Archive for the ‘Publishing Schedule’ Category

Excerpts should be up tomorrow

May 7th, 2018 26 comments

Colin does them. Today is what we call a Bank Holiday in the UK. I have no idea why these exist and before you explain it to me, I should say I do not really care. Basically, the office is shut; people will be back tomorrow… I presume Colin will put up excerpts for the books that went to the printer on Friday.

Meanwhile, I was looking through the databases for any games that followed the first Playing 1.e4 book and found this little gem, from 1.e4 to +- without a moments thought :-).

White to play and win


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Playing 1.e4 – French Defence & Sicilian Sidelines – excerpt

April 26th, 2018 24 comments

Update: I have just heard from the printer that printing is going to be slightly slower than hoped. For the two Playing 1.e4 books – French Defence & Sicilian Sidelines and Sicilian Main Lines – plus Jaan Ehlvest’s Grandmaster Opening Preparation, the publication date will be May 30th. This is a week later than recently announced. Apologies for the delay.

An excerpt of  Playing 1.e4 – French Defence & Sicilian Sidelines is now available at the following link.

I would be most interested to know what you think, but right now there is another book I need to finish.

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The Science of Strategy

March 29th, 2018 196 comments

So guys, I said that we would want some help. Some already guessed this would be with the titles for a few of the books. The first one is a book by Alexander Kotov, not previously translated into English. The Russian title was “The Textbook of Chess Strategy”, which we did not like at all. We are currently going with: The Science of Strategy, but feel that a better choice may be out there.

So, this is your chance to get your name on page 2 and your title on the cover. Suggestions are very welcome! Has to work with the theme and the cover.

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The Queen’s Indian Defence

March 26th, 2018 102 comments

We are working on our 2018 catalogue at the moment and have decided to reveal it slowly, one book at a time. With some of the books, we may even request your help…

But let us start with this one: Michael Roiz follows up to his best-selling Grandmaster Repertoire book on the Nimzo-Indian with a companion volume dealing with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6, simply called The Queen’s Indian Defence. After playing several tournaments, Michael is currently finishing off the final chapters of the book, which we anticipate will be released in the early summer.

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Small Steps to Giant Improvement

March 22nd, 2018 31 comments

On Wednesday you will find a general release of Sam Shankland’s book, Small Steps to Giant Improvement, a book on handling pawn play (already available on Forward Chess). It is Sam’s first book. Probably you already know the name. Sam is a double gold medal winner at the Olympiad and has twice played board 1 for the US at the World Team Championship. A week ago he gave a lecture at St Louis Chess Club, presenting the book. You can see an excerpt here. And St Louis Chess Club have put a video of the lecture on YouTube:

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Not a memorable game, but…

March 21st, 2018 8 comments

Andrew and I played the Glasgow League last night. Andrew played something that had the feeling of being a novelty on move 3, but Morozevich had been there first. He may want to play it again, so no spoilers.

I played board two and got nothing from the opening. I tried a pawn sacrifice that does not really work on closer inspection, but with an hour for 30 moves and 15 for the rest, it makes sense to play a bit loosely. I won the exchange and played the technical phase as it should be done. Slow improvement and full control. On move 40 I got the chance for a nice finish.

White to play and win in more ways than one!

Andrew sadly lost, the match ended 4-4 and with it our hopes went from dead to buried. The league score can be found on

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Playing 1.e4 update – our backs have broken

March 20th, 2018 275 comments

Hi Guys,

We have good and bad news. The good news is that we have a publication date for Playing 1.e4 – French and Sicilian Defences, the bad news is that we have been forced into making a decision we did not want to make. We really really really wanted this to be a single-volume companion to the first book. But physically it cannot be done. We currently have 1000+ Word pages to typeset. We know from experience that anything over 600 pages is way too big as a book. And with our recent decision to upgrade to 90 gram paper, this only becomes even more of a problem.

We have therefore made the decision to split the book and will end up with two books:

Playing 1.e4 – French Defence and Sicilian Sidelines

Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian Main Lines

Both books will be more than 400 printed pages. The splitting makes it possible for us to keep our standard 10.5 font size, to include variation indexes at the back of the book and in all other ways make no compromises on quality – no need to delete material that really should be in the book. We will be fined by some distributors for cancelling the original title and we know that some customers will be upset with us.

Nothing about this split pleases us, except that the book will be done. And we have a publication date: 23rd May 2018. For both volumes. It will incidentally also be the publication date for Jaan Ehlvest’s book Grandmaster Opening Preparation.

The final Playing 1.e4 books will be excellent, but the effort involved has been massive – far too much to be a rational business decision. John said at our editorial meeting: “Once we are done with this book, it no longer exists. We shall never ever talk about it again.

Looking at the European Championship, I noticed that the line we suggested against the Caro-Kann is alive and well.

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Four Questions, 3rd Video

March 16th, 2018 11 comments

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