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How’s your Rating?

Last week’s poll question was ‘Did you follow the Women’s World Championship to some degree?’ There was a decent range of responses, but I think it fair to say the event did not have huge numbers of avid spectators. If you take the votes for ‘didn’t follow it at all’ and ‘I vaguely know who was in the semifinals and the final’ then you are already over 50% of the vote.

For this week’s poll we will check how your chess results have been going: Has your rating gone up or down since a year ago?  Many, perhaps most, of our books have ‘improving your chess’ as part of their point, so if you are reading this blog then there seems a decent chance you are interested in improving your chess results. So let’s see how you have been doing over the past year.

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  1. rooster85
    March 13th, 2017 at 16:41 | #1

    You should have asked this question a month ago 😀 March 2016 – 2017 I have progress 2150-2191; in February it would have been 2116-2212 🙂 and in April it will be a 20 points progress only 🙁 time to start the Yusupov challenge I guess…

  2. Kassy
    March 13th, 2017 at 19:43 | #2

    97 points up from 3/16-3/17.
    But if you asked 7/16-/3/17 it would be 140 points.
    Not that I rec losing 43 points just so your gain be larger. :-/

  3. March 13th, 2017 at 20:30 | #3

    compared with januari 2016 I am up 31 points but since I have to compare with march 2016 I am down 2 points. 🙂

  4. March 14th, 2017 at 10:39 | #4

    Up 62 points from this time last year. Like the rest of you, I could make that figure bigger if I cherry-picked my dates. 🙂

  5. Ramch
    March 14th, 2017 at 13:15 | #5

    Up 1884 points!!!! last year I was unrated!

  6. Robert R
    March 14th, 2017 at 16:00 | #6

    +121 points USCF, 1720-1841 (my highest rating). I’m 50 yrs old.

  7. Dennis K
    March 14th, 2017 at 21:39 | #7

    2014: Gained 155 points.
    2015: Ups and downs, with a net gain of 26 points.
    2016: Free fall, lost 181 points, back to my floor.
    2017: Should gain 45-50 points based on games played so far (event not rated yet).

    Correlation is not causation, but: In Fall of 2013, I started reading the first book in the Yusupov series. Also, in both 2014 and 2015, I was studying calculus and solving a lot of hard problems, and that intellectual exercise may have carried over to my chess. Not sure what happened last year (but no calculus, and very little Yusupov). This year I am mainly trying to improve my habits and discipline at the board. I just turned 62, if that matters.

  8. Jacob Aagaard
    March 14th, 2017 at 22:27 | #8

    @Dennis K
    It’s the same with my diet. It stopped working around the time I stopped following it. Funny that.

  9. Doug Eckert
    March 15th, 2017 at 04:53 | #9

    Stayed more or less the same, 2165 to 2163 on the FIDE March 2016 to 2017 rating list. But, picked up 28 points in a tournament in February 2017, where I was not happy with my play. Hard to believe it has been June 20115 since I fell under the 2200 for the first time in 30 years and have not recovered. There is always hope. Jacob, I promise I will work harder when I retire after next year…

  10. The Doctor
    March 15th, 2017 at 17:42 | #10

    Any news on the Kotronias excerpt?

  11. Dennis K
    March 15th, 2017 at 17:48 | #11

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Are you trying to tell me that chess is hard? And “No pain, no gain”? Sigh…

    Others have told me that my 2016 failures were more about attitude and habits at the board than a lack of knowledge or understanding. But that, too, is mainly a matter of being willing to work harder. I guess there’s no way around that. If I play casually, I will get casual results.

  12. Jacob Aagaard
    March 16th, 2017 at 09:35 | #12

    @The Doctor
    Andrew has finished the editing. I will typeset it next week, after I finish writing box.

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    March 16th, 2017 at 09:36 | #13

    @Dennis K
    Chess is very difficult, yes.

  14. peter
    March 18th, 2017 at 13:34 | #14

    My suggestion for one of the next polls: Do you prefer diagrams with or without coordinates printed around? I for one can count from 1-8 and a-h by myself (and in my head) and find this additional coordinates quite superfluous and irritating in aesthetic senses. I think the other respectful publishers like NewInChess, Everyman, Gambit and ChessStars have decided rightly to omit such ornamentations. What do you think?

  15. Jacob Aagaard
    March 18th, 2017 at 20:20 | #15

    @peter
    Not up for discussion. Just as reversing the diagrams in black repertoire books is also not up for discussion. The problem is that the upside is minimal, but the downside in that some readers will feel a great loss is, well, great.

