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Quality Chess Newsletter – Three New Books

April 4th, 2014 17 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

We have just sent three new books to the printer, and we predict these books will be available on April 30th.

Mikhail Tal’s Best Games 1 – The Magic of Youth by Tibor Karolyi is the first of three volumes covering Tal’s life and games. In addition, the author contacted many of Tal’s contemporaries, who were kind enough to share their personal stories about a popular champion. A pdf excerpt is here.

In Endgame Play Jacob Aagaard continues his Grandmaster Preparation series. Rather than me say how good this book is, let’s see part of what GM Karsten Müller writes in the Foreword: “With Endgame Play Jacob Aagaard has again proved convincingly that he is indeed one of the best chess authors of modern times.” A pdf excerpt is here.

Mating the Castled King by GM Danny Gormally is an entertaining guide to attacking play. Well-chosen model examples and test positions are complemented by the author’s lively writing style and original terminology. Clobber your opponents with motifs such as the “Shotgun” and the “Tower of Terror”! A pdf excerpt is here.

There are no chess files with this newsletter, as we have concentrated fully on completing these three books. We will make up for this in our next newsletter.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

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Why the candidates have the right 8 people and why this is the best system so far – An entirely personal opinion

March 11th, 2014 72 comments

I promised to put this up and thought it would be more fun here than at position 37 on the discussion.

The candidates system is the best possible system at the moment as it does what it is determined to do: get the right winner. We saw that in London, Mexico City and San Luis. A lengthy match-cycle as the distant past might look better to some, but it takes too long and gives us less World Championship matches as well as no promotion.

The players in the candidates are found in a fair way:

* The World Cup gives everyone a chance to qualify. Which this time meant Andreikin made it through. I cannot see that this will lead to Aronian or Kramnik not having a fair shot at the top spot, but it makes the system democratic, as in the past. Remember that Short beat Gurevich with Black in the exchange French 1990 in order to qualify to play Kasparov 1993!

* The Grand Prix gives 20+ of the best players a chance to qualify based on 44 games each (4×11 – please correct me if incorrect number). No one are more deserving than those qualifying there.

* Rating guarantees that the two best players (other than World Ch.) in the World participates, even though one of them failed in his attempt to qualify (Aronian).

* The loser of the World Championship match cannot qualify by other means as he is busy preparing for the match.

* The show needs funding; thus a free space is a good idea. In 2013 it was the World’s no. 4. In 2014 it is a 7 times Russian Champion and no. 3 in 2013 candidates.

Somehow, the idea that it is an unfair system when some top 10 players are not playing is the same as saying that the whole qualification should be based on rating. I do not believe that Nakamura’s ability to beat lower rated players more often than some other top players is relevant to who is the World Champion.

And the criticism of Karjakin, at the time of qualification no. 5 in the world is qualified on rating is weird too. If there was no World Cup, he would have qualified directly on rating anyway. Things have moved, but everyone knew when the date was to qualify on rating.

Despite my immense respect for Nakamura, I think he just got it wrong on this one. The biggest threat to Carlsen is someone who qualifies under a fair and open system, not the one picked by journalists. In the same interview Nakamura also tried to portray his defeat of Kramnik in London as a great achievement, rather than to admit that he was outplayed and then got lucky. I guess it characterises an optimist and is a great assett for the US no. 1, but winning lost endings in rapid does not make you a challenger for the crown…

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Quality Chess Newsletter – Big Prizes and a Fine New Book

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

Apologies for the long gap between newsletters – we have all had our heads down working on books. I can promise that our next newsletters will follow more swiftly.

In the past few months, Quality Chess books have been awarded a couple of prestigious prizes.

Judit Polgar’s How I Beat Fischer’s Record was the English Chess Federation’s Book of the Year.

Axel Smith’s Pump Up Your Rating won the ChessCafe Book of the Year prize.

Congratulations to both authors on their well-deserved success.

We have a new book available from shops on March 5th – Grandmaster Repertoire 17: The Classical Slav by Boris Avrukh. I am particularly keen on this one, as a brilliant analyst provides a world-class repertoire based on my favourite opening.

Learn more about our future titles at our Coming Soon page.

The chess files (in pgn and pdf) contain a few incidents from Quality Chess people at the British Chess League, including me showing how not to play the Slav. I would like to emphasize that the line I played is not part of Avrukh’s repertoire.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

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Chess-Related Job Opportunity in Glasgow

January 28th, 2014 7 comments

 
Quality Chess is in need of an assistant editor to work full time with our team in the centre of Glasgow.
 
The job will mainly be editing of chess books, but other publishing-related tasks will be part of the job. It is important to note that the main part of the job is to edit writing by non-native speakers into high-quality English.
 
You would be working with a highly qualified team: GMs Shaw, McNab and Aagaard, IM Greet and our (untitled) part-time bookkeeper.
 
Some on-the-job training will be available, but a decent understanding of chess is necessary (a rating over 2000, preferably more), good English and decent typing skills are essential. A basic ability to operate Word and ChessBase are expected as well.
 
Working hours are: 9.30-18.00 Monday-Thursday and 9.30-15.00 Friday.
 
