Home > Jacob Aagaard's training tips > Don’t worry – the game will end

Don’t worry – the game will end

 

After a long break, I’d like to return to discussing the mental stuff. Especially the following topic as I see it again and again being a problem with people I have worked with:

They think about how the game will end.

Now, to most of you this might seem like a very natural thing to do. And indeed we all do it. But it is quite the opposite of ensuring the most favourable outcome of the game.

Let me explain why:

The most favourable outcome of the game comes from making as many good moves as possible. I hope we agree this far. Making the best possible moves comes from focusing on the problem right in front of us. I hope we can agree that most of the problems we have to solve in a game are not of a decisive nature. Sure, we can blunder on every move, but to somehow think that this makes every move a critical moment is a misconception (surprisingly commonly made).

Only rarely are we in situations where the difference in value between one move (or two) and all the others is half a point or more. On most moves we have to decide between seemingly equal value moves and try to work out small differences.

And in neither situation will thinking about the result help us one iota with solving the problem we are facing.

What we should focus on is: understanding the problem we are facing on this move (easier said than done!) and solving it as fast as possible. The game will end. I am not personally playing a game started when I was 15 and neither are you. All games end. They end with a result. Thinking about what that result will be, should be, should have been or whatever, will not change it.

Now all of this might seem elementary. All good knowledge is. Worrying about the result is really a damaging thing to do. Your mind simply cannot deal well with your hopes and dreams at the same time as it is trying to work out if Bxh7+ works or not. Or more importantly; the calculation gets all messed up.

One problem I see a lot from students wondering too much about the result is that they play a different move from what they actually consider the best move. Because they are nervous, want to avoid risk or something.

There is no magic bullet I know that will solve this problem for you quickly. I think accepting the logic that you need to play one move at a time, and that this is more than difficult enough, is a good start. This will not make you indifferent to losing (though sometimes it will make you cope a whole lot better), but it can help you become a tougher player, a fighter if you like.

And don’t worry. The game will end and you will get the result you deserve, based on the quality of your moves…

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  1. tonifa
    October 7th, 2013 at 20:30 | #1

    totally agree!!

    But i will add “… and your opponent’s ones” 😀

  2. pawnmayhem
    October 7th, 2013 at 20:36 | #2

    I totally agree that during a chess game, all you your thinking should revolve around the position on the board, and definitely not about the result or your EGO points. It’s brain capacity being wasted.

    My personal solution has been when I realized, that I’m playing chess for fun, and as all of you know, tackling the position in front of you is the fun we talking about.

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    October 7th, 2013 at 21:49 | #3

    My own way to get rid of this constant thinking about the result was to accept that I was doing the best I could and that that had to be enough – because there were no alternative!

  4. October 7th, 2013 at 23:34 | #4

    Jacob Aagaard :
    My own way to get rid of this constant thinking about the result was to accept that I was doing the best I could and that that had to be enough – because there were no alternative!

    I could not express it BETTER! That is the most important reason to me, that when I lose the game… I will NOT feel guilty – just when I have given my best and I could not play any better!

    However I know how hard it might be – because most of the players focus on the final result, not to focus fully at every position they have in front of them! Seems very simple, but it is really a powerful idea (I have discovered it quite long time ago, but I use it just since 2010).

  5. brabo
    October 8th, 2013 at 09:28 | #5

    ” The game will end and you will get the result you deserve, based on the quality of your moves…”
    Well that will be the truth in 99,99% of the cases but last Friday I managed to get the exception on the rule. With black I managed to achieve a completely crushing position against an IM (+10) and was taking my time at move 41 to quietly choose a safe way to end the game. While pondering over several easily winning continuations, my opponent told me suddenly that i lost the game as i didn’t manage to play 40 moves in the allotted time. I first thought that he was joking as on my paper we were at move 41 but after close inspection of my paper I noticed that on the bottom of the first column I left a line blank (move 30). I never encountered such notationerror and was perplexed. My opponent tried to consolate by telling me that I am the moral winner as he was going to resign but his words didn’t help as I was completely in shock. Later my father was more helpful by explaining that he did many such kind of errors in his life. You simply have to move on and realize that this error won’t happen twice.

  6. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2013 at 11:22 | #6

    @Tomasz Chessthinker
    In rowing they call it: “inside the boat”. We should only feel emotional about things we can control – not the level of our opponent’s play for example. This is always a guidance principle, not a iron law.

