Archive for June, 2010

Play the Caro-Kann like Schandorff – or else

June 28th, 2010 18 comments

An author can save the reader all sorts of suffering with a well constructed opening repertoire. I believe one of the strengths of Lars Schandorff’s GM Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann is the way he carefully selects his recommended move order to avoid lines where White has easy attacking play. The following game was played yesterday and shows exactly the sort of thing Lars avoids.

Dobrowolski – Fridman
Wroclaw 2010
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Be7 13.Qe2
This is a dangerous line, especially if Black plays a little too automatically.
Fridman is a lot higher rated than me, but I think this prepares a move that needs no preparation. Lars suggested the direct 13…c5! planning 14.dxc5 Qc7 or if 14.Rhe1 only then 14…0–0.
The simple 13…0–0 is risky after 14.Nf1 planning g2-g4-g5 with a crude but effective attack.
14.Kb1 0–0 15.Nf1
The same plan proves effective here. Instead 15.Ne5 c5 was fine for Black in Saric – Vallejo Pons, Rijeka 2010.
15…c5 16.g4
I won’t get involved in an exhaustive analysis, but White’s position is certainly easier to play, as shown by the fact that White, although out-rated by about 250 points, hacks straight through.
16…cxd4 was an alternative, but after 17.g5 White is faster.
17.g5 hxg5 18.Bxg5 c3 19.Rg1 Qa5
Of course 19…cxb2 is tempting, but in opposite-side castling positions such pawns on b2 generally help the white king to hide behind. In this case, 20.Bh6! is strong, as shown by 20…Nxh5 21.Ng3! or 20…Ne8 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.h6.
20.Ne5 Nxe5?
Now Black goes down in flames. The computer calmly suggests 20…Rfd8 when I can’t see a direct breakthrough. My first idea was 21.Re1 to avoid a rook exchange after 21…Nxe5 22.dxe5 and then 22…Nd5 23.Qg4 when I thought the black king had to run. I was wrong. The computer shows a stunning combination: 23…Nb4 24.a3 Rd4!! 25.Qxd4 Nxc2 26.Kxc2 cxb2+ 27.Kxb2 Bxa3+ 28.Kb3 Bf8! White is a rook and knight up and dead lost. Instead maybe 21.Nc4!? is the right start, but that is undeniably a guess.
21.dxe5 Qb4 22.b3 Ne4 23.Bc1 Nc5 24.Rg4 Qa5 25.Qe3 Rfd8 26.Rxg7+! Kxg7 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.Nd2!
Making sure one rook survives to kill the black king.
28…Ne4 29.Rg1+ Ng5 30.Nf3 Rd1 31.Nxg5 Rxc1+ 32.Rxc1 Bxg5 33.Rg1 1–0
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Updated Publishing Schedule

June 25th, 2010 67 comments

Today we are sending QUALITY CHESS PUZZLE BOOK to the printer. It will be 352 pages and we are very happy with it. We are also essentially done with BOOST YOUR CHESS 2 and we are also getting there with GM6 – THE SICILIAN DEFENCE (which will be a big book). Not long after comes PLAY THE SCANDINAVIAN and Marin’s final two books on the English.

Lubomir Ftacnik Grandmaster Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence JULY
John Shaw Quality Chess Puzzle Book JULY
Christian Bauer Play the Scandinavian AUGUST
Artur Yusupov Boost your Chess 2 AUGUST
Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire 4 – The English Opening vol. 2 August/september
Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire 5 – The English Opening vol. 3 August/september
Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 1 – 1961-1985 September
Tibor Karolyi Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 2 – 1986 – 2009 September
John Shaw The King’s Gambit september/october
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence LATER
Milos Pavlovic The Cutting Edge 2 – The Najdorf Sicilian without 6.Bg5 LATER
Tiger Hillarp Persson Middlegame book – TITLE NOT CONFIRMED LATER
Mihail Marin Common Grandmaster Mistakes – and how to avoid them LATER
Artur Yusupov Boost your Chess 3 LATER
Vassilios Kotronias Middlegame book – TITLE NOT CONFIRMED LATER
Milos Pavlovic The Cutting Edge 3 – The Najdorf Sicilian with 6.Bg5 LATER
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire x1 – 1.e4 – Ruy Lopez NEXT YEAR
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire x2 – 1.e4 – Sicilian NEXT YEAR
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire x3 – 1.e4 – French/Caro-Kann NEXT YEAR
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Repertoire x4 – 1.e4 other e5s NEXT YEAR
Jacob Aagaard Thinking Inside the Box NEXT YEAR
Jacob Aagaard Train your Chess Intuition NEXT YEAR
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Avrukh Super novelty finally in play

