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ECF Book of the Year – Under the Surface

October 8th, 2018 14 comments

I mentioned in a previous blog post that the two books nominated by Quality Chess for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year prize had both been chosen for the four-book shortlist. Well, we have a winner. Congratulations to GM Jan Markos, as his Under the Surface is the 2018 ECF Book of the Year. The judges had many kind words including “The winner stood out for its original approach and quality of writing” and “An original, fascinating and very worthy winner of the 2018 Book of the Year.”

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Free ‘Book of the Month’ – October and November

October 1st, 2018 12 comments

We are continuing our special offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas) we will send you an extra book free.

Please note that if you buy a Special Offer and are in the EU zone, we will add one free book. For example, the Grandmaster Preparation Special Offer is 6 hardbacks for the price of 5. So if a European buys that, we send Jacob’s 6 GM Preparation hardbacks, plus one free extra book.

The previous default option on the free book was Attacking the Spanish. For October and November we will switch the default option to CARLSEN’S ASSAULT ON THE THRONE. But if you already have that book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to salesgroup@qualitychess.co.uk with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:

CHAMPIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
GRANDMASTER BATTLE MANUAL
GRANDMASTER VERSUS AMATEUR
POSITIONAL CHESS SACRIFICES
REGGIO EMILIA 2007/2008
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – WHITE GAMBITS
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – BLACK GAMBITS VOLUME 1
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – BLACK GAMBITS VOLUME 2
SAN LUIS 2005
TACTIMANIA
ATTACKING THE SPANISH
CUTTING EDGE 1: THE OPEN SICILIAN
CUTTING EDGE 2: SICILIAN NAJDORF 6.Be3

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Chessable – The Woodpecker Method

September 17th, 2018 19 comments

On Monday 24th September we will release a Quality Chess book in what for us is a new format: Chessable. In case you are not familiar with Chessable, I offer a couple of extra links: the first about Chessable and the next about the science behind their methods.

My summary: Chessable offers chess courses that are accessible online, and uses a technique based on “spaced-repetition”.

When we decided to experiment by putting one Quality Chess book on Chessable, we needed to decide which book. So, learning and improving using repetition: does that suggest any recent Quality Chess book?

The Woodpecker Method will be available on Chessable from Monday 24th September. The normal Chessable price will be the same as our book, though I would suggest keeping an eye out for an introductory sale price, which is a Chessable tradition.

If this experiment is a success, then we may try other QC books in Chessable format.

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Practical Chess Beauty by Yochanan Afek

September 14th, 2018 12 comments

I am happy to announce we have a new book on the way: Practical Chess Beauty by Yochanan Afek. To quote from the cover:

“Solving studies is well established as an effective method of chess improvement. In Practical Chess Beauty one of the world’s greatest study composers, Yochanan Afek, shares his finest creations.

Fire your imagination, gain a greater appreciation of chess geometry, and develop a finer feeling for the pieces’ potential by trying to find the ideas hidden in the hundreds of studies in this book. Or simply wonder at some of the most stunning chess moves ever conceived.”

Publishers claiming “our books are great” always look suspicious, given our obvious bias, but this book really is great. There have been so many times in editing when we have boggled at a move, and said: “That can’t possibly work!” But then it does.

The author has framed his book to be useful for the practical player seeking improvement, but it also works wonderfully as pure entertainment. It’s too early for an excerpt (maybe next week) and I will guess at a publication date in late October or the start of November.

I will give one example from the book. White to play and win (I will give the solution next week). The main line is only 5 moves long, but you will do well to spot the winners and the best defensive try. Stretch your brain – do not switch on that engine.

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ECF Book of the Year shortlist

August 28th, 2018 19 comments

The English Chess Federation has just announced its four-book shortlist for the ECF Book of the Year prize, and two Quality Chess books made the cut:

Small Steps to Giant Improvement by Sam Shankland

And Under the Surface by Jan Markos.


