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Best Quality Chess book of 2015?

Last week’s poll question was “Do you agree with Nigel Short that the evidence suggests men are hardwired to play better chess than women, for whatever reason?” The pro-hardwired option was a narrow winner ahead of the opposing view, but at 45% to 40% it is clearly a disputed issue.

Poll-women

This week I will move to safer territory: in your opinion, What was the best Quality Chess book of 2015? Since we love all our children equally, I shall list every book we published in 2015.

Spoiler: next week I plan to ask ‘What was the best non-Quality Chess chess book in 2015?’ So in the comments, please nominate some likely candidates.

Categories: Polls, Reviews Tags:
  1. The Doctor
    January 25th, 2016 at 17:39 | #1

    Bologon’s Ruy Lopez is the only non QC book I’ve bought I think it’s quite good

  2. Nestor
    January 25th, 2016 at 18:20 | #2

    I agree: Bologan’s Ruy Lopez (New in Chess). I will of course be buying Nikos’s book too!

  3. Thomas
    January 25th, 2016 at 19:09 | #3

    Without beeing too cheesy – there weren’t many notable non-QC books around.

    Christof Sielecki has written quite a good book on Nimzo and Bogo.
    Gulievs Winning Chess Maneuvres isn’t bad either.
    Definitely NOT a good book is Bologans Ruy Lopez.

  4. The Doctor
    January 25th, 2016 at 19:16 | #4

    @Thomas

    Why not content. Layout?

  5. Dave T
    January 25th, 2016 at 19:22 | #5

    Muller’s How to Play Chess Endgames from Gambit was a good recent app book.

  6. Thomas
    January 25th, 2016 at 19:45 | #6

    @The Doctor
    I was looking for a certain line but gave up after 10 minutes. I simply didn’t remember if it was “Schallop’s Maneuvre” or “Lilienthal’s Coup” or “Churchill’s Cigar” – and other ways to find it didn’t exist. Really annoying.
    And the plain chess content is ok, but no more than that.
    As the user Ray here already said – without beeing harsh – Bologan is overrated.

  7. pabstars
    January 25th, 2016 at 21:01 | #7

    My favourite book from QC was Chess Structures followed by Learn from the Legends and Positional Decision Making. Managed to read all 3 books and they are all fantastic. Dvoretsky’s Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources is my favourite non-QC book from 2015; I also rate this book very highly.

    Please note that the 2 books which have received most votes are not opening books! Even though your opening books are the best on the market, your books on improvement are even better IMO!

  8. Roberto Juanes
    January 25th, 2016 at 21:18 | #8

    My vote goes to Bologon’s Ruy Lopez.

  9. January 25th, 2016 at 21:44 | #9

    I can’t decide on Quality Chess’ best book of 2015 Rios’ Chess Structures and Gelfand’s Positional Decision making in Chess were both must buys.

    It’s been an OK year elsewhere. Nimzo and Bogo Indian A Repertoire for Black against Mainline 1 d4 by Christof Sieleck I’m working through now.

    Although it’s an update The Even More Flexible French Strategic Ideas & Powerful Weapons by Viktor Moskalenko was a must buy for me,

    Liquidation on the Chess Board Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Ending by Joel Benjamin I haven’t really read yet but people like it.

  10. Jupp53
    January 25th, 2016 at 23:02 | #10

    My book nomination is the 4th improved edition of Jesus de la Villa – 100 Endgames You Must Know. It gives great training material and explanations.

  11. Paul
    January 26th, 2016 at 00:49 | #11

    Liquidation on the Chess Board would be my vote. Only read parts but really well done. Bologan’s Ruy Lopez is of course another one.

  12. Andre
    January 26th, 2016 at 03:15 | #12

    Jupp53 :
    My book nomination is the 4th improved edition of Jesus de la Villa – 100 Endgames You Must Know. It gives great training material and explanations.

    This is actually a book I would *not* nominate because I couldn’t find a single improvement over the last edition apart from fixing two dozen things mentioned on their errata page.

    I agree with you though that the book is very good.

  13. Ray
    January 26th, 2016 at 07:44 | #13

    I love Negi’s books, so I voted for him. But it’s a tough choice, since all books on the list are very good, and I have them all!

    As for non-QC books: I like Recent Developments: 6.Bg5 Najdorf from Kevin Goh Weih Ming, but I’m not sure if this was published in 2015. Otherwise I’m hardly ever buying any non QC-books anymore, and the few times I do buy a non-QC book it’s mostly disappointing.

  14. Gollum
    January 26th, 2016 at 08:28 | #14

    For next week poll, I certainly would include the new edition of de la Villa’s book, Delchev’s book on the QGA (I like its structure a lot, very similar to QC Morra’s book).

    This year from nonQC books I also bought Dvoretsky’s endgame manual, although I think the new edition was released at the end of 2014 and Van Perlo’s new edition (which I have no idea when was released. Both are worth considering if they were released in the correct year.

  15. Steve
    January 26th, 2016 at 09:14 | #15

    I just checked and it seems I didn’t buy any non-QC books published in 2015. I bought 9 QC books. Negi’s books are great, but I always find non-openings books of greater value. I voted for Gelfand, but others are just as good.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    January 26th, 2016 at 10:00 | #16

    We will not include updates in our non-QC vote next week.

