Home > Publishing Schedule > Blowing up the whale (free interpretation)

Blowing up the whale (free interpretation)

Last time I came with a publishing schedule, I felt rather risky when I put in the 14th March as the publication date for three of our books. In the end this was a combination of blind optimism in both our own abilities to finish the books in time, as well as the printer to have a slot and be willing to put 3000 copies of Strategic Play together in only two weeks.

I was wrong. The correct publishing date is the 15th of March, not the 14th! I simply did not manage to read the calendar correctly. The moral of the story is probably something along the lines of: you can work out all the angles on all the factors you take into account; but if you rule out your own stupidity, you will never be right.

As some of you will probably notice, Colin will put a few extra front covers in the Coming Soon box, but not allow you to order them just yet. It is not that we do not want your money; we just prefer to ask for it when we know when we can deliver the product! Those who bought the King’s Gambit in 2008 will know what I mean!

Talking about the King’s Gambit: Maybe the 800 pages projection is a bit over the top. It seems that it will only be 700 pages or so. The reason for this is that we have used a slightly smaller font size than usually. Our books have been in size 10.5 since 2008, but the King’s Gambit, to save the environment, will use size 10 as most other publishers and as we did until 2008.

Peter Romanovsky Soviet Middlegame Technique 15 March
Marian Petrov GM Rep 12 – Modern Benoni 15 March
Jacob Aagaard GM Prep – Strategic Play 15 March
John Shaw The King’s Gambit April
Ntirlis/Aagaard Playing the French April
Danny Gormally Mating the Castled King April
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – A GM Guide – Sicilian & French May
Vassilios Kotronias Kotronias on the King’s Indian – Fianchetto May
Ftacnik (Aagaard) GM6a – Beating the Anti-Sicilians June
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 & Minor Lines June
Axel Smith Pump Up Your Rating June
Emanuel Berg GM Rep x1 – The French Defence Winawer July
Jacob Aagaard GM Prep – Endgame Play July
Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 1 July
Richard Pert Playing the Trompowsky – An Attacking Rep July
Emanuel Berg GM Rep x2 – The French Defence September
Ftacnik (Aagaard) GM6b – The Najdorf September
Jacob Aagaard GM Prep – Attack and Defence September
Judit Polgar From GM to Top Ten – Judit Polgar 2 October
Jacob Aagaard GM Prep – Thinking Inside the Box December
Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:
  1. Jonathan
    February 25th, 2013 at 18:31 | #1

    Hi Jacob,
    Could you tell us more about Axel Smith’s Pump Up Your Rating?
    Kind regards,

  2. Tom Tidom
    February 25th, 2013 at 18:34 | #2

    I can´t resist to ask since the title makes me so curious: What is ´Pump Up Your Rating´ about?

  3. Tom Tidom
    February 25th, 2013 at 18:36 | #3

    And Jonathan was even more curious than me…..;-)

  4. John Shaw
    February 25th, 2013 at 19:00 | #4


    @Tom Tidom

    We went for an attention-grabbing title so I am glad it grabbed some attention. Another possible name would have given a clearer idea of the book’s content: “Become your own chess coach”. In short, the book is about how to work on your own game and improve. How to think chess and then how to practise chess.

    I have not studied every line in detail yet, but I have high hopes for this book, as it seems instructive and entertaining – lots of personal views and experiences are included from Axel and his training partners.

  5. Jonathan
    February 25th, 2013 at 20:51 | #5


  6. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 26th, 2013 at 00:05 | #6

    I’m wondering, will the hardback version of Modern Benoni also be available on March 15? I’m thinking about ordering Positional Play and pre-ordering Modern Benoni and Strategic Play at the same time for free cargo and wanted to be sure that they’ll be(all hardback) published in March even if it’s not exactly on 15th. Thanks very much.

  7. Paul
    February 26th, 2013 at 00:10 | #7

    On “attack and defence” is it deliberate to use the same name as Batsford used for one of Dvoretsky’s books? Just curious – of course you are free to call your books whatever you wish……

  8. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 26th, 2013 at 00:11 | #8

    Also can you please tell me if GM Marian Petrov has a slightly different name on FIDE or can you give me a link to his profile? I searched his name on FIDE ratings but I could only find an unrated person with the same name and surname. Thanks.

  9. Neil Sullivan
    February 26th, 2013 at 00:18 | #9

    I don’t expect you to reveal any inside information, but I was impressed to read that you are printing 3,000 copies of Strategic Play. I seem to recall you wrote something to the effect that you might sell 15 of them!

    Again, from memory, I think John Nunn wrote in one of his books about the economics of chess book publishing. He wrote that 3,000 units sold pretty much counted as a best seller.

  10. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 26th, 2013 at 03:10 | #10

    Good to see French book still April.

    Is that Trompowsky book a GM Repertoire or Grandmaster Guide?

  11. Ray
    February 26th, 2013 at 08:10 | #11

    Wasn’t Pert supposed to work on the Slav rather than the Trompovsky? You guys really have to sort out your priorities :-). The Tromp has been busted long ago :-).

