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Quality Chess Nominated

Earlier today we got a phonecall from Ray Edwards, head of the three-man committee deciding the Book of the Year by the English Chess Federation. We were pleased to be nominated, this year with two books. The short list of candidates looks like this:

1) Yasser Seirawan: Chess Duels

2) John Nunn: Understanding Chess Endgames

3) Kopec, Ftacnik & Browne: Champions of the New Millennium

4) Jacob Aagaard: Attacking Manual 1+2

It is very pleasing to have both the books we sent in (each publisher can only send two books) nominated. Whatever the final choice, this is a big moment for Quality Chess – and the authors as well, of course.

See the committee’s reasonings.

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  1. Alan
    August 20th, 2010 at 20:48 | #1

    Congratulations to Quality Chess and you as well. Good luck!

  2. August 22nd, 2010 at 19:16 | #2

    Congratulations and good luck Jacob!

    Jonathan

  3. Andre
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 | #3

    Congratulations. It will get you on the radar of a lot of people who are still unaware of QC.

  4. Grijandel
    August 26th, 2010 at 09:27 | #4

    Hi, do you have an estimation of when a reprint of GM2 will happen and with it the hadback edition?

  5. Abramov Anjuhin
    August 26th, 2010 at 15:22 | #5

    Hello Jacob 🙂

    In my hardcover copy of Ftacnik’s “GM Rep Najdorf” I also noticed (since you’ll make an update) that in odd-lines sections the author misses line 1.e4 c5 2.a3!? about which Alexei Bezgodov wrote a whole book Challenging the Sicilian with 2.a3! (publisher Chess Stars, 206 pages, year 2004). Definitely it seems interesting to us, Elo -2200.

    Few days ago I spoke with GM Elo 2600 and I said to him that I’m looking forward to forthcoming Avrukh’s “GM Rep GRUNFELD”, and he as I was curious which line will he choose. Do you know it?

    Working with Jussupov’s books in German language an interesting idea came to my mind. Jacob, why don’t you publish a workbook on strategy/positional chess? you could finish such a book in a month or two. Only short introductions plus at least 20-30 exercises per lesson. I think that such approach is the best to improve in mentioned field. Please consider it…

  6. Jacob Aagaard
    August 26th, 2010 at 15:26 | #6

    I have been working on such a book for two years. I might decide to finish it before the 1.e4 books – as other things are coming up as well (2nd editions of a few old books, maybe).

    Yes, 2.a3 is not there. We don’t have this book. Maybe I should ask for it. I think 2…g6 is the refutation. One guy played 3.b4 Bg7 4.Nc3 against me, and after 4…b6 I was already better. I can put the game in the newsletter…

  7. Jacob Aagaard
    August 26th, 2010 at 15:26 | #7

    About Grunfeld – I get more and more reluctant to discuss lines every time I answer this question. So, no I don’t know.

  8. Abramov Anjuhin
    August 26th, 2010 at 15:35 | #8

    Jacob Aagaard :
    I have been working on such a book for two years. I might decide to finish it before the 1.e4 books

    Excellent!!!
    Regarding your note about 2nd edition of some books please consider to launch in English language your series of improved “Excelling at…” or in German “Verbessern Sie…” edition. This would fit nicely with Jussupow’s book, and in hardcover of course. On the market is lack of such books. The titels could be, perhaps 🙂 :

    a) Improving/training of Positional chess
    b) Improving/training of Chess Calculation
    c) Improving/training of your Chess Training

    Now I’m still undiceded: to buy your German books or not in this field, cause perhaps hardcovers are at dawn…

  9. HAL
    August 28th, 2010 at 23:47 | #9

    About 2.a3 I guess 2….e6 3.b4 b6 is also quite good. It is difficult to see what White are making…

  10. Abramov Anjuhin
    August 29th, 2010 at 12:04 | #10

    Jacob, when will Avrukh’s “GM Repertoire 1d4 Vol Two” (HARDCOVER) be available at Niggemann Germany store?

