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Excerpts of new books

We now have excerpts available of all three of the new books that will be published on July 15th.

Playing the Stonewall Dutch has an excerpt here.

Think like a Machine has an excerpt here.

Playing the Petroff has an excerpt here.

I hope you enjoy them.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:
  1. TD
    June 11th, 2020 at 15:19 | #1

    The excerpt of Playing the Stonewall Dutch looks great!

  2. TD
    June 11th, 2020 at 15:23 | #2

    But I would like the cover to show the Stonewall from the Black side, please.

  3. Tobias
    June 12th, 2020 at 15:17 | #3

    No coverage of 1. d4 f5 2. g4!? In the Stonewall dutch?

    Also, I would be interested why the move order with 1. … e6 is pre-dominant in the book. Is there a specific reason to avoid certain lines but allow transposition to the French? The chapter on 1.d4 f5 seems long enough with about 35 pages after all.

  4. TD
    June 12th, 2020 at 15:38 | #4

    @Tobias
    Maybe because Sedlak also plays the French?

  5. Andrew Greet
    June 12th, 2020 at 16:48 | #5

    1.d4 f5 2.g4 is mentioned, but as a note rather than a main variation.

    Sedlak discusses move orders in the book but the gist of it is as follows. If Black is happy with a French (as Sedlak himself clearly is), then the 1.d4 e6 move order offers a more convenient way of reaching the Stonewall, as it rules out all kinds of options which White might try after 1.d4 f5. The Stonewall (not to mention Classical) Dutch and French often go hand in hand for this reason. So he gives 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 as the primary move order, but then also provides a repertoire against the various 1.d4 f5 possibilities, for the benefit of readers who do not wish to allow a French.

  6. Tobias
    June 12th, 2020 at 17:06 | #6

    @Andrew Greet
    Thanks! Makes perfect sense!
    I think I might get the book as my recent tries with a Nimzo/Ragozin led to too many dull positions. And having QC offer a new book on the Stonewall increases my confidence in its soundness.

  7. Andrew Greet
    June 12th, 2020 at 17:14 | #7

    @Tobias
    You’re welcome. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed in the event that you buy the book. Nikola really knows his stuff and both he and I (as the editor) invested a lot of effort into making it the best it could be.

  8. Ray
    June 13th, 2020 at 15:31 | #8

    Looks great indeed! I myself also play 1.d4 e6 (and French against 1.e4), so this is very convenient to me. Against 2.c4 I play 2…Bb4+, which is also quite interesting imo. And against 2.Nf3 or 2.g3 you can play a Stonewall Dutch.

  9. RWL
    June 13th, 2020 at 16:19 | #9

    @Andrew Greet
    Is it possible that the game with Predojevic is what led the author to switch to the move order that appears in the book? Also does he offer analysis of this game in B5 2).e4!? page 267?

  10. Andrew Greet
    June 13th, 2020 at 18:51 | #10

    The book does not mention a Predojevic-Sedlak game under 1.d4 f5 2.e4, but I’ve just looked it up. (For the benefit of anyone else who wants to do so, you may find it helpful to know that 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 fxe4 was the actual move order.) Nikola gives a more accurate sequence for Black in the book, following a correspondence game where Black kept the extra pawn for insufficient compensation.

  11. Daniel
    June 14th, 2020 at 09:04 | #11

    I understand that Gawain Jones is writing a full repertoire with 1 e4. Any details yet? Page count or number of volumes etc?

  12. A Super Talent
    June 14th, 2020 at 13:13 | #12

    @Andrew Greet
    Andrew, I have a few questions. Please answer if possible.
    1. Let us say I am trying to expand my repertoire from exclusively playing Kings Indian and Benoni
    positions. Would you suggest the Leningrad Dutch or the Stonewall? I am referring to Marin’s upcoming work on the same and Sedlak’s books for this study. Stylistically, which book will suit which player? It would be nice to hear this.
    Also, an additional point to understand here is that 1.d4 e6 is not a very good move order against the London System, as White ducks the critical Bf5 c5 systems from Black’s end. Any suggestions from Sedlak on countering this move order?
    2. In Think like a Machine, the authors mention that they only analysed positions upto depth 30. However as a correspondence player I have often noticed that depth 30 is virtually useless in many positions. The authors humbly admit the same, and I respect them for it, but won’t such a decision compromise the quality of the book?
    3. How will Gawain’s series compare with Negi’s works and Shaw’s works? Will there be another Open Sicilian recommendation from him?
    Thanks and Stay safe!

  13. June 14th, 2020 at 17:26 | #13

    @A Super Talent
    1) Only you can make that decision. You might find that the Leningrad make for a more natural transition as you still have a bishop on g7; on the other hand, if the idea is to branch out into a different type of game then you might find the Leningrad too similar in character to the KID/Benoni. So it depends what your priorities are.

    2) I have had no personal involvement in this book, so I can’t give a detailed answer, but it’s safe to assume that a depth of around 30 will be plenty for most of their examples. Take the Shirov game in the excerpt for instance: you may get a different evaluation at depth 30/40/50 or whatever, but the important point is the instructive value of the amazing move found by the machine.

    3) I’ve had no contact with Gawain and it’s much too early to go into details anyway, but he’s obviously a superb player and I’m sure his work will be great. Further details will follow when the time comes.

  14. The Doctor
    June 15th, 2020 at 09:53 | #14

    I don’t think Jones would recommend Open Sicilians as he rarely plays them. I’d guess he’d go for Moscow/Rossilimo lunes like his Everyman book a number of years back!

  15. Frank
    June 15th, 2020 at 15:10 | #15

    Does he? It would be hard to imagine, considerinf all the time and effort put into Playing 1.e4 and Negi’s books.@Daniel

  16. Daniel
    June 15th, 2020 at 15:40 | #16
  17. A Super Talent
    June 16th, 2020 at 12:55 | #17

    @Andrew Greet
    Thanks a lot for your detailed explanations. Your answers make a lot of sense and I will consider all this before buying. With regards to depth 30, yes maybe like you said if you have an idea of showing the machines line as a case of inspiring play, maybe it is enough, but it is common knowledge that Stockfishs depth 30 is not quite enough for the objective truth. But I will rest until I get the book and check it for myself. Any plans on writing a book called play like a machine?

