Gersenson
    February 9th, 2013 at 20:35 | #117

    Jacob Aagaard :
    [snip]If you did a chapter a day, it would be done in 9 months and you would have a thoroughly different experience of chess from now.[/snip]

    That’s a startling realization… finish all 9 Yusupov books in 9 months!! So, if one starts today they’d be finished in time for the start of league play in October. Geez.

    From 1800 to mater in 9 months… Makes the new box set special offer more appealing:
    http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/products/13/195/yusupov_complete_series_in_hardcover/

  118. tony
    February 10th, 2013 at 00:13 | #118

    a simple question: is the Kotronias book a repertoire for black or more like a complete overview of all important variations?

  119. FREDPHIL
    February 10th, 2013 at 17:00 | #119

    Nikos Ntirlis :
    @FREDPHIL
    I’d advice first to start with the Orange ones by Yusupov. After completing them go with “Chess Exam”, or even a bit before that study “Chess Lessons” by Popov.

    Thanks for your answer, but what is the point for not doing the “Chess Exam” (to have an idea of my comprehension of chess) before begining the orange serie? I don’t own the POPOV’s book. What is it in it , which it is not in the 9 Yusupov?

    Jesse Gersenson :
    @ FREDPHIL
    I’m at about the same playing strength/age and have worked through the two orange Yusupov books and chapters of the other 6 books in the series. If I were starting the series now, i.e. all three orange books are published, I would set a 2-year goal of working through every single chapter/exercise/position in the 3 orange books (in order!).
    Your plan: put the 697 other books aside and plow through Yusupov’s orange books.
    You’ll need to average 3 chapters per month. They’ll go faster at the beginning. Get started, now!

    Thanks for your comment. So ok for the orange serie. I own already the fisrt one and I have browse it and I hope to learn it much faster than 3 chapters per month (perhaps about 6 months for the 3 books) because most of I have read in the first one seems easy. I will give you my feedback soon.

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @FREDPHIL
    Hi Fred,
    The most important things is that you 1) train to think chess. Tactics is a brilliant place to start. All of the books you mention are relevant. The Yusupov books will all be a great challenge for you. If you did a chapter a day, it would be done in 9 months and you would have a thoroughly different experience of chess from now. 2) make sure you understand things fully. Ask questions of the things you are studying and if the answers are not there, analyse the positions yourself with a computer program to get to the truth. This can take time, but chess is complex and takes time to understand.

    Thanks for your answer, I understand that I have to learn fully what I’m learning (It is a major change for me!!).
    How to mix openings with this 9 books (I think , it will take me more than 9 months …. 2 years perhaps …)?
    Waiting for your French book and perhaps my black openings will be Aagaard and Nikos choices (Tarrasch and French).

  120. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 09:57 | #120

    @tony
    A repertoire.

  121. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 10:01 | #121

    @Waldorf
    I certainly welcome many points of view. I do not want to be trapped in a situation where I am not challeged. The thought of it is terrifying! But with age I also find that I feel more and more confident about my views. Especially as the evidence stacks :-).

  122. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 10:05 | #122

    Regarding the Grandmaster Repertoire books. I do see them as slightly academic. While I see the Grandmaster Guide books as more pop-culture in some way. Both series have charms and minuses; mainly that you cannot do everything in 2-400 pages! With the Tarrasch I tried to prove that it was a fully viable opening. Sure, some lines where you played most principled for a draw, there could be a lot of theory, but in general I did not feel this was the case. The opening was very conceptual in my mind and I played it based on understanding; with an exceptional score. I did eventually lose one game after it was published and I went down the longest lines without having checked them for close to a year. Not very professional of me, but you have to remember that I lost to a GM who knows me exceptionally well. This problem is not a general one. And if you mix your lines a little bit and do a bit of memorisation checking before your games, the opening is fully sound.

  123. jmws
    February 11th, 2013 at 11:30 | #123

    @Jacob

    Do you think the recommended literature in the Yusupov-books is essential/necessary to study? Or is it kind of superfluous? Of course it can’t do harm to study it (can it?), but I do not have all the time in the world.

  124. John Shaw
    February 11th, 2013 at 12:48 | #124

    LE BRUIT QUI COURT :

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Not at the moment no. We are trying to get Lars to write a new book, which is hard enough!

    Wow? Which one if it isn’t a secret
    #Yusupov’s award-winning Training Course
    Can you please sincerely tell where is the difference between German original and your translation in English? The material must be exact, I’m sure!
    Mr. Yusupov in one mail advised me to study books in following order:
    1. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I
    2. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II
    3. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III
    4. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I
    5. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II
    6. Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band III
    7. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I
    8. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II
    9. Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band III
    English translation is so confused that I don’t know which order correspondes to the mentioned above!
    By the way, should I sell my German copies and obtain English ones in hardcover? For the time being I think not, but I want to hear another opinion!
    Thanks

    Re the Yusupov series.

    Between German and English the chess is generally similar, but I would like to think we improved the layout. There are some chess differences where we spotted a problem. For example, in one chapter in the final book I think we changed about half a dozen exercises. But that was unusual – normally the chess was fine from the start.

    I would suggest starting with the three Fundamentals books, then Beyond the Basics, then Mastery.

    In our colour code that means orange then blue then green.

    So you could read them in the order:

    Build up your chess 1
    Boost Your Chess 1
    Chess Evolution 1
    Build up your chess 2
    Boost Your Chess 2
    Chess Evolution 2
    Build up your chess 3
    Boost Your Chess 3
    Chess Evolution 3

    However, I don’t think the precise order within each “colour” is essential – most of the lessons are independent.

  125. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 11th, 2013 at 13:22 | #125

    @FREDPHIL

    Chess Exam is designed to train you and show you areas where you have problems comparing with others. If you do this test before you train then you’ll get no valuable information. First you should raise your general chess level with the orange books and then the “Exam” will show you what areas you didn’t understand well and where you should give more focous. Doing the test before than will show you that you need to do work on everything!

    I like the book “chess lessons” because it gives practical advicefrom an experienced coach through nicely selected examples from games of his students. You can use it by reading through it and doing the exercizes by asking yourself what you would play here and then see the solution the author offers. I liked it because the advice is to the point and the examples are simple enough so that everyone can work with them.

  126. David Flude
    February 11th, 2013 at 13:27 | #126

    I have been playing the King’s Gambit in correspondence since 1970. The opening is much better than its reputation.

    It really is time for a new book on the opening. One thing worth pointing out as that in ICCF Veteran 5 only one player risked 1….e5 against my 1.e4. in ten games where I was white. Only one player tried the French Defence. It is not necessarily true that they wished to avoid the King’s Gambit or my gambit lines against the French. It may just have been that they all felt that the Sicilian Najdorf was a better choice to beat me.

  127. Jesse Gersenson
    February 11th, 2013 at 13:34 | #127

    @FREDPHIL
    To repeat an idea I’ve heard often from both J.Aagaard and J.Shaw, at your level you needn’t study the openings!!