    Can you please comment on my previous post here.

  11. Jacob Aagaard
    August 29th, 2010 at 13:09 | #11

    I did comment on your previous post – many times. I think just over 2 weeks.

  12. Abramov Anjuhin
    August 29th, 2010 at 16:37 | #12

    I meant this one:

    “Regarding your note about 2nd edition of some books please consider to launch in English language your series of improved “Excelling at…” or in German “Verbessern Sie…” edition. This would fit nicely with Jussupow’s book, and in hardcover of course. On the market is lack of such books. The titels could be, perhaps 🙂 :

    a) Improving/training of Positional chess
    b) Improving/training of Chess Calculation
    c) Improving/training of your Chess Training

    Now I’m still undiceded: to buy your German books or not in this field, cause perhaps hardcovers are at dawn…”

  13. Jim Antoline
    August 29th, 2010 at 20:19 | #13

    Is it possible to pre-order the hardcover of GM2? I don’t see the the hardcover version listed on the site anywhere.

  14. Jacob Aagaard
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:48 | #14

    Yes, it will be, but I am focussed on other things than putting other things in order first. With 95% of the areas here, I am on my own. The last 5% are the big ones, like editing and sales, but with everything else, it is just me with occasional support from John.

    Those books are published in English by Everyman. We don’t have the rights to do them.

  15. Jesse
    August 30th, 2010 at 09:39 | #15
  16. Adolfo-arg
    August 31st, 2010 at 13:32 | #16

    Hey, Jacob and all, I just got to see that Magnus (tough at 20 mins.+10 increment time control) just beat Vishy Anand yesterday, not with the line that Boris Avruk recommends in GM VOL 2 1.d4 (chapter named the Solid Variation against white’s Fianchetto set-up vs. the Grunfeld, page 347) but with the interesting 9.Nbd2 instead of Boris recommended 9.Nc3.
    My first impression is that Magnus chose that, to avoid precisely the line coming after Boris 9.Nc3, Nxc3 10.Bxc3 and now 10…Be4!?, as in the scheme chosen by the Norwegian he can reply of course 9…Nxd2 not with 10.Qxd2 but with 10.Nxd2! which avoids the aforementioned Bishop manoeuvre.
    Do you consider this an improvement over Boris suggestion?. What about himself?
    Best regards

    Adolfo.

  17. FM to Be
    September 1st, 2010 at 01:21 | #17

    I just received “Alterman Gambit Guide”( 2010 ) and let me tell you the physical quality is excellent !!! ( the contents I’ve seen so far are also very good of course ), the softcover feels … well kind of soft and flexible, unlike some of you earlier books ( 2008 ) that felt cheaper, more like normal/regular books.

    The paper also looks to me to be brighter/cleaner, well I dont know the right term but I just like it more than say Olms books ( which I think are also very good ).

    All in all an excellent production, I hope ( and believe ) your current/future books will have the same high quality standar.
    ———————————————————————————-

    By the way, is Quality Chess planning to produce a book or THE MANUAL on Chess Analysis/Thinking Metods/Evaluation of a Position, etc? Something like an improved, updated, expanded “Think like a Gran Master”, that would be great or if such a book already exists please let me know

    Best Regards

  18. Jacob Aagaard
    September 1st, 2010 at 10:41 | #18

    Thanks for the feedback on the paper. We generally run with two types of paper, where this is the one we use for non-theory books. But as this type is no longer in production, the paper for the second volume will be a bit different. Sadly. We try to do our best.

    No such plans at the moment, but maybe one day a good book on calculation could be published. I am writing on and off on “THINKING INSIDE THE BOX”, which will cover some of this area. I did a book called “EXCELLING AT CHESS CALCULATION” which Dvoretsky quite liked. He should, it is to a great extend based on his ideas.

  19. mikeel
    September 2nd, 2010 at 03:41 | #19

    Alterman’s Gambit Guide for White was panned on Chess Cafe, getting only two diamonds (out of five)–Evveryman territory. Maybe the review doesn’t like playing gambits.