  18. Jacob Aagaard
    June 17th, 2020 at 21:02 | #18

    Regarding depth 30. I worked a lot on that book and checked all the positions personally and with the help of Sam solving them. Some things were added, some positions fell at the wayside. No book is without mistakes, but certainly you will not get the feeling that the chess in this book is superficial.

  19. Micah
    June 21st, 2020 at 21:56 | #19

    Please try and get Sedlak to do a book on the London System! A Quality Chess book on the London System would sell so well!

  20. The Doctor
    June 22nd, 2020 at 15:35 | #20

    @Micah

    I’d definitely use it………….for toilet paper!

  21. mstoe
    June 22nd, 2020 at 19:31 | #21

    Is there any hooe that someday a GM Repertoire with non g3 Mainline will be released? Like QGd Main Lines with Bg5 or Bf4, Bayonet or Mar del Plata vs KID, Bc4 Exchange vs Grünfeld and so on…

  22. mstoe
    June 22nd, 2020 at 19:32 | #22

    mstoe :
    Is there any hooe that someday a GM Repertoire with non g3 Mainline will be released? Like QGd Main Lines with Bg5 or Bf4, Bayonet or Mar del Plata vs KID, Bc4 Exchange vs Grünfeld and so on…

    Forgot to add 1.d4 ^^

  23. June 22nd, 2020 at 19:50 | #23

    @Micah

    A great idea Micah and I also think it would sell well….but QC seem to have something of a closed mind when it comes to the London so I don’t like our chances…

  24. June 22nd, 2020 at 19:55 | #24

    The Doctor :
    @Micah
    I’d definitely use it………….for toilet paper!

    @ The Doctor…….hello is that youuu Dr Tarrasch???

  25. Micah
    June 23rd, 2020 at 01:38 | #25

    I know Sedlak doesn’t like the London against the King’s Indian. Even if Sedlak only covered the London vs. 1…d5, that would be great. I think playing 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 is a good option for players who play 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 as White and don’t want to play 1.d4 d5 2.Bg5.

  26. Ray
    June 23rd, 2020 at 07:03 | #26

    Sedlak already wrote two books on the London. I know it’s already a few years ago, but on the other hand I don’t think the theory of the London is developing with the speed of light. So what’s the point of him repeating his earlier work, but now for QC instead of Chess Evolution? Well, there’s the hardcover aspect of course.

  27. June 25th, 2020 at 20:33 | #27

    @Ray

    I have both of Sedlak’s books from Chess Evolution and I think you may be surprised just how much, not only the theory but also the general approach to playing this opening (particularly under the Carslen influence) has changed in the last couple of years.

  28. Hesse_Bub
    June 26th, 2020 at 06:12 | #28

    In “Schach” July 2020 B. Adhiban mentiones he is working on a book for Quality Chess. Can you revale the topic of this book?

  29. Jacob Aagaard
    June 29th, 2020 at 12:15 | #29

    @Hesse_Bub
    I wish he was, but he is not to our knowledge…

  30. John Shaw
    June 29th, 2020 at 15:19 | #30

    @Hesse_Bub

    @Jacob Aagaard

    As Jacob said, Adhiban is not a Quality Chess author (sadly), but I think I can guess what the story is about. One of our QC authors is working on a book that features Adhiban in one chapter as a model player to follow. I could imagine Adhiban was very helpful in answering our author’s questions, so yes, he would have been working on a book for QC.

    I will give the full details about the book in a proper post when I have details and a cover.

  31. Craig
    June 30th, 2020 at 16:23 | #31

    Really looking forward to the Gelfand books but a bit disappointed that they’ll only be in hardcover. Pretty curious as to how you decide which get both hard and paperbacks on the same day and which ones get paperbacks a few months later?

  32. Andrew Greet
    June 30th, 2020 at 20:50 | #32

    It’s no secret: our default position is to publish in hardcover initially, with paperback following some months later, as is the norm in the wider publishing industry. We make an exception for opening books, as we recognise that opening theory is more time-sensitive and so it makes sense to make such books available in both formats as early as possible.

  33. George Hollands
    July 1st, 2020 at 08:02 | #33

    The hardbacks are easily worth twice the extra price that QC charge above the paperback editions.

    It might just be my OCD when it comes to my chess library but the fact I have some paperback versions from back before they did hardbacks or before I realised how much better they are – really irks me.

    They’ve released some books over the last couple of years only in PB, which I presume is for commercial reasons. I would normally have purchased the book, I tend to buy everything QC release – but the lack of HB option meant I couldn’t bring myself to.

  34. Craig
    July 1st, 2020 at 21:46 | #34

    I get that some books are far more suited to being a hardback. Practical Chess Beauty or The Anand Files or The Nemesis are good examples but I’m pretty sure the first two Gelfand books were out in paperback on their initial release. Also having to wait 8 months for Small Steps 2 has been rough. Almost there though…

  35. Andrew Greet
    July 2nd, 2020 at 09:27 | #35

    You can check the hardcover/paperback situation with the earlier Gelfand books on our site, but I’ll save you the trouble by copying from the “Positional Decision Making” page:
    Hardcover published 17 June 2015
    Paperback published 3 February 2016

    As you can see, we are consistent in publishing in hardcover first, except opening books for the reason stated previously.

  36. Paul H
    July 2nd, 2020 at 17:43 | #36

    @Andrew Greet
    The slightly irritating position when hardback only is you charge a higher price on Forward Chess until the paperback comes out, when the price goes down. With a paperback release the lower price is charged from day one.
    Of course, it’s your company and you can do what you wish, and realise this also happens in the wider publishing business with kindle releases -though there you never see paperback and hardback released concurrently. But still a bit irritating.