    Other differences in the German/English Yusupov books – biggest difference is one’s written in German, the other in English! Layout is much improved in the English books.

    The orange books should be worked through in order, if nothing else, because Yusupov assumes this is how the student is working and teaches accordingly. While most of the lessons are complete on their own, as John mentioned, some are not. For example, chapter 4 of “Boost Your chess: The Fundamentals” starts with, “This chapter continues and amplifies what was described on the subject of ‘Weak points’ (Build Up Your Chess 1, Chapter 20).” If one tries working through chapter 4 without first mastering the referenced chapter, he won’t be able to understand chapter 4 and will fail the chapter ending test. I know, I failed the test twice before returning to chapter 20?!

  128. John Shaw
    February 11th, 2013 at 13:37 | #128

    @David Flude

    Hi David,

    Actually I think of you as Mr Nb5!! (this does make sense, at least to King’s Gambit fans). As it happens I am working on the 6.Bc4 part of the 3…g5 section. Trying to make my analysis readable rather than a splodge of moves.

  129. FREDPHIL
    February 11th, 2013 at 14:22 | #129

    Nikos Ntirlis :
    @FREDPHIL
    Chess Exam is designed to train you and show you areas where you have problems comparing with others. If you do this test before you train then you’ll get no valuable information. First you should raise your general chess level with the orange books and then the “Exam” will show you what areas you didn’t understand well and where you should give more focous. Doing the test before than will show you that you need to do work on everything!
    I like the book “chess lessons” because it gives practical advicefrom an experienced coach through nicely selected examples from games of his students. You can use it by reading through it and doing the exercizes by asking yourself what you would play here and then see the solution the author offers. I liked it because the advice is to the point and the examples are simple enough so that everyone can work with them.

    OK, “orange serie” + “POPOV” then the two “chess exam”. At this point (6-12 months ?),It will be a timely opportunity to take stock of the situation and to reassess whether special measures for training will be considered necessary.

    See you next year.

  130. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 14:29 | #130

    @jmws
    Stick with the Yusupov books. In general I did not find his additional reading lists especially structured; these are just other books he likes. Not necessarily suitable to the readers of his own books!

  131. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 14:30 | #131

    @John Shaw
    I have suffered too much because I have pre-announced (talked about) books that then never happened. But if Lars says yes, it will be a very interesting book for sure!

  132. FREDPHIL
    February 11th, 2013 at 14:32 | #132

    Jesse Gersenson :
    @FREDPHIL
    To repeat an idea I’ve heard often from both J.Aagaard and J.Shaw, at your level you needn’t study the openings!!

    It depends what is “study the openings”. First moves and general ideas and plans must be know in order not to be in a weak position from the start. Otherwise , you won’t have time to show your new skills.

  133. Jacob Aagaard
    February 11th, 2013 at 14:58 | #133

    @FREDPHIL
    10% of your chess study until you start making IM norms?

  134. FREDPHIL
    February 11th, 2013 at 15:15 | #134

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well, I will try to limit myself to the strict minimum. I don’t promise …. Old habits die hard.

    Are French (already played with 3…dxe4 4.Ktxe4 Bd7 Fort Knox , and I like playing against advance and exchange variations) and QG Tarrasch (I don’t own your book but I have browsed it in a shop) good openings in this plan not to invest too much time in openings ?

  135. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 11th, 2013 at 15:35 | #135

    @Jacob Aagaard
    How much after one starts making IM norms?

  136. jmws
    February 11th, 2013 at 15:37 | #136

    @Jacob
    Thanks for your answer. Similar question as Fredphil: Yusupov recommends the Colle-Zukertort system and the Smyslov system against the KID for white, the French and QGA for black. What are your thoughts on this? They seem (relatively) not too much work. On the other side: has his proposed repertoire sufficent bite?

  137. Waldorf
    February 11th, 2013 at 20:03 | #137

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I have the impression you often show a nonchalant attitude towards posts / reviews which don`t go along with your views.
    Thank you for hint that with age you feel more and more confident about your views, especially as the evidence stacks.

    Ouch, the mighty GM has spoken und the blunderer shall listen in grace.
    Truely charming 🙂

    That`s why I am answering to your post.
    You said you did exceptionally well with the Tarrasch, using it as an argument that the Tarrasch is fully viable. I am not questioning its viability at all!

    Feel free to comment on my argument regarding the mega.
    Why is rarely played in high level chess?

  138. Michael Agermose Jensen
    February 11th, 2013 at 21:45 | #138

    David Flude :
    I have been playing the King’s Gambit in correspondence since 1970. The opening is much better than its reputation.
    It really is time for a new book on the opening. One thing worth pointing out as that in ICCF Veteran 5 only one player risked 1….e5 against my 1.e4. in ten games where I was white. Only one player tried the French Defence. It is not necessarily true that they wished to avoid the King’s Gambit or my gambit lines against the French. It may just have been that they all felt that the Sicilian Najdorf was a better choice to beat me.

    What are these gambit lines against the French, if I may ask? Just curious since I dislike the positions after all the ones I know (Alapin, Korchnoi, Wing, Duhm, Nimzowitsch, Milner-Barry, Reti) even though I tried a few of them.

  139. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 11th, 2013 at 22:48 | #139

    @Waldorf

    I counted 20 games in my database in 2011 between players both over 2300 (FM level and above) and 79 games in 2012 between the same group of players. We are talking for a 400% raise here. I won’t count the games where at least one player is 2300 because there are simply much more! And i did so in the starting position after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5. If i go for ECO codes (as the Tarrasch comes after the English and Reti move orders for example) i am sure that i’ll find even more games.

  140. Jacob Aagaard
    February 12th, 2013 at 12:06 | #140

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Maybe 25%. Then as much as 40% once you are a GM.

  141. Jacob Aagaard
    February 12th, 2013 at 12:10 | #141

    @Waldorf
    I generally want to write what I think. I do not think that because I am a GM or an author that I lose the right to have an opinion. My views are not necessarily right, but they are more qualified than they used to be, so I want to be able to share them in a respectful way :-).

    the mega? Not sure what you mean? Are you asking why the Tarrasch are not more popular? I am personally not sure at all. It is a good opening, especially for a GM who has time to learn the details!

  142. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 12th, 2013 at 13:39 | #142

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Does it also depend on rating? For example if a 2150 is making IM norms, but a 2300 or 2400 has none? I am not sure how to signify myself, because I only have one, and I basically only plan to play in the future to gain them, but not always successful..

  143. Ben
    February 12th, 2013 at 15:48 | #143

    Jacob,

    I have Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation and I was wondering how quickly you would suggest going through it. Is there a certain number of puzzles per day that a 2150 can reasonably expect to do?