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    January 26th, 2016 at 10:01 | #17

    Though for some reason Colin or John has included Marin in this one. Call it inconsistent, which is fine by me 🙂

  18. Tim S
    January 26th, 2016 at 10:43 | #18

    Bologan’s Ruy Lopez is very good. Also Houska’s Caro-Kann effort was very decent and Smerdon’s Scandinavian was fun!

  19. January 26th, 2016 at 11:26 | #19

    Tony Rotella’s Killer Sicilian is very good, but surprisingly it is from 2014 – Chessexplained’s Nimzo-Bogo-Rep is good. Junior Tay: The Old Indian move by move because there are not many books about this opening.

    My all time favourite is “Opening for White according to Kramnik (1-5)” by Alexander Khalifman.

  20. Neil Sullivan
    January 26th, 2016 at 13:20 | #20

    I looked through my purchases of 2015 books and agree that the non-QC crop was not a bumper one. I’d have to go with Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography by Tim Harding, published by McFarland.

  21. Shurlock Ventriloquist
    January 26th, 2016 at 17:41 | #21

    Actually, the non QC books this year were very good and are a serious rival to anything QC has put out recently.

    This is good because it means that QC has raised the bar and others are now trying to meet it.

    That being said: Book of the year is Bologan’s work on the Lopez.
    QC Book of the year: Schandorff’s Semi Slav

  22. Jacob Aagaard
    January 26th, 2016 at 17:48 | #22

    @Shurlock Ventriloquist
    I have always felt that more good books in general would be good for Quality Chess. Anything that makes people look to chess books makes sense to me.

  23. Gollum
    January 26th, 2016 at 17:52 | #23

    @Jacob Aagaard

    From my personal experience, that is true. I returned to the chess book market thanks to QC, and while I buy a lot from you, I also buy from other publishers when they deserve it.

  24. John Johnson
    January 26th, 2016 at 19:59 | #24

    @Thomas
    There is a list of variations in the back of the Bologan Spanish book, just for the sake of accuracy.

  25. Thomas
    January 27th, 2016 at 07:38 | #25

    @John Johnson
    Of course there is.
    But does a chapter summary like
    “Ideas To Remember: The Sveshnikov center”
    really help anybody?

  26. Tim S
    January 27th, 2016 at 13:10 | #26

    @Thomas
    I understand you don’t like the way Bologan assigns names to various ideas/themes, however claiming the book is unusable because of that is not accurate. 10 minutes to fail to find a line? If that’s really true I don’t think the book can be blamed…

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    January 27th, 2016 at 13:51 | #27

    Maybe time to stop debating Bologan’s book…

  28. Jimmy
    January 27th, 2016 at 14:07 | #28

    2015 was all good and fine, but I wouldn’t mind putting the focus back to 2016 – may I even suggest an update of the publishing schedule!?

    On topic: I nominate “The Queen’s Gambit Accepted” as a non-QC book for 2015

  29. George Hollands
    January 28th, 2016 at 16:07 | #29

    Don’t tease me with mention of a new publishing schedule…. I’ve been checking this blog about 5 times a day for weeks in the hope of seeing one 😛

  30. chessmayhem
    January 28th, 2016 at 17:42 | #30

    For me to “The Queen’s Gambit Accepted” is non QC book of the year. Never felt so comfortable playing a new opening after so little work. And it helped me get better results against stronger opponents.

    I voted for Python Strategy. But the learn of the Legends chapter on Magnus deserves a nomination.
    @QC, Please give us a new Marin book for 2016.

  31. neiman
    January 28th, 2016 at 20:45 | #31

    Non QC, I liked Liquidation by Benjamin and a cunning chess repertoire (pirc Philidor) by S Kasparov.

  32. Jupp53
    January 28th, 2016 at 20:58 | #32

    Andre :

    Jupp53 :
    My book nomination is the 4th improved edition of Jesus de la Villa – 100 Endgames You Must Know. It gives great training material and explanations.

    This is actually a book I would *not* nominate because I couldn’t find a single improvement over the last edition apart from fixing two dozen things mentioned on their errata page.
    I agree with you though that the book is very good.

    Fixing the errata is minor indeed. But adding to the diagrams who’s up to move makes the book much better. (And makes all books a lot less excellent, if this is missing.) So it deserves a nomination for the first time. IMO – everybody’s up to think different naturally about this.

  33. Klaus Kristensen
    January 28th, 2016 at 23:01 | #33

    Liquidation on the Chess Board Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Ending by Joel Benjamin was the best none QC book of the year.
    Chess Structures by Rios was the best QC book with Positional Decision making in Chess by Gelfand in 2nd place.

  34. SimonB
    January 29th, 2016 at 02:53 | #34

    @neiman
    Thing is though, S. Kasparov does *not* offer a repertoire.
    There is no systematic working through. The approach, if you can call it that, is “Here’s some assorted stuff for you about the Philidor.”
    Even less organised than Moskalenko.
    I was hugely disappointed. A dismal affair, IMHO.

  35. neiman
    January 29th, 2016 at 09:50 | #35

    @SimonB : Understand what you feel but it is a question of style. Kasparov gives ideas, instead of long variations. For old folks (like me!), unable to learn variations by heart, it is easier and more useful to read.

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