  37. John Shaw
    July 3rd, 2020 at 11:40 | #37

    @Paul H

    Our general rule on Forward Chess pricing is that the FC version should be about 2/3 the price of the paper version (because it’s less expensive to ‘print’ ebooks than paper books).

    So when the paper version is slightly more expensive than normal (as it is with hardcovers) it makes sense to me that the FC version is also slightly more expensive. But I have no doubt different views are also reasonable.

  38. Franck steenbekkers
    July 5th, 2020 at 20:56 | #38

    When will the petrovbook at forward chess?
    Is there more info about the 1 e4 books of Jones

  39. Andrew Greet
    July 6th, 2020 at 11:02 | #39

    @Franck steenbekkers
    Wednesday 8 July, and no.

  40. Paul H
    July 6th, 2020 at 18:25 | #40

    @Andrew Greet
    Do you intend to post excerpts of your August and September releases soon?

  41. Andrew Greet
    July 6th, 2020 at 22:00 | #41

    When they are ready, yes.

  42. Till
    July 9th, 2020 at 18:39 | #42

    Just a minor complaint about the forward chess version.

    I bought the Stonewall Dutch thinking I could use it on my laptop while travelling since there was an app for MacOS. But unfortunately, unlike for mobile devices it seems I cannot use the book offline (kind of strange that offline usage is ok for mobile devices but not for laptops.)

    You could make that a bit clearer on your forward chess page: you list Iphones and ipads and foreward chess offers an app for MacOS. I contacted forward chess and they said it it a restriction imposed by publishers, That is your right of course but at least state that constraint a bit more clearly on your page linking to forward chess.

    – a disgruntled customer

  43. July 9th, 2020 at 18:57 | #43

    @Till

    Another good reason why the printed product is so much better than buying online only products….if you have the book in your hands you can read it anywhere!!

  44. John Shaw
    July 10th, 2020 at 13:24 | #44

    @Till

    The issue is not whether it is a laptop, but, rather, the operating system. For mobile apps (Android and iOS), the books are downloadable.

    For (what FC call) desktop versions – Windows and MacOS, one needs to have internet access and the files are not downloadable.

    So, you can read books on your mobiles devices ‘on the go’ (offline, airplane, etc.), but the desktop version requires internet access. The restriction is of course about security concerns.

    We will look at re-writing our FC page to make it clearer. Currently it says:

    “We are offering some of our books in digital format which allows you to read, and play through (!), our books on your mobile device. It can be used with (iPhone, Android, iPad).”

    That’s all true, but some added info about operating systems might help.

  45. Till
    July 10th, 2020 at 14:11 | #45

    A simple “Offline reading is only supported for: … but *not* for …” would have been enough.

    – I believe offline access is a deal breaker for many customers.
    – Nowhere (neither here nor at Forward chess) is it made clear that the OS you are using is the key to what functionality you get. (After my complaint Forward chess told me they would update their FAQ.)

    “That’s all true, but some added info about operating systems might help.”
    =>
    some added info about operating systems affecting available functionality is essential.

    – still disgruntled.

  46. The Doctor
    July 10th, 2020 at 20:42 | #46

    A comment about the Stonewall book. Obviously it’s excellent in the most part after studying it since getting it a few days ago.

    However I’m surprised that there is no mention of how to deal with Cummings aggressive attacking scheme in Opening Repertoire the English. You’d think that writing a Black repertoire book you’d examine in particular the lines given in recent White repertoire books?

    Or maybe I’m missing something.

  47. Tim
    July 11th, 2020 at 01:58 | #47

    I hope this comment does not come across as hostile, I do not mean it as such. I just like to be straightforward when it comes to technical maters. From a technical perspective there is no difference in the risk of allowing offline downloads on Android as compared to allowing them on Windows. Netflix allows offline downloads of movies on Windows that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make. I understand the concern about piracy, but I do think it is important to note that it is not a valid reason to prevent offline downloads on Windows. Forward Chess may not have invested the resources in updating their desktop app to take advantage of the DRM features that Windows offers and that is totally fine. But it’s not a technical limitation, it is a choice of where you invest your resources.

  48. Forward Chess
    July 11th, 2020 at 18:58 | #48

    @Tim
    Tim, your comment did not sound hostile at all! We would be happy to have a technical discussion about this, though perhaps offline/in a different forum.

    In addition to what we *could* do technically, there are also other considerations. As you probably know, Forward Chess started as an app for mobile devices, Android and iOS only. When we suggested expanding the list to other operating systems, several of our participating publishers got really concerned. It wasn’t practical to have some rules for one group and another set of rules for the rest. What resulted is a compromise. We have a “desktop version”, for Windows and MacOS, but the books are only accessible online. For other systems, like Kindle Fire, we do not offer any options, as a part of that compromise. Frankly, the choice was this or no Windows access. Do you think we made the wrong choice?

    We would love to hear your thoughts (technical or otherwise) on the subject. Please email us info At forwardchess.com

  49. Tim
    July 11th, 2020 at 23:45 | #49

    @Forward Chess

    Those other considerations make a ton of sense to me. I actually did not know Forward Chess started as mobile device only. Based on those constraints imposed by some publishers I think your decision makes a ton of sense! I appreciate you being willing to go into detail.

    Anti-piracy on the desktop is a tough environment. So while folks like Netflix do allow offline content on Windows, they do not on Mac desktop. I would definitely hope some publishers would reconsider the restriction on Windows, but given how many publishers you work with it makes sense you want one set of rules for everything.

    Big fan of the app by the way, I own 10+ books through it!

  50. Till
    July 12th, 2020 at 04:17 | #50

    @Tim,@ForwardChess

    I did not complain about the restrictions for certain environments or your reasons for these restrictions, to be honest I could not care less. If you sell something you can put any restrictions you like on it. If you tell me what restrictions exist I can decide whether or not these restrictions matter to me.