  12. Joeri
    February 26th, 2013 at 09:03 | #12

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    I think it is Marijan Petrov

  13. Alexander
    February 26th, 2013 at 09:22 | #13


    How come “Kotronias on the King’s Indian – Fianchetto” is not catagorized as a GM Repertoire book ? Or said in another way, how is it different ?

  14. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:05 | #14

    Thanks Joeri.

  15. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:35 | #15

    Axel is Swedish. Not a lot more, but more after all.

    Seriously: we will have an excerpt up when the book is edited, as usual.

    Axel thinks the title is corny, as do the rest of us. But he has already forgiven us for not using his suggestion: Be Your Own Chess Coach.

    Being too descriptive for an unknown author is dangerous I fear. Could get overlooked. Now at least people will notice it.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:35 | #16

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    Yes, of course.

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:39 | #17

    The full title is of course “Grandmaster Preparation – Attack & Defence”. Yes, some of the books in my title use similar titles to Mark’s books. But they are hardly original titles. What is in this book? Attacking and defensive exercises. With Positional Play I decided that it did not make sense to make the title unnatural in order to avoid Mark’s book’s title. Especially since the Olms editions are clearly marked as The School of Chess Excellence – which again is a bit too close to the Excelling series!

    I am sure the audience for these books can tell them apart; this is not for those totally unknown with the chess books, but for the higher end of the market.

  18. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:43 | #18

    @Neil Sullivan
    With four warehouses 3000 printed does not mean that we hope for 2999 sales!

    Yes, 3000 sold is a good seller. But I would characterise 4000 sold as the necessity for a book being a bestseller.

    I hope this book will sell 2000+ copies, but I am aware that for a number of people, this will be the book they avoid in the series and with good reason. It is very difficult. But from a business perspective we sort of rely on people wanting all six books :-).

  19. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:55 | #19

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    April feels optimistic, but we will give it a shot.

    Trompowsky is a RePERToire :-).

  20. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:56 | #20

    Different guy! I know they are twins, but still… you cannot force people to do things against their will.

  21. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:57 | #21

    We spell is Marian though

  22. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:59 | #22

    Several reasons. First of all, Kotronias have not promised to do a full repertoire. And it would be a considerable number of books, as he likes to analyse deeper than it is really possible to remember. So, we could not really have a GM Rep 14 and the next volume GM Rep 19 and so on. And we cannot block off 14-18 and then wait 1-2 years to see if he wants to do them all or not!

    Secondly, we wanted to have a title with “on the …” for a while, so this was just natural. But essentially it is a GM Repertoire style book; the most detailed opening book ever.

  23. Ray
    February 26th, 2013 at 13:41 | #23

    @Jacob Aagaard
    🙂 Thanks, I didn’t know that!

  24. Charly
    February 26th, 2013 at 17:43 | #24

    ¿La idea de las tres preguntas posicionales es para formarse una intuición de manera subsconsciente para que llegue un momento en que no haga falta hacérselas?

    Cuando juego una partida a lentas me ayuda mucho hacerme las tres preguntas, ¿llegará un momento en que no las necesitaré?

    Thanks aagaard

  25. Charly
    February 26th, 2013 at 17:44 | #25


    Does the idea of ​​the three positional questions is to form an intuition subconscious way to come a time that does not need they do them?

    When I play a game helps me to slow me three questions, there come a time when you did not need?

    Thanks aagaard

  26. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2013 at 17:49 | #26

    The three questions is a training method designed to develop your intuition. If you play a game and do not know what is happening, they can definitely be useful. But I fear most people would go nuts if they were asking them all the time during a game!

  27. Charly
    February 26th, 2013 at 18:43 | #27

    It is a method for training, agreed.

    But, is not it advisable to use when you play?

    I mean, what you intend exactly with the three questions?


  28. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 26th, 2013 at 20:42 | #28

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I suppose the French book covers the sidelines too? I played recent blitz and I was surprised that less than half of the games were 2. d4. I played mostly against 2. d3 with 3. Nd2, 2. Qe2, 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4, 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3, 2. Nc3, and 2. b3. I got 2. d4 in approximately 30% of the time…

  29. Andre
    February 26th, 2013 at 23:09 | #29

    Wonderful! Black gets equal chances immediately in all the sidelines.

  30. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 27th, 2013 at 04:13 | #30

    Creo que lo que él había dicho es que el método de tres preguntas es una manera de entrenar que te aconsejará para que mejores tu rendimiento de pensar con la intuición, pero puede que durante una partida de ajedrez, encuentres que sea bastante difícil usarlo en situaciones semejantes cuando lo uses con demasiada frecuencia. Por consiguiente, yo lo usaría casi exclusivamente para entrenar como herramienta.

    Espero que te ayude.

  31. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 27th, 2013 at 05:57 | #31

    Rather annoying..I win with 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 but so far have lost 100% against 2. d3..