    GM rep 6–good stuff, and keep it up.

  20. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2010 at 09:19 | #20

    2/4 is not a disaster. I have no idea why they removed the standard five star criteria. Somehow Carsten wanted it to be a theory book, which it is not – it is a manual for learning the opening for club players.

    I am wondering if it would have been 3/5 or 2/5. 2/5 is panned, 3/5 is not, only it is less than we are used to :-).

  21. Antonio
    September 3rd, 2010 at 14:46 | #21

    In my eyes the winner it’s an easy pick, even if the other works aren’t bad at all.
    Congratulations to Quality Chess and good luck!

    PS: Give us more books! 🙂

  22. funkkadelic
    September 4th, 2010 at 10:05 | #22

    Any news on Boris Avrukh: GM Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence LATER? Release date?

  23. Chessfan
    September 5th, 2010 at 23:54 | #23

    Jacob you’ll be recommending any kind of worral attack or you’ll be recommending pure closed ruy lopez on that gm repertoire ?

    P.S-Sorry for my english.

  24. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 01:03 | #24

    I’ve never gotten a straight answer from Qualitychess on when writing “Beating the Open Games” why didn’t Marin use sources that would have improved the QUALITY of the book such as:

    1) Black reperotire books on 1 e4 e5 such as “Play 1 e4 e5!”, “The Chess Advantage in Black and White”, “Play the Open Games as Black”, etc.

    2)Comprehensive 1 e4 e5 books such as “Italian Game and Evan’s gambit”, “The Four Knights, etc.

    3) White repertoire books on 1 e4 e5 such as “Attacking with 1 e4”, etc.

    All you’ve written so far is that “Play the Open Games as Black” wasn’t computer checked and you didn’t think “The Chess Advantage in Black and White” was out when Marin was doing his 1st edition. However, even though “Play the Open Games as Black” wasn’t computer checked, it still would have been a useful source for Marin to use. Also, “The Chess Advantage in Black and White definately was out when Marin was doing his 1st edition as it came out in 2004 and and Marin’s 1st edition was 2007.

    Also, the title “Beating the Open Games” is very misleading since with the main exception of the Scotch Game, Marin recommends the most boring lines. “Drawing the Open Games” would have been a more appropriate title.

  25. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 01:12 | #25

    Jacob, I find it strange that first you said that you didn’t think “The Chess Advantage in Black and White” was out when Marin did his first edition of “Beating the Open Games” in 2007 and then you said the book is already old news!

    David Vigorito didn’t think the book is old news since he used it as a valuable source when writing “Play the Semi-Slav”. Several times in the book he even mentions the author and some of his suggestions as being good.

  26. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 01:58 | #26

    If Marin had used all the relavant sources, there would have been no need for a reprint/2nd edition to fill in missing lines. For example, after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 d4 exd4 5 Nd5!? Be7 it took Marin 3 times to cover White’s best move, 6 Bc4. The Belgrade Gambit wasn’t covered at all in the 1st edition of the book and 6 Bc4 wasn’t covered in the 4 page update to the book. Only in the 2nd edition did he cover it. However, If he had used any of the 3 Black repertoire books above or the comprehensive book “The Four Knights” when doing the 1st edition, he would have seen that 6 Bc4 deserved to be in the book the first time!

  27. Chessfan
    September 6th, 2010 at 03:01 | #27

    I guess that’s not Jacob’s fault.

  28. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2010 at 09:09 | #28

    M.A.S. To believe that we can cover every source is not realistic. Recently someone complained on Chess Publishing that we did not cover something Shirov said in a DVD. These things are 7 hours long and you have to watch it all to note down all these points. If we did have a person working full time to watch them all, you would be complaining about all the money we were making from our even higher prices.

    Compared to the other publisher we give it a real shot to check all sources we find relevant. Of course we cannot check it all, and I can see that you can be irritated when we do not cover your favourites. To carbon date the author’s favourtie books and say those are older does not make sense to me.