    But *not* telling me these restrictions is what I complained and are still annoyed about.

  51. July 12th, 2020 at 07:45 | #51

    @Till

    Are you the same person that has produced courses for Chessable?

  52. Franck steenbekkers
    July 14th, 2020 at 19:22 | #52

    When Will the excerpts of the august books be published

  53. Paul H
    July 16th, 2020 at 17:17 | #53

    I think you really need to rethink the design of the hardbacks. The big difference in size between the page and the cover makes the corners very susceptible to denting in shipping. Got a package today from my chess shop of these 3 releases in hardback – all four corners of all 3 books badly damaged. Now the hassle of returning. Next time I think I buy in person where I can personally choose.

  54. Paul H
    July 16th, 2020 at 18:16 | #54

    Especially if you are going to do hardback only releases.

  55. Tobias
    July 16th, 2020 at 21:54 | #55

    @Paul H
    This sounded familiar to me, and indeed here it is: http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/3767#comment-258799
    Not that I care personally – I don’t treat books gently while reading anyway, so any such dents are the least of the books’ problems 🙂 – but by profession, I tend to remember and like to find prior cases of bug reports 🙂 Hope the reference is useful to you (or anyone else).

  56. The Doctor
    July 17th, 2020 at 06:44 | #56

    @Psul H

    You must be unlucky. I’ve always bought hardback and never had any issues.

  57. Paul H
    July 17th, 2020 at 07:56 | #57

    @The Doctor

    There was a thread on here many years ago how they were frequently getting damaged in the mail. I got some at the time which were slightly damaged, but not to the extent of yesterday and let it pass, but started to buy in person. Of course today, mail is more likely the buying option.

    But I will not buy any more QC hardbacks mail order.

  58. Tom Tidom
    July 17th, 2020 at 11:51 | #58

    I always buy hardbacks via mail from my preferred chess shop and like The Doctor never had any problems. The shop is always using very stable packages.

  59. Paul H
    July 17th, 2020 at 13:00 | #59

    @Tom Tidom
    Here is the discussion from 2015. So it is not an isolated issue, nor a recent one. I had no issue with the packaging. The weakness lies in the mail system (I assume it fell off the conveyor belt at the sorting centre or was thrown into a van somewhere) and the design (eg other books with firmer cover and less overlap vs the inside pages on my shelves have never been damaged. ).

    Obviously this is a first world problem but nevertheless frustrating.

    http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/3767#comment-258799

  60. Wim V
    July 17th, 2020 at 13:40 | #60

    I have the same problem, alas too often. Corners and bottom/top side of the hardbacks are getting damaged when being shipped by QC via UPS. It is a real pity. I like the hardbacks and I’m willing to pay the extra for it, provided they are in good condition. (Once in a while they are in (near) perfect condition; and then it is a total joy).

  61. mark ashley
    July 17th, 2020 at 16:24 | #61

    @Daniel
    I dont know if it is coincidence but I think a lot of his repertoire, at least with white, echoes that of Rublevsky, whose games he used frequently in his book on Bb5. I think his opening books tend to also be on openings he has played frequently, with a view to being practical. So, my guess would be

    Bb5 against Sicilian. 2 knights against French and Caro Kann. Italian against e5. ( I dont know how frequently jones plays these though

  62. Benjamin Fitch
    July 17th, 2020 at 16:47 | #62

    I do think it’s all about the packaging. There are effective and ineffective ways to protect hardcover books (regardless of the publisher) during shipping. They should be in a box, they shouldn’t move around within the box, etc.

  63. Paul H
    July 17th, 2020 at 16:57 | #63

    @Benjamin Fitch
    I think the packaging was fine- wrapped tightly in bubble wrap and then cardboard so could not move. In my view when shipping a book you need 2 of 3 things- postal service not to toss around, well packed and sound construct/physical design of the book. In my view there was only one of these, with the first and third elements lacking.

  64. JB
    July 17th, 2020 at 18:11 | #64

    Hi all
    Playing the Petroff arrived today. First impressions good but heart sunk a little when your proposed line leads to the possibility of white forcing a perpetual at move 6 😔
    Could live with the main line leading to an equal endgame at move 20 but without a follow up line if in must win situation or opponent much lower rated who might take an easy draw is a bit disappointing. Even a slightly dodgy line would be a good alternative but surely there’s something else at move 5? A wee addendum maybe?

  65. Ray
    July 18th, 2020 at 07:55 | #65

    I’m currently reading through Sedlak’s book on the Stonewall. I really like it so far – looks like a great repertoire. What I also like is that the page count is relatively limited :-). It would be very nice if Sedlak would write a companion book on his French repertoire!

  66. Frank
    July 19th, 2020 at 21:42 | #66

    I never experienced such troubles, buying over 30 books of QC, both paperback or hard copy.

  67. Gery
    July 20th, 2020 at 13:52 | #67

    Franck steenbekkers :
    When Will the excerpts of the august books be published

    We all know, that they will be published when they are ready…:-) So let me re-phrase the question: Are you on track for the publication date of August 12th for the Italian books? Very much looking forward to these.

  68. TD
    July 21st, 2020 at 12:31 | #68

    @Ray
    I also like Sedlak’s Stonewall book very much. Him writing a book about the French would be the only possibility that a might try it sometimes, although it would be a very, very slim chance.

    I also wouldn’t mind a QC London book by Sedlak, with all the new developments since his previous books. He explains very well and is very thorough and also has a writing style which I like.

  69. Kallia Kleisarchaki
    July 21st, 2020 at 15:16 | #69

    @Wim V
    Hi. Can you please email kallia at qualitychess.co.uk, so that I can get some more information on this issue?

  70. July 22nd, 2020 at 15:06 | #70

    Hello, I can confirm that I often have recieved hardbacks with the corners bent.

  71. The Doctor
    July 22nd, 2020 at 20:17 | #71

    I get my QC hardbacks from Chess Direct and they’re wrapped really well and have never had any issues!!