  32. Charly
    February 27th, 2013 at 08:48 | #32

    Oh, and another question I find interesting the chapter: “Before you can learn to think, you need to learn to see”.

    You say in the way of training the “look at the position” is doing easy exercises. Does that help us to improve our ability to find candidates plays? Do you think the three positional issues we can also help find candidates plays?

    Finally, what RECOMMEND workbook to train the part of “look at the position”?

    Aagaard Thanks!

  33. Alexander
    February 27th, 2013 at 10:19 | #33

    @Jacob Aagaard

    This makes very good sense I agree. However, it’s not stopping me from being a bit disappointed (and that said with a huge disclaimer, since I’m still exited about the book!). I know I’ve been yapping on about Marin before, but I was slowly starting to dream that someone had undertaken the project of making a 2-3 volume series covering the KID in a “GM Rep” style.

    Why was I hoping for this ? Well – two things. First off, my strength in chess raised SIGNIFICANTLY from having read Marin’s three volumes about the English Opening (so obviously I was hoping for another chance to improve in the same scale). Secondly, because all the books I own (and it’s quite a few infact) on the KID is probably better off in the oven when it gets cold outside!

    One of my major reasons for shopping with Quality Chess is infact that I too have become very tired of books ala “let’s put down a lot of database material and pray the reader finds his way through it without an explanation or any guidelines given other than, white/black is now slightly better [..yeah?? But why fer christ sake ?]”.

    In my younger days, I bought two books about the KID from Batsford. And without saying too many bad things (which would probably be an insult to the authors), let’s just say they’re still on my bookshelves looking brand new! Every time I’ve picked them up, it’s been with a “why did I ever buy this” attitude. Like you just said above – deeeeeeep lines, impossible to remember. Unfortunately in the Batsford case, “really impossible” as there are no description (in text) of one or more of the overall strategic plans.

    SO – to sum up. Yay for yet another publication (and I’m not being sarcastic here, trust me to be a huge fan of QC books :)), but a bit of *booh* for not seeing a less deep 2-3 volume explaining “everything”.

    Oh and next time.. make the author sign a contract saying he’ll do a multi-volume work 😀

  34. Joeri
    February 27th, 2013 at 10:39 | #34

    Concerning the Modern Benoni and the d4-Sidelines book.

    Is there coverage in one of these books of 4th move anti-Benoni lines with

    1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 with 4. e3, Nc3 or g3?

  35. wolfsblut
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:11 | #35

    @ Jacob
    Is it clear how long the GMREP-Slav is delayed?

  36. John Shaw
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:20 | #36


    The extent of the delay on the GM Repertoire on the Slav is unclear. The project ran into a major technical problem.

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:36 | #37

    I think there is a general mistaken assumption from our readers, which I think is included here as well: we actually do not have as big a choice in what our authors do as you think! “Make them sign” – ok we actually did this. But then Vassilios decided that it was not the way he viewed the project. He feels he needs 5-6 books to do the King’s Indian in the way he approaches it.

    Do we really want our personal way of writing books to be the only way Quality Chess can produce chess books? I personally do not. I want to assist the writers with their vision and edit & present it in the best way possible. I am very keen for chess books to be different; also those from Quality Chess. One size fits all does not work for me.

    I do hope that the first two volumes will do well and Kotronias for this reason is encouraged to continue the project. But really, if we are talking a commitment of years, then it is fair to him that he is not tied down to a project, no matter how financially successful it is. We all got to make a living, after all.

    So we have started with two volumes in maybe the two most dangerous lines. After this, we will see. At least we are very happy with the relationship we have with the author and think that it is mutual. We will see where his deep analytical approach will take us. If there is one thing it is not, it is a database dump. It will be very deep analysis, but they are original. I also have those KID books from the 90s and the issue with them was that no work went into them. The opposite will be the case with these books; and truly, this is our bench mark test for our books in general.

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:37 | #38

    Yes and yes.

    Any easy book on tactics will be good; but especially the chapter on candidates in CALCULATION.

  39. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:39 | #39

    To develop your intuition. It does not hurt you when you play, but using them all the time will probably make you insane.

  40. Alexander
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:49 | #40

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Aagaard – thanks for a very thorough answer. I believe you’re right about the “no such thing as one size fits all”. You make it sound extremely interesting, and as I (hopefully clearly) said in my previous post, I can’t wait to see what it’s all about ( = of course I will purchase a copy! ).

    It’s a noble cause to let authors do books THEY think they should be. I bow in the dust and take my hat off for Quality Chess to actually “risk” that (in some sense). In my line of work (being an engineer), that’s called “freedom under responsibility” and I absolutely love it.

    Motivation comes from the possibility of doing what you want when you want it – so thanks for adapting to your authors AND to your readers 🙂

  41. Charly
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:55 | #41

    Thanks Aagaard.

    Tomorrow CALCULATION receive the book and, as I told you, I will combine Positional play with this book.