Congratulations to Sam and Jan!

The rules of the competition allow each publisher to nominate only two books, so things are going as well as possible. It was already tough to choose which two of our books to nominate, with one magazine editor trying on his own to nominate The Thinkers by David Llada – an understandable point of view, but sadly not allowed by the rules.

The winner should be announced at the start of October.

Categories: Prizes Tags:

GM Lucas van Foreest

August 3rd, 2018 13 comments

Yesterday the young Dutch player Lucas van Foreest finished on 7/9 in the Condigne Dutch Open. This was 1st equal on points, but GM Erwin l’Ami won on tiebreak. More significantly for Lucas, the score was enough for a final GM norm and gaining enough rating to push him over 2500. So that is the Grandmaster title at age 17. Congratulations!

So what is the Quality Chess connection? Three years ago Lucas was the joint winner of the quiz we ran about the 2015 World Cup, winning 20 free Quality Chess books.

Lucas Van Foreest

So that’s the secret – get 20 Quality Chess books, become a grandmaster. Sadly, that’s not quite the full story. Lucas is clearly a hardworking and talented young man from a famous chess-playing family. Older brother Jorden is a GM and rated well over 2600, while their family website tells me their great grandfather A.E. van Foreest was Dutch Champion three times. And that’s just to mention three members of the family: there are more chessplayers. New quiz question: name a more impressive chess family?

In related news, and with a definite Quality Chess connection, a Chess24 tweet informs me that “Loek van Wely is also organising the Hoogeveen Chess tournament this year (21-27 October), when the matches will be: Svidler vs. Shankland & Jorden van Foreest vs. Fedoseev”

Sam Shankland is of course the author of Small Steps to Giant Improvement. And also US Champion.

Categories: Prizes Tags:

Free ‘Book of the Month’ – August and September

August 1st, 2018 No comments

We are continuing our special offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas) we will send you an extra book free.

Please note that if you buy a Special Offer and are in the EU zone, we will add one free book. For example, the Grandmaster Preparation Special Offer is 6 hardbacks for the price of 5. So if a European buys that, we send Jacob’s 6 GM Preparation hardbacks, plus one free extra book.

The previous default option on the free book was Grandmaster Battle Manual. For August and September we will switch the default option to ATTACKING THE SPANISH. But if you already have that book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to salesgroup@qualitychess.co.uk with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:

CHAMPIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
CARLSEN’S ASSAULT ON THE THRONE
GRANDMASTER BATTLE MANUAL
GRANDMASTER VERSUS AMATEUR
POSITIONAL CHESS SACRIFICES
REGGIO EMILIA 2007/2008
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – WHITE GAMBITS
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – BLACK GAMBITS VOLUME 1
THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – BLACK GAMBITS VOLUME 2
SAN LUIS 2005
TACTIMANIA
ATTACKING THE SPANISH
CUTTING EDGE 1: THE OPEN SICILIAN
CUTTING EDGE 2: SICILIAN NAJDORF 6.Be3

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

GM Matthew Sadler book reviews in NIC

July 27th, 2018 18 comments

The always excellent New in Chess magazine arrived in our office yesterday, with another batch of reviews by GM Matthew Sadler. Three of them were about Quality Chess books.

Small Steps to Great Improvement by Sam Shankland

5/5 Stars “A beautifully produced hardback… Shankland wins me over by illustrating these guidelines beautifully… All in all, an excellent, original book.”

Under the Surface by Jan Markos

5/5 Stars “An incredibly creative book… Markos has a host of original ideas about all sorts of chess topics and a wonderfully witty and enthusiastic way of bringing them across… another fantastic book from Quality Chess!”

Playing 1.e4 e5 by Nikolaos Ntirlis

4/5 Stars “It’s probably pretty much the ideal repertoire for a player wanting to take up 1.e4 e5 without having to learn the whole world! … Ntirlis does his normal thorough, creative job.”

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