Author Archive

2017 American Champion?

March 20th, 2017 3 comments

Last week’s poll asked ‘Has your rating gone up or down since a year ago?’ The ‘almost unchanged’ answer was unsurprisingly most common, but when you add up the other answers you see 87 gained significantly, while 79 went down significantly. And the big gainers (up over 80 points) are an impressive 10% of the vote (I know it says 9% below, but that’s because the poll software decided to round 9.963% down to 9%). So not bad at all, especially as I suspect that many blog readers here are not young kids who might expect their ratings to increase naturally.

But compare the real results on rating changes with a poll question from the start of 2016: ‘Do you think your rating will go up or down in 2016?’ The optimists vastly outnumbered the pessimists.

Next week the US Championship starts in its now traditional location in St Louis. With 3 of the top 6 players in the world competing – So, Caruana and Nakamura – I find the US Championship the most interesting national championship in the world. The strength in depth is also there, with Kamsky, Robson, Shankland, Onischuk and Xiong in the 12-player event. If So has a ridiculously brilliant tournament he could challenge Carlsen’s World Number 1 position, as the gap is 16 Elo points. But my question is: Who will win the 2017 US Championship?

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How’s your Rating?

March 13th, 2017 46 comments

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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Server problems

March 9th, 2017 No comments

As you may have noticed, we have had some technical problems this week, since Monday morning. The blog was down for some time, but you will not know that we also had email issues. The problem was caused by a server failing, so it was not just Quality Chess affected, but whichever companies were using the same server. It all seems to be cured now.

I believe a couple of comments disappeared from the blog, so sorry if yours was one of those lost. Or if you emailed us earlier this week and we appear to be ignoring you, then please send again. But websale orders appear to have been received and processed fine.

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Did you follow the Women’s World Championship?

March 6th, 2017 1 comment

Last week’s poll question was “How many books in the Yusupov series have you completed?” The result is clear: ‘zero’ was top followed by ‘1-3’ with the rest lagging a long way behind. Sure, a number of those who voted ‘zero’ will not own any of the books, but there are certainly many who have bought the books but not gotten around to working through them yet. So the Yusupov Challenge is much needed.

This week’s poll question is: “Did you follow the Women’s World Championship to some degree?” This is a follow-up question to last month’s “Will you be following the Women’s World Championship live?” when the main answer was ‘no’. But maybe a few of the dramatic incidents caught your attention and encouraged you to follow the action? Or maybe you prefer to check out the games after they are finished, rather than follow it live. There are so many ways to follow a chess event these days, it is almost impossible to make a good guess about the size of the audience.

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Free ‘Book of the Month’ – March

March 2nd, 2017 1 comment

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 Yusupov Special Offer is 9 hardbacks for the price of 7. So if a European buys that, we send the 9 Yusupov hardbacks, plus one free extra book.

The previous default option on the free book was Tactimania. For March we will switch the default option to CHAMPIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM by Ftacnik, Kopec and Browne. But if you already have that book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

How many books in the Yusupov series have you read?

February 27th, 2017 39 comments

Last week’s poll question was “How many books in the Yusupov series do you own?” Top answer was ‘zero’ but next was ’10’. I find that hugely encouraging. My interpretation is that if you read one Yusupov book, you may be impressed enough to want to get all of them.

Continuing the current Yusupov theme of the blog, in a comment Steve suggested this week’s question: “How many books in the Yusupov series have you completed?”

Obviously giving a simple numerical answer does not tell the whole story, as some of you own none, some own them all. So saying you have read “zero” means very different things for different people. But I am still interested enough in the raw numbers, especially in how many have read them all. And we hope that this number will increase due to the Yusupov Challenge.

Categories: Polls Tags:

The Yusupov series

February 20th, 2017 18 comments

Last week’s poll question was: ‘Where are you?’ I offered so many options that an image big enough to make all the results readable would break the internet, so below are just the edited highlights.

Rest of Europe (196 votes, 40%)
North America (72 votes, 14%)
British Isles (61 votes, 12%)
Rest of Asia (57 votes, 11%)
India (49 votes, 10%)

‘Rest of Europe’ was our big winner, which reminds me of an old joke that claims a British newspaper once published a headline: “Fog in English Channel – Continent isolated”. Anyway, we at Quality Chess are very much pro-European, but since we don’t deal with politics on this chess blog, please don’t interpret that as a comment about Brexit.

We also have good numbers here from North America, India and Asia in general. Everyone is welcome, even those from the neglected Caribbean.

In a recent blog post we saw the views of GM Adhiban Baskaran on the Yusupov series. There were nine books in the original series, and then Revision & Exam 1 with more to come we hope. So for this week the poll question is: How many books in the Yusupov series do you own?

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Where are you?

February 13th, 2017 24 comments

The poll result shows that almost three quarters of you are not following the Women’s World Championship. I would ask you who you think will win, but if most of you are not following it, you are probably not bothered. Perhaps Hou Yifan’s absence devalues the event in your eyes?

The next question involves my geographical curiosity: Where are you?

For the poll answers I have split the planet up into a few bite-sized chunks. As we are mainly an English-language publisher, it would make sense if most blog readers here were from the British Isles (for non-locals, that includes the UK and Ireland) and North America. But I am sure there is some variety.

If you like, feel free to give a more detailed location in comments. But if ‘Antarctica’ and ‘Other’ get a lot of votes, then I’ll be very suspicious.

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