    Having said this, you are likely to get much more attention to your questions, when you come with your utterings in a tone that respects what we are doing, instead of crying bloody murder when we have not covered a move in some not very important line.

    So, basically I have answered the question as well as I can, without having to spend a lot of time investigating it. I am sorry if I have not been correct at all time – I answer from a poor memory here, not out of ill will.

  29. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 09:50 | #29

    I know you can’t cover every source. I’m not talking about covering every source. Complaining that something Shirov said in a DVD wasn’t included is ridiculous (unless it was something extremely important). The reason I’m upset about the Marin book is that he didn’t use any relevant 1 e4 e5 books (Black repertoire Books, White repertoire books, or comprehensive books) except for a few extremely old sources, with the most recent of these being from 1997, which I don’t think are that relevant.

    Also, you said that “we give it a real shot to check all sources we find relevant”. Marin’s bibliography doesn’t include any 1 e4 e5 book written after 1997. Does this mean you don’t find any 1 e4 e5 book written after 1997 relevant?

    Also, I have no idea what you mean by the statement “To carbon date the author’s favourtie books and say those are older does not make sense to me.”

  30. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2010 at 09:54 | #30

    I meant that people have continuously complained that Marin had some old Rubinstein book included, which was older than XYZ. So, because he remembered this old book, he should have included all books written since, the argument seems to be.

    I still don’t think the Emms book was good. I am still not too worried about the Kaufman book not being included. But most importantly, I cannot see what the fuss is about.

  31. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 10:07 | #31

    Why don’t you think the Emm’s book is good? It’s not perfect but no opening book is perfect. In Kaufman’s book he says Emm’s book is excellent.

    I have noticed many instances where Marin’s book would have been better if he had referenced Emms book, Kaufmans book, etc. I thought Qualitychess was trying to make there books as good as possible but I guess not.

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2010 at 10:26 | #32

    Including the final comment is very unpleasant and unnecessary of you, but never mind.

    I checked Emms’ book back in 1997/8 when it came out, and I found many flaws with it. I really do not care what Kaufman says, I don’t let my opinion sway by other people’s opinions.

    I don’t want to spend more time repeating these opinions, so please let it rest.

  33. Chessfan
    September 6th, 2010 at 14:27 | #33

    M.A.S get a sleep.

  34. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2010 at 15:02 | #34

    I think I recognise M.A.S. style of argumentation from elsewhere…

  35. Ponting is a Legend
    September 6th, 2010 at 19:46 | #35

    Same number of letters in the name, except other name has one letter and two of the same numbers? 🙂

  36. M.A.S.
    September 6th, 2010 at 20:27 | #36

    You checked Emm’s book back in 1997/98? the book didn’t come out until 2000.

    It’s obvious that Marin should have used these sources since it would have improved the QUALITY of his book. For you not to admit or understand that seems ridiculous to me.

    Anyway I am done with this argument.

  37. Ponting is a Legend
    September 6th, 2010 at 20:47 | #37

    I thought the quality of GM3 was high enough.

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2010 at 21:38 | #38

    I have never said any of our books were perfect. However, these sources are simply not critical. Emms book was out ages ago. I checked it when it came out and it was full of mistakes. The fact that I cannot recall if it was 10 or 12 years ago is hardly relevant.

    I am of course sad you don’t like the book, but I can only return to my argument from Chess Publishing, that we owe you nothing and we don’t want your business or your opinions. Please leave me alone.

  39. Seth
    September 7th, 2010 at 04:59 | #39

    ENOUGH ALREADY!

    Do we need a petition or something to end the endless whiny nit-picking and bickering? OK, we all know Marin didn’t check Emms book…the point has been made over and over and over. WE GOT IT.

  40. Patrick
    September 7th, 2010 at 15:26 | #40

    Can somebody censor M.A.S. and all other accounts related to the same email address? The fool can’t shut up to save himself.