    Thanks

  144. Chris
    February 12th, 2013 at 19:52 | #144

    Just counted my Books from QC. Got 37 of them, and the soon to come list keeps it growing for sure. 🙂

  145. Joshua
    February 12th, 2013 at 23:19 | #145

    Question for the authors and the readers:

    First, I very much like the style and content of Weteschnik’s _Chess Tactics from Scratch_. In particular I like how the explanatory sections are explicitly aimed at adults and try to lay down a rational basis for understanding tactics.

    I am wondering: are there books written with a similar intent that deal with other aspects of chess, especially endgames?

  146. February 12th, 2013 at 23:39 | #146

    Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual and Fundamental Chess Endings are both textbooks that treat the subject in an academic style like that. They’re both well written and cover pretty much the same material, so it’s a matter of taste which you prefer.

  147. Jacob Aagaard
    February 13th, 2013 at 10:46 | #147

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    It depends on your opponents. If they are 2400+, then you need good openings.

  148. Jacob Aagaard
    February 13th, 2013 at 10:47 | #148

    @Joshua
    We were hoping to have an endgame book similar to this one day.

  149. Jacob Aagaard
    February 13th, 2013 at 10:48 | #149

    @Chris
    I think there are guys who have more than that. I have 114,000 for example; although I should say there are a few doubles!

  150. Jacob Aagaard
    February 13th, 2013 at 10:50 | #150

    @Ben
    To me the main point is actually that you do something each day. Preferably in connection with something else you do each day (otherwise have a wall calendar that you can cross off each day you have done at least 15 minutse of training). Over time you will find the greatest benefit from doing a bit every day.

    Another important point is to give up at the right time. Not too early and not to late. Don’t spend hours on the same position and don’t give up after 5 minutes. Find the balance where you really try – but accept that you just cannot solve everything.

  151. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 13th, 2013 at 12:27 | #151

    Ben :
    Jacob,
    I have Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation and I was wondering how quickly you would suggest going through it. Is there a certain number of puzzles per day that a 2150 can reasonably expect to do?
    Thanks

    Hi Ben 🙂

    Take a look at my training books collection:

    COMPREHENSIVE:

    1. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I
    2. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II
    3. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III
    4. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I
    5. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II
    6. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band III
    7. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I
    8. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II
    9. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band III
    10. Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 1
    11. Jussupow: Schachunterricht
    announced: Aagaard: Grandmaster Preparation – Thinking Inside the Box

    OPENING:

    12. Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence 4
    13. Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 2

    TACTICS:

    14. Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence 2
    15. Chess Informant: Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations, 4th ed.
    16. Shaw Quality Chess Puzzle Book

    ATTACK:

    17. Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 5
    announced: Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Attack?

    DEFENCE:

    18. Aagaard Practical Chess Defence

    CALCULATION:

    19. Aagaard: Grandmaster Preparation – Calculation
    20. Mazja: The Manual of Chess Combinations 3

    STRATEGY & POSITIONAL PLAY:

    21. Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence 3
    22. Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 4
    23. Aagaard: Grandmaster Preparation – Positional Play
    announced: Aagaard: Grandmaster Preparation – Strategic Play
    24. Hellsten: Mastering Chess Strategy

    ENDGAME:

    25. Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence 1
    26. Dvoretsky & Jussupow: School of Future Champions 3
    announced: Aagaard: Grandmaster Preparation – Endgame Play.

    As you can see these are real training books, gruoped by the theme. For me absolutely the best are Jussupow’s Tigersprung series, translated into English by Quality Chess.

    Difficulty level:
    I. Jussupow’s Tigersprung series: Elo 1600-2300
    II. Grandmaster Preparation by Aagaard: Elo 2100-2400
    III. Dvoretsky: School of Chess Excellence & School of Future Champions: Elo 2300+++.

    I advise you that you strictly follow the old Latin proverb “Multum, non multa”, or in English: “Much, not many”.

    Proverb focuses on the idea of Latin multum, “much.” The message of proverb is “much,” instead of “many things,” multa. In English, we might express this as the difference between “depth, not breadth,” the idea being that it is better to focus in on something in a thorough way, rather than spreading yourself thin with many things.

    So study only few carefully selected top-notch books 🙂

  152. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    February 13th, 2013 at 14:44 | #152

    jack of all trades, master of some

  153. Chris
    February 13th, 2013 at 18:08 | #153

    Jacob Aagaard :@Chris I think there are guys who have more than that. I have 114,000 for example; although I should say there are a few doubles!

    Ok Jacob, you win, i resign 🙁

  154. Nick
    February 13th, 2013 at 23:22 | #154

    Is the Slav books still on the cards?

  155. Remco Gerlich
    February 14th, 2013 at 10:24 | #155

    @Jacob: Do you think that 15 minutes each day is more beneficial than 2 hours once per week?

    (feels a bit surprising to me, I’d think 15 minutes is too little time to become sufficiently concentrated)

    Of course I wish I could do more than that, but that plus one serious game per week really is more or less the maximum I can combine with my work and family.

  156. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 14th, 2013 at 11:04 | #156

    ### Ftacnik: Grandmaster Repertoire 6b – The Najdorf

    To whom may concern 🙂

    Since the Ftacnik’s reperoire book will arise as a two-volume book, which will at the end much more expensive for final user, could you please be less stubborn regarding inserting a back-up line against Be2 and Be3 lines?

    I’m talking about vast majority of Black players, myself included, who are eagerly awaiting … e5!! reply 🙂

    Why? It’s less theory, easier to play with fixed pawn structure in the center, and one doesn’t need to passively wait it’s “fish” in murky water of Scheweningen.

    Last but not the least, even if Ftacnik isn’t interested for adding …e5 lines, then Jacob you can easily do the job.

    Quality Chess is already known that the team works on openings books, so the author on the cover isn’t so important at all.

  157. Jesse Gersenson
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:09 | #157

    @Remco Gerlich
    Horowitz, the concert pianist said (paraphrasing), “If I don’t practice for one day, I know it (notice the difference). If I don’t practice for 2 days in a row, the critics know it. If I don’t practice for 3 days straight, the public knows it.”

  158. The Lurker
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:23 | #158

    @Remco Gerlich
    Everything I’ve ever read about getting good at *anything* says that doing a little bit every day is far superior to doing a lot once a week. To get good at something, it has to become part of your routine. And it won’t become part of your routine if you only do it once a week.

    You may not be able to play a serious game every day for 15 minutes, but you could get a problem book or something…

  159. Jesse Gersenson
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:23 | #159

    FREDPHIL :

    It depends what is “study the openings”. First moves and general ideas and plans must be know in order not to be in a weak position from the start. Otherwise , you won’t have time to show your new skills.

    Look for, and find!, playable ideas. You don’t need an opening book to spoon-feeding you the ideas. Put your pieces on good squares. As John says, “Get all your bits firing!” At our level players aren’t punishing small theoretical missteps made in the opening. Give yourself a playable position and just outplay your opponent!