June 25th, 2010 No comments

Ponomariov – Wang Yue

Kings Tournament, 21.06.2010

One of Boris Avrukh’s novelties was in play in the Kings Tournament in Romania a few days ago. The opening was a big success, and only at move 37 did White let the win slip.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Be2 0–0 7.0–0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Nbd7 11.Rd1 e5 12.d5 e4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nb6 15.Rb1

15.Bb3 Nxd5 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.Rxd5 Qb6 18.Qd3 Rfe8 19.Rb1 Rad8 20.Bd2 Rxd5 21.Qxd5 Rd8 22.Qa5 Qxa5 23.Bxa5 b6 24.Be1?! (24.Bb4 was a better chance. The idea is: 24…Rc8 25.b3 Rc2 26.Rd1! Bf6 27.Rd2 with a winning ending.) 24…Rc8 25.a4 (25.b3) 25…Rc2 26.b4 Bc3 27.Bxc3 Rxc3 28.b5 Rc4 29.Ra1 f5 30.Kf1 Kf7 31.Ke1 Ke6 32.Kd2 h5 33.Kd3 1/2–1/2 Gelfand-Wang Yue, Astrakhan 2010.

15…Re8 16.Qc2!N

Avrukh’s novelty.

16…cxd5 17.Bb5 Re6!?

This was not in GM1, but it seems that Ponomariov has had his own look at it, as he plays all Rybka’s moves. 17…Rf8 and 17…Re7 were Avrukh’s moves in his annotations.

18.Qb3 Qh4 19.Bd2 d4 20.Bf1! Rd8 21.g3 Qe7 22.Bg2²

White is better here. He has the two bishops and Black has little to show for it.

22…Qe8 23.exd4 Bxd4 24.Bc3

Getting rid of the strong bishop on d4. Bg2 is better than Nb6.

I also like Rybka’s suggestion: 24.Bg5 Rd7 25.Bf3, which gives White a pleasant long term pressure. I doubt many players will head this way on purpose with Black.

24…Bxc3 25.Rxd8 Qxd8 26.Qxc3 Qe7

Maybe Black can organise his pieces better here.

27.Rd1 h5 28.b3!±

Good domination of the knight. 28.Bxb7 Na4 29.Qc8+ Kg7 30.b3 Nc5 31.Bf3 h4! was probably what Ponomariov was not certain about. I think White is better, but in practice it looks hard to handle.

28.h4 Na4! disturbs the coordination.

28…h4 29.g4 Rd6 30.Rxd6 Qxd6 31.Bxb7 Nd7

White is a pawn up, but the conversion was not effortlessly conducted.

32.Qc8+ Kg7 33.Qd8 Qe6 34.Kg2 Ne5 35.Qd4!?

Not bad, but 35.Qxh4 Qb6 36.Be4 Qd4 37.f3 won.

35…Qf6 36.b4!?

36.Qxa7 Nd3 37.Qe3 Nf4+ 38.Kg1 and the compensation for the pawns should be insufficient.

36…g5 37.a4??

White needs to take the pawn! 37.Qxa7 Nd3 38.Qe3 Nxb4 39.a4 Nc2 40.Qd2 Nd4 41.Qb2 was one winning line.

37…Ng6! 38.Qxf6+!

Also 38.Qxa7 Nf4+ 39.Kh2 Qc3 40.Qe3 Qc7! would give Black enough counterplay.

38…Kxf6 39.b5 Nf4+ 40.Kf3!

The best chance is activity. 40.Kh2 Ke5 41.a5 Kd6 would also make the draw it seems.

40…Ke5 41.a5 Kd6 42.Ke4 Nxh3 43.Kf5 Nxf2 44.Bf3 Kc7 45.Kxg5 h3

Black makes the draw by a tempo.

