Archive for July, 2015

What is your future peak rating?

July 28th, 2015 27 comments

Let us ignore the fantasy that you abandon your job, leave your wife and go on the road with Artur Yusupov and Boris Avrukh perfecting your chess, and just assume that life will continue as you are planning it.

What do you think is the highest rating you can reach? Please be honest.


Last week’s poll showed a clear majority to the optimists:

Poll-best chess

Categories: Polls Tags:

Lars Schandorff’s new Semi-Slav book

July 24th, 2015 67 comments

Nikos Ntirlis writes: The Semi-Slav is one of the most fascinating openings in modern chess. It is the opening that helped Vladimir Kramnik to climb Mount Olympus as a youngster and make his appearance among the best players in the 90s and today it is Vishy Anand’s most trusted weapon. It helped him to get his first undisputed world title in 2007 and of course who can forget his amazing performance at the 2008 world championship match against Kramnik when the Indian scored two amazing wins with Black in the Meran variation! Of course Anand is still the man to watch for developments in the opening as he is still unleashing opening bombs like in his game against Aronian in Wijk aan Zee 2011!

We would expect such a popular opening complex to be well covered in modern literature, and this is the case. David Vigorito’s “Play the Semi-Slav” is still surprisingly relevant in many lines despite being now seven years old and other experts like Dreev and Sakaev have also presented well respected works on the opening. Still, the last couple of years have been outstandingly rich regarding developments of many key lines for both sides and what is worse, the Semi-Slav has become so deeply and widely analysed that the typical club player will feel lost trying to navigate himself in the complexities of this minefield of modern chess.

In my humble opinion, it is very difficult to find a better author on this subject than Lars Schandorff. His other works for Quality Chess like the two “Playing 1.d4” books as well as the slightly older “Grandmaster Repertoire 7 – The Caro Kann” have proved that he has a special talent to present complex opening lines in a very reader-friendly way. Another thing is also at least as important, Lars is a true expert on the Semi-Slav who has vast experience of defending the opening successfully against strong opposition for many years (a look at the database will convince you!) and thus he has acquired deep understanding.

So, what the reader can expect from The Semi-Slav by Lars Schandorff is fascinating chess, deep analysis and research, and a very friendly presentation of the latest developments of this very important modern opening, many of which cannot be found in other works, simply because 2-3 years back many lines were not even known! This is one such example:

Read more…

Categories: GM Repertoire Tags:

Is your best chess before you or behind you?

July 21st, 2015 20 comments

I am an optimistic guy, I believe that I will write a better chess book than I have done up till now. I believe that 2015 will be the best year for Quality Chess so far (and the publications we have out so far have been received in a way that makes this optimism persist). I believe I can make it to the first team at the tennis club next year and that I can one day make it to the finals in the club championship.

But I doubt that I will ever play chess as well as I did in 2007. Or in other words – although I understand the game much better now, I have lost something extra I had then. Maybe it was the excitement of knowing that I would become a GM in the near future, or something else.

What about you? Is your best chess behind you or ahead of you?


The results of last week’s poll:


Categories: Polls Tags:

What is your rating?

July 13th, 2015 66 comments

We are trying to get a picture of our readership on this blog over the summer and in that connection we will ask a number of questions about you. Please answer only once in the week and forgive us for being in holiday mode and only doing a full analytical article at the end of the summer.


Last week’s poll about what type of tournaments you prefer to play in produced a balanced response:



Categories: Polls Tags:

How important is price when you decide on which chess tournament to play?

July 6th, 2015 28 comments

The Politiken Cup in Denmark is my favourite tournament. And so it should be, not only is it held in beautiful locations, with all the participants staying in the same place (view over the ocean), it is also in Denmark, where I have strong ties obviously.

Yes, they pay me to play there. I even win a few hundred pounds once in a while…

But for others, participating is easily running into £1000 when you include entry fee, accommodation, eating and buying Quality Chess books at the stand. There is no way around it if you are not Danish, as the tournament is held quite a bit from, well anywhere…

What is your view. Do you prefer a cheap and cheerful tournament or a luxury event like this?


The results of last week’s poll offers some encouragement to chess publishers:


Categories: Polls Tags: