Home > Authors in Action, GM Repertoire > Boris Avrukh available on this blog – Tue March 23rd

Boris Avrukh available on this blog – Tue March 23rd

Grandmaster Boris Avrukh – author of the highly successful books 1.d4 vol. 1 & 1.d4 vol. 2 will visit the blog, tomorrow, Tuesday. He will be happy to answer any general questions you might have, about chess, his books and so on. The only thing I have been asked is not to come with anything he needs to analyse, as this is supposed to be light and fun.

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  1. March 22nd, 2010 at 17:25 | #1

    Boris, congratulations on the birth of your second daughter.

    When you are analyzing, do you set the position up on a board or a computer? If on a board, do you move the pieces around, stare at the position and write down lines, or something different?

  2. March 22nd, 2010 at 17:38 | #2

    Hi Boris, thanks for dropping by…

    Question: Your 1.d4 repertoire for White is based on the philosophy of obtaining and nursing small advantages – I was curious to know what kind of philosophy you would advocate for Black? Would it be: 1) Equalize first, or 2) Take the fight to White right from the start?

  3. Ponting is a Legend
    March 22nd, 2010 at 19:01 | #3

    Hello Boris,

    Is it more useful to study GM2 with computer (Chessbase+engine) or physical board with pieces (or both)? What are advantages of each method?


  4. SlavoF
    March 22nd, 2010 at 19:25 | #4

    Hello Boris,

    I have two questions,

    1/ Against which opening/variations you like to play as white (your reaction to your opponent choice is “this is simply great!”) and against which opening variations you do not like to play (reaction “aaah!! not this again!”) and why?
    2/ Why, in your opinion, stonewall dutch or classical dutch in general, is not played by elite (>2700) players in supertournaments? It is just about fashion? Or there is something substantial (it is too risky positionaly, or something like this…), can you explain this?

    thanks for your books!

  5. Daniel
    March 22nd, 2010 at 19:52 | #5

    Hi Boris, do you have any plans regarding future books or magazine articles?

    Also since you are an opening expert, I am trying to ween myself off of hte Kings Indian. Would playing the Nimzo-Indian/Tartakower QGD Declined like Geller be a good choice for this?

  6. Seth
    March 23rd, 2010 at 03:40 | #6

    Hi Grandmaster Avrukh!

    Thanks for addressing our questions! There are plenty of books and software for studying things like openings, tactics, endgames, etc….but how does a top GM like yourself normally go about studying middlegame strategies?

  7. Al
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:35 | #7

    Hi Boris, how do you think writing these books has affected your OTB play and preparation?


  8. Ider
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:47 | #8

    Hi Boris,
    My problem is when I learn opening theory it seems OK, but I forget all of them after couple of weeks.
    It is impossible to remember all variations if you have not played them.

    Do you have some methods how to learn opening theory?
    Could you give some your personal advices? Thanks a lot

  9. March 23rd, 2010 at 11:54 | #9

    Hi Jesse,
    Personally I don’t remember when last time I used board at home :), but definitely analyzing without computer would help you to improve. Later you can check your work with engine.Thanks for congratulations.

  10. ts
    March 23rd, 2010 at 11:55 | #10

    Hi Boris,
    My problem(friends say the same) is when I learn opening theory it seems OK, but I forget all of them after couple of weeks.
    It is impossible to remember all variations if you have not played them.

    Do you have some methods how to learn opening theory?
    Could you give some your personal advices? Thanks a lot,

  11. J.A. Topfke
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:23 | #11

    Do you use any special techniques for actually memorizing your opening repertoire?

  12. March 23rd, 2010 at 12:23 | #12

    Hi Jules,
    Well, it’s hard to answer this question,it was rather combination of lines I play in regular base, systems I thought are good for such a format and easy understand them, so I was thinking a lot before choosing lines in some key openings. Considering your second question it’s hard to answer like this, as you should take into consideration a few factors, like your style, the style of opponent maybe even your condition before the game. Many times happened that I prepared one line before the game and just 5 minutes before the start I decided to change:).

  13. John Shaw
    March 23rd, 2010 at 13:35 | #13

    I believe Boris had to step out to attend to a family matter, but he’ll be back.

  14. March 23rd, 2010 at 16:32 | #14

    Hello Ponting is a Legend,
    Depends in which way you can remember better, for me personally, as well as for many GM’S it doesn’t make much difference to study with board , or inside Chess Program. For non-professionals I would recommend to study with help of board, since usually in this way it’s easier to remember all the details. As you correctly mentioned inside Chess Program you can study.using different engines, this will help you to avoid mistakes in analyzes..

  15. March 23rd, 2010 at 16:37 | #15

    Hello SlavoF,
    I like to play against side(minor) lines, there is so much work you need in order to find decent ideas in such an openings like Slav, Catalan, Grunfeld and when I see some dubious, play from Black in the opening I am very happy:),

  16. B.A.
    March 23rd, 2010 at 16:41 | #16


    Your great G.M. books lead mostly to positions with a small positional plus. What do you think are the best middlegame (and/or endgame) books to study so the reader can handle those kind of positions well? Or whose games should we study carefully?

  17. March 23rd, 2010 at 16:41 | #17

    Hi again SlavoF,
    I noticed also the second question:).Objectively I think Classical Dutch is slightly dubious, while StoneWall I consider very decent opening, still Top players somehow don’t like to play with permanent positional drawbacks , in our case e5-square and dark-squares.

  18. March 23rd, 2010 at 16:51 | #18

    Hi Daniel,
    I have a plenty of ideas about future books:), recently I am working on another book in the GM Repertoire series ” Grunfeld”, if everything goes well it will be out at the end of the year. About articles usually the order comes at last moment, so you never know.
    I cannot advise you what to play instead of KID, since in order to do this I need to see your games, style and etc.

  19. Milen Petrov
    March 23rd, 2010 at 16:56 | #19

    Hi Boris,
    may be you have remembered me ๐Ÿ™‚ I was frequent arbiter to your matches at Calvia Olimpiad :).
    I remember you wrote excellent articles about Sicilian Richter Rauzer for NIC. Do you have any plans to create a book about this challenging variation in Sicilian?
    Thanks in advance

  20. March 23rd, 2010 at 16:59 | #20

    Hi Seth,
    Really difficult question. I think the most of GM’s did it before they achieved this level, still I believe this is very personal and I cannot say about all GM’s. Personally my middle-game strategy comes together with openings, so usually when I study new variation I always try to study further a little bit .

  21. March 23rd, 2010 at 17:02 | #21

    Hi Al,
    Nice question:). I was pretty sure, that it will be not so good for me, since objectively I was spending much less time for my personal needs, but I was really pleasantly surprise when I won 2 strong Opens in the summer, beating Malakhov and Morozevich in last rounds.

  22. March 23rd, 2010 at 18:49 | #22

    Hi ts,
    It’s not only your problem, I know many GM’s with the story, the most famous of them was Karpov, so you have good company. I don’t have any special methods to improve this, since I was always OK with this issue. MY recommendation would be , that you need pay attention to ideas, plans , where better to place pieces and not concrete lines in this case even if you go wrong you can play decent moves , or maybe even strong novelties:).

  23. March 23rd, 2010 at 18:51 | #23

    Hi J.A. Tophke,
    I just answered more or less the same question. Please check my reply to “ts”.

  24. March 23rd, 2010 at 18:56 | #24

    Hi B.A.,
    I rather disagree with you about small plus, probably you consider Slav, but if you take Catalan there are many complex lines , sometimes winning continuations. Telling the truth I am not so strong in recommending books, since I was always working with Chess Programs, before I started to work on my book and only then I noticed some nice books from QualityChess. I believe just every middle-game book can give you useful information, the question what exactly you need and what is your level.

  25. March 23rd, 2010 at 18:59 | #25

    Hi Milen Petrov,
    I am sorry , but I never pay attention to arbiters:), especially if they are not disturbing:). Well about Sicilian right now I have no plans, also recently I stopped to play Rauzer, because I couldn’t find the reasonable line there (to my taste).

  26. Bart
    March 23rd, 2010 at 19:15 | #26

    @Boris Avrukh

    thx for your answer. The last weeks I worked mostly on Slav en Stonewall lines and it’s not always easy to find the right plan after the opening for me (rated around 2000). Indeed Catalan lines are mostly quite sharp.

    I’ll read the Quality Chess books then ๐Ÿ™‚ and I am already looking forward at your Grunfeld book.


  27. GrizzleBazzle
    March 23rd, 2010 at 19:45 | #27

    Boris Avrukh :Hi Daniel,I have a plenty of ideas about future books:), recently I am working on another book in the GM Repertoire series โ€ Grunfeldโ€, if everything goes well it will be out at the end of the year. About articles usually the order comes at last moment, so you never know.I cannot advise you what to play instead of KID, since in order to do this I need to see your games, style and etc.

    Does this count as breaking news?

  28. March 23rd, 2010 at 20:53 | #28

    Hi GrizzleBazzl,
    Of course:)

  29. William Shea
    March 24th, 2010 at 00:27 | #29

    Hello GM Avrukh. Will the Gruenfeld book be a repertoire book from black perspective or white?
    How many hours per day is good for adult class player (with regular job) to devote to chess to improve significantly.


  30. Ponting is a Legend
    March 24th, 2010 at 00:32 | #30

    I had a feeling Boris was doing GM Rep Grรผnfeld–now we will have both White and Black repertoire from Quality Chess, from same great author ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Seth
    March 24th, 2010 at 19:40 | #31

    I thought that was a productive and fun day with GM Avrukh. Hopefully Quality Chess does something like this again sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    March 24th, 2010 at 22:07 | #32

    Hi, Boris has left the building, of course. His book is for Black, so we will see if he can find an improvement against his own repertoire! It is definitely our intention to do this again, it reduces the distance between the readers and the writers.

  33. Marc Sicina
    March 25th, 2010 at 04:40 | #33

    Hi BOris,
    Wonderful books: I am an attacking tactical player who is under 2000 elo:
    1. Do you recommend the Catalan if you are under 2000 elo??
    2. Which sicilian would you recommend the Shevenigen or the Kan for a sharp player or some thing else?
    3, Finally thinking of KID, Nimzo?Ragozin or semi slav (moscow). Which do you recommend?
    thank you for your time and patience,

  34. Hesam
    March 25th, 2010 at 04:50 | #34

    I thought Ftacnik is doing the Gruenfeld book but Avrukh sounds great, specially now that he has the experience of writing two GM repertoire books under his belt, the only drawback is that we might see the book in 2012! On the other hand writing a comprehensive book on Gruenfeld is not a small feat. After all you have to compete with Rowson’s book (out of print and old but still valuable) and Kasparov’s Gruenfeld chapters in “Revolution in the 70s” plus his annotations of his matches with Karpov where he played the Gruenfeld.

  35. Alexander
    April 3rd, 2010 at 21:19 | #35

    In your newest 1) d4. vol. 2 book, you suggest for white Qd3 in chp. 25 on pg. 400. It’s absolutely an interesting idea for white. After ..Nb4 Qd2, you suggest that black would play his knight back to c6 (where it came from on the previos move). I see no reason for black to play Nb4, if all he wants is to put it back again on the move after (having improved white’s position at the same time). Thus, the book seems biased towards White, which is natural since it is expected for you to come up with new ideas (according to the introductory text given about the book etc.). However.. it may be a disaster for black to continue with a5 (with the idea Na6 followed by c5) if white tries to chase away the Nb4 by say a3, as I’ve tried in a few games. I’m well aware that you cannot give explanations to all of those (most likely unusable) ideas we amateurs play OTB – but it makes very little sense to me, even at the level I’m at, to move a piece forward, only to place it back on the square it came from again.. so either 1) the line must be explained in greater detail for black, or 2) entirely left out.. as I see no benefit for black in playing it at all.

    Otherwise, great book. It’s great to see someone take up the challenge of bringing forth new ideas ! Hats off.


  36. John Shaw
    April 5th, 2010 at 13:59 | #36


    I think a key point in your comment is “I see no reason for black to play Nb4, if all he wants is to put it back again on the move after (having improved whiteโ€™s position at the same time).” Especially the part about “having improved White’s position at the same time”. It was not so obvious to many (before the book) that White had improved his position. For example, Kasimdzhanov has played this …Nb4 move twice with Black. His implied claim being that White’s queen has not found a better square than d1 where it started.

    The Avrukh plan in reply to …Nb4 is Qd3-d2 burying the bishop on c1, but then b2-b3 and Bb2 digs it out. This is not so obvious that …Nb4 should be ignored.

    In a database, check out the game Tkachiev – Kasimdzhanov, FIDE-Wch k.o. 2005 (3.3): 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.O-O a6 8.Qd3 Nb4 9.Qd1 Nc6 10.Bd2, etc.

    Since Tkachiev on move 9 thought d1 was a better square than d2, Kasimdzhanov used …Nb4 to repeat moves and “force” White to use a plan other than 8.Qd3.

  37. April 6th, 2010 at 09:43 | #37

    Dear Boris,

    what will you tell lower rated players (between 1600-2000) that they will learn/get from your book?

    Best regards

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    April 6th, 2010 at 10:07 | #38

    Hi Frank, you missed it. Sorry.

  39. April 13th, 2010 at 18:03 | #39

    Hi Boris
    Lovely Book 2. It will take a long time. However you really have openned many doors for me now. I can plan a stable repertoire thanks to you. Even in the database era this book is important because it can actually help structure research on databases as the reader knows which move order to follow and which path to go into.
    I would like to say the Stonewall Dutch chapter should lead to tremendous debate.

  40. gianfranco pecis
    May 19th, 2010 at 07:58 | #40

    Hello Boris,
    congratulations for the work of your second book 1.d4.
    I wonder where I fall in your later versions:
    1.d4 NF6
    2.c4 g6
    3.g3 Bg7
    4.Bg2 c5!?
    I could not find any interesting line.
    Best regards

  41. Jacob Aagaard
    May 19th, 2010 at 11:52 | #41

    Hi Gianfranco,

    This Q&A is long gone. However, I do not see why you do not end in the various Benoni’s after 5.d5.

  42. gianfranco pecis
    May 20th, 2010 at 09:50 | #42

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Hi Jacob
    1.d4 Nf6
    2.c4 g6
    3.g3 Bg7
    4.Bg2 c5!?
    5.d5 0-0
    6.Nf3 b5
    7.cxb5 Qa5
    I can not find in the book return, where am I wrong?

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