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The Sicilian Taimanov – a problem and solutions

December 11th, 2019 No comments

A reader, “Mr X”, pointed out a big improvement for White in a sideline given in The Sicilian Taimanov. So, with thanks to Mr X, I will share the problem line, and offer a couple of my own suggestions to patch the sideline.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3 Nf6 8.0–0–0 Ne5 9.Qg3 b5 10.a3!? Bb7! 11.Bxb5!? Rc8 12.Bd3

The author met this rare sideline with a sharp line leading to a repetition. It’s on page 423 of Chapter 20. But there is a problem lurking at the end of that line, as Mr X pointed out in an email to us.

The main line continues 12.Be2 Neg4 and then, for example, 13.Qxc7 Rxc7 when Black has ample compensation.

12…Nh5 13.Qg5 g6 14.f4 f5 15.fxe5 Be7 16.Qh6 Bf8

With a repetition, was the expectation. Except, as Mr X pointed out, White has a superb queen sacrifice.

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Sicilian Taimanov: One Omission, One Correction

July 17th, 2019 28 comments

It has been about six weeks since the latest addition to our Grandmaster Repertoire series, The Sicilian Taimanov, by Antonios Pavlidis, was published. Since then, the great majority of feedback has been positive – but as with every book, we have become aware of a few imperfections. The purpose of this short blog post is to acknowledge those shortcomings to make readers fully aware of those areas which need patching up.

After the opening moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7, there are two ‘holes’ of which we are aware:

1) Firstly in the Fianchetto Variation (Chapter 8), after 6.g3 a6 7.Bg2 Nf6 8.0–0 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Bc5 10.Bf4 d6 11.Qd2 h6 12.Rad1 e5 13.Be3, Pavlidis offers a choice for Black:

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Boris Avrukh interviewed by John Hartmann

June 6th, 2019 6 comments

Boris Avrukh was recently interviewed by Chess Life writer John Hartmann. A webpage about the interview is here, while the direct Youtube link is here.

Topic discussed include Dynamic Systems – Grandmaster Repertoire 2B, and Boris’s other books, which engine Boris uses, and his plans for the future.

Thanks to John Hartmann for letting me know about this interview.

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Mihail Marin on the Leningrad Dutch

January 22nd, 2019 57 comments

We have a book underway that I feel like announcing: a Grandmaster Repertoire on the Leningrad Dutch by Mihail Marin. When will it be published? No idea. As always, that depends on how smoothly the analysis and writing goes. And how wide awake our editors are.

This book will be a complete repertoire for Black starting after 1.d4 f5. In fact, Mihail will also offer some brief thoughts on other first moves such as 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 from a Dutch player’s perspective.

It’s early days to be mentioning this book, but a few readers have commented on this blog about their desire for a Leningrad Dutch book, so it feels right to say: “We agree, and we are working on it.”

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Remembering Playing 1.e4

December 6th, 2018 13 comments

If you want to know your opening repertoire well, you need time to memorise it. Some of it will make a lot of sense and some of it will be concrete, but counter-intuitive. Sometimes a line a tempo down is no worse, for example.

I just played a blitz game where I successfully remembered all of John’s analysis on the Alekhine, but ran out of time… As online blitz games have no relevance for the real world, I am still pleased by being able to get all the way to +-. After this I missed mate in four and lost on time in a totally winning position. But who cares…

The main reason I remembered the line, was because of an attractive shot in this position (did not really happen). Often these types of anchors and little nuggets of information helps us remember what comes before.

White to play. What is the strongest continuation?

Find the game here.

The Pirc Defence by Mihail Marin – an update

March 9th, 2018 30 comments

Naturally we try to make our repertoire books complete, but when we miss a line, we try to offer readers an update to patch it. Such is the case with Mihail Marin’s “The Pirc Defence“. A couple of lines sadly escaped our attention, so Mihail has analysed and written an update which you can download as a pdf at the following  link: The Pirc Defence update.

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5.f3 against the Sicilian

September 22nd, 2017 42 comments

Some posts on this blog have drawn attention to the fact that the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 is not mentioned in Grandmaster Repertoire 6A – Beating the Anti-Sicilians by Vassilios Kotronias.

However, the line was featured in Experts on the Anti-Sicilian, where the recommended response was 5…e5 with coverage of the variations:

A) 6.Bb5† Nbd7 7.Nf5 d5 8.exd5 a6
A1) 9.Ba4
A2) 9.Bxd7†
B) 6.Nb3

We have decided to make this chapter freely available as a pdf here.

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Gawain Jones – 2017 British Champion

August 7th, 2017 4 comments

Congratulations to GM Gawain Jones who is the 2017 British Chess Champion. Gawain won a four-man playoff against GM Luke McShane, GM David Howell, and IM Craig Hanley after they all finished on 7/9.

Gawain wrote two excellent books on the Dragon for Quality Chess, and naturally we would like him to write more books for us, but so far he has been too busy playing chess and winning tournaments.

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