  72. The Doctor
    July 22nd, 2020 at 21:48 | #72

    Are there any plans to have Opening Simulator KID on Chessable?
    Seems a great platform for this book.

  73. July 22nd, 2020 at 22:39 | #73

    @The Doctor
    Chess Direct are really good. I’ve used them since 20001 😉

  74. John NS
    July 23rd, 2020 at 12:15 | #74

    Kevin, did they sell you the time machine too 😀😀

  75. July 23rd, 2020 at 14:53 | #75

    @John NS

    😉

  76. Jose
    July 25th, 2020 at 16:57 | #76

    Hello
    When Will we get an excerpt of the ” Italian Renaissance”?
    Thanks

  77. mstoe
    July 26th, 2020 at 23:22 | #77

    I have the same Question for Negis Book. A release date would also be nice. Im so hyped.

  78. TD
    July 27th, 2020 at 07:03 | #78

    And what about Schandorff’s book on the Caro-Kann?

  79. Thomas Maes
    July 27th, 2020 at 20:37 | #79

    Received the new Stonewall repertoire book by Sedlak.

    One logical variation that is missing in chapter 1 is C4) 4.Bg5!?

    Otherwise it looks like a very interesting read to me!

  80. Thomas
    July 28th, 2020 at 08:55 | #80

    @Thomas Maes

    I was missing that too

  81. Jacob Aagaard
    July 29th, 2020 at 21:26 | #81

    @TD
    Slowly coming together.

  82. JB
    August 3rd, 2020 at 18:33 | #82

    Hi again
    I never got a reply to comment #64 above. Not sure if was ignored or missed. Personally if I buy a repertoire book I want to play it at club level and not worry about having to do my own research to avoid a lower rated or lazy player taking a perpetual at move 6 … surely this is the author’s and editor’s job. Other publishers often provide a choice…the solid option and the riskier if you want a game rather than a theory battle. Maybe other contributors could chip in and indicate whether they want books that do have this option or is it just me? Do QC not do this in the Petroff book on purpose or was it an omission? Would appreciate a reply . Thanks 😊

  83. Benjamin Fitch
    August 3rd, 2020 at 19:49 | #83

    Personally, I don’t mind this (opportunities for White to force a draw) in a book for Black on the Petroff, for two reasons. Secondarily, the Petroff doesn’t spring to mind as a “must win with Black” choice (I’d go with the Caro-Kann, especially after Lars Schandorff’s new book comes out, or with the Alekhine—but only until Negi’s book comes out). More importantly, for every half point that Black occasionally drops because of these White opportunities to force a draw, there will likely be a couple of full points that Black gains because White is playing for a win and feels frustrated (to the point of making a mistake) by Black’s choice (and fine handling) of the Petroff.

  84. Thomas
    August 3rd, 2020 at 20:56 | #84

    @JB

    Really? You want to play the Petroff and then you start complaining that it’s a draw?

  85. Cowe
    August 4th, 2020 at 09:56 | #85

    This draw in the Petroff always existed, it’s just part of the opening. Whenever you play the Petroff you must agree to it, and have another opening in store whan you want to deprive White of this possibility. Or just allow the draw, it’s no big deal after all.

  86. Isolani
    August 4th, 2020 at 10:41 | #86

    @ JB
    Elements of answer :
    1/ 100% OK with the answers above.

    2/ It’s QUALITY chess. They usually go deep, go sound but they don’t go wide. Space, time, energy are limited. It’s their choice, I understand it even if it doesn’t always match very well with my approach of openings at my amateur level.

    3/ Alternatives to this drawish variation are considered inferior. Petroff’s specialists here might confirm?

    4/ Who follows more than 50% of a repertoire book anyway? I make my repertoire from many sources and a bit of personal work.
    By the way, Cohen’s book covers Murey’s fantastic 4Nc6. I would play the Petroff just to put this move on the board whatever it’s soundness! Cohen admits it’s not equal but this might be a practical line for you when you play for a win, if you stick to the Petroff in such occasions.

  87. Andrew Greet
    August 4th, 2020 at 10:51 | #87

    @JB
    I saw the comment but didn’t reply due to a combination of being busy finishing Negi and not having a photographic memory to know which line you were talking about. If you could give either the moves or the page number, I’ll take a look and give my thoughts on it.

  88. Paul H
    August 4th, 2020 at 11:45 | #88

    @Andrew Greet
    Finishing Negi? 👀

  89. JB
    August 4th, 2020 at 12:56 | #89

    @Thomas
    I’m not saying that the Petroff is anything but equal but equal is very different from a forced draw at move 6 if my opponent wants it. Let’s face it, John Jacob and Andrew wouldn’t risk playing their own company’s repertoire against me if we met in a Scottish league match whereas if they followed say Cohen’s Petroff repertoire they do have an alternative opt out to keep the game going and grind me down for a win. A proper repertoire book should have this in my opinion. For instance the recent Zaitsev book gave an alternative to avoid the Ng5 Rf8 Nf3 repetition. At least some awareness that this is possible by your opponent before you buy would be good.

  90. middlewave
    August 4th, 2020 at 12:57 | #90

    @Andrew
    I am sure he means the line 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxf7.

  91. JB
    August 4th, 2020 at 13:10 | #91

    @Cowe
    It exists true but you don’t have to allow it. Cohen’s Petrff book is explicitly aggressive and avoids forced draws so to avoid the 3 d4 Nxe4 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5 Nd7 6 Nxf7 draw I am talking about he gives alternatives…in fact you have alternatives after move 3, e.g. exd4 move 4 e.g. Mureys crazy Nc6!? and move 5 e.g…. Bd6 gives you plenty of options even if you think 5…Nd7 is objectively the strongest line. Id expect a repertoire book to give me this flexibility

  92. JB
    August 4th, 2020 at 13:14 | #92

    @Andrew Greet
    Andrew please see reply above for the line. Have to day this is my only problem I have with the book which is why I suggested an addendum. A flawed masterpiece

  93. Andrew Greet
    August 4th, 2020 at 13:33 | #93

    Thanks Middlewave for the answer.

