Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GM McNab wins Quality Chess International

September 21st, 2009 1 comment

Final Scores:

GM C. McNab 8
IM N. Mikkelsen 7
FM N. Berry 5½
FM D. Eggleston 5
IM A. Greet 5
M. Mitchell 4
A. Tate 4
FM M. Andersen 2½
FM C. Thomson 2½
J. Grant 1½

A brilliant 2650 performance by GM Colin McNab, who is the main proof-reader of Quality Chess. Our books have benefited greatly from Colin’s sharpness. He is the ideal man for the job – a strong player, published author, and, as a bonus, a world class chess puzzle solver. Next month Colin will be part of the British team in the World Solving Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

No IM norms were made, but FM Neil Berry was closest, in third place, nudging his rating closer to the 2400 level that is also a requirement for the IM title.

Games from the final two rounds are posted in the comments and all the Games are on-line.

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Quality Chess Edinburgh International tournament

September 14th, 2009 10 comments

Quality Chess is sponsoring an international all-play-all tournament, which is underway now. The event is being hosted by Edinburgh Chess Club.

Scores after 8 Rounds

C.McNab 7½
N,Mikkelsen 6
A.Greet 5
N.Berry 5
M.Mitchell 4
D.Eggleston 4
A.Tate 3½
M.Andersen 2
C.Thomson 1½
J.Grant 1½

I will post some of the games as they become available. I will put up a link to the games and place them in the comments section. It is not a high-tech event, so no live internet coverage. Thanks to Geoff Chandler of Chandler Cornered for sending me some of the games from the first couple of rounds (posted below) with a few of his comments. Geoff’s site has stories and photos from the event.


10 player all-play-all, 12-20 September 2009, play is from 1pm – 7pm each day.
Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Prize money:

1st £500
2nd £300
3rd £150


GM Colin McNab 2466 Scotland

IM Andrew Greet 2433 England

IM Nikolaj Mikkelsen 2361 Denmark

FM Mads Andersen 2338 Denmark

FM David Eggleston 2368 England

FM Craig Thomson 2324 Scotland

FM Neil Berry 2301 Scotland

Jonathan Grant 2249 Scotland

Alan Tate 2175 Scotland

Martin Mitchell 2175 Scotland

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August 31st, 2009 1 comment

This weekend Chess Scotland organised a seminar with GM Jacob Aagaard at Quality Chess’ headquarters in Glasgow. The following positions were used and will be available for a week: PGN-file

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What is the Main Line?

July 24th, 2009 3 comments

Just a passing thought sparked by reading a comment on another chess site: how do you define what is the main line of an opening?

Is it the sharpest line? The most popular line over a number of years? The line currently favoured by the elite?

My approach seems to be a mixture of all three of the above, with added weight for the last point. Take, for example, the Queen’s Gambit Declined.  Avrukh recommends the Catalan, Schandorff prefers the Exchange Variation. Both main lines, I think, but some disagree.

John Shaw

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Newsletter Sign-Up

June 29th, 2009 No comments

It is now possible to sign up for our newsletter on the Quality Chess website.

This is a quick and easy way to keep up to date with Quality Chess.

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The Fashionable Slavs

June 12th, 2009 No comments

I recently spotted an extreme example of the popularity of the Slav and Semi-Slav variations. I was looking at Magnus Carlsen’s games with White after 1.d4 d5 2.c4. Now there are several solid moves (such as 2…e6 or 2…dxc4) and many off-beat lines (for example, 2…Nc6 or 2…e5) but between the start of 2008 and the 1st of June 2009 all of Carlsen’s opponents replied 2…c6. I make it about 18 2…c6’s in a row.

Elite chessplayers are dedicated followers of opening fashion.


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Reputations: the Schliemann

June 10th, 2009 9 comments

Sabino Brunello’s first book, Attacking the Spanish, is getting ever nearer to ready. This started me thinking about the Schliemann variation (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5), one of three lines the book covers, with the Marshall and the Gajewski. For decades most GM’s believed that the Schliemann was unsound, but in the last few years Radjabov has single-handedly convinced the chess world that 3…f5 is a respectable move.

Has any other variation enjoyed such a sudden improvement in its reputation? The best alternative I can think of is the a6-Slav, but that was a gradual process, I think. Whereas overnight the Schliemann switched from ?! to !?

John Shaw

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Opening books in practice

April 9th, 2009 17 comments

We have published a number of opening books, and I would like to hear from readers how well (surely not badly?) they have worked when you put them into practice.

I also like to keep an eye on whether top-level players are using the lines our authors have suggested, and the new ideas that they uncover in them. For example, Avrukh’s chosen line against the Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Nh4) was rare when we printed and now seems to be the favoured choice of the elite (Topalov, Carlsen, Morozevich, Wang Yue, etc.). I am not suggesting they are all simply following Avrukh (Topalov played it before the book, and he is a trend-setter), but it’s good to see the lines are relevant.

If you have spotted an interesting new idea played in one of our lines, then feel free to post it (or just the game reference) in comments.

John Shaw

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