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The news you have been waiting for, but still will not believe

John Shaw: The King’s Gambit is going to the printer next week. It will be 672 or 680 pages. It will be released together with Playing the Trompowsky and Kotronias on the King’s Indian at the end of June, but we will probably use the chance to shoot out any websales we have earlier, if it comes along.

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  1. Jeff Dixon
    May 30th, 2013 at 16:52 | #1

    “The King’s Gambit is going to the printer next week” – Correct, I still don’t believe it. I’ll believe it when it’s in the past tense. =P

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    May 30th, 2013 at 17:00 | #2

    Fair enough. Spine width 30 mm. Like GM2.

  3. Tom Tidom
    May 30th, 2013 at 17:05 | #3

    So there will be excerpts soon… ;-)?

  4. wolfsblut
    May 30th, 2013 at 17:07 | #4

    I `am very happy – because this means that John will now be able to concentrate on the two `Playing 1.e4 books`….so I hope! But nevertheless: Congratulations!!!

  5. michael
    May 30th, 2013 at 18:34 | #5

    Very glad to hear!!! I am getting all three books!!!

  6. Jeff Dixon
    May 30th, 2013 at 19:07 | #6

    @Tom Tidom

    There has been an excerpt for a while on the sale page for the book. I believe it is dealing with Falkbeer if I remember correctly, or maybe a later …d7-d5.

  7. cyberhound
    May 30th, 2013 at 19:32 | #7

    How do the Bg5 vs the Dutch lines recommended in Playing the Trompowsky compare to those recommended by Schandorff?

  8. Tom Tidom
    May 30th, 2013 at 19:35 | #8

    @Jeff Dixon
    I know, but I´m more interested in the KID book…

  9. phil collins
    May 30th, 2013 at 20:11 | #9

    The expected release of the ‘Playing 1.e4 books’ will be 2018! 🙂

  10. boki
    May 30th, 2013 at 20:23 | #10

    good Joke .-)

  11. Patrick
    May 30th, 2013 at 21:18 | #11

    New Publishing Schedule. Enjoy! 😀

    “The Day Aagaard Quit: and other chess interviews” – January 2014 – Edited by Aagaard
    “My Great Predecessor Authors: A history of fast writers, Volume 1, featuring Eric Schiller, Cyrus Lakdawala, and others” – February 2014 – Edited by Shaw
    “The Quality Chess Yearbook #1: 33 articles on the Sicilian Najdorf and 1 other random article” – March 2014 and published quarterly – Edited by Aagaard
    “Opening For White According to Chess Patzers: 1.e4 Part 1” – July 2014 – Edited by Aagaard
    “The Safest King’s Gambit: The Sequel” – December 2039 – Edited by Shaw

  12. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 03:19 | #12

    I will buy them all, but I am still more anticipating of the two French books..

  13. SpecialCase
    May 31st, 2013 at 06:55 | #13

    Me too! Is anything already known about the publication date of Playing the French? When can we expect excerpts? Looking forward to it…

  14. Ray
    May 31st, 2013 at 08:07 | #14

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Same here, and congratulations John with finishing what must have been an agonising affair at times! I can imagine you taking a holiday before continuing with the 1.e4 books 🙂

  15. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 08:26 | #15

    The Australians will come to the UK this July for the Ashes series, perhaps he deserves a free ticket for one of the matches. The closest match to Glasgow is Durham, but I am not sure if he is a cricket fan..

    I literally have five pre-orders queued: King’s Gambit, King’s Indian Fianchetto, Trompowsky, French GM14, Playing the French. Do you think you will consider that 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 line with the 7…a6/8…Nb6 idea?

  16. Igor
    May 31st, 2013 at 09:12 | #16

    A pdf of Trompowsky please! Thank you!

  17. Ray
    May 31st, 2013 at 09:21 | #17

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I will also buy all five books, but regarding the classical French, I will stick to the McCutcheon…

  18. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 09:29 | #18

    Fair enough, since Playing the French will cover that as well fi I remember correctly. And GM14 the Winawer obviously. I am still trying to guess exactly what would be the lines there though…

  19. John Shaw
    May 31st, 2013 at 10:26 | #19

    Ray :
    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Same here, and congratulations John with finishing what must have been an agonising affair at times! I can imagine you taking a holiday before continuing with the 1.e4 books

    Thanks Ray, but no holidays yet. After the King’s Gambit there is Axel Smith’s book to edit, then the Playing 1.e4 books.

  20. Ray
    May 31st, 2013 at 11:41 | #20

    @John Shaw
    That’s good for us readers of course, but since there will always be new books in the pipelin I hope your work is your hobby :-).

  21. Ray
    May 31st, 2013 at 11:45 | #21

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I think there must be a choice of two and perhaps three main lines for black in the Winawer book, in view of the number of pages. Maybe keep everybody happy with both the posioned pawn and 7…0-0 :-). I don’t think Berg will cover 6…Qa5 since it was covered rather extensively by both Moskalenko and Watson and I guess there is not that much news in that line.

  22. Remco G
    May 31st, 2013 at 13:02 | #22

    Apparently 27 june is the 5th anniversary of the announcement that mr Shaw was going to write the book ( http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1213686441/12#12 ). If the final release date is somewhere around there, might want to keep it in mind 🙂

    Anyway, congrats!!

  23. tony
    May 31st, 2013 at 15:12 | #23

    what is a Trompovsky player supposed to play after 1.d4 e6 ?

  24. phil collins
    May 31st, 2013 at 16:30 | #24

    tony :
    what is a Trompovsky player supposed to play after 1.d4 e6 ?

    The 2.Bg5 – Trompovsky-Gambit!

    I like to play 1…e6 and had to play aigainst this reply in many bullet-games…

  25. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 19:43 | #25

    The ultimate French Winawer would definitely be three choices, Poisoned Pawn, 7…0-0, and a sixth-move line. But how do you know the page count? I think Jacob said 700 pages between GM14 and Playing the French, but no specific page count for either.

  26. Patrick
    May 31st, 2013 at 21:31 | #26

    If 700 pages is covering the entire repertoire, then I doubt all 3 choices would be available. Let’s not forget White’s other corny options:

    4.exd5 (Different from the normal exchange variation 3.exd5 in that White hasn’t played Nc3 in the normal exchange, and often plays c3 instead)

    4.Ne2 (We have a player at the club that plays this line religiously)

    4.Bd2 (Often referred to as the “Fingerslip Variation”)

    5.Bd2 (Assuming 4…c5 move order, if 4…Ne7 move order, there are other oddball lines)

    I’m sure there are others, but I quit the French 6 years ago, and wouldn’t be caught dead playing these stupid lines as White…I’m going 4.e5 and 5.a3 like any other sane player playing the White side.

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:11 | #27

    @Tom Tidom
    Yes. Colin makes them when he is not busy sending something to the printer. But of course, we already have an excerpt of the King’s Gambit up, don’t we?

  28. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:12 | #28

    He read it and found something he think is slightly better here and there, but it is not too dissimilar to be honest.

  29. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:13 | #29

    Very pleasant of you to say so. John has suffered a lot from this; mainly from the hard work, but also at times from endless pushy e-mails!

  30. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:14 | #30
  31. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:15 | #31

    @Remco G
    Amazingly it really really could be the 27th June!!

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:15 | #32

    2.Bg5 – it is a principle!

  33. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:29 | #33

    27 June is a Monday, so that makes sense.

  34. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:31 | #34

    @Jacob Aagaard
    The price of GM14 is higher than Playing the French, so I assume that GM14 has more pages of the 700. Perhaps something like 400/300 or 450/250. Does that sound right?

  35. Gilchrist is a Legend
    May 31st, 2013 at 22:32 | #35

    And if three lines is too much, based on database games, I would have to make a guess that it will be the Poisoned Pawn. If there is a second line, maybe 6…Qc7.

  36. tony
    May 31st, 2013 at 23:04 | #36

    @Jacob Aagaard
    the game Stitou-Werner went like this…

    June 1st, 2013 at 07:36 | #37

    Mr. Shaw,

    Is there any chance for GM GUIDE The Gruenfeld? And why not?

  38. Ray
    June 1st, 2013 at 07:41 | #38

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    That was my thought as well – but that’s still a considerable number of pages, isn’t it? Seems enough to at least cover two black options.

  39. Ray
    June 1st, 2013 at 07:45 | #39

    @Jacob Aagaard
    In my previous work I had a very (too) demanding customer and I’m very glad I don’t have any customers in my current job :-). Just because we’re buying your products doesn’t mean we’re excempted from treating you in a civilized and respectful way…

  40. Ray
    June 1st, 2013 at 07:50 | #40

    🙂 Nice name, ‘ fingerslip’ variation :-). Still, around 400 pages is a lot. It all depends on the level of detail I guess, since you can easily fill all 400 pages with the Poisoned Pawn

  41. Ray
    June 1st, 2013 at 07:54 | #41

    Since we recently had the excellent books by Avrukh, I would rather hope for some books on openings which have so far been fairly poorly covered in recent chess literature, such as the Nimzo-Indian, Queen’s Gambit Declined, Main Line Slav, and several Sicilians (Kan, Classical, Sveshnikov, Taimanov, Dragon).

    June 1st, 2013 at 08:00 | #42

    Ray :
    …I would rather hope for some books on openings which have so far been fairly poorly covered in recent chess literature, such as several Sicilians (Kan, Classical, Sveshnikov, Taimanov, Dragon).

    Well I’m happy to recommend you new one by Chess Evolution team:

    🙂 The Complete Kalashnikov 🙂 by Matthieu Cornette, Fabien Libiszewski

  43. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:02 | #43

    True, a main line Winawer and a sixth-move option is probably possible to fit, but there are quite many more sidelines in the Winawer than the Classical. Fourth-move probably include 4. Ne2, 4. Bd2, 4. Qg4, 4. a3, 4. exd5, 4. Qd3, 4. Bd3, fifth-move options 5. Bd2, 5. Qg4, 5. dxc5, 5. Nf3, and the seventh-move sidelines 7. a4, 7. h4, 7. Nf3, etc. So perhaps that will be half of the book.