  160. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:42 | #160

    @Nick
    Sadly delayed 🙁

  161. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:45 | #161

    @Remco Gerlich
    Yes, little and often is better than long and rare. This is common for all other things relating to the body and the brain works in the same way.

    Focusing on what you want to achieve in those 15 minutes is important. It should take about 60 seconds to get focused, but in most cases 15 becomes 20 and so on; starting training is the difficult task for most.

    Another point is that goals should be manageble. You do your 15 minutes even if you don’t feel like it (like my 20 minutes on the rowing machine this morning) because you know a second after 14:59 you are free – and that is quite soon…

  162. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 12:54 | #162

    @The Lurker
    I am studying the psychology of habits at the moment (partly because I am the trainer of the Danish elite and I am trying to influence some of the players young enough to make a difference) with the idea that this is probably the most important is consistence and automating your training.

    Making it something you just do because you always do it. For this reason I row as the first thing when I get up at 6am. If I get up 6.45 I have an audience of small children watching me with fascination and horror. But I do it, which is the main thing…

    An interesting thing is that those who are most locked in their habits are usually also those most optimistic about changing them!

  163. Remco Gerlich
    February 14th, 2013 at 13:19 | #163

    Thanks everybody, I’ll start doing my Yusupov chapters in blocks of at least 15 minutes every day. I already have quite a fixed routine in the evening involving household chores, it probably won’t hurt at all to add something fun to the end of it.

  164. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 14:51 | #164

    @Remco Gerlich
    Sounds like an excellent idea. One of my Danish 2200 friends started doing this about 50 days ago. This weekend he outperformed a group of IMs and GMs at a training weekend I organised. He is obviously very motivated and has been doing an hour a day, but it still shows how easy accessible progress is; if the work is consistent and includes training your ability to think.

  165. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 14th, 2013 at 14:55 | #165

    @Jacob Aagaard
    And how about answering on my last 2 posts o training and Ftacnik 🙂

  166. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 15:03 | #166

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    I have answered this …e5 question plenty of times. The other did not beg for an answer.

  167. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 14th, 2013 at 15:08 | #167

    @Jacob Aagaard
    And what about “ATTACK: announced: Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Attack?”. Is this book planned? And which title will have? I suggest that you combine it with defence in order to encircle all fields of chess mastery 🙂

    Besides, what do you think about my training collection, especially about Mazja’s book “The Manual of Chess Combinations 3”, aimed at training calculation?

    Thx

  168. boki
    February 14th, 2013 at 15:39 | #168

    @Jacob
    Sometimes such “simple truth” like doing every day exercises to train decision making is so helpful. Even me as a 38y 2200+ Player have the impression I improved after starting to do exercises in 2009/2010 after reading your old Exceling at chess-Series !

    A training weekend sounds very interesting, could you give as more info about ?
    Any thoughts about some “email training program”?

    Keep up the great work

  169. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 14th, 2013 at 17:15 | #169

    Mr Shaw,

    Are you planning to translate new Mark Dworetski’s book in German language, published by Jussupow Schachakademie Verlag, titled “Trainingshandbuch – Band 1 Aufmerksamkeit …” which includes 180 exercises with full solutions?

    I’m aware that Russell usually translates his books, but you could be the first this time!

  170. Ray
    February 14th, 2013 at 18:22 | #170

    @boki
    I second that! I’m working though the Quality Chess Puzzle Book (almost finished the chapter on defence…), and try to do one page every day. If I skip a week I immediately notice I’m losing ‘sharpness’. Indeed this is a very good and simple way to improve – you just have to establish a routine. For me it works best to pick a fixed time slot every evening. Just like practicing to play the piano or something similar. And to keep your motivation it’s best to have a ‘success rate’ of about 70-80% – so don’t start with the GM Preparation series if your rating is too low… At least that’s my opinion :-).

  171. Ray
    February 14th, 2013 at 18:25 | #171

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    To add to Jacob’s comment: the book by Georgiev (Chess Stars) is pretty good, isn’t it? It covers …e5 and has recently been updated (3rd edition). Of course Quality Chess is the best, but there are other good books out there as well :-).

  172. Jacob Aagaard
    February 14th, 2013 at 22:40 | #172

    Simple ideas always work best. Complicated ideas are, well, too complicated…

    Grandmaster Preparation – Attack and Defence is the 5th volume planned. Thinking Inside the Box will be the 6th.

    Don’t know that tactics book; probably fine. Most are – John’s is excellent 🙂

  173. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 15th, 2013 at 00:44 | #173

    I personally prefer 6…e5 in the Najdorf after having played both in my games. But if 6…e6 is the specialty of GM6 then so it is. But there is also the Pavlovic book on 6. Be3 that has coverage of 6…e5 lines. I ordered it and I think it would be useful for 6…e5 players.

    It seems to me that 6…e6 is generally more tactical than 6…e5. Though both are quite sharp due to the nature of the Najdorf, in 6…e6 it seems very crazy tactical positions arise quite quickly and the game opens easily. Perhaps that is because Black plays …d5 more quickly, at least in 6. Be3. But it seems there are kingside attacks against 6. Be2 e6 and 6. f4 e6 more than 6…e5.

  174. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 15th, 2013 at 00:48 | #174

    @Ray
    I am not sure if exercises all the time is required, I have the Attacking Manuals and I remember when I was reading them, I spent few minutes to half hour per day, or average around 15 minutes to learn new ideas.

    Unfortunately if one becomes very busy (university, job, family), and quits doing chess exercises, then it becomes quite difficult. I used to do piano when I was 11, and after not practising for years, the only song I can play now without severe difficulty is Paul McCartney’s ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. Everything else is too difficult now..

  175. Ray
    February 15th, 2013 at 09:02 | #175

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Maybe every day is not required, but if you want to improve I guess you have to study regularly, say at least 4 times per week.

  176. Ray
    February 15th, 2013 at 09:04 | #176

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I played the Najdorf with 6…e6 for a brief period, but decided that it simply isn’t my cup of tea. The variations are so outrageously tactical and irrational that they are almost impossible to memorise. You can’t get by on general understanding since everything is very concrete. One misstep and you’re dead. So I returned to the solid French.

  177. Jacob Aagaard
    February 15th, 2013 at 10:48 | #177

    @Ray
    The thing is, if you do not do it every day, or at least aim to (at times you fail, don’t panic, just continue the next day) you will not create the ingrained habit or at least have big obstacles doing so.

  178. PeterM
    February 15th, 2013 at 10:59 | #178

    About THE books of Joesopov.

    Tigersprung uses DWZ instead of ELO.
    And it is 1500, 1800 and 2100 DWZ.

    Some sort of rule is
    Elo= 0,8 * DWZ + 520

    Maybe this might help with interpreting the level of difficulty of THE exercises.

  179. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:14 | #179

    @PeterM
    How did you come up with this formula?