  7. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2013 at 11:24 | #7

    @brabo
    These things do happen. But not making move 40 is certainly the worst quality of move at all. I feel for you, but John probably does not. One of his GM-norms was achieved like this :-).

  8. Mathijs
    October 8th, 2013 at 13:19 | #8

    I agree very much with the spirit of what is said, but I do think that there are instances in which it is reasonable to think of the result and also situations in which the thought of the result reasonably influences our play. An instance of the first would be that in general I seek complications, but when I know that I’m winning, I prefer to keep it simple. An instance of the latter is when you let a good position slip to something objectively equal, but still complicated and you keep looking for a win. I think it would require superhuman restraint to consistently smell the momen when your win is gone and it is time to come back to earth. And the mindset of looking for a win or just for a good move can be quite different, I think. Actually, perhaps I should pose that as a question: do you agree that the midset of looking for a win should be different from the mindset of just looking for a good move?

  9. Mario
    October 8th, 2013 at 13:43 | #9

    what´s the definition of a good or best move ¿? I think that framing in Jacob three questions is the way and not thinking I m winning or losing.
    by the way is interesting if it´s a kind of Kasparov against Karpov thinking, who has the strong will to win ¿?

  10. John Shaw
    October 8th, 2013 at 14:22 | #10

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @brabo
    These things do happen. But not making move 40 is certainly the worst quality of move at all. I feel for you, but John probably does not. One of his GM-norms was achieved like this .

    My norm was even worse/better than that. My opponent, in a winning position, knew exactly how many moves he had made (41), but he forgot what the time control was. Slightly surprising because it was Round 10 and the time control was the same as previous rounds, but most welcome. Actually, that may not even be my luckiest norm, but I am veering way off-topic.

  11. Patrick
    October 8th, 2013 at 15:19 | #11

    Along with what Mathijs said, I think there are times where you do need to worry about the result.

    Actually, sometimes it’s the most CRITICAL time to worry about the result, and sometimes it’s the WORST time to worry about results, and that’s the final round!

    One of the worst things you can do, and I’ve done this myself, is be like “I’m 4 and 0, and I will get money no matter what. If I win, I lock up $1200. If I draw, depending on how many of the 3 and a halves end up with decisive results, best case scenario is $900, worst case scenario is $553. If I lose, most I can win is $420, and could win as little as roughly $50. DO NOT DO THIS! Worry about all this stupid math AFTER your game is over, when you KNOW what your final score is.

    On the flip side, the one case where worrying about the result is “right” in my opinion is when you are on the bubble going into the final round, and you realize that you will win money if you WIN your last round, but that a draw is just as good as a loss! Your typical “must win” situation like you see in many sports. In situations like this, I tend to take more chances, possibly play some questionable lines that I wouldn’t play otherwise (I have played the Latvian Gambit 8 times in my lifetime over the board with 4 wins, 3 losses, and a draw), etc.

  12. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2013 at 15:52 | #12

    @Mathijs
    You made a common misconception, which I have been waiting for someone to make ever since I put up this post.

    As I said, there are two parts to the problem

    a) working out what the problem is
    b) finding a solution

    If you have a technically winning position (a) you job is to win the game without counterplay (b). Thus we do not have a conflict here.

    However, if you start thinking: “when I win the game, the team will promote, it will be so nice” you will probably drop your rook, because your eye was at the podium and not at the goal.

    Obviously you will understand that you are trying to win the game, but the question is where your emotional and intellectual emphasis is.

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2013 at 16:00 | #13

    @Mario
    I think a definition of solving the problem in front of us in the best way can vary based on what we are trying to achieve and so on. Obviously, if a draw wins the tournament, finding the safest way to make a draw might be the objective. But if we get nervous and feel the position is a draw and that we might screw it up, we are dominated by the result and not the challenge.

  14. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2013 at 16:07 | #14

    @Patrick
    If your mind is on the money, the moves will not find themselves. If your mind is on the moves, then this does seriously affect your result.

    If you look at everything in black and white as if we brain wash ourselves. NO! this is not what I am saying.

    It is about emphasis. If you are trying and caring most about playing good chess, then you can achieve the other goals on the way.