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:24 | #44

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    On my calender it is a Thursday… But probably it will be ready a few days later. We will see. After five years, only a few will be counting the days.

  45. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:25 | #45

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No, it does not work like this. King’s Gambit will be 680 pages and is 24.99.

  46. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:29 | #46

    It is rarely that people are unpleasant to us. With John the problem was the volume of people asking; which is not any one persons fault. Everyone were very polite, he just felt pressured by the questions. The “Nessie” comments have been humourous and supportive; we have all loved them. It is the 2-3 e-mails from random people asking: “Any news on the King’s Gambit?” that were tirering. All people who probably never read the blog in the first place :-).

  47. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:30 | #47

    Some of these we have authors writing on; others not. With the Kan, I would expect that Hellsten’s book should be very good?

  48. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:48 | #48

    Yes the Nimzo-Indian and Slav seriously need new repertoire books. I like both openings but recently there have been very few books on these subjects. But I am not displeased that two French books will be released in July.

  49. Andrew Brett
    June 1st, 2013 at 08:52 | #49

    Great news – everyone should buy John a well deserved drink !

  50. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 1st, 2013 at 09:54 | #50

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well since Grandmaster Repertoire generally has more detail I suppose GM14 will have more pages than Playing the French anyway, even though there are two volumes.

  51. Ray
    June 1st, 2013 at 10:11 | #51

    @Jacob Aagaard
    You’re right – I forgot about Hellsten’s book, which is recent enough I suppose.

  52. June 1st, 2013 at 11:01 | #52

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I play Kan by the Hellsten’s book since 2009. More or less, since the theory is of course moving forward.
    Anyway, it is one of the best repertoire books I read.

  53. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 11:19 | #53

    @Andrew Brett
    We are going to have Champagne of course. Probably next friday! Will post pictures.

  54. Jacob Aagaard
    June 1st, 2013 at 11:19 | #54

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    This is a kind of logic you cannot apply to Nikos :-).

    June 1st, 2013 at 13:28 | #55


    I think for myself that I’m prudent chess worker rated cca 2100. Using Quality Chess books I managed to build top-notch opening repertoire.

    As White I’m playing 1.d4 based on Avrukh’s “Grandmaster Repertoire 1 – 1.d4 volume 1&2” and Schandorff’s “Playing 1.d4 – The Queen’s Gambit” and “Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences”.

    As White against 1.d4 I’m playing your “Grandmaster Repertoire 10 – The Tarrasch Defence”. I also bought Avrukh’s “Grandmaster Repertoire – The Grünfeld Defence volume 1&2”.

    Can you please advise me if it is good to combine Tarrasch along with Grunfeld?

    I’m training regularly using Yussupow series and your GM Preparation series.

    Thanks for reply 🙂

  56. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 1st, 2013 at 20:00 | #56

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I do not mind detail, but I still hope for July..

  57. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    June 1st, 2013 at 21:38 | #57

    BBC 1 Header:

    Cryptochessologists Rejoice at Reports of Nessie’s Confirmed Existence

    dateline: Scotland

    He has dedicated more than two decades of his life to the hunt for the elusive Loch Ness monster, spending 60 hours a week on the water.

    And now GM John Shaw, Captain of the HMS Fewmets, believes he has finally fulfilled his ambition of capturing ‘Nessie’; he even has photographic evidence to prove it!

    Shaw, who has spent 26 years on this quest (or so it seems), managed to capture image of position in which white is actually NOT WORSE … also seen in same position is a dark hump slinking in and out of the lake’s waters from the deck of his boat.

    It is rumoured however, that the position is theoretical and needed further testing before it vanished back into the deep.

    This news seems to prove once and for all that the elusive leviathan exists – and is definitely not a sturgeon.

  58. Michael
    June 1st, 2013 at 22:16 | #58

    @Jacob and John…

    Will we see any more books from you in the spirit of Beat the KID or Attacking the Spanish where the authors choose 3 lines to play against respected defenses?

    This style is fantastic, giving the reader a way to find his style of play.
    You could do lines against more 1.d4 openings (Grunfeld, Benoni, Benko) I mention it because having a choices between lines that are different really help a chess player find his style. For instance I would love to see Be3 against the Grunfeld somewhere in the future, and even maybe a black side against 1.c4 with different choices fitting different styles.

    Just a thought, Congrats John on finishing a very large project with the KG!!!

  59. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 1st, 2013 at 22:30 | #59

    The Kan book by Hellsten is good, but I think what could solidify the popularity of the Kan even more is to have a very detailed GM Repertoire-style book on the subject (Or GM Guide). When I first played it in 2004 I literally did not study any of the details, except memorising two general lines for 5. Bd3 and 5. Nc3. Obviously now the theory has expanded greatly, but still if I do not feel like expending energy playing the Najdorf, the Kan is always a secondary opening.

  60. Marvel
    June 1st, 2013 at 23:01 | #60

    Regarding Smith’s book, I can give it my highest recommendation. I obviously haven’t read the book, but I’ve had many chess discussion with him and his ideas and methods are great. There’s no shortcut, Smith knows it, and his training methods are not for the lazy ones, but if you think you lack the discipline I can say that he is very inspiring too. A friend of mine got to know him during a tournament during the autumn 2012 and since then he has gained 80 ELO points, 1 IM-norm and 2400+ ELO, and he claims he got the inspiration from Axel. I’ll definitely buy the book.

    And John, congratulations of course!

  61. Michael
    June 2nd, 2013 at 00:26 | #61

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    This would be even better too if the Anti-Sicilians(with 2…e6) where included in any new book on the Kan!


    Which is what make GM6 so wonderful is it is a complete rep. Seeing as most people will try and avoid the open Sicilian, which seems funny to me to be a 1.e4 player and avoid the open Sicilian…

  62. Michael
    June 2nd, 2013 at 00:28 | #62

    Although with John’s new 1.e4 books maybe we will see more people going for the open Sicilian after these books come out…

  63. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 01:37 | #63

    I do not mind more people playing the Open Sicilian; I do not see it anyway when I play the Sicilian.

    The 2…e6 move-order does not have as many annoying options as through 2…Nc6 or 2…d6 I find. Against 2…d6, 3. Nc3 usually forces White to transpose. 3. Bc4 cannot be good, whilst 3. b4 makes no sense. There is no 3. Bb5 line (although I remember years ago when I was a junior player someone played 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bb5 against me and lost the bishop soon thereafter) that makes any sense, like the Moscow or Rossolimo. 3. g3 and probably 3…d5 could be an extra option for Black. 3. c4 leads to the Maróczy structure, which is one of the Kan positons anyway.

  64. Michael
    June 2nd, 2013 at 02:51 | #64

    I would like to also see if more people will play the open Sicilian against me after these books come out, I hope so!

    It would be cool to see both options, the Bind seems more comfortable when the knight lands back on b3, I think this is in the Bd3 line followed by c4 or Qg4-e2 and then c4. But what about c4 right away. Then I like the option of Bb4, but have not seen this recommended by anyone. Instead allowing the Bind proper. Would be cool to see both. I think the Kan is a great back up to GM6 but the Bind can be complicated to play…I have heard people say it is a system for black but when I played it I found incorrect move orders lead to quick losses.

  65. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 03:35 | #65

    I find the Maróczy Bind an opening where one does not rely on sharp theory, but on skill, combining both positional and tactical factors, so it is good to win against both lower and higher-rated opponents. I think it suits the idealism of the Kan to have a Sicilian position with low theory. It is a closed position that usually opens some point in the middlegame. Probably it is similar to the positions of the Leningrad Variation of the Nimzo-Indian (4. Bg5), where exchanges and contact between the pieces do not occur so early.

  66. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 03:45 | #66

    Also Avrukh plays the Kan sometimes, but I suppose he might be tired from writing so many books. But the Kan I found even more difficult against which to play than the Najdorf or Taimanov when I played 1. e4. The Kan offered more originality, so it was difficult to prepare against new set-ups, plans, etc. Perhaps QC can pursue a project for a Kan book someday. The line with 5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Nb3 Be7 is probably one of the most critical, a position I reached as White about 10 times. I only won one of the games…

  67. Michael
    June 2nd, 2013 at 05:37 | #67

    I do agree that black has good winning chances in the Bind…I just found them personally hard to play, of course it may be that I was not used to having to shuffle my pieces around and that no contact is made sometimes for 20 or more moves. That may just be a thing of not being used to not having early aggressive contact. I have played the Kan some in Blitz so many of my Binds from the black side were in 5 min. games. Not a lot of time to think, and if your not used to the positions your bound to make a mistake. But looking at the stats for Black in the Kan vs. the Bind as oppose to the Acc. Dragon for instance I think black has it better in the Kan.

    In the games that I did play with the Kan I did notice what your talking about. Players simple don’t really know what to do against the Kan and Taimanov I think the get confused sometimes which one is which and it’s easy to mess up think you English Attack will work against almost anything and against the Taimanov it definitely would, but against the Kan that option is out, or at least it does not turn out very well if black knows how to take advantage of white’s move order. I like both the Kan and the Taimanov. But I find that having a second Sicilian in your rep it is nice Bind but that is the trade off. Maybe your not in the mood for a Aggressive assault if you know your opp. plays the English and would rather play against the Bind. The thing about the Taimanov is you have to be ready for both.

    Well we have Kamsky doing very well right now and hopefully he will inspire more interest for a new Kan book!

