Archive for February, 2014

Correct Behaviour – Internet democrazy

February 28th, 2014 78 comments

This happened to one of my friends. Besides it being a funny story, it leads to a moral dilemma.

He was playing in the last round for the first place. He was better, though not winning, in the ending and the opponent was running out of time. At some moment the opponent claimed a draw. The arbiter asked him to play on. He refused claiming that his opponent “would try to trick him”. The arbiter saw his point and declared a draw. My friend appealed.

The quickly put together appeals committee included the arbiter and the travel companion of the opponent. It also included the hotel manager, who was seen as unbiased. With the votes 3-2, they decided to declare the game a draw. The opponent’s travel companion voted for a win for my friend; so no unfair bias there. The hotel manager voted for a draw. When asked if he played chess, he said, “yes.” My friend rephrased: “Do you know how the pieces move?” The answer was “most of them.”

Jokes aside: let’s vote on whether or not the committee made the right decision.

Categories: Polls Tags:

Two cover options

February 24th, 2014 62 comments

I just got these two as options from one of our cover artists. I would like to know what the public thinks. Please vote in the poll and come with further comments below.

Cover A is the brown one, Cover B is the red one.

Bestmove1 bestmove3

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Playing with shorter time controls

February 24th, 2014 136 comments


Before we get to the article, please have a look at these few positions and try to find the best move.

[fen size=”small”]2r1nrk1/p1q2p1p/1pppb1p1/4b3/P1P1P2Q/BPNR2NP/2P3P1/R5K1 b – – 0 19[/fen]

Black to play

[fen size=”small”]5q1k/p4rnp/2Np4/4b1B1/5p2/3Q3P/6P1/1R5K w – – 0 41[/fen]

White to play

[fen size=”small”]8/Q6p/3p1qk1/8/8/7P/8/7K b – – 0 51[/fen]

Black to play – How many moves to win?

Read more…

Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

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.


John Shaw

Chief Editor

Quality Chess

Categories: Newsletter Tags:

Spies! I tell you, Spies!

February 17th, 2014 47 comments

Our competitors are so desperate that they have hired spies to work out what we are looking at, at the moment.

Seagull spying on John Glasgow City-20140217-00039

Luckily John was on his lunch break, reading Krugman’s column. So nothing was revealed.

On an unrelated note, there is a mistake in the Slav book. In one diagram White has pawns on a2, b2 and b3. With 2.c4 on the board, this was some achievement! Blame me…

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Yusupov success

February 17th, 2014 4 comments

My good friend, Danish Women’s Team Coach Thomas Schou-Moldt has written an article in Danish on the benefits of training. In this case based on the Yusupov books and a recent game he won in the Danish league. I am not sure how many will benefit from this, as it is written in Danish but I found it fun. Not sure how Google translate will work, but at least the chess moves will be easy to understand.

Categories: Reviews Tags:

The inside lane – on Magnus Carlsen

February 17th, 2014 1 comment

Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen, whose job it is to second Carlsen (a change of job from seconding Anand until Feb 2013) during events, with the exception of the – for him – conflict-of-interest match in Chennai, has written a short portrait of Carlsen in the Danish Federations magazine, Skakbladet.  There are a few passages I thought you guys would find interesting, so I am quoting randomly:

I seconded him for the first time in the 2005 World Cup. It was probably a surprise for everyone excluding Carlsen that he would get a big breakthrough. At least, I had book my flight so I could make it back to play in the Bundesliga the following weekend. But as a 14-year-old he was already ready to fight the world elite and qualified as the youngest ever to the Candidates Tournament.

This was my first experience of the Carlsen family’s approach to chess. The aim was constantly positive curiosity. I was banned from in any way pushing him to prepare or to in any way give him the impression that it was an important tournament.

The fun based approach came to the extreme in connection with the cooperation with Kasparov. After a few good training sessions the cooperation stopped, when Magnus was given homework!

He is a very independently thinking World Champion, who is not scared of going against cemented dogmas. World Championship matches have long been fought with deep opening analysis and lots of seconds, but Carlsen won the title with only fellow Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer helping him via Skype. Even Fischer had a bigger machine assisting him!

Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

Publishing Schedule on the Milk Cartoon?

February 13th, 2014 117 comments

Nope! Here it is.

Another month gone by – another publishing schedule. Well, this time I feel that we are really going to live up to the short term ambitions.

I have included only those books we will publish in the spring; not titles that we will do later on, such as The Semi-Slav, Nimzo-Indian, GM6A and GM6B. Be patient. I want the focus this time to be mainly on the titles we are publishing in the next 3-5 months.

A few details are in order. First of all, the author of the Grandmaster Repertoire 1.e4 series is Indian Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi. He is well-known for becoming a grandmaster at the age of 12 and these days known as a very strong grandmaster (peak rating 2671) and an excellent theoretician. A lot of the material for the first volume is written already, with the usual high quantity of new ideas. I am personally very happy with what I have seen and I am sure our audience will be very happy with this material as well.

In the first volume Negi will cover white replies to the Caro-Kann, French and Philidor. The first two are the main openings of course and naturally we will be asked a lot about what lines he suggests. Basically it is 3.Nc3 and the main stuff against both. This means 7.Qg4 in the Winawer, 4.e5 against 3…Nf6 and the long variations in the 4…Bf5 Caro-Kann.

Of other things I can say that Endgame Play will be the biggest book in the Grandmaster Preparation series so far. It is in the same style; it is not an endgame manual, but about 444 exercises in all aspects of the endgame. I have felt that this was a very difficult book to write, but I still hope that it will be very interesting for the readers. Traditionally people do not really buy opening books, so I have gone in to this with a pure artist approach of writing for myself and the 3-5 readers likely to ever make it cover to cover!

Chess from Scracth is the old Soviet beginner book. Kasparov learned chess from it; Dvoretsky wrote the forword for the Russian version.

Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Endgame Play Spring
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – A Grandmaster Guide – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 & Minor Lines Spring
Parimarjan Negi Grandmaster Repertoire 21 – 1.e4 French, Caro-Kann & Philidor Spring
Vassilios Kotronias GM Repertoire 18 – Sveshnikov Spring
Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 1 – The Magic of Youth Spring
Tiger Hillarp-Persson The Modern Tiger Spring
Emanuel Berg Grandmaster Repertoire 16 – The French Defence Vol 3 Summer
Danny Gormally Mating the Castled King Summer
Victor Mikhalevski Grandmaster Repertoire 19 – Beating Minor Openings Summer
Ilya Maizelis Chess from Scratch Summer
Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags: