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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 No 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.

Categories: Authors in Action, GM Repertoire Tags:

Nuking the Najdorf with Negi

October 20th, 2016 15 comments

Anton Visser – Anthony Waller
Correspondence, 2015-16

We always enjoy hearing success stories from our readers. One such message came in last week from Anton Visser, who tested Parimarjan Negi’s repertoire against the Najdorf in a correspondence game. Anton’s verdict on Negi’s analysis is that it was “better than the computer my opponent used.” Here is the game:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 Qxe5 16.Be2 Bc5 17.Bg3 Bxd4 18.Rxd4 Qa5+ 19.Rd2 0–0 20.Bd6 Rd8
We are deep into one of the crazy main lines of the Poisoned Pawn. Parimarjan (or “Pari”, as we call him) analyses it in Chapter 15 of 1.e4 vs the Sicilian I.

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Gibraltar 2016 – Authors in Action

February 5th, 2016 2 comments

GM Gawain Jones had a great result at the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters, which finished yesterday. Gawain scored 7.5/10, in a tie for 3rd, half a point behind Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave. Gawain’s final-round game was with Black against Yu Yangyi, a 2747-rated 1.e4 player. Fortunately, Gawain has a Dragon repertoire he can trust.

I will give that game below, but another QC author at Gib was IM Marc Esserman, who played his favourite 1.e4 against both Nigel Short and Vishy Anand. Short played the French and lost, while Anand’s 1…c5 was of course met by 2.d4, but after 2…cxd4 3.c3 Anand avoided any Mayhem in the Morra with 3…Nf6, and drew. Great results for Marc, but I was looking forward to a Nd5 piece sac (they’re everywhere in the Morra).

On the topic of QC repertoires, Victor’s Mikhalevski’s recommended line in The Open Spanish remains popular at the highest level, with the likes of Mamedyarov, Giri, So, and Wei Yi playing it with solid results. Ding Liren even used it to draw against Magnus Carlsen at the recent Wijk aan Zee event, though he did need to hold rook versus rook-and-bishop. It may lack the glamour of the Dragon or Morra, but the Open Spanish is a great choice if you want to keep out elite opposition.

 

White: Yu Yangyi (2747) Black: Gawain Jones (2625)
Gibraltar Masters (10.5) 04.02.2016

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
Showing his faith in the Dragon.

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Negi Publication Day

November 18th, 2015 35 comments

Today is the official publication day of Parimarjan Negi’s 1.e4 vs The Sicilian II.

In our terms, that means it’s the day the new books will arrive at specialist chess shops. Some websale customers will already have received their books. If you bought on our site and haven’t received your book yet, then it’s in the post. As ever, we will be interested to know what you think of the book.

Parimarjan was in action in a mixed-format match against Hou Yifan last week. The result was 11–7 to the Chinese star, but Parimarjan had his chances, and even lost one on time in a dead drawn position, after being winning earlier. The biggest gap was in Fischer Random, which was won 3.5–0.5 by Hou Yifan.

No opening prep can help in Fischer Random, but Parimarjan did put some ideas from his book into action in the other games, including the following line against a rare but clever variation of the Accelerated Dragon. The following is a blitz game so I shall not analyse it in depth.

Parimarjan Negi – Hou Yifan

USA 12/11/15

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 Re8


Negi devotes a whole chapter to this rare move. “This rook move is incredibly subtle, which is why it has almost exclusively been played by really strong players.” You’ll need to read Negi’s explanation of the points of 8…Re8 to understand why he is so impressed by this move.

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The Classical Slav on Forward Chess – feedback and our reaction

October 22nd, 2015 13 comments

A few weeks ago Tobias told us in a blog comment that the Forward Chess version of Grandmaster Repertoire 17 – The Classical Slav did not work correctly. The navigation did not guide the reader through the book as it should. We checked and Tobias was absolutely right. The best fix was to start from scratch and convert the book into Forward Chess format again. And that is what was done. Of course doing the work again costs money, but we need our books to work as planned.

So if you have bought the Forward Chess version of The Classical Slav then I suggest deleting the old version and downloading the new version, which works beautifully. Naturally you will not be charged anything for downloading the book again. If you have not bought the book yet, then now is a good time to remedy your oversight.

We try to get everything right the first time, but when we hear something is wrong, we try to fix it. The error in this case was made by us, not Forward Chess. One of our QC people did the original ebook conversion, but it turns out he was not suited for the task (luckily he has great skills in other areas). The new version was converted by an FC expert, who has also converted our recent books, and will be doing our books in future, so the problem will not happen again.

 

Categories: Forward Chess, GM Repertoire Tags:

Negi, Wei Yi and the Poisoned Pawn

September 22nd, 2015 1 comment

Rising Chinese star (and future World Champion?) Wei Yi is now in the last 8 of the World Cup after beating his compatriot Ding Liren.

In the last 32, Wei Yi had faced Alexander Areshchenko. The Ukrainian GM has a fixed repertoire: Grünfeld against 1.d4 and Najdorf against 1.e4. So where would the 2734-rated youngster seek his chances with White? Answer: By following a Negi suggestion against the Najdorf from his GM Repertoire 1.e4 vs. The Sicilian

Wei Yi (2734) – Alexander Areshchenko (2661)
FIDE World Cup 18.09.2015

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2
The Poisoned Pawn is Areshchenko’s usual choice.

9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 dxe5 12.fxe5 g5 13.exf6 gxh4 14.Be2 Qa5 15.0–0 Nd7 16.Rbd1
“Rare but potent” was Negi’s description. Later adding: “I find it staggering that this move has only been played in four games.”
Negi also covered the usual 16.Kh1.

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Lars Schandorff’s new Semi-Slav book

July 24th, 2015 65 comments

Nikos Ntirlis writes: The Semi-Slav is one of the most fascinating openings in modern chess. It is the opening that helped Vladimir Kramnik to climb Mount Olympus as a youngster and make his appearance among the best players in the 90s and today it is Vishy Anand’s most trusted weapon. It helped him to get his first undisputed world title in 2007 and of course who can forget his amazing performance at the 2008 world championship match against Kramnik when the Indian scored two amazing wins with Black in the Meran variation! Of course Anand is still the man to watch for developments in the opening as he is still unleashing opening bombs like in his game against Aronian in Wijk aan Zee 2011!

We would expect such a popular opening complex to be well covered in modern literature, and this is the case. David Vigorito’s “Play the Semi-Slav” is still surprisingly relevant in many lines despite being now seven years old and other experts like Dreev and Sakaev have also presented well respected works on the opening. Still, the last couple of years have been outstandingly rich regarding developments of many key lines for both sides and what is worse, the Semi-Slav has become so deeply and widely analysed that the typical club player will feel lost trying to navigate himself in the complexities of this minefield of modern chess.

In my humble opinion, it is very difficult to find a better author on this subject than Lars Schandorff. His other works for Quality Chess like the two “Playing 1.d4” books as well as the slightly older “Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro Kann” have proved that he has a special talent to present complex opening lines in a very reader-friendly way. Another thing is also at least as important, Lars is a true expert on the Semi-Slav who has vast experience of defending the opening successfully against strong opposition for many years (a look at the database will convince you!) and thus he has acquired deep understanding.

So, what the reader can expect from The Semi-Slav by Lars Schandorff is fascinating chess, deep analysis and research, and a very friendly presentation of the latest developments of this very important modern opening, many of which cannot be found in other works, simply because 2-3 years back many lines were not even known! This is one such example:

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