  68. Ray
    June 2nd, 2013 at 08:12 | #68

    I second that, but alas I seem to recall that Jacob replied on on earlier similar question that there were not enough sales of these books to justify a new book with this concept. A pity though, I really liked these books. Same with the ‘Cutting Edge’ series by the way, which has also been discontinued.

  69. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 08:19 | #69

    I think to play a Sicilian and avoid heavy preparation like in the 6. Bg5 Najdorf, then the Kan is good. Open tournaments with more than one round per day also I think it is good. Like all Sicilians the positions can become sharp, but definitely not often is the king blatantly exposed like in the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn. The most advantageous is that at lower levels, perhaps below 2100, it is possible to barely study any theory since it is very possible that the opponent will not know all of the theory and one can play it utilising ideas.

    I am not familiar too much with the Accelerated Dragon, but when I played 1. e4, I used to play against it very often as a junior; probably I played against it at least 25 times, but most against the same opponents. To compare it with the Maróczy Bind against the Kan, I would choose the latter each time playing Black..

  70. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 08:24 | #70

    I also wish there was the Cutting Edge for 6. Bg5, for that move is very difficult, for both sides. I have played it for both colours, and it requires tremendous energy and accuracy. I remember my last game with 1. e4 was 6. Bg5 in the Najdorf several years ago, and I was already in serious time trouble after move 12 (because I spent almost one hour trying to remember if I should play the Najdorf-like Nd5 sacrifice or not).

  71. Jacob Aagaard
    June 2nd, 2013 at 09:10 | #71

    Yes you can. Why not. It is simply a matter of time. Both openings require a lot of memorisation, which is the challenge here. You need to know if that is right for you or not.

  72. Jacob Aagaard
    June 2nd, 2013 at 09:12 | #72

    People did not buy these books, which is a great shame. The books were really handy for the tournament player, but what can we do? So no, we stop a good idea, if we are the only ones seeing that it is good…

    June 2nd, 2013 at 09:56 | #73

    Jacob Aagaard :
    Yes you can. Why not. It is simply a matter of time. Both openings require a lot of memorisation, which is the challenge here. You need to know if that is right for you or not.

    Thanks for reply Jacob. I think that you should definitely include this topic in Thinking inside the box.

    The enigma is either to play quality openings burdened with memorization and special skill in playing demanding positions, or to play low-theory based openings with technical positions where evaluation of position centers around 0.00!

    Even more are important the virtues which one player has to have so that he can be successful in forthcoming middlegame.

  74. k.r.
    June 2nd, 2013 at 13:36 | #74

    Its amazing how popular this blog is. Its not a coincidence. Jacob replys on almost each post. Thank you for that :).

    Im reading your book Strategic play, and in preface, where you write that you teach your students that chess is not about winning but about solving a lot of small puzzles as successfully as possible I found similar idea in Svetoza Gligoric book, which is named “Playing against pieces”, not opponnenst. I am very proud that I managed to have his original book with a nice thought and hic signature. He was a true chess player and a gentlman.

    Can you tell us, what is the biggest diference between Dvoretsky Endgame manual and Seresevski Endgame strategy? I have both books, and dont know whit which one to start.

    Thank, and keep on your good work.

  75. Ray
    June 2nd, 2013 at 14:26 | #75

    Dvorestky is about theoretical positions, while Shereshevski’s Endgame Strategy is about endings with more pieces, which are not theoretical but more about general endgame principles (‘ don’t rush’, ‘activate your king’, etc.). In my opinion it’s best to start with the theory (i.e. Dvoretsky), since otherwise it will be difficult sometimes to assess when you can simplify and which pieces to exchange.

  76. k.r.
    June 2nd, 2013 at 16:05 | #76

    Thank Ray, you were very helpful 🙂

  77. Chris
    June 2nd, 2013 at 16:32 | #77

    Very good. In my case, this means i will get not only KG, but finally
    also Gm 12 and Soviet Chess Strategy, which i ordered together. 🙂

  78. Ray
    June 2nd, 2013 at 16:38 | #78

    You’re welcome 🙂

  79. Ed
    June 2nd, 2013 at 18:32 | #79

    @ Jacob Aagaard
    Beating the anti-Sicilians
    Is this a 2nd edition of previous book?
    Have or is there been much updated if this is the case?
    I have 1st edition book, so would I need to get this book?

  80. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 19:46 | #80

    Hopefully someday a 6. Bg5 Najdorf book will be written. That specific line is probably one of the greatest questions of all of chess opening theory.

  81. Jacob Aagaard
    June 2nd, 2013 at 21:44 | #81

    I have this book too, also signed. He was very curteous and pleasant, unlike another famous player I asked for a signature. I was higher rated than both of them, but I do not think they knew who I was :-). Unfortunately I have not read it carefully, but the idea is not original for me either; it is so transparant in many good books that I might have worded it differently, but have not in any way made a new discovery with this idea. As I did not have a solid place to quote, I just ignored the fact that this idea has been around since forever.

    Endgame Strategy is based on a series of lectures given by Mark in 1975. The main thing Shereshevsky added was about two bishops. It is a general strategic investigation of the ending. I like my own book on this subject Excelling at Technical Chess better, but really, both should be read.

    DEM is about theoretical endgame and basic ideas. There is a chapter on strategy, but this is not the main point to the book.

    Read Shereshevsky and me first, then you are better armed for Dvoretsky. But really, all books could be read first or last.

    I also strongly recommend all Karsten Muller’s books on the ending. I especially like the pawn ending book, but they are all brilliant.

  82. Jacob Aagaard
    June 2nd, 2013 at 21:45 | #82

    It is a 2nd edition with a lot of new stuff. I would get it, once we finish it.

  83. Jacob Aagaard
    June 2nd, 2013 at 21:45 | #83

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I fear this is not going to happen. We have approached some authors, but with no success.

  84. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 2nd, 2013 at 22:04 | #84

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That is unfortunate. But luckily there are two choices to 6. Bg5 in GM6 2nd Edition, if I remember correctly.

  85. Michael
    June 3rd, 2013 at 03:25 | #85

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Oh well…That really is to bad because it is a great format, but if they don’t sell, it doesn’t matter how good something is. Thanks for the heads up!

  86. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 3rd, 2013 at 07:20 | #86

    My calendar lists 28 June as the last Friday in June, perhaps this is the date, with the release for 1 July. Perhaps a good opening book release for Canada Day?

  87. Jacob Aagaard
    June 3rd, 2013 at 09:27 | #87
  88. Jacob Aagaard
    June 3rd, 2013 at 09:28 | #88


  89. Jacob Aagaard
    June 3rd, 2013 at 09:28 | #89

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    We will struggle to make it for end of June, but we are trying very hard!

  90. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 3rd, 2013 at 09:43 | #90

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Was that a different reply, or do you mean there might be three replies to 6. Bg5? Because that is quite a few lines. Not that I would complain though…

    Do you think the Trompowsky and King’s Indian books would finish before the King’s Gambit? If so, they could simply be sent before the King’s Gambit.

  91. Jacob Aagaard
    June 3rd, 2013 at 11:52 | #91

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No, they won’t.

    June 3rd, 2013 at 16:23 | #92

    ### book suggestion###

    Jacob, I suggest that you publish a book like Baburin’s masterpiece “Winning pawn structures” which would explain all pawn structures with numerous exercises.

    Perhaps you can convince Baburin that he write a second edition for Quality Chess.

    By the way, pawn play is lamely covered in literature. Go for it!

  93. John Shaw
    June 3rd, 2013 at 17:45 | #93


    A second edition of Baburin’s book would be excellent, but the last time we mentioned it to Alex he was too busy with other things to do it. I doubt that has changed.

  94. John Shaw
    June 3rd, 2013 at 18:07 | #94

    I am drifting off-topic here, but I am reliably informed that Swedish GM Nils Grandelius turns 20 today – so happy birthday to him. Nils features in Axel Smith’s forthcoming book, as they have worked on chess togther, so Axel has a post up about Nils at http://www.pumpupyourrating.com

    Nils own site is http://www.nilsgrandelius.se/

    June 3rd, 2013 at 18:19 | #95

    @John Shaw
    Ok, but then he can let you edit his first edition and upgrade it with some good guest author. At the end we could have joint masterpiece. Baburin’s book is long out of print, and he even had great problems with his publisher which bankrupted.

    I expect from you games more books in “Attacking manual” style which should be a benchmark for all manuals.

    Please consider following manuals to publish:

    1. Pawn play
    2. Strategy and positional play (a detailed classification of all elements)
    3. Chess defence (you can rewrite Practical Chess Defence)

  96. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 3rd, 2013 at 19:44 | #96

    @Jacob Aagaard
    In case there are three lines then, I would guess 6…Nbd7, 6…e6/7…h6, and Gelfand (7…Nbd7).

  97. The Lurker
    June 3rd, 2013 at 20:03 | #97

    Give them a chance to get the king’s gambit, king’s indian and Tromp books out first! Sheesh.

  98. Igor
    June 3rd, 2013 at 23:02 | #98

    Wouldn’t it be better to send Trompowsky and KID to a different printer? I have a kind of feeling… 😀

  99. Jacob Aagaard
    June 4th, 2013 at 12:45 | #99

    We asked Alex years ago and he said no thank you. Copycat works does not inspire either.

  100. Jacob Aagaard
    June 4th, 2013 at 12:46 | #100


  101. John Johnson
    June 5th, 2013 at 02:23 | #101

    I have a question what is the next ” old” opening project. Vienna.. Four Knights? Either would be interesting.

  102. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 07:55 | #102

    @John Johnson
    I vote for the Two Knights, e.g. try to make the Traxler work for black :-). Or maybe two new reportoire books, ‘A romantic opening reportoire for white’ and ‘A romantic opening reportoire for black’…

  103. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 5th, 2013 at 07:56 | #103

    I wonder what Pert recommends for 1. d4 c6. Anyway it is interesting to have a Trompowsky book, perhaps the only enjoyable alternative to 2. c4 available. It seems more interesting than the Torre, Colle, and London combined.