    One question, if the book just before that of Positional Play CALCULATION because I have more advanced: Can I combine Strategic play with CALCULATION book?

    A hug.

  42. Paul
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:14 | #42

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I for one hope the Kotronias books are successful enough for the project to reach its conclusion.
    I also hope the Avrukh project has worked well enough for him to at some point look at responses to non e4/d4 openings….

  43. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:20 | #43
  44. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:21 | #44

    We are doing well with GM11 and I think we can get Boris back to work once his calendar allows it.

  45. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:24 | #45

    Obviously there are writers that want to write what the majority of readers want. This is the same in all areas of publishing. To some extent this is luck. People like my way of writing, but they are less impressed with Popov’s, if we go by the sales numbers. But clearly CHESS LESSONS is no worse than my books and for this reason it was shortlisted for the ECF book of the year award.

  46. Fat Ghost Cat
    February 27th, 2013 at 15:40 | #46

    I’m wondering, is there a chance for publishing a book on the Pirc Defence for black?

  47. Charly
    February 27th, 2013 at 15:56 | #47

    Some time ago I read the book of Forcing Chess Moves and, really, I found interesting the idea that “seeing the force plays first, jaques, screenshots, and more.”

    Is not it a good idea Aagaard? Why?

    Furthermore, and in relation to the issue of the three issues based on it we can make a list of candidate moves in certain positions?

    A hug!

  48. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 28th, 2013 at 04:22 | #48

    I think it may have been mentioned before, but it is 7…a6 for the Steinitz in the French book? It seems as if 7…Be7 enjoying great popularity, but basically every seventh move choice by Black is doing well anyway. I think now would be a great time than ever to play the French.

  49. Alexander
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:37 | #49

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Dunno if this is the right forum to ask (if not, I apologize up front). But – is there a chance that the following two titles “Beating the Open Games” and “A Spanish Repertoire for Black” will be reprinted, preferably in hardback at some future point in time ?

  50. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:54 | #50

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    The honest answer is: not really.

  51. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:57 | #51

    There are other ideas in the book which run along the lines of, cars are faster than humans, so we should all drink petrol. This does not mean that there are not sensible ideas in there.

    Checking the forced lines first as a rule is probably too inflexible to my taste. I would like us to have a more free and intelligent way of dealing with the problems we face. But checking the forced lines do make sense of course. It is not the worst idea in the book, where 80%+ of the ideas are perfectly sound.

  52. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2013 at 11:02 | #52

    As long as you are respectful (and you are maybe even a bit too much so :-)) you can ask anything you want on this blog.

    No, we have no plans for reprints or hardcovers of these books. We do want a new edition of BTOG within 12-18 months, but wanting is not necessarily getting, as I explain my kids all the time!

  53. Alexander
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:45 | #53

    @Jacob Aagaard

    For all I care, I could behave like a kid..
    “Will you reprint the books ?” – “NO!”
    “Will you reprint the books ?” – “NO!”
    “Will you reprint the books ?” – “NO!”
    “Will you reprint the books ?” – “NO!”
    “Will you reprint the books ?” – “Look, if I say yes, will you stop bugging me ?”
    “Well, of course!” – “okay.. yes :(”

    All I really want to say is.. you have one truly dedicated customer here, and I will most definitely order these as soon as they become available, for my beloved collection.

  54. Charly
    February 28th, 2013 at 14:32 | #54

    Thanks Aagaard.

    I have in my mind for days, a question that worries me a bit.

    Once I’ve read all your books Grandmaster preparation, how can I keep training these guidelines you said? Because I have no coach.

    A hug!

  55. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2013 at 15:50 | #55

    The principles should guide you. There are many good books out there. When you have gone through them all, send me an e-mail.

  56. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2013 at 15:50 | #56

    Appreciated. Still it is not going to happen.

  57. jmws
    February 28th, 2013 at 16:13 | #57

    I’m going to support Alexander’s idea of a book on the Pirc. I even know already some candidate authors: Chernin or Mikhail Gurevich!…or perhaps Timman?

  58. John Shaw
    February 28th, 2013 at 16:27 | #58

    jmws :

    I’m going to support Alexander’s idea of a book on the Pirc. I even know already some candidate authors: Chernin or Mikhail Gurevich!…or perhaps Timman?

    Lifelong Pirc fanatic GM Colin McNab is sitting about 10 feet away, so he would be a candidate author if the book project existed. But it doesn’t.

  59. Charly
    February 28th, 2013 at 17:59 | #59

    Yes, you’re right, there are many books. But these are not focused as you do.


  60. Jacob Aagaard
    March 1st, 2013 at 08:38 | #60

    We just cannot do everything and the Pirc is less of a priority than many other books. But we will have a new version of Tiger’s Modern coming through.

  61. Ray
    March 1st, 2013 at 08:43 | #61

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Perhaps this is not the place to promote books by other publishers, but Moskalenko just wrote a book on the Pirc (published by New in Chess). His earlier books on the French were very good in my opinion.

  62. Alexander
    March 1st, 2013 at 10:50 | #62


    Nope, it isn’t – we’ll have to decapitate you now ! Just kidding 😛

  63. Alexander
    March 1st, 2013 at 10:52 | #63

    Oh and.. btw. I find it hard to defend too with Black if White is an expert on Pirc. And, I don’t know any “QC-style” books out there..

    Oppan QC Style..

    Apologies.. it’s friday 😀

  64. Alexander
    March 1st, 2013 at 10:58 | #64

    jmws :@JacobI’m going to support Alexander’s idea of a book on the Pirc. I even know already some candidate authors: Chernin or Mikhail Gurevich!…or perhaps Timman?

    Erh.. I think it was Fat Ghost Cat that stepped forward with this suggestion. Many other silly things have I posted here (with the risk of having Aagaard throwing rocks at me :D), but not a suggestion to publish a book on Pirc.. although, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Until that happens (which apparently it won’t), I’ll reply 1. ..c5!

  65. Ed
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:00 | #65

    @ Jacob Aagaard
    I was looking on your website at the downloads and when looking at the glossy brochure of future publications I saw the cover of 1.e4 v the sicilian by Jacob Aagaard.
    Is this book still expected to be published?
    What lines against the sicilian would you be using?

  66. Ray
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:11 | #66
  67. Ray
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:13 | #67

    “The Pirc with black and white”? I think it was published about 5 years ago, but theory in the Pirc is not exactly developing at the speed of light, so maybe it’s still usefull?

  68. Alexander
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:20 | #68

    Honestly – no clue. I’ve always “hated” the Pirc, and it took me a couple of years to deal with it constructively. Playing it with the White pieces is.. well, not for me I think.

  69. Andre
    March 1st, 2013 at 12:14 | #69

    Yes, the book is ca. 5 years old. I think Vigus wrote a follow-up Pirc book in the Chess Developments series. It’s basically an update to the older book.

    I quite like Vigus’ books. He might not be the strongest player among chess book authors, but his writings come over as thorough and honest.

  70. Jacob Aagaard
    March 1st, 2013 at 15:25 | #70

    If you promote other companies books, am I allowed to say that I thought they were superficial? I think everyone agrees that he is a fun writer, but I feared that the lines would not hold up to real scrutiny.

  71. Jacob Aagaard
    March 1st, 2013 at 15:26 | #71

    Yes and keeping the cards close to the chest.

  72. Ray
    March 1st, 2013 at 18:19 | #72

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Absolutely – you may say anything :-). I even agree with you :-). You’re right; they’re not as good as the average QC book. I used Moskalenko’s books on the French mainly for their ideas but not for their thoroughness…

  73. Charly
    March 1st, 2013 at 22:50 | #73

    Aagaard questions.

    Do you think you can have 2400 or 2500 Elo without a coach? I have a 2185 right now.

    A hug!

  74. Charly
    March 1st, 2013 at 22:52 | #74

    I do not know if I expressed myself well.

    Someone can reach 2500 elo without a coach?

  75. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 2nd, 2013 at 03:47 | #75

    I continue to buy QC books, especially opening ones, in hardback. But it would also be good if the Pirc and other openings previously not covered were in future projects. A book titled something such as “The Modern Pirc”, which probably has at least three or four puns, would be interesting, along with a hypothetical “Brilliant Breyer”, or maybe a Leningrad Dutch GM Guide, “De Nieuwe Nederlandse Defensie”.

    The French book releases in 13 days, are you ready?

  76. Ray
    March 2nd, 2013 at 08:52 | #76

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    🙂 Or maybe the ” Pityfull Pirc” for alliteration? I’m looking forward to the both the French book (for my black reportoire) and the Benoni book (for my white reportoire). And the King’s Gambit book as well, of course. In ‘Mayhem in the Morra’ the latter was announced in quite a funny way (John had been locked up in the basement for 5 years).

  77. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 2nd, 2013 at 10:07 | #77

    I am also anticipating both GM12 and the French book, I think I need to update on the French again, and the inclusion of 3…c5 is also interesting. What is your seventh move in the 4. e5 Steinitz? I am also anticipating the inclusion of the Steinitz Old Classical (3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7), a line which I think is underrated. It truly is quite solid, and was one of the first lines I learnt in the French. I always seem to play the unpopular lines in the French, such as the 3…c5/4…exd5 Tarrasch, the 6…c4 Advance, and the 7…0-0 Winawer..

    I used to play the Benoni very briefly and never lost with it, so this new GM12 book will probably retake me to those memories, and more detailed study. Using it in conjunction with Avrukh’s GM8/GM9 is also an option. Looking at its excerpt, I knew the Benoni was tactical, but I never knew it was that sharp. To be honest some positions remind me of the Botvinnik Semi-Slav in terms of sharpness and tactics, but that is also the advantage of that opening. Quite different from the French however.

    And I was thinking about the “Brilliant Breyer” and “Modern Pirc” a few days ago when I was transiting Schiphol Airport (again). I think a Leningrad Dutch GM Repertoire “Grootmeester Repertoire: De Nieuwe Leningrader-Nederlandse Defensie” would be very interesting. If even more openings are covered, I would buy them all..

  78. Åsmund
    March 3rd, 2013 at 02:35 | #78


    Of course you can reach 2500 without a coach (you can be your own coach). Its just that most people don’t reach 2500 anyway.. Also of course is that if you have the money and the dedication to communicate with a coach that in addition to playing good opponents takes you all other equals usually further up the ladder.. But why reach 2500.. Enjoy your chess instead and just try to learn more.. And you could study all of Yusupovs book series and then Aagards GM prep books..

  79. Ray
    March 3rd, 2013 at 09:38 | #79

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    🙂 I play 7…a6 and 9…g5 against the Steinitz even though it is busted according to ‘The Modern French’.

  80. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 3rd, 2013 at 09:56 | #80

    7…a6 is good, along with 7…cxd4. These were already good moves, but then the introduction of 7…Be7 and its massive usage in recent grandmaster praxis means even more opportunities.

    3…c5 you play against the Tarrasch? This line is probably what I am anticipating most in the upcoming French book. The 4…Be7 Steinitz Classical line I also hope for a reinvigoration. I always believed that it was underrated.

  81. Ray
    March 3rd, 2013 at 11:28 | #81

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No. 3…c5 is not really my cup of tea; the Sicilian-like positions after …Qxd5 are not really my thing, whereas I’m also not too fond of the IQP positions after …exd5. But I think it’s mainly a matter of taste; objectively speaking 3…c5 might be the best reply to the Tarrasch variation. Depending on the recommendations in the book i might decide to give 3…c5 a try. As for 4…Be7 (it’s not a steinitz, is it, since white hasn’t played 4.f4?): I agree with you it is underrated. It’s very solid. It was recently covered in ‘a rock solid opening reportoire by black’, but in my opinion that book is very shallow.

  82. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 4th, 2013 at 00:41 | #82

    What do you against 4. Bg5? Based on Black’s resources in 4. e5, I would suppose it would be examined more closely now. I do not know what 4…Be7 is called, but it seems like a compromise between the Burn (very solid) and McCutcheon (sharp). If I remember correctly the French book has both the McCutcheon and 4…Be7, so there is a choice. For some reason it is not covered in many French books, but I think it should. The same applies to the 7…0-0 Winawer..

  83. Ray
    March 4th, 2013 at 08:17 | #83

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Against 4.Bg5 I play the McCutcheon, which I think is in good theoretical shape at the moment.

  84. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 4th, 2013 at 09:49 | #84

    I suppose I will be playing the French and Benoni soon based on the two books soon. Also Berg’s two GM Repertoires in the French, but his is based on the Winawer. It appears as if QC have will cover the French quite thoroughly this year, which is good for we French players.

    I already had my pre-order completed last week for GM12. The process starts again..

  85. The Lurker
    March 4th, 2013 at 20:55 | #85

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Anything about a new Leningrad Dutch should be referred to as the St. Petersburg Dutch. Everything old is new again.

  86. B
    March 4th, 2013 at 23:40 | #86

    Any Leningrad Dutch book would have to go back to something old like 7…c6 or 7…Nc6, which seems a bit unattractive given how interesting 7…Qe8 used to be. Alas, no longer, now that 7…Qe8 is in such trouble from the 9.e4 gambit – unless there’s some escape somewhere in, say, the 9…Nxe4 lines. But nowadays 7…Qe8 just seems to beg for being clobbered with computer analysis without ever getting counter-play.

    I suppose 7…c6 and 7…Nc6 are kind of interesting and some proper QC-style investigation of them would be exciting, given that they are otherwise rather poorly covered.

  87. Patrick
    March 5th, 2013 at 23:24 | #87

    Gilchrist, 4…Be7 is simply the Classical Variation. After 5.e5 Nfd7, the “Main Line” is 6.Bxe7 while the Alekhine-Chatard attack is 6.h4.

  88. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 6th, 2013 at 06:06 | #88

    Por supuesto sí se podría llegar a ser un jugador con 2500 puntos sin entrenador, como ya habían dicho los otros más arriba. Cualquier de los libros que ya se han mencionado te pueda servir para mejorarte el jugar.

    I was thinking about some move-order with 1. d4 d6 2. c4 f5, then transposition with …g6/…Nf6, etc. but I think this setup has been considered already.

    What exactly is wrong with 7…Qe8? I have not followed theory for the Leningrad Dutch lately. Also the specific plan about which I read several years ago, with 7…Nc6 and 8. d5 Ne5 9. Nxe5 dxe5 followed by a massive, extremely aggressive kingside attack with …Qe8-h5/…g5/…f4/…Bh3/…Ng4 and disregarding any material losses any part between the a- and d-files to gain attacking tempi is also very interesting.