  15. Mathijs
    October 8th, 2013 at 17:34 | #15

    @Jacob Aagaard

    “…ever since I put up this post.” You mean since yesterday? 🙂

    I think we are mostly (entirely?) in agreement. I certainly agree that thinking about how the result is going to feel etc. is very distracting. I don’t have it too much in chess, since I mostly play blitz and then you simply don’t have the time, but I know it from real life (well, academia, sort of real life). But thinking about what the result should be does matter – you agree as it enters into your problem formulation under a). And in turn this can have psychological repercussions which are quite interesting, as in the second example that I gave.

    It might be interesting to point out that while you take the result into account in your problem formulation, it is not necessary to do so (although I think any human would). A computer doesn’t think, “ok, I’m completely winning, let’s find the knock-out”, it just tries to find the best move sec. I do think it’s better for humans to think with a result in mind in such cases and it seems we agree on that one. I think you implicitly answered my final question from the first post with that.

  16. Mathijs
    October 8th, 2013 at 17:36 | #16

    @John Shaw

    Come on, you can’t leave us hanging like that! Now we want to know! What was your luckiest norm?

  17. Mario
    October 8th, 2013 at 22:54 | #17

    @Jacob Aagaard
    it´s a kind of priming effect 🙂

  18. John Shaw
    October 9th, 2013 at 11:56 | #18

    Mathijs :
    @John Shaw
    Come on, you can’t leave us hanging like that! Now we want to know! What was your luckiest norm?

    Perhaps the Calvia 2004 Olympiad. In the final round I was a pawn down in a drawish rook and bishop ending, needing a win for the GM norm. My opponent blundered his rook to a bishop check. Actually, I had miscounted the pawns, so I had not realized I was a pawn down. I think my opponent may also have been playing for a GM norm, but after the game I thought it best not to ask.

  19. Paul Brøndal
    October 9th, 2013 at 12:42 | #19

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Jacob, you can easily be cross at yourself even when you win. Suppose that you have won a game where you really liked your play; afterwards, you analyse it superficially and you are quite satisfied. Finally, you ask a silicon monster/friend to analyse the game and you find out that one of your nice moves was a blunder.

    Even when the result goes your way, making unforgivable moves is just nasty and I at least feel this as a type of defeat. On the other hand, this gets us back to the first assumption that we should worry about every move and not the result! Personally, I would rather play a really good game where I lose due to some small inaccuracies than win where I play like a fool.

  20. Jacob Aagaard
    October 9th, 2013 at 14:12 | #20

    @Mathijs
    You are not fully getting what I am saying. The best move is not the highest score on the engine. In this way the engine is not good at solving these problems either and humans are better. The easiest way to win is the best way to solve the problem, not the move that wins most material, ect.

  21. Jacob Aagaard
    October 9th, 2013 at 14:13 | #21

    @Paul Brøndal
    If you give power of your own happiness and satisfaction with your play to the engines, you should not be allowed to use one.

  22. Andre
    October 9th, 2013 at 14:35 | #22

    A completely unrelated training question:

    I have a tendency to overestimate my opponents threats. When he gets the initiative after a small mistake by me, and I have to react, I start to think that hell is breaking loose. Then when looking more objectively, after the game or after a lenghty thought, I discover that the problems were (or should have been) only minor.

    How can I solve this problem or at least make it better?

  23. Paul Brondal
    October 9th, 2013 at 18:54 | #23

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I definitely don’t. However, having been away from the chess scene for so long, it is fantastic to use an engine to verify that the moves aren’t downright stupid. Using an engine to help you search for the truth (strong moves) is just fantastic IMO. Yeah, first you must analyse without an engine.

  24. Jacob Aagaard
    October 9th, 2013 at 20:19 | #24

    @Paul Brondal
    That’s not my point. My point is that engines always see things we don’t. If this frustrates you, I am not sure it is helping you. Accept that you make mistakes and try to understand their nature instead of getting emotional.

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    October 9th, 2013 at 20:20 | #25

    @Andre
    Reduce your fear of losing. This can be done in many ways. For example by using this emphasis.

  26. Ray
    October 9th, 2013 at 20:53 | #26

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Good point :-). I consider chess as a struggle / game, not a science. Therefore I don’t mind winning ‘undeservedly’ (as some would call it). I stopped worrying about the end result some years ago and my results improved :-).

  27. October 9th, 2013 at 21:27 | #27

    As far as I understand our great Chess Trainer’s point (I am thinking of Jacob Aagaard of course), I fully agree on his views (approach) to the “play the best moves and do not worry about anything else” (until the game finishes).