  104. Jacob Aagaard
    June 5th, 2013 at 10:18 | #104

    @John Johnson
    Probably not right now.

  105. Jacob Aagaard
    June 5th, 2013 at 10:18 | #105

    Alterman Black Gambits 1

  106. Jacob Aagaard
    June 5th, 2013 at 10:18 | #106

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Nothing. I would guess 2.Nf3 would be sensible.

  107. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 10:56 | #107

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Yes, you’re right – though that only covers the Traxler of course.

  108. Jacob Aagaard
    June 5th, 2013 at 11:33 | #108


  109. Michel Barbaut
    June 5th, 2013 at 15:21 | #109

    I’m curious about the forthcoming Tromp’s book, ok he won’t cover 1.d4,c6 but will he cover 1.d4,e6 ? It’s an annoying move for White who like to play 2.Bg5 because it sidesteps 1.d4,f5 2.Bg5 and 1.d4,Nf6 2.Bg5 by 1.d4,e6 and then 2…f5 and 1.d4,e6 and only 2…Nf6. Of course it’s possible to transpose in the French or QG but it will put out of business 1.d4 and 2.Bg5 … or you will add a forthcoming “Play the Torre” book.
    1…e6 is more interseting in this way than 1…c6 I think.
    The ball is in QC team court ! 😉

  110. Marvel
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:08 | #110

    I Dont think the ball is in anybodys court. 1…e6 and 1…c6 is impossible to meet in Trompowsky style, and its thetefore not recommendable to create a 100 % Tromp repertoire, at least not with some kind of Torre combination. It would be impossible to write a complete trompowsky book if everyone’s expecting it to be a complete 1.d4 repertoire

  111. ChessBookLover
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:20 | #111

    Is there really a serious problem with 1 d4 c6 2 Bg5?

  112. Jeff Dixon
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:33 | #112

    In two knights there is a need for an up-to-date book on the fashionable 4.Ng5 d5 (more interesting than Traxler, in my opinion, where 4…c5?! 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Bb3 gives White a safe advantage even if he didn’t study the lines last night, and if he did, he can probably wipe you out with 5.Nxf7) 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3. Right away there is a key branch, and I haven’t even decided if 8…h6 or 8…Nd5 is a better move (or even which one I *like* better). On 8…Nd5, 9.h4!? is under-explored, and the main line with 9.Ne4 is not even exhausted. The only reason I can think of why there is no good book on this line (or is there one that I am not aware of, and am I just behind the times?) is that GM’s don’t want to reveal their analysis because it is still topical and they want to keep playing it. But Jacob Aagaard, you are “retired” now – write a book and reveal your analysis!

  113. Jeff Dixon
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:36 | #113

    Scratch that I meant the main line with *9.Nf3* is not even exhausted; 9.Ne4 stinks.

  114. The Lurker
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:41 | #114

    If we’re going crazy with wish lists, why not books on the Vienna and Bishop’s Game, with transpositions into each other and the KG book. Then a new edition of the KG book with transpositions into those two. No problem, right? That would only take another 10 years or so! 😛

  115. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:29 | #115

    Indeed, and strictly speaking the Trompovsky is only 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5, so actually the book should be called something like ‘Playing 1.d4 all black first moves except 1…e6, 1…h6 and 1…f6 2.Bg5.’

  116. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:34 | #116

    @The Lurker
    :-). Still, I agree with Jeff Dixon – all recent reportoire books recommend 3.Bc4 Bc5 rather than 3…Nf6. In my opinion 3…Nf6 is more combative and interesting and not well covered in recent chess books. Emms’ book on the open games for black is the most recent I can think of and that’s quite old. Anyway, wishing is for free :-).

  117. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:36 | #117

    I forgot to mention 1.d4 e5 after which 2.Bg5 is not the best move either.

  118. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:46 | #118

    I suppose 1…e6 is possible for all French players who play the QGD, Nimzo-Indian, Bogo/Queens-Indian/Ragozin, Classical Dutch, etc. But I suppose Black must know the French to play this order. But with the two French books for July, that is not a real disadvantage.

  119. The Lurker
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:53 | #119

    When I try the Two Knights, I usually get 4. d3, which is not bad statistically for Black, but I wouldn’t call it combative. Your mileage may vary. So, I’m not so excited about a Two Knights book. Too much work preparing for moves that White won’t usually play. And if Nessie does come out soon, I’ll have plenty to work on without worrying about the Two Knights.

    I think Pinski has a Two Knights book that is slightly newer than Emms.

  120. John Johnson
    June 6th, 2013 at 01:52 | #120

    I like Ray’s idea of a Romance repertoire, you wouldn’t even have to cover the King’s Gambit since Nessie is about to surface. We could make Dracula and Frankenstein jokes about the Vienna! Seriously it is an interesting idea.

  121. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 6th, 2013 at 06:37 | #121

    I have just looked at Schachversand’s website and they have the King’s Gambit, Trompowsky, and King’s Indian book listed for 10.07.2013, whilst GM14 is 25.07.2013. Playing the French there says 30.06.2013, but I suppose they might update it to coincide with GM14. It would be nice to have that 25th July date for both though.

  122. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:02 | #122

    @Michel Barbaut
    And we kick it over the line. Sorry, we cannot cover everything.

  123. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:03 | #123

    @Jeff Dixon
    Are anyone criticising me for not writing enough books? Let’s just get this one straight!

  124. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:04 | #124

    1.d4 c5

  125. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:05 | #125

    @John Johnson
    Did we not cover a lot of this ground in Alterman already?

  126. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:06 | #126

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Tough dates, but we are trying.

  127. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:11 | #127

    @Jacob Aagaard
    No problem, the French books very much interest me though. Five books in one month is never too many. They changed the dates recently so probably it was updated as a new estimate.

  128. Ray
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:12 | #128

    @Jacob Aagaard
    🙂 You’re right, another one!

  129. Ray
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:18 | #129

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I have the impression that Alterman’s books are aimed at a somewhat ‘lower-rated’ audience. Some of the lines he gives are rather speculative, e.g. in the Marshall Gambit. See e.g. the review on Chessvibes. It would be nice to have a (more detailed and ‘serious’) GM Guide type of book on some of these openings. On the other hand, maybe it’s just impossible to make these romantic openings ‘sound’ (with the exception of the King’s Gambit and the Morra Gambit of course).

  130. Red Pawn
    June 6th, 2013 at 11:27 | #130


    My first chess book was Estrin’s 1972 classic on the two kights, and I have been playing it with both colours ever since. (Much more popular at my level than the Spanish). I would happily pay good money for an up to date, comprehensive work on this defence. I Would hate to have to wait for Cyrus Lakdawala to fill the void 🙂

  131. Jacob Aagaard
    June 6th, 2013 at 11:48 | #131

    The analysis are serious and if you really are stronger than Short and Kamsky, then maybe you are right and that line in the Marshall does not work for you…

  132. Patrick
    June 6th, 2013 at 15:27 | #132

    And if you are weaker than Short and Kamsky, then maybe that line in the Marshall doesn’t work for you either because you just flat out don’t understand it. So I guess either way, you can just throw the line in the trash!

    Shoot, you could say the same about the Queen’s Gambit! If you are stronger than Kasparov (who has played the QG many times), then the QG just won’t work for you because you feel the urge for a greater advantage and a more dynamic position rather than a “Grind out the small advantage” position, and if you are weaker than Kasparov, then the Queen’s Gambit also won’t work for you because you just don’t understand it!

    So there goes the Queen’s Gambit into the trash! 🙂

  133. Ray
    June 6th, 2013 at 16:25 | #133

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that :-). I thought a more speculative line of the Marshall was also recommended, but maybe I’m mixing up different books (Vigorito’s?). Anyway, no offence meant!

  134. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 6th, 2013 at 19:52 | #134

    6…Qc7 in the Winawer seems quite interesting, in addition to 6…Qa5. I lost a game with it ten years ago, but I had a good position until I started to hang pieces.

  135. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 6th, 2013 at 23:39 | #135

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I suppose that happens ot me a lot regardless of opening, but still I wonder because Berg played 6…Qc7 in the past. 10. Ne2 is quite critical though.

  136. Alan Hartley
    June 7th, 2013 at 00:59 | #136

    I’ve been lurking and I just wanted to throw in a couple of thoughts:

    1. Great news about the KG book! Those students of mine at the orphanage who are still alive (about half of them) and who have not yet moved on (about half of those remaining) will be overjoyed. Most of them think I lost their money gambling.

    2. It seems to me that the most thematic “Tromp” continuation after 1.d4 e6 is 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5.

    3. I am also looking forward to the French books, but a little sad that no one is talking about 7. . .Kf8.

  137. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 01:23 | #137

    Playing the French is supposed to have the McCutcheon, but I have no idea about the details beyond that. Perhaps 7…Kf8, but maybe 7…g6.

    Or if you refer to the Winawer after 6…Ne7 7. Qg4, I have no idea as well what the lines are. I only guess that the Poisoned Pawn will be the main line.

  138. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 01:30 | #138

    ChessDirect have the King’s Gambit/Trompowsky/King’s Indian books as June, but ChessDirect have listed as July. It seems to me like early July if I had to make guesses. But ChessDirect have GM14/Playing the French/Pump Rating as July as well.

    A Trompowsky player usually plays it to avoid theory and to achieve original positions, so transposing to 1. e4 openings (the French) via 1. d4 is even more work since it does not concern 1. d4, and 4. Bg5 is quite theoretical. I think as Jacob said, 1. d4 e6, then 2. Nf3 perhaps, although 2…Nf6 leads to a Torre. At least 2. Nf3 avoids the Nimzo-Indian after 2…Nf6 3. c4, so perhaps that could be a move-order trick to counter the move-order trick by Black’s 1…e6.

