Archive for October, 2014

A Question of Technique?

October 27th, 2014 16 comments

In the second round of the Tashkent Grand Prix there were two really important games as far as I am concerned. In two games did very young players (20 and 22) get a big advantage and in both of them they blew it.

In the first game Anish Giri got a big advantage with White after quite a cunning novelty. The interesting moment of the game was probably this one:

White has a serious advantage from the opening, but he needs to find a deep plan in order to make something of it. Here Giri’s main strengths were not rightly suited for the task. Giri has great opening preparation and plays quite fast, putting his opponent’s under a lot of psychological and practical pressure. It seems to me that he is especially venomous with faster time controls.

But here he had to think deeply and find a plan. It is actually quite an interesting task and I put it forward to you guys to formulate a plan here that will create an additional weakness. It is by no means easy. I have an idea, but I am not sure it is right at all.

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October 21st, 2014 5 comments

Noticed that Gelfand drew with Black against Giri, which has been a difficult opponent to him lately. And Caruana lost to Vachier-Legrave with White. Obviously there is a long way to go, but at the moment it looks to me as if Gelfand is leading the Grand Prix!

I continue to believe that age is less important than motivation and that the fact that people lose motivation as they age is what people usually speak about. Chess does not look younger to me than 50 years ago. And will probably look quite old by 2019!

Mamedyarov’s endgame technique is by the way under criticism after today’s game. What a shocker!

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Book of the Month October/November

October 21st, 2014 2 comments

We have not worked out our automated system yet (and it will take a while). So, at the moment we will do it like this:

If you buy three books or more and live inside the European Union (defined by UPS and not by bureaucrats in Brussels!) we will send you a free book.

As a starting point this will be CHAMPIONS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

But if you have it, or would prefer another freebie, please write an email to us with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of following five titles:


We will probably run it like this for a while, changing the freebies around a bit.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Interim update

October 20th, 2014 20 comments

Just back from holiday in Legoland/Copenhagen. Time to write, write, write. So much to say, so bloody mute!

OK, regarding the publishing schedule. Sometimes things slide. Why? Can be a lot of things. A chapter having to be completely rewritten by the author? The chess being proved wrong in the book at a very late stage? An editor making poor choices? The author making poor choices and the editor deciding to leave them, then deciding to do the right thing and (re)fix them?

Many things like this happen.

We have one publication date to announce: Judit Polgar’s A GAME OF QUEENS will be out on the 5th of November. At the end of November, we will publish THE MODERN TIGER by Tiger Hillarp Persson, and Maizelis’ THE SOVIET CHESS PRIMER in our series of classics, as well as Mauricio Flores Rios’ CHESS STRUCTURES – A GRANDMASTER GUIDE. OK, maybe early December; the printer will decide and there is always a competition with Finnish and Swedish Christmas catalogues!

Finally, we are working hard on POSITIONAL DECISION MAKING IN CHESS by Boris Gelfand. He needs to return from three events before we can finish it. We are also working on the double volume on the MAR DEL PLATA variation by Vassilios Kotronias, Negi’s 2nd volume in his 1.e4 series and of course the never-ending struggle to get a full book out of John… We hope to have some of these out in January.

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No Fear

October 20th, 2014 3 comments

I spent the last 10 days on holiday in Denmark and have been thinking very little on chess (with the exception of looking up how Gelfand was doing in Baku), but going on the roller coasters with my oldest daughter (6 years old) made me think a bit about how flexible our emotions are.
Many times have I had the conversation with a young promising player, where I present my understanding about how to react to setbacks and disappointments.

The basic idea is this: negative emotions do not in themselves create anything positive.

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A Fortress Revisited

October 13th, 2014 8 comments

I am not a very technical person and I do not check how many people actually read the blog posts I write. I know that it is hundreds when I put up a new publishing schedule. We got about 300 votes for the Gelfand covers – and I would assume that most people voted, as it is so easy.

Obviously I like that my books have a greater readership than the free stuff, which probably has a lot to do with the effort I put into them (while the blog posts are meant to be contemplations and opening up for debates that will help me write BOX next year more than anything).

So I always get surprised when a really strong player says that he has read it. This is another case of this (based on this post).

Apparently I was not right when I believed that Black could maybe hold the fortress in this position:

 Giri – Kraemer, Germany 2014

111…Kg8? 112.Nd6 Rf6 113.Rc8+ Kh7 114.Rd8!

Black is in zugzwang.


Apparently White was winning all the same. The following interesting analysis was sent by email from GM Karsten Mueller, maybe the world’s leading authority on the endgame.


I foolishly speculated that Black was holding, but look at this:

112.Rc8+ Kg7 113.Rg8+!

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Looking for what you do not see

October 7th, 2014 11 comments

White to play and win in all three positions:

I have promised to write a bit about how it can be that a player can be close to 2650 and still “not be able to calculate”.

To most this sounds almost obscene, of course. I understand this, but if we agree on what this means, brick by brick, I will be able to illustrate it quite easily. In the process I will also take the chance to refer to my article in New in Chess Magazine, volume 6, out a few weeks ago. This article explains a central idea from the forthcoming Thinking inside the Box (which I am starting to feel brave enough to write).

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