    Authors have every right to use whatever sources they want. For some people, that may be a chess board, pieces, their brain, and nothing else. Just because some random 1.e4 e5 repertoire book isn’t included doesn’t make Marin’s book bad. I have his book on the Open games, but not the one on the Ruy as I was playing the Berlin and the Zaitsev (the latter from a GAMBIT book, and then of course the Berlin book from here). His book on the Open Games was excellent! It got me a lot of wins! My choice to switch openings to 1…d5 instead of 1…e5 (mainly because of some wild gambits that, while explained well by Marin, I just couldn’t grasp).

    Everyone has a different style of play, a different style of life, a different style of writing, you name it.

    Also, M.A.S., just to give you another person’s 2 cents, the Davies book on Play 1.e4 e5, it’s “OK” (i.e. Not “bad”), but it ain’t the greatest book in the world. There are some authors I am VERY SKEPTICAL about reading opening books from, because they take you down the “happy path” and don’t really point out the problems one may face, often twist results by putting all wins for the side in question, etc. Nigel Davies and Angus Dunnington both have a bad history of this.

    Davies wrote a book on the Alekhine for EVERYMAN where Black scores about 80%. I don’t care what opening you play, even WHITE has no opening that he should be scoring 80% with. His Grunfeld book is a “little more down to earth”, but still 55% or so, which is GM play, doesn’t happen for Black. His book on the Reti, White scores about 90%, GET REAL! His book on the Tromp, not far below that! His book on 1.e4 e5 for Black is again slightly closer to reality, but again, it doesn’t explain why other moves are wrong for Black, it just insists on his happy path approach, and you are supposed to just trust him.

    Dunnington leaves out a lot of stuff in his 1997 book on the Catalan. His book on the Easy Guide to the Reti was an AWFUL book if you ask me.

    Now let’s look at Marin. I have his book on Beating the Open Games. I also have his GM Repertoire 3 book (the first of the 3 on the English). Both are excellent. Both explain the ideas behind the moves he recommends. Both show why other moves don’t work in areas where it may not be so obvious.

    Marin is an excellent author, and one of the best I have ever read. Whether he uses 1 reference, 4 references, or every reference ever published previously is irrelevant. He is a 6-star author in a 5-star system. Not many other authors can claim that. In some ways, I’d almost have to say Marin is the best author I’ve ever read, and I’ve read many books by many GOOD authors, including Neil McDonald, Richard Palliser, and Andrew Soltis’s “The Inner Game of Chess” and other middlegame books.

    Then you have your next tier. Decent. In there would be Chris Ward, John Emms, Byron Jacobs, etc.

    Next you have the “possibly OK, but I hate their writing style” authors. This is where I put people like Andrew Martin. His Center Counter isn’t well written, his King’s Indian Battle Plans book is disorganized (take the Bayonet, he throws in the idea of 9…c6 in game 1, and maybe game 2, but not sure about that one, and then comes back in game 12 all of a sudden and says that 9…c6 is a great idea, like it wasn’t covered before), etc. His writing style is weak, but I trust his analysis more than I do Davies.

    Next you have the Skeptical. Nigel Davies, Angus Dunnington, etc.

    Final, there is the outright bad. Eric Schiller and Andrew Soltis’s Opening books fall into this category. Schiller I don’t even have to explain. Soltis, take his Play 1.d4 from 1994. In 1994, the line he recommended against the KID was already busted (4 pawns with this weird 9.e5 gambit instead of recapturing on d5 with the c- or e-pawn). There are other lines in that book and others of his that are also skeptical from the perspective of soundness.

    So therefore, M.A.S., just because you think Emms and Davies are “God’s chosen chess authors” doesn’t mean the rest of the world agrees, and quite frankly, the rest of the world is sick of hearing from you!

  41. werner
    September 7th, 2010 at 16:26 | #41

    @Patrick
    To be fair, MAS didn’t say that Emms is the worlds greatest
    author – he just gave some concrete examples of variations which
    Marin left out – and if this had not been relevant, those lines would not have
    been added in the second edition. Lines which could have been found in other
    books. Also, if Kaufmans Book is so bad, why did Vigorito use it in a QC publication?