    And Jacob confirms that by answering the questions. I am really happy to see my approach (I discovered many years ago) is the same as Jacob’s (just that element, but I am glad of it).

    I have the question to you Jacob: “Do you consider including these questions and answers (at the same of changed/different form) in your last GP series of books – “Thinking inside the box”? I think it could be quite useful for many players (such a “Q&A” short sessions at the end of the book).

  28. Paul Brøndal
    October 10th, 2013 at 11:05 | #28

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Of course. It is just like software development. Accept that you may make errors but if the the programs are so solid, so that users don’t see them, this is fine. On the other hand, if a user presses a button and the program crashes, somebody hasn’t done their job well enough, corresponding to a bad blunder in chess 🙂

  29. SovietSchool
    October 10th, 2013 at 21:42 | #29

    I think the stress of playing chess, mainly due to fear of losing is very high. It is an important topic to face up to. The famous Fischer suffered badly from it. Look at the number of players who stop playing.
    Maybe it is good to do some self analysis to consider why the result is so important in chess compared to other sports.

    I recall asking Nigel Short in a question and answer session after a lecture if he had ever had a memorable or instructive defeat and he would not even consider the question at all.

    I think Jacob’s advice is good . I would say concentrate on the process of finding moves not on what the results will be.

    A good aphorism from Zen Is ‘ the archer who aims at the target will win the prize, the archer who aims for the prize will miss the target’

  30. October 10th, 2013 at 23:59 | #30

    I just want to add some weird helping advice. Probably it might be useless for anyone, but it is REALLY important (and useful) to me. When I reach the position and I cannot see HOW it is possible to defeat (beat) me from my opponent’s side… I just try to play on – without being worry about the result.

    And when I get the position evaluated as equal – I can be sure that there is AT LEAST ONE (sometimes just one) move that provide me the position inside “drawing zone”. It is just the problem (a question) if I can find this move (or these moves if we want to see the position until the bitter end) or not. Yes, I am really serious – I am trying just to focus on finding the proper move – not the willingness to win or draw (no matter if my opponent is 1300, 1600 or 2000 rated player).

    PS. SovietSchool – great aphorism! It is excatly what I mean and probably the same as Jacob’s point of view 🙂

  31. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    October 12th, 2013 at 15:59 | #31

    #***# Playing the French by Jacob Aagaard & Nikolaos Ntirlis #***#

    Any news? And how about excerpt?

    Besides, when can we expect Danny Gormally’s “Mating the Castled King”? It isn’t in “coming soon” section 🙁

  32. Ray
    October 12th, 2013 at 16:37 | #32

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    I think the procedure is still the same as a few days ago?

  33. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    October 12th, 2013 at 17:20 | #33

    @Ray
    You’re new employee? In 2 weeks should be out, it’s ripe time

  34. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 12th, 2013 at 19:53 | #34

    I think Jacob said 1-2 weeks few days ago. So hopefully no later than next Friday, it would be nice to have this book at least before Christmas.

  35. Ray
    October 13th, 2013 at 08:44 | #35

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    No, but it’s rather annoying that you keep on asking (or should I say demanding) this. I know you didn’t ask for my opinion but I’m giving it anyway.

  36. Phille
    October 13th, 2013 at 12:03 | #36

    @Andre
    I also had the tendency to overestimate my opponent’s advantage. So I can tell you that experience will take care of that. I don’t think it is closely connected to fear of losing.

    Play some more games and get accustomed to games where the advantage changes hands several times. Don’t spend too much time, otherwise this overestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Work on your positional understanding, so that your evaluation of a position isn’t solely guided by initiative and tactics.

    At least those are the things that took care of this particular problem for me.

  37. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 13th, 2013 at 21:53 | #37

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Did you say that starting from Playing the French onwards, the books should arrive at all chess shops basically the same day? I pre-ordered myself a copy from QC website, but I am considering buying a hardcover for my father from a chess shop when it is released.

  38. KIA Fan
    October 14th, 2013 at 14:07 | #38

    I don’t mean to pester, but is Playing 1.e4 going to be released in 2013?

  39. John Shaw
    October 14th, 2013 at 14:26 | #39

    To answer a question or two:

    We are within a day or so of putting up an excerpt of ‘Playing the French’. Proofreading is underway.

    ‘Mating the Castled King’ will soon appear in the Coming Soon section.