Holidays and holiday pay according to the statutory minimums, but with the chance to take extra time off if needed. We are especially understanding of the need to play chess tournaments!
 
If you are interested, please contact our MD John Shaw on john@qualitychess.co.uk to get financial details and possibly set up an interview, in Glasgow or by Skype.
 
Closing date: 21st February

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Quality Chess Newsletter – Six new books and a birthday

July 31st, 2013 47 comments

 

Dear Quality Chess reader,

Today is the 40th birthday of GM Jacob Aagaard, my friend and business partner. Happy Birthday Jacob!

To business – six new Quality Chess books were made available this past month.

The King’s Gambit (by me) made its long-awaited appearance. Five years of analysis resulted in 680 pages of fun-filled lines. Early reactions, I must admit, have been highly favourable.

Another monster of a book is Kotronias on the King’s Indian: Fianchetto Systems by Vassilios Kotronias. The Greek GM is one of the world’s leading theoreticians with particular expertise in the KID. This book not only contains wonderful opening analysis but also guidance on how to play the resulting middlegame positions.

Playing the Trompowsky by Richard Pert does not require such heavy lifting. The English IM, a Trompowsky expert, supplies a practical attacking repertoire with 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5. Other 2.Bg5 lines are also covered against 1…f5 and 1…d5.

The remaining three books are from Jacob’s Grandmaster Preparation series: Calculation, Positional Play and Strategic Play are published in paperback. Previously they had been available only in hardcover.

The chess files (in pgn and pdf) cover many topics, including an improvement by GM Boris Avrukh on his original analysis in Grandmaster Repertoire 11 – Beating 1.d4 Sidelines.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

 

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Quality Chess Newsletter – ACP Book of the Year Prize

April 25th, 2013 16 comments

 

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

All modesty aside, we must announce another Quality Chess prize winner – in fact a 1-2. Jacob Aagaard won the Association of Chess Professionals’ 2013 Book of the Year prize for Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation. In second place, just one vote behind, was How I Beat Fischer’s Record by Judit Polgar. My personal congratulations to both authors.

This award means that Jacob is the chess author who has won the most prizes – ACP, ECF, Boleslavsky, ChessCafe and Guardian. It was close with Mark Dvoretsky and John Nunn before, but Jacob now has his nose in front.

In a supersized chess file (pdf or pgn) there are many games from the Danish Championship and Danish Blitz Championship, plus analysis that updates and adds to Grandmaster Repertoire 12: The Modern Benoni. The new Danish Champion is GM Davor Palo, but who is their new Blitz Champion? It was another prize for GM Jacob Aagaard.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

 

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Quality Chess Newsletter – Three new books, special offers and a British Champion

March 28th, 2013 29 comments

Dear Quality Chess reader,

On Friday 15th March we published three new books.

Grandmaster Repertoire 12: The Modern Benoni by Marian Petrov provides a complete repertoire for Black after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6. The repertoire is sharp and ambitious but not overwhelming in the demands it places on Black’s memory.

Strategic Play is the third in Jacob’s Grandmaster Preparation series. The chess is challenging and instructive with plenty of exercises to stretch your understanding. On a shallower note, Strategic Play has my favourite cover of all the books we have published.

Soviet Middlegame Technique by Peter Romanovsky is the latest in our Classics series. It is a fresh translation of what were originally two books – one on planning and the other on combinations. I prefer others to write our sales text for us, so GM Kotov on Romanovsky: “One of the best books in the world’s chess literature.”

Sales news: on our site we have a new range of special offers. The webpage shows Read more…

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Quality Chess Newsletter – 4 new books and a Book of the Year vote

January 17th, 2013 19 comments

 

Dear Quality Chess reader,

Happy New Year to all our chess friends.

At the end of this month we will publish four books.

Chess Evolution 3: Mastery concludes Artur Yusupov’s 9-book educational series. I cannot recommend this series strongly enough for any chess player who wishes to improve. Of course I am biased, but this is universally regarded as a magnificent series. FIDE agreed and awarded Artur the Boleslavsky prize for best instructional books.

Grandmaster Repertoire 13: The Open Spanish by Victor Mikhalevski supplies Black with a complete active repertoire after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6. The Israeli GM is a world-renowned opening expert, and has played the Open Spanish all his life, so he is the ideal author for this topic.

Attentive readers may spot we have jumped from GM 11 to GM 13. Not to worry – we will publish Grandmaster Repertoire 12: The Modern Benoni next month.

The final two books published on January 31st are the German editions of Jacob’s award-winning Attacking Manuals: Angriffslektionen 1 and Angriffslektionen 2.

Now from books to prizes: the ChessCafe Book of the Year prize is decided by an email vote to info@chesscafe.com by the public – voting is open now and ends on January 21st. There are three books in the final, one of which is Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation by Jacob Aagaard. I would never try to tell our readers which book to vote for – vote for your favourite!

The games section this month (pdf or pgn) contains, among other things, a few of my efforts from the Open section of December’s London Classic. They are offered as entertainment rather than for any educational value. I used to be better than this – honest. For any readers of Christian Bauer’s Play the Scandinavian more important is the correction of a chess typo.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

 

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