  180. PeterM
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:19 | #180
  181. Joeri
    February 15th, 2013 at 12:07 | #181

    @PeterM

    You actually missed a the/THE in this one… 😉

  182. Andre
    February 15th, 2013 at 12:21 | #182

    Apparently the source of the formula is a 2004 article by Mr Glenz, the former head of the rating office of the DSB. So somebody with a lot of knowledge on the topic. It seems it was only meant as a *rough guidance*.
    It’s clear though that DWZ is generally slightly lower than ELO. 100 Points difference at 2100 level sounds about right.
    Which corresponts with the title requirements of the DSB:
    An FM for example must have at least 2300 ELO and at least 2200 DWZ at the time of application.

  183. PeterM
    February 15th, 2013 at 12:38 | #183

    @Joeri
    Excuse for my Englisch…. And my iPad makes of “the” automatic “THE” ….. I have to correct that.

  184. Ray
    February 15th, 2013 at 13:16 | #184

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Indeed, very recognizable… There’s obviously a big psychological angle to this.

  185. Jacob Aagaard
    February 15th, 2013 at 13:34 | #185

    @Andre
    In regards to the Yusupov series, this is still ridiculous. Clearly a 1600 elo player cannot go through the Fundamentals volumes like a breeze.

  186. Jesse Gersenson
    February 15th, 2013 at 15:32 | #186

    The orange Yusupov books seem suitable to a motivated 1300 – 2100 FIDE who’s looking to fill in holes in his chess. At the bar, a group of 1500-2200’s, we’ve been going through the orange books since they appeared and clearly there are topics for all of us. (the two 2200+ guys in the group find all but the third book too easy).

    We use book 1 and book 2 as training material with 9-14 year olds with playing strengths of 1100-1900.

  187. February 15th, 2013 at 15:56 | #187

    The orange books are a nice mix of easy (mostly the tactics chapters) and challenging (mostly the strategy chapters) for this USCF 1900. I average 80-something percent on the tests. When I dipped into the first blue book a couple of years ago (when I was lower rated!) I got more like 60%; I’m looking forward to revisiting them.

    I’d recommend the orange series to 1500-2000 USCF (a little weaker than FIDE), expanding that range on both ends if the reader is a mature enough beginner to have the patience to work through difficult problems or a mature enough expert to have the patience to work through easy problems 🙂

  188. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 15th, 2013 at 16:52 | #188

    Dear friends, my Elo is around 2100,

    Take a look at my results after I had finished all books in the series:

    1. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band I – success ratio (excluding openings) 73%;
    2. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band II – success ratio (excluding openings) 69%;
    3. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 Band III – success ratio (excluding openings) 83%;
    4. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band I – success ratio (excluding openings) 77%;
    5. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band II – success ratio (excluding openings) 72%;
    6. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 1800 Band III – success ratio (excluding openings) 56%;
    7. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band I – success ratio (excluding openings) 58%;
    8. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band II – success ratio (excluding openings) 49%;
    9. Jussupow: Tigersprung auf DWZ 2100 Band III – success ratio (excluding openings) 41%.

    Well, I’m best at tactics, average at endings, and the worst in strategy & positional play!

    But I gained tremendous and unsurpassed knowledge in comparison with 300 books which I had.

    Today I use only top-notch ones for training, and everyone interested can read my post above, number #151# (February 13th, 2013), about them.

    Good luck in your training 🙂

  189. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 15th, 2013 at 17:18 | #189

    @Jacob Aagaard
    How would you recommend someone around my level (2250-2350) using the Grandmaster Preparation books? Lately I have been spending time on openings because over the past couple of years I revamped my repertoire completely, trying to adjust completely from the King’s Indian into the Grünfeld/Slav, and adding both 3…Nf6/7…Be7 Classical and the 7…0-0 Winawer from exclusively the 6…Qa5 Winawer, and completing the transition from 1. e4 to 1. d4. So some of the repertoire is incomplete, and I have not spend quite much time on middlegame.

  190. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 16th, 2013 at 00:43 | #190

    @Ray
    True, heavy amounts of chaos arise with 6…e6, especially with 6. Be3. However, the Scheveningen structure against 6. Be2 (and 6. f4 by transposition) is very instructive. I think it teaches one how to defend properly and begin counteroffensives at right moments, similar somewhat to the 7…0-0 Winawer. However I do like those positions in the French with the 3…Nf6/7…Be7 Steinitz. It could be a good base on which to play the French.

  191. Miq
    February 16th, 2013 at 13:25 | #191

    Publish the first 400 pages of Kings Gambit now.
    Publish the rest when it is done.
    Lower the price of the two books to make it 1,5 times the price of one volume.
    Extra costs for QC – extra cost for customer – but the book(s) will be out quicker and in a much more manageable format than (more than) 800 pages. Reasonable?!!

  192. Ed
    February 16th, 2013 at 19:44 | #192

    The e4 repertoire for sicilian it was mentioned will be Bc4.
    Will that be an early 2. Bc4 or 3. Bc4, or more the classical sozin 6. Bc4 ?

  193. Paul
    February 17th, 2013 at 00:48 | #193

    @Ed
    It was said a while ago there would be main line Sicilian, Nd2 French, Scotch vs e5.
    I guess a lot of people are looking forward to these 2 books!

  194. Jacob Aagaard
    February 17th, 2013 at 14:35 | #194

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Make sure you put in 15-20 minutes each day. Same recommendation to all.

  195. Jacob Aagaard
    February 17th, 2013 at 14:36 | #195

    @Miq
    We are quite close to the end.

  196. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 17th, 2013 at 15:25 | #196

    What kind of book is Danny Gormally’s “Mating the Castled King”? A Workbook? I can’t see anything better than Attacking Manual 🙂

  197. michael
    February 18th, 2013 at 09:30 | #197

    I will buy the Kings Gambit if I am still alive when it comes out!!!
    Thank you all for your hard work on the book!!!

  198. Jacob Aagaard
    February 18th, 2013 at 10:07 | #198

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    It is quite different from the Attacking Manuals. Just because those books were good, it does not mean that there is nothing left to be said about attacking.

  199. Ed
    February 18th, 2013 at 11:57 | #199

    @ Jacob Aagaard
    Re: e4 repertoire. In the sicilian najdorf the main line is 6 Bg5,
    however I seem to remember that the sozin 6 Bc4 was to be in repertoire. But not sure if I recollect correctly. I think it was mentioned but can’t find in previous blog that repertoire was in similar spirit to Tikavov and Adams.

  200. Jacob Aagaard
    February 18th, 2013 at 12:18 | #200

    @Ed
    In John’s book we will go 6.Bc4, yes.

  201. Andre
    February 18th, 2013 at 16:02 | #201

    Does black have practical problems against 6.Bc4 ? Or does white have sac pieces on b5, d5 and f5 left and right to squeeze something out?