  40. John Shaw
    October 14th, 2013 at 14:36 | #40

    KIA Fan :
    I don’t mean to pester, but is Playing 1.e4 going to be released in 2013?

    We are avoiding guessing exact dates these days. So much is unpredictable. A problem in another book can take me away from ‘Playing 1.e4’. Or I can be editing another book first. Both examples from current real life.

    One thing I am confident about is that the KIA is not part of the repertoire. Sorry.

  41. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 15th, 2013 at 00:11 | #41

    Nice to see Playing the French having its excerpt soon. Excerpt usually means publication within a month, so I suppose we shall see.

  42. KIA Fan
    October 15th, 2013 at 03:43 | #42

    @John Shaw
    Thanks for the reply.
    I know there is no KIA, that is why I want to buy it.
    I want to build a better repertoire, and I am confident your book will provide me one!
    🙂

  43. Ray
    October 15th, 2013 at 07:36 | #43

    @KIA Fan
    I guess that means you’ll have to change your name :-).

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    October 15th, 2013 at 08:30 | #44

    @Tomasz Chessthinker
    It is a well-known strategy for bad positions. If you can see a direct way for your opponent to win, he will probably see it too.

  45. Jacob Aagaard
    October 15th, 2013 at 08:31 | #45

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Gormally’s book is in the editing phase.

  46. Jacob Aagaard
    October 15th, 2013 at 08:32 | #46

    @KIA Fan
    Probably very early 2014. It is the usual issue of many probjects in the pipeline. But a lot has been done already.

  47. wolfsblut
    October 15th, 2013 at 08:52 | #47

    Jacob Aagaard :@KIA Fan Probably very early 2014. It is the usual issue of many probjects in the pipeline. But a lot has been done already.

    I had the hope that this time a book about 1.e4 takes priority…looking forward to these books- very much, as often said!
    wolfsblut

  48. KIA Fan
    October 16th, 2013 at 12:19 | #48

    Ray :
    @KIA Fan
    I guess that means you’ll have to change your name .

    Nobody will recognize me then! 🙂
    (Nobody does anyway lol)

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @KIA Fan
    Probably very early 2014. It is the usual issue of many probjects in the pipeline. But a lot has been done already.

    Definitely going to buy it.

    Thanks for the information.

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 17th, 2013 at 06:59 | #49

    @Jacob Aagaard
    At least Playing the French is at the top of the publishing list though, even if there is some sort of multitasking to complete the other books too. From what I see so far, it seems like it sounds quite close to publication.

  50. John Shaw
    October 17th, 2013 at 15:00 | #50
  51. KIA Fan
    October 17th, 2013 at 16:41 | #51

    Looking at the excerpt, Playing the French looks really interesting.
    Even more than GM repertoire.

  52. Ray
    October 17th, 2013 at 17:20 | #52

    @John Shaw
    Looks like another winner to me! Golden days for French aficionados 🙂

  53. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 17th, 2013 at 21:41 | #53

    The book looks excellent. I suppose it is off to the printer tomorrow. Probably websales around 11/11 (Remembrance Day). The excerpt has an interesting line with 6…c5, wherewith I am totally unfamliar, especially with the 7…Kxe7. The detail looks like as much as GM Repertoire as well. I especially like how 3…Nf6 has almost 200 pages of coverage. I remember looking at the excerpt of GM14 when it was uploaded and the book was even better, I wager it shall be the same with Playing the French. I suppose French is now my new main defence.

  54. Ray
    October 18th, 2013 at 08:31 | #54

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I’m glad 5…Bd7 is recommended against the Advance, because this is already in my reportoire 🙂

  55. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 18th, 2013 at 21:40 | #55

    @Ray
    I play 3. Nc3 NF6 4. Bg5 Be7, so this is good that equal coverage is given here to 4…Bb4 as well. Maybe this book will reinvorgate the Classical, whilst Berg reinvigorates the 7…0-0 Winawer.

    Also Niggemann have it listed as 20/11/13 now, so I suppose around that week (perhaps earlier) is when it shall be published and released to the shops. Looks like you shall have to go to Amsterdam to buy another book next month.

  56. Ray
    October 19th, 2013 at 07:41 | #56

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Indeed 🙂 I’m currently working through Berg’s book, and it is very interesting indeed!