  139. Alan Hartley
    June 7th, 2013 at 01:43 | #139

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    The 7. . . Kf8 I meant was in the Winawer. Houdini does OK with it in engine-engine tourneys, particularly with long time controls.

    I’ve often wanted to study the McCutcheon, but sometimes Black’s position feels a little passive after 3. . .Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 etc. . .

  140. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 02:04 | #140

    @Alan Hartley
    After 4. e5/7.Be3, I think Black has quite promising prospects in the form of many moves: 7…Be7 (extremely popular currently), 7…a6 (traditional and Playing the French move), 7…cxd4, 7…Qb6. The line is one of the main lines so one must play it in order to play 3…Nf6 at all. MAybe it is a difference of taste, but I would rather not play White in this position.

  141. Paul
    June 7th, 2013 at 08:06 | #141

    Hi Jacob,
    I don’t know whether it was askedbefore, but when do we see an excerpt/list of contents of Kotronias Kings Indian? Would be great to see;-)

    Thanks a lot!


  142. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:46 | #142

    Next week I hope, but maybe the week after.

  143. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:47 | #143


  144. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:50 | #144

    I don’t get offended by disagreements, but I will defend my corner with all I got (here on the blog). The Alterman books are great; it is a shame not more people bought them. Especially the two volumes for Black!

  145. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:52 | #145

    @Alan Hartley
    I have on purpose stopped hinting at what is in the book. I got fed up talking about it; I want to write 🙂

  146. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:54 | #146

    @Alan Hartley
    I looked at this when I analysed Moskalenko’s book and I found a line I really did not like for Black. Actually, I did not like Moskalenko’s lines a lot; I found a lot of problems. But I guess this is the way theory progresses always.

  147. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:57 | #147

    @Jacob Aagaard
    If not 7….Kf8, 7…0-0 is surely worth examination. 6…Qc7, 6…Qa5 and other alternatives on the sixth move as well.

  148. Ray
    June 7th, 2013 at 10:20 | #148

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Now you’re hinting anyway – we can exclude most of Moskalenko’s recommendations :-).

    As for the Alterman books: maybe it’s more about the lines he covers. For example, I guess the Traxler (as exciting as it may be) doesn’t appeal to as many black players as 4.Ng5 d5. And of course he didn’t include the French and Najdorf poisoned pawn (or aren’t those gambits?) :-). As for the book on black gambits against 1.d4, black seems to be struggling at the moment in the Benko against 12.a4. On the other hand, the Benko has been written-off before…

  149. Ray
    June 7th, 2013 at 10:23 | #149

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    That’s an interesting suggestion – I haven’t seen this before :-). But seriously, Apicella’s results in the 7…0-0 lines don’t seem too impressive lately, are they? And I think he is one of the experts.

  150. Tom Tidom
    June 7th, 2013 at 14:51 | #150

    I have both books on Black Gambits by Alterman and can heartily recommend them. Even if you are not interested in the openings presented it´s a good read and the games are entertaining and well presented. Of course these books cannot be conclusive on all the subjects covered.

    @ Ray

    12 a4 isn´t mentioned in the book and is indeed a problem for Black in the Benko. I´m not 100 % sure what Black should play here but on the other hand I don´t believe Black´s cause is “lost” yet either.

    @ Jacob Aagaard

    Since Ray put the finger in the wound it would be nice to read something about the line in one of the next newsletters. But of course I understand that you can´t cover everything.

  151. Jacob Aagaard
    June 7th, 2013 at 15:08 | #151

    12.a4!? I will get Nikos to have a look.

  152. Ray
    June 7th, 2013 at 16:27 | #152

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Please don’t – I play this with white 🙂

  153. Boki
    June 7th, 2013 at 17:46 | #153

    Let the Wolga Rest in Peace

  154. ChessBookLover
    June 7th, 2013 at 18:04 | #154

    Were we right not to believe these news?

  155. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 19:49 | #155

    There can be a compromise: no analysing 12. a4 until Playing the French finishes, then Ray can play against 12. a4, and French book finishes…

  156. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 7th, 2013 at 19:55 | #156

    Apicella seems to be doing fine with 7…0-0, it seems that he plays it quite often since he has been designated as an expert. I honestly do not think that anything is wrong with the line.

    Naiditsch-Apicella France 2012 (0,5-0,5)
    Landa-Apicella France 2012 (0,5-0,5)
    Vukovic-Apicella 2012 (0,5-0,5)
    Fargere-Apicella France 2011 (0-1)
    Sulskis-Apicella 2009 (0-1)
    Leconte-Apicella 2009 (0-1)
    Vaisser-Apicella France 2009 (0,5-0,5)

    At least in this line Black has a kingside present, unlike the Poisoned Pawn..

  157. TonyRo
    June 7th, 2013 at 19:59 | #157

    None of the most recent Benko books cover 12.a4 except Kasparov’s, and he himself admits you should stay away. I think it’s interesting to avoid this move with the move order:

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 d6 9.Nf3 Bg7 10.g3 O-O 11.Kg2 and now 11…Na6!?

    But White should be better here in some way anyway. That said, I don’t think Alterman’s line is the most dangerous, for instance 11…Na6 12.h3 Qb6 13.Re1 Nd7 14.Re2 and now 14…Nb4!? instead of 14…Rfb8. I suggest (along with my computer):

    15.a4 (White wants to meet 15…Qa6 with 16.Nb5 – instead, something natural like 15.Bf4 is met by 15…Qa6 16.Rd2 c4! with decent comp) 15…Qb7!? (Black wants to play …c4 without allow Be3-d4 with tempo) 16.Na2!? (My computer prefers this – other natural moves like 16.Bf4 c4! 17.Nd2 Qa6 or 16.Bg5 Rfe8 17.Qd2 Nb6 18.b3 f5!? seem to give Black good counterplay) 16…Na6!? 17.Bg5 (17.Nc3 just loses a tempo and allows 17…c4!) 17…f6 18.Bf4 Nc7 (18…f5 right might also be possible, as is regrouping slower with 18…Rfe8 followed by …Nc7, …Qa6, etc…) 19.Nc3 f5!? with a mess.

    Instead, White can skip 12.h3 (I don’t see why he needs this move anyway – White has already shown with 12.a4 that …Ng4 need not be feared, especially when Black has moved his queenside knight away from this circuit) and opt for 12.Re1! Qb6 13.Re2! with some advantage.

  158. Tom Tidom
    June 7th, 2013 at 20:46 | #158

    It´s noticeable that a lot of strong players still use the Benko. The number of games with 12.a4 is relatively small and I don´t think Black´s resources are exhausted yet despite the good results for White.

    I don´t have Sergej Kasparov´s book and don´t want to discuss it here on this blog but if he suggests to stay away from the position after 12.a4 I wonder what he has in mind for Black since aside from 11…Na6 as given by TonyRo, which doesn´t seem completely satisfactory either, it´s difficult to see any other setup for Black.

    I don´t have the Benko in my repertoire but would like to take it up. I´m happy with Black´s chances in most lines but after 12.a4 I feel Black can only play for two results which doesn´t make it a good weapon in must win situations.

    So I´m looking forward to any good suggestions by Nikos in the newsletter. Thanks in advance.

  159. Alan Hartley
    June 8th, 2013 at 00:10 | #159

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Of course this makes me curious about what you found against 7. . . Kf8. I will have to find it myself!

  160. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 8th, 2013 at 03:39 | #160

    Have you ever considered 6…Qc7? It is quite interesting and I notice that Berg has played this. I have a feeling this is quite a good line, despite my losing in 30 moves with it when I played it in an invitational against one FM who back then was reknowned for knowing heavy amounts of theory. I had a fairly good position..

  161. Tom Tidom
    June 8th, 2013 at 07:57 | #161

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    You mentioned 6…Qc7/10.Ne2 as critical above.

    White has a great score in this line but to my mind Black is okay after 6…Qc7 7.Qg4 f5 8.Qg3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Ne7 10.Ne2 0-0 11.c3 b6 12.Nf4 Qd7 13.a4 Ba6 14.Bb5 Nec6 15.h4 Bxb5 16.axb5 Na5 17.h5 and now 17…Qf7! as in Zude-Braun, Saarbruecken 2009 which Black even managed to win.

    It´s another question if this is very attractive, since Black has to endure a lot of pressure.

  162. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:11 | #162

    It depends on the preference for this line, but I have played this line, although I am not experienced in it. I also play the 7…0-0 Winawer line and some think it is cramped and scary, but I find it enjoyable to play. 6…Qc7 is slightly similar with the cramped position, but players that play 7. Qg4 usually try to attack my position. Learning to defend is an advantage of playing these lines. I think there are other moves after 10. Ne2, but the last time I studied this line was ten years ago. I have no idea how the theory is currently though.

  163. Ray
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:21 | #163

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I don’t play against 12.a4, since I don’t play the Wolga with black… I play 12.a4 against the Wolga, but I’m pretty confident Nikos won’t find an antidote before the next newsletter :-).

  164. Ray
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:23 | #164

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Point taken, but are these all his games? I thought I had seen some losses in Watson’s French section on ChessPublising.com but Maybe I’m mistaken.

  165. Ray
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:25 | #165

    @Tom Tidom
    That’s true, but on the other hand some quite strong players have played 12.a4 recently and it’s getting oincreasingly popular. See e.g. this month’s and the previous month’s articles by Flear on ChessPublising .com, where he states Black is in trouble.

  166. Ray
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:26 | #166

    @Tom Tidom
    I agree – I’m not very attracted to 6…Qc7 and prefer 6…Qa5. But I guess it’s largely a matter of taste.

  167. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:47 | #167

    I have heard about 12. a4 but I remember hearing about the Rb1 lines being bad for Black. That seems to have been overturned now I think. The Benko is a major opening that cannot simply be declared lost, especially in a line that is not the main one (Fianchetto). Surely soon more resources will surface to play against 12. a4.

  168. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 8th, 2013 at 08:54 | #168

    Yes, he lost to Tigran Petrosjan, Ijordascescu, and I think there was one game in which he lost to Grigorjan, in the very long line with the main sequence 8. Bd3/9. Qh5 with 13…Qf7 then 15…h6 16. Nh3 Bd7 where Black constructs a shelter with …g6/…h5 against the kingside attack. But it seems he played recklessly as he let his kingside disintegrate in the game. There was some material by, I think it was Watson, about this line on ChessPublishing.com. But I find these positions quite interesting. Once one resists the attack, the counterattack commences with …b4.

  169. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 9th, 2013 at 03:21 | #169

    Of course it does not matter too much when I play either. If I tried to play the Benko, someone would play the Torre or London. If the French, probably the Wing Gambit or the Exchange..

  170. Michael
    June 9th, 2013 at 07:58 | #170

    Finally got some blitz opp. the let me set up the Benoni, Wow…I don’t know much theory yet but what a couple of dynamic games! What is in better shape the Modern Benoni or the Benko?


  171. Michael
    June 9th, 2013 at 07:59 | #171

    Oh yeah I won both games as black!

  172. Ray
    June 9th, 2013 at 08:14 | #172

    I think the Benoni is in a better shape than the Benko. Besides, the Benoni is more fun according to my taste.

  173. Michael
    June 9th, 2013 at 08:22 | #173

    Thanks Ray! I am mainly a Grunfeld player and have never been able to find a second defense to 1.d4 that I liked. I tried everything…then I read the intro to Modern Benoni GM rep and decided to give it a try…Wow, pretty dynamic…And of course I forgot all about the Great Tal and his spectacular games in the Benoni. I will keep trying it out in blitz games to see if I can make this my secondary defense. I love piece activity, and boy does this opening deliver. In one of my games so far the DSB lands on e5 and the attack is just plain beautiful!

  174. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 9th, 2013 at 08:34 | #174

    Benoni definitely has better current reputations than the Benko I think. One advantage is that in the Benoni, material starts equal..

    If I needed to win at every cost, I would play the Benoni. I read GM12 and there are many crazy positions that do make it enjoyable to play. I also play the Grünfeld (GM8/GM9) as QC books form quite a majority of my repertoire. But the Benoni seems quite more aggressive and unclear, not as much as the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, but sometimes similar. The Benoni can sometimes be like the Winawer Poisoned Pawn, which could possibly be in GM14.

  175. Michael
    June 9th, 2013 at 08:54 | #175

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Good to hear…Not sure why I didn’t consider trying to play it earlier. Of course I love the Grunfeld and have been playing it since I started playing chess, but I realize that playing another opening is good for you, you learn other types of positions and you can switch back and forth as not to burn your self you playing the same thing all the time. Which is funny I say that about something as complex as the Grunfeld but it is true. That is why I will never under stand these London an c3 Sicilian players, I would be bored out of my mind playing this garbage! But everybody seems to love it! And man…Enough with the Grand Prix Attack already, why is this so popular?

    Anyway thanks for your feedback, I am totally new to this opening and will take all the advice I can get!

  176. Tom Tidom
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:50 | #176

    The Modern Benoni is certainly a very interesting defence to 1.d4, but looking at e.g. chapters 9 & 10 (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Sc3 exd5 5.exd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 9.Nf3) of GM 12 it´s clear that Black has to know a lot of precise lines to reach a playable position. After the probably best move 9…b5 Black has to sacrifice a pawn as well though the play is different to the Benko. Black´s alternatives on move 9 look a little suspicious to me.

    Recently a book by Dreev has been published about this line from White´s point of view. I don´t know how this compares to the analysis in GM 12.

    Overall I think the theoretical assessment of both the Modern Benoni and the Benko depends on a few concrete lines where it´s hard for Black to play for more than a draw.

  177. Jacob Aagaard
    June 9th, 2013 at 12:21 | #177

    Nikos was one of the first to recognise 12.a4 and recommended it to Sabino Brunello, who played it against Caruana. Let us see what he comes up with.

  178. Jacob Aagaard
    June 9th, 2013 at 12:24 | #178

    @Tom Tidom
    I shall try to get Nikos to compare the two. I have sent him Dreev’s book.

    It is noticeable that Dreev did not consider lines without …0-0 in his book, as recommended by Emms in the SOS rip-off series.

  179. Ray
    June 9th, 2013 at 16:30 | #179

    Same here, but some people prefer more quiet positions I guess. Have you ever considered the King’s Indian by the way? That’s pretty dynamic as well. I’m really looking forward to Kotronias’ book!

  180. Ray
    June 9th, 2013 at 16:33 | #180

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Really? That’s nice! Let’s indeed see if he can beat his own analysis then :-).

  181. Isolani
    June 9th, 2013 at 16:50 | #181

    Jacob Aagaard :@Ray I don’t get offended by disagreements, but I will defend my corner with all I got (here on the blog). The Alterman books are great; it is a shame not more people bought them. Especially the two volumes for Black!

    This reminds me why I didn’t buy these books: I just didn’t have a clear idea of the contents.
    For a book called say “the complete French” I don’t need a lot of information to make my choice, supposing it’s a serious work.
    For a repertoire book I need to know a bit more. But for this kind of book (like Alterman gambit serie) I need much more information to buy them. I must appreciate if it suits my level, my current repertoire and my taste. And then know what are the lines covered. And are they covered entirely or in a repertoire form? “Vaganian Gambit” doesn’t say much to me (vaguely, something in the tromp….?) And “Philidor” says too much, a lot of things are called after this guy (including symphonies ;)). I’m very tempted by the white gambit volume, but buying it would be too much of a roll of dice. May be after spending much time on forums, blogs, reviews….. but your information on your site is not enough.
    Generally speaking Quality Chess is on top on almost all aspects, but this one (blurbs, excerpts..) is not one of your strong points, in my opinion. On the other hand, you did a good informative job with the Cutting edge(outstanding!!) books , exactly what I needed to make my decision and I enjoyed them a lot!

  182. Isolani
    June 9th, 2013 at 17:12 | #182

    Oh! I remember now what is called the Vaganian Gambit! Took me some time 😉 !

  183. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 9th, 2013 at 19:50 | #183

    One book for the Fianchetto Vqriation of the King’s Indian is quite interesting. I wonder how big the 6. Be2 book will be.

  184. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 10th, 2013 at 00:26 | #184

    Het Paard have just updated their Pre-order page recently I think. Trompowsky listed as July release, and King’s Indian for July as well.

  185. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 00:40 | #185

    I did look at the KID when I first started playing chess and did not really understand the difference at that point between open and closed games and therefore looking at all the pawn moving away from the king did not look good to me, of course I had just started to play chess and that was a uninformed evaluation. Then Later I became all about pieces activity and to this day it is a huge trademark of my opening play, always choosing lines where all my pieces join in quickly…I was never crazy about my DSB on g7 and my Pawn on e5, but then again all my chess heroes who I consider very aggressive and dynamic players played the KID(and that is my style aggressive and dynamic, or at least those are the positions I am trying to reach!). I may have to take a look when the new GM rep series comes out. I seem to really like the DSG on g7 against 1.d4 so I may have another look. And now that I have more experience I might like the positions.

    How many books will cover the KID anyway, if the first book is just the Fianchetto?

  186. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 00:47 | #186

    @Tom Tidom
    isn’t that true of many openings as black, including the Grunfeld and Najdorf. Where certain lines will only lead to a draw?

    Although I am not a 2600 and probably for the most part will not have to worry to much about this unless playing CC chess.

  187. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 01:04 | #187

    The main thing I am finding now in my chess is even though I have picked very theory heavy openings to play, I need at least 1 if not more openings to play also as added or back up weapons as not to burn my self out or be so predictable. I play 1.d4 was thinking maybe of adding the English or at least have two ways of meeting all the major defences to 1.d4. And sometimes somebody just has your number in a particular openings say 4.Qc2 against the Nimzo and they just have you down cold. Would like to switch the game up, I have noticed in those situation that sometimes that same opp. that keeps wailing on you with his Nimzo will then fall apart against the English or some other variation. So I am finding out how important it is to not always play the same thing and have different weapons in your arsenal!

  188. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 10th, 2013 at 02:20 | #188

    True, the Benoni has long lines that can lead to a draw in which Black must memorise the lines. But White is the one who initiates the sequence, and must memorise not only the drawing lines, but all deviations possible by Black, and certainly is abundant as said above in the Grünfeld and Najdorf. I would think that if White wants to do this to draw, then the opening is quite good…

  189. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 03:45 | #189

    Funny when I play the Benoni against lower rated opp. they play the weirdest stuff, I see a lot of dxe6 after …e6. Or simply Nf3 and no d5 transposing to some sort of English. What seems funny to me is I never try and avoid the Benoni as white but don’t really want to play Bc4 against the Grunfeld! lots of lower rated opp. play play Bc4 against my Grunfeld and 6.Bg5 against my Najdorf! But avoid the Benoni, What? Strange!

  190. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 03:56 | #190

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    “I would think that if White wants to do this to draw, then the opening is quite good…”

    I totally agree, I think an opp. wanting to draw can find many lines in many openings to force a draw.

    But if the forced variation are long and you can go wrong then I think the opening is fine and your opp. has to be prepared. Now if someone plays the Grunfeld, Modern Benoni and even the KID. Does you opp. have enough time and energy to prepare all 3 drawing lines against you in a tournament because you could play either one, I would think just preparing one long variation in one opening would be difficult with all sideline possibilities!

