Archive for September, 2012

Judit Polgar – Questions and Answers

September 21st, 2012 62 comments


Over the next week we will be lucky enough to be visited online by a world class player. Judit Polgar will visit the blog occasionally to answer questions posed by readers in the comments to this post. This is your chance to pick the brain of a chess superstar.


Judit’s new book How I Beat Fischer’s Record  is published today.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

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.


John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

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Recommendations for Playing the French

September 20th, 2012 82 comments

Nikos and I have already discussed our lines after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 for Playing the French, but as he has analysed everything with usual tenacity, it was quite interesting for us to see what the public thought. Especially as 3…Be7 is the current trend in repertoire books (and Emanuel is working on 3…Nf6) and we were heading more for 3…c5 in general.

We are still analysing, so we take everything on board, although we have some ideas. I am uncertain about 3…Be7, especially as when we looked at the recommendation in THE MODERN FRENCH it was straight to +- for White when we compared our recommendation for John’s 1.e4 books (which are a team effort as always, when John’s name is on the cover – but remember that John is the brutal dictator of Quality Chess, who has chosen to do the King’s Gambit alone!). All you had to do was one logical move (top 3 in all 1.e4-players’ candidates for sure) and tap the spacebar every 30 seconds. TMF seems a bit shaky at places, but is still a very interesting book that deservedly has received rage review.

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Olympiad experience

September 18th, 2012 9 comments

For most playing the Olympiad, this was a disaster of a tournament. Bad food, bad internet, ok hotels, RUBBISH location, decent playing conditions, inexperienced arbiters (who did not understand the three time repetition rule before move 30) and a general low-cost attitude to everything.

The internet coverage was probably not bad besides a glitch in round 1.

2014 and 2016 are both likely to be top-class events. Sadly I am now retired, but John, Colin and Andrew are all possible on the Scottish team by then! Maybe Cathy will play for the Scottish ladies team?!

Categories: Authors in Action, Polls Tags:

Olympiad predictions

September 18th, 2012 1 comment

It seems that people really believed in Russia this time around. Well, they should have won, but didn’t. Armenia has won three of the last four and Ukraine two of the last five. Russia last won in 2002 with Kasparov on the team.

At the closing ceremony the organisers did not present the Armenian flag (I think it was the Colombian in stead?!), just as they were insensitive to the winners in a few other ways. There is an old conflict between the two contries that sadly not only lingers with the victims. One Armenian said about the flag incident that ‘it was not the worst thing that had happened to Armenians in Turkey…’

Worse is of course that Armenia will not play in 2016 in Azerbaijan. At least this is my prediction.

Here are your predictions:

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English Chess Federation Book of the Year shortlist

September 14th, 2012 29 comments


We are happy to announce that Advanced Chess Tactics by GM Lev Psakhis has made the shortlist for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year prize.


Actually this news was announced over a week ago, but we are still catching up after the Olympiad. What else have I missed?

Categories: Prizes Tags:

Retirement – First thougths

September 9th, 2012 6 comments

My first day of retirement has passed. If this is anything to go by, I am going to be busy! Getting awards, talking to world champions, business meetings and presentations – and not the least analysing the Slav defence until 2am in the morning! All of this without the pressure of playing and the feeling that I should want to win/prepare, knowing that I care about the results, but do not have the hunger to play for them myself anymore…

Meanwhile I am trying for the first time to embed a video. I have no idea if it works…

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Round 10 – the day after retirement

September 8th, 2012 95 comments

I don’t think it is a secret anymore than I am not going to play the last round tomorrow. This means that I ended by tournament career with two losses and a total loss of 16 elo points, landing me at 2516. I think I could play much better than this, if I had the hunger, but I don’t. This is by the way the answer to the question I received from at 2700-player yesterday: “When should I curb my ambition?” Answer: “When you lose the hunger.” He is in his 30’s, but “still wants to beat these guys”. So he should.

I was ground down against Almasi. I overlooked a nice little move at the end of a long line, which allowed him to make a seemingly natural move. The tactics preventing it did not work and then my position was eseentially lost. We lost 4–0, with a horrible end to Hansen–Leko.

Today I then had to enjoy retirement. So, as a way to enjoy the morning I went to the FIDE Congress to receive the Boleslavski-medal for the best chess book in 2011 (for Attacking Manual 1-2). Originally we tried to put these in for 2010, but there were problems with the way the rules were written and what they were supposed to say. So, I first had to become a FIDE Senior Trainer (last year) and then I could compete for this rather sexy trophy.

After receiving the award, we took a look at the Mediteranean and a taxi to town where we saw The Great Basar, Blue Mosque and other postcard shops. Having retired from tournament chess I spent about an hour on being a tourist, before going back to the room to work on the a6-Slav…






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