  57. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 19th, 2013 at 08:23 | #57

    I am also reading Berg’s book, which I highly doubt I can finish before Playing the French, which most likely has been sent to the printer yesterday, so I have enough material to read. Then thereafter follows probably Berg’s GM15 with the 7. Qg4 Winawer, and GM16 with the other lines. Potentially more than 1200 pages of the French between all four books.

  58. Ray
    October 19th, 2013 at 10:08 | #58

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    It is costing me considerably less time, because I am adding the lines straight to my already large database, with which there is quite some overlap. It turns out that Berg is playing my reportoire :-).

  59. Jacob Aagaard
    October 19th, 2013 at 11:36 | #59

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Noticing a mistake in the excerpt, we deciding that we needed another proofing Monday. I am not sure on the publication date; it depends on a few factors, not the least how many Christmas catalogs are needed in Finland and Sweden this year!

  60. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 19th, 2013 at 19:36 | #60

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well hopefully it is published before Christmas…

  61. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 19th, 2013 at 22:43 | #61

    DeBesteZet have Playing the French as 31/10/13, so perhaps a bit early that prediction..I still think mid-November is still likely though.

  62. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 20th, 2013 at 22:36 | #62

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I returned and read the excerpt again, and cannot find an obvious error. Perhaps I am out of practise, or the standards of analysis are so high that I cannot see it (probably more likely). I was thinking on p. 323, 14. Nc7? Ra7 line, then 15. c6+, but still I think the knight is trapped anyway. Material equalises after Black wins a pawn and then White takes a pawn with the trapped c7-knight.

    It must be nice to work in the QC office as editor, one gets to learn new openings, etc. whilst doing their work. And also one gets the books earlier than websales probably.

  63. Jacob Aagaard
    October 20th, 2013 at 22:41 | #63

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Colin has already corrected it. It also has quite a lot of responsibilities to work in our office.

    The mistake was move 9 followed by another move 9. This should never happen, so we decided to check everything carefully.

  64. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 21st, 2013 at 06:48 | #64

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That should not take as long, since it is basically checking the syntax rather than the analyses. To be honest, that work sounds quite enjoyable–one gets to read the entire book as part of the job; re-reading must make one gain the repertoire as well.

    But still, looking forward to this book particularly. To me this is the most important book of the year. The use of the Classical Variation, and perhaps some 3. Nd2 c5 especially interests me, and this is quite a massive book for just a GM Guide instead of GM Repertoire. I have an impression that the book could be as popular at least as GM10 when it was released three years ago a week before Christmas.

  65. Ray
    October 21st, 2013 at 08:46 | #65

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    The excerpt looks quite interesting. Also, I’m quite curious whether …Kf8 or …g6 will be recommended in the main line MacCutcheon…

  66. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 21st, 2013 at 19:43 | #66

    I wonder what is in many lines in the book, especially the main line of the Classical in Chapter 23, the main line of 3. Nd2 c5 with 10. Nxd4, 10…a6, 10…Be7, 10…Bd7, etc. in Chapter 11, etc. But I have been wondering what the lines were since two years ago already anyway.

  67. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 22nd, 2013 at 04:50 | #67

    About the 12…h6!? on p. 210 that was mentioned in the Introduction, is it this line?:

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Nb3 Nc6 9. Nfxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Re1 Qc7 12.Bb3 h6

    I have never seen this line before, but this prevents the annoying Bg5 line that can shatter the kingside pawn structure in some of the main lines like 12…Bd6, 12…Bd7, etc. I am looking at this line right now and it seems quite solid and also leaves free the possibility of queenside castling.

  68. Jacob Aagaard
    October 22nd, 2013 at 09:31 | #68

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I think we are basically ready now. There are still some logistics that might delay the book a bit. This is the Christmas catalogue season after all.

  69. Jacob Aagaard
    October 22nd, 2013 at 09:32 | #69
  70. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 22nd, 2013 at 21:28 | #70

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Right, well, the printer does what it wants, and the queue, if fuller, is inevitable during Christmas season, but at least the book is done, a comforting sign. Still I am sure that it shall be published in November, especially given that it is the only book to be published in this cycle (no other to be paired with it).

  71. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 23rd, 2013 at 05:18 | #71

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Also right now I am reading GM14, and on page 257 towards the right side of the page, I found at the end of the 8. h4 sideline, Berg states that 7…0-0 8. Bd3 f5 is covered. Is there both 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5 or only the latter? I think the moves are basically a matter of preference, whereby I mean that neither is truly better than the other, but I think 8…Nbc6 has more forced and longer lines.