  16. March 18th, 2017 at 20:56 | #16

    @peter

    Until you mentioned it I couldn’t have told which publisher used this formatting around their diagrams and which didn’t so guess it’s not an issue for me.

  17. peter
    March 19th, 2017 at 06:44 | #17

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I cant imagine how anybody who can count to eight can possibly feel a loss. On the other hand there is a well known principle to good design not to display things that are not needed for they would only distract the user. The upside is that I – and quite possible others as well (thats why the poll) – would be more pleased to look into (and buy) your books.

    You may have heard of the german publisher “Schachzentrale Rattmann”. They republished Fischers 60 memorable games in 2002 (in German). This is the best layed out chess book that I know of (and it is hardcover of course).

  18. Tom Tidom
    March 19th, 2017 at 08:15 | #18

    I think I have never played a game otb on a board without the coordinates. Myself I do not need them but I know quite a lot of people who do.

    And to be honest I do not even notice in a book if they are there or not. So there is no distraction for me.

  19. chess25652
    March 19th, 2017 at 18:37 | #19

    The main use of the coordinates is, for many players, to tell which way the pawns are going in an endgame diagram.

  20. Hard Truther
    March 20th, 2017 at 05:56 | #20

    No coordinates.
    White at bottom

    Needing the coordinates to play a game otb makes zero sense.

  21. March 20th, 2017 at 16:48 | #21

    peter :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    I cant imagine how anybody who can count to eight can possibly feel a loss.

    It’s not counting that is an issue so much as knowing. We’ve all seen beginners who have to count squares. Not enjoyable.

  22. Johnnyboy
    March 20th, 2017 at 20:25 | #22

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Why is reversing the board from Black’s point of view not up for discussion? Maybe worth a poll? Can’t be the only one who likes it as I would see it at the board. If chess is all about pattern recognition why should you need to stand behind your opponent to replicate the diagram you have been looking at in your book?

  23. Jacob Aagaard
    March 20th, 2017 at 20:35 | #23

    @Johnnyboy
    I do not want to go over this every six months. But in short, because a lot of people would hate it and find it unnatural. I do understand that some people would love it, but I doubt we will get many if any extra readers from this, but I am sure we would lose some.

  24. Johnnyboy
    March 20th, 2017 at 20:47 | #24

    I understand that it is your opinion Jacob but have you really asked your customer base? You might be wrong. Bologans books were bestsellers. Hence a poll? Then I will never ask the question again. Unless it’s a Brexit style 51 vs 49% split of course!

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    March 20th, 2017 at 20:55 | #25

    @Johnnyboy
    I think our position was clear 🙂

  26. Thomas
    March 20th, 2017 at 20:56 | #26

    We had this more than once. The layout and diagrams of QC books are great as they are. No need to change anything.
    Keep your energy for finishing the books.

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    March 20th, 2017 at 23:13 | #27

    @Thomas
    Sitting here at 23:12 writing on the book (since 8am). I am doing all I can.

  28. Hard Truther
    March 20th, 2017 at 23:49 | #28

    Johnnyboy: it’s called, PRACTICES AND STANDARDS

  29. Bill
    March 21st, 2017 at 00:27 | #29

    FC is the answer. With Pert’s Ragozin book, e.g, I have Black at the bottom all the time. Of course, I don’t buy physical books anymore (a consequence of having a long-tenured wife who doesn’t care if I spend money but doesn’t like “clutter”).

  30. SimonB
    March 21st, 2017 at 09:28 | #30

    @Johnnyboy
    I do actually very much agree with you. It baffled me from when I started reading chess books that it was always from white’s perspective. Just really unhelpful.

    I wonder how many players use Forward Chess (and other such softwares and apps) for black learning, but keep it from the white perspective. One for the next poll….

  31. Johnnyboy
    March 21st, 2017 at 13:16 | #31

    @SimonB
    Same here for Forward chess and when I play online my side is at the bottom whether black or white. But the edict has come down from on high. The minions are not to be consulted ?

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    March 21st, 2017 at 14:06 | #32

    @Johnnyboy
    You can take it as a personal insult if you like, but this is not the case. There may have been a 51% preference for Brexit, but the damage done to the remaining 49% is much larger than any benefit, should there actually be any, to the 51%. A poll here would do the same, make a case for us to do something we would hate, without having a realistic understanding of the consequences.