    Ideally, of course it would be nice if our repertoire equalized everywhere without giving the opponent a chance to force a draw like this, but now and again such things can happen. I get that there is an argument for including a back-up line in the book; on the other hand, we are talking about the bulletproof Petroff. If the book was, say, “Playing The Sicilian Dragon – A Swashbuckling Repertoire”, I would see it as more of a problem.

    Anyway, the book is the way it is, so I suggest one of the following approaches:
    a) When a quick draw is unacceptable (whether due to the opponent being much weaker, or needing to win in the last round of a tournament for example), I imagine a lot of players would opt for a more combative opening than the Petroff anyway, even if this 6.Nxf7 line didn’t exist.
    b) Just do a bit of your own research to find a back-up Petroff line to use on such occasions.

  94. James 2
    August 4th, 2020 at 15:05 | #94

    Did I see Negi 5 was nearing completion?

    It will be nice to see what he recommends against the 3..Qd6 Scandinavian. I am hoping for 4 d4 Nf6 5 Nf3 c6 6 g3 Bf5 7 Bf4 as in Solomon-Kasparov,S 2016 to be explored by the author.

    It will also be interesting to see his recommendations against 2..Nf6 3 d4 Bg4 (if 3 d4 is the approach taken).

  95. JB
    August 4th, 2020 at 15:18 | #95

    @Andrew Greet
    Thanks Andrew for replying.Guess we get to differ about who’s job it should be to do the back up Petroff line as the Cohen book (who did do the small amount of extra work of one Chapter in a total of 28 chapters) is 7 years old now and it would be good to have a state of play on the alternatives from the experts…that’s why we pay you to do the necessary legwork in the cover price. I’d more happily play the repertoire then and stop and make a decision based on my knowledge of my opponent once they play 3.d4 rather than 3. Nxe5 whether to risk a forced draw or avoid it using the back up line. Last year I had an opponent who offered a draw early on as he told me he wanted to watch the Champion’s league in the bar next door…thankfully there was no forced repetition on the board at the time. It would also be good to know exactly why Dhopade rates 5…Nd7 over Bd6 too…where is the issue ? And is Murey refuted now in the days of Leela? Or does the 3…exd4 endgame line hold? At the moment I’d only play the given repertoire if my opponent was higher rated or a draw suited my team captain which is a bit sad.

  96. Ray
    August 4th, 2020 at 15:58 | #96

    There are also many perpetuals in the Modern Main Line, so for a well prepared white player satisfied with a draw that is always an option. The only difference is that after 6 moves instead of 20 book moves you can go to the bar early 🙂 . By the way, this is certainly not an exclusive problem for the ‘bulletproof’ Petroff. E.g., in the less bullet-proof Pirc book by Marin het also allows an early and well-known draw by repetition in the Austrian Attack. I think if you have a must-win situation you just should avoid these lines and play indeed something like the Alekhine, Modern Defence or even the Nimzowitsch Defence. But usually white will also want to play a game of chess presumably, so what are the odds really of this 6-move draw actually happening?

  97. Andrew Greet
    August 4th, 2020 at 16:05 | #97

    5…Bd6 is a serious move and there may or may not be an ‘issue’ with it. Authors may or may not explain why they chose one line over another. In this case, Dhopade simply stated which one he preferred and analysed it really well, which is good enough for me.

    In a must-win game, Murey’s 4…Nc6 would seem like a good choice. It’s safe to say White can claim an edge with precise play; but I can’t imagine that the calibre of player who you would hate to draw against would be the type who would know the most precise way for White to play – and even if they did, you could still get a game and try to outplay them.
    I suppose our book could have been slightly improved with the inclusion of this or another back-up line. But since that ship has sailed and you already have the Cohen book, I would just use Cohen’s analysis to learn the basics of the Murey line, and check with a decent engine to make sure Cohen hasn’t overlooked anything horrible.

    Finally, I’m not sure if you just really hate quick draws or if you were slightly overstating things to argue your point – but when saying you would only play 6…Nd7 against higher-rated opponents, I think you overestimate the odds of this drawing line appearing on the board. Why would an evenly matched or even slightly lower-rated opponent just force a draw with the white pieces after six moves?

  98. Cowe
    August 4th, 2020 at 21:02 | #98

    @JB: Black plays the Petrov when he’s ok with a draw, so the repetition is no problem and against 3.d4, the solid …Nd7 is often preferred to the riskier …Bd6. As for Murey’s 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 5.Bd3 Nc6, it may confuse some opponents but on top of the mainlines, you must be aware that the simple 6.Nxe5 gives White an easy life. In Paris we spent some time with the man himself on this move, and the result was: either Black goes for dubious tactics or he finds himself at the defending side of a drawish ending (which iwas fine for Black). My 2c: if you like the Petrov, keep it bulletproof and know when to play it.

  99. middlewave
    August 5th, 2020 at 12:51 | #99

    And my own two cents about this problem: it is very rare to find a White player who will play this whole system nowadays AND be booked up against 5…Bd6 AND this to occur in a situation where you really need to avoid a quick draw at all costs AND White actually intending to play 6.Nxf7 after 5…Nd7.
    Not to mention, an in-depth look into 5…Bd6 may have serious practical advantages anyway, as the line is more or less forgotten nowadays, and quite complex.

  100. Riesner
    August 6th, 2020 at 11:37 | #100

    @Cowe

    “Black plays the Petrov when he’s ok with a draw”? That’s not true. In amateur level, lot of players play the Petrov because this opening suit their style and they want to win!
    Did you ever listen to interviews of Karpov? He explained once that he also played the Petrov to win with black.

    In sharp Najdorf lines you have a lot of lines, where Black has to accepte the draw after 20-30 moves. But you won’t say: Black plays the Najdorf for a draw.