  72. Ray
    October 23rd, 2013 at 07:21 | #72

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I prefer 8…f5. It’s less passive than 8…Nbc6 in my opinion.

  73. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 23rd, 2013 at 22:55 | #73

    @Ray
    I like either move, but 8…Nbc6 I find slightly more enjoyable because of the unorthodox blocked positions that arise, i.e. the illogical but almost compulsory 12…fxg6, then blocking the kingside, and playing for the …b4 break.

  74. SpecialCase
    October 24th, 2013 at 09:33 | #74

    Any information from the printer about Playing the French yet?

    De Beste Zet still has 1/11 as publication date, while others (Amazon, Bookdepository) have mid December…

  75. Ray
    October 24th, 2013 at 09:35 | #75

    @SpecialCase
    I think Amazon and Bookdepository are always some months later than the chess specialists. Normally De Beste Zet is pretty accurate in its forecasts of the publication dates.

  76. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 24th, 2013 at 21:28 | #76

    I always add three weeks after the date it is sent to the printer to know when the books would be published and thereafter sent to the chess shops. It is usually a Friday, although sometimes Thursdays recently, so adding 21 days should be a rough guide. The websales usually ship 24 days after going to the printer–I have a feeling that might be today or tomorrow in the case of Playing the French, but someone from the office would need to confirm that.

  77. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 24th, 2013 at 21:32 | #77

    I always add three weeks after the date it is sent to the printer to know when the books would be published and thereafter sent to the chess shops. It is usually a Friday, although sometimes Thursdays recently, so adding 21 days should be a rough guide.

    I am not sure about De Beste Zet date, maybe I could e-mail them about it.

    The websales usually ship 24 days after going to the printer–I have a feeling that might be today or tomorrow in the case of Playing the French, but someone from the office would need to confirm that.

  78. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 24th, 2013 at 21:33 | #78

    I always add three weeks after the date it is sent to the printer to know when the books would be published and thereafter sent to the chess shops. It is usually a Friday, although sometimes Thursdays recently, so adding 21 days should be a rough guide.

    I am not sure about De Beste Zet date, maybe I could e-mail them.

    The websales usually ship 24 days after going to the printer–I have a feeling that might be today or tomorrow in the case of Playing the French, but someone from the office would need to confirm that.

  79. Thomas
    October 24th, 2013 at 21:50 | #79

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    Just a moment – how many weeks do you add?

  80. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 24th, 2013 at 21:53 | #80

    For some reason my computer had a severe lagwave or something, and the click happened thrice. Apologies for that.

    Anyway usually directly after the book is sent to the printer, simply add three weeks and that usually is what I get for the publication date (release date). Add 3 weeks and 3 days (24 days) for the websales is usually what I get for the websale shipping date. I have become accustomed to this pattern since I have used QC’s websale system since 2009.

  81. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 25th, 2013 at 19:53 | #81

    I have a feeling today or yesterday was printer day for Playing the French. If it is, 15/11 would probably be its publication date.

  82. Jacob Aagaard
    October 25th, 2013 at 21:45 | #82

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    No, things are slower at the moment. The book went on Tuesday.

  83. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 25th, 2013 at 22:59 | #83

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well, at least it is done, which is the hard part. The rest is just waiting.

  84. Boki
    October 25th, 2013 at 23:38 | #84

    I Play d4 , i will Not Play the french and
    Still i will probably end in buying this Book

  85. Ray
    October 26th, 2013 at 08:07 | #85

    @Boki
    Just to complete your QC collection, I suppose?

  86. Andre
    October 26th, 2013 at 13:58 | #86

    SpecialCase :
    Any information from the printer about Playing the French yet?
    De Beste Zet still has 1/11 as publication date, while others (Amazon, Bookdepository) have mid December…

    FYI: Bookdepository is part of Amazon. They bought it a few years ago.

  87. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 27th, 2013 at 03:35 | #87

    @Ray
    This book is so important to me that I shall buy two copies actually..

  88. KIA Fan
    October 27th, 2013 at 06:00 | #88

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    What will you do with the extra copy?

  89. Gilchrist is a Legend
    October 27th, 2013 at 06:43 | #89

    @KIA Fan
    Well, actually I pre-ordered a hardback for myself about half a year ago. But when the book shall be released into chess shops, I wanted to go to buy a copy for my father as well. So I am quite interested especially in when this book is out.

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