    You may find MAS annoying but at least he try to give arguments; an he doesn’t call
    other people idiots

  42. werner
    September 7th, 2010 at 16:29 | #42

    So, if you’re not able to refute someone’s points, just call him an idiot…
    Is this the kind of respect, Jacob is always refering to?

  43. Jacob Aagaard
    September 7th, 2010 at 16:59 | #43

    Werner. I don’t see any respect in asking the same question 5-1o times, and when unhappy with the answer, you accuse the person of being dishonest. I have answered his questions honestly for some time, but have been told time and time again that “there is no Quality in QC” or stuff like this.

    On Chess Publishing he went on for a month about the GM repertoire series not being main lines, because of 6.Bg5 Nbd7 not being played most times in the database. I gave my point of view, but he kept going on about dishonest marketing; sort of campaigning against us. When you display such a lack of understanding of the game and continue with the same arguments and insults, you simply are an idiot. It is a technical term. Everybody who has come with decent and constructive criticism of our work on this blog has met loads of respect. Those who are disrespectful have lost their right to claim respect.

    We are human beings, after all. Not salesmen coming to your door. This is our house…

  44. M.A.S.
    September 7th, 2010 at 19:16 | #44

    @ Jacob Aagaard – I hope you are not referring to me about the GM repertoire series not being main lines because that wasn’t me!

    @ Patrick – I know other chess books and authors aren’t perfect. All I am saying was Marin’s book would have been better if he had used other 1 e4 e5 books.

  45. TMM
    September 7th, 2010 at 19:27 | #45

    I agree with almost everyone on MAS’ nitpicking here. Of course Quality Chess (QC) doesn’t make flawless books, but they have a very high standard, which is also why both their books were nominated for best book of the year. Before I discovered QC books, I bought lots of books from other publishers, buying and buying more books because none of them really made me happy. But when I bought some of QC’s books I was really impressed, and although my bookshelf contains more non-QC books than QC books, I almost only use the QC books anymore. They’re just much better. Thanks, Quality Chess!

    And I’m still looking forward to the Scandinavian book. My favourite publisher publishing a book about my favourite opening! I hope it will live up to my high expectations 🙂

  46. Patrick
    September 7th, 2010 at 20:07 | #46

    @werner

    Please quit making false accusations. Your message states “@Patrick”, with no indication of changing who you are referring to. Therefore, the entire message refers to me.

    Not once did I use the word “idiot” in my message. I said “The fool can’t shut up to save himself” in the beginning, and at the end “the rest of the world is sick of hearing from you”. Where is there any reference to “idiot”?

    I also never said Kaufman’s book was bad. I never said it was good. I never read it, and can’t judge it. I can, however, validly state that one author isn’t “bad” simply because he didn’t use the reference of another specific author.

    In addition, if these “skeptical” authors truly found lines that score 90% for White and 80% for Black, why doesn’t everyone play these openings? The reason is, these numbers are bogus, and nothing more than a marketing scheme to get you to buy their books. I actually applaud Marin for coming up with such a good product without depending upon some e4 e5 book where Black scores 70 or 80%.

    In Marin’s book on the English, many lines lead to nothing more than +/=, and if Black plays the best lines, that’s all White should get. Marin doesn’t write “pipe dream” books like Davies that often leaves out the most critical moves by the side he isn’t covering. He includes Black’s best options (along with his not-so-good ones too), and explains the subtleties of how White can get that nagging +/= position instead of a dead equal position. To Davies, it’s either winning, or it’s equal, there is no in-between, and until you understand that there is an in-between (it’s called “slightly better for White”), you will never accel in chess.

  47. Vidit
    September 7th, 2010 at 20:08 | #47

    Hi Jacob!
    I just wanted to point out 1 omission to you in the GM6 repertoire book of Ftacknik. The line missed is- 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.f3!? This is a rare but important sideline and which requires some concrete analysis.I hope you cover this line in your upcoming update.

