Archive for February, 2017

How many books in the Yusupov series have you read?

February 27th, 2017 40 comments

Last week’s poll question was “How many books in the Yusupov series do you own?” Top answer was ‘zero’ but next was ’10’. I find that hugely encouraging. My interpretation is that if you read one Yusupov book, you may be impressed enough to want to get all of them.

Continuing the current Yusupov theme of the blog, in a comment Steve suggested this week’s question: “How many books in the Yusupov series have you completed?”

Obviously giving a simple numerical answer does not tell the whole story, as some of you own none, some own them all. So saying you have read “zero” means very different things for different people. But I am still interested enough in the raw numbers, especially in how many have read them all. And we hope that this number will increase due to the Yusupov Challenge.

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The Yusupov Challenge

February 27th, 2017 368 comments

I have personally taken up a challenge after reading an interesting article. It is my goal to read 100 books this year. 50 novels and 50 non-fiction books. I used to be an avid reader, but lately I have been caught up in too many things and maybe watched a few too many TV-shows on Netflix. Every second novel must be what we call a “serious” novel. At least!

In that connection, I propose a reading challenge for those who wants to improve their chess, but have never really gotten around to it. The Yusupov challenge.

Artur Yusupov has written 10 volumes in his series of training material for those starting at 1200-1800, wanting to get to 2200+. They cover more or less everything and received the first ever Boleslavsky medal from FIDE, when they started handing them out. And not without competition. Kasparov was in second place and Dvoretsky in third.

Your goal should be to read one book per month. There are 25 chapters in each book, making it a total of 250 chapters. They take maybe 10-20 minutes to read, after which there are 12 exercises, which should take you 20-40 minutes to go through. Some of you might want to spend more time per chapter, but the point stands. You can do six of them a week and make it easily. In a year, you will have learned an immense amount about chess.

Which order you should read the books in

When we acquired the books, we originally only planned to publish one from each series. We all make mistakes. For this reason, the order which the books are intended to be read is not entirely obvious. The order is:

Build up Your Chess 1, Boost Your Chess 1, Chess Evolution 1 – the orange books (Fundamentals series)

Build up Your Chess 2, Boost Your Chess 2, Chess Evolution 2 – the blue books (Beyond the Basics series)

Build up Your Chess 3, Boost Your Chess 3, Chess Evolution 3 – the green books (Mastery series)

The newest book, Revision & Exam 1 should probably be read last.

So, the order to which I suggest you read the books is:

Spring – The Fundamentals series

March: Build up Your Chess 1

Boost Your Chess 1

Chess Evolution 1

Summer – Beyond the Basics series

Build up Your Chess 2

Boost Your Chess 2

Chess Evolution 2

Autumn – Mastery series

Build up Your Chess 3

Boost Your Chess 3

Chess Evolution 3

Winter – Revision time

Revision & Exam 1

If you are up for it, sign up below.

Vlog 10 – Women’s World Championship and Calculation

February 22nd, 2017 No comments

In this video Jacob shows some tragicomedies from the recent Women’s World Championship and Nikos challenges the readers to calculate deeply and solve an endgame position.

The pgn file can be downloaded here.

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The Yusupov series

February 20th, 2017 19 comments

Last week’s poll question was: ‘Where are you?’ I offered so many options that an image big enough to make all the results readable would break the internet, so below are just the edited highlights.

Rest of Europe (196 votes, 40%)
North America (72 votes, 14%)
British Isles (61 votes, 12%)
Rest of Asia (57 votes, 11%)
India (49 votes, 10%)

‘Rest of Europe’ was our big winner, which reminds me of an old joke that claims a British newspaper once published a headline: “Fog in English Channel – Continent isolated”. Anyway, we at Quality Chess are very much pro-European, but since we don’t deal with politics on this chess blog, please don’t interpret that as a comment about Brexit.

We also have good numbers here from North America, India and Asia in general. Everyone is welcome, even those from the neglected Caribbean.

In a recent blog post we saw the views of GM Adhiban Baskaran on the Yusupov series. There were nine books in the original series, and then Revision & Exam 1 with more to come we hope. So for this week the poll question is: How many books in the Yusupov series do you own?

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Women’s World Championship in Tehran

February 17th, 2017 34 comments

I have been back for a few days from my trip to Tehran, where the second round of the Women’s World Championship has just finished. I went as a coach for Sabina Foisor, who found herself with changed circumstances that are too personal and complex for us to mention here. Once there, she played really well, fought like a lioness and did what we had agreed in advance, which was to take a full swing at her 250-points higher rated opponent. After a good first game, where her opponent almost over-pressed, as we had suspected she might, Sabina had White in the second game and would go into the next round with a win. She played a great game up to a point, but had spent too much time and went in the wrong direction and got a bad position. At some point it was lost in one move, but she resisted and at a later point she could have entered a very fragile, but possible drawing, zone. She did not and eventually went down.

Sabina Foisor (thanks to David Llada for the photo)

Some people have been eager to criticize from far away the arrangement of the tournament. Read more…

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How to train without a coach? – By GM Adhiban

February 16th, 2017 25 comments

The answer to the above questions is surely books and DVDs. However, with this huge wealth of material out there, it is easy to be completely confused. It is difficult to pinpoint on only one book, because different people at different levels have different requirements. However, I would like to tell you the story that happened with me yesterday:

Read more…

Where are you?

February 13th, 2017 24 comments

The poll result shows that almost three quarters of you are not following the Women’s World Championship. I would ask you who you think will win, but if most of you are not following it, you are probably not bothered. Perhaps Hou Yifan’s absence devalues the event in your eyes?

The next question involves my geographical curiosity: Where are you?

For the poll answers I have split the planet up into a few bite-sized chunks. As we are mainly an English-language publisher, it would make sense if most blog readers here were from the British Isles (for non-locals, that includes the UK and Ireland) and North America. But I am sure there is some variety.

If you like, feel free to give a more detailed location in comments. But if ‘Antarctica’ and ‘Other’ get a lot of votes, then I’ll be very suspicious.

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Women’s World Champion and Championship

February 7th, 2017 No comments

Our previous poll question was: “Hou Yifan deliberately lost her final-round game in Gibraltar in protest about her pairings. Do you sympathize with her decision?”

An overwhelming majority voted for “No”.

Hou Yifan is the current Women’s World Champion, but not for much longer, as she will not be playing in the 2017 event for which play starts this Saturday in Tehran, Iran. There could be dozens of different questions asked about the location, politics or ethics, but let’s stick to a chess fan’s point of view: Will you be following the Women’s World Championship live?

Top seed in Iran is China’s Ju Wenjun who won the Women’s top prize at Gibraltar with a 2731 performance, beating Hou Yifan along the way. A fine performance overshadowed by the Grob.

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