  89. Bebbe
    March 6th, 2013 at 15:25 | #89

    I think the problem with 7.-Qe8 is 8.Re1,Qf7 9.e4, fxe4 10.Nxe4, Nxe4 11.Rxe4, Bf5 12.Rh4!

  90. B
    March 6th, 2013 at 21:53 | #90

    10.Ng5 Qc4 11.Ngxe4

  91. Bebbe
    March 6th, 2013 at 22:25 | #91


    Do you know what the verdict on these positions are?
    I think it’s time for a new book on the Leningrad Dutch with 7.-Qe8.
    It’s a while since Kindermanns book.


    Any plans for play the dutch or GM repertoire dutch based on the Leningrad Dutch?

  92. Gilchrist is a Legend
    March 6th, 2013 at 22:38 | #92

    Is the 7…Nc6 line with the aforementioned plan good for a repertoire? It seems similar to a Mar Del Plata King’s Indian to me, except crazier.

  93. Bebbe
    March 6th, 2013 at 22:49 | #93

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    Crazy it is. The Mar del Plata is sounder, black is not
    burning all the bridges in some of the Mar Del Plata stuff.

    I think the variation you mentioned is not holding up
    theoretically at the moment, but could be nice to
    have as a surprise weapon in a must-win situation.

  94. Marco van Straaten
    March 7th, 2013 at 11:23 | #94

    Considering the three middle game books Chess Lessons, Sovjet Chess Strategy and Sovjet Middlegame technique, what would be the best order to study them?

  95. Jacob Aagaard
    March 7th, 2013 at 12:02 | #95

    @Marco van Straaten
    No specific order needed. I prefer Chess Lessons slightly, so I would recommend to do that first. A friend of mine called it “Dvoretsky without the headaches,” which I really liked.

  96. Jacob Aagaard
    March 7th, 2013 at 12:03 | #96

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    This line has always been considered rubbish, but quite fun rubbish. Maybe I am wrong and it has been rehabilitated, but I somehow doubt it!

  97. Bebbe
    March 9th, 2013 at 10:44 | #97

    What happens after 9.-Nxe4 (instead of 9.-fxe4) in the Leningrad Dutch with 7.-Qe8 8.Re1, Qf7 9.e4?

    9.-Nxe4 is probably better than fxe4 since it does not allow 10.Ng5.

  98. Michael
    March 19th, 2013 at 08:52 | #98

    I have a question about the GM12 The Modern Benoni…I have never played this defense before but wanted to try it out so thought I would play some blitz games on playchess.com, to my surprise I was never able to reach any mainline, mostly no d5 push but Nf3 instead transposing to the English I think, not sure…And if d5 push then after e6…dxe6 and one Bg5.
    Am I right that none of this is coverd in the book…How much extra study or lines would I have to learn and is there anything I would really have to worry about as black like transposing to the English which is not how I like to play against the English. I was surprised so many people avoided it, or maybe they just do not know what it is.

    Any Benoni players…What is your take on white not playing the benoni but wanting instead to play the English?

    I read the intro to the book and was interested enough to try it out, but never got there…

  99. wolfsblut
    March 26th, 2013 at 12:14 | #99

    I`am eagerly awaiting the Playing 1.e4-books by John! Is it still planned that they will be out in May and June?
    Thanks for the great book about the Open Spanish!
    Keep up the really fantastic work!

  100. Fred
    April 2nd, 2013 at 11:02 | #100

    Hi to all!

    Yes, I was wondering the same thing: what about the 1.e4 books? Btw, can you give us some clues on the lines used? I have read somewhere that it will be the Scotch vs. e5, the Open Sicilian and both 3. e5 vs. the French and Caro? Is that true? I was expecting something like the Rossolimo vs. the Sicilian…
    Anyhow, keep up the great work!
    I have been a fan of Jacob’s work for a long time and I have all the “Excelling” books even though I definitely didn’t get from them as much as I should have…

  101. Petr
    April 15th, 2013 at 19:08 | #101


    any chance to finish David Vigorito Play the Semi-Slav 2 ?

    Thank you

    • Jacob Aagaard
      April 16th, 2013 at 10:06 | #102

      No, Dave declined because of other commitments. We hope to have a GM Rep at some point instead.

  102. Cri
    May 4th, 2013 at 00:12 | #103

    in this (quite “old” for internet standards) post the Tromp book by Perth is annoucend for July but in the “coming soon” page for June (better :D), any update?


  103. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 4th, 2013 at 00:41 | #104

    I notice also that four books are in the publication for June on the Coming Soon section: King’s Gambit, Fianchetto King’s Indian, Trompowsky, and Playing the French. Perhaps this means that two of the four will be released in early June, and the other two later in June as well? That was just my guess.

  104. Peter Tobler
    May 4th, 2013 at 13:33 | #105

    Hi – wondering if we prepaid for the King’s Gambit book before we knew it was going to hit 700 pages, like me, will our prepayments still be valid?