    Plus the Najdorf PP has many forced drawing lines…But many good players still play this line and rack up points.

  191. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 04:13 | #191

    Trying out the Kan as a second Sicilian to my usual Najdorf, partially inspired by Kamsky, Caruana, and now Tal after reading the intro to GM12. The Maroczy Bind still gets me though and have not yet figured out how to handle it. But looking at master games the Bind is not chosen by the top guys to fight the Kan, so Black must be OK there. I guess I will have to find a way to fight against the Bind, because I like most of the other resulting positions in the Kan and think it is a nice addition to the Najdorf.

    Thinking about Tal, it might be fun to play the Kan and Modern Benoni together!

  192. Michael
    June 10th, 2013 at 04:19 | #192

    I just noticed that there is a section in GM12 called various 4th moves or something like that, would dxe6 and these moves I was talking about above be in that section?



  193. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 10th, 2013 at 19:50 | #193

    I see .pdf file for Trimpowsky book, Looks medium sized, below 300 pages. Interesting, with two options against 2…e6, 2…c5 3. Bf4 Ne4m and 2…c5.

  194. Jeff Dixon
    June 10th, 2013 at 19:51 | #194


    Jan Pinski has an Everyman book on the two knights from 2004, four years later than Emms on the open games. As far as I can tell it is the most recent book on the two knights, and I don’t know what its coverage of 8.Bd3 is like because I don’t own it, and the “search inside this book” feature on Amazon is hampered by the use of figurine algebraic, so I can’t find “8.Bd3” that way 🙁

  195. Jeff Dixon
    June 10th, 2013 at 20:05 | #195

    Funny, I was trying to search for Pinski’s recommendation against 8.Bd3 and found the following chessgames.com page for Nakamura’s U.S. Championship winning 8.Bd3 game against GM Josh Friedel in 2009: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1545022 The interesting thing is, I was thinking that if I couldn’t find the answer through Google, I would just ask my friend Dan Parmet who owns the Pinski book and shares my fascination with the two knights, what Pinski’s recommendation is and what he thinks of it. Lo and behold:

    “parmetd: Actually Nakamura got the idea from the game Morozevich-Karajakin Moscow Open 2008 1/2-1/2 he said so in an interview right after the game. Still 8. Bd3 is a mainline that has been in books for years from MCO to Pinski to Palkovi to Estrin to Beliavsky to Tim Harding. I don’t know why people are shocked to see a top flight GM play a mainline.”

    I think this is the internet trying to tell me that I should just ask Dan Parmet.

  196. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 10th, 2013 at 23:25 | #196

    I like how the Trompowsky book looks, I shall anticipate it with must interest. The introduction mentions the appeal in chess in Britain, particularly England, and says on page 7 that it could be especially useful outside of Britain. I had never contemplated that, but after reading the book, perhaps I shall consider that notion…

    To me, this is the only interesting and enterprising alternative to 2. c4 after 1. d4, and it had brought me crucial tournament wins (I shall never forget the first time in which I played it against a 2300 ten years ago and I managed to get a massive pawn wall on d4, e4, f4, g4, and h4 before move 20).

  197. John Shaw
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:09 | #197


    Hi Isolani,

    Your commnent was delayed in our system for a day or so. Interesting point about our blurbs. We will keep that in mind in future, and try to make sure they give enough detail so the content of the book is clear. It is not always easy. If the book covers a lot of lines then simply giving the moves can fill all the space in rather boring fashion. For example, instead of ‘Vaganian Gambit’ we have ”Vaganian Gambit 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5′

    That is more informative, but when we do that a dozen times it is a long and dull blurb. You mentioned we did a good informative job on the blurbs of the ‘Cutting Edge’ books. Thanks, but you are one of the few who bought them.

    June 11th, 2013 at 10:31 | #198

    Read the pdf excerpt on 2.Bg5 book from Richard Pert. I will buy it for sure.
    As I will be back in chess next year, I think I will play along these lines in order to save opening time preparation (Yussupov’s book are waiting for me).
    I understand that 1… d6, 1…g6 are not in the book, because these are different structure.
    But could you add some information in your newsletter about the move order 1.d4 e6 which seems spoiling 2.Bg5 ideas. (and 1.d4 c6 and 1.d4 Nc6 too perhaps : if I want to play 2.Bg5 it’s not for playing slav caro nor Chigorin).
    Thank you

  199. Paul
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:06 | #199

    Yes, Tromp excerpt does look nice.

    Does the appearance of the pdf for the Trompowsky book mean it is scheduled for a different release date than the other two June scheduled releases?

  200. John Shaw
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:51 | #200


    Not sure what we could say about 1.d4 e6. A lot of Tromp players would reply 2.e4 and take on a French. Otherwise, maybe 2.Nf3 and head for a Torre, as that is vaguely in the Tromp style.

    For a 1.e4 player the Tromp is a good stepping stone towards being a 1.d4 player. After 1.d4 all the little moves like 1…d6, 1…g6, and 1…e6 can be met by 2.e4. Effectively, you get to play e4-lines without worrying about the “big two”: the Sicilian and 1.e4 e5.

  201. John Shaw
    June 11th, 2013 at 11:53 | #201


    The Tromp is still on the same publication date as the others. It’s just its pdf excerpt is ahead of the KID one.

  202. Paul
    June 11th, 2013 at 13:12 | #202

    @John Shaw
    Thanks. For people who ordered the King’s Gambit a while ago, and order 3 books (say the two other June releases + one other) for free postage, will you automatically consolidate and send all 4 books together? Or does a customer need to request this?

    Personally indifferent to how I receive, but presume it is cheaper/easier for you to send the 4 books together (rather than the Kings Gambit + new order separately), and as I appreciate your products + service would like to be helpful.

  203. John Shaw
    June 11th, 2013 at 15:29 | #203


    Hi Paul,

    If you have two orders – one for 1 book paying postage, and another for 3 books with free postage – then we would always send out the 3 books together (that’s part of the deal for getting free postage), but we try to send the individual book as soon as possible, even if it goes on its own.

    However, if you are happy with all 4 in one package then I am sure we can do that.

  204. BabySnake
    June 11th, 2013 at 16:44 | #204

    Jeff Dixon :
    Funny, I was trying to search for Pinski’s recommendation against 8.Bd3 and found the following chessgames.com page for Nakamura’s U.S. Championship winning 8.Bd3 game against GM Josh Friedel in 2009: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1545022 The interesting thing is, I was thinking that if I couldn’t find the answer through Google, I would just ask my friend Dan Parmet who owns the Pinski book and shares my fascination with the two knights, what Pinski’s recommendation is and what he thinks of it. Lo and behold:
    “parmetd: Actually Nakamura got the idea from the game Morozevich-Karajakin Moscow Open 2008 1/2-1/2 he said so in an interview right after the game. Still 8. Bd3 is a mainline that has been in books for years from MCO to Pinski to Palkovi to Estrin to Beliavsky to Tim Harding. I don’t know why people are shocked to see a top flight GM play a mainline.”
    I think this is the internet trying to tell me that I should just ask Dan Parmet.

    In fact Pinski attaches a ? to 8.Bd3 and qoutes a game Casaldi-Keres where black was much better after 15 moves.

  205. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 11th, 2013 at 19:45 | #205

    What happens if one purchases one of the three books individually, as in book + shipping separately instead of 3 books in 1 order?

  206. Steve
    June 11th, 2013 at 22:46 | #206

    @John Shaw
    Fair point about the blurb, but what about the contents page? This always appears in the pdf excerpt and is very informative in the GM Repertoire books, for example. In the Alterman Gambit Guide it is even less informative than the blurb.

  207. Michael
    June 12th, 2013 at 00:29 | #207

    “To play for a draw, at any rate with white, is to some degree a crime against chess.”

    Mikhail Tal

    enough said…

  208. Michael Wilde
    June 12th, 2013 at 01:28 | #208

    A crime against chess!!!

  209. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 12th, 2013 at 01:30 | #209

    The only reason of which I can think to play for a draw as White are in very limited circumstances. These would possibly be that a draw

    1) secures an IM/GM norm
    2) secures a win of prize money
    3) ensures a first place in the tournament
    4) a draw secures the rating requirement for a title (FM, IM, GM)
    5) secures a strong position for the team in team tournaments (i.e. Olimpiadas)

    Otherwise I would rather lose from trying to win as White than attempt to draw.

  210. Michael
    June 12th, 2013 at 01:33 | #210

    Of course there are circumstances in which a draw with white is necessary, but other than that even against higher rated opp. why not go for the win, you might surprise yourself!

  211. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 12th, 2013 at 01:54 | #211

    I think White tries to avoid drawing lines in the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, Njadorf 6. Bg5, Marshall Gambit, etc. so playing for a draw from the start is already trying to do what most try to avoid…

    Since the Trompowsky has the .pdf file uploaded on Monday (10.06.13), then I guess an estimate would be a release date for Monday 1st July (Canada Day).

  212. Mark Harden
    June 12th, 2013 at 19:57 | #212

    Amazon (US) had been reflecting a July 4, 2013 publication date for The King’s Gambit, but in the last few days this has moved back to September 3, 2013. Will it be that long before the book is available in the United States?

  213. Jeff Dixon
    June 13th, 2013 at 16:25 | #213

    @ Mark Harden you can always order straight from QC; they will ship to the US.

  214. Ray
    June 13th, 2013 at 17:59 | #214

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I think the best way to play for a draw is trying to win, similar to football :-).

  215. Marvel
    June 16th, 2013 at 19:27 | #215

    Regarding Pert’s book, I was looking at the double pawn sacrifice given in the excerpt. I’m rather disappointed he didn’t cover 9.Bc7 g6!? properly, simply giving it “?!” and giving the stem game of the variation. 10.Rc1 Qe3+ 11.Ne2 d6! (cutting off the Bishop on c7), and hereo I haven’t’ found any sign of advantage, not even sufficient compensation for all of the pawns even though White’s quite close sufficient compensation.