    I’m asking because the last time I looked at this, many years ago when it was still part of my repertoire, I moved to something else because black seemed to have easy play. Just learn 15 moves of one of a few main lines, develop the pieces in the right order and white was struggleing to make anything out of his centralized pieces while black could make standard moves on the queenside.

  202. Jacob Aagaard
    February 18th, 2013 at 16:09 | #202

    @Andre
    White is playing it in a less poker-style way these days. You do not have to go all in to play this system.

  203. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 18th, 2013 at 16:34 | #203

    I see the new .pdf excerpt for GM12. Interesting opening, and I am sure that the book will be good as well. The Introduction seems slightly different than the other GM Repertoires, as well as the approach as described on page 8. I like that approach of providing more than one recommendation whilst it is a repertoire book, for variety and preparation purposes. The two systems that I found critical when I played it were the Nge2 systems and, ironically, the Fianchetto System.

    But when will the pre-order button be activated? Still the price shows but no order option.

  204. Jacob Aagaard
    February 18th, 2013 at 16:41 | #204

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Fianchetto should be easily ok. Pre-order was available 10 minutes after the excerpt was out. Patience, patience!

  205. Andre
    February 18th, 2013 at 16:53 | #205

    Thanks for the info Jacob. Looking forward to it.

  206. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 18th, 2013 at 17:10 | #206

    @Jacob Aagaard
    My mistake, maybe I did not see it. Unfortunately I hope this does not mean another time for a new glasses prescription..

  207. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 18th, 2013 at 17:14 | #207

    @Jacob Aagaard
    The reason I say Fianchetto is because, apart from Avrukh’s excellent GM2 (which I still consider the best opening book of all time), the Fianchetto against the Modern Benoni, similar to the King’s Indian, Benkö, QGD (in the form of the Catalan), Bogo Indian, etc. it seems somehow a bit more difficult to generate counterplay than other variations. I play the Fianchetto in my 1. d4 repertoire similar to GM2 and GM1, and the Fianchetto, if any variation gave me problems when I played the Modern Benoni, was the variation. I am not sure why, perhaps, White’s king is safer and/or the game becomes more positional (although still sharp for Benoni), which means Black must expend more effort for counterplay. At least that is how I felt.

  208. Paul
    February 18th, 2013 at 18:05 | #208

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Is the plan still to publish Strategic Play on the same day as Modern Benoni/Soviet Middlegame? Just trying to plan my order of 3 books to get free postage, and I saw former does not have pdf uploaded yet….from memory you only upload pdfs on sending manuscript to printer?

  209. Jacob Aagaard
    February 19th, 2013 at 11:02 | #209

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We have several solutions against the fianchetto variation.

    Basically it is my experience that when you really struggle against a line, you simply need to study it more. I used to struggle against the French and Taimanov Sicilian. I studied them and they became cash cows. For example 3-0 against GM Brynell in the French :-).

  210. Jacob Aagaard
    February 19th, 2013 at 11:03 | #210

    @Paul
    Yes, it is the plan, but there are problems with the execution. I would hesitate a week with the order. All planets have to come into line for this to work out.

  211. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 19th, 2013 at 12:37 | #211

    @Jacob Aagaard
    With Petrov offering this new option of recommending two or more lines even though it is a repertoire book, is this a new feature of GM Repertoire, or the opening books in general? I think more than one recommendation, especially against the critical lines, is good for repertoire books in case novelties are discovered in one line, or simply to allow the player to vary the lines within the opening, to avoid preparation from certain opponents, or to choose a sharper line in a situation in which one must win.

  212. Zwastik
    February 19th, 2013 at 12:44 | #212

    @ Jacob Aagard,

    I have friend who wants to sell off his books to me. He has your Excelling series of books.

    Could you let me know if they have any overlap with your current series GM series/or should I stay away from Excelling* and instead buy your current GM series.

    Excelling*
    a) What is the prerequisite rating range required to dwelve into these books.
    b) Is there a sequence in which they have to be read for a better understanding.
    c) Any other books which needs to be used in tandem with these books
    d) One/two lines about what each book is about.

  213. Jacob Aagaard
    February 19th, 2013 at 13:26 | #213

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I don’t believe in straight jackets.

  214. Jacob Aagaard
    February 19th, 2013 at 13:28 | #214

    @Zwastik
    Very busy, so very quickly. Excelling at Technical Chess will work with Endgame Play and Excelling at Chess Calculation works with Calculation. The other books are good in their own right, even though I would not greatly recommend them; especially not compared to my newer books. But Excelling at Chess is still the most popular book I have written! Probably I should let the people judge…

    No sequence of rating requirement for value.

  215. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 19th, 2013 at 15:32 | #215

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I play both the Winawer and Classical in the French, so I also like to vary lines within an opening repertoire. Even for example against 6. Bg5, I play the Classical Main Line, 6…Nbd7, Delayed Poisoned Pawn, and the Gelfand, because all of them change extremely rapidly, and assessments likewise change.

    Knowing two or more lines against critical variations also confuses opponents. If an opponent only prepared for one variation which has three alternatives, then one can easily play the other moves after learning them to avoid preparation.

  216. Milen Petrov
    February 19th, 2013 at 23:16 | #216

    Wondering how you will treat Richter-Rauzer in all 1.e4 books (including GM repertoire).
    Please, do not say that it is already busted as after that I will stop buying any books from you :). I already shared some of my analysis on chesspublishing few years ago where I prove that in 9.f4 line black is simply fine. These were now quite updated and expanded. If interested I can share them with you Jacob, so that you can judge for yourself. If interested – just check web order 1525 and send me an email (possibly another GM Rep book?!) 🙂

  217. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 19th, 2013 at 23:20 | #217

    The R-R is not busted for sure. We have done quite a lot of analysis at it in various lines. “Simply fine” is certainly an overstatement, but i am open to see your analysis and change my mind!

  218. Milen Petrov
    February 19th, 2013 at 23:32 | #218

    @Nikos – please ask Jacob to provide you my email based on my web order and then we can exchcange thoughts there, or you can send me a PM on chesspub forum (nickname is the same) and then we can exchange thoughts. At least we can get to the truth (i hope) 🙂
    Milen

  219. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 20th, 2013 at 09:03 | #219

    I’ll PM you at chesspub (soon).

  220. Jacob Aagaard
    February 20th, 2013 at 10:04 | #220

    I’ll’eave you to work it out yourselves!

  221. Phille
    February 20th, 2013 at 11:50 | #221

    I will definitely buy the King’s Gamit book. With 800 pages it won’t be an repertoire book, I’m quite clear on that. But will it be possible to highlight a plausible repertoire, just to make the wealth of material more accessible?

    Negative Example: The fascinating King’s Gamit – by all accounts very good content, but I just never got into it. Variations A,B,C,D,F,G and not a clue what might be best and what might be busted, without going throught them all.

    It’s a lot more practical if the book just tells me: Against this defense you play this line … and if you don’t like it, here are the alternatives.