    Regards,
    Vidit

  48. werner
    September 7th, 2010 at 21:37 | #48

    O.K., Patrick,
    you’re right, like always:
    You didn’t say ‘idiot’.
    You said ‘fool’…

  49. Alan
    September 7th, 2010 at 21:52 | #49

    I was disappointed to see the comments get so shrill and negative on this blog. I am not a big fan of a lot of the whining about when a book is going to be ready or what day the hardcover will be available. But hey , if that is a priority for you, I can understand that. I see this blog as a means of communicating constructive comment and criticism. When unsubstantiated harsh criticism or personal attacks dominate a posting, the value of this location is undermined. When the question is whether someone was called an idiot of fool, it is a sure sign that the conversation has degenerated into a mudfest.

    The last few months I have genuinely enjoyed following the comments and back and forth between the readers and Quality Chess. I respect their concern in commenting quickly and reasonably on the myriad of comments. Other publishers do not do this or do not do it as well. If you are not too concerned about your customers, you don’t have time to respond to blog comments – Quality Chess does and I respect that level of professionalism and effort.

  50. Alan
    September 7th, 2010 at 22:16 | #50

    I would like to comment about various assessments of different authors and their efforts be they on DVD or book. The most important question is often not who the author is, but do they play this opening a lot. One of the first piece of advise writers will give aspiring authors is, write about something you know.

    Marin, Avruch and Schandorff’s works for Quality Chess would almost certainly be a lesser work if the authors were not practioners of those openings. Obviously, their dedication, professionalism, passion, intense analysis and high level of writing are also critical components of excellence. However, I feel very few, if any, outstanding works on openings are written by authors who do not play that opening.

    Nigel Davies as a Pirc/Modern player wrote a fine book on the Modern several years back. His DVD on the Pirc is excellent. The warm and fuzzy analysis was not there, it appealed to me as quite objective and rigorous. His difficulties in finding any really comfortable answer for Black in the Byrne Variation despite a lot of time and effort in that area, struck me as a very honest appraisal indicative of the entire DVD . Other books that are on openings that Davies does not play are more uneven. As with many other authors their works on openings tend to be better. While I dislike many of the “paint by number/database dump opening books, I do understand that a chess grandmaster who needs to feed his/her family and receives an offer to write a book on an opening they do not know, would have a hard time saying, no.

    I find DVD’s often truly reveal the instructors expertise on a subject. If a GM or an IM is doing a DVD on something they do not play, their tone is often academic and detached while selling the lines it is promoting. The same is true of books. If none of their games are cited in a book, that is a red flag. Of course an author can write tripe on an opening they know well. Nevertheless, I wopld recommend look at the author’s opening repertoire on a current database to see if they have played more it recently than in the 1970’s. If it is not in their opening repertoire then take a hard look at the book before purchasing.

  51. Jacob Aagaard
    September 8th, 2010 at 13:38 | #51

    Patrick, to be the devil’s advocate, I would say that those books are “inspirational”. The high white percentage score is not meant as representative, but showing how you win with the opening in practice.

    Personally I like Shirov’s DVDs, but I don’t have the time to watch much of them. A few other top players are great too. I find them inspirational, but they do not have more material than a short article in a book and thus cannot be used for serious preparation.

  52. Patrick
    September 8th, 2010 at 13:57 | #52

    Jacob,

    I don’t deny that many of these books are written for “inspiration” purposes. That said, however, I think the best books also explain to you what NOT to do. GM Repertoire 3 (English with 1…e5) actually explains why certain moves aren’t so great for White, and lead to equality or, in some cases, worse. He doesn’t just tell you what the right move is, and tell you “just trust me on this”, like you see with many repertoire books.

    One book, and I don’t recall which one it was other than the fact that it was a King’s Indian book for Black, actually had, as it’s first chapter, “How NOT to play the King’s Indian” with 4 or 5 games that all went horribly wrong. By seeing these, the reader can get a better understanding of why the other move is right.

