Archive for September, 2015

Candidates Wildcard

September 30th, 2015 22 comments

Asking who you want to win the World Cup is too easy (Svidler, right?) so instead:

In 2016 there will be 8 Candidates to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen. By reaching the final of the World Cup, Svidler and Karjakin have now qualified, making 7 places fairly secure: Anand, Caruana, Karjakin, Nakamura, Svidler, Topalov and Giri (the latter two probably qualifying on rating). That leaves one place for a wildcard. Who do you want to be the wildcard?

Adams, Aronian, Gelfand, Grischuk, Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Radjabov, So, or someone else?


 In last week’s poll, a large majority did not want arbiters interfering too much:


Categories: Polls Tags:

Forward Chess – Restoring purchases

September 29th, 2015 13 comments

Most of our new books will be on Forward Chess and will be available a week before they are available in shops. This is obviously a move to support this format and get it off the ground. Not because we want it to take over from paper books, but because we want to make sure that this format flourishes as a viable alternative.

One minor advantage with this format is that on the rare occasions where we make small corrections to books, they happen to the Forward Chess books. Recently a few corrections were included in Positional Decision Making in Chess ahead of the reprint of hardback copies that will take place in a few weeks’ time. To make sure that you have the corrected book, use the restore purchases option in the App. For everyone else, you will have to wait for my blog post on the subject, also coming in a few weeks’ time…

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World Cup Quiz – The Survivors

September 23rd, 2015 18 comments

Our World Cup Quiz (previous instalments here and here) attracted almost 200 entrants, but you may recall there were three qualifying questions to narrow the field:

A: What will the most common opening move be in round 1: 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither?
B: Which of these home players will go further: Mamedov or Safarli?
C: Which opening will be more common in round 3: Najdorf or Catalan?

In the previous instalment we knew two of the correct answers. Now we know all three: 1.e4, Mamedov and Najdorf.

21 contestants survived the cull. I won’t name names, but in chess terms they range from unrated to mid-2400s. Which of them will be our champion? Too early to say.

There were several GM entrants, but they all fell, usually due to their faith in 1.d4.

A hypothetical question: Should World Cup competitors be allowed to enter our World Cup Quiz? I would say “Yes”, but since they both crashed out of our quiz in the qualifying round, we’ll say it’s hypothetical.

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Nigel Short Seminar Update – Unlock a discount for everyone!

September 22nd, 2015 10 comments

Setting a price for a seminar is difficult. I hope to not lose too much money while organising them, while at the same time I hope to have big attendance, which is the reason I organise them in the first place.

This week we will have a visit from Nigel Short. I set the price at £150 for four days, thinking it is good value and I would not lose too much. While the second part is true, the attendance is lower than I had hoped. For this reason I will reduce the price with £10 per extra participant registering from now on for all participants, of course. It will not go under £100, which is what I have charged for other seminars. But if 5 more people decides to attend, the price will be down to £100…

Jacob Aagaard

Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

Negi, Wei Yi and the Poisoned Pawn

September 22nd, 2015 1 comment

Rising Chinese star (and future World Champion?) Wei Yi is now in the last 8 of the World Cup after beating his compatriot Ding Liren.

In the last 32, Wei Yi had faced Alexander Areshchenko. The Ukrainian GM has a fixed repertoire: Grünfeld against 1.d4 and Najdorf against 1.e4. So where would the 2734-rated youngster seek his chances with White? Answer: By following a Negi suggestion against the Najdorf from his GM Repertoire 1.e4 vs. The Sicilian

Wei Yi (2734) – Alexander Areshchenko (2661)
FIDE World Cup 18.09.2015

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2
The Poisoned Pawn is Areshchenko’s usual choice.

9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 dxe5 12.fxe5 g5 13.exf6 gxh4 14.Be2 Qa5 15.0–0 Nd7 16.Rbd1
“Rare but potent” was Negi’s description. Later adding: “I find it staggering that this move has only been played in four games.”
Negi also covered the usual 16.Kh1.

Read more…

Categories: Fun Games, GM Repertoire Tags:

Two-handed castling at the World Cup

September 21st, 2015 25 comments

In the final Armageddon game in the match Nakamura – Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura castled with two hands on move 5. Following a Facebook discussion with a lot of intelligent people, I have come to two possible opinions of the arbiter’s responsibility in this situation.

First a few clear things:

1) This is an illegal act. You have to move the king, then the rook

2) The game is not a blitz game according to the rules, so the arbiter can step in should he find it fitting

3) The penalty would be an extra minute awarded to Nepomniachtchi

So the vote is on the following: How do you see the arbiter’s primary role?

a) To make sure that the rules are followed to the letter

b) To make sure the game is performed in a fair and fluent manner

Read more…

Categories: Polls Tags:

Two out of four…

September 18th, 2015 9 comments

A few weeks back (as we assume you have noticed) the English Chess Federation released their shortlist of nominees for book of the year (going from 1st August 2014 to 31st July 2015). Each publisher is allowed to send two books to the judges. A shortlist of four books is then announced.

Both books we put forward this year were shortlisted. Here is what the judges had to say:

Chess Structures – A Grandmaster Guide
Mauricio Flores Rios | Quality Chess pp464 £21.95

“The book was ‘born out of my desire to guide players who, like me, struggle to apply their strategic knowledge to a practical game’. Rios shows exceptional clarity of organisation and selection of (nearly all contemporary) illustrative games. Each of the 140 games starts with ‘Learning Objective’ and concludes with ’Final Remarks’. In all, ‘28’ chess structures are covered and the book finishes with 50 exercises. It is hard to imagine any student not learning from this book; but the problems of using this knowledge over the board, even for a world-class player, are discussed in the Gelfand book below.”

Positional Decision Making in Chess
Boris Gelfand | Quality Chess pp284 £23.99

“This remarkable book, written in collaboration with Jacob Aagaard, is an attempt to show how a world-class player (there are few with Gelfand’s extensive top-level experience) thinks during the course of a game. As the title suggests, the games selected concentrate on aspects of positional play such as space advantage or the squeeze. Very interestingly, Gelfand admits to being strongly influenced by Akiba Rubinstein, a great player in the first half of the 20th century; a number of Rubinstein’s games are included. Throughout, Gelfand is very honest about his thoughts and recollections during the games presented. As a result the book is a fascinating insight into the mind of a great chess player at work.”

Quality Chess has previously won the ECF Book of the Year award with:

2007: San Luis 2005 – Gershon & Nor
2010: Attacking Manual 1&2 – Jacob Aagaard
2013: How I Beat Fischer’s Record – Judit Polgar

Categories: Prizes Tags:

World Cup Quiz – Round 1 update

September 14th, 2015 5 comments

The eagerly anticipated World Cup began in Baku on Friday afternoon, and the chess community can undoubtedly look forward to over three weeks of high quality competition and drama.

For Quality Chess aficionados, however, there was much more than a World Cup at stake. Just as the first turn is often the most exciting part of a Formula 1 Grand Prix, our readers were glued to the initial 10 seconds of action to see which opening move would prevail. It transpires that players choosing the closed games simply have too many fiddly move order options available to them, while if you want to play 1.e4 you tend to just play 1.e4. In the end the result was fairly decisive, with 1.e4 streaking to a 6 point lead after round 1.1 and holding on comfortably in the return leg.

Read more…

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