  222. John Shaw
    February 20th, 2013 at 12:03 | #222

    @Phille

    Hi Phille,

    There will certainly be some repertoire guidance – for both colours. But the guidance varies a lot depending on the variation. In some cases it’s “Play this move; the rest are rubbish.” In other places it will be “These three lines lead to crazed complications. The fourth option is safer but just equal.” (These are not exact quotes but close enough.)

  223. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    February 20th, 2013 at 14:02 | #223

    Operation Deepscan

  224. Nick
    February 20th, 2013 at 15:44 | #224

    Just wondering if there is ever any intention to publish a Black Repertiore book on the Nimzo-Indian, there is a serious gap in the market for this. Why do you think this is bearing in mind it’s extremes popularity, is it because White can avoid it with 3.g3 and 3.Nf3? If so maybe cold also do a couple of chatters on the Boo I see lots of top GM’s have payed it recently.

  225. Nick
    February 20th, 2013 at 15:44 | #225

    Sorry I meant Bogo-Indian!

  226. John Shaw
    February 20th, 2013 at 18:06 | #226

    @Nick

    I agree – a repertoire book for Black in the Nimzo-Indian is a fine idea…

    This comments thread is now beating Andrew’s weight-lifting thread 226 to 4. I wonder if weight-lifting blogs post photos of chess players?

  227. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    February 20th, 2013 at 18:18 | #227

    I suspect a QC GM Repertoire Nimzo would end up one of the best sellers for you folks.

  228. Patrick
    February 20th, 2013 at 22:04 | #228

    My opinion differs from Phille’s. A completely objective book is better than a Repertoire book 100% of the time provided all other factors are equal.

    I don’t play it much any more, but I think one of the best opening books by Quality Chess is the one on the Scandinavian Defense, which I believe Bauer wrote if my memory serves me right.

    I think repertoire books are best for first timers at an opening, but to have a true understanding of the opening, other more objective books are critical.

    Not saying all Repertoire books are bad. They have their place, especially when it comes to learning an opening for the first time. Marin’s series was EXCELLENT. The one on the Tarrasch is GREAT. Had I decided to take up the English full time, I’d have other books on the English, not just those 3. However, a Repertoire Book gets you started, but those that don’t expand and truly put in the work to understand the opening they play, and instead just play moves because their reportoire book says to, will never succeed.

    The other problem with repertoire books is they all recommend the same stupid lines. Case in point, check out what each book below recommends against the Queen’s Gambit Declined:

    Playing 1.d4: The Queen’s Gambit – Exchange Variation
    A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White (GAMBIT) – Exchange Variation
    Play the Queen’s Gambit (Everyman) – Yep, you got it, the sorry Exchange Variation

    The Exchange Variation has been beaten like a dead horse. I finally quit the sorry line and have played the Rubenstein Variation since, and nobody is able to survive against me, at least not thus far! I think July 2012 may have officially been the funeral of the Exchange QGD for me!

    That said, a “completely objective” book on the QGD-Proper (e.g. Orthodox, Tartakower, Lasker, Rubinstein, etc) would be really nice to see. The last such book that got any decent reviews was published way back in 2000 (By Sadler, Everyman).

  229. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 21st, 2013 at 08:06 | #229

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I suppose the pre-order button only is available when the announcement date is finalised?

  230. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 21st, 2013 at 10:50 | #230

    Mr Aagaard I would like to ask a question about opening study. You wrote earlier that you don’t have to study openings much until you’re like 2400. But what do you think about studying new openings? For example is it a good idea if a 2400 player takes up Grunfeld and the Najdorf at 2400 even though he hasn’t played it or studied it in detail in the past, or is it much better to stick to openings that you already studied and played? Thanks.

  231. Jacob Aagaard
    February 21st, 2013 at 13:49 | #231

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Have lost touch with the content. Colin manages the website and puts the books on for pre-order when it makes sense, I hope!

  232. Jacob Aagaard
    February 21st, 2013 at 13:50 | #232

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    It really is a question of your style. If you have a good feeling for dynamics and a good memory, then these lines would suit your style. On the other hand, if you often lose the momentum when you have an attacking position, then you should probably look more at the French and the Queen’s Gambit…

  233. Javier España
    February 21st, 2013 at 16:35 | #233

    Hello Aagaard.

    Javier Castellote and I live in Spain.

    Currently I have 2194 Elo Fide. Yesterday I started reading your book Positional Play-grandmaster-preparation, do you think I can improve with that book?

    I do not know what happens but I have the feeling that my problem is the openings, but many GMs tell me it’s more important to train calculation and positional play.

    It took two years stuck in 2190 Fide, how I can change it?

    Do you think a 2200 should work harder openings or calculation?

    A big hug!

  234. Jacob Aagaard
    February 21st, 2013 at 16:50 | #234

    @Javier España
    The idea that you need to memorise more of chess to get a marginal advantage over your opponents at the start of the game, but “only” play at a 2200 level is quite common. We all make mistakes in the opening and would like to have the security of not having to think. But if we cannot think effectively, then studying the opening carefully will only delay the moment you have to think for yourself, but will do nothing to help you once you are there.

    Having said that, I do not feel that it is damaging to include some opening study in your work before you reach 2400. It can be quite inspiring and interesting ADDED to a daily regime of minimum 15 minutes of working on your thinking, aka. solving exercises while practicing being concentrated.

    Good luck!

  235. Javier
    February 21st, 2013 at 18:06 | #235

    Gracias Aagaard.

    Por tanto, ¿me recomiendas estudiar 15 minutos al día de aperturas?

    Y, por último, después de leer tu libro de positional play, ¿cuál me recomendarías? ¿Strategic play o calculation?

  236. Javier
    February 21st, 2013 at 18:06 | #236

    Sorry

    Thanks Aagaard.

    So what do you recommend 15 minutes a day studying openings?

    And finally, after reading your book of positional play, what would you recommend? Strategic? Play or calculation?

  237. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 21st, 2013 at 20:51 | #237

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well it is only that I noticed recently that when the book has a final publication date (usually also inferred if a book has a .pdf excerpt), then the pre-order button is activated.

    Also I play the Sicilian Najdorf and French, and Grünfeld and Slav against 1. d4. Two different styles but for two different situations, depending on both playing situation and mood. I am sure others do this too?

  238. Jacob Aagaard
    February 22nd, 2013 at 10:32 | #238

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Some do, some don’t.

  239. Marco van Straaten
    February 22nd, 2013 at 10:58 | #239

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I do it as well Najdorf/CaroKann vs e4 and Slav/Benoni vs d4

  240. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 22nd, 2013 at 11:12 | #240

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Luckily QC have two books for my openings, the French on.e in April, then the Najdorf one in May. I need a good update/refreshment on them both..

  241. Javier de Valencia
    February 22nd, 2013 at 15:24 | #241

    Aagaard, imagine when people finish your book Positional Play and have done all the exercises, how can we keep training the three positional issues? What do you recommend?

    greetings from Valencia, Spain!

  242. Jacob Aagaard
    February 22nd, 2013 at 16:09 | #242

    @Javier de Valencia
    There are other good sources of positional exercises out there and the three questions are always relevant. Obviously I highly recommend the other books in the series as well as Excelling at Positional Chess (especially the Spanish edition, which is a combination of Excelling at Chess and Excelling at Positional Chess!) as sources for more exercises.

    There was a decent book by Dunnington I think, with reasonable exercises and also there are the books by Romero Holmes, Hellsten and others, where you can approach the positions in this way, making intuitive decisions in ten minutes or less, and then check what they have written about the positions.

  243. February 22nd, 2013 at 17:21 | #243

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Thanks Aagaard.

    Then, with the exercises from the book Positional play is enhanced intuition when deciding a move but on the other hand, do not upgrade strategy with that book?

    Thank you very much.

    • Jacob Aagaard
      February 25th, 2013 at 10:27 | #244

      I missed your point. Sorry.

  244. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    February 22nd, 2013 at 18:56 | #245

    Gilchrist is a Legend :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    Luckily QC have two books for my openings, the French on.e in April, then the Najdorf one in May. I need a good update/refreshment on them both..

    My friend, we are in the same footsteps!

    I chose 1.d4 with Schandorff & Avrukh as White, and Tarrasch and Grunfeld vs 1.d4 and Open Spanish vs 1.e4. I also bought French Reloaded, but eagerly wait for Playing the French 🙂

  245. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 24th, 2013 at 02:04 | #246

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I was looking at games with 10…Be7 in the 3…c5/4…Qxd5 Tarrasch and found your game against Nedev. Do you think 10…Be7 is more solid than 10…a6? I also see Giri, Moskalenko, and Ding Liren playing it.

  246. Jacob Aagaard
    February 25th, 2013 at 10:29 | #247

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I had a good position in that game, but really I played horrendously. First I allowed him a winning combination on move 12 or so. Then I allowed him another one later. I could not have played worse than that!

    We think that White is better (at the moment) in that line, but it requires a lot of accuracy.

  247. Scorpio5
    March 7th, 2013 at 00:13 | #248

    So what’s happening with the King’s Gambit refutation correspondence game?! I wouldn’t be surprised if John Shaw has found his own refutation to the King’s Gambit… Maybe that’s why it is taking so long?

    • Jacob Aagaard
      March 7th, 2013 at 12:22 | #249

      What correspondence game. John is 98% there. The book is just as think as Game of Thrones – and have taken as long to write!

  248. FREDPHIL
    March 7th, 2013 at 10:40 | #250

    FREDPHIL :

    Nikos Ntirlis :
    @FREDPHIL
    Chess Exam is designed to train you and show you areas where you have problems comparing with others. If you do this test before you train then you’ll get no valuable information. First you should raise your general chess level with the orange books and then the “Exam” will show you what areas you didn’t understand well and where you should give more focous. Doing the test before than will show you that you need to do work on everything!
    I like the book “chess lessons” because it gives practical advicefrom an experienced coach through nicely selected examples from games of his students. You can use it by reading through it and doing the exercizes by asking yourself what you would play here and then see the solution the author offers. I liked it because the advice is to the point and the examples are simple enough so that everyone can work with them.

    OK, “orange serie” + “POPOV” then the two “chess exam”. At this point (6-12 months ?),It will be a timely opportunity to take stock of the situation and to reassess whether special measures for training will be considered necessary.
    See you next year.

    Well, books (Tusupov’s oranges + POPOV) are at home .
    Nikos, I understand why you praise POPOV’s book.
    Oranges seem built solide fundations.

    BUT something strange caught my eyes. In the 3 oranges (+ firt blue, I alreadyu owned) , Yusupov is showing endgames like pawns (OK of course) but also King+N+B vs King , King+Q vs King+R (who cares at this level ?) and not rook+pawn vs rook.
    I don’t see the point of this progression.

    I will skip King+N+B vs King (already try before, never memoryse, never seen in a game).

    By the way in wich book is rook+pawn vs rook ?

  249. March 7th, 2013 at 14:19 | #251

    @FREDPHIL
    I don’t have the books at hand, but it looks like he finally gets to “Simple rook endings” (two chapters) in Build Up Your Chess 2, so book 5 of the the 9-book series. I agree that the delay in this material is odd, especially given how much teachers usually emphasize endgames. Personally, although I am going through the books in order, I have “skipped ahead” by doing a lot of endgame exercises from Bernd Rosen’s Chess Endgame Training, which is like the Yusupov series in that it is mostly a workbook. I don’t feel comfortable having this gap in my working knowledge for so long.

  250. March 7th, 2013 at 14:21 | #252

    I will also say that I thought Yusupov gives pretty good reasons for learning KBN vs K and I’m glad that I have this knowledge as part of my “chess culture” even if I never encounter it in a game. However I thought the chapter in Build Up Your Chess 1 on KQ vs KB, KN, KBB, and KBN was a bit much!

  251. March 7th, 2013 at 14:22 | #253

    Er, Boost Your Chess 1, sorry. Book 2 out of 9.

  252. Scorpio5
    March 8th, 2013 at 01:47 | #254

    Jacob Aagaard :What correspondence game. John is 98% there. The book is just as think as Game of Thrones – and have taken as long to write!

    With “garryk”. Conversation about it around post #20.

  253. FREDPHIL
    March 8th, 2013 at 09:49 | #255

    dfan :
    @FREDPHIL
    I don’t have the books at hand, but it looks like he finally gets to “Simple rook endings” (two chapters) in Build Up Your Chess 2, so book 5 of the the 9-book series. I agree that the delay in this material is odd, especially given how much teachers usually emphasize endgames. Personally, although I am going through the books in order, I have “skipped ahead” by doing a lot of endgame exercises from Bernd Rosen’s Chess Endgame Training, which is like the Yusupov series in that it is mostly a workbook. I don’t feel comfortable having this gap in my working knowledge for so long.

    Ok so book 5 for rook endings. It’s late compared to other endgames mentionned in previous books.
    I will buy this one “in advance” in order to work on those chapters.

  254. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    March 8th, 2013 at 18:07 | #256

    Many people have had Nessie 99 & 44/100ths caught but no one has been able to bring enough enough evidence to finally quiet the skeptics that she is indeed a monster and not just another fish.

    Will GM Shaw be the first to actually get her 100% caught, wrapped and packaged and finally bring an end to the long drawn out chase? Or will Geraldo Rivera get there first only to reveal a toothless non-monster that has only had its legend kept alive through use of low level trickery and doctored evidence?

    Stay tuned!

  255. phil collins
    April 5th, 2013 at 12:10 | #257

    Nessie is now in germany too: Niggemann anounced Jonathan Carlstedt “Die Tarrasch-Verteidigung” to be published – it never happened…

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