Archive for August, 2016

Russian books

August 26th, 2016 28 comments

Recently a book, written by Timoshenko on the Sveshnikov Sicilian, was published in Russia. From all we know, it is a decent book by a real expert on the opening. We do not want to publish it in English, as we have our own book by Kotronias, which is really excellent.

But Russian Chess House decided that this Timoshenko book would fit in well with their version of the Grandmaster Repertoire series, where they have previously published some of our QC books. To do this, they took a version of the cover we had given them for a different book, and then their cover artist lifted the chessboard photo off our book on the Sveshnikov Sicilian and used it on their own cover.

Their thinking was: this will cause no damage to Quality Chess and be good for Russian Chess House.

Our thinking is that:

a) They did not ask us, which is a big transgression. And we would have said no.

b) It does reflect on Quality Chess, as people will naturally tie this book to our brand. This is called ‘trading off’.

If we wanted to do it, we could license our brand in Russia and elsewhere, but it also means that some people will hold us responsible for the quality of the Timoshenko book and if it is not good, they will think worse of our books. This might not be a case with this book, we don’t know for sure to be honest, but clearly this is a choice we want to make!

Similarly, we believe in Russian Chess House’s series there is a book by Scherbakov on ‘The Triangle System’  that looks like a Quality Chess book, but is nothing to do with us.

We have talked to Russian Chess House and they are apologetic. Things have been sorted out.

We share this with you for a few reasons:

a) We want you to know that this book has nothing to do with us and will not be published by us.

b) Please think about the idea of a victimless crime. There is not really any such thing. Respect copyright, especially ours!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Olympiad Quiz!

August 22nd, 2016 33 comments

Last week’s poll question was: ‘Is 3 points for a win a good system for chess?’ The vote was strongly ‘no’, but with some support in comments for ‘yes, but only occasionally and at the elite level’.


This week’s poll will be a Quiz! Our quiz topic is the Baku Olympiad.

The prize is the same as always: ten Quality Chess books of your own choice and ten Quality Chess books of our choice (see our typical freebie list of books where we published too many copies compared to the audience; or undiscovered masterpieces, if you like). We will send it with FedEx or UPS to your home address.

Deadline: one hour before the start of play on September 2nd, 15.00 Baku time.

Quality Chess will be the final and only arbiter of what the correct answers are! In this event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be how close to correct you are on Question 3.

The entry HAS to follow the following layout (see example below). If they do not, we will ignore your entry. The layout is based on making it easy to copy and paste it into an excel sheet. Here are the requirements:

Send an email to Write whatever you want in the topic line; we will ignore it anyway…

Answer 1
Answer 2

And so on. Each on a new line. Just the answer: number or one word.

Full name and address where you would like the books sent to. Please make sure that this is a place where someone can sign for the parcel. Updated with bold and underlining. No address, no entry!

If your entry does not follow this setup, sorry, you will not participate this time around. I do not want to spend time restructuring your entry in a competition where I donate the prizes :-).

The Questions:

Read more…

Categories: Authors in Action, Polls, Prizes Tags:

3 points for a win?

August 15th, 2016 45 comments

Last week’s poll question was provocatively titled: ‘Should the World Championship match be for sale?’ And no, overwhelmingly you don’t think anyone who puts up enough money should have a shot at the world title.


One of last month’s poll questions was ‘Will the World Championship be held in New York this year?’ Most thought it would, and it seems you are right, as AGON announced a venue for the November match in “lower Manhattan in the historic South Street Seaport”. Good luck to all concerned.

This week, with the football season just started in Britain, a perennial topic seems timely. What do you think about changing the chess scoring system to 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw?

I was going to say that it has always been 1 point for a win, ½ for a draw, but I would be wrong about the ‘always’ part. Colin McNab reliably informs me that Dundee 1867 was the first international tournament to award half-points for a draw. Before that, drawn games were usually replayed until there was a winner.
So what do you think? 3 points would encourage attacking play, and discourage the Berlin draw-machine? 3 points is an abomination that devalues hard-fought draws?

Categories: Polls Tags:

Publishing Schedule

August 14th, 2016 284 comments

Hi guys! Back from holiday and ready to look at when the books will be ready. As you will no doubt understand, we have a lot of responsibilities, so sadly not everything has worked out exactly as I have wanted it. The good news is that Michael Roiz has finished his draft of Grandmaster Repertoire – The Nimzo-Indian. The sad news is that we cannot finish editing it before the Olympiad, so it will have to wait till after Baku. This delays it with a few weeks. It will be out in October only. Sorry.

This is the current list of what is coming… It is VERY UNOFFICIAL with the exception of the accurate dates.

Parimarjan Negi GM Rep – 1.e4 vs The Sicilian III 31 August 2016
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 1B – 1.d4 The Queen’s Gambit 31 August 2016
Boris Gelfand Dynamic Decision Making in Chess 31 August 2016
Victor Mikhalevski GM Rep 19 – Beating Minor Openings September
Ilya Smirin King’s Indian Warfare September
Yuri Razuvaev Key Concepts of Gambit Play October I hope
Michael Roiz The Nimzo-Indian October I hope
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian & French Autumn
Carl Portman Chess Behind Bars Autumn
Richard Pert Playing the Ragozin Autumn
Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 3 – The Invincible Autumn
Thomas Luther Luther’s Chess Reformation Autumn
Vassilios Kotronias King’s Indian – Volume 5 Hopefully Autumn


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Boris Gelfand Lecture at XtraCon Open

August 8th, 2016 11 comments

During XtraCon Open in Helsingor, Boris and I enjoyed a bit too much of the free buffet food (gosh I look fat; luckily the diet has already begun) and a two hour lecture about the writing of Positional Decision Making in Chess. No spoilers from the book though… All of it was original material.

The Boris Gelfand Q&A – The Answers

August 8th, 2016 22 comments

During XtraCon Open in Helsingor, Denmark, I got to spend some time together with Boris Gelfand, face to face, for the first time since the Tromso Olympiad. Since then we have written two books together.

The most important thing we did was of course to get around to answer all of your questions. It took a little longer than we expected (Boris refused to be effective, wanted to be generous with his time instead), but anyway, here are the two videos.

I was not sure if I should mention people by name. I decided against it, as it gave me the freedom to rephrase the questions at time. Hope getting them answered was the main thing!

Buying a Shot at the Title

August 8th, 2016 22 comments

Last week’s poll question was ‘Do you have any chess superstitions?’ In general, you do not, but many are fortunate enough to own a lucky pen.


The Russian Federation has proposed (link to pdf of proposal) to reintroduce the World Championship rules from a decade ago, that allowed Vladimir Kramnik to challenge Veselin Topalov for, and win, the FIDE World Championship title, thus unifying the two titles into one. Another match was also planned between Radjabov and Topalov, but was abandoned when Topalov lost his title.
As this Chessdom article explains, the proposal is that “anyone guaranteeing a required prize-fund can challenge the reigning World Champion.” Another key part of the proposal is that FIDE takes 50% of the prize fund.
We have our personal thoughts on this, but would like to know your thoughts. In a world where chess is struggling to find millions for the match at the end of the cycle, but where some sponsors from (for example) Azerbaijan, the US, Armenia, Russia and France might be able to find sponsors for a challenge from their local hero, does it make sense for FIDE to solve part of their solvency problems by adding an additional World Championship match to their cycle or is this taking the wildcard phenomenon too far? It could also lead to more matches that are dramatic and fun to watch.
We presume that the World Champion will have the right to accept or decline such a match; just as we presume (in this poll!) that everything would happen in a reasonable and intelligent way…

Categories: Polls Tags:

Free ‘Book of the Month’ – August

August 2nd, 2016 8 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. For June and July, the default option on the free book has been the Attacking Manual 1 and 2, respectively. But we will change that now to the QUALITY CHESS PUZZLE BOOK by John Shaw.

But if you already have the Quality Chess Puzzle Book, 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:


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