46.Kf6 h2 47.g5 h1Q 48.Bxh1 Nxh1 49.Kxf7 Ng3 50.g6 Nh5 51.Ke7 Ng7 52.Kf6 Nh5+ 53.Kg5 Ng7 54.Kf6 Nh5+ 55.Kf7 Kd7 56.Kf8 Kc7 57.Kg8 Nf4 58.g7 Ne6 59.Kf7 Nxg7 60.Kxg7 Kd6 61.Kf6 Kc5 62.b6 axb6 63.axb6 Kxb6 ½–½

Categories: GM Repertoire Tags:

Scammers love Marin

June 22nd, 2010 13 comments

A helpful reader from the USA told us a fine story. While searching the web for one of our books an advert appeared on the edge of his screen offering Volume 2 of Marin’s 1.c4 series for an absurdly low price plus free shipping and all sorts of other too good to be true freebies. A suspicious spouse saved the day by suggesting a search of the website’s name for any fraud warnings. Indeed, it was a scam that ropes the unwary into paying monthly fees they didn’t know existed.

Our reader makes a great point: “I didn’t notice other chess books. They somehow know how eager the public is for it… What fabulous proof of Marin’s great work!”

Internet fraudsters – we thank you for your support.

Categories: GM Repertoire Tags:

Najdorf – 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 Qc7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 g5!?

June 14th, 2010 24 comments

A few months ago a guy wrote to me asking if we were going to include 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 Qc7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 g5!? in GM6. We had no intention to do so, but a last moment change of hearts has meant that we do indeed include this topical line. Berg, Dominguez, Navara and Ivanchuk has all been happy to try it out (not all have been allowed), but it is mainly Bogner that has shown the way in practice. However, if the ‘inventor’ of this line sees this post, he is very welcome to e-mail me again, as I can’t find his last e-mail!

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Newsletter 9th June 2010 – Hardback reprints, Radio Alterman and Schedule

June 9th, 2010 No comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader, 


Recently we have experimented by printing some of our books in hardbackIt was a success both in the favourable feedback we received on our blog and in terms of the sales. In fact, the hardbacks disappeared so quickly that we at Quality Chess did not even get to keep a personal copy. For this and other reasons we are reprinting more hardback versions of Soviet Chess Strategy and GM Repertoire 7: The Caro-Kann. We hope they will be available in 3-4 weeks.   

GM Boris Alterman was on John Watson’s ICC Radio show Chess Talk. Boris talked about about his book The Alterman Gambit Guide – White Gambits which John Watson spoke about very favourably. A few quotes (from Jacob’s memory): "A great section on the Panov… Designed with the average player in mind. Can also be used by club players and other more experienced players… A very well produced book, typical of Quality Chess."  

The Quality Chess Puzzle Book and GM Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence will both be out in early July. Some of our readers generously contributed to the puzzle book by sending in their best chess moments, which we used to create a chapter called Contributions from our Readers 


Regards, Quality Chess


Publication Schedule (with predicted page numbers)


Lubomir Ftacnik    Grandmaster Repertoire 6 – The Sicilian Defence   July   356

John Shaw   Quality Chess Puzzle Book    July    256

Christian Bauer     Play the Scandinavian     July/August    320

Artur Yusupov    Boost your Chess 2    July/August    288

Mihail Marin    Grandmaster Repertoire 4 – The English Opening vol. 2    August   480 

Mihail Marin    Grandmaster Repertoire 5 – The English Opening vol. 3    August   320

Tibor Karolyi    Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 1 – 1961-1985    September    360

Tibor Karolyi     Karpov’s Strategic Wins: Volume 2 – 1986-2009 September    360

John Shaw     The King’s Gambit      September/October    256

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Minor update to GM1

June 7th, 2010 7 comments

When we reprinted GM1 earlier this year, we changed one line, as we did not want to have a bad line in the book. Obviously many more changes could be made, but this is the one we thought was necessary. The update is on page 335-336, and will be on the same pages in the first print.

B2) 8…Ne4

Editors’ note: We have updated this section for the 2nd reprint after careful analysis.


9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.d5 was the recommendation in the first print, but this idea suffered a big blow in a number of games and Boris noted it down as the one recommendation from this book that should certainly not be followed. 12…Bd6! 13.g3 c5! The computers like White, but in practice it turns out that the h2-pawn is a huge target and White has difficulties opening up the position for his pieces. The following game is but one example: 14.Qa4 Qe7 15.Bb5 0–0–0! 16.Bd2 Nf6 17.Qxa7 Bb8 18.Qa3 Rxd5 19.Rfc1 Ng4 20.Ba5 Nxh2 21.Rd1 Qe6 22.Rac1 Nf3† 23.Kf1 Rh1† 24.Ke2 Nd4† 25.exd4 Qg4† 26.Kd2 Rxd1† 27.Rxd1 Rxd4† 0–1, Hillarp Persson – Malakhov, Denmark 2009.


This was Shirov’s idea. It is hard to see any other reason to play 8…Ne4. After 9…Be7 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Nxe4 (12.f3!?²) 12…dxe4 13.d5 small edge. White has a good version of Boris’s original idea, Schlosser – Marusenko, Pardubice 2009.


10.b3 was played in Inarkiev – Shirov, Poikovsky 2008. Black won a beautiful game.

10…Nf5 11.Ng2

11.Nxg6?!  looks dangerous, but White could also try 11.Nxf5 Bxf5 12.f3 with complicated play.


11…e5?! was recommended by Maxim Notkin in Chess Today, but it is refuted by 12.g4! Nh4 13.f4! and White will end up with a superior structure on both flanks: 13…exd4 (13…h5 is easily repelled by 14.fxe5 Nxg2 15.Kxg2 hxg4 16.Bxg4 Qh4 17.h3 and Black does not have enough compensation) 14.exd4 Nxg2 15.Kxg2 f5 16.Re1! (16.g5 Qc7!? unclear) 16…Be7 17.g5 And White has a space advantage.


We like this idea best, as it is most critical. 12.b4 0–0 13.Nf4 is another idea. Black might try to break in the centre with 13…e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5, but after 15.Bb2 Bf6 16.Qb3² White is probably a bit better.


12…0–0 13.h4 small edge, will provoke Black into advancing the h-pawn.

13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.h4 d4!?

This seems to be the most logical move. 14…f6 is a computer idea, which is met with: 15.Qa4! Bf7 (15…b5? is punished by 16.Nxb5! cxb5 17.Bxb5† Kf7 18.Rd1± with a strong attack) 16.e4! dxe4 17.Rd1 Qc8 18.Nxe4 0–0

19.b3 small edge

14…h6 might be the best move. We think White is better after: 15.b4!? d4 (15…a5 16.Bb2!² axb4? 17.Ncxd5+–) 16.Ne4! Nxe3 (16…dxe3? 17.Bb2!±) 17.fxe3 Bxe4 18.Bb2!² White keeps the initiative and control of the centre.

15.exd4 Nxd4 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Bf4 Bf6 18.Re1 0–0 19.Bxe5! Bxe5 20.Bc4 small edge

White has some interesting attacking ideas on the light squares. After 20…Re8 21.Ne4 White has many threats and ideas with h4-h5 and Qg4 can be dangerous.

One example is: 20…Qc7?! 21.h5! g5 22.Ne4 Qe7 23.Qg4!± Nc2 24.Nxg5 Nxe1 25.Rxe1 Qf6 26.Re3! White has

a winning attack.

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Any impression on the hardcovers?

June 3rd, 2010 56 comments

Here is a photo of the books – the main feature is of course that even a 480 page book lies open when in hardcover.

Having been beat into submission here on the site by a few very persistent people, we have now produced 5 of our books in hardcover. Grandmaster Repertoire 1, Grandmaster Repertoire 3 and the Cutting Edge 1 only in 32 copies each – a very limited edition only available on this website. We have printed Grandmaster Repertoire 7 and Soviet Chess Strategy in respectively 200 and 100 copies of hardcovers. Initial sales have been beyond our expectation, but more importantly, have the books lived up to your expectations? Please give us feedback. Is this worth the hassle and extra investment from us, as well as the extra cover price for you?

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