    It’s a question of your style. For the most players the Petrov brings boring symmetrical positions, but for Karpov and some other players, these positions are quite interesting and you can outplay your oppenents.

  101. Riesner
    August 6th, 2020 at 11:43 | #101

    I would prefer the following statement:
    “If you are playing with Black and you try to play “correct”, sometimes you have to accept the draw.”

  102. August 6th, 2020 at 13:32 | #102

    Thanks everyone for your honest feedback. I’m maybe getting paranoid as I’ve had 2 early repetitions from white in consecutive seasons. I’m still not sure how best to avoid one of them and it’s not having an idea in your head about how to handle this that got me irked. I agree the chances are low as most people play Nxe5 or Nc3

  103. Bebbe
    August 7th, 2020 at 06:45 | #103

    Since QC has started to publish classics: Do you plan to publish any book by Polugaevsky? These books are currently published by Ischi press. Somehow I dont like their layout.

    Polugaevskys is one of my idols and I like his approach to chess.

  104. Ray
    August 7th, 2020 at 15:57 | #104

    @Bebbe
    ‘Started’? If I remember correctly their very first book was a classic (Questions of Chess Theory)! (It was even one of the reasons for starting Quality Chess). That being said there are some gems out there deserving a proper reprint :-). For example, Kasparov’s ‘The test of time’ would also be nice! It’s been long out of print. Other books which come to mind: ‘Simple chess’ by Michael Stean (though still in print by Dover) or some thus far untranslated Russian treasures.

  105. Grobiwan
    August 7th, 2020 at 18:28 | #105

    No more news about the Elephant ? What’s going on ?

  106. Ray
    August 9th, 2020 at 08:44 | #106

    I noticed an omission is Sedlak’s fine book: after 1.d4 e6 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 d5 5.0-0 c6 6.c4 Bd6 7.Nbd2 0-0 8.Ne5 b6 9.Ndf3 Ne4 10.h4!? Bb7, he does not mention the logical move and first choice of Stockfish, i.e. 11.Bf4 (the move 10.h4!? was designed to enable). Sielecki recommends this move in ‘Keep it simple: 1.e4’, and I would have expected that recommendations in recent repertoire books for the white side should be covered as a matter of principle – therefore i.m.o. it’s a serious omission in a critical line. Sielecki’s line continues 11…Nd7 12.Rc1 c5 13.Ng5! Nxg5 14.Bxg5 Qe8 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.cxd5 Bxd5 17.dxc5 Bxc5 18.Bxd5 exd5 19.Qb3. According to Sielecki, ‘Black is suffering with mutiple weaknesses to attend. Het can’t play …f5-f7, which would help’. I have tried to find an improvement with the help of Stockfish, but didn’t succeed so far. This line doesn’t seem like much fun for black as I don’t see counterplay. And it’s quite easy to learn for white (hence ‘Keep it simple’). Do you have any thoughts / suggestions on this? And on a more general note, I wonder what QC’s policy is on covering recent recommendations for the other side in recent repertoire books? Do you agree that these should be dealt with?

  107. Ray
    August 9th, 2020 at 08:45 | #107

    Sorry, it’s ‘Keep it simple: 1.d4’, obviously – not 1.e4 🙂 .

  108. Andrew Greet
    August 10th, 2020 at 15:37 | #108

    Of course we strive to give recommendations against repertoire books written from the opposite side’s perspective – as evidenced by the list of 1.d4 books in the bibliography and the references made to them in the text. We are only human though, and occasionally we miss something. In this instance, I was editing the book from home during lockdown; I made a trip into the office to pick up a bundle of 1.d4 books, each one of which are referred to in the text – but we didn’t have this particular title on the shelf, and I must confess I wasn’t aware of it.

    Someone else mentioned a recommendation from the Cummings 1.c4 book a while ago. This one we do have on the shelf, but it was just a psychological blind spot: I checked all the 1.d4 repertoire books but forgot to check 1.c4 followed by d4.

    I’ll have a look at both of those missing lines at some point, but for now I have more pressing concerns, such as ensuring that the Negi and Gelfand books get sent away for printing on schedule.

    Oh and the Elephant is next in line for editing, for those who are wondering about that.

  109. James2
    August 10th, 2020 at 19:53 | #109

    Good evening Andrew,

    I can see that Avrukh has an estimated publication date of September per the coming soon section. Are you hoping to publish Negi 5 with the Avrukh books, that is in the same batch of books published.

    Thank you very much.

    James

  110. Paul H
    August 10th, 2020 at 21:13 | #110

    @James2
    Assume you mean Gelfand not Avrukh. But yes, is Negi the same September release?

  111. James2
    August 10th, 2020 at 21:16 | #111

    @Paul H
    Ooops, sorry! I was looking at one of the Avrukh 1d4 books on my shelf as I was typing…

  112. Ray
    August 11th, 2020 at 06:01 | #112

    @Andrew Greet
    Hi Andrew,

    Great, thanks for your reaction!

  113. Bill
    August 11th, 2020 at 15:15 | #113

    @Andrew Greet
    I’m hoping that you’ll be updating Negi to take into account the recommendations in the Elephant Gambit book. I’m sure that all his analysis will be trampled into the dirt by the upcoming work.

  114. Andrew Greet
    August 11th, 2020 at 15:54 | #114

    James – Yes, we are currently proofreading Negi and 2x Gelfand with a view to printing/publishng them simultaneously.

    Bill – We are fortunate that Negi’s 1.e4 e5 volume will come some time after the Elephant, so that he will have the option of switching to 2.Nc3 or 2.Bc4 to avoid being refuted.

  115. James2
    August 11th, 2020 at 18:08 | #115

    @Andrew Greet
    That’s excellent!

    Thanks Andrew!

