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Quality Chess Newsletter – Judit beats Magnus – rematch at the London Classic

November 30th, 2012 49 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

Judit Polgar, author of How I Beat Fischer’s Record, achieved the remarkable feat of beating World Number 1, Magnus Carlsen. Judit won the battle but lost the war, as Magnus stormed back to win the UNAM chess festival in Mexico City. The pair will face each other again at the London Chess Classic which starts this Saturday. They are joined by an incredible field – Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, Nakamura, Adams, McShane and Jones.

GM Boris Avrukh’s Grandmaster Repertoire 11: Beating 1.d4 Sidelines has been received with extraordinary enthusiasm. It is too early for official reviews, so I will quote a blog comment from a happy customer: “I would like to say ‘Congrats’ to Boris, Jacob, John and Andrew and the rest of the QC staff for GM11, another home run!!!” The customer is always right; well at least this one is.

Our chess file (in pgn or pdf) contains a range of material, so I shall just mention a few highlights. Of course this includes Judit’s win over Magnus. It is always fun to see an author in action or our repertoires being tested. In four of the other games we have both at once – GM Sabino Brunello following the repertoires suggested by GM Lars Schandorff. Sabino often follows Lars (with White and Black) with great results. I think Sabino may even be unbeaten when playing as ‘Lars’.

Finally, Quality Chess would like to congratulate Jens Kristiansen of Denmark on his superb play and victory at the World Seniors Championship in Greece. The GM title is automatically awarded with the ‘Senior’ title, so this enables Jens to make a well-deserved step up from IM (a title he achieved in 1979). But what has this to do with Quality Chess? Well, Jacob recently became Denmark’s national coach. One weekend training session and he creates a World Champion! That would be the tabloid version, but in fact Jens could not attend the only training session there has been so far. So all credit to Jens himself. There is a serious lesson here – whatever your age, improvement is possible if you put in enough time and effort. Jacob tells me that Jens is undoubtedly stronger now, aged just over 60, than he ever was before.

Regards,
John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

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Quality Chess newsletter – two new books and a Glasgow Kiss

November 9th, 2012 151 comments

 

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

Welcome to the late October (okay, maybe more November) Quality Chess Newsletter.

We have new books on the way. On November 9th we will publish Positional Play by GM Jacob Aagaard and Grandmaster Repertoire 11: Beating 1.d4 Sidelines by GM Boris Avrukh. Both titles clearly tell the story of the contents.

Positional Play is the second volume of Jacob’s Grandmaster Preparation series. As with all the best instructive chess books, the reader cannot be a passive ‘consumer’ – it is essential to get involved and solve the exercises. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded.

Grandmaster Repertoire 11: Beating 1.d4 Sidelines is a black repertoire after 1.d4 against White’s sidelines (this generally means most moves except 2.c4). GM Boris Avrukh covers almost every non-standard opening line at White’s disposal after both 1.d4 d5 and 1.d4 Nf6. Where applicable, Avrukh covers each white system after both 2…e6 and 2…g6, making this book suitable for fans of many openings, including the Nimzo-Indian, King’s Indian and Grünfeld defences.

We are also distributing to chess shops in Europe books that were published by Mongoose Press. Three new examples are: The Russian Endgame Handbook by Ilya Rabinovich, Thinking With Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14 by Alexey W. Root, and Amateur to IM: Proven Ideas and Training Methods by Jonathan Hawkins. I have not seen these books yet, so I will not say more, other than that English IM Hawkins is an impressive player with 2 GM norms and a 2500+ rating. If the publisher had waited a month or two, I suspect the title would be ‘Amateur to GM’.

Our chess file this month (pgn and pdf) concentrates on three openings – the Grünfeld, King’s Indian and the Slav. In the first two, we cover a couple of rare lines not mentioned in Lars Schandorff’s recent book Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences. In the Slav, Nikos Ntirlis reveals the story of a black gambit he developed after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3. We have dubbed the line The Glasgow Kiss because Nikos’s early analysis was done in our fine city.

Regards,
John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

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Quality Chess newsletter – Judit Polgar will answer your questions on the Quality Chess blog next week

September 21st, 2012 No comments

 

Dear Quality Chess reader,

Judit Polgar’s How I Beat Fischer’s Record is published today and we are very excited about it. The greatest ever woman player explains how she became a grandmaster at a younger age than Bobby Fischer. This is the first of three volumes, all of  which will be hardcovers at our normal paperback price.

Next week (24-28 September) Judit will be available at the Quality Chess blog to answer readers’ questions. This is a rare opportunity to pick  the brain of a world class chess player. Post your questions in the comments of the relevant blog page and, if you’re lucky, Judit will answer – obviously we cannot  guarantee Judit will answer every question.

Our chess file (in pgn or pdf) contains some games and puzzles based on the efforts of the Quality Chess team at the recent Istanbul Olympiad.

Regards,

John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

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Quality Chess Newsletter – Scottish Champion, global book prize and two new books

August 15th, 2012 64 comments

 

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

We start with a news update that is all about Jacob. A few weeks ago he became Scottish Chess Champion. Then shortly after that he won FIDE’s Boleslavsky Medal (pdf link) for best author. Jacob had previously won almost every other major chess book prize for which he is eligible – including awards from the English Chess Federation, ChessCafe and the Guardian newspaper. No other chess author has won all these prizes. Jacob is the winningest chess author in the world (my old-fashioned spellchecker objects to one of those fine words).

We will publish two new books in September – Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences by GM Lars Schandorff and How I Beat Fischer’s Record by GM Judit Polgar. The former is the second half of Schandorff’s complete repertoire with 1.d4. The latter is the first of three books by the greatest ever woman player. We are more than usually excited by this book. The content is remarkable – personal, instructive and fun. This is a big hardcover book, but we have made the price the same as a normal paperback.