    I’m planning to play this line in 9 days in a very important event for me, so if you had some suggestion it would be great, but I’ll probably play this line regardless of it’s theoretical status. It’s just one human game, right 🙂

  216. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 16th, 2013 at 19:47 | #216

    Except in football, one can try to play for penalties–although if one plays the Modern Benoni the game could very easily be decided by “halftime”..

  217. The Lurker
    June 16th, 2013 at 19:57 | #217

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    So basically what you’re saying is that you would always attempt to win as White, except when the outcome really matters! LOL! Sounds like you’re really not so opposed to going for a draw as White after all.

    Isn’t there a big difference between burning one’s bridges in an all-out attempt to win, and keeping the draw in hand?

  218. Jacob Aagaard
    June 16th, 2013 at 22:31 | #218

    @Mark Harden
    Probably yes. Buying at discount has some disadvantages. If you go to FAQ you can see more on this topic.

  219. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 18th, 2013 at 02:32 | #219

    @The Lurker
    I do not understand your argument nor your amusement. An outcome against a 2350 where no norm is involved quite obviously affects the outcome of the game, as well as playing against a 2100 or a 2400 if no norm or prize is involved. There is no reason to try to draw in such situations. Attempting to play for a draw I think would be applicable in those five circumstances above. Perhaps you need to reread the post.

  220. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 18th, 2013 at 02:33 | #220

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I was contemplating using GM12 and Playing the French in tandem; in case one wants to play the Winawer, one can still use the Tarrasch and Advance choices from the latter. Was this the reasoning for the dual release?

  221. Ray
    June 18th, 2013 at 07:17 | #221

    @The Lurker
    I guess so, but I gather from garryk’s reaction(s) that sometimes it’s not possible to keep a draw in hand and you just have to ‘burn your bridges’ since otherwise your advantage will disappear. Put differently, I think sometimes keeping a draw in hand leads to a draw.

  222. The Lurker
    June 18th, 2013 at 17:12 | #222

    Well, yeah, keeping a draw in hand sometimes leads to a draw. But what I’m saying is that, contrary to your statement that the best way to draw is to play for a win, the best way to draw would be… to play for a draw. Playing for a win tends to get a more decisive result, one way or another. At least, it would seem so to me.

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I’m commenting on your statement “The only reason of which I can think to play for a draw as White are in very limited circumstances”. But the “very limited circumstances” you list are all the circumstances that really matter, as far as I can tell. Sorry if I offend, but this seems ironic to me.

  223. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 19th, 2013 at 19:52 | #223

    @The Lurker
    I still do not understand. Those circumstances matter in terms of a very specific tournament situation, when one needs a draw because they need the required 3 IM or 3 GM norms for their respective titles, or the 1st place of a tounament. I call these limited because they do not happen quite often for most players, even GMs for the prize situation. There are others who are competing for this as well, and would be in this position instead If I played a 2100 where no prize nor norm was possible, I still do not want to play to draw because it makes no sense, and I lose rating points via drawing. Likewise, if I play a 2500 with norm nor prize available, the circumstance does matter still: I want to try to win, and there is no point in playing for a draw as most likely that mindset will effect a loss.

    I call those circumstances very limited because most will not find themselves playing for 1st place or close to achieving a norm every tournament in which they play. I only have one IM norm in my entier career, so I think it would be quite limited where if I find myself 5/8 and need a draw to get another norm still. If someone keeps finding themselves needing only one draw to secure a norm or 1st prize almost every tourament, I would think they must be seriously strong, like 2600+ for example. For those players, almost every tournamnet is very critical, but I should think that most players do not fit this description…

  224. Jeff Dixon
    June 19th, 2013 at 20:02 | #224

    Still waiting for the past tense, “King’s Gambit went to the printers on ____.” =)

  225. The Lurker
    June 19th, 2013 at 20:31 | #225

    @Gilchrist is a Legend


    I’m sorry, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree whether this is ironic. I think it is ironic that you say that you wouldn’t play to draw as White, then you list a half dozen instances where you would. It’s like in the movie “The Jerk”:

    “And I don’t need any of this. I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything except this. And that’s it and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need too. I don’t need one other thing, not one – I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.”

    @Jeff Dixon
    Yes, I think that the “next week” in “going to the printer next week” was two weeks ago now.

  226. June 20th, 2013 at 09:44 | #226

    @Jeff Dixon
    I can help with that Jeff, “King’s Gambit went to the printers.”

  227. Jacob Aagaard
    June 20th, 2013 at 10:00 | #227

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Not heavily planned like this, but it turned out all right :-).

  228. Gilchrist is a Legend
    June 21st, 2013 at 03:56 | #228

    @The Lurker
    There is no irony here. I do not understand why you continue to try to find faults in my posts but not those of anyone else. This is the whole quote:

    [The only reason of which I can think to play for a draw as White are in very limited circumstances. These would possibly be that a draw
    1) secures an IM/GM norm
    2) secures a win of prize money
    3) ensures a first place in the tournament
    4) a draw secures the rating requirement for a title (FM, IM, GM)
    5) secures a strong position for the team in team tournaments (i.e. Olimpiadas)
    Otherwise I would rather lose from trying to win as White than attempt to draw.]

    Note the description, “The only reason of which I can think to play for a draw as White are in very limited circumstances.” The post never states that as you say I “would not play for a draw as White”, it states,

    “The only reason of which I can think to play for a draw as White are in very limited circumstances.”

    in the first sentence. You say that I said that I would not play for a draw in any circumstances and then somehow contradict myself with the five examples, although the first sentence already states what it means, with literal meaning, that there are “very limited circumstances” where this would be appropriate. “Very limited circumstances” means an exception to the rule, given in five very rare occasions:

    “1) secures an IM/GM norm”
    –An IM norm requires 5,5/9 with a 2400+ performance and a GM norm 6,5/9 with a 2500+ performance against FIDE-rated opposition in a nine-round tournament. Thus in the very rare circumstance that I find myself 5/8 or 6/8 trying for either the IM norm or GM norm and somehow I have White in the last (ninth) round, then playing for a draw would seem reasonable. If you are indicating that this is somehow a common occurrence, then I think there would be much more titled players than there currently are.

    “2) secures a win of prize money”
    If it is calculated that a draw wins some of the prize money (1st, 2nd, 3rd), and with the fact that I have White in the last round, then this is a very limited circumstance likewise. This happens very rarely, as obviously the GMs are in these situations.

    3) ensures a first place in the tournament
    –This requires one to be 1 point ahead of all other opposition in a tournament so that even if the second place wins the next game, the first seed drawing guarantees first place clear, and having White in the last round. Again an instance of a “very limited circumstance”. If I kept finding myself in such situations, I must be some 2700, and obviously am not that.

    “4) a draw secures the rating requirement for a title (FM, IM, GM)”
    –This circumstance requires 2300 aggregate after the game for FM, 2400 for IM, 2500 for GM. If one calculates that the rating difference after the game leads to any of the three as such, given that they already have all three IM norms or GM norms, then this would be reasonable. This requires the last round to have this calculation for one draw against said opponent to surpass or equal 2300, 2400, or 2500, and I have White. This is, quite clearly, an extremely limited circumstance.

    “5) secures a strong position for the team in team tournaments (i.e. Olimpiadas)”
    –The position of a team in the fixtures table depends on the results of the players of each respective team. If I belong to Team A, amd Team A need only a draw to win the tournament since they are one point ahead, or exceeding one point, of each of Team B, C, D,…, this means they need me to draw my game in order for Team A to win the tournament, and given that I have White in this last round, and somehow all of my other teammates end their games before me such that only I am playing and need to draw, this is reasonable. Again this is a very limited circumstance.

    To evaluate how limited are these circumstances, I have only been in a similar position for circumstance no. 3 once, and I was playing as Black. But I drew to get first place in a weekender. I have never been in any of the other circumstances or no. 3 more than once, in my entire career.

    “Otherwise I would rather lose from trying to win as White than attempt to draw.”
    This means other than the above very limited circumstances, I would rather lose from trying to win than try to play for a draw, as there is no incentive or favourable tournament result that can result from such a draw. There is no reason to play to draw against a random 2100, 2300, or 2500 given a tournament situation not described as such in the five circumstances.

    I honestly do not know why you try to disprove almost all of my posts here, and then try to make me sound like I do not make sense with some allusion. I cannot explain what I mean any better, except that the main idea is that there are exceptions to the rule and I have explained why they are reasonable as such, and why they are considered “very limited”, particularly which you continuously misunderstan. And perhaps I am not the most apt at films or cinema culture, but was that supposed to be a witty comment?

  229. Ray
    June 21st, 2013 at 06:59 | #229

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I agree – in fact I can’t remember to have been in any of the 5 exceptions you mention. Which means for all practical purposes that I’m always playing for a win with white.

  230. Peterm
    June 21st, 2013 at 07:29 | #230

    Playing for win or draw?

    There is only one thing you can do in a game. Make the best move. Use the three questions and play.
    I do not understand this discussion about playing for win or draw. This is not good to have in your mind while playing. There should be focus on making decisions.

  231. Ray
    June 21st, 2013 at 08:55 | #231

    That’s what I meant with my remark that the best way to obtain a draw in football is to play for a win, i.e., just play the best you can. However, in some cases, if a draw is enough e.g. to get a GM result, things like your choice of opening can raise the odds of getting a draw – e.g. in the Najdorf Posioned Pawn you have a number of forced draws.

  232. Scorpio5
    June 22nd, 2013 at 16:45 | #232

    I’ll still be surprised if it’s published before the end of July

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