  116. Thomas
    August 11th, 2020 at 18:36 | #116

    @Andrew Greet

    Even Nakamura tried everything to stop 2.-d5 when he went for 2.Qh5

  117. Cowe
    August 12th, 2020 at 09:57 | #117

    In blitz I often play 1.e4 d5 2.Nf3 but now I see I’m in big trouble…

  118. middlewave
    August 12th, 2020 at 10:24 | #118

    @Andrew
    I have a question, and it’s a serious one at that, not a joke: is there really an Elephant Gambit book in the works?! Or is it some kind of chat insider joke that I missed due to my infrequent visits?
    Asking seriously, and no offense to the Elephant fans!

  119. Andrew Greet
    August 12th, 2020 at 11:24 | #119

    Yes, “The Exhilarating Elephant Gambit” is a real title which is on the way.

  120. Bill
    August 12th, 2020 at 14:43 | #120

    Will the EEG also include a chapter or two on playing the reversed gambit with White, so I can focus my limited study time on things other than opening play? I think the Elephant Stampede Attack has a nice ring to it.

  121. Andrew Greet
    August 12th, 2020 at 15:05 | #121

    I’m pretty sure there is no chapter on the Elephant reversed. The trouble is that you really need the knight on f3/f6 to serve as a target for the advancing e-pawn, so something like 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bd3 would not make a great deal of sense. However, if you face the Petroff then 3.d4 should lead to an Elephant with an extra tempo, so that could be an option.

  122. Cowe
    August 13th, 2020 at 15:07 | #122

    @Bill: you can also try 1.e4 e5 2.d3 intending 2…Nf6? 3.d4, should trap some heffalumps in blitz

  123. Bill
    August 13th, 2020 at 18:53 | #123

    Since 3. Nxe5 Nc6 has now been proven online to be more correct than the Marshall and Najdorf combined, maybe 3. d4 in the mainline Petroff should be renamed the Anti-Stafford Gambit.
    Cowe’s line has the merit of being slightly more aggressive than the London, for sure. Much food for thought, here.

  124. Kulio
    August 17th, 2020 at 06:52 | #124

    @Bill: Well, even in bullet it is not very likely to surprise somebody with 3….Nc6. The refutation – given for example in the Shaw-Book – 4.Nxc6 dxc6 5.d4 you can find on the fly. Against the Marshall White is unable to get a winning postion almost by force after a few moves.

  125. TD
    August 24th, 2020 at 08:11 | #125

    What do you (QC) think of this review of Think Like A Machine? http://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2020/08/practical-chess.html

  126. Ray
    August 26th, 2020 at 06:34 | #126

    If I remember correctlt Brabo was banned a long time ago from this blog 🙂 .

  127. RYV
    August 26th, 2020 at 19:40 | #127

    @TD

    few comments on that book and his review.

    The title is provocative but also a reference to Kotov’s legendary think like a GM.
    Whay can we learn from chess engine ? probably not much ( if not a all) . It just make clear that calculation power is more important than anything else. …but as human we can not consider all legal moves as candidates moves.

  128. Benjamin Fitch
    August 26th, 2020 at 19:55 | #128

    Before arriving at a handful of candidate moves, though, I believe that we can and should consider every legal move available in the current position, if only for one brief second (in many cases). This is a best practice or matter of discipline (not counting speed chess). Also, just before making a move, I believe that to maximize results it’s essential to literally consider (if only for one brief moment) every single legal reply. Considering (that is, nonverbally seeing in the mind) every legal move one level deep for both sides not only prevents some mistakes but occasionally reveals possibilities that we wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

  129. Bulkington
    August 27th, 2020 at 09:30 | #129

    I do not own the book but I have read the excerpt, in particular the example in Shankland`s foreword I found quite jaw-dropping. 1.a2-a4 is a natural candidate as it is a lever, provides “Luft” for the king and there might be tactics against the enemy king. An easy catch for the lazy reader and it even was played in the game. But playing a2-a4 intending to cover b5 where mate is delivered eleven moves “down the line (Shankland`s words) ??? Weird coincidence is Brabo`s own example, where an amazing 1.h2-h4 is the computer-solution… watch out for pawn moves at the edge. Crazy stuff and certainly utmost difficult to solve.

  130. JB
    August 27th, 2020 at 10:10 | #130

    Don’t have the book either but seems to be on the same lines as Invisible Chess Moves that even experiencing crazily complex motives might be enough to trigger some awareness of similar difficult tactics in the future. Personally feel all the engine advancements need a human translator like Sadler and Regan did in Game Changer which has filtered down to club players like myself that we can utilise. e.g. Pushing Harry the h pawn may be a good strategic plan in lots of other positions than just the najdorf and dragon. Similarly Nunn helped distill all the tablebase data into useful ideas e.g. Defending king running away to the far away corner in queen vs queen and pawn endgames. Just saying that ‘ you need to think more like a machine’ doesn’t take you any further. Be interested if Manella and Zohar provide some explanations when I finally get to read it

  131. Pinpon
    August 28th, 2020 at 17:21 | #131

    @TD
    Hopefully there will be no answer considering the old TN /King’s gambit / Buecker/ polemique

  132. RYV
    September 2nd, 2020 at 16:26 | #132

    With chess engines now dominating over players – even top players, it will be nice see some publication showing what human can learn from engines. So far , i dont see any.

  133. Ray
    September 2nd, 2020 at 17:18 | #133

    @RYV
    What about Sadler’s book?

  134. Luis
    September 2nd, 2020 at 18:28 | #134

    I would also like to see books with analysis between engine games.
    I guess Sadler’s book is one example.
    But it will be interesting to see in one book, all (or at least many) of teh analysis that we can
    read in some chess sites. By the way, interesting analysis in most of the cases

    RYV: Perhaps the book “Thinking like a Machine” is more in tune with what you want.
    I have seen some controversy on that book which pointed to a negative review. It was precisely
    that negative review that motivated me to order the book. What may be negative for some, might be positive for others 🙂

  135. Ron
    September 4th, 2020 at 06:23 | #135

    @RYV

    All writers use engines to check the lines they propose. I think there are enough books about how engines think at the moment, because we are not engines and it is better to have a human approach using engines.

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