  105. Peter Tobler
    May 4th, 2013 at 13:47 | #106

    @John Shaw
    viz the Slav is unsound (as modern computers will tell you nowadays)? The best way to play as Black against 1 d4 is to try for a semi-Slav

  106. Jacob Aagaard
    May 4th, 2013 at 15:09 | #107

    June is correct

  107. Jacob Aagaard
    May 4th, 2013 at 15:10 | #108

    @Peter Tobler
    Of course, unless you prefer a refund.

  108. Jacob Aagaard
    May 4th, 2013 at 15:12 | #109

    Seems we missed this one. Alterman’s coverage of 3…cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 in Black openings 2 is my recommendation.

  109. Tom Tidom
    May 4th, 2013 at 16:15 | #110

    Talking about GM 12 I notice in the latest newsletter a few lines missed in the book are analysed.

    Another line that apparently did not find its way into the book is the recommendation by Semkov in `Kill the KID´: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 Nf3 0-0 9 Be2 Bg4 10 0-0 Nbd7 11 h3 Bxf3 12 Bxf3 Re8 13 g4 h6 and here in GM 12 I find only the ´old´ 14 h4 mentioned but not Semkov´s 14 Qc2 or any other alternative. Since ´Kill the KID´ is mentioned in the bibliography of GM 12 I´m sure the author has looked at this.

    Perhaps it´s worth a mention in the next newsletter?

  110. Nikos Ntirlis
    May 4th, 2013 at 17:30 | #111

    There is also a second proposal in the 4PA which is fine for Black and Semkov doesn’t mention in “Kill the KID”

  111. Petr
    May 4th, 2013 at 17:56 | #112

    Do we know what will be Ftacnik´s line against Bg5 ?

  112. Bebbe
    May 4th, 2013 at 18:45 | #113

    When will Tigers Modern2 be out? Will there be some fundamentally new recommendations
    or will it be an update of the first edition?

  113. Bebbe
    May 4th, 2013 at 18:51 | #114

    In the Austrian attack mainline black is an exchange down for a pawn which should be somewhat better for white. It will be interesting to see Tigers improvement.

  114. Tom Tidom
    May 4th, 2013 at 18:55 | #115

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Yes, 9…Nbd7 is interesting and seemingly less theoretical. It´s somewhat strange that it isn´t mentioned in “Kill the KID”.

    But since 9…Bg4 is the author´s “preferred choice” I would like to know what he has in store against 14 Qc2. I wouldn´t have mentioned it if it hadn´t been the main recommendation in a book which is probably the reference work for every Four Pawns practitioner.

    Otherwise I can also rely on Vigorito who has dealt with it in his two volume work on the KID… 🙂

  115. Tom Tidom
    May 4th, 2013 at 19:00 | #116

    It wouldn´t surprise me if this time delaying …c7-c5 and going for …Ng8-h6 in answer to an early e4-e5 by White will be analysed.

  116. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 4th, 2013 at 19:45 | #117

    The Trompowsky book suddenly appeared soon to be published then, but I did not expect it. I find the Trompowsky most difficult to employ against the 1. d4 d5 set-up by Black with …c5, …Qb6, etc. June seems to be a busy month..

  117. Jacob Aagaard
    May 4th, 2013 at 21:39 | #118

    New book. Out when Tiger is able to let go…

  118. Jacob Aagaard
    May 4th, 2013 at 21:40 | #119

    @Tom Tidom
    We will have a look and put it in the next newsletter.

  119. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 4th, 2013 at 22:16 | #120

    I cannot remember if this is correct, but somehow I recall the Delayed Poisoned Pawn and more material on 6…Nbd7 against 6. Bg5 in GM6 2nd Edition. Both are quite popular now.

  120. Michael
    May 5th, 2013 at 02:31 | #121
  121. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 5th, 2013 at 07:26 | #122

    I think 7…a6 in the Steinitz 5. f4/7. Be3 line is quite solid, I think it suits the book well. Although there are also 7…cxd4, 7…Be7, 7…Qb6, etc. It is nice to have a book with the repertoire based on solidity. Tactics are good, but sometimes one needs a break..

  122. Bebbe
    May 5th, 2013 at 07:53 | #123

    @Tom Tidom

    I guess what you mean is something like 5. Nf3, b5 6.Bd3, Nd7 7. e5, Nh6

    @Jacob Aagaard

    New book sounds great! I will definitely buy it.

  123. Andrew Brett
    May 8th, 2013 at 10:25 | #124

    Hi John/Jacob,

    Just noticed that Tim Taylor is writing a king’s gambit book for everyman. Do you think your book will come out before his does !?
    How are you progressing with your various 1e4 books?

    All the best and keep up the good work.

  124. John Shaw
    May 8th, 2013 at 14:55 | #125

    @Andrew Brett

    Hi Andrew,

    The Everyman site suggests their KG book will be out in August. If that is right, then we will be first.

    Both varieties of 1.e4 repertoire book will only get our full attention after we have finished the current batch of books. We have ideas and some analysis already of course, but nothing is finalized yet.

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