Most of the Quality Chess office – Jacob, Colin and I – will be leaving in a couple of weeks to play in the Istanbul Olympiad. Jacob has prepared assiduously throughout the year with various warm-up tournaments and is in fine form. Colin and I will do our best.

The chess file (pdf or pgn) covers a range of topics. For example, there are some games from the Scottish Championship, including one where GM Colin McNab followed some 1.c4 analysis by Mihail Marin all the way to a winning position. Also, in the recently published Mayhem in the Morra, some readers mentioned two lines that could have been covered but were not. Neither is especially common, but we have analysed them anyway, so Morra fans will be ready for just about anything.

Regards,
John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

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Mayhem in the Morra and missing line

August 7th, 2012 36 comments

On ChessPublishing.com (and other places) something’s been mentioned about missing lines in the Morra book. I think we are talking about two lines. My team mate (and Gambit expert, now writing for GAMBIT even), Michael Agermose Jensen mentioned this as well. He said the book was fantastic, but of course there was this problem.

About the minor of the two missing lines: Marc said it was played only twice and is bad. See the next newsletter.

About the bigger line, this is what happened: Andrew Greet found a nice improvement in one minor line (where he just had the feeling that there was something more) and after consulting with me (I just checked the evaluations), we replaced it. What Andrew did not notice and I had no chance to understand, was that this also meant that this delayed-Nf6 line was no longer covered. Big oops. Again, see the next newsletter for more details!

Sorry Marc, sorry readers. We will make it up to you!

As noticed on the blog, this is a nice review: http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-of-mayhem-in-morra-and-smith.html

Finally; new excerpts for Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences and How I Beat Fischer’s Record are now up.

 

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Quality Chess Newsletter – two new books and a new hardcover

July 23rd, 2012 14 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

We have recently published a couple of new books.

Mayhem in the Morra by Marc Esserman offers a lively anti-Sicilian repertoire with 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3. But that can’t be sound, can it? That was my view when Marc suggested we publish his book, but the enthusiastic American IM convinced me he had refuted all Black’s alleged refutations. The world’s leading Morra expert reveals all his secrets in a wild and funny style.

Playing 1.d4 – The Queen’s Gambit by Lars Schandorff is the first half of an ambitious two-volume repertoire for White with 1.d4. The core of the repertoire from the first edition, published in 2009, is retained, but a multitude of details have been updated and improved within the lines. To quote GM Boris Avrukh, “Lars, I want to play your book.”

Another new offering is an existing book in a different format. It is the long-awaited hardcover edition of Grandmaster Repertoire 3: The English Opening Volume 1 by Mihail Marin. For years various readers have complained to me that their bookshelf looks “all wrong” with a perfect row of hardcover GM Repertoires spoiled by the missing GM3. Now this flaw can be remedied. We have set the price at just the same as the paperback version.

The chess file (in pgn or pdf) mainly consists of games we annotated for the Greek Team Championship website. If you do not understand Greek, then that link may be less useful than our pgn and pdf files, which we have left in English.

Regards,
John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

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Quality Chess Newsletter – books, analysis and authors in action

March 22nd, 2012 27 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

We have two new books on the way – both would be aptly described as instructive and entertaining.

The title of Mihai Suba’s book is Positional Chess Sacrifices and that describes the lively content well – the Romanian GM has won the British Chess Federation’s Book of the Year prize for a previous book and we hope this one will be equally well received.

The Alterman Gambit Guide – Black Gambits 2 completes GM Boris Alterman’s 3-volume instructional series. Black Gambits 2 covers and explains various gambits that Black can unleash after 1.e4 e5. Lines covered include the Marshall Attack, Traxler variation and even the splendidly named Frankenstein-Dracula variation.

Both books will be sent from Quality Chess on the 16th of April, so shops will have them from the 17th and 18th.

Quality Chess has a new British Champion in our ranks – GM Colin McNab is the British Solving Champion. In second and third place were grandmasters Jonathan Mestel and John Nunn, who are both former World Champions in solving. A true-but-sounds-false story is that one of Colin’s first contributions to Quality Chess, while proofreading, was spotting a mate-in-one the editors had overlooked – presumably this was not much of a challenge for Colin.

Readers may be interested to follow some of our authors who are in action over-the-board. The immensely strong European Individual Championship features almost 200 GMs including “our” Vassilios Kotronias, Sabino Brunello, Matthieu Cornette and Mihail Marin.

At the end of this month Jacob will compete in the Danish Championship.

The chess file this month (pgn and pdf) contains analysis of topical openings, as usual, but also a couple of mind-bending puzzles from Colin’s solving victory.

Regards,
John Shaw
Chief Editor
Quality Chess

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Quality Chess newsletter – plenty of games and two new books

February 2nd, 2012 111 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

In the Quality Chess office we have had our heads down working to finish books and hiding from the winter storms. On February 17th we will publish Chess Tactics from Scratch by Martin Weteschnik. This is a fully revised and expanded second edition of Understanding Chess Tactics. The main changes are two completely new chapters and 300 new exercises/puzzles at the end of the book. An excerpt is available.

We also have a new format for an old classic – My System will be available as a hardcover, also from February 17th. Our hardcover editions and the 300 new exercises in Chess Tactics from Scratch have one thing in common – our readers asked for them. We do more than invite feedback and suggestions – we act on them.

Our games collection this month stretches to 25 games with most of the analysis by GM Keti Arakhamia-Grant. I recommend the ChessBase version which uses clever links and fancy features, but the material is also available in rough form in pgn or as a pdf.

Regards, John Shaw

Quality Chess

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