  33. johnnyboy
    March 21st, 2017 at 16:11 | #33

    Jacob, I jest slightly- not sure how I could take it as a personal insult anyway. Tis fully your decision but thought the blog was about getting feedback from customers to improve your product. I’ve already commented about hard vs paperback, lack of clarity in your indexes and other issues and thought you welcomed the feedback even if you may not have acted on them.
    It’s hardly a binding document to do a poll- you have no obligation to trigger article 50 if the poll agrees with my diagram preference but it might be of interest to know what your readers actually think rather than guess.Might be worth asking New in Chess how the Bologan books with black at the bottom went down with their customers though- I’m guessing there is a major overlap with yours- then you have a real world example of how your future customers may react.
    If it pains you as writers and editors to even look at such an abomination of a diagram (and you live this 24/7) and/or fear the consequences of breaking the mould then I appreciate customer preferences can seem irrelevant though.

  34. johnnyboy
    March 21st, 2017 at 16:13 | #34

    PS Thanks Jacob- always give quick feedback even if you don’t agree.

  35. Jacob Aagaard
    March 21st, 2017 at 16:28 | #35

    @johnnyboy
    If you think it is hard to kill this question from a few die-hard fanatics at the moment, think of how it would be after a poll would be decided in favour of such a proposal, because most people don’t hink they would care, until they saw it in print…

    The internet is a big enemy of irony. Ironically so…

  36. An Ordinary Chessplayer
    March 21st, 2017 at 20:15 | #36

    If only I had Jacob around to tell me I am going to dislike a new opening, *before* I put in the time to learn it.

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    March 21st, 2017 at 21:21 | #37

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer
    There is a chapter related to this in my next book.

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    March 21st, 2017 at 21:29 | #38

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer
    But I do appreciate the willingness you all have for us to jeopardize our livelihood against our better judgement ;-). I repeat, I cannot see a way it would bring more readers on board, but I can easily imagine how we would lose readers. And as said, Forward Chess does exist, and the books are cheaper there, delivered instantly, released earlier, saved forever, or until the ice caps melt and Apple and Google go out of business. And you can turn the board around there all you like :-).

  39. The Doctor
    March 21st, 2017 at 21:46 | #39

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well said!

  40. McBear
    March 21st, 2017 at 22:01 | #40

    I like the diagrams the way they are, with numbers and letters. I can’t see why anyone could be bothered by the coordinates. Moreover, I don’t care whether they are shown from the white or black perspective in a book because when I work with a book I use a real chess board anyway. I am only slightly bothered when I watch a DVD and the pieces are shown from the other perspective. But when you work through a Quality Chess opening book you need a board, because you usually delve into the variations. If something is “light” on theory, like for instance a sideline in the French book, I don’t need a board but I don’t need the pieces being shown from the black perspective either because I can remember those moves also if they are shown from the white point of view and I’m not that strong a player.
    Only my two cents …

  41. An Ordinary Chessplayer
    March 21st, 2017 at 23:00 | #41

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “But I do appreciate the willingness you *all* have …”

    Not guilty. I fully support your decision not to print the diagrams from black’s side. I am one of those that would definitely answer the (non-existing) poll “I don’t care”, and probably find out later that I prefer white on the bottom.

    Of course my answer was half-joking, you just guessed wrong what was the target of my sarcasm. But as luck would have it I now have some information I wasn’t expecting…. I will probably be buying your next book just for this chapter you mention. Although I suppose the rest of it will be valuable as well.

    As for coordinates, I never even look. People at the club are constantly telling me I have the chessboard backwards. My reply: “as long as the white square is in the right corner, that’s all I care about.” Now I am wondering. Is there anybody out there who would vote for diagrams from the black side, and no coordinates?

  42. James2
    March 21st, 2017 at 23:15 | #42

    Hi QC HQ,

    Can we hope to see the QC 2017 forthcoming pdf before the end of the company’s financial/fiscal year on 31st March 2017 (say within the next 10 days)?

    Thank you.

    James

  43. Johnnyboy
    March 22nd, 2017 at 11:50 | #43

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer

    I’m the same as you- coordinates I don’t care about- as long as white square bottom right.

    Time to confess my guilty secret- must have done it a thousand times but I can’t set up a chess board without saying to myself ‘white queen on white square, black queen on dark square’ then after the queens put the kings on.
    Pawns, rooks knights and bishops no problem but I’d have thought I just know where they should be by now without a mnemonic and put the king or queen straight on the board without a thought.
    Anyone else or just sad me?

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    March 22nd, 2017 at 21:30 | #44

    @James2
    You mean the catalogue? We have designed it, as I am going to India, Colin will finish it. 10 days. Maybe. We were waiting for some covers.

  45. Jacob Aagaard
    March 22nd, 2017 at 21:31 | #45

    @Johnnyboy
    That’s so sad 🙁

  46. James2
    March 22nd, 2017 at 22:40 | #46

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Great stuff!!

    I hope you have a very successful and enjoyable time away Jacob.

    James

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