    I wish more books would do this. If they aren’t going to be as detailed as the GM Repertoire books, at least put 1 full chapter then on how NOT to play whatever opening you are covering, with maybe 4 or 5 games that show the side the book is written for just getting crushed. If you are afriad it will turn the reader off to put that first, put it last. Hey, now that we showed you how to play such-and-such and opening, before we leave you to use it in practice, take a look here at how White (or Black) can go wrong, and what happens when you do. First game in the chapter might have say, 8…Nbd7 (if it were a scandinavian book with 3…Qa5 against the 8.Qe2 line), and show Black getting pounded, and the reader is like “ah ha! That’s why Bb4 is so criticial, I just got smashed on the light squares!”

  53. Jacob Aagaard
    September 8th, 2010 at 15:26 | #53

    Sure, you can do these things. However, you cannot say that they are pretending the opening will just win, just because they show how it can win.

  54. Jacob Aagaard
    September 8th, 2010 at 15:26 | #54

    Not that I am a great fan of those books…

  55. M.A.S.
    September 11th, 2010 at 02:18 | #55

    People seem to think that I am nitpicking about Marin’s “Beating the Open Games”. Marin didn’t use really use any relevant 1 e4 e5 books, I wouldn’t call that nitpicking. If Marin had used a lot of relevant 1 e4 e5 books and I was complaining that just a few books weren’t used then that would be nitpicking.

    Jacob,

    The comment “we don’t want your business or your opionions” is very unpleasant and unnecessary of you, but never mind.

    Your the only one that I know of who thinks “Play the Open Games as Black” is a bad book. All the reviewers gave it a good review and I don’t know 1 person who bought the book who thinks it’s bad. The books “Play 1 e4 e5”, “Survive and Beat Annoying Chess Openings”, and “The Chess Advantage in Black and White” all used it as a valuable source. Larry Kaufman in “The Chess Advantage in Black and White” says “Play the Open Games as Black” is excellent and I think he would know since he analyzed lines in the book while writing his book. Even if the book is overall bad (which I don’t believe), Marin still would have benefited from using it. For example, if he had used it, he would have been seen that the Bishop’s Opening and Belgrade Gambit deserved to be included in the 1st edition of the book. Thinking the book came out in 1997/1998 when it actually came out in 2000 shows how much you really know about the book.

    Also, I’m sure you find the “Opening for White According to Anand” series relevant so why didn’t marin reference volume 2 on the Ruy Lopez when writing “A Spanish Repertoire for Black”?

    So far I have only said negative things about Quality Chess. Now I am going to say something positive! I think “Playing the Queen’s Gambit” is excellent and Lars Schandorff used a lot of relevant sources! There are several more relevant sources he could have used but since he used most of the relevant sources, I am not going to complain that he didn’t consult a few.

  56. dali
    September 11th, 2010 at 03:37 | #56

    Marin and Aagaard should face a firing squad for their crimes.

  57. Bart
    September 11th, 2010 at 05:47 | #57

    M.A.S

    you’ve made your point. Now just leave it alone. please.

  58. M.A.S.
    September 11th, 2010 at 06:29 | #58

    Jacob, I remember you saying you were thinking about going for the Advance Variation against the Caro-Kann in your Grandmaster Repertoire 1 e4 books. What line of the Advance Caro-Kann will you be recommending against the 3…Bf5? Also, what are you going to recommend against 3…c5 4 dxc5 (I’m assuming you are going to recommend this) 4…e6? I can’t find any advantage for White here.

  59. Jacob Aagaard
    September 12th, 2010 at 12:07 | #59

    I still don’t care what Kaufman says, although he is a perfectly pleasant guy.

  60. ray
    September 13th, 2010 at 16:48 | #60

    Well,Is Jacob answerable to any of us.Well,I dont think so ??

  1. August 21st, 2010 at 06:20 | #1