Archive for January, 2016

Still Playing the Trompowsky

January 28th, 2016 4 comments

My attention was drawn to IM Andy Martin’s choice of BCM Game of the Month for February 2016. That’s a link to a YouTube video of Andy going through the game – I haven’t had time to watch the video yet. But what’s this got to do with Quality Chess? The game uses, with devastating effect, a novelty IM Richard Pert suggested in Playing the Trompowsky.

White: IM Nigel Povah Black: Pavel Asenov

4NCL Division 2, Birmingham, 23.01.2016

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c5 3.d5 Qb6 4.Nc3 Qxb2 5.Bd2 Qb6 6.e4 e5 7.f4 d6 8.Rb1
Pert’s move order was 8.Nf3, transposing to this game after 8…Nbd7 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.Rb1.

8…Qc7 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.Nf3 Nbd7 11.Nb5 Qb8
Quite possibly Asenov was still in his “prep” as this line was recommended for Black by Dembo in “Fighting the Anti-King’s Indians”, as Richard mentioned. IM Nigel Povah has been playing the Trompowsky consistently for at least 20 years, so it is unlikely that the promising young English player playing Black was surprised by the choice of opening.

11…Qb6 is safer.

Read more…

Categories: Fun Games, Prizes Tags:

Best Quality Chess book of 2015?

January 25th, 2016 35 comments

Last week’s poll question was “Do you agree with Nigel Short that the evidence suggests men are hardwired to play better chess than women, for whatever reason?” The pro-hardwired option was a narrow winner ahead of the opposing view, but at 45% to 40% it is clearly a disputed issue.


This week I will move to safer territory: in your opinion, What was the best Quality Chess book of 2015? Since we love all our children equally, I shall list every book we published in 2015.

Spoiler: next week I plan to ask ‘What was the best non-Quality Chess chess book in 2015?’ So in the comments, please nominate some likely candidates.

Categories: Polls, Reviews Tags:

Beauty versus the Beast

January 18th, 2016 46 comments

Last week’s poll question was: “Who will win Wijk aan Zee?” It seems the readership’s faith in the World Champion has been restored, as Magnus Carlsen won the poll overwhelmingly, with almost two-thirds of the votes cast.

Earlier this month a simultaneous display titled “Beauty versus the Beast” was held between GM Nigel Short and 20 of New Zealand’s best female players. You will know or guess that this is related to Nigel’s remarks about the supposed differences between male and female brains, including that: “Men and women’s brains are hard-wired very differently, so why should they function in the same way?”

Do you agree with Nigel Short that the evidence suggests men are hardwired to play better chess than women, for whatever reason?

Jacob suggested the following possible answers:

A) I have a feeling that this is true, although we cannot know why this is the case before it has been investigated thoroughly.
B) I very seriously doubt that there is anything biological making women worse at chess than men.
C) I am a full-blown sexist and don’t care about the facts. Report me now!
D) Other

Categories: Polls Tags:

Who will win Wijk aan Zee?

January 11th, 2016 20 comments

Last week’s poll question was: Do you think your rating will go up or down in 2016? As the results below show, the winner was the most optimistic answer, just ahead of the slightly optimistic option.


Overall, about two-thirds were optimistic about their rating. Is that surprising? I don’t think so. I suspect our blog readers (and poll-clickers) are not a representative sample of all chessplayers. If you bother to go to a chess book blog, you probably are more optimistic and interested in improving your chess than most.

Later this week an interesting range of tournaments starts in Wijk aan Zee. The top event, the Tata Steel Masters, is a 14-player all-play-all that features almost half of the world’s Top 20, including Carlsen, Giri, Caruana, So, Karjakin, Ding Liren and Eljanov. Who will win Wijk aan Zee 2016? “Others” could include the likes of Mamedyarov, Adams, Navara and Wei Yi. You can see a full list of players here.

Too easy a question? Well, the last time we had a “Who will win…” question was about the London Classic, and Carlsen just edged out Aronian on the vote. And you were most impressed by Giri in 2015…


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Free ‘Book of the Month’ – January/February

January 8th, 2016 20 comments

We are continuing our special offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas) we will send you an extra book free. Recently the default option on the free book has been Positional Chess Sacrifices but we will change that now to CARLSEN’S ASSAULT ON THE THRONE by Kotronias and Logothetis.

But if you already have Carlsen’s Assault on the Throne, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Happy New Year!

January 5th, 2016 3 comments

Happy New Year from everyone at Quality Chess! Today is our first day back in the office in 2016, so there is a lot of catching up to do, including a couple of poll results.

Which chessplayer impressed you most in 2015? Anish Giri was the winner, with ‘Other’ taking second place ahead of the World Champion, who gained some late votes by winning in London and Qatar. Who was this player known as ‘Other’? An amalgam of Nakamura, Kramnik and Eljanov seems likely.


Over the holidays, Jacob ran a poll, with a narrow majority preferring spending time with family to playing a chess tournament.

The current poll question is: Do you think your rating will go up or down in 2016? With a range of answers to click on, from wildly optimistic to we’re-all